Matt Morgan: Patients’ notes should be addressed to themBMJ 2020; 370 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2740 (Published 15 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2740
All rapid responses
Matt's experience supports our own when considering the use of records for patients' benefits as well as for the expedition of health care provision.
We are in early and informal correspondence with the General Medical Council concerning the Outlines for Graduates and the Generic Professional Capabilities for doctors. We have suggested that, after the next review, these Generic Professional Capabilities should include doctors' knowledge, skill and practice to write notes that patients can access contemporaneously.
Patient acces to records is supported by most of the GMC's Good Doctor guidance:
Patients must be able to trust doctors with their lives and health. To justify that trust you must show respect for human life and you must:
Make the care of your patient your first concern
Protect and promote the health of patients and the public
Provide a good standard of practice and care
- Keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date
- Recognise and work within the limits of your competence
- Work with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients’ interests
Treat patients as individuals and respect their dignity
- Treat patients politely and considerately
- Respect patients’ right to confidentiality
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
Be honest and open and act with integrity
- Act without delay if you have good reason to believe that you or a colleague may be putting patients at risk
- Never discriminate unfairly against patients or colleagues
- Never abuse your patients’ trust in you or the public’s trust in the profession.
You are personally accountable for your professional practice and must always be prepared to justify your decisions and actions.
Competing interests: No competing interests