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Written Parliamentary Questions: 13th September 2006

Departmental Organisation
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will instruct his officials to develop a criminal justice, immigration and mental health flow chart to identify the different routes that offenders follow and to assist in identifying and resolving gaps in the system. (John Hemming)

A:As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary made clear in his written statement of 23 May 2006, Official Report, columns 78-81 WS, there have never been systematic arrangements in place for collecting information on the nationality of mentally disordered offenders, referring them to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and considering them for deportation. He has tasked officials to construct arrangements for considering deportation where appropriate for people in this group taking account of their very specific circumstances. This work is ongoing and as part of this, appropriate pathways are being developed for the management of mentally disordered offenders. (Gerry Sutcliffe, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office)

Medical Records
Q:To ask the Secretary of State for Health what medical records that are not kept within their normal medical files a doctor is permitted to hold on patients.(John Hemming)

A:There are no restrictions on what medical records are kept by doctors and other medical professionals provided they comply with the requirements of professional regulatory bodies, departmental guidance, and the law. Doctors are required by the General Medical Council to keep clear, accurate, legible and contemporaneous patient records which report the relevant clinical findings, the decisions made, the information given to patients, and any drugs or other treatment prescribed, and which serve to keep colleagues well informed when sharing the care of patients. Any information held by a doctor about a patient is subject to a range of statutory and common law obligations, including specifically the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, directions and guidance issued by the Department and, in many cases, organisation-specific policies and working practices determined by employing bodies. (Caroline Flint, Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health)

Comments

Emily C said…
"which serve to keep colleagues well informed when sharing the care of patients"

This is the key part of the answer. If the records are not kept in normal medical files then they will not be accessible as a matter of course to anyone undertakng the care of a patient.

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R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

I have only just found this one which I think is accurately reported below (but if it is not please give me an accurate report).

KING’S BENCH DIVISION

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

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