Access Medical Records
The General Data Protection Regulations and the Data Protection Act 2018 replaced the Data Protection Act 1998 on 25 May 2018, bringing in widespread changes to UK data protection legislation.
Since 25 May patients must be given access to their medical records, free of charge, either via Detailed Coded Record (Online Access) or as a Subject Access Request (SAR) which includes when a patient authorises access by a third party such as a solicitor.
In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation therefore, patients (data subjects) have the right to access their data and any supplementary information held by Hereward Group Practice. Data subjects have a right to receive:
- Confirmation that their data is being processed
- Access to their personal data
- Access to any other supplementary information held about them
Patients with Capacity
Patients with capacity have a right to access their own health records via Online Access (electronic records) or SAR (paper copy of full records). Patients may also authorise a third party such as a solicitor to do so on their behalf. Competent young people may also seek access to their own records. It is not necessary for patients to give reasons as to why they wish to access their records.
Children and Young People Under 16
Where a child is competent, they are entitled to make or consent to a SAR to access their record. Patients aged 16 and under cannot apply for Online Access.
Children aged over 16 years are presumed to be competent. Children under 16 must demonstrate that they have sufficient understanding of what is proposed in order to be entitled to make or consent to an SAR. However, children who are aged 12 or over are generally expected to have the competence to give or withhold their consent to the release of information from their health records. When assessing a child’s competence, the responsible GP/Governance Lead will explain the issues in a way that is suitable for their age. Where in the view of the appropriate health professional, a child lacks competency to understand the nature of his or her SAR application, the holder of the record is entitled to refuse to comply with the SAR.
Next of Kin
A next of kin cannot give or withhold their consent to the sharing of information on a patient’s behalf. As next of kin they have no rights of access to medical records. For parental rights of access, see the information above.
A patient can authorise a solicitor acting on their behalf to make a SAR. A solicitor must provide the patient’s written consent to the Practice along with the request.
Online Access to Medical Records
Online Access can only be granted to patients aged 16 years and over, no third parties.
Through online access to your medical records patients can access an up to date version of parts of their electronic GP medical record including information about medication, allergies, vaccinations, previous illnesses and test results.
You can also use your online access account to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions. See Online Access Application Form for further details on what information you can view.
Once the relevant application form is submitted to the Practice, we aim to process the request within 28 days. The maximum time for processing a request is one calendar month. The Practice will contact the applicant if there are any queries and when the application is complete.
There may be occasions when the data controller will withhold information kept in the health record, particularly if the disclosure of such information is likely to cause undue stress or harm to you or any other person.
We, at the Hereward Group Practice (‘the Surgery’) situated at Exeter Street, Bourne, Lincolnshire, PE10 9XR, are a Data Controller of your information. This means we are responsible for collecting, storing and handling your personal and healthcare information when you register with us as a patient.
Data Protection Officer
The surgery’s Data Protection Officer is:
Arden & GEM Head of Integrated Governance
NHS AGEM CSU
Warwick CV34 4DE
Please click here to see our Privacy Notice and other documents: /privacy-notice-subject-access-request