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As the results still showed a high iron count, I was told I required a referral to a Haematologist at my local hospital, and that I would receive an appointment letter in due course.At this point, I really wanted to be given access to my record so that should I need to chase up the appointment with the hospital, I could have to hand all of the correspondence and feel confident discussing it with the haematology department.To access the health records of someone who has died, you need to apply to the GP or Health Trust under the Access to Health Records (NI) Order 1993.
GP practices have a contract with the NHS to allow patients to see key sections of their GP record, including a list of their health problems, allergies, vaccinations, and medications – as well as their test results. It is, in fact, possible for you to see more data than this, including your letters and the details of the consultations you’ve had with your GP and any other medical staff.
Ultimately, the more you see, the better informed you are, saving both you and the practice time and work.
If you are accessing information on children you may need to confirm that you have parental responsibility.
Professionals may deem a child to have capacity to consent even if they are under 16 years of age and consent may be requested from children.
The information you request is usually provided free of charge but there may be a charge.
Under GDPR, the Trust or surgery has one month to respond to a request in writing.
If the request is more complex this can be extended by a further two months (three months in total).
If the records are held at a hospital, or a community setting, you should address the letter to your hospital's records manager.
Unfortunately for our friend, the GP wasn’t aware of how easy it is to share health records with patients.
Let’s hope the GP is now more informed and is encouraging other patients to take control of their own health records.