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Accessing medical records


The Data Protection Act gives an individual the right to ask for a copy of the information an organisation holds about them – this right is commonly known as a subject access request (SAR). Subject access requests can be made as follows:

  • A request for information from health records has to be made with the organisation that holds the health records – the data controller. For example, the GP, optician or dentist.
  • For hospital health records, the individual should contact the records manager or patient services manager at the relevant hospital trust. You can find a list of hospital trusts on the NHS Choices website.

GP Health Records for un-registered or deceased individuals

NHS England is the data controller of GP health records where an individual is not currently registered with a GP or is deceased. To request access to your own health records or those of a deceased person, you will need to complete an application form. The application form and additional information about access requests are available to download. These documents explain your rights and how your application will be dealt with. Please take the time to read these carefully.

To receive a copy of a medical record, appropriate identification documents and a £50 fee must be provided. If you are making the application as an individual’s legal representative (e.g. a solicitor), we need to receive written authorisation from the applicant for you to act on their behalf and receive their medical record.

To make a request in these circumstances, please submit your requests to:
Primary Care Support England
3 Caxton Road

If you have any queries please email us at: pcse.accessrequests@nhs.net or call us on: 0333 014 2884.

You can find more information about accessing health records on the NHS Choices website.