ACCESSING YOUR MEDICAL HEALTH RECORDS
In March 2000, the Data Protection Act, 1998, replaced the Access to Health Records Act legislation. This gives people the right to see all information kept about them by any organisation. Under the Data Protection Act, patient’s can now see their health records from the day they were born.
A request can be made by:
- Parent or person with parental responsibility (parent can only do this with child’s consent) – proof of parental responsibility will be required if child lives at a different address
- Someone who cannot manage their affairs and where a person authorised in writing makes the application.
- In the case of a deceased patient, the patient’s personal representative or any other person who may have a claim arising from the person’s death1
- Court appointed representative
Patients have access to their written and computer records if requested, although the records may not be removed from the practice premises.
Assistance is given by the Practice Manager if access is required to the computer record and in this circumstance a member of staff will stay with the patient at all times.
How to access your records:
- Contact the Practice Manager in writing with your request.You will be able to view and/or have copies of your health records within 30 days of your request being made.
- No charge can be made to view information recorded within 30 days of an entry having been made to the record.
Refusal of request to see medical records:
The GP can refuse that you see the health record if they feel it would cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of the patient. The patient has the right to be advised about this refusal.
If you think your health record is wrong:
You may ask for it to be corrected.
If the health professional believes the information to be accurate then a note will be added indicating you disagree. If the health professional refuses to make a necessary correction a complaint can be made to the Health Service Commissioner.