The Data Protection Act 1998, which became effective from 1 March 2000, gives every living person (or their authorised representative) the right to apply for access to their health records, irrespective of when they were compiled.
Within the Data Protection Act 1998, a health record is defined as ‘a record consisting of information about the physical or mental health, or condition, of an identifiable individual, made by, or on behalf of, a health professional, in connection with the care of that individual.
A health record can be in computerised and/or manual form. It may include such documentation as hand written clinical notes, letters to and from other health professionals, laboratory reports, radiographs and other imaging records, printouts, photographs, videos and tape recordings.
Personal information relating to an individual includes factual information, expressions of opinion, and the intentions of the health professional in relation to the individual concerned.
You are able to view your medical records on line; this can either just the ‘coded’ entries or ‘full’ access. If you wish to use this facility please contact the surgery via your online account or in writing and we can facilitate this for you.
Requests for Access to Records made by a Patient Representative
A patient can authorise a representative to access their health records on their behalf. This must be done in writing, with confirmation of the representative’s identity and relationship to the patient.
Representatives able to provide evidence that they are acting under power of attorney will be granted access to the health records of the patient.
Where a patient who is physically or mentally disabled and unable to provide written consent for a representative to seek access on their behalf, the surgery will give the patient as much assistance as possible, in order to ascertain whether consent has been granted by other means.
Parents, or those with parental responsibility, will generally have the right to apply for access to a child’s health record.