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Access to my medical records.


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@nolegion Thank you so much for the quick and helpful reply. I have been treated badly by a GP whom I do not normally see, he is not even on the GP registrar. Everytime I have seen him he asks me how is my head doing? according to him my family members are to blame for my health problems and that all my medical conditions are in my head? I complained to the practice manager and kindly requested that I would not like to be seen by shrinks with magic powers. Unfortunately due to the tone of me email they declined my request. I have made a complaint with the GMC about the GP and they will take two weeks to get back to me. I suffer from quite a few medical problems diagnosed by hospital consultants after having blood tests done and scans and various other tests to rule out any other health problems. I had a stroke a few years back which left me blind in one eye which has since recovered and left sided weakness and other neurological problems. Which was confirmed as a stroke by the stroke consultant based on a CT scan and MRI scan. It is disgusting that someone is going to be treating patients once he has had his training will be telling people to go away because the problems are in there head or are caused by family members. It is even more disgusting that the assistant manager did not show concern for a patient of the surgery. I saw my GP and he confirmed I do not suffer from any mental health conditions and all my medical conditions have been diagnosed by experienced consultants. Anyhow sorry for the moaning it just took some stress of me to talk about it. Thanks again for your help really appreciate it.

Edited by fjear
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I wish you well in pursuit of the sensible and courteous advice to which you are fully entitled, fjear, but which I suspect you have been denied at least in part by medical arrogance and stupidity.

 

 

In my view, getting hold of your full medical records (and periodically keeping your copy set up to date) is a very postive step in the right direction for every patient - even when things appear to be going well. All the best.

 

 

(PS. Well done also for writing to the General Medical Council; but they will, alas, send you a standard letter saying that they are not going to do anything. They will at the same time neverthless tell the doctor concerned that you have complained about them, without telling you that is what they have done. They are a grotesque and duplicitous disgrace.)

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Thank you so much for your kind words. If the GMC do not bother to deal with the matter then I will write to the Primary Care Trust which is responsible for my health centre. I will also make a complaint with the NHS. If that does not get me anywhere, I will have to consider legal advice. I might also get in touch with some newspapers and kindly ask if they would be willing to help with the matter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wanted to bump this up again, as i found the thread through google. I am specifically interested in mental health. My Gp told me they had not got my medical record due to a complication with my date of birth, 18 months after registering. I have an ongoing mental health condition,and i now realise my GP was working completely blind, with no history of my medication or periods in hospital/ If I had known this I may have approached him differently,and not assumed a background knowledge. I have now heard that GPs are not allowed access to mental health records, and can only get them if the patient applies for the and gives them to them by hand. Is this true, and is this one of the reasons for unwell people on the street. ( daily ail rant at the end,but you you get my point about self identification of mental health

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  • 3 weeks later...

if your making a complaint -as well as as the medical records request the complaints file as well As for them withholding information as it might be 'stressful'- they cant. Information can only be withheld under the guidelines of the data protection act- there are very few situations under the act when information can be withheld. if they do want to withhold information they have to tell you exactly what part of the DPA they are using to deny you that information. they also have to tell you of the procedure for you to challenge their decision to withhold information. Its worth reading the DPA website-its full of useful information

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Having had a quick scan through this thread, what are the chances of getting access to some family members records. Both members, my mother and my brother, are dead, my mother died 28yrs ago and my brother 35yrs ago. I know some of their records still exist, as last year I had some genetic testing done for a heart condition, and as it is likely my mum and brother both had the condition, there was mention of, and the results of, tests they both had done many years ago, in my mum's case, 1969.

So, would their records still exist, or just parts of it, and can I access them?

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  • 1 month later...

Yesterday, newspapers and other media carried quite a lot about the proposal to provide patients with online access to their medical records promptly and free, and even the ability to add their own comments.

 

Personally, I think that is a genuinely excellent, precise and significant idea in principle. Like many others, though, I fear that in practice several factors, but mostly strenuous resistance from the medical profession, will delay, decimate or otherwise dilute or destroy its implementation. Anybody else any views?

 

One factor for this thread which I think should be emphasised is that the coverage included (in e.g. the Times and the Daily Mail) reports suggesting that the current rules on access torecords i.e. under the Data Protection Act require patients to provide reasons for their requiring the access. This was and is complete nonsense,and for once I am happy to say that it was a doctor (a GP) who commented in the most clear and eye-catching fashion:-

 

“But to do so they must make an application to their GP and usually attend a meeting where a case for access has to be made." That is simply untrue. Yes, you have to ask your GP for your records (by letter, email, fax or in person, or by phone if your GP knows you well), he/she won't spontaneously send them to you. But you absolutely DO NOT have to make a case or give ANY reasons as to why you want the records. And you DO NOT have to attend a meeting to make your case. That is utter rubbish. Many GPs are very happy to give patients a copy of their records. Yes, we do have to ensure that information about 3rd parties is removed but on the whole the entire record - warts and all - is provided. Neil(GP)

 

See:-

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2077847/NHS-patients-given-access-medical-records-years.html#ixzz1hS8WtrV2

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Hello NL.

 

I haven't thought this through in great detail yet. My immediate reaction was a concern about the security of the records and whether someone else would get hold of my personal information.

 

But I'm a technophobe and don't have much faith in government IT initiatives.

 

Merry Christmas, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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And warm seasons’ greetings to you too, HB, from the other end of the day, as it were and still, just, partly, sober

 

Yes, indeed. Could the NHS possibly get this right security-wise -or at all? Apart from anything else the incredible £multibillion-and-still-counting fiasco with last NHS IT ‘initiative’ must give pause for very serious thought.

 

Yet, yet… it seems to me that the heart of this proposal is so much in the right place, one must wish it well. Just for once the jargon expression ‘patient-centred’ is actually being correctly deployed.

 

I’m not technophobic, but I know the, severe, limitations of my technocompetence. With that in mind, during the festivities, I (the ever vigilant NL) have been able to consult the next generation down, who say it should be as ‘easy as chip and PIN’. Yeah right, but I do wish the scheme every best chance against the opposition which I am sure will be severe and (however disguised) more iatric than technocratic or cost-based.

 

We shall see.

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And warm seasons’ greetings to you too, HB, from the other end of the day, as it were and still, just, partly, sober

 

Yes, indeed. Could the NHS possibly get this right security-wise -or at all? Apart from anything else the incredible £multibillion-and-still-counting fiasco with last NHS IT ‘initiative’ must give pause for very serious thought.

 

Yet, yet… it seems to me that the heart of this proposal is so much in the right place, one must wish it well. Just for once the jargon expression ‘patient-centred’ is actually being correctly deployed.

 

I’m not technophobic, but I know the, severe, limitations of my technocompetence. With that in mind, during the festivities, I (the ever vigilant NL) have been able to consult the next generation down, who say it should be as ‘easy as chip and PIN’. Yeah right, but I do wish the scheme every best chance against the opposition which I am sure will be severe and (however disguised) more iatric than technocratic or cost-based.

 

We shall see.

 

 

with reference to chip and pin - we are not that far off that with regard to some systems - including systems which currently share information between different NHS funded services - you need a combination of username and password plus a smartcard ...

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I follow that, zippy.

 

Dr Mark Porter, however, who sounds like a nice chap though I very much want him to be wrong in this, suggests (in The Times, last Friday) that current records systems in both hospitals and GPs practices are so“antiquated” that he “can’t see online access happening in the next decade, let alone the next three years.”

 

Dare one hope that in fact he is more antiquated than the ITsystems which will be involved? Is there actually sufficient hardware andsoftware in place, or readily installable on top what is already there, to cope with literally millions of separate users?

 

It would be so easy for this fine proposal to get “kicked into the long grass”.

 

(And talking of that newspaper, I note that 6 of the 15 letters printed in it today are on this subject, including one expressly contradicting the previously printed misconception that patients need to give reasons for wanting to see their records: see post 24/12 here. Good. One dead canard.)

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Here’s a heartfelt comment appended by a patient to one of the online newspaper articles about the proposed new rights of access:-

 

“ Speaking as someone who had his medical records tampered with by his GP, confirmed by the GMC (eventually) I have concerns about the lack of protection your medical records have. The laws are just not sufficient, not enforced and not a deterent for a GP to fake your medical records to manipulate legal proceedings, as I discovered.”

 

(I would duly honour it with a link but it’s behind a £subscribe.)

 

The, I trust fairly obvious, point is that if or when the new access is in place, the sort of (frequent) tampering referred to would become much more scarce because very, very much more dangerous for a doctor to attempt. He or she wouldn’t know whether a patient had already printed off a version of the untampered-with record.

 

I have seen shameless record tampering by doctors, and the GMC’s fitness to practise panels know all about it, even if they do so little to stamp it out.

Edited by nolegion
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It looks like the Shadow Health Secretary was ‘under-briefed’, yesterday:-

 

“ I’m hearing that some people are going to their private surgeries and being told they will have to wait to get access to their records, or even pay a £50 fee to get their records. Well, that’s clearly unacceptable.”

 

Well, I agree Mr Burnham, but that has been the law, under the Data Protection Act and as applied by the NHS, all this millennium, and I seem to remember that the labour party was in power for most of it.

 

See, e.g.:-

http://news.sky.com/home/politics/article/16141255

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Indeed, HB. Under-briefed is like being caught with your pants down.

 

But Health Secretary Lansley wasn’t going to let that go, so now:

 

Let me be absolutely clear, all affected women should be able to find out details of their implant free of charge.”

 

(See, e.g.:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16395244)

 

Fine. Agreed. But these are mere precatory words, not legally enforceable. So change the flaming law, right now, such that we can all get prompt and free access to our own medical records. (There is no need to wait till the proposed online access is available in three years time, if ever.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Predictably, Laurence ("Chuckles") Buckman, honcho GP at the BMA, is tearful about the proposed right of patients to read, online, the notes GPs make concerning them:-

 

"Data having gone to the patient, the patient will read things that concern them and that will result in additional work for the practice."

 

O for goodness sake, my heart bleeds…

 

Frankly, I think that sort of argument lies somewhere between utterly blind, contemptible ignorance, and duplicitous, self-serving arrogance. And that's my mild view. Anybody disagree?

 

What about taking the the trouble to tell patients what you propose to say about them to them in the first place, for goodness sake?

 

See GP Online, yesterday:-

 

http://www.gponline.com/News/article/1113203/patient-access-medical-records-will-add-gp-workload/

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Hello no legion.

 

I don't disagree with you, as ever. I think concern has been expressed on the forum about one thing Dr Buckman mentions:

 

Dr Buckman warned that online records may not be secure enough to stop third parties from accessing sensitive patient information. ‘How do you keep the records secure so only the person who should look at it looks at it?' he said.

 

I have the same concern, as you know, given government's record on confidential data, lost memory keys, laptops, etc.

 

Dr Buckman raised concerns that patients could be coerced to share their records with family, employers and insurance companies and a variety of other people who might wish to have access to them.

If true, this would be worrying,

 

As for the extra work concerned, I don't think GPs are badly paid at all. It could be 'welcome to the real world' for them. We have several friends who are or were in financial services where clients are able to know what is written about them and have been for some time. Good practice would be to give clients copies of meeting notes.

 

Is there a difference whether it's my money or my health? At the moment I don't think so, but I'll listen to a debate.

 

My best, HB

Edited by honeybee13
spacing.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Good evening, HB.. A pleasure and privilege as always.

 

As regards confidentiality and security, I can only emphatically agree.These concerns are surely justified. They need to be addressed and, I hope, solved at the IT and managerial level..

 

It is particularly specious, though, I think, that such arguments should be raised by an influential doctor in the context of medical records which are already 90% computerised, in facilities already 90% online!

 

However, can anyone shed further light on what on earth is going on with the supposed further 'limb' of Chuckles Buckman's 'concerns', as accurately cited by HB? Namely:-

 

"Dr Buckman raised concerns that patients could be coerced to share their records with family, employers and insurance companies and a variety of other people who might wish to have access to them."

 

I am ready to learn that I am missing a point or two neither my own experience nor that of patients I have sought to assist have made clear to me, but what is supposed the 'evil 'resulting from online access to be feared, here?

 

The information in question is supposed already to be available to patients via the DPA. How many patients are currently worried that their 'family' will coerce them into making a 'subject access request' to obtain and reveal their personal medical records'? And should the right of access for all patients be removed even if there were a minority which did?

 

And note that as regards employers and insurance companies (and any other service providers) any such coercion would be a criminal offence and contractually void: see DPA sections 56 and 57, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/section/56 .

 

I think the medical profession will continue to resist the proposal out of fear, not principle. Other professionals, as HB mentions, take for granted their clients should know what is on file.

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Just a note partly prompted by another thread recently started in this forum which I don't want to clutter with the legal detail. Sensible information\advice already provided there, seems to me.

 

Re: Access to Medical Records Act 1990. This is no longer what it sounds like. Access to medical records is now largely achieved via the Data Protection Act 1998, not the 1990 Act.

 

The 1990 Act has in fact largely been repealed except as regards access to the medical records of the deceased where access can be gained, with difficulty, by:-

 

"…the patient’s personal representative and any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient’s death."

 

The trouble with this is the set of hoops the average NHS body will, as much in ignorance as earnest, try to make you jump though while not providing the information. I say, start early and don't wait for the lawyers. They can always join in later and charge you for the privilege.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's an extract from a recent GMC case (although the underlying facts stretch back several years):-

 

"In particular you admitted and the Panel found proved that you had altered medical records retrospectively in relation to some 20 patients. The Panel found that your actions were not in the best interests of the patients, not of a standard expected of a reasonably competent general practitioner and misleading.

 

The Panel also found that over a period of two years you dishonestly amended the records of six patients, in one case potentially causing direct harm by recording a coil check which had not been undertaken. In some of those cases you were seeking to hide a clinical oversight, in one you sought to make your actions appear more appropriate than they were in the context of a potential clinical incident and you sought to deflect blame onto a colleague. The Panel also considered that your actions were serious and caused a risk to patients."

 

(ex: http://www.gmc-uk.org/static/documents/content/Moneim.pdf)

 

The point I would like to make at this juncture is that in GMC cases, you will find that in one after another some degree of false or 'misleading' records is involved in the facts considered – along with, it might well be said, other forms of fraud or dishonesty.

 

This should be contrasted with the position under the complaints policies of e.g. hospital Trusts where you are quite likely to find that someone who denies the accuracy of medical records may be classified as a 'vexatious' complainant, resulting in even more non-communicative, obstructive and indeed stonewalling behaviour.

 

Go figure.

Edited by nolegion
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  • 2 months later...

I applied via phone to get copies of my records and the surgery manager has told me there is a fee....she cant be exact but told me that due to printing + a member of staff+ and no doubt the papers and search etc involved this will be an expense i had not thought would be landing in my lap seeing that I paid my NI contributions and Taxes...what next....BLOOD....If it wasnt for there being dodgey doctors at the surgery then I wouldnt be thinking of taking action against them and moving on....[edit]S

Edited by honeybee13
Removing inappropriate language.
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burlyb. Apologies if it is me who is mixing things up, but in another thread to which you are currently contributing you have mentioned a GP practice manager (?) asking you to sign some form of 'disclaimer' before releasing copy medical records. If I have understood the situation correctly, that is of course completely unacceptable.

 

Are you able to post here what the purported disclaimer actually says?

Edited by nolegion
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