More information on access to healthcare records

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives patients, or their authorised representative, the right of access to health records.  This is known as “Rights of Subject Access” and applies to the medical records about a living individual.

Access to the medical records of deceased patients is covered by the Access to Health Records Act 1990, and the personal representative (executor or administrator of the estate) of the deceased, or any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient’s death may apply for access to the relevant parts of the records. 

You will not be able to see parts of the records which:

  • Could cause serious harm to your/another’s physical or mental health
  • Could identify another person (except NHS staff who have treated the patient), unless that person gives permission
  • The patient excepted would be kept confidential.  You will not be able to see the records of someone who made it clear that they did not want other people to see their records after their death.


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