Care Questions : Article 53Care Questions : Article 53

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.53

"I was under the impression that I was entitled to see all my medical records since the day I was born. I have now been advised that this is not the case. So what information can be kept from me?"

Answer : A medical record written before 1st November 1991 other than where it helps to explain a record made on or after that date.

When the record holder believes that access is likely to cause the patient or another person serious physical harm or serious mental harm.

When the record contains information the patient expressly stated must not be revealed.

When the record relates to, or has been given by, anyone except a doctor or other health professional involved in the patients care, unless his or her consent has been given.

When the record holder thinks that a patient under 16 cannot understand what the application to see their records mean.
(The above answer was taken from Community Care Guide 2007)

"I am registered as blind and have a guide dog. A friend has told me that next year I will be able to take my dog on a plane. If this is true it will enable me to take holidays much further afield than I have done in the past?"

Answer : On 26th July a European Law came into force that should make air travel for disabled and older people better. Under the new rules airlines and holiday companies will no longer be able to refuse to fly people because of their age or disability. In 2008 further measures will be introduced which should allow blind people to have their guide dogs in the cabin with them. At such time as it is actually introduced, travel agents/firms will become aware of this change.

"What is Telecare?"

Answer : Telecare is a Department of Health project that can help elderly and disabled people live independently in their own homes by using a range of differing technologies. Technologies such as placing sensors around the home to detect movement, to those that monitor vital signs such as blood pressure.

The link up is to a monitoring centre that literally does that, monitor, and acts on any changes/symptons/factors of concern.

Anyone who meets the community care criteria can request to be considered for Telecare. You can make a request for a referral for Telecare to a care manager, an occupational therapist, your GP and to other professionals from the care field, e.g. nurses.

If you are assessed as eligible for Telecare then the appropriate technology system to help you is installed.

It is expected that some monitoring centres will take private paying clients.

"As a disabled man I have been riding a motorcycle for many years but as I get older I find that my insurance premiums increase yearly to the extent that I am now finding it almost prohibitively expensive. Do you know of an insurance company that has a special deal for cyclists such as myself?"

Answer : I do not know of any particular insurance scheme which can help you but would suggest that you contact the National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). This organisation provides help in the form of grants, learner machines and helps to obtain discounted insurance for disabled people who like to ride motor cycles.

You can contact them by telephoning 08707 590603 or visit their website at

Seasonal Tip

National figures show that electric blankets that are over 10 years old cause 95% of electric blanket fires. Faulty electric blankets cause burns, risk of electrocution and the danger of a fire starting in the bedding and then spreading to the rest of the house. Sadly, it is often the elderly and disabled who are most at risk.

Throughout the UK Fire Safety officers are offering free electric blanket checks. To see if there is an offer in your area, contact your local fire station or the Principal Trading Standards Office of your local council.

The few moments it takes to check your blanket could save your life.