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TOPIC: Applying for medical records

Applying for medical records 1 month 3 weeks ago #170794

Just a heads up for anyone applying for medical records such as counselling reports from angencies connected to your local NHS or GP. When I asked for copies of records I have had to wait up to six weeks for them to arrive, so if you need reports to support your application make sure give them plenty of time. I was pleased to find on the second occasion that the fee had been dropped but may not be the case every time.
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Applying for medical records 1 month 3 weeks ago #170860

Adding (hopefully!) to Peter's post, this may be useful (based on first hand experience).

Effectively, the request for medical records is a request under the Data Protection Act. The statutory time limit for provision of data is 40 days. Where medical records are concerned, health authorities can charge a fee of up to £50. The normal maximum is £10 but there is an exception for medical records.

Exceptionally, an authority can refuse to reveal records where, in its opinion, the data is regarded as potentially harmful. However, if you are not a CURRENT patient, this exception should not (normally) apply.

If a health authority / GP practice doesn't comply with a request, the only practical option is to approach the Information Commissioner's Office (google for website). The assistance given is hugely variable and they won't always help.

In my case, I wanted records to pursue a complaint against a health authority. I didn't get charged but they did play silly billies with the time it took. Although the ICO indicated it was up to me to take my own legal action, they did make a telephone call to the authority in question which seemed to have the desired effect. The complaint? Still outstanding after more than two years and now with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman for the second time. That as they say is another story completely...
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