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Letter on Record Access by Sir Graeme Catto (GMC-UK)

Sir Graeme Catto, President General Medical Council, UK

Sir Graeme Catto

Records Access

The GMC’s statement of the values of the profession Duties of a Doctor and our core guidance Good Medical Practice emphasise the importance of doctors working in partnership with patients. To achieve this, doctors and patients need to communicate effectively with one another, and doctors must provide patients’ with information that they want or need to know in order to make decisions about their care. For example in Duties of a Doctor we say that doctors must:

Work in partnership with patients

  • Listen to patients and respond to their concerns and preferences
  • Give patients the information they want or need in a way they can understand
  • Respect patients’ right to reach decisions with you about their treatment and care
  • Support patients’ in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their health.

We welcome and support the use of new technology, including records access systems, which can make a significant contribution to the provision of information patients need in order to make decisions about their care.Of course, patient access to records, on request, has been a requirement under the Data Protection Acts since 1991. The current Act provides safeguards for patients themselves, and for the privacy of third parties. Clearly these legal obligations must be met, whatever means is used to give patients access to records.

Providing access to records outside the context of the Act does introduce some new questions, including the need to record information in a way patients can understand, how bad news, for example from test results, is communicated to patients, and how patients’ privacy can be maintained.

These are not new issues of principle, but practical matters that need to be addressed sensitively. They do not undermine the principles of openness and honesty with patients, or of the benefits of partnerships with patients, which records access systems will foster, and that the GMC supports.

Letter to Dr. Brian Fisher, 31 October 2007, publication authorised by Sir Graeme Catto.

Posted 3 Nov 2007
3 Comments »


Why doctors should not fear but can profit from patients access.

Author: dr. Brian Fisher, GP, London

Brian Fisher

Patients’ record access is here to stay. It is available now in many countries and is gradually extending across the world. There are different systems, through smart cards, kiosks in GP waiting rooms and online.

The reason for this is clear – it is safe and very helpful for patients and for clinicians. The benefits often overlap – what is good for patients is also helpful for professionals. I write this paper from the basis of experience – I have been showing my patients their records for over 20 years now. In the last year, we have been doing this online. We have carried out extensive research in the field. Our learning can help you proceed more safely and more swiftly.
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Posted 19 Aug 2007
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Welcome!

Welcome to the UK Patient Record Access blog!The goal of this blog is to offer patients as well as clinicians the possibility to give their view and experiences on Record Access on an independent platform.The goal of this blog is to offer patients as well as clinicians the possibility to give their view and experiences on Record Access on an independent platform.This platform has arisen from the general ICMCC portal on Patient Record Access and has become the inspiration for other national discussion platforms.

The goal of this blog is to offer patients as well as clinicians the possibility to give their view and experiences on Record Access on an independent platform.This platform has arisen from the general ICMCC portal on and has become the inspiration for other national discussion platforms.We hope you will enjoy taking part in our discussions.

Lodewijk Bos
President ICMCC

Posted 25 Aug 2006
32 Comments »


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Questions raised about patient access to GP record:

What happens if a patient is misrepresented by those writing the notes whether its a GP or another clinician such as a psychiatrist/psychologist?

Posted 16 Dec 2007
6 Comments »


When the heat is over

Record Access Discussion
in The Guardian, 1 November 2006

‘A national database is not essential’

Warning over privacy of 50m patient files

From cradle to grave, your files available to a cast of thousandsWe invite you to continue here to discuss issues concerning record access.

Posted 2 Nov 2006
6 Comments »


EHR for psychiatric patients

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Posted 30 Oct 2006
3 Comments »


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