Can I speak to a journalist off the record?

We don't advise this. Journalists will generally record or take down everything you or your staff say, and may well use it in their story.

Even if the journalist agrees to an off-the-record discussion, this generally implies they will report what you have said but won't attribute it directly to you in the published story. Off-the-record comments are usually attributed to 'a source' - when the story appears, it may well be obvious to the patient (and the GDC) who provided the information.

In most cases, it's better to say as little as possible. Even confirming that someone is a patient at your practice without their consent could be seen as a breach of confidentiality.

We strongly advise you to call the DDU press office before speaking to a journalist.

This page was correct at publication on 24/11/2021. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.