Patient records

Under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 and subject to certain conditions, individuals have a legal right of access to personal information held about them, including their health records.

Requests for access to personal information are called Subject Access Requests.

Access includes:

  • The right to obtain a copy of the record in permanent form, and
  • The right to review a record without obtaining a copy
  • The right to have information explained where necessary

We are required to respond to a Subject Access Request within 40 days of receiving it, although the Department of Health recommends that we respond within 21 days.

You may ask to view your patient/health records in person, or you may ask for a copy of your health records.

For further information on the way the Trust uses and shares your health information, please see Privacy Notice for patients.

Access to records might be denied or restricted if:

  • They might cause serious harm to the patient's physical or mental health
  • They contain third party information

Proof of identity

We will need to confirm your identity before disclosing any information or releasing photocopies.

Responding to your request

We will aim to provide you with access to your health records within 40 calendar days, although we aim to do so within 21 calendar days.

We will need to confirm your identity before provisding access.

Parental access to a child's health records

As a general rule, a person with parental responsibility will have the right to apply for access to a child's health record.

Requesting the health records of a deceased person

If you make a request for the health records of a deceased person, your request will be processed in accordance with the Access to Health Records Act 1990.

The personal representative (executor or administrator of the estate) of the deceased, or any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient's death, may apply for access.

How to make a request

Please complete and return the Application for Access to Health Records form  or phone the Health Records Department (please see below).

Fees

There is normally a charge for providing a copy, which will vary according to the type and size of the records; it will not exceed £50.

The fee for providing a copy of a computerised record is £10.

Contact

Health Records Department
Email: subjectaccess.requests@gwh.nhs.uk
Tel: 01793 604699 or 01793 604698

Further information

More detailed information concerning access to health records can be found in the Department of Health Guidance for Access to Health Records Requests.

Further guidance concerning the Data Protection Act and Subject Access Requests in general, please contact:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113

Information Commissioner's Office website (www.ico.org.uk)

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