Do patients want copies of their GP letters?--our experience with 7250 patients

Int J Clin Pract. 2007 Aug;61(8):1407-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2007.01358.x.

Abstract

A prospective study was performed to investigate whether patients would actively request a copy of their GP letters following an outpatient consultation. The study was performed at two sites and involved 7250 Trauma & Orthopaedic patients, and of these only 0.3% of patients requested a copy of their letter by actively filling in a stamped envelope. The estimated cost of sending a copy of the letter to all the patients seen in the NHS Outpatients was 13 million pounds in England alone. We suggest that rather than sending patients' copies of all their correspondence as a routine, there are more secure and cost effective ways to inform patients and allow free access to all information recorded in their medical notes.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Correspondence as Topic*
  • Family Practice*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Medical Records*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Prospective Studies