Tuesday, 10 June 2008


The missing notes of my last post have (very promptly, I muct say) been delivered to me. I am, of course, very pleased that this is the case. However, I am very angry that these notes were not supplied in the first place.
I asked for the notes.
Several times I attempted to confirm that I had received all the notes, and I was told I had.

The absence of the notes from the first copy made was highlighted and the person concerned was told to include them. However, they did not do so, and nobody checked that they had.

Other significant notes were also missing from the copy I received.

I now have no way of knowing whether I have in fact received full information when I have requested it. Remember, this is by no means the only time that BLPT have failed to provide information to me that they are legally required to produce. How many other pieces of information have been withheld? How can I be sure? And how can I know how selective BLPT may have been in the information they have passed on to the Healthcare commission?

I was told that there was no record of discussions concerning me in the Trust Board minutes. How can I be sure of this? I was told there were no written notes at all concerning me that have not been given to me. How can i know this?

More importantly, what will BLPT do about this, and what do I do? Suggestions?


Calum said...

This comment follows on from your previous post. Recently, I checked the position in Scotland re pages being withheld and I believe that the NHS is under no obligation to tell you if they have withheld records.

I don't know what the position is if you were to ask the direct question, "Have any records been withheld?".

I'll look back for my references. Also very intrerested in anything you find out.

Calum said...

You may have this info already.

Qn: Are there any circumstances in which information contained in health records may be withheld from the data subject?

An: Under the Data Protection Act 1998 there are certain circumstances in which the record holder may withhold information. Access may be denied, or limited, where the data controller judges that information in the records would cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of the patient, or any other person, or where giving access would disclose information relating to or provided by a third person who had not consented to the disclosure. Data controllers must be prepared to justify decisions to withhold information.

Qn: Where information has been withheld are record holders obliged to advise applicants that this is the case?

An: No. Record holders are free to advise applicants of the grounds on which information has been withheld but are not obliged to do so. If it is thought likely to cause undue distress the record holder may not wish to volunteer the fact that information has been withheld.

This and more info can be found here.

Guidance to Health Records under Data Protection Act 1998 is here

The BMA guidance is also interesting.

Rainbow dreams said...

I am pleased you received the missing notes, though have no idea on the rest of your questions, sending thoughts anyway, x

Disillusioned said...

Thanks very much for this, Calum.

The BMA guidance categorically states that "In any case where a doctor invokes the provision for restricting the access to the report the patient must be informed of that restriction, and the rest of the report made available." Of course, this refers to reports and not to records, but it is an interesting point.

I am also interested by the use of the word "volunteer" in the quote you gave. I wonder where health authorities stand if they are directly asked if anything has been withheld.

Anyway, my data has now turned up (or this part of it, anyway) so all that remains is to find out why it was not provided in the first place and what (if anything) the Trust intend to do in future.