Naked pics on hospital records

Hi all,
I had a tram flap recon in Feb 12 and have had numerous headless photos taken both before and after the op. I presumed that the photos were for the plastic surgeon’s portfolio to show future patients his work, however at a recent hospital visit for something totally unrelated, the consultant clicked on images and up I popped starkers - well neck to pubes anyway. I had gone to the appt with my Mom, talk about embarassing! Does anyone know who else can click on these images? I wonder if for instance the man/lady at the front desk when you book in would have access to them. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t look too bad for an oldun (52) but I don’t want all and sundry looking even if we do lose every ounce of dignity during this journey of ours.
Take care

Hi Lemoncake,

Could I suggest that you speak to the PALS Service at your hospital or your Consultant directly, they should be able to answer these questions for you.

Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

Gosh…!! I’ve had loads of pics taken too - and would hate for them to pop up in front of whoever I’d taken along to my appoinmtnet that day. Even hubby! They’re hardly flattering pics. Very insensitive of them.

Hi I had pics done too just before Christmas. Having op on 9/1. I will ask my consultant when I see him on Weds who these pics can be seen by. I remember having to sign a consent form but it only suggested that these were for him. J xxx

O my gawd lemoncake as you know we have the same surgeon and he took photos of me too and as you say these pictures are not flattering at all (scars and all). I thought they were for his records and as you say it doesn’t show your face or anything its still private and I would hate anyone to have access to them. I have my uplift next week I will ask him about the photo’s and who gets access them when I see him - I did sign to say he could use them but like you say I thought they were for his ‘portfolio’ and not be kept on my record for anyone to see x

Ouch - I share your concern! I had a double DIEP recon and perish the thought that all in sundry would have access to my photos! I will make a point of asking when I go for stage two!

Hi Lemoncake that’s pretty shocking. I too have had loads of headless waist up photos done for my PS. Each time I have to sign a new form to say what they can be used for - medical records, teaching or research publications. The rule is for teaching or publication they would have to ask for permission again. The photographer always explains to me that access is password protected and automatically logged, so they would know who has seen the photos and when, meaning any breach would be traceable; as I understand it even my PS would have to log in to see them, they aren’t in my ‘file’. If I were you I would speak to PALS and check what your hospital’s practice is, and also lodge your concern that your photos were on dispaly as you went into the room.

Hi Ladies
Thanks for your replies. I did phone PALS but the lady I spoke to just said how awkward it must have been for me and didn’t really seem as if she was too concerned about it. This was a few weeks ago now and after my phone call to her I decided to just forget about it…obviously haven’t then!!
Saffronseed - how often have they taken your photos? I’ve had mine taken by the hospital photographer once, PS about 4 times (once straight after the hospital photographer had taken some) and the registrar once. Good luck with your uplift. How long will you be in for? Lets meet up again afterwards, let me know when you’re ready.
Revcat - how nice to hear from you, I’ve read so many of your wonderful posts - you are an insipration.
I’ve only signed a form once and to be quite honest I don’t remember what it said they can be used for. The photos weren’t on display when I went into the room, it was my Crohn’s disease consultant and he went onto images to look at photos of my very ulcerated and bleeding inards, the first picture that came up was a topless one. He didn’t even try to close it quickly, he sat there looking and saying ‘that dosen’t look like your intestine’, I was sooo embarassed.

Not good all round, is it???
You should be given a copy of ANY forms you sign - if you haven’t got it, phone/write to get it.
RevCat’s hospital seem to have got it right, and it’s what I would assume all hospitals do as ‘good practice’.
I haven’t had photos done by the hospital (no recon) but may have to in the future for the nip and tuck, so I shall be asking questions!!!
I did make a disk of photos I took of myself, following the whole proceedure from DX to clear nodes/margins, and gave it to my clinic with a letter to say they could use it for education/training or to show other patients (to show how bruising/scars fade, and how boobs look after surgery) but they are not sure they can use it due to data protection issues.

Hi Lemoncake
If I were you, I would write to the plastic surgeon / your consultant and ask for those pictures to be taken off your file or at least password protected. Just imagine if you broke your arm and the people in the fracture clinic clicked on images expecting to see an x-ray. It might be helpful for your Crohns guy to know what other treatment you have received / are receiving but if it had happened to be at a different hospital he wouldn’t have had access, and there is absolutely no need for him to see pictures.
Just saying what I would do - feel free to ignore.

I have had many pictures taken after ld flap reconstruction, after nipple reconstruction and after more tattooing following nipple reconstruction. Each time I have had to sign and tick which boxes I am happy for the photos to be used for (research, training, other patients prior to reconstruction etc). The choice was mine on each occasion and I was also given a copy of the form each time. This was at Bolton.
Karen x

Thanks for your comments ladies,
Karen I’m sure the form I signed last Jan probably said that the photos could be used for reasearch, training and other patients etc which I don’t mind at all if they are annoymous but when its on your medical record for anyone to see its a bit different isn’t it?

I agree lemoncake - the idea of being headless is to protect our identities - some places obviously need to review their procedures I think
Karen x

Ps having said what I’ve just said I don’t think the pa would even have access because she would not have a clinical background and couldn’t interpret what she saw. Im unsure about this as we dont use medical pictures where i work but im sure it would not be justified and any request would be challenged.
But they do need to have a clear and open policy.

Hi all,
it’s definitely worth checking who has access in each case but wanted to give you some general info which may reassure you in the meantime. I’m a manager in the NHS and when new staff apply for access to electronic records their manager has to fill out a form stating what they need access to. Admin would not usually have access to medical photographs unless they were a pa to the consultant and needed to access them on the consultants behalf. Basicalyou their manager has to stipulate what they need access to and should only give access to what they need and nothing else. As I said in my opening comment though its definitely worth querying- you have every right to ask. And if you don’t get any joy from Pals or your consultant you can always put in a formal letter requesting info to the complaints dept. it might be worth suggesting that they provide all patients having photos taken, with an information leaflet stating exactly who has access. I know if I got this request ( I work in a completely different area though)- I would think this a very reasonable and understandable request.

Thanks for taking the time to explain that Mals970 - much appreciated.