Access to medical records

You have the right to see your own medical record, both handwritten and computerised record.

You should completed our secure online request for access and we will arrange an appointment or discuss the access requirements with you.

 

Introduction

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force in May 2018 and gives every living person (or authorised representative) the right to apply for access to their health records.

 

Online Access to Medical Records

As of March 2016, records  can be accessed as part of the Practice’s online services. For security reasons, you may have to visit the practice to undertake an identity check before you are granted access to these records.

 

To make a subject access request

You should completed our secure online request for access and we will arrange an appointment or discuss the access requirements with you.

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).

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 all 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.

 

Costs

Under the Data Protection Act you will not normally be charged a fee to view your health records or to be provided with a copy of them unless the request is judged to be unfounded or excessive.

Please note there may be a charge for accessing your record and any subsequent copying of the contents that you may request. The only time information contained in your medical record may by withheld is where there is a risk it could cause physical or mental harm to either yourself or a third party or it relates to a third party who has not given permission for disclosure.

In the event that a request is deemed to be unfounded or excessive, a fee will be incurred based on the administrative cost of providing the information.

Once the data controller has all the required information, and fee where relevant, your request should be fulfilled within one month (in exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to comply within this period, you will be informed of the delay within one month of the request. We will provide you with a timescale of when the information will be made available, which will be no more than three months after the request is made).

 

Exemptions

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.
 

GPs have ethical obligations around how patient records are shared, and will explain to patients, in broad terms, the implications of making a Subject Access Request so they can make an informed decision on whether they wish to exercise their rights under GDPR.