Dr Julian Lewis: This is a very complicated case and I just want to be sure that I understand exactly what the ombudsman is recommending. My understanding is that the ombudsman is recommending that a lady who has had a lot of trouble because she once previously went down the legal route should, instead of pursuing a complaint about that with the ombudsman, go down the legal route all over again. Have I got that right, or am I missing something?
[Kevin Barron: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right.]
* * *
Dr Lewis: I was not familiar with this case until I heard it outlined in such detail, but as I understand it the point at issue is not about the merits or otherwise of this lady’s original arguments with the health service. I think I am right in saying that the only pointed issue is that the Information Commissioner’s Office directed that certain data should be removed from the record. They were not and she complained to the ombudsman, who does not seem to want to say whether it was right that they were left on her record or whether they ought to have been removed.
[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Dr Daniel Poulter): My hon. Friend will be aware that patients have open access to their records and can request to see them, but it is not for a patient forcibly to remove relevant clinical information from them.]