What is a Health Record
The doctor and team of health professionals caring for you keep records about your health and any treatment and care you receive from the NHS. These records help to make sure you receive the best possible care. The records may include
- Basic details about you, such as address and next of kin.
- Details of your ongoing care
- Information about past hospital appointments and admissions
- Results of investigations such as x-rays and laboratory tests.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has now replaced the Data Protection Act 1998. Under this act you, or an authorised representative, have the right to access your health record.
- You have a right to apply for access if:
- You are the patient.
- You have parental responsibility for a patient who is a under the age of 16.
- You are the person authorised in writing to make an application on behalf of the patient. (This requires the patient's signature).
- You are a person appointed by the court to manage the patient's affairs when they are unable to e.g. power of attorney (documented proof must be provided).
How do I request copies of my health records?
You need to complete the Trust’s ‘Access to Health Records’ form and provide proof of identity.
Access to health records of the deceased
The Access to Health Records Act 1990 provides certain individuals with a right of access to the health record of a deceased individual. These include the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate and a person who may have a claim arising out of the patient’s death.
How do I request copies of a deceased persons record?
You need to complete the Trust’s ‘Access to Records’ form as above and provide evidence of entitlement to access.
Third Party Access requests from Solicitors or Insurance Companies
Third party applications from Solicitors or Insurance companies in relation to third party personal injury claims require written consent from the patient before records can be disclosed. These requests are processed by the Access to Records Department.
What is the fee for copies of health records?
In line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) copies will be disclosed free of charge.
Please be aware that once disclosure has taken place and a further request is received for the same information, , or where a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, particularly if it is repetitive, an administration fee will be charged.
What is the timeframe for receiving copies of health records?
GDPR states that we must comply with a request without undue delay and at the latest within one month of receipt of the request or (if later) within one month of receipt of any information requested to confirm the requester’s identity.
We may extend the time to respond by a further two months if the request is complex or we have received a number of requests from an individual. We will let the individual know within one month of receiving their request and explain why the extension is necessary.
In some circumstances the Trust is legally required to withhold all or some of the information held in an individual’s health record:
- Where the identity of an individual cannot be satisfied by the Trust.
- Where consent of the individual has not been given, but is legally required.
- Where it has been judged that supplying the information is likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of the patient or any other person.
- Where providing access would disclose information relating to or provided by a third party who had not consented to the disclosure. This exemption may not apply where that third party is a health professional involved in the care of the individual.
- If a deceased person had indicated that they did not wish information to be disclosed, or the record contains information that the deceased person expected to remain confidential.
Where can I get further information from?
For more information about access to health records you can click below to visit the NHS choices website.
or the Department of Health website link below.
If you wish to make an application you should complete the relevant form and return it to the following address:
Access to Records
Health Records Department
Royal Preston Hospital
Sharoe Green Lane
or via email to