GPs warned about disclosing unrelated medical conditions

GPs must be wary of the potential pitfall of disclosing unrelated medical conditions when providing patient referrals, according to the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS).

GPs should exercise care in disclosing past history.
GPs should exercise care in disclosing past history.

The issue was highlighted in a recent call to the UK-wide MDDUS advice line when a patient had attended a member's practice seeking a referral for elective surgery.

The GP wrote the letter and forwarded medical details to the specialist but disclosed a history of a sensitive and unrelated medical condition, causing the patient to complain.

Dr Gail Gilmartin, a senior medico-legal adviser at the MDDUS, said: ‘In providing patient referrals doctors should include personal information relevant to the medical condition being treated and exercise care in disclosing past history.

‘Be aware that inadvertent inclusion of personal details is a greater risk today with most patient information now being held in easily transmissible electronic form. Particular attention should be paid to information the patient is likely to object to being disclosed.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus