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NHS Retention Guidelines
Statutory and legal criteria
The minimum retention periods recommended by the Department of Health in Records Management: NHS Code of Practice Parts 1 & 2 (Department of Health 2006) and by the Scottish Executive in MEL(1993)152 are summarised in the table in the attached document.
Wales generally follows Department of Health guidance, but the Records Management NHS Code of Practice has not yet (2006) been issued for Wales.
Northern Ireland also follows guidance set by the Department of Health but has no separate circular.
Benefits of Correct Record Management
Better use of space
Better use of time (easy to find and retrieve)
Improved control of resources
Compliance with legislation