Access to medical information is going to be extended by recent Government proposals that patients who agree are sent copies of correspondence relevant to their illness and medical treatment. The National Health Service (NHS) Plan for England (Department of Health, 2000) has stated unequivocally that letters between clinicians about an individual patient's care will be copied to the patient as of right. No exceptions have been made and the plan did not suggest that patients suffering from a psychiatric illness are to be treated differently from any other group of patients. However, the Department of Health has recently stated its intention to fund a series of pilot projects to test some key concepts before the policy is fully implemented in 2004. A number of areas to be informed by pilot work have been identified. These include the style and content of letters, testing formats and language that patients find acceptable and particular issues concerning mental health, children and carers (
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