GPs warned after consultation is recorded without consent

GPs must be vigilant about being recorded without consent, an LMC has warned, after a child recorded his mother's consultation on a portable games console without telling the GP or his mother.

Mid Mersey LMC medical secretary Dr Ivan Camphor is warning GPs to be vigilant about being recorded without their or their patient's consent after one of the LMC’s practices reported a GP being filmed unawares.

It was only towards the end of the consultation that the parent and the GP discovered that the child was recording it on his Nintendo DS device. The footage was then deleted.

Dr Camphor said these incidents are on the rise because more people have recording devices.

He said: ‘The child was sitting in the room with his mother and recording everything. It has grave issues about confidentiality and GPs need to be aware of confidentiality issues because without the patient and GP’s consent people are not able to record any audio or visual footage.

‘These incidents are likely to become more common as there are more and more gadgets that people can record on. There was similar incident recently in the south too.’

The GMC released new supplementary guidance for doctors last May on making and using visual and audio recording of patients. The guidance states that covert recordings should be only be undertaken where there is no other way of obtaining information which is necessary to investigate or prosecute a serious crime, or to protect someone from serious harm.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said this was an unusual case and the GPC would look into it. He said: ‘If a patient asked to record the consultation then you would certainly like to know what it was going to be used for. It is worrying as footage can be manipulated.’

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