There are two main ways that you can access your medical records, either by viewing online or through requesting a copy. These differ in that viewing online is only from the date that you request it and ongoing, whereas if you request a copy as a Subject Access Request (more information below) it is historical data between dates that you choose provided as a document.
It is important to note that your medical record is written by health professionals, for health professionals and may have language or terms that you don’t understand, may cover aspects of your health that you are not aware of or may find upsetting. It is important to consider whether you wish to view this fully.
You may also wish to allow access to a third party, if you would like a family member/carer to act on your behalf e.g. Request results of tests, speak to the doctor on your behalf, etc in which case please complete this form and return to us: Application to share information with a third party
If you wish to access another patients record they must complete the above form or discuss it with a GP. In the case of accessing a child’s record please contact the surgery.
Access to your online medical record
You can apply for access to your electronic medical record, which enables you to see consultations, letters, vaccinations, test results etc from the date of application.
Access to this information is your right, but we feel you should be aware of the implications – both positive and negative – of such open access.
- All test results will be displayed as presented to us as medical practitioners; as such their interpretation is not always straightforward, in fact sometimes borderline results may cause unnecessary anxiety. We cannot control what information is released in this way, and this may cause you problems in interpreting results accurately. In a situation where adverse news is presented, you may access this information before a GP has had a chance to contact you.
- Security and confidentiality – we ensure that your information is kept secure and confidential but once online access is approved; it becomes your responsibility as to whom you allow to access/view your online account.
- The GP may use medical terminology or abbreviations that are not easy to understand, they also may document reminders to themselves about possible actions to take if the presenting problem does not resolve.
- The GP can withhold information if they feel it is in your best interest or the information could cause you distress.
The information accessible online will be from the date of approval of your application i.e. not historic prior to that date.
To give access to your online medical records, you will need to call into reception with 2 forms of identification:
- Personal ID: Current passport, photocard driving licence, birth certificate etc.
- Address ID: Utility bill, bank statement or council tax etc. (with your name, address and dated within the last 6 months).
If you are not registered for online services or you would like to expand your access to services, please go to Register for Online Services for more information and to complete an application form.
Summary Care Record
You are able to view your Summary Care Record (SCR) online. Your SCR includes important information about:
- Allergies and Sensitivities
- Acute Medication (issued in the last 12 months)
- Current Repeat Medication
- Past Repeat Medication
In an emergency situation, your SCR can be vital aid for the 111, ambulance, hospital staff etc. They will always ask your permission before they view your SCR.
For more information please visit our page Summary Care Record.
If you are not registered for online services, please see above for more information.
Subject Access Request
The Data Protection Act 2018 gives every living person, or an authorised representative, the right to apply for access to health records.
In accordance with legislation no fee will be charged for your request, unless the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive. Before any further action is taken, we will contact you with details of our “reasonable administrative charges” in order to comply with your request.
The data controller is not obliged to comply with your access request unless they have sufficient information to identify you (preferably passport, driving license) and to locate the information held about you.
Once the data controller has all the required information, your request should be fulfilled within one calendar month (in exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to comply within this period you will be informed of the delay and given a timescale for when your request is likely to be met).
In some circumstances, the Act permits the data controller to withhold information held in your health record. These rare cases are:
- Where it has been judged that supplying you with the information is likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of you, or any other person, or;
- Where providing you with access would disclose information relating to or provided by a third person who had not consented to the disclosure, this exemption does not apply where that third person is a clinician involved in your care.
When making your request for access, it would be helpful if you could provide details of the time-periods and aspects of your health record you require.
To request a Subject Access Request for your medical records please fill in this Access to Medical Records form and return to the surgery.
If you are using an authorised representative such as a solicitor, you need to be aware that in doing so they may gain access to all health records concerning you, which may not be relevant. If this is a concern, you should inform your representative of what information you wish them to specifically request when they are applying for access.
If you have any complaints about any aspect of your application to obtain access to your health records, you should first discuss this with the clinician concerned. If this proves unsuccessful, you can make a complaint through the NHS Complaints Procedure by contacting the Practice formally.
Further information about the NHS Complaints Procedure is available on the NHS Choices website at:
Alternatively you can contact the Information Commissioners Office (responsible for governing Data Protection compliance). Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
Tel 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745 or www.ico.org.uk