Medical notes requests from police
The BMA professional fees committee has received new legal advice regarding medical note requests received from the police.
There is clear guidance regarding the obligations that GPs have with respect to copying and/or release of the GP record.
For your reference, these circumstances are:
Your practice is entitled to a fee for producing the notes for the police.
There is no set fee for producing these notes, as they are not considered a subject access request that you may receive from a patient. Therefore the practice is able to set its own fee.
In order for you to proceed with the police request, /admin/resources/pro-forma-for-practices-june-2017.docx please find attached a pro forma that we recommend you complete and send to the police authority. We recommend that you obtain each of the following:
Once you are in receipt of both of these at the practice, and have checked the appropriateness of release of the records, you should respond to the police authority as soon as possible.
Alternatively, should it be appropriate for the police to view the record (based on their answer to requirement 1 above), then there is the option for them to view the record in the practice in the presence of a practice staff member. In this situation there is no fee chargeable.
There is no set fee for providing records in this manner. Therefore it is the responsibility of individual practices to set their own fee for this work. When completing the attached pro forma you must enter the fee you choose to charge.
It is vital that the police agree in writing to pay the fee, otherwise you will not be able to claim for the service. If the police authority do not agree to pay the GP can decide whether they would like to provide the service free of charge, or not at all.
Please note that if the police authorities have a court order or warrant for disclosure of the records, you may be required to comply with the request even where a fee has not been paid or agreed. This will depend on a number of factors, including the terms of the court order or warrant.
GPs should, in all cases where there is no patient consent, consider whether the benefits to an individual or to society of disclosing the records outweigh both the public and the patient’s interest in keeping the information confidential before agreeing to disclose the records.
If you have any further queries about this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.