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A few days later Christopher's father rings the surgery. He is angry that he hasn't been consulted about the referral.

(The story so far...)

Christopher is being bullied at school because his ears stick out. At the request of Christopher's mother, Dr Williams referred him to a paediatric surgeon. Christopher's parents are divorced.

Dr Williams

Dr Williams

Mr Rees I assure you I did try to contact you, but wasn't able to get hold of you. I spoke about it with Christopher, and he does seem very unhappy about his ears.

Mr Rees

Mr Rees

Of course he is unhappy about his ears; his mother never shuts up about it. You had no right to refer him without speaking to me first. I want to see Christopher's medical records, to find out what else she has been saying.

What should the doctor do...? (Select A,B or C)


a. Allow Christopher's father unrestricted access to Christopher's medical records?


b. Allow Christopher's father access to his records, but make sure that any information about Christopher's mother, or any other third party, is not disclosed?


c. Refuse to allow Mr Rees access to Christopher's records, as he is divorced from Christopher's mother, and does not have custody?

Dr Williams

See what the doctor did

Dr Williams makes an appointment for Christopher's father to come to the surgery to view his son's records. Before the appointment, Dr Williams reviews Christopher's records to make sure that any information about his mother, or other third party, contained in the records, is not disclosed to Christopher's father without their consent.


You should let parents access their child's medical records if the child or young person consents, or lacks capacity, and it does not go against the child's best interests. If the records contain information given by the child or young person in confidence you should not normally disclose the information without their consent24.
(0-18 years: guidance for all doctors, paragraph 54)