Secret recordings become common

An Independent Practitioner Today warning (September 2014) for doctors to be aware their patients might be recording them has proved to be sound advice.

According to a new survey, as many as one-in-five doctors say they have experienced patients recording their consultations and, in 40% of these cases, they were unaware this was happening at the time.

Three-quarters of doctors told the defence body MPS that they believed they had a right to decline a patient’s request to record a consultation, while 91% wanted more guidance on what to do if a patient asked to record a consultation.

The defence body’s medicolegal adviser Dr Pallavi Bradshaw said: ‘While it would be preferable for recordings to take place with the knowledge and consent of both parties, MPS reminds doctors that a patient does not require their permission to record a consultation.

‘The content of the recording is confidential to the patient and they can share it in any way they wish. However, the doctor should advise them how to protect their personal information. Doctors should always behave in a responsible and professional manner in consultations and, consequently, any recording will provide concrete evidence of that.’