§ 12. Dr. Summerskill
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied that in group practices the confidential nature of the patients' medical records is being respected; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir K. Joseph
The preservation of the confidentiality of patients' medical records is a cardinal point of medical ethics and I am sure that, whatever the 225 form of practice organisation, all general practitioners are fully aware of their responsibilities in this respect.
§ Dr. Summerskill
Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the traditional privacy of the doctor-patient relationship must be preserved in the increasing number of group practices which are now being built up in which large teams of staff have access to medical record cards, and will he take steps to safeguard the privacy of the patient?
§ Sir Joseph
I certainly agree on the importance of confidentiality, but I am sure that the medical profession and general practitioners are fully alive to its importance and will take the essential steps to maintain the confidentiality of their records.