Access to Health Records
Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you have a legal right to access your health records. If you want to see your health records, please complete our Contact the Practice form. You don’t have to give a reason for wanting to see your records.
It’s a good idea to state the dates of the records that you want to see; for example, from 2009-2012. The practice has 30 days to respond to all requests. You will be asked to provide photographic identification to obtain your medical records. The requested medical records will be sent to you via email in an encrypted and password-protected file. The practice can also provide medical records on compact disc.
As well as having a copy of your health records the practice will also have a summary of any hospital tests, or treatment, that you have had. Any hospitals where you have had treatment, or tests, will also hold records.
To see your hospital health records, you will have to contact your local hospital. Your request to see your records will be forwarded to the health records manager. The manager will decide whether your request will be approved. Your request will usually only be refused if your records manager, GP, or other health professional believes that information in the records is likely to cause you, or another person, serious harm.
The requested medical records will be sent to you via email, in an encrypted and password-protected file. The practice can also provide medical records on compact disc.
If your records have been updated in the last 40 days – that is, you have seen your GP, or another health professional, in the last 40 days, you’re entitled to see your records free of charge. However, if your records are held on a computer, there may be an administration charge of up to £10.
For a copy of older paper records, and results such as X-rays, you may have to pay photocopying and administration charges. These charges will be a maximum of £50 (in total).
Power of Attorney
Your health records are confidential, and members of your family are not allowed to see them, unless you give them written permission, or they have power of attorney. A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make decisions for you, should you become incapable of making decisions yourself.
The person you appoint is known as your attorney. An attorney can make decisions about your finances, property, and welfare. It is very important that you trust the person you appoint so that they do not abuse their responsibility.
A legal power of attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. If you wish to see the health records of someone who has died, you will have to apply under the Access to Medical Records Act 1990.
You can only apply if you: are that person’s next of kin, are their legal executor (the person named in a will who is in charge of dealing with the property and finances of the deceased person), have the permission of the next of kin, or have obtained written permission from the deceased person before they died.
To access the records of a deceased person, you must go through the same process as a living patient. This means either contacting the practice or the hospital where the records are stored.