Accessing patient records - when is it ok? When is it not?

Data protection keyboard
Data protection keyboard Record keeping

Accessing patient records – when is it ok? When is it not?

Doctors are allowed to access records to provide direct patient care – but what if you need to look at a record for another reason?

Photograph of chocolate box and roses Advice

Unwanted advances

How would you deal with the difficult situation of a patient making romantic advances?

Two heads colour graphic Patient safety

What does ‘safe space’ mean for NHS safety investigations?

In April 2023, a small but ground-breaking step will be taken in patient safety investigations.

Patient in a CT scanner Case file: Advice

Printed scan report

...Dr K agrees to print out a copy of his patient's CT scan report. But his line manager tells him this is not permitted...

Two people signing a contract Case file: Claim

Bariatric surgery consent

...Mr G says he would not have had the surgery if he had been adequately warned of the potential risks...

Woman with back pain Case file: Advice

A rare complication

...during surgery to remove kidney stones a ureteral avulsion occurs and emergency surgery is carried out to repair the damage...

Photograph of Professor John Gibson walking in Scottish Mountains First person

A long road

Professor John Gibson tells how he and his family responded to their grief over a devastating loss by undertaking an audacious challenge to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

Cover of Am I normal? Book choice

Am I normal?

Review of the new book by Sarah Chaney.

Photograph of John Orr Boyd speaking to the press Vignette

Putting nutrition front and centre

John Boyd Orr - Physician, nutritionist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

NHS Find & Trace van Innovation

Real-time TB diagnosis on the street

An innovative mobile find and treat service on the streets of London is being enhanced with supercharged connectivity.

Red umbrella in amongst black umbrellas Risk

Don't get caught out on indemnity

You wouldn't drive a car without insurance, so it's vital healthcare professionals don't practise without appropriate indemnity cover in place.

Person walking along the beach Ethics

Out of office – the ethics of taking a break

To ensure that staff take holidays is to avoid ethical dissonance between the rhetoric of ‘wellbeing’ and the realities of burnout and breakdown.

Actors Ambika Mod and Ben Whishaw in still from BBC production of This is going to hurt Viewpoint

End the silence

We need to talk about suicide.


Digital mental health therapies offer promise of wider access

10 March 2023

New clinical statements address pneumonia in people with learning disability

08 March 2023

NHS plan to further reduce opioid prescribing

08 March 2023

Too many patients fall into “referral black hole”

27 February 2023

Step closer in regulation of anaesthesia associates and physician associates

24 February 2023

GMC campaign to tackle bias in its work

21 February 2023

Enduring Covid concern reflected in NHS web visits

14 February 2023

MDDUS Updates

Advice for junior doctor members during industrial action

07 March 2023

Scottish GDPs: ensure you check your email inbox

31 January 2023

Supporting members with temporary GMC registration – make sure you update MDDUS

31 January 2023

Protect your personal finances – with 20 per cent off*

30 January 2023

A quarter of junior doctors are victims of race hate at work

19 January 2023

MDDUS call to members - send us your photos

18 January 2023

One in three UK junior doctors are going hungry on shift

16 November 2022

Editor: Dr Greg Dollman

Managing editor: Joanne Curran

Associate editor: Jim Killgore

Editorial departments

Medical: Dr Susan Gibson-Smith

Legal: Joanna Jervis

Insight Secondary is published quarterly by The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland, registered in Scotland No 5093 at 206 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5SG.

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors in Insight Secondary are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of MDDUS.

View previous issues of Insight Secondary

Insight Secondary is published quarterly and distributed to MDDUS members through the UK who work in secondary care

View all issues
Insight Secondary Care Q3 cover

For registration, or any login issues, please visit our login page.