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Confusion over cost of accessing medical records


ep1987
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I made a subject access request to my GP stating that i wished for a copy of all electronically held records from 2002 onwards.

 

Here are the NHS guidelines:

 

"The fee to get a permanent copy of your health records will be different depending on how the information is stored. The maximum charges are:

  • £10 for records that are only held on computer
  • £50 for records that are only held manually, for example, paper records such as letters or hand-written clinical notes, or images such as X-ray film
  • £50 for records that are held partly on computer and partly manually (e.g. paper)"

I was received a telephone message today and on ringing back was informed that the records are in the receptionist's drawer and can be collected. The cost would be £10 to view them or £50 for a copy.

I therefore have two questions;

1. Where a patient's records are held part manually and part electronically can they request a copy of electronically held records only?

The bolded parts below indicates that this is posible.

 

"There is usually a charge to see or get a copy of your records. This charge is £10 if you just require information that is held in a computerised format but if there are also manual records it could be up to £50. You can find out the exact amount by ringing your surgery, hospital or health authority. Photocopying charges vary according to how large your records are. You should find out how much this will be by ringing or writing to your doctor, hospital or health authority. You should then send a cheque or postal order for the amount with your written request. The maximum charges vary depending upon whether your records are held on computer or manually, and whether you would like a copy of your records or just want to see them. For access and copies - records held totally on computer (£10.00) - records held partly on computer and partly manual (a reasonable fee up to £50) - records held totally manually (a reasonable fee up to £50)."

 

2. What i believe has happened is that they have copied everything including manual records as the recptionist mentioned photocopying in the message. This is obviously not what was asked for per my written request. Thus what are my options? For what it's worth the receptionist didn't strike me as the least bit reasonable although i didn't question the costs when i called back this afternoon.

Edited by ep1987
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I'd say this isn't really a benefit question, so I'll move it over to the NHS forum where you should hopefully get better responses.

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As long as your original SAR was in writing and clear as to what you were asking for, I entirely go with your interpretation of the rules ep1987, not the snittly little receptionist's. Sounds like someone didn't read their instructions properly - perhaps it was him or her.

 

By the way, the £10 fee is the max including all incidental costs, and you are entitled to have the copy records posted or otherwise delivered to your home.

 

If you have time in hand, it s a good idea to try get them posted and keep the postmarked envelope - to show the Information Commissioner's Office if you need to make a complaint ( e.g. should they drag the matter over the 40 day time-limit. )

Edited by nolegion
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Thanks

 

I think that the problem arose because the practice has two sites. I submitted the request at the one which i always visit but the records are now at the other site; something was obviously lost in translation so to speak. I'll be civil as always and seeing that i haven't paid and need the records asap will try and arrange to collect them, apologising for the misunderstanding but being clear that i shouldn't pay for their mistake.

 

Hopefully i won't need to threaten lodging a formal complaint (i'm pretty sure that this would go on my notes and would be worried about seeing my GP in this case as i suffer with anxiety).

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I don't believe the fact that you lodged a complaint about practice administration can be placed on your medical records.

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Hi

 

Please have a look at the following links:

 

NHS Choices - How do I access my Medical Records (Health Records): http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1309.aspx?categoryid=68

 

NHS Choices - What are the fees for accessing Medical Records (Health Records): http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2635.aspx?CategoryID=68&SubCategoryID=160

 

This is those links in PDF (if you need to print off and use)

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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The OP has the relevant info about fees, i just can't post links yet, but those are definitely useful for anyone reading the thread who needs more information.

 

Regarding what goes on records i didn't mean my medical records as such,it was just when i rang up there was a note on their system about who had called me and i'm not sure if the doctors can see those type of notes or just the clerical staff.

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