SOP: Receiving patient own recordings (photography and video) during COVID


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This guidance is intended to assist healthcare professionals in the choice of disease-specific treatments.

Clinical judgement should be exercised on the applicability of any guidance, influenced by individual patient characteristics. Clinicians should be mindful of the potential for harmful polypharmacy and increased susceptibility to adverse drug reactions in patients with multiple morbidities or frailty.

If, after discussion with the patient or carer, there are good reasons for not following guidance, it is good practice to record these and communicate them to others involved in the care of the patient.


Current restrictions around routine patient appointments, particularly for the elderly and immuno- suppressed, have resulted in patients being asked to take recordings (photographs and/or videos) to show their condition; these recordings are then sent by email or via mobile apps for review.

Whilst this is accepted as being essential in the current environment, to help prevent unnecessary journeys for patients and to allow appropriate treatment or referral, this process presents risks in terms of data security, image quality and diagnostic accuracy, and should not be a long-term solution.


This SOP aims to provide a process to ensure the secure upload of patient own recordings when they reach NHSGGC, during the COVID outbreak.


Clinical recordings made by patients can be stored as part of their healthcare record on the understanding that:

  • Appropriate consent has been obtained

  • The clinical content has been verified by the clinician / healthcare professional.


  1. Requests for patients to provide clinical recordings of their condition should only be made by a clinician / healthcare professional, and only when essential to assist in the clinical decision-making process.
  2. The patient must consent to the request,and be advised of the risks involved–see Appendix 1 for approved statement.
  3. The patient has the right to refuse this request, without any adverse impact on their care.
  4. If the patient consents, recordings are sent to a central email address, managed by Medical Illustration Services ([email protected]).
  5. Upon receipt, MIS sends acknowledgement to patient (Appendix2), and uploads the recordings to the NHSGGC secure clinical image database (Medical Image Manager).
  6. MIS photographers will determine if the file received (still or video) requires to be reduced in file size to allow for ease of storage on clinical image database (Medical Image Manager) – see Appendix 3 for guidance.
  7. If no details on referring clinician, images will be uploaded against:
    1. Requestor – Dr Duty Clinician; Department – GP Referrals
  8. RecordingsarethenavailabletoviewviaClinicalPortal.


For further information or clarification on this process, contact Medical illustration Services on 0141 211 8580.

Appendix 1

Your doctor has asked you to provide photographs of your condition, to help them decide the best course of treatment for you.

Before agreeing to this, you should understand:

  • That the photographs you send will be stored as part of your health record, within a secure NHS GGC image management system (Medical Image Manager).

  • That sending personal information via the Internet (email) is not secure.

  • That NHSGGC cannot be held responsible for any such breach of security.

  • That you can refuse this request, without any adverse impact on your treatment.

Responding to this email, with the requested photographs, will signify that you / parent / carer understand the purpose of the request, and the risks associated with the process.

To send the photographs, please reply to this email ([email protected]) with the following information:

Full name (of the person in the photograph):

Date of Birth:

CHI No. (if known):

Doctor's name:

Condition if known:

Area of body photographed:

Parent / carer name (if applicable):

Check the email address carefully before sending. You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your photographs.

Help in taking a photograph suitable for clinical use:

  1. Use a camera or mobile device that you are comfortable using. It may be easier if someone else can take the photographs for you.

  2. Make sure you are in a bright and well lit room, or use the flash setting on the device.

  3. Try to stand in an area with a clear background (a plain wall works well).

  4. It is helpful for us to have two photographs. The first should show where on the body the area of interest is, so include something recognisable such as the shoulder or knee in the photograph. The second photograph should show a closer view of the area of interest (such as the wound or lesion).

  5. This should be repeated if there are multiple areas of interest.

  6. Make sure the image is in focus (sharp) and that it displays the condition clearly – don’t get too close with the camera or mobile device.

  7. Please avoid sending duplicate images (these will be deleted).

Appendix 2

Thank you for contacting Medical Illustration Services, NHSGGC.

We are now in receipt of the photographs and they have been securely uploaded to your/the patients clinical records.

Kind regards
Medical Illustration Services


Appendix 3

Photography Files should be uploaded in the following format:

  • Standard Jpeg format

  • Image size should be no greater than 6x4 inches;300dpi / Maximum file size of 2mb

  • No patient information should be used as part of the filename

Video Files should be uploaded in the following format:

  • Pre Windows 10 system PC’s - Recordings are saved using the MovieMaker application as .mp4 format (1280x720pixels), bit rate set to 2100kbps (use Save As – ‘Facebook’ option)

  • Windows 10 system PC’s - Recordings are saved using the PHOTOS application as .mp4 format (1280x720pixels), ‘Finish Video’ (use Export As – ‘Medium 720p’ option)

  • Files should be named with the JMS job reference only with a V appended to end of filename e.g. C12-001234V

  • No patient information should be used as part of the filename

  • Videos should be of a duration of no more than 5 minutes and no larger than 20mb. Only short clinical video clips can be stored on MIM

Staff accessing such recordings will be aware of the confidential nature of the images, and their responsibility for the safe and secure storage (or destruction if required) of such recordings, as governed by all relevant NHS GG&C policies, and through their registration process to the clinical portal and to MIM.

Last reviewed: 21 October 2021

Next review: 17 November 2022

Author(s): Kathy McFall

Version: 3

Author Email(s): [email protected]

Approved By: Covid-19 Tactical Group (Acute)

Document Id: 867