We are not surprised to learn of the wide disparities between trusts when it comes to the availability of patient records revealed by your investigation, writes Tracy Steadman

This has been a key finding in many of our accreditation surveys.

The implications for patient safety are obvious. That is why we incorporate it as a specific standard within our patient records and information management accreditation programme. Under the programme's standards all organisations are required to demonstrate how they ensure the availability of patient records, for both outpatient and inpatient treatment. We are leading the field in this respect and would welcome a move towards a national requirement, which is clearly well overdue.

Tracy Steadman, unit director, CHKS Group