Health records contain information about your condition and any episodes of care and treatment you receive. Each time you have contact with services, having up to date information in your health record enables the clinician who sees you to make informed decisions about your care.

Your health record also provides evidence of the care you received that can be referred to if you have any questions about it afterwards.

You have a right to request access to your health record.

Who can apply to access health records?

Data Protection Law (The Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation 2018) gives people a right to access their personal health records. This is called a subject access request.

People can apply to access their own records or they can authorise any other person to access them on their behalf.

The Access to Health Records Act 1990 allows the personal representative of people who have died, and any other person who has a claim arising out of their death, to access health information relevant to that claim.

Your rights

As a service user you have the right to access and receive a copy of the personal health information that the Trust holds about you. 

You can apply to see your records yourself or you can give your consent for someone to request access to them on your behalf.

The Trust may withhold any information if:

  • In the Trust's opinion it would be likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of any person
  • It identifies information provided by a third party, other than a health or social care professional involved in your care, who has not consented to its disclosure.

The Trust does not have to provide records where the request for information is manifestly unfounded or excessive. If this situation arises, the Trust will contact you and agree with you a level of information that will satisfy your request.

If, when you receive your records, you think you may not have received all of your information, you can ask the Access to Records team to review your request.

If you think there are inaccuracies in your record, you can ask for corrections to be made. You are entitled to a copy of the correction or a copy of the holder’s comments if they dispute the correction and the record is not amended. You are entitled to add a note to the record stating that you do not agree with it.

If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled, please contact the Access to Records Team in the first instance. If you are not satisfied with the response, you can complain to the Complaints Team within the Trust.

If your complaint is not resolved, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Website: ico.org.uk

Patient confidentiality

Users of our services have a right to expect the Trust to maintain the confidentiality of their information.  This duty of confidentiality extends after a service user dies. 

The Trust is therefore obliged to be satisfied that the person requesting access to personal health information is either the service user or is otherwise entitled to have access to the service user’s records. 

When you make a request to access your record, you will need to provide proof of your identity. This includes photo ID and proof of your address. If you authorise someone else to authorise records on your behalf, the applicant will need to provide evidence that they are authorised to access the information, for example, a letter of consent from you or confirmation that they hold lasting power of attorney.

Where the service user has died, the applicant will need to provide evidence that they are the service user’s personal representative, for example, grant of probate or letters of administration. People with a claim against the estate of a deceased patient can gain access to information that is relevant to that claim. 

How long will it take to provide me with a copy of my records?

The Trust is required by law to review health information prior to disclosure. We endeavour to respond to requests within 30 days, but the General Data Protection Regulation allows the Trust up to three months to respond where records are complex and the Trust requires additional time to review, collate and supply the information.  

Access to the records of deceased people should be provided within 40 days (or 21 days where information was recorded in the 40 days preceding the date of application).

How will I receive copies of my records?

Records are currently provided electronically via email in a password protected document. If you do not have access to a computer and requires paper copies, please let the Access to Records team know and we can post the records out or they can be collected in person.

Will I be charged to access my records?

Records are provided free of charge, however, where the Trust complies with a request it considers to be manifestly unfounded or excessive, or where further copies of records already provided are requested, reasonable administrative charges can be made.

Further information about accessing my records

If you require further information about accessing your health records, you can contact the Access to Records team:

Telephone: 0114 271 6345

Email: sct-ctr.accesstorecords@nhs.net

Click here to download an application form.

Please return the completed form along with proof of your identity or authorisation to access records to Access to Records using the above email address if possible.

If you don't have access to an email address, you can post the form to: Access to Records, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, 45 Wardsend Road North, Sheffield, S6 1LX

Further information about Data Protection Law

Full details of the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 can be found at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Share this

Was this page useful?