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A faulty production line

LMC advises GPs not to charge police for medical records

GP leaders in Wessex have advised GPs not to charge police forces for the disclosure of medical records, a move that goes against recent guidance from the BMA.

BMA guidance published in June advised that GPs should charge ‘due to the disproportionate effort placed on an already overburdened GP practice to provide these notes’.

Last month, Hampshire’s deputy chief constable Sara Glen wrote to all GP practices across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, asking them not to charge a fee for producing medical records of their patients.

Responding to the letter, Wessex LMC chair Dr Nigel Watson said that while it was ‘hard to see how general practice should undertake unfunded work’ - given that all partners in a practice are self employed - as there had been no changes to legislation, it was difficult to understand why the BMA’s advice had changed.

He said: ‘As the law has not changed and does not define that a DP2 needs a Superintendent’s signature it is difficult to understand why the advice has changed.

’I have discussed the matter with the BMA and they are in discussion with the senior police representatives for England and hope to reach a satisfactory outcome shortly. My advice is to continue with the previous BMA position and release information with a signed DP2 without charge.’

The BMA guidance says that in the case of ‘serious crime’, such as murder, rape and kidnapping, practices should release information, however it adds the request should be signed off by a senior officer.

The matter remains part of ongoing negotiations between the BMA and the National Police Chiefs’ Council about medical records disclosure.

Readers' comments (9)

  • Cobblers

    If I cannot charge the Police might I have a reduction in the charges they impose on me please?

    Check your business and personal Rates bill in which a portion is allocated to the Police.

    Did I hear the words "Sod Off Doc"?

    No problem Officer. Those notes and/or report will cost you XXX sausages (money!) BMA and LMC be hanged.

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  • This is unhelpful from thevLMC in the current climate

    The police would not say this to the army of lawyers and other staff. May the chief officer wants to give us some of his salary

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  • No this costs to undertake,in a capitalist society,a service is provided for a fee,otherwise it is not provided,we are not a charity.Maybe the police could provide an officer in attendance in our car park to police the parking issues the dealing with hoards problems we have with parking and antisocial behaviour during in hours of work for free of course!

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  • No fee, no report/records simples
    Not a charity

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  • sorry to say this but this LMC chief exec is too close to government views
    probably needs to do some real GP work for a while, a sabbatical is good for all of us

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  • Spineless LMC

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  • Dear Chief Plod.

    Everyone’s budgets are under pressure. So in the spirit of your letter, and between golf holes, I rang the GMC this morning and asked them if, all things considered, I might be able to miss out my registration payments for the last 2 years of my career. Some officious off-message type said if I didn’t pay, I wasn’t registered, and if I wasn’t registered and still practiced I was breaking the law, something about The Medical Act 1983 - and, irony here- they then mentioned the Police. But then you chaps would surely never arrest and charge a fellow public servant in these most pressured of times, would you? Thought so.

    See you in the 19th after i’ve smashed my Titleist about a bit.

    Yours sincerely,

    Dr Notborn-Yesterday
    Partner, Fools Paradise Surgery.

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  • I think this LMC is trying to come up with a pragmatic response which is in the patients' best interest whilst acknowledging that GPs can't cope with extra work. It disappoints me as a GP of 30 years that there is so much focus on something that actually happens pretty rarely. There are much bigger issues for us to resolve. It is also unpleasant to read personal snipes at a colleague who is actually probably trying to do their best. There is an undercurrent that there should not be disagreement with a bma view. As a bma member, bma hasn't asked me for my view about this ! Mutual professional respect is important

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  • Anonymous 4 | Locum GP19 Oct 2017 11:52am

    Umm, which part of "you take all the hit and no one else makes concession whilst I boost my political career" is a pragmatic solution??? May be you have been everyone else's shoewipe for the 30 years which might explained the predicament our profession has fallen into?

    I'm surprised Wessex GPs are taking this. They should demand an explanation from their LMC and if inadequate withdraw from paying LMC levies in the spirit of their secretary's "free work" ethos.

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