"Rules" on patients recording their treatment

Rick Sykes made this Freedom of Information request to King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,

FoI request

Please supply to me at the email address from which this is sent full copies of:-

A. The minutes ( together with any relevant meeting papers, including legal advice) of the most senior meeting of or within your hospital trust at which your 'policy' relating to patients recording their their treatment , as published and dated 17 May 2017 on your website, was finally approved.

B. The same full recorded information (including legal advice) in respect of any meetings or decisions which led to such final approval.

Yours faithfully,

Rick Sykes

Rick Sykes left an annotation ()

This concerns:
https://www.kch.nhs.uk/news/public/news/...

The principal point, of many that could be made in this connection, is that the King's College Hospital's newly-announced 'rules' are illegal.

Patients in the UK are perfectly entitled to audio-record their own personal medical treatment\advice behind closed doors for their own personal, family and domestic purposes. They do NOT need anyone's permission so to proceed (e.g. covert audio-recording in this fashion is equally entirely legal); still less are they obliged to provide any explanation or reason to anyone as to why they want to record and what they will do with their recording.

And such recordings CAN be adduced in evidence if things go wrong.

None of this is new or startling law. It has been the subject of discussion in medical\technical literature for many years, and the internet has had a major part to play in making sure that patients are aware of their rights in the respect.

It is lamentable that any medical institution should be so ignorant as to publish the text the King's College hospital has. It grossly misleads both patients and staff, and it all to easy to imagine the type of dangerous confrontation which could arise from staff (acting illegally) attempting to interfere with patients rights in this respect.

FOI (KING'S COLLEGE HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mr Sykes,

 

I am writing to confirm receipt of your request under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act), dated 21^st May 2017.

 

Please include the FoI reference number given in the subject line of this
email if contacting the FoI office.

 

In accordance with the Act, we aim to respond to your request within
twenty working days of receipt.  If it becomes clear that provision of the
information you have asked for is likely to take longer than twenty
working days, I will let you know and give you an expected timescale.

 

Certain categories of information are exempt from the general right of
access provided by the Act.  Should your request be deemed to relate to
any exempt information, I will advise you accordingly.

 

As a public authority, the Trust may charge a fee for the information
requested. Any fees are calculated in accordance with the regulations
issued under the Act. If your request generates a fee payment, I will
inform you at the earliest opportunity and provide an estimation of costs.

 

Please let me know if you require more details or further clarification. 
You can find out more about the Act and other information resources
released by the Trust on our website at: [1]www.kch.nhs.uk

 

Kind Regards

 

Freedom of Information Officer

King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, SE5 9RS

020 3299 9000

[2][King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]

   

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FOI (KING'S COLLEGE HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Sykes,

 

Further to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the
Act) received  22 May  2017, I am writing to confirm the information that
the Trust does and does not hold. 

 

The Trust does hold the information you have requested. The text of your
request is repeated below in bold, followed by the Trust’s response:

 

Please supply to me at the email address from which this is sent full
copies of:-

 

A. The minutes ( together with any relevant meeting papers, including
legal advice) of the most senior meeting of  or within your hospital trust
at which  your 'policy' relating to patients recording their treatment ,
as published and dated 17 May 2017 on your website, was finally approved.

 

B. The same full recorded information (including legal advice) in respect
of any meetings or decisions which led to such final approval.

 

The ‘Patients filming/photographing guidance’ was originally produced in
conjunction with the Trust’s Caldicott Guardian in 2014 and  is reflective
of national guidance.  Under the Data Protection Act 1998 all individuals
have a right to privacy and to the protection of their personal
identifiable data, this includes their images and recordings.  This
applies to staff as well as to patients.  Therefore no one (including
staff) can be videoed without their consent unless there is a legal
requirement for doing so.

 

The guidance was reviewed and approved by the Information Governance Sub
Group (IGSG) on 10/12/14.  As this was guidance it did not require higher
ratification.  The relevant extract from the minutes is provided below. 
Due to a rise in requests to film, the Trust’s Corporate Communications
team have started to more actively promote the guidance, hence the news
item appearing on the website in May. The full document is attached for
your reference. It has also been added as an appendix to the Policy for
Photography and Video Recordings of Patients.

 

Extract* from IGSG minutes of 10/12/14:

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D2D3D9.B2D4F330

 

* Please note that the remainder of the minutes would be redacted by the
Freedom of Information office to remove information not requested and / or
personal information (e.g. staff names/contact information) that, under
the Data Protection Act and hence Section 40 of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000, should not be disclosed.  It would therefore consist of entirely
blacked out pages apart from the section you have requested, as above. 
However if you wish to receive the redacted document, please let me know.

 

You can find out more about the Act and other information resources
released by the Trust on our website at: [2]www.kch.nhs.uk

 

If you are dissatisfied with the Trust’s response, you may appeal to us in
the first instance.  For contact details and a copy of our FOI appeal
process, please see our website or email us at [3][King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right under section 50 of the Act
to apply to the Information Commissioner to seek resolution to the
matter.  Further details can be found on their website at
[4]https://ico.org.uk/

 

I hope this fulfils your request and we would welcome you feedback on our
FOI service. Please take the time to complete our Customer Satisfaction
Survey which is available online at the following link:

 

[5]http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/D28MWWQ

 

Kind regards,

 

Freedom of Information Officer

King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, SE5 9RS

020 3299 9000

[6][King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]

 

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Sciences Centre (AHSC), a pioneering collaboration between King’s College
London, Guy’s and St Thomas’, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation
Trusts. For more information, visit [7]www.kingshealthpartners.org

 

Living King's Values: Understanding You, Inspiring Confidence in our Care,
Working Together, Always Aiming Higher, Making a Difference in our
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P please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to.

 

 

 

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Dear King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust's handling of my FOI request '"Rules" on patients recording their treatment'.

You identify a minuted meeting (on 10 12 14) of your Trust’s “Information Governance Sub Group” as the latest and most senior meeting which approved your written policy about patients recording their consultations. As I clearly requested, I require a copy of the FULL MINUTES of that meeting not merely a random extract. Please remedy this deficiency by supplying a full copy in response to this communication without further delay.

I also asked for copies of any a relevant meeting papers i.e those considered by or at the meeting and which concerned your recording policy. If you deny there were or are any please confirm this – or supply me the missing copies.

As regards the names of individual trust staff, please note there is no ‘blanket ban’ on the production of such names in documents produced pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. In some cases an exemption may be claimed (for instance in respect of junior staff) but even this is subject to various detailed considerations concerning which I suggest whoever responds to this current communication makes themselves thoroughly familiar (including familiarity with the ICO’s detailed rulings and guidelines on the subject), because if I find that all staff names have been redacted without adequate reasoning being applied, I will certainly be referring this aspect of the matter to the ICO myself.

And if any names are excised, I still require, if they were recorded in the minutes, the working titles of the staff present (or absent with apologies) e.g. Caldicott Guardian, Records Clerk, Secretary etc.; together with any such titles in e.g. a ‘circulation list’ if included with the minutes.

I also asked for the minutes of any meeting which referred to the proposed recording policy prior to final approval. The subject and policy plainly didn’t just materialize out of thin air during a meeting on 10 12 14. Please supply copies of the FULL MINUTES of any prior such meeting - together with any relevant meeting papers ( or a clear statement that there are no such meeting papers .)

I also asked for any legal advice given\noted to or by the meetings which led to the approval of the policy. If NO such legal advice was obtained (and it is certainly clear to me that no ADEQUATE legal advice can have been obtained) then please clearly confirm thus. Otherwise, produce the advice, please.

Last, it is wearisome to have point out to public bodies that correspondence concerning the provision of information pursuant to the FoI Act is not an appropriate occasion for them to attempt to dissertate on matters of law. Nevertheless, you have chosen to repeat some of the lamentable inaccuracies (and indeed illegalities) reflected in your policy in your correspondence with me, and, in case anyone viewing this exchange, on the WDTK public platform involved, might be misled by you on this issue, I take the trouble to correct at least some of your inaccuracy.

Whoever drafted your ‘recording policy’ and\ or your last response to me manifestly does not understand the relevant law. Whether or not a patient’s audio-recording of their medical consultation taken behind closed doors for their own personal use constitutes ‘personal data’, e.g. in respect of a clinician, the patient’s taking and storing such a recording will NOT infringe provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. This practice is rendered perfectly lawful by the succinct exemption set out in section 36 of that Act.

This is not a question of different interpretations of the law. The relevant statements made concerning the law, in your policy, and to me, are just plain WRONG, and have all the hallmarks of someone who “likes to think they know a bit about the law”, and launches into screed which the clearly reveals that they have no training or insight remotely sufficient for them to be able to understand the actually applicable law in question.

This perfectly lawful patient practice has been the subject of extensive analysis and confirmation in medical and technical publications for many years. And this is a position which the DoH\NHS ITSELF acknowledges:-

“There are NO specific legal requirements that govern an individual making a personal recording of their medical consultation or treatment, either overtly or covertly, for their private use. Recordings made to keep a personal record of what the doctors said are deemed to constitute ‘note taking’ and are therefore permitted when undertaken for this purpose.”

“…a patient does NOT require permission to record their consultation…”

“…we CANNOT place restrictions on a patient wishing to record notes of a consultation or conversation with a health professional.”

Those extracts (with my added emphasis) are from the freely-available DoH\NHS publication entitled ‘Patients Recording NHS staff in health and social care settings May 2016’ for which I provide a link below:-

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/sites/default/...

You may also find an April 2017 article which appeared in the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians instructive:

http://www.clinmed.rcpjournal.org/conten...

concluding as it does, with:-

“Such recordings are legal and look set to become ever more common.”

I look forward to hearing from you in response to this mail within the statutory time for compliance.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/r...

Yours faithfully,

Rick Sykes

FOI (KING'S COLLEGE HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mr Sykes,

 

Thank you for your email yesterday in relation to your recent FOI
request. 

 

We will invoke the first stage of the appeals process in accordance with
our policy and will make every effort to respond as quickly as we are
able.

 

[1]http://www.kch.nhs.uk/about/corporate/fo...

 

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me at
[2][King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]

 

Kind regards,

 

Freedom of Information Officer

King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, SE5 9RS

020 3299 9000

[3][King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]

 

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FOI (KING'S COLLEGE HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST), King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

3 Attachments

Dear Mr Sykes,

 

Further to your request for an internal review made on 28th June 2017,
please find attached a copy of the Trust’s response in line with Stage One
of the Trust procedure.

 

You can find out more about the Act and other information resources
released by the Trust on our website at: [1]www.kch.nhs.uk

 

If you are dissatisfied with the Trust’s response, you may appeal to us in
the first instance.  For contact details and a copy of our FOI appeal
process, please see our website or email us at [2][King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right under section 50 of the Act
to apply to the Information Commissioner to seek resolution to the
matter.  Further details can be found on their website at
[3]https://ico.org.uk/

 

I hope this fulfils your request and we would welcome you feedback on our
FOI service. Please take the time to complete our customer satisfaction
survey which is available online at the following link:

 

[4]http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/D28MWWQ

 

Kind regards,

 

Freedom of Information Officer

King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, SE5 9RS

020 3299 9000

[5][King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust request email]

 

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