Subject Access Requests
You have the right to get a copy of the personal information that is held about you as a patient or your child. This is known as a subject access request and you must make this request in writing by completing an application form and sending to:
Access to Health Records Department
Download the Subject Access Request application form here.
How does it work?
You can ask the organisation you think is holding your information, using or sharing it, to supply you with copies of both paper and electronically scanned records and other related information, i.e. x-rays and colour photographs.
However it is important to remember that not all personal information is covered and there are ‘exemptions’ within the Act which may allow an organisation to refuse to comply with your subject access request in certain circumstances.
The organisation has to reply to your request within 40 days, starting from the day they receive both the fee and the information they need to identify you and the information you need.
If an organisation reasonably needs more information to help them find your information or identify you, they have to ask you for the information they need. They can then wait until they have all the necessary information as well as the fee before dealing with your request.
Can the organisation withhold any information?
Yes. There are some circumstances where the information you have asked for contains information that relates to another person. Unless the other person gives their permission, or it is reasonable in all the circumstances to provide the information without permission, the organisation is entitled to withhold this information.
There are other circumstances where the organisation can withhold information under the Act. For example, if it would put at risk a criminal investigation or catching an offender. If you want more information on the circumstances when information may be withheld in this way, please visit www.ico.org.uk
Is there a charge?
Organisations charge a fee for this service from £10 to a maximum of £50 depending on the number of pages and CD’s provided. Medical photography is charged depending on the format you request. Please let us know which option you’d like when you make your application, and that you accept the charge:
- Option 1 – Black and white photocopies of medical photographs at a cost of a few pence per A4 sheet. There is a sliding scale for copied records under the Data Protection Act (1998) which starts from £10 and rises to a maximum of £50. If you choose this format, the copies will be counted as photocopied sheets of A4 paper and will be added to the total of all paper copied records provided.
- Option 2 – Professional colour prints at a cost of £3.78 (plus VAT) per A4 glossy sheet – up to 10 colour images can fit onto an A4 glossy sheet. If you want colour prints, please specify how many you want printed on each A4 sheet, bearing in mind that the size of the image will impact upon clarity of detail. Please note we cannot print photographs taken on more than one date on any single A4 glossy sheet, i.e. each episode must be printed onto a separate A4 glossy sheet or set of sheets. Images in this format are not photocopied records, and are not subject to the £50 cap set by the Data Protection Act (1998).
- Option 3 – A CD at a cost of £6.00 (plus VAT). If several episodes of photography are involved, a fee of £3.10 per episode will apply. Images in this format are not photocopied records, and are not subject to the £50 cap set by the Data Protection Act (1998).