Medical records - getting copies

Has anyone ordered up a copy of their medical records? I am being charged 33p a page and the bill is over £50 including a £10 admin fee, which is a downright cheek considering I have had to chase them at every turn.

Anyway, does anyone know if there’s a limit on what they should be charging? I’d have thought there might be a ceiling on it? It penalises those with “fat” records - I can’t help having a fat record just because they’re not yet living in the electronic age!!!

Someone must have been down this road before, if only to use their papers “in anger”.

D

Hi Dahlia,

I too have a ‘fat’ record - produce of 18 years treatment. I asked for a copy of my records about a year ago and I think the charge had a ceiling on it of £50 plus postage/admin. I don’t think the cost per sheet was quite so high. I dont think it is a cheek either - if everyone wanted copies of their records it would impose a huge burden on time and cost to the NHS. I also have been receiving copies for sometime now of all correspondence sent to my GP - which is a report each time I am seen in clinic and of course that comes at no cost to me.

Dawn

Thanks for posting this, Dahlia. I’ve been trying to get copies of my records for weeks and weeks. I only want to go back to 2005, the year I was diagnosed. I’ve spoken to the practice manager and she keeps making excuses, saying there are procedures to go through. I must phone her and I’ll do it today. I think they’re worried that I’ll sue them for misdiagnosis, as they’d been telling me I had fibromyalgia and ignored my umpteen requests for help with pain relief.

Good luck to us all.
xx

Dahlia, I had assumed you meant cancer related records, sorry if I have this wrong. GrannyScouse if it is your bc records you want - the best approach is through PALS at your hospital. They will have the forum you fill in to request your records.

dawnhc

Hi Dahlia

I work for a Prof in a hospital and don’t charge patients for having copies of their notes. You can actually ask to be copied into all correspondence. Put it in writing to your dr and they have to copy you in, that won’t cost anything.

Dawn

This link should help you Dahlia.

nhsdirect.nhs.uk/articles/article.aspx?articleId=1309

If your records have been updated in the last 40 days - that is, you have seen your GP, or another health professional, in the last 40 days, you’re entitled to see your records free of charge. However, if your records are held on a computer, there may be an administration charge of up to £10.

For a copy of older paper records, and results such as X-rays, you may have to pay photocopying and administration charges. These charges will be a maximum of £50 (in total). You should ask your surgery, or hospital, what they charge before you make a request.

Granny Scouse

ico.gov.uk/Home/what_we_cover/data_protection/your_rights/how_to_access_information.aspx

ico.gov.uk/what_we_cover/data_protection/the_basics.aspx

justice.gov.uk/civil/procrules_fin/contents/protocols/prot_rcd.htm

These sites should help you. The Doctor has 40 days to provide you with copies of your medical records!! If he fails to do this he is in breach of the data protection act.

Sounds like we all have different arrangements.

I’m a misdiagnosed BC case and taking it further. All paperwork from my GP Practice has cost me 33p per sheet. I doubt very much if many GP practices would offer this service free. However, you can ask to look at your records at the surgery but you are not allowed to copy or remove them - they have to do that for you (incase you tamper with the records) and I cannot see them doing this for nothing. . My hospital charged me around £45. Most of the paperwork I got from the hospital was about my chemo and rads etc and was of no benefit to my medical negligency case. However, I’m not sure if I would have been able to say which notes I didn’t want so I accepted the lot. It’s quite a costly business.

Best regards.

Jeannie

Dawnhc

No, my cancer records are separate, at the hospital, it was the other records I wanted to prove delayed diagnosis.

I’ve collected them now and see a letter, refusing me a mammogram, has not been copied. Fortunately I have kept the one I received at the time but I can see the GPs closing ranks. I know they can go through and decide what can and cannot be copied and then not tell you if anything has been omitted but I suppose if you go and look at them then they have to let you see everything that is on file?

Thanks for everyone’s responses. I paid over £50 so have emailed them to ask if they are exempt from the rule that says £50 max.

I like to keep them on their toes since they have never been of any support to me.

D

I struggled to get mine from hospital!

Because I too was mis dx

My BC nurse told me nobody had ever ever asked for them!!!
I don’t think so.
Cost me £30
But I still dont get new copies?

I eventually got them through pals,
Good Luck,
nic

Thank you for those links, RMW26. I’ve had a good read, and emailed PALS at both hospitals.

I’ve just spent an hour up at the surgery (well, between the surgery to collect prescription and cock-up at the pharmacy) and whilst I had a head of steam on me I managed to track down the practice manager. She was very apologetic and explained that I’d need to obtain written permission from the authors of reports before the GP could release them. However, she said she could print me out a profile of my records immediately. I went back to the pharmacy while she did it. When I came back, she’d left a very slim envelope for me. It was a page and a half of utterly useless info, only going back to last December when I’d asked for 2005 to present, saying I had BC with bone mets, hiatus hernia, that I was a non-smoker, light drinker (hahaha, I mustn’t have been too hungover when I told them that) and a bit of other stuff (mainly initials) which my nurse friend will interpret for me.

Still, it’s a start …

Good luck to us all.
xx

Dahlia the advice you have had is correct. Under the Freedom of Information Act you are entitled to copies of all medical records for a top price of £50. Hospital Trusts are not allowed to filter out stuff they do not want you to see.
Look at your Trust’s website and find out who is in charge of data protection and then tell them what you want. The Prof’s secretary is also correct - I get copies of all letters sent to my GP. As a retired nurse teacher I can quickly pick things up but important details often come up in the GP letters. I know some patients don’t want know everything - but I do. Knowledge is power; and lack of knowledge and uncertainty increases stress.

Hi everyone,

I obtained my hospital medical records in 2003 by filling in a form and paying around £40. The trust was obliged to send them within 40 days. I obtained my GP surgery medical records by writing to the surgery and asking if I could come in and see my records and use their photocopier to copy anything of interest. We arranged a suitable time and I took my passport as proof of identity. They gave me an office to look through the records, allowed me to use the photocopying and didn’t even charge for the paper.

Everyone is allowed to see their own medical records but may need to write to the surgery to explain that they would like to do so beforehand and arrange a suitable time. Indeed I’d recommend that everyone does this once in a while.

If you’re worried about cash you could always take along a digital camera and photograph any crucial letters.

Best wishes,

Sue

Hi all

Sorry to be raising this again. I got the copy of my records and coughed up £52.90 (33p a page) and then discovered the £50 ceiling so I am trying to get my £2.90 back - I wouldn’t have bothered but my surgery have been no support to me from the time I was refused a mammogram (diagnosed 4 months later) in 2005, to making me wait 7 days for appointments whilst undergoing chemo, to now.

When I got the records home I went through them all and discovered some duplicates and was all for getting back my 33p per page when I realised some stuff was missing. I then arranged to go to the surgery with my copies wihilst one of the receptionists sat at a PC and we found all the missing letters which she subsequently copied and now thinks she owes me nothing. I have had to argue down the phone that the omissions were THEIR doing and that I insist on having my £2.90 back - it’s now a matter on principle.

Question is, if I want anything copied since the last item I received, are they entitled to charge me 33p a copy again or their minimum £10 admin fee?