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How long does it usually take to get a medical record?

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How long does it usually take to get a medical record?

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
11 replies 670 views
tarlowehtarloweh Forumite
27 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
My local GP requires me to fill in a form, attach some ID and then drop it off. Then i will get either a printed medical record or have it sent to my email address, all free of charge. I chose to have it sent to my email address as it would be quicker and save paper, the records i asked for were for the last 10 years.

The problem is that i dropped this form off back in October 2019, it's been 3 months and i still havent received it. I rang in a few times last year and was told that they are short of staff and i will have it after Christmas. I feel as though i'm never going to receive it the fact it's taking longer than 3 months.

I am sure i have read somewhere that it is required to be done by law within 40 days but cannot find where i read that. Is it normal to wait this long and am i concerned for nothing?
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  • Spoonie_TurtleSpoonie_Turtle Forumite
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    Was it framed as a subject access request? It sounds like it *was* an SAR but it also sounds like they may well have forgotten their duty ...

    https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/time-limits-for-responding-to-data-protection-rights-requests/
    If you exercise any of your rights under data protection law, the organisation you’re dealing with must respond as quickly as possible. This must be no later than one calendar month, starting from the day they receive the request. If the organisation needs something from you to be able to deal with your request (eg ID documents), the time limit will begin once they have received this.

    If your request is complex or you make more than one, the response time may be a maximum of three calendar months, starting from the day of receipt.

    However I've never seen the complex = 3 months proviso before, and I've read about requesting medical records a LOT. I think they'd be hard pressed to prove your request is complex, as presumably your records are all in one place (or two at most, over set on computer and one set on paper) under your name!
  • Was it framed as a subject access request? It sounds like it *was* an SAR but it also sounds like they may well have forgotten their duty ...

    https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/time-limits-for-responding-to-data-protection-rights-requests/



    However I've never seen the complex = 3 months proviso before, and I've read about requesting medical records a LOT. I think they'd be hard pressed to prove your request is complex, as presumably your records are all in one place (or two at most, over set on computer and one set on paper) under your name!

    Yes it had to be a SAR, if you look on this page and download the form -

    https://digital.nhs.uk/about-nhs-digital/corporate-information-and-documents/publication-scheme/how-to-make-a-subject-access-request

    The section "How to make a request" allows you to download the form. This form is almost identical to the one i filled in.

    Thanks for pointing this out as i will also fill that form on the website too.
  • jack_pottjack_pott Forumite
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    I've been fighting for years to get some of my records. If they don't want you to have them you won't get them, and there isn't a fat lot you can do about it.
    I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.
    Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Spoonie_TurtleSpoonie_Turtle Forumite
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    tarloweh wrote: »
    Yes it had to be a SAR, if you look on this page and download the form -

    https://digital.nhs.uk/about-nhs-digital/corporate-information-and-documents/publication-scheme/how-to-make-a-subject-access-request

    The section "How to make a request" allows you to download the form. This form is almost identical to the one i filled in.

    Thanks for pointing this out as i will also fill that form on the website too.

    If you've filled in one already you should not have to fill in another one - you could simply politely remind them of their legal obligation (perhaps in writing, so they cannot ignore the nudge) and maybe even give them a deadline for a response otherwise you'll have to complain to the ICO
    https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-environmental-information-regulations/complaints/

    It depends how assertive you're feeling really ;) but they have failed in their legal obligation - even if they perhaps thought being short-staffed allowed them to extend the deadline (I doubt it actually would allow them) - by not communicating it to you. Depending on when exactly you put in the form, they may have already have completely and utterly failed their obligation by going beyond the 3 months they may or may not have been able to justify.
  • jack_pott wrote: »
    I've been fighting for years to get some of my records. If they don't want you to have them you won't get them, and there isn't a fat lot you can do about it.

    For years? what is their reason for not giving it to you? surely it's required by law for them to send it to you.
    If you've filled in one already you should not have to fill in another one - you could simply politely remind them of their legal obligation (perhaps in writing, so they cannot ignore the nudge) and maybe even give them a deadline for a response otherwise you'll have to complain to the ICO
    https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-environmental-information-regulations/complaints/

    It depends how assertive you're feeling really ;) but they have failed in their legal obligation - even if they perhaps thought being short-staffed allowed them to extend the deadline (I doubt it actually would allow them) - by not communicating it to you. Depending on when exactly you put in the form, they may have already have completely and utterly failed their obligation by going beyond the 3 months they may or may not have been able to justify.

    I was actually thinking of filling in the website form because it gets sent to a different department (hospitals etc) and not GP, may do that in future.

    I will ring them at the end of this month and by then it's 3.5 months! if they are still making excuses then i will send a letter in, what sort of deadline is good, maybe 30 days? I may speak to practice manager as well.
  • Spoonie_TurtleSpoonie_Turtle Forumite
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    tarloweh wrote: »
    I was actually thinking of filling in the website form because it gets sent to a different department (hospitals etc) and not GP, may do that in future.

    I will ring them at the end of this month and by then it's 3.5 months! if they are still making excuses then i will send a letter in, what sort of deadline is good, maybe 30 days? I may speak to practice manager as well.

    If you're happy to give them 30 days then that's more than reasonable, they couldn't possibly object. Good idea to speak to the practice manager :)
  • jack_pottjack_pott Forumite
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    tarloweh wrote: »
    For years? what is their reason for not giving it to you? surely it's required by law for them to send it to you.

    Ultimately you have no right to your records, and no right to know why. The loophole is Section 5 paragraph 1 of the Access to Health Records Act 1990:

    "Access shall not be given...to any part of a health record..which, in the opinion of the holder of the record, would...cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of any individual"

    Section 8 provides for legal action, but if the NHS present the judge with a plausible sounding excuse for withholding, you and your solicitor aren't allowed to know what it is, so how would you go about challenging it?

    My records contain a 27page MDT report on my bowel tumour. I have been given pages 1 & 27, which are just header and tail, but the 25 pages of clinical data have been withheld. Their excuse for this is that those pages are all blank.

    This is what happens if you complain to the Information Commisioner:

    Okr9pqF.jpg

    I pointed out that they have the power to raid the premises of data controllers: "Oh, that's only when the law has been broken".

    You don't say why you want your records, but if it's anything to help with a complaint, I can guarantee you won't be given anything useful.
    I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.
    Friedrich Nietzsche
  • jack_pottjack_pott Forumite
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    they couldn't possibly object.
    They don't need to object, they can just ignore you. Nobody's going to hold them to account.
    I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.
    Friedrich Nietzsche
  • onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
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    jack_pott wrote: »
    Ultimately you have no right to your records, and no right to know why. The loophole is Section 5 paragraph 1 of the Access to Health Records Act 1990:

    "Access shall not be given...to any part of a health record..which, in the opinion of the holder of the record, would...cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of any individual"

    Section 8 provides for legal action, but if the NHS present the judge with a plausible sounding excuse for withholding, you and your solicitor aren't allowed to know what it is, so how would you go about challenging it?

    My records contain a 27page MDT report on my bowel tumour. I have been given pages 1 & 27, which are just header and tail, but the 25 pages of clinical data have been withheld. Their excuse for this is that those pages are all blank.

    This is what happens if you complain to the Information Commisioner:

    Okr9pqF.jpg

    I pointed out that they have the power to raid the premises of data controllers: "Oh, that's only when the law has been broken".

    You don't say why you want your records, but if it's anything to help with a complaint, I can guarantee you won't be given anything useful.

    We requested my mum’s notes after a misdiagnosis and some really poor care. They sent everything, including the stuff that made them look really bad.

    If they aren’t sending yours maybe they are being truthful as to why?
  • jack_pottjack_pott Forumite
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    If they aren’t sending yours maybe they are being truthful as to why?

    And maybe pigs fly. There's a whole community of us who know from personal experience of the corruption in the NHS, and it might surprise you, but we talk to each other, and see the same things happening over and over again. We're also very familiar with being gaslighted by the NHS and their apologists.

    I counted something like a hundred assorted blank and unused forms and documents among all my records, why is the MDT report the only one withheld on those grounds? Why would being blank be grounds for withholding a document? Where does the Access to Health Records say that?

    You must think I'm the village idiot.
    I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.
    Friedrich Nietzsche
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