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Broad descriptorRecord TypeRetention StartRetention period Action at end of retention period Notes
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Care Records with standard retention periodsAdult health records not covered by any other section in this schedule Support ended or person last seen8 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy Basic health and social care retention period - check for any other involvements that could extend the retention. All must be reviewed prior to destruction taking into account any serious incident retentions. This includes medical illustration records such as X-rays and scans as well as video and other formats.
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Care Records with standard retention periodsAdult social care records Support ended or person last seen8 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Care Records with standard retention periodsChildren’s records Support ended25th or 26th birthday (see Notes) Review and if no longer needed destroy Basic health and social care retention requirement is to retain until 25th birthday or if the patient was 17 at the conclusion of the treatment, until their 26th birthday. Check for any other involvements that could extend the retention. All must be reviewed prior to destruction taking into account any serious incident retentions. This includes medical illustration records such as X-rays and scans as well as video and other formats.
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Care Records with standard retention periodsElectronic Patient Records SystemSee NotesSee NotesDestroyWhere the electronic system has the capacity to destroy records in line with the retention schedule, and where a metadata stub can remain demonstrating that a record has been destroyed, then the code should be followed in the same way for electronic records as for paper records with a log being kept of the records destroyed. If the system does not have this capacity, then once the records have reached the end of their retention periods they should be inaccessible to users of the system and upon decommissioning, the system (along with audit trails) should be retained for the retention period of the last entry related to the schedule.
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Care Records with standard retention periodsMental Health records Support ended or person last seen20 years or 8 years after the patient has diedReview and if no longer needed destroy Covers records made where the person has been cared for under the Mental Health Act 1983 as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007. This includes psychology records. Retention solely for any persons who have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 must be considerably longer than 20 years where the case may be ongoing. Very mild forms of adult mental health treated in a community setting where a full recovery is made may consider treating as an adult records and keep for 8 years after discharge. All must be reviewed prior to destruction taking into account any serious incident retentions.
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Care Records with standard retention periodsObstetric records, maternity records and antenatal and post natal recordsSupport ended or person last seen25 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy For the purposes of record keeping these records are to be considered as much a record of the child as that of the mother.
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Care Records with Non-Standard Retention PeriodsRecord of long term illness or an illness that may reoccurSupport ended or person last seen30 Years or 8 years after the person has diedReview and if no longer needed destroy Necessary for continuity of clinical care.The primary record of the illness and course of treatment must be kept of a patient where the illness may reoccur or is a life long illness.
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Event & Transaction RecordsReferrals not acceptedDate of rejection.2 years as an ephemeral recordReview and if no longer needed destroy The rejected referral to the service should also be kept on the originating service file.
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Telephony Systems & Services Recorded conversation which may later be needed for clinical negligence purposeCreation3 YearsReview and if no longer needed destroy The period of time cited by the NHS Litigation Authority is 3 years
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Telephony Systems & Services Recorded conversation which forms part of the health recordCreationStore as a health record Review and if no longer needed destroy It is advisable to transfer any relevant information into the main record through transcription or summarisation. Call handlers may perform this task as part of the call. Where it is not possible to transfer clinical information from the recording to the record the recording must be considered as part of the record and be retained accordingly.
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Telephony Systems & Services The telephony systems record (not recorded conversations) Creation1 yearReview and if no longer needed destroy This is the absolute minimum specified to meet the NHS contractual requirement.
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Co-operative GovernancePurpose Circle MeetingsCreationBefore 20 years but as soon as practically possibleTransfer to a Place of Deposit
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Co-operative GovernancePurpose Circle Meetings (Closed)CreationMay retain for 20 yearsTransfer to a Place of DepositAlthough they may contain confidential or sensitive material they are still a public record and must be transferred at 20 years with any FOI exemptions noted or duty of confidence indicated.
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Co-operative GovernanceMembers MeetingsCreationBefore 20 years but as soon as practically possibleTransfer to a Place of Deposit
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Co-operative GovernanceStatutory Roles - RecordsCreationMay retain for 20 yearsTransfer to a Place of DepositThis may include emails and correspondence where they are not already included in the board papers and they are considered to be of archival interest.
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Co-operative GovernanceDestruction Certificates or Electronic Metadata destruction stub or record of information held on destroyed physical mediaDestruction of record or information20 YearsConsider Transfer to a Place of Deposit and if no longer needed to destroyThe Public Records Act 1958 limits the holding of records to 20 years unless there is an instrument issued by the Minister with responsibility for administering the Public Records Act 1958. If records are not excluded by such an instrument they must either be transferred to a place of deposit as a public record or destroyed 20 years after the record has been closed.
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Co-operative GovernanceIncidents including safeguarding (serious)Date of Incident20 YearsReview and consider transfer to a Place of Deposit
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Co-operative GovernanceIncidents including safeguarding (not serious)Date of Incident10 YearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Co-operative GovernanceNon-Clinical or Care-Related Social Impact RecordsEnd of year to which the assurance relates12 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Co-operative GovernancePolicies, strategies and operating procedures including business plansCreationLife of organisation plus 6 yearsReview and consider transfer to a Place of Deposit
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CommunicationsLoomioCreation6 yearsReview and consider transfer to a Place of Deposit
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CommunicationsPatient information leafletsEnd of use6 yearsReview and consider transfer to a Place of Deposit
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CommunicationsPress releases and important internal communications Release Date6 yearsReview and consider transfer to a Place of Deposit Press releases may form a significant part of the public record of an organisation which may need to be retained
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CommunicationsPublic consultationsEnd of consultation5 yearsReview and consider transfer to a Place of Deposit
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CommunicationsWebsiteCreation6 yearsReview and consider transfer to a Place of Deposit
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Staff Records & Occupational HealthOccupational Health Reports Staff member leavesKeep until 75th birthday or 6 years after the staff member leaves whichever is soonerReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Staff Records & Occupational HealthOccupational Health Report of Staff member under health surveillanceStaff member leavesKeep until 75th birthday Review and if no longer needed destroy
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Staff Records & Occupational HealthStaff Record Staff member leavesKeep until 75th birthday (see Notes)Create Staff Record Summary then review or destroy the main file.This includes (but is not limited to) evidence of right to work, security checks and recruitment documentation for the successful candidate including job adverts and application forms. May be destroyed 6 years after the staff member leaves or the 75th birthday, whichever is sooner, if a summary has been made.
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Staff Records & Occupational HealthStaff Record Summary6 years after the staff member leaves75th Birthday Place of Deposit should be offered for continued retention or DestroyPlease see page 36 for an example of a Staff Record Summary used by an organisation.
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Staff Records & Occupational HealthStaff Training records CreationSee NotesReview and consider transfer to a Place of DepositRecords of significant training must be kept until 75th birthday or 6 years after the staff member leaves. It can be difficult to categorise staff training records as significant as this can depend upon the staff member’s role. The IGA recommends: 1 Clinical training records - to be retained until 75th birthday or six years after the staff member leaves, whichever is the longer2 Statutory and mandatory training records - to be kept for ten years after training completed3Other training records - keep for six years after training completed.
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ProcurementContracts sealed or unsealedEnd of contract6 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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ProcurementContracts - financial approval filesEnd of contract15 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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ProcurementContracts - financial approved suppliers documentationWhen supplier finishes work11 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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ProcurementTenders (successful)End of contract 6 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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ProcurementTenders (unsuccessful)Award of tender6 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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EstatesCCTV See ICO Code of PracticeReview and if no longer needed destroy ICO Code of Practice: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1542/cctv-code-of-practice.pdf
The length of retention must be determined by the purpose for which the CCTV has been deployed. The recorded images will only be retained long enough for any incident to come to light (e.g. for a theft to be noticed) and the incident to be investigated.
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EstatesSurveysEnd of lifetime of installation or buildingLifetime of installation or buildingReview and consider transfer to Place of Deposit
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Finance AccountsClose of financial year3 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy Includes all associated documentation and records for the purpose of audit as agreed by auditors
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Finance BenefactionsEnd of financial year8 yearsReview and consider transfer to Place of DepositThese may already be in the financial accounts and may be captured in other records/reports or committee papers. Where benefactions endowment trust fund/legacies - permanent retention.
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Finance Debtor records clearedClose of financial year2 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Finance Debtor records not clearedClose of financial year6 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Finance DonationsClose of financial year6 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Finance ExpensesClose of financial year6 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Finance Final annual accounts reportCreationBefore 20 years Transfer to place of deposit if not transferred with the board papersShould be transferred to a place of deposit as soon as practically possible
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Finance Financial records of transactionsEnd of financial year6 YearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Finance Petty cashEnd of financial year2 YearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Finance Salaries paid to staffClose of financial year10 YearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Finance Superannuation recordsClose of financial year10 YearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Legal, Complaints & information RightsComplaints case file Closure of incident (see Notes)10 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/information-management/sched_complaints.pdf

The incident is not closed until all subsequent processes have ceased including litigation. The file must not be kept on the patient file. A separate file must always be maintained.
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Legal, Complaints & information RightsFraud case filesCase closure6 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Legal, Complaints & information RightsFreedom of Information (FOI) requests and responses and any associated correspondenceClosure of FOI request3 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy Where redactions have been made it is important to keep a copy of the redacted disclosed documents or if not practical to keep a summary of the redactions.
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Legal, Complaints & information RightsFOI requests where there has been a subsequent appealClosure of appeal6 yearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Legal, Complaints & information RightsIndustrial relations including tribunal case recordsClose of financial year10 YearsReview and consider transfer to a Place of Deposit Some organisations may record these as part of the staff record but in most cases they will form a distinct separate record either held by the staff member/manager or by the payroll team for processing.
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Legal, Complaints & information RightsLitigation recordsClosure of case10 yearsReview and consider transfer to a Place of Deposit
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Legal, Complaints & information RightsPatents / trademarks / copyright / intellectual property- End of lifetime of patent or termination of licence/actionLifetime of patent or 6 years from end of licence /actionReview and consider transfer to Place of Deposit
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Legal, Complaints & information RightsSoftware licencesEnd of lifetime of softwareLifetime of softwareReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Legal, Complaints & information RightsSubject Access Requests (SAR) and disclosure correspondenceClosure of SAR3 YearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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Legal, Complaints & information RightsSubject access requests where there has been a subsequent appealClosure of appeal6 YearsReview and if no longer needed destroy
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