GP caution urged on referral details

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

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 that the patient is likely to object to having disclosed.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP guidance on coronavirus updated to include advice on cleaning

GP guidance on coronavirus updated to include advice on cleaning

Public Health England's (PHE) interim advice to primary care on Wuhan novel coronavirus...

Senior GPs expect to vote on fresh contract offer next week

Senior GPs expect to vote on fresh contract offer next week

GP leaders look set to vote on a revamped package of contract measures by next week...

30,000 GPs face uncertainty over pension tax risk for 2017/18

30,000 GPs face uncertainty over pension tax risk for 2017/18

More than 30,000 GPs do not know if they will face pension tax charges for 2017/18...

NHS 'rapid response' teams must not drive up GP workload, warns BMA

NHS 'rapid response' teams must not drive up GP workload, warns BMA

NHS 'rapid response' teams being rolled out from April to help older people avoid...

Councils demand transformation of London's ageing GP surgeries

Councils demand transformation of London's ageing GP surgeries

Council leaders in London are calling for a transformation of the capital’s 'ageing...

GPs demand greater focus on underdoctored areas as access inequalities grow

GPs demand greater focus on underdoctored areas as access inequalities grow

GP leaders have called for a greater focus on recruitment to underdoctored areas...