Subject Access Request
Since 25 May 2018 and the rollout of the enhanced data protection laws (GDPR) people have had the right to request information held about them and to be able to access it free of charge. Patients can access their medical data by requesting online access to their records or by having a copy of it/them produced on paper (to be collected from the surgery) or sent to them via encrypted email. In these cases all data is provided unless their doctor thinks it could be potentially injurious to their physical or emotional health. References to other people, but not healthcare professionals, will also be removed.
Patients can give consent for third parties (solicitors, insurance companies and so on) to have that right of access on their behalf if they want to. Any data given to a third party, as well as fulfilling the guidance above, must be justified and must be the minimum necessary for the purpose it is being sought.
We can provide you with a full copy of your medical records, on paper or by email as above. This is an option if you want to keep them for your use and copy to a third party what you want them to have. But keep in mind that should you ask us again for the same records it would be considered an excessive request and we would have to charge for a second and any subsequent copies.
If you request a copy of your notes, we will notify you when they are ready to collect; this will be within the timeframe per the ICO guidelines of 1 month. If you require direct copies of your paper record, please specify this on the Subject Access form, and bear in mind that this part of the record may take longer to process.
If you would like a copy of your medical records please return the Subject Access Request Form (DOCX, 21KB) along with your photo ID.
Accessing the records of a deceased patient
The Access to Health Records Act 1990 gives certain people a right to see the health records of somebody who has died. These people are defined under section 3(1)(f) of that act as ‘the patient’s representative and any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient’s death’.
Criteria for Access
The Access to Health Records Act, 1990 lays down strict guidelines on what personal information can be provided to a third party regarding a deceased patient. Our application form has therefore been designed to provide us with sufficient information to ensure that we only provide access to those who are legally entitled to receive this.
The Act gives certain people a right to see the health records of somebody who has died. These people are defined under section 3(1) (f) of that Act as:
The patient’s representative. This will be the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate.
Any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient’s death.
If you meet the criteria outlined above and wish to access someone’s records you should complete the AHRA Access Application Form.
We would like to draw your attention to the following points
- Next of kin have no automatic right of access to these records.
- Individuals meeting the criteria above will be required to provide proof, e.g., a copy of the will naming an executor or a letter from a solicitor regarding a claim.
- Anyone with a claim arising from the patients death can only request information relevant to that claim and not extended record information.
- The Act only allows access to records recorded after 1 November 1991.
- You may not be able to see information which could cause serious harm to your physical or mental health, or anyone else’s.
- You may not be able to see information which could identify another person (except members of NHS staff who have treated the patient) unless that person gives their permission.
- You won’t be able to see the records of someone who made it clear that they didn’t want other people to see their records after their death.
We will deal with your request as quickly as possible. If we have any problems getting your information, we will keep you up to date on our progress.
Points to consider
Accessing health records and information is an important matter. Releasing information may in certain circumstances cause distress. You may want to speak to an appropriate health professional before filling in the form.
If you would like to apply to obtain the records of a deceased patient, please complete an AHRA Access Application Form (DOCX, 37KB) paying close attention to the criteria outlined above. Please return to the practice with your photo ID and proof of eligibility to request.