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Question about access to hospital discharge notes?

looviloo

Registered User
May 3, 2015
463
Cheshire
Dad fell 5 weeks ago and was in hospital for ten days, followed by a couple of weeks intermediary care. He's now in a care home of our choice, initially for a month but hopefully longer. He's in the process of being assessed by the mental health team (everything points to vascular dementia).

We have power of attorney for health and welfare. Dad's current care home would like to see the discharge notes because they think it would enable them to give him better, more tailored, care. But dad is still registered with the GP in his home town, and unless he becomes a permanent resident of the home then that's how it'll stay for now. The GP's practice is being 'difficult' about releasing the information. I guess I'm wondering if:
(a) the care home really DO need the discharge notes (is it normal practice?)
(b) can the GP refuse to release the notes even though we have POA?

Does anyone have experience of this?

Oh... and I did ask the care home where dad was placed for intermediary care if there were any transfer notes to take with him when he moved, but they said no. So the new care home has essentially no information about dad's medical needs, aside from the medication he was prescribed in hospital and any information that family can provide...
 
Last edited:

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,038
Staffs
Dad fell 5 weeks ago and was in hospital for ten days, followed by a couple of weeks intermediary care. He's now in a care home of our choice, initially for a month but hopefully longer. He's in the process of being assessed by the mental health team (everything points to vascular dementia).

We have power of attorney for health and welfare. Dad's current care home would like to see the discharge notes because they think it would enable them to give him better, more tailored, care. But dad is still registered with the GP in his home town, and unless he becomes a permanent resident of the home then that's how it'll stay for now. The GP's practice is being 'difficult' about releasing the information. I guess I'm wondering if:
(a) the care home really DO need the discharge notes (is it normal practice?)
(b) can the GP refuse to release the notes even though we have POA?

Does anyone have experience of this?

Oh... and I did ask the care home where dad was placed for intermediary care if there were any transfer notes to take with him when he moved, but they said no. So the new care home has essentially no information about dad's medical needs, aside from the medication he was prescribed in hospital and any information that family can provide...
The CH should have been able to see the discharge notes during their assessment process to see if they could cater for his needs.

If you have a SW they should have a copy.

Does the GP know you have PoA and have they taken a copy?

There are circumstances where the GP can withhold the notes but I cannot see any of them fitting.

Speak to the practice manager and get them to explain the refusal. If they do not give a reasonable explanation then ask them who is their "Data Controller" and what is the procedure for submitting a "Subject Access Request".

The Data Controller is the person responsible for the safety of stored information and the SAR is the process whereby people can access their (or someone else's with PoA) personal information. Normally costs a flat fee of £10 but just the mention of the procedure may spur them into action.

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisation...on/principle-6-rights/subject-access-request/
 

looviloo

Registered User
May 3, 2015
463
Cheshire
Thank you Pete R, this is useful information and food for thought... the current care home owners did assess dad and talked with me at length, but I realise now that they didn't see any discharge notes.

We're 'between' social workers; I've yet to speak to dad's new SW, since the last move. This will be the 4th SW he's been assigned! Dad is self funding.

It's good to know what the procedure is, if I need to make myself clearer to the GP ;-) Thanks again!