Medical Records - Primary Care Support England can only provide a copy of GP health records. Other parts of a patient’s health record may be held by hospitals, community or mental health trusts, as well as previous GP practices. We cannot provide access to these records, and you therefore may wish to apply separately to another health organisation. Click here.
Primary Care Support England does not store:
Patient GP Registration Information and demographic information - PCSE receive requests from a range of individuals and organisations to access demographic information including last known GP Practice. Click here.
On behalf of NHS England, the NHS GP Practice medical records for patients who have passed away should include information about:
Sometimes these records don’t always contain a full medical history.
PCSE will aim to process your application within 28 days and will update the applicant on likely timescales.
A record may not always contain the patient's full medical history. PCSE can only provide you with the information we hold.
If there are missing years, please contact the GP Practice where the patient was registered during the period you are missing the information.
PCSE will consult an appropriate health professional who will review the records and decide which records may be released.
There are certain circumstances in which the health professional may deny access to the complete records or to certain parts of the record:
The Health Professional has deemed notes not suitable for disclosure, as they are not within the scope of the request.
Where an individual other than the patient (and appropriate health professionals) could be identified from the information (unless the individual consents).
The deceased person stated that they did not wish for any part of their records to be released after death, or the information contained within the records was such that the deceased person expected them to remain confidential.
Access cannot be given to records made prior to November 1991.
If you wish to speak to someone regarding this, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 0333 014 2884.
To appeal a decision on disclosure please email email@example.com
Please ensure to include a statement as to why you wish to appeal the decision.
If your appeal is accepted, it will be passed to the NHS England Redaction team to review the initial decision.
This may happen if the NHSE Health Professional, in the process of disclosing the records, finds that the records are either incomplete or contain illegible notes.
This is because PCSE do not hold the notes in question and they are still retained with the last practice. You would need to direct the request to the last registered practice for the missing/illegible notes.
As the GDPR/DPA only applies to living individuals, the concept of a data controller does not apply to records for the deceased.
Practices remain legally responsible for copies of records retained on local systems. Where a practice retains a copy (be it paper or electronic) of a deceased patient’s record, they are legally obliged to consider it under AHRA. They may choose to direct applicants to PCSE, but must also be prepared to respond directly if an applicant insists on accessing data retained by the practice.
If there has been a practice merger since the patient has died, please contact the practice that it has been merged with.
When an application is received by the Access to Health Records team, the steps listed in this guide, click here, detail the process that the application will follow. Applicants who require an update at any stage of the application should contact our Customer Support Centre on 0333 014 2884.
GPs are legally obliged to follow the Access to Health Records Act 1990, as the GP is the record holder as per s3(2) of the Act. If a practice refused to process the request, the requestor should complain to the GP practice and/or raise the issue with NHS England, please see NHS England » Complaining to NHS England.
PCSE will process this request for you, click here.
Please note however, PCSE do not have access to the patient’s digital record and can only provide copies of a Health Record which we hold in storage.
There may be instances where parts of a person’s medical record may be held with Hospital, Community or Mental Health trusts, as well as any previous primary care practice(s). PCSE cannot provide access to these records, and you may wish to make a separate application to the relevant Health Organisation