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Records policy vital to avoid complaints

GPs are risking patient complaints unless they establish policies for record keeping, adverse incidents and monitoring patients who fail to

attend for follow-ups.

A survey of 200 doctors by the Medical Defence Union found 70 per cent of GPs did not have a policy in place for destroying old records.

A further 68 per cent of GPs who completed an online risk assessment survey did not record the reasons why an examination considered necessary did not take place during a consultation.

More than half could not identify patients who did not attend for follow-ups.

Dr Stephen Green, head of risk management at the MDU, said the problems were a source of many complaints but were easy to rectify. He added: 'Overall results are encouraging, with practices reporting satisfactory systems in arranging appointments, complaints handling and referring patients.'

The MDU urged practices to review formal written procedures for management of patients or risk criticism in the event of complaints.

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