Access to Medical Records

Background

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 give individuals (“Data Subjects”) rights to accessing information held about them held by organisations (“Data Controllers”). GDPR places obligations on data controllers to handle and manage information in a specific way. GDPR relates specifically to information relating to living individuals.

The Access to Health Records Act 1990 (AHRA) deals with the disclosure of deceased persons’ health records. Under the AHRA when a person dies, their personal representative, executor, administrator, or anyone having a claim resulting from the death, has a right to apply for access to the deceased’s health records. Where the record indicates that the deceased person did not wish their information to be disclosed, this must remain so unless a court order is obtained. The deceased patient’s health record access is provided on the basis of the request under AHRA as common law of confidentiality remains after a person is deceased.

For information about how we use your information please see our “What happens to my information?” page.

Principles

  • The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust firmly believes that patients have the right to know what has been written about them in health records held by the Trust.
  • This service should be available to you at a charge that solely reflects the cost of providing this access.
  • The Trust will always take steps to ensure that our policies for access to health records do not compromise patient confidentiality.

Applying to access your health records

You can apply to access your health records by writing to the Trust to request a standard application form.  You can write to:

  • Access to Medical Records, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital, Princess Royal Hospital, Grainger Drive, Apley Castle, Telford TF1 6TF
  • Access to Medical Records, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury SY3 8XQ

All applications to access health records must be made in writing and must include the signature of someone who is authorised to access the records.

Who has the right of access?

This right of access is mainly for the patient him/herself. This gives you the reassurance that your records are not accessed inappropriately.

There are certain circumstances where someone else may have the right to access your medical records:

  • Where you have given someone else permission to access your records and have given your consent in writing.
  • Where you are not in a position to give consent and are not capable of managing your own affairs – in which case the person responsible for managing your affairs will normally have the right of access.
  • In the case of a child, the parent(s) will normally have the right of access although this is at the discretion of the organisational holding the record.
  • Following your death, then your personal representative or the person managing your affairs will normally have the right of access to relevant parts of your health record.
  • There are also certain other rights of access laid down in law, where a legitimate request has been made as part of a criminal investigation. Information will normally only be provided with the consent of the individual concerned, but there are certain exceptions to this.

Applying to access your health records

All requests for personal information must be in writing, this form aims to make the process easier for you if you want to make a request for information that Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals (“the Trust”) holds about you or a deceased individual then please complete our Access to Health records form.

Under GDPR, this is called a Subject Access Request (SAR). Under the AHRA this form can also be used to request information about a deceased patient’s health records.

For us to release records we need to have proof of ID and assure ourselves of the legitimacy of the request. The Trust is not obliged to comply with a request unless we are supplied with such information as we may reasonably require satisfying ourselves of the identity of the requestor. There is no fee to pay for a first request. Subsequent requests may carry a charge.

You can apply to access your health records by writing, calling or emailing to the Trust to request a standard application form.  The contact details are:

  • Access to Medical Records, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital, Princess Royal Hospital, Grainger Drive, Apley Castle, Telford TF1 6TF

Tel: 01952 641222 Ext 4323 or 4413
Email: sth-tr.prhrfi@nhs.net

  • Access to Medical Records, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Mytton Oak Road, Shrewsbury SY3 8XQ

Tel: 01743 261000 Ext 3593
Email: sth-tr.rshrfi@nhs.net

All applications to access health records must be made in writing and must include the signature of someone who is authorised to access the records.

Statutory deadline

We will respond to your request within the statutory calendar month upon receipt of valid proof that you have legitimate rights to access the data.

Inspection of health records

If you would prefer to look through medical records rather than having copies, we will try to arrange this. We will still need to check the medical records to ensure that it is safe to proceed with disclosure. We will normally provide a room for you to view your health record. At this point you may wish to identify sections of your health records that you would like copies of rather than request a copy of your entire health record.

Freedom of information

This section of our website refers to your rights of access to information that we hold about your care and treatment.

If you are looking for corporate information (such as our policies and procedures) please refer to the Freedom of Information section of this website.