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Legal Position with Regards to Medical Records

ITLSusanITLSusan Posts: 74
I wasn't sure where else to put this - wanted to make it public rather than send a private message as others might have experience or knowledge that can help.

Does anyone know what the position is with regards to getting access to medical records - PRIVATE physios etc - I know I have a right to request NHS records.

Do I have a legal right to copies of notes kept by private health professionals?


  • SloshSlosh Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have seen both an Orthopaedic Consultant and an Occupational Therapist privately and both sent me written reports. I would expect it, after all you are paying for their services.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • ITLSusanITLSusan Posts: 74
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Slosh.

    I'm trying to build up a clear and accurate picture of the progression of my OA since first diagnosed in 2006. So I'm talking about historical records.

    I know that by law they have to keep records for 6/7 years - can't remember which. But anything after that do I have a legal right to see? This isn't doctors, but physios, chiros etc.
  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 2,072
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Susan,

    I hope this information from NHS Choices answers your question. It explain that your rights are the same whether you are requesting records from NHS or private health services: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1309.aspx.

    If you think it would be worth getting legal advice on this subject, you may be able to get advice from your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) www.citizensadvice.org.uk or (if you live in England) from your local Healthwatch: www.healthwatch.co.uk.

    Best wishes,

    Rachael, Helplines Team
  • ITLSusanITLSusan Posts: 74
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Exactly the info I needed - and more!

    Thank you Rachael
  • ITLSusanITLSusan Posts: 74
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I thought I'd update this just in case anyone surfing for similar info comes across it.

    Of the people I've contacted for records the diagnosing surgeon simply sent me the letter that he sent to my doctor. I'm pretty sure he should have records too but he didn't send me them.

    One physiotherapist offered to write me a report for £60 - which is ABOVE the legal amount she can charge. She says I wouldn't be able to read her notes as they're in shorthand.

    One physiotherapist, after ignoring my first request, agreed to send a copy of the notes (he only agreed when I told him I wanted to send the info to the Doctor in charge of GP training at the research center). that was nearly a month ago. I've sent him two reminders. The first time he said he'd get it to me within 14 days. The second time his secretary replied to say he was on holiday. I said I'd send another reminder in a fortnight. In her reply the story changed from 'holiday' to off sick. I asked why she couldn't send me a copy. She told me I wouldn't be able to read the writing so he'd have to write it out for me.

    I'm not sure if they're covering up for the fact that what the wrote in their notes was proven to be wrong, or whether they didn't actually keep notes - which is against the law.

    They are legally obliged to provide the info within 40 days.

    If I persist they'll probably try hitting me with the maximum charge which is £50 each. Which I wouldn't mind in the least. However, I expect from the way they're behaving and the excuses they're making that the information is going to be fabricated. So a waste of my money.

    Lesson learned: ALWAYS request a copy of the notes at the time of the treatment. In that case they can't charge you. You never know when you might find it valuable in the future!
  • hileena111hileena111 Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    All I know is I am copied into all NHS letters no matter who I see. I get the copy of the letter they send to the GP
    I've got full access to my medical records that the GP's have......some people have partial access but a couple of us got full access in a trial.
    Don't know if that's any help
  • ITLSusanITLSusan Posts: 74
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Hileena - that is helpful to know :)
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