Can I see my medical records?

There is a legal obligation to keep your medical records, whether they are NHS or private medical records, and everyone has the right to see their records.

You do not always need to make a formal written application if you want to see your records and there is nothing to prevent healthcare professionals from informally showing you your own records. You can therefore make an informal request to see your records during a consultation or by phoning your healthcare provider.

Copies of your records are however only supplied if a formal application has been made. This application needs to be made in writing specifying your personal details and the treatment to which the request relates; it does not however need to explain why you want to see your records. Your records will usually be provided free of charge.

Access to your records can however be refused if:

The record relate to, and identify, someone else;

When applying for another person’s records (for example a child’s), you would gain access to information they gave confidentially;

Healthcare professionals believe that information contained in the records would cause serious harm to your physical or mental health.

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