Access To Medical Records
Making a Subject Access Request (SAR)
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives every living person (or authorised representative) the right to apply for access to their health records.
To make a request
A request for your medical health records held at South Lambeth Road Practice must be made in writing (e-mails accepted) to the data controller who is Chris Newman (please contact the practice for alternative methods of access if you are unable to make a request in writing).
You can apply with a simple letter detailing your request to:
South Lambeth Road Practice
Akerman Health Centre
60 Patmos Road
Under the Data Protection Act 1998 (Fees and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2000, you may be charged a fee to view your health records or to be provided with a copy of them. The maximum permitted charges are set out in the tables below
To provide you with a copy of your health record the costs are
- Health records held totally on computer: up to a maximum of £10
- Health records held in-part on computer and paper: up to a maximum of £50
- Health records held totally on paper: up to a maximum of £50.
There is no charge to allow you to view your health record (where no copy is required):
All the above maximum charges include postage and packaging costs.
Once the data controller has all the required information, and fee where relevant, your request should be fulfilled within 21 days (in exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to comply within this period you will be informed of the delay and given a timescale for when your request is likely to be met).
In some circumstances, the Act permits the data controller to withhold information held in your health record. These rare cases are:
- Where it has been judged that supplying you with the information is likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of you, or any other person, or;
- Where providing you with access would disclose information relating to or provided by a third person who had not consented to the disclosure. This exemption does not apply where that third person is a clinician involved in your care.
When making your request for access, it would be helpful if you could provide details of the time-periods and aspects of your health record you require (this is optional, but it may help save practice time and resources and reduce the cost of your access request).
If you are using an authorised representative, you need to be aware that in doing so, they may gain access to all health records concerning you, which may not all be relevant. If this is a concern, you should inform your representative of what information you wish them to specifically request when they are applying for access.
GPs have ethical obligations around how patient records are shared, and should explain to patients, in broad terms, the implications of making a Subject Access Request so they can make an informed decision on whether they wish to exercise their rights under the Data Protection Act.
If you have any complaints about any aspect of your application to obtain access to your health records, you should first discuss this with the clinician concerned. If this proves unsuccessful, you can make a complaint through the NHS Complaints Procedure by contacting the Practice Manager.
Alternatively you can contact the Information Commissioners Office (responsible for governing Data Protection compliance)
Tel 01625 545745 or via the website
All complaints will be acknowledged within five working days and we will aim to provide a full response within a further 10 working days.
If a complaint is made verbally to the practice, this will be documented and you will be asked to confirm in writing that you agree with what has been recorded.