Guide to the Data Protection Act 1998
This means that you can see and/or have copies of your health records. These records could be those at the hospital or those held by your GP, dentist, pharmacist or optician. They also include records written by health visitors district nurses and other community staff as well as the ambulance service Records includes x-rays, scans reports etc.
You may want to know what’s been written in your health records for many reasons. You may be thinking of making a complaint about your health care. You do not have to tell anyone the reason why you want to access your health records.
No. You can request access to any health record that you know exists. (The cut off point in earlier legislation of November 1991 no longer applies).
You should be able to view and/or have copies of your health records within 40 days of your request being made and any necessary fee being paid.
Your rights are different. As the duty of confidentiality survives a patients death then you have to have good reasons for wanting access. This may be because you are:
Yes. Where the record holder feels that it would cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of you or anyone else then you may be refused access. If you are refused access for this reason then you have the right to be advised about this refusal.
You may also be refused access where yourhealth records contain information about someone else.
Yes. You can complain direct to the organisation concerned under the NHS Complaints Procedure. Every NHS organisation can give you details on this. Alternatively, you can contact the Data Protection Commissioner who can offer advice and guidance They can be contacted by telephoning 01625 545745 or by writing to:
The Office of the Data Protection Registrar
If you consider that information is not accurate you can ask for it to be corrected. If the health professional believes the information to be accurate then it would be good practice for them to add a note indicating that you disagree.
If the health professional refuses to make the necessary correction a complaint can be made to the office of the Data Protection Commissioner or application to the court for an order that the data be corrected. It may also be a matter you could report to the Health Service Commissioner.
You must put your request in writing to your usual GP with a copy to our Records Manager.