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Accessing patient records

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Accessing patient records

I have recently got access to my on-line GP records but they only go back as far as when I joined this particular practice.

 

I have been told by the practice admin that if I want a physical copy of the online records (what is the point of that?) it would cost £10 but it will cost £50 for the full record they have both online and on paper which seems rather excessive.

 

According to this link I can request to see the records by appointment free of charge. Has anyone done this? Are you given enough time to fully read them? And, more importantly, can you make written notes of details contained within?

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5 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Accessing patient records

Nope, never done it however from my POV £50 is a bargain considering the size of my medical files. Last time I saw them the poor nurse was struggling to carry them. I'd hate to be the poor soul who has to photocopy that lot..

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Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Accessing patient records

I have never asked for my notes as both the GP and practice nurse actually turn the screen to me when explaining the results of any test but regarding access to your medical notes I would have thought there should be no problem in looking at them and copying things from them.

If you have a modern phone you might even be able to take photographs of full pages, unlikely you would want a copy of every page.

The only time I would consider paying £50 for a full set of notes is if I was intending to take some legal action in respect of my treatment (or lack of treatment)

I cannot see how a time limit could be set on how long you were allowed to look at the notes providing it was within surgery hours however with physical notes someone may need to be with you when reading them in case you removed a page or two.....not that you would....but some people might !

rongtw
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Re: Accessing patient records

i have a similar problem Mav ,, i have moved GP but now i cannot see past records from Last GP Roll eyes

where i had Full access ,, with no cost .

I am waiting now for NHS to trasfer it over for Systemonline

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Jonpe
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Re: Accessing patient records

I remember when the Access to Medical Records Act came in, and it was stated that you had the right to have someone explain anything you didn't understand.  With handwritten records a lot of us wouldn't be able to understand the ordinary English words bearing in mind doctors' reputation for poor handwriting.  Some doctors have been known to use unofficial (and sometimes offensive) abbreviations, e.g. PIA (pain in the 'backside') which in this case is not one of the patient's symptoms; such unprofessional record keeping has hopefully stopped now that patients are reading their notes.

I wonder if the £50 fee could be challenged in the same way the banks' overdraft fees were.  You may remember the courts decided that banks were only allowed to charge what it cost them to write to you (£4.50 rather than £35 I seem to remember the figures were at the time).

If your medical file consists of a dozen pages of paper that need to be photocopied, £50 seems a bit steep, but if it's several hundred pages, it's a bargain.  Transmitting an electronic file of any size should cost very little.

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Re: Accessing patient records

From the link in the OP:

If you have asked to see a copy of your records, they should be written out in a way you can understand. This means that abbreviations and complicated medical terms should be explained. If you still don’t understand any part of the record, the health professional who is holding the record should explain it to you.

I wonder if that really happens in practice (excuse the pun).

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
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