These notes only concern patients in the UK (excluding NI)

Maybe you don't want to begin trying to understand your ECG recording (it's difficult at times for health care professionals). But if you carried a folded copy with you, it could prove useful for health care staff in the future, more so if you're away from home.

I teach ECG interpretation to Doctors Nurses Technicians and Paramedics all around the UK, and they agree that this is just good practice. But it goes against the grain with many people to provide the patient with a copy of any part of their health record - the phrase "knowledge is power" springs to mind, as well as the paternalistic view that such things are for the Doctors eyes only.

But things are changing and a lot of hospitals in the UK do supply the patient with a copy, some to the degree of providing it in a credit card size wallet along with any medical cards and a couple of 300mg Aspirin tablets, so long as you're not allergic to Aspirin.

This is an initiative I'm attempting to spread as I travel around. So while we wait for change in some areas, I see nothing wrong with patients taking the initiative and asking for a copy. Don't be fobbed off with excuses such as "It's not hospital policy", remember that under the Access to Health Records Act (1990) you are entitled to a copy of any part of your current medical records, of which the ECG forms part.

Close this window