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


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

COVID-19 vaccination centre

BMA raises 'serious concerns' about GP workload and funding for autumn COVID boosters

The BMA has raised 'serious concerns' about the workload implications of this autumn's...


Monkeypox jabs will run out by next week, UKHSA says

The UK is likely to run out of smallpox vaccine stocks which it is using to protect...

NHS sign outside a building

Two Midlands hospitals end partnerships with Babylon

Two NHS trusts have prematurely severed their relationships with digital health provider,...

Person receiving a COVID-19 booster

JCVI sets out which vaccines to use for autumn COVID-19 boosters

The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has said that Moderna's...

The original Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

First COVID-19 vaccine to target Omicron variant approved for use in UK

The MHRA has approved an updated version of the Moderna vaccine that targets both...

Ballot box

Majority of GPs back taking industrial action in the coming year, poll suggests

The majority of GPs support taking industrial action in the coming 12 months to push...