Access to Medical Records
Guide to the Data Protection Act 1998
What do we mean by 'accessing health records'?
This means that you can see and/or have copies of your health records. these records could be those at the hospital or those held by your GP, dentist, pharmacist or optician. They also include records written by health visitors, district nurse and other community staff as well as the ambulance service. Records include xrays, scan, reports etc.
Why would I want to access my health records?
You may want to know what's been written in your health records for many reasons. You may be thinking of making a complaint about your healthcare. You do not need to tell anyone the reasons why you want access to yoru healt records
Will I have to pay any charges?
- You may be asked to pay a fee of £10
- If you require paper copies of your health records then a charge will be made which will be the actual costs incurred providing these paper copies, this will be a minimum of £10, maximum £50
- You can also ask for somebody to be present, to provide any necessary explanations of what is written in your health records
- The person providing the record is obliged to provide an explanation of unintelligible records, whether this is because they are illegible or for some other reason, such as the use of technical terms. No charge can be made for the supply of such an explanation
Are there any date or time restrictions on health records that I can access?
No. You can request access to any health records that you know exists
How long should it take for my request to be processed?
You should be able to view and/or have copies of your health records within 40 days of your request being made and any necessary fee being paid.
What if I am requesting access to health records of somebody who has died?
Your rights are different. As duty of confidentiality survives a patient's death then you have to have good reasons for wanting access. This may be because you are:
- the patient's personal representative
- an executor of their will
- a person granted letters of administration by the probate registry or
- a person with a claim arising out of the patient's death
- you can only access health records that were made from 1 November 1991. Similar charges apply as above. You can ask for somebody to be present, to provide any necessary explanations of what is written in the health records
Can my request be refused?
Yes. Where the record holder feels that it would cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of you or anyone else then you may be refused access. If you are refused access for this reason then you have the right to be advised about this refusal.
ACCESS TO MEDICAL RECORDS CAN BE MADE IN PERSON OR ONLINE
Online Access to Medical Records
There are different levels of online access available to patients:
- Appointments, Repeat Prescriptions and Summary Information
- Appointments, Repeat Prescriptions and Detailed Coded Record Access
If you wish to apply for online access to your medical records please contact the surgery for more information.
Please note that to access your records online you may be requested to provide id verification to ensure that users have a legitimate right to view the health records.
The practice will not automatically grant access to Detailed Coded Record Access. Patients wanting access to their Detailed Coded Information must complete and submit a Patient Online Access Registration Form which is available from our Reception. We will also issue a Patient Information Leaflet which will provide more detail on this online access service
Online access is not currently available to patients aged between 12-18 years old