Nearly one in 10 doctors say patients have covertly recorded consultations

Nearly one in 10 doctors say patients have covertly recorded consultations, according to a poll by medico-legal experts.

Consultation: patients can record GP visit on smartphone (Photo: JH Lancy)
Consultation: patients can record GP visit on smartphone (Photo: JH Lancy)

A fifth of doctors say their patients have recorded consultations, with 40% of these saying the consultations have been recorded covertly, according to a survey by the Medical Protection Society (MPS).

The poll of 500 doctors, including 185 GPs, also found that 97% of respondents were not aware of any practice or trust policy on recording conversations, and 91% wanted more guidance on the issue.

Almost three quarters (73%) of respondents thought they had a right to say no to consultations being recorded, but MPS medico-legal adviser Dr Pallavi Bradshaw said patients did not need a doctor’s permission to record their conversation.

Patients can share data

‘The content of the recording is confidential to the patient and they can share it in any way they wish, however the doctor should advise them how to protect their personal information,’ she said.

Wessex LMCs chief executive, Dr Nigel Watson, said the availability of high quality recording on smartphones meant patients could record consultations more readily.

‘It’s all to do with the doctor-patient relationship. If patients want to record the conversation for the right reason, if they wanted to listen back to it for instance, then most GPs will say yes, although I know of some who have refused,’ he said.

‘Covert recording tends to be more to do with catching the doctor out or litigation, which can only damage the relationship between GP and patient.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Report on BMA sexism has been gathering dust for a month

Report on BMA sexism has been gathering dust for a month

The BMA has yet to publish findings from a major investigation into sexism and harassment...

New rules on reporting deaths to the coroner explained

New rules on reporting deaths to the coroner explained

New regulations that specify the circumstances in which a death must be notified...

Sharp rise in GPs seeking help from NHS mental health service

Sharp rise in GPs seeking help from NHS mental health service

The number of GPs using a specialist NHS mental health and addiction service has...

Workforce crisis undermining practices' ability to sustain improvement, warns CQC

Workforce crisis undermining practices' ability to sustain improvement, warns CQC

The overall quality of general practice in England is high - with 95% of practices...

Different interpretations of data laws could hamper innovation

Different interpretations of data laws could hamper innovation

New technologies mean that more data can be collected and shared, but regulations...

London GP took his own life after struggling with work-life balance

London GP took his own life after struggling with work-life balance

A 43-year-old north London GP took his own life after struggling with heavy workload...