Access to Records

Subject Access Requests (SARs)

Under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), patients have a right to a copy of their medical records, generally without charge*.

As a business, and as part of the NHS, we do aim to keep our costs down. In order to help us do this, there are a number of options to get a copy of your medical record. The options, their associated costs to the Practice, and the advantages and disadvantages to the patient are described in this leaflet.

*For more information, please see Subject Access Request Policy available on our website

OPTION ONE: ONLINE ACCESS

If you have internet access, you can apply for online access to your medical records. A copy of this form is available on our website, or can be collected from reception. You will need to bring two forms of ID with the completed form.

Advantages:

  • You have “live” access to your records-each time you have a new medication prescribed, a new consultation with the Practice, a new allergy added, or a new blood test result, your copy of the medical records is updated with the information.
  • The cost to the Practice is one-off and minimal (cost of checking your notes prior to allowing access).
  • You can view your health records wherever you are, for example, if you are seeing a consultant who has a query about one of your medications you can look it up on your phone.
  • If you need a new copy of your notes for another reason, you don’t have to wait a month to get it.
  • Online access to your records has other advantages, the main one being it allows you to take better control of your health.

Disadvantages:

  • Internet access needed
  • Electronic copy of notes
  • Record is a summary of notes prior to 2000 as access is to electronic record only
  • More information on access to online services and to request access please complete our Register for Online Services Form.

OPTION TWO: ELECTRONIC RECORDS

If you were born before the year 2000, part of your medical record is likely to be on paper (“Lloyd George” notes). Prior to computerisation, Practices recorded consultations on paper notes. Now notes are electronic, and anything significant from your old paper notes is summarised and added to your electronic record. If you wish to have a copy of your notes, you can ask for just your electronic notes.

Advantages:

  • This information can be sent to you by email quickly and easily.
  • It is a cost-efficient way for the Practice to provide access to notes as it involves checking your notes, then the computer generates an automatic copy of the notes.

Disadvantages:

  • This is not a full copy of your records (unless you were born after the year 2000) prior to that date the record is a summary only.

OPTION THREE: FULL COPY OF RECORDS

The final option is to request a full copy of your records, both electronic and paper. This is the option which uses the most resource in the Practice as the notes taken from the archive, checked by hand, photocopied by hand, then the full notes are checked and copies made.

Advantages:

  • This is the complete version of your medical notes

Disadvantages:

  • Resource-heavy and costly and time consuming for the Practice to produce.

If you wish to make a request for any access to your medical records, a formal request will need to be made by completing and returning the below form, which can also be collected at reception. We will always require consent and proof of ID.