Patient safety- ongoing problems receiving medical records
It is clear that the problems practices continue to face , particularly with medical records transfers, in respect of the primary care support services fiasco since Capita took over pose a significant barrier to providing safe patient care and one over which practices must now consider which actions it may be appropriate for them to take. This might well include the following:
- Notify patients by waiting room posters etc. of the medical records difficulties being experienced, with examples of some of the consequences.
Warning patients who ask to register of the likely delay in receiving their notes and the possible medical dangers that might arise from months of care delivered without any access to their records.
Highlighting to new patients that any form of medical report, such as pre-employment medicals or private reports for life insurance relating to mortgage applications are likely to be severely delayed. This might result in them losing job opportunities or house buying offers falling through.
Assiduously marking temporary records as such with a clear record entry when the full record is received. This would make actions in the absence of notes more easily identifiable in retrospect which may provide more medico-legal protection in the event of a mistake being made due to lack of proper records access.
Considering the need to cease the registration of ALL new patients unless and until the medical records issue is fully resolved. Many practices will consider that they now have reasonable grounds to take this action because of the patient safety issues . Such action must of course be taken by following the proper process under the GMS/PMS contract regulations as per previous guidance from the LMC.
Please continue to report all instances of problems with PCSE to the LMC so that we can log and collate the scale and impact of the system failure and take further action.