From 1st March 2001 patients have a right to access their health records through 2 routes.
Route 1- The main 1 is via the revised Data Protection Act 1998, which gives the right of access to all records, both manual and computerized, created from 1987 onwards. There are rules that apply to the NHS e.g. that manual records are restricted to those created after 1st Nov. 1991.
Route 2- Is via Access to Health Records Act 1990 which should be used if access to health records is required in respect to a deceased person.
The legislation does not entitle you to see your health records immediately on demand.
You need to make an application in writing to the holder of the record (GP or the Health Authority). You must be the person to whom the records relate and you will be asked for identification, you do not have to state a reason. There may be a reason where a doctor will withhold a record in the patient’s own physical or mental well being.
Once the application process is complete, the records must be made available within 40 days if the records have not been updated in the 40 days preceding the application A charge of no more than £50 may be made, which includes a charge for photocopying and postage, however you may ask to visit and view the records to request copies of appropriate sections. The obligation to provide a copy of the records may be waived where it is not possible to do this.
A parent or guardian can apply on the child’s behalf. There…