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GP practices, warring parents and access to records

GPs are increasingly getting ‘caught in the crossfire’ between divorced or separated parents who want access to their children’s medical records, reports The Guardian this morning.

The paper quotes the Medical Protection Society, which says there has been a steep increase in calls from GPs concerned about requests for access to children’s medical information from separated parents.

The MPS has had 800 calls over the past five years, with 179 of them in the last year alone – equivalent to a phone call every other day.

An expert from the MPS said: ‘The interests of the child are paramount at all times. In most cases the request for access is well intentioned and reasonable, but it is important that all requests for access to a child’s records are dealt with fairly and in line with the relevant professional guidance and legislation.’

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that the friends and family test will be rolled out from April. All hospital patients will be asked whether they would recommend the place they were treated in.

In time it will be rolled out to other parts of the health service, including GP surgeries, district nursing and community hospitals.

The prime minister said: ‘We still have a long way to go to raise standards across the NHS and get rid of those cases of poor and completely unacceptable care that blight some hospitals and homes.

 ‘I want every hospital to give every patient the best possible care.’

However there was some good news this morning, as the first hand transplant was carried out in an English hospital.

The Telegraph reports that a grandfather has undergone Britain’s first hand transplant, saying he has already gained movement of his fingers following the ‘dream’ operation. 

Mark Cahill expressed delight at his ‘brand new hand’ saying it would enable him to cut up his own food once more, dress himself, and play properly with his grandson.