Patients Warned That Medical Records Could Contain Errors

Article excerpt

Byline: By Lyndsay Moss

Patients should check their medical records to avoid errors having serious consequences on their future treatment, employment and insurance, campaigners urged today.

Which? said they had evidence of mistakes made in records, including one man who found out he had apparently had a cervical smear test.

The magazine said insurance companies, solicitors and employers were more likely to access medical records than the patients themselves.

Mistakes made in medical files can affect future treatment and also mean that employers and insurers base their decisions on inaccurate information.

In one case highlighted by Which?, patient Jessica Lawrence battled through the courts to have her records changed after she had found an erroneous entry.

Her files wrongly recorded that she had had an EEG - a test of the brain's electrical signals - rather than an ECG, which looks at the heart.

Ms Lawrence blamed this error for leading other doctors to dismiss her concerns about episodes of paralysis, forcing her to seek treatment abroad.

Everyone is entitled to see their medical records under the Data Protection Act 1998, which can be done by visiting or writing to your GP. …