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Access to my medical records.


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Well, I helped a relative apply for their medical records under the Data Protection Act, completing the Subject Data Access form that you would for any other company from which you wished to obtain data (of which you are the subject). I've also used the Access to Health Records act (different form) for access to a deceased relatives health records.

 

This on the Department of Health website:

Access to Health Records : Department of Health - Managing your organisation

 

Access to the health records of living patients is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

Access to the health records of a deceased person is governed by the Access to Health Records Act 1990.

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I think the difference in med records is that in normal data they have to provide ALL data pertaining to you - med records they are allowed to hold some back if they deem it necessary, and they dont have to tell you that they have, or what they have witheld

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I would suspect that both Acts are open to interpretation. On the whole both are welcome legislation, although those enforcing the Acts need more teeth to deal with those organisations deliberately flouting the law, withholding data that they should not. I think the ICO helpline is a little overwhelmed by enquiries.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I work in a Medical Records department and we have people who are employed solely to deal with requests for Access to Records. If your hospital has the same then its best to go direct to them. There is usually a charge for the service though.

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There is one person at our local hospital (no stand in when she is on holiday it seems) who is supposed to be responsible for access to medical records. I think they were probably thrown into the post when the Act came into practice and received little or no training - mind it probably takes a time to read it all, let alone understand it. My point is always check things out for yourself (in this case the Information Commissioners Office website) before making your request. More often than not, you'll be more informed than they are.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

This is Steven. I am newly enter to this site. Day by Day health problems are increases. If records have been redacted, or certain parts have been withheld because the Trust supplying the records thinks that either there is an exemption or that certain information may be uinjurious, and you disagree, contact the Information Commissioner.

 

=================================

steven7

visit

free phr

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Everyone.

I need some help. I have Reflex Sympathatic Dystrophy. I saw my neurologist of 9 years in May of 2008 and he told me he wanted to see me back in July of 2008. I went and he had gone. Just up and left. He had no nurses and one receptionist and no one there. He took my medical records (not just the 9 years he treated me but the entire 15 years of records since I've had RSD). He posted an ad in a newspaper in a different town and someone called me with the address in another state that he stated in the ad that he wanted his patients to send any correspondence to. I have sent 3 medical release forms and 2 personal letters asking for my records and have gotten no reply. It's been a year now and I still have no records which is making it so difficult to get the proper treatments. I have contacted the medical board they don't know where he is. I asked other patients of his and they haven't gotten their records either. It's like he dropped off the face of the earth. He did hand in his medical license. I can see it on the medical board website. He also signed a form with the medical board stating he would make sure that his patients not only would have ongoing care but access to our records at all times. Yeah right! Please help. I don't know if I have any legal recourse or what to do. thanks

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rsdmom,

 

I am guessing from the post that you are in the US.

 

The majority of people on this site are from the UK and so you may find it difficult getting information from this site to help you with your problem.

 

I wish you luck getting hold of copies of your medical records and seeking a new doctor to treat you.

 

Feebee_71

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I used to work in an NHS hospital Medical Records dept and the policy was that if you had not been there for treatment in the last 10 years your records would be destroyed. This had the benefit of creating space in the archives but I can see it causing problems for recurring illnesses.

 

I'm now wondering how legal this all was....

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The normal procedure for getting access to your medical records from a hospital is to write requesting them, usually to the Chief Executives Office. No other means of request will be accepted. Certain types of medical record are exempt from disclosure, which are mainly to do with the mental health act. IIRC, to see these records, you need to go through the courts.

Frederickson - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - Lost - Claiming back from post office

Connaught Collections - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - No Agreement - returned to client

Lowell - CCA sent 11/4/07 - No agreement - returned to client

Moorcroft - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - No Agreement - returned to client

Red Castle - CCA Sent 11/4/07 - Copy returned but no T&C's

Robinson Way - CCA Sent 16/5/07

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  • 1 year later...

hi

my wife would like to see her GP medical records going back to when she was a child till she was 30,she is 50 now,she moved to a new area 14 yrs ago,how would we go about doing this.

as iam a carer for my wife we are on income support and could not afford to pay for this,so what would happen.

she has blocked out a lot of things in her past but is now looking to sort this out and needs to see the records.

thank you

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Big Nick, I would also wonder at the legality but also of the patient safety aspect of destroying records after ten years. After all, something that happened to you as a child could potentially have implications as an adult. Having said that, notes are so often lost or just not read, it probably wouldn't make a lot of difference anyway!

 

Steven7, yes I believe that your personal data can be withheld from you on certain grounds. Check out the ICO website and call them for clarification if necessary.

 

Nick59, medical records should follow you. Contact the GP or PALS at the hospital to get the relevant Subject Data Access Form. There will be a charge.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

(nolegion’s half-dozen time-related tips re DPA ‘subject access requests’ to the NHS)

 

1. Don’t fall for ‘the form’.

 

There is no set ‘form’ for a ‘subject access request’, save that it should be in (signed, hard copy) writing, so you don’t need to ask the surgery\hospital to supply you with one. Nor are you obliged to give any reason whatsoever for your requiring the copy records.

 

Sometimes, even when you have put in a perfectly valid written ‘request’, you will be sent a ‘standard form’ to complete. Don’t. The NHS body concerned will treat the date they receive the form back from you as the earliest possible ’starting date’ for compliance with the request - not the date of their receipt of your original written request.

 

To avoid any possible doubt, I put in requests a statement that they comply with all requirements for a ‘subject access request’ and that no other ‘form’ will be submitted. Avoids having to write a separate letter sending back the (uncompleted) ‘form’ later.

 

Even if you live next door, send it recorded delivery, first class, and say on your letter\request that it has been so sent in, on the date of the request, which should be clearly stated.

 

2.’ Come off it, you know me.’

 

Supply copy evidence of your identity and address with your request. Copy passport or photo driving licence and the usual couple of utility bills will normally be ample. List your enclosures.

 

If you have just told your GP\ consultant in person that you are about to put in a request you shouldn’t be challenged - but they won’t record what you have said, and you will be anyway. So supply the stuff up front on day one, in any event.

 

Say in your letter that you require the copy records to be posted to the address you have given ‘promptly and in any event within the statutory time limit’

 

 

3. Go for the lot.

 

Even though it can have by no means insignificant short-term financial consequences, ask for all health records as defined by the Data Protection Act and all or any other personal data held in respect of you. Anything less so often turns out to be a false economy in the longer run - and it may very well take considerably longer to get everything you are after, to boot.

 

 

4. Remember ’cheques’?

 

In the Michael Caine school of ‘not a lot of people know that’, there are some daft statutory provisions which result in time for compliance with the request not starting ‘to run’ until the requisite fee has been paid - which you can’t know until you are told by the records holder after it has ‘evaluated’ your request, quite probably many weeks or even months later. NHS ‘statististical compliance’ relies on this type of footling obfuscation.

 

If you possibly can, bite the bullet and send a cheque for £50.00 (the maximum they can charge, inclusive of postage, and it’s not subject to v.a.t.) with your request, authorising them to encash straight away and to account to you with the balance in due course.

 

On the plus side, I have yet to see a Trust\practice encash such a cheque unless the maximum fee has been reached and they are about to post. Their accounting systems simply aren’t up to it. If they send your cheque back and ask for a specific lesser sum, promptly comply. But they can’t deny they had their full fee from the outset.

 

(I agree it’s a disgrace they can charge for your own info this way at all.)

 

5. Non-compliance

 

The statutory time (‘prescribed period’) for compliance is 40 days (not 40 ‘working’ days) starting with the record holder\controller’s date of receipt of the written request, identifying the ‘subject’ (you), and the copy records required, and the fee.

 

It is purported NHS ‘policy’ to comply within 21 days. They won’t, but there is no harm in writing a letter on day 22 pointing out they haven’t.

 

(If you get a communication querying the ‘scope’ of your request point out that your original request said ‘everything’, that that is what you still mean, and that the number of days for compliance already elapsed is whatever it is. I have seen such queries raised in blatant attempts to ‘buy time’.)

 

When your request still hasn’t been complied with within 41 days after the date on the recorded delivery confirmation you have downloaded from the net, go to the site of the Information Commisssioner’s Office and download a complaint form. Once you’ve submitted that to the ICO (hard copy, plus a copy of the recorded delivery confirmation, and of your ‘reminder letter’) drop a ‘one-liner’ to the Trust\practice telling them that is what you have already done.

 

You should get your copy records within 2 or 3 weeks after that, unless they really have lost them on a train.

 

(Remember to insist they are posted to you - don’t accept any request to pick them up.)

 

6. Afterwards

 

Apart from very carefully checking you have absolutely everything you expect fully and legibly copied…

 

…take a copy of the date-stamp on the envelope which contained the late-posted copy records and send that to the ICO as well, ‘further to’ your already-submitted complaint. In due course you’ll get a letter from the ICO confirming that it did indeed appear that xyz was in breach of their statutory obligations, for you to do with as you see fit - like put a copy on the net with your details blanked out but not the defaulting party’s…

 

…so that maybe, just maybe…

 

…THE NEXT PATIENT’S REQUEST WILL GET DEALT WITH PROPERLY IN THE FIRST PLACE.

 

“…a data controller shall comply with a request…promptly…and in any event before the end of the prescribed period.” - ex S.7, Data Protection Act 1998.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, I do realise that this thread goes back some years but I am a little stuck as to what to do in regards to my recent request for my medical records held at my local hospital.

 

I requested ALL notes in Nov 2010 inc test results, scans, admissions (everything) held by them from 01 January 2006 to present. As I knew that included in my records would be CT, X-Ray & MRI scans I sent off a cheque for the maximum fee, £50.

 

Sure enough in mid December (earlier than I anticipated) a padded envelope arrived through my door, but what a disappointment! Yes I did receive a CD with my CT, X-Rays & MRI scans included and aprox 10 pages of notes. Not even the half of it! No test results at all and no notes from ANY consultants (I have been under 3 in the period 2006-2010) not a mention that I had ever even seen any consultants, no test results at all (no mention of ANY blood tests taken or their results-I have had numerous blood tests taken and some showing abnormalities) , no mention of being admitted to medical emergency ward (this has occurred twice), no mention of abnormal ECG's, EEG's, Echocardiogram, and strangely 2 pages of notes relating to my first pregnancy scan but no other mention of my pregnancy and no labour notes (unfortunately the labour was not straight forward).

 

On my visit to the hospital on xmas eve (for yet another MRI) I managed to get a contact number for their records bureau (I was told I could not see anyone), there is no answer on the number and so I sent them an e-mail on the 24th. I have yet to even receive an acknowledgement of this email requesting the 'missing' records.

 

This has got me thinking, if they are keeping these records on the grounds that they could cause 'distress' (really can't see why they would do this) would they have stated so in their letter enclosed with the records that were actually sent to me?

 

I believe I have been short changed as the records which I have received are not worth the £50 I sent.

 

The question is what do I do next? Is it worth a visit to PALS? How long should I wait? The 40 days since I put my request in has passed, but is this no longer relevant as I have received some notes from them?

 

I am fed up with being let down by the NHS!

 

Any suggestions will be gratefully received :)

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Hi Raine, if it were me id go to pals they will find out what you need, i dont think its the distress that would upset you but what they write about you would because every thing you say gets written down all they see they write it down and maybe you wont like what they write about you thats the distress they are worried about raine

Edited by lady-in-red
didnt finish it off
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Well, when this happened to me, I went to the PALS office in the hospital. I also wrote a letter to the hospital's chief exec and hand-delivered it. State clearly that you will escalate the issue to the ICO - although it is my opinion that this office has little backbone and only springs into life for cases which may impact negatively on their reputation.

 

Be persistent.

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it doesnt matter who you write to in the NHS, consultants, will cover their back every time they all back one another up, and lie to keep their status, i will never trust any doctor ever again after what i saw and heard, if a doctor can lie to you and get away with it whats left, the NHS is going down hill very fast, our NHS service was the envy of the world not anymore most are scared to go into hospital now, if only people would speak up it might stand a chance but they wont because they will be sacked if they whisleblow so it wont change just get worse and thats sad, its the executives at the top to blame, not the nurses, they work very hard while the consultants walk round doing sweet nothing it the men at the top who need to be brought down before we lose our NHS

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I wonder if anyone can help me. I did a SAR request 8th August. However I never heard anything back and I didnt need the records in the end and heard nothing about fees etc. Today I get home from work have all my records and a phone call from the hospital. Do I have to pay for these as it took 151 days and I never got told how much it would cost and never paid a penny before receiving them? Any ideas?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok I've just been through the process to get mine. And there are 2 ways about this:

 

1) Contact your regional Primary Care trust (you can get this from your GP). THey have a standard SAR form for you to fill in and will require an SAR wlong with a copy of your passport, birthpapers or photocard driving license. This needs to be endorsed by a recognised witness (Notarary Public, Registered Doctor or Police)

 

2) Speak to your practice manager, and they too will require a SAR in writing. Because you can be present, you just need A) Proof of ID i.e. Passport, Birthpaper and/or Photocard and a copy of a utility bill (Council Tab is the best) at the registered address which the doctor has.

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  • 3 months later...

Don’t fall for ‘the form’.

 

There is no set ‘form’ for a ‘Subject access requestlink3.gif’, save that it should be in (signed, hard copy) writing, so you don’t need to ask the surgery\hospital to supply you with one. Nor are you obliged to give any reason whatsoever for your requiring the copy records.

 

Sometimes, even when you have put in a perfectly valid written ‘request’, you will be sent a ‘standard form’ to complete. Don’t. The NHS body concerned will treat the date they receive the form back from you as the earliest possible ’starting date’ for compliance with the request - not the date of their receipt of your original written request.

 

To avoid any possible doubt, I put in requests a statement that they comply with all requirements for a ‘subject access request’ and that no other ‘form’ will be submitted. Avoids having to write a separate letter sending back the (uncompleted) ‘form’ later.

 

Even if you live next door, send it recorded delivery, first class, and say on your letter\request that it has been so sent in, on the date of the request, which should be clearly stated.

 

I wrote this back in October of last year, fjear, and for what its worth, you can find it together with quite a lot more chuntering from me on the subject (always winds me up, how badly patients are treated when seeking their own info) back in post no.39 , this thread.

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