Rogue doctors could be altering medical records to hide their mistakes or procedures they have carried out on patients without their consents, according to a warning from health bodies.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and NHS England have written to the General Medical Council to warn the body that doctors are not always giving patients copies of medical consent forms, leaving the system open to abuse.
The warning comes after allegations that rogues doctors have been retrospectively altering consent forms, according to the Health Service Journal (HSJ). The journal reported two cases where there are allegations forms have been altered at a later date, one allegation that forms were incorrectly retained by an NHS trust and one case of a patient reportedly being treated without consent.
The carrying out of invasive procedures without proper consent, such as surgery and some scans, can be considered criminal assault by the Crown Prosecution Service.
The intervention from the CQC and NHS England follows the case of John Clarke, whose mother has terminal cancer. According to the HSJ, Mr Clarke has raised concerns that his mother’s consent form was altered after surgery at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust. A spokesman for the Trust said the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman found no substance to Mr Clarke’s complaint.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “It is essential that patients’ rights are respected and we expect robust action to be taken against any individual or organisation that does not follow fundamental guidance on consent.”
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council, said: "Our guidance could not be clearer - we would seek to take action against any doctor who tried to deceive by amending a consent form."Reuse content