Patient Access to Medical Records
Below is background information regarding your rights under the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations 2016 in relation to requesting access to your health records, along with a form to assist you to make your request.
From March 2016, your medical records can be accessed as part of the Practice’s online services. For security reasons, you will have to visit the practice to undertake an identity check before you are granted access to these records. You will be granted access to your medical records from the date of application. More information about online access can be found here.
The Data Protection Act 2018 gives every living person, or an authorised representative, the right to apply for access to health records.
Access to Medical Records application form – To be used if you would like access to your own records
Application to share information with a third party – To be used 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 (no fee required)
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 (this is optional, but it may help save Practice time and resources and reduce the cost of your access request).
If you are using an authorised representative, 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: http://www.nhs.uk/choiceinthenhs/rightsandpledges/complaints/pages/nhscomplaints.aspx
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