According to the new draft guidance by National Information Governance Board for Health and Social Care, the electronic patient record should never be completely removed from the database. NIGB has laid the guidance on amending medical and social care records and launched a 12 week public consultation on its recommendations. The guidance throws light on what should happen when someone receiving medical or social care believes there is something wrong with their records and wants them changed or part of the record deleted. The Chairman of NIGB, Harry Cayton, said the guidance was intended to resolve disputes in few cases where there were serious problems with patient records. He also mentioned that the guidance was intended to bring clarity for clinicians and patients. He explained that although there might be an error in the electronic record but it would be wrong to delete the whole record.
The guidance, on paper records, said that removing or deleting part/s of record could be compared to taking chapter/s out of a book resulting in the following chapter/s not making sense. There was a mention that guidance seeks to set out where and how patients can add a comment in a record if the disagreement refers to a matter of opinion.