PCTs to get records with GP complaints
GPs may be forced to hand over patient records to their PCT if complaints against them are investigated.
The Government supports the idea in principle and will consult stakeholders to thrash out the details. But GPC deputy chair Dr Laurence Buckman warned that this would threaten patient confidentiality.
'We will have to talk about what is handed over to who. I do not think there should be any change until Leo Blair's immunisation records are made available to the public,' he said.
Dr Richard Fitton, a GP from Hadfield, Derbyshire, who gives patients full access to their own records, said: 'I do not have a problem with this as long as the patients give consent. PCTs also need to go through the right legal channels. It would be wrong if they sneaked a look at the records without applying the appropriate procedures.'
The plans are outlined in the Government's Safeguarding Patients document, which states that although GPs are already accountable to PCTs, 'this accountability is meaningless
unless PCTs can effectively monitor the quality of services provided by primary care practices, including monitoring the complaints against GPs, and can investigate effectively when there is concern'.
It adds: 'We will agree with stakeholders the criteria for such access and the safeguards under which it will be exercised.'