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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10382
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My daughter's ex (they were never married) has gone to her

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My daughter's ex (they were never married) has gone to her doctors to ask for permission for access to their son's medical records. My daughter would happily have agreed to this had he just asked her but the dad will not speak to her directly on any matter. The doctors have written to her asking for her permission which is she will give. The father has said the doctors had no right to contact her and ask for her permission. Is this correct?

Is the child’s father named on the birth certificate or does he have parental responsibility by any other means or court order?

If he does have parental responsibility then he is entitled to see the medical records without you being asked.

Unless he can prove that he has parental responsibility to the satisfaction of the doctor then the doctor has not acted unreasonably.

Even however assuming that he did have parental responsibility and he did produce that prove to the doctor, and although there is actually no need then for the doctor to contact you, you have to ask the question as to what the ex is going to do about it bearing in mind that it’s not a criminal offence or a civil offence and doesn’t actionable in any court.

It seems to be more a case of the ex being or wanting to be awkward.

Can I clarify else anything for you?

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Best wishes.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His name is ***** ***** birth certificate and he does have parental responsibility. Our question is whether the doctor is doing anything wrong in contacting my daughter? The doctor has suggested that both parents visit the surgery with their son

Both parents visiting the surgery with their son is of course the ideal solution if they are still speaking.

The doctor hasn’t committed any offence but there may be a breach of confidentiality issue if the father had specifically asked the doctor not to contact your daughter. However than a complaint, it is not likely to go any further.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The father is bullying and controlling and contacts solicitors for the most minor of things so I would not be surprised if we don't receive a letter of complaint. My daughter is absolutely distraught that this man will continue his controlling and bullying until the child is 18 (he is currently 2 and she has been to court 3 times already). What can we do to stop this harrassment?

Just because he contacts solicitors and he may want to pay solicitors fees, doesn’t necessarily mean that your daughter has to have solicitors if she wants to handle things herself.

There are some very competent solicitors on here who can tell her how to deal with any scenario, at a fraction of the cost of a high street solicitor.

If he decides to take her to court over any issues, then she has to deal with the court proceedings although if he keeps making unreasonable applications she can ask the court to order him to stop.

If he is harassing her, than with legal proceedings, then it becomes a police matter to ask them to warn him under the Protection from Harassment Act..

With regard to the letter of complaint about the doctor, it’s nothing to do with your daughter, whether the doctor has contacted her or not.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. We realise it is not my daughter's fault but to confirm, unless the ex specifically asked them not to contact her then they have done nothing wrong?

Asking for consent from the parent is not unreasonable. I can not see how the doctor could be criticised unless specifically asked by the father not to contact the mother.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you

I am pleased to have helped.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not sure if this is of any significance but the doctor in question is my daughter's doctor and my grandson's doctor but not the father's so does the question of confidentiality still an issue? I don't think the father has asked my daughter not to be contacted but I just want all our facts straight

I suggest that neither you nor your daughter worry about this. The only 2 people who have concern are the X and the doctor.

The doctor has a duty of confidentiality however to anyone who approaches him and as the child is a minor, for the purposes of confidentiality that would extend to the parent with parental responsibility.

As I have said early, I think it’s just that the father appears to want something to complain about because he didn’t get all his own way and he wanted to go behind your daughters back to find out whether something have been happening with their son perhaps which he could hang his hat on to make yet another complaint to get at your daughter. I cannot guarantee that is the case but, but from what you have said, it would fit in with the history.