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Your doctor, and other health professionals caring for you, keep records about your health and any treatment you receive from the NHS. These records may be written down or held on computer.
Full and accurate records are needed to assess your health and decide what care you need. They enable us to assess the quality of care you have received, and to investigate any concerns you may have. Your details are also needed to contact you about appointments and arrange health checks.
Access to your medical records
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives patients the right to apply for access to their medical records (these are known as subject access requests). If you wish to view your records or have copies supplied, you can apply either by writing, by telephone or by downloading the application form from here.
The Subject Access Team
Health Records Department
York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: (01904) 725680
Upon receipt of your request, we will send you an application form for completion and return to us.
Access to casenotes for deceased patients
If you wish to access casenotes for a patient who is deceased then these applications are made under the terms of the Access to Health Records Act 1990. You can apply either by writing or by telephone to the same Subject Access Team as outlined above. Alternatively, you can download the application form from here.
Can access be refused?
There are sometimes circumstances when access can be refused:
- Where disclosing the personal data would reveal information which relates to and identifies another person, unless that person has consented to the disclosure
- Where permitting access to the data would be likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of the data subject or any other person
- Where the request for access is made by another on behalf of the data subject, such as a parent or child, access can be refused if the data subject had either provided the information in the expectation it would not be disclosed to the applicant, or had indicated it should not be disclosed. Equally, if the data was obtained as a result of any examination or investigation to which the data subject was subject to, and consented to, on the basis that the information would not be disclosed.
What charges are made?
Under the terms of the Data Protection Act a maximum charge of £50 can be made. This comprises of a £10 access fee, and should you wish to take copies of your records a 25p per page photocopy charge is made.
All charges must be paid in full before records are released.
How long will my application take?
Once we have received your completed application, we will process this, usually within the prescribed timescale of 40 days. In exceptional circumstances the request can sometimes take longer, however, in this instance we would contact you to advise you accordingly.
Our Subject Access Team are happy to help if you have any problems or queries in respect of making an application. Telephone (01904) 725680.
In addition, for answers to frequently asked questions about all aspects of access to medical records, you can visit the Information Commissioner's website.
More details are avaiable about the sort of information we collect, how it is used and how it is stored in the leaflet, 'Confidentiality: Information for patients', which you can download here.