Access to health records

Access to health records

Author: BMA

Resource type :

This guidance sets out patient rights to records access, the potential benefits, and the legal background. It provides advice on preparing to provide records access and on good practice in recording information within the record.

Health professionals often receive requests from people who wish to access health records. These requests can include requests from patients to view or obtain copies of their own health record using GDPR subject access request rights or the requests might come from third parties, such as the police. Sometimes the requests are for access to the records of deceased patients.

The guidance covers the following areas:

  • defining a health record
  • advice on record-keeping
  • subject access requests
  • requests for access on behalf of others
  • requests by the police
  • requests by insurers
  • requests for access to the records of deceased patients
  • records retention
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