Medical Photography Frequently Asked Questions

The Medical Photography department provides images for use in treating patients, teaching and for publication.  The service includes medical photography and video recording.

Medical Illustratoin


Why do I need medical photography / video?
There are a number of reasons a clinician may have asked us to take your photograph/recording, generally we are called to document your condition to help to provide the best treatment for you. The photographs/recordings taken form an accurate and up-to-date record of your condition, which can be used as a basis for monitoring your progress and for planning the best care pathway.

The areas to be recorded have been indicated on the request form. We will discuss the photographic views or recording with you before taking the photographs or video recording. You may be asked to remove items of clothing, jewellery or make-up.

Staff would like you to feel as comfortable as possible. Please feel free to ask your photographer if you have any questions or concerns.

Who will photograph me?
You will be photographed by an experienced Medical Photographer. We try to have both male and female photographers, please ask your photographer or at reception if you would prefer to be photographed by someone of the same sex. A friend or relative can accompany you if you wish, or we can provide a chaperone..

Do I have a choice?
Yes you do. If you do not wish to be photographed it will not affect your treatment or care in any way.

What happens to the photographs / video?

The photographs/recordings are taken as part of your health record, and remain on our secure imaging system.  If you have had photographs/recordings taken at another hospital, we may receive them to provide the staff involved in your care the progress of your condition.

You will have been asked to sign a ‘Consent to Medical Photographs/Recordings’ form. According to the level of consent you agree with, your photographs or video recording will be used for one or more of the following:

Level 2: Your medical records only
Level 3: Your medical records; NHS teaching and medical training
Level 4: Your medical records; NHS teaching and medical training; medical publications

A clinician may wish to use your photographs/recordings for teaching purposes such as teaching NHS healthcare staff about a particular condition. Or they may want to use the photographs for teaching other patients about the treatment options or outcomes of a medical intervention. Clinicians may want to use the photographs/recordings for publication into a medical journal or text book. Your photographs/recordings would not be used for any of these purposes without your direct written consent. Should you choose to give your consent to any of these options and you then change your mind, you have the right to withdraw consent at any time.

If you have any questions about consent or confidentiality please ask your photographer or contact Medical Photography using the details below.

If you have not signed your ‘Consent to medical photographs/recordings’ form please tell the Medical Photographer when you attend the department.

Can I have a copy?
Yes, you can request copies using the Trust’s Subject Access Request form.

Medical legal photographs and video recordings

If your solicitor needs copies of photographs and video recordings taken by the department please ask them make a Subject Access Request.

We can also take medical legal photographs and video recordings for compensation claims, please contact the department for further information and our price list.

Contact Medical Photography

Medical Photography & Illustration
Gate 38 Level 3
Brunel building
Southmead Hospital
BS10 5NB

Telephone: 0117 4146500

Medical Photography Frequently Asked Questions