Photo of John Hemming

John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what medical records that are not kept within their normal medical files a doctor is permitted to hold on patients.

Photo of Caroline Flint

Caroline Flint (Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health; Don Valley, Labour)

There are no restrictions on what medical records are kept by doctors and other medical professionals provided they comply with the requirements of professional regulatory bodies, departmental guidance, and the law. Doctors are required by the General Medical Council to keep clear, accurate, legible and contemporaneous patient records which report the relevant clinical findings, the decisions made, the information given to patients, and any drugs or other treatment prescribed, and which serve to keep colleagues well informed when sharing the care of patients. Any information held by a doctor about a patient is subject to a range of statutory and common law obligations, including specifically the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, directions and guidance issued by the Department and, in many cases, organisation-specific policies and working practices determined by employing bodies.

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