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GPs have been urged to ensure they keep a record of consent for all childhood immunisations after new figures show- ed around a third of practices were at medicolegal risk.
One in eight GPs did not routinely ask parents for consent and a further one in four did not always take a written record, according to a Medical Protection Society survey.
Guidance from the Chief Medical Officer states consent must be obtained before the administration of all vaccines, and the MPS warned that practices that did not take a written record were open to legal action.
Dr Gerard Panting, MPS communications and policy director, said vaccination was an emotive decision for parents and when complaints were made they were often pushed hard. 'By the time a complaint is made and there is a dispute about what happened, a doctor may have immunised several hundred other children and if there is no record it's difficult for the doctor to put his case,' he said.