Health Record Access
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 people have the right to see any files about themself, including their health records. Access can only be denied if there are compelling reasons. The Data Protection Act replaced the access to Health Records Act 1990 on 1st March 2000, except applications to see records of someone who has died.
The practice has a procedure for patients to apply to see their health records. If you would like further information or an application form, please ask at reception.
How to access your health records
There are a number of different types of health record, accessing them is free, and healthcare professionals have a legal requirement to allow you to see them.
GP records include information about your medication, allergies, vaccinations, previous illnesses and test results, hospital discharge summaries, appointment letters and referral letters.
You can access your GP records, and nominate someone you trust to access them, through GP online services.
Your summary care record
If you’re registered with a GP practice, you'll have a Summary Care Record unless you've chosen not to have one. It contains basic information including your allergies, medications and any reactions you’ve had to medication in the past. You can’t view your Summary Care Record online, so if you’d like to see it, please speak to your GP.
Accessing someone else's records
Health and care records are confidential so you can only access someone else's records if you’re authorised to do so.
Getting your records changed
If you think your health record is incorrect, you should let your GP or other health professional know and they will help you to update it.
Online Access to Medical Records
Being able to see your record online might help you to manage your medical conditions. It also means that you can even access it from anywhere in the world should you require medical treatment on holiday. If you decide not to join or wish to withdraw, this is your choice and practice staff will continue to treat you in the same way as before. This decision will not affect the quality of your care.
Before you apply for online access to your record, there are some things to consider. Although the chances of any of these things happening are very small, you will be asked that you have read and understood the following before you are given login details.
There may be something you have forgotten about in your record that you might find upsetting.
Abnormal results or bad news
If your GP has given you access to test results or letters, you may see something that you find upsetting. This may occur before you have spoken to your doctor or while the surgery is closed and you cannot contact them. If this happens please contact your surgery as soon as possible. The practice may set your record so that certain details are not displayed online. For example, they may do this with test results that you might find worrying until they have had an opportunity to discuss the information with you.
Your medical record is designed to be used by clinical professionals to ensure that you receive the best possible care. Some of the information within your medical record may be highly technical, written by specialists and not easily understood. If you require further clarification, please contact the surgery for a clearer explanation.
If you think you may be pressured into revealing details from your patient record to someone else against your will, it is best that you do not register for access at this time.
Information about someone else
If you spot something in the record that is not about you or notice any other errors, please log out of the system immediately and contact the practice as soon as possible.
Choosing to share your information with someone
It’s up to you whether or not you share your information with others – perhaps family members or carers. It’s your choice, but also your responsibility to keep the information safe and secure. If it would be helpful to you, you can ask the practice to provide another set of login details to your Online services for another person to act on your behalf. They would be able to book appointments or order repeat prescriptions. They may be able to see your record to help with your healthcare if you wish. Tell your practice what access you would like them to have.
If you would like some one else to access your online services you will need to complete a Consent to Proxy Access Form and bring it into the practice.
Keeping your healthcare records safe and secure (leaflet produced by the NHS in conjunction with the British Computer Society).