WDHB calls for response to medical records destruction

The Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) is urging any members of the public who wish to request their pre-2001 medical records to contact the hospital’s health records department as soon as possible.
Manager health records Patricia Greer says people who would like to retrieve their medical records may not have seen the advertisements explaining that the cut-off date is 20 January.
Mrs Greer says the WDHB reviews its stored general medical records annually. Any file that contains obstetric and/or paediatric records are retained for 25 years but all other general records are disposed of 10 years following a patient’s last treatment at Whanganui Hospital.
“Any person treated prior to 2001 who wishes to collect their notes can apply in writing to Health Records Department, Wanganui Hospital, Private Bag 3003, Whanganui,” Mrs Greer says.
“We must receive requests in writing, however, if someone has a query they are welcome to call us on (06) 348 1277.”
Mrs Greer says to date, only one person who has requested their notes has been eligible. She says it’s important people understand the criteria.
“We’ve had several requests for mental health notes but these are never destroyed. And if someone has had treatment for mental and general health conditions, their general health notes remain on file along with their mental health notes.”