Are our test results and reports REALLY ours?

Asking this on a few sites guys...

In response to a requst for the report of an ultrasound scan, which was clear, I was told that "it is not The health trusts policy" to issue reports and scan results. She then gave me a verbal report and said that that was exactly what she would say.

What amunition do I have to squash this type of response?

Is it a legal thing? Proof please.

All responses gratefully received

As always



Last edited by

39 Replies

  • Yes it most definitely is legal that you are allowed access I am not sure of the laws though. However I have just told doctors I would make a subject access request before, then they know you will be given it so they do it for you then. As you have had your appointment to I would phone the hospital they will send you a form and as long as you apply within 6 weeks it is free. One time they did not send me results and I kept asking so in the end I phoned the hospital, by then as it was over 6 weeks you are meant to pay ten pounds but I said I would not as I had plenty of emails to prove I had requested the results. They immediately just posted them out. Hope that helps

  • I'm no expert but I think we have a legal right to have access to our medical records. You might be charged the cost of photocopying and a bit of admin but they are yours by right.

    According to NHS Choices website they say:

    "If you want to view your health records, you may not need to make a formal application. Nothing in the law prevents healthcare professionals from informally showing you your own records. You can make an informal request during a consultation or by phoning your GP surgery or hospital to arrange a time to see them".

  • and to add to what clivealive says the next section gives the legal position for the UK

    Formal requests under the Data Protection Act

    Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have a legal right to apply for access to health information held about you. This includes your NHS or private health records held by a GP, optician or dentist, or by a hospital.

    A health record contains information about your mental and physical health recorded by a healthcare professional as part of your care.

    If you want to see your health records, you don't have to give a reason.

    it then goes on to outline the process for making a formal application

  • total utter garbish, who does sh e think she is-- suffering from megalomania I think.. I have all mine and goo d job I do- I even have a photograph of massive cholesteatoma removed, I paid to have all my records. prop because of the amount of photocopy. its your right!

  • Hi, yes you can legally request information held about you. It's called a Subject Access Request (under section 9 of the Data Protection Act, though don't quote me on that). It will cost you £10 but you can have everything they currently hold on you. However, I believe they do have the right to charge extra depending how far you want to go back and if the files are on paper for example.

    Good luck and I hope that helps!

  • Obliged guys


  • I had the same problem yesterday, I had bloods taken at the hospital in august and they still haven't been forwarded to my gp surgery so I rang up the Secretary to be told I couldn't have them. I told her I had access to all my other blood test results online which she said she had not heard of, said it was a breach of confidentiality for me to have access and asked how and who had given me access! I informed her it was nhs England via my gp surgery. She said the same thing as above, I couldn't have them and would have to make a formal request. It's ridiculous that they are so cagey over our own results! Good luck with your request.

  • I agree with and share your disbelief and outrage.

    If you go to Thyroid site, Lupus and Fibromyalgia sites on here please read the responses to this same question and see how few of us enjoy unfettered access to our records. Very informative, re legality, and helpful, strategy advice.


    I may do a poll on this for interest.


    You are not alone, and DO most certainly have the right to your records, as you will read above not least from Ken.


  • I just looked at the website for NHS hospitals in my area. They have a Health Records Office. It is made clear on the page that under the Data Protection Act 1998 a person is entitled to view or obtain copies of health and clinical records held by the NHS Foundation trust. There are charges listed for copie sof reports and scans/x-rays.

    Perhaps you could try searching for "Health Records" on the website for the NHS hospital trust in your area.

    It is not easy to see hospital medical reports in my opinion, much easier to get hold of medical records at GPs surgery. Is it possible that a letter about the scan was sent to your GP? In which case you should be able to view it or get a copy from GP surgery.

    If you are denied access to your records then your MP may be able to help.

  • Hey Sleepbunny

    Thanks for your informative advice.

    I recently had a CT scan because a gastro was concerned with the number of gastric symptoms I had. With so many autoimmune diseases she ended up opting for a CT because she had concerns about my pancreas, digestive system generally, Coeliacs in particular, my liver and the many other things wrong with me.

    Great hope, great anticipation. Her report came last week.

    FOUR LINES. Other than to say may organs were fine, and a cyst on an ovary seen (already known) she said I had patches of diverticulitis for which I was given no cause, no treatment but that was it. No detail that my villi were good in my gut, no assurance that pancreatitis had not been the cause of some problems, etc etc nothing but four lousy lines.

    Now glad that I am for good news, what do I do about the gut problem? Am I clairvoyant? Am I being encouraged to go to the internet?

    Who knows. I thought she really got it. Years of neglect.

    I had a call from the Godawful Plonker at the surgery, ditto. I asked for detail, she said even less.

    So that is why I want eyes on my own records.

    Best wishes


  • Did it say diverticulitis or diverticulosis? There's a big difference. Diverticulosis means that the walls of the large intestine (normally the descending colon) have small pouches. These normally give no symptoms at all and remain undetected until somebody looks. They become more common as we age. That's what I've got.

    If symptoms do appear (about 25% of people with diverticulosis will get them) then it's called diverticular disease. Symptoms can include intermittent left-side pain, constipation, bloating and diarrhoea.

    In diverticulitis these pouches become infected with bacteria and gives much more painful symptoms that tend to be continuous.

  • Wonderful information.

    I do look up all my conditions and research quite thoroughly to be my own informed advocate fbirder but my point is should it not be explained by consultant or GP not given a four line letter which tells me none of the above?

    Is it laziness or disinterest?

    Many thanks for your researched reply.

    Bless you


  • After my colonoscopy where the diverticulae were discovered (by me going - what on earth are all those huge caverns?) while I was recovering and waiting for my lift, I got given an information sheet that nicely explained the differences between the three conditions.

    The nice registrar who did it also explained while she was poking around up there.

  • "Lucky you" I think



  • "she said I had patches of diverticulitis"

    I thought gut disease can cause absorption difficulties and lead to deficiencies in some nutrients.

    Diverticulitis is listed as a possible cause of b12 deficiency in this link below. The person who runs this website can be contacted by e-mail.

    Do you have IBS symptoms? I wondered if you had been investigated for blind loop syndrome.

    "she had concerns about my pancreas, digestive system generally, Coeliacs in particular"

    Have you been diagnosed with Coeliac disease? Its possible to have Coeliac disease even if Coeliac antibody test comes back negative.

    Are you in a position to go private? Although this is no guarantee of better treatment it is at least a second opinion.

    HDA Patent Care trust

    Can the HDApct help you? They are a charity that offers free second opinions on medical diagnoses and treatment. They are usually quick to respond to enquiries. a full medical history may be required.

    HDA pct tel no 0207 935 8366

    HDA pct Online contact form

    I am not a medic just a person who has struggled to get a diagnosis.

  • Sleepybunny, exactly my point. I thought I had pancreatitis, gp wouldnt investigate.No gall stones! Had ultrasound on liver, oh look three floating gall stones! No investigation. Have I been tested for coeliacs? No ok will do that. Have lost weight, pale, anaemic feel really ill all this time. b12? All auto immune as I have 5 diseases ok lets do ct scan

    So you see though only part of the conversation I needed to discuss why each of the above discounted, but not one word. Frustrating.

    Thanks again. I name thee guru for the help and knowledgeable answers you give.

    Appreciate it more than words can say.


  • I'm a receptionist in a doctor's surgery. . You do have a right to your paper records .. Some surgeries charge for this but you can have them after payment is received

  • Diverticulitis is listed as a possible cause of b12 deficiency in this link below.

    I'm not sure how diverticulosis (which is what the link states) could cause a B12 deficiency. It tends to happens further down the gut than the ileum - which is where absorption happens.

  • Whoops thanks for pointing that out fbirder, I misread it.

  • Noted


  • You have a right to see a limited version of your medical records online called coded information. which your GP holds and can register you for it along with repeat prescription and appts. I am a bit worried that Catherine as a doctors receptionist does not seem to be allowing access online, but is also suggesting that paper records can be charged for. I have been told by a GP at a national level that practices cannot charge for copies of test results, which would be part of your records.

    Some hospitals do send copies of results of tests and scans to patients along with whatever they send to the practice, though sometimes that is limited. My GP showed me a letter they had sent following a CT scan which said 'we didn't find anything we didn't expect to find' which wasn't helpful for them and me!

    I was diagnosed with diverticular disease some time ago. Large numbers of older people have it, but other than a healthy diet they don't do anything unless you get inflammation, pain and fever. I have not had any problems after 10 yrs with it. Don't think it would affect B12 absorption.

  • You can only register for online access if your GP surgery offers that. Not all do. And the requirements vary among the constituent countries of the UK.

    The NHS information certainly suggests that there can be charges. We over on Thyroid UK have seen all too many patients charged up to £10 for a single sheet of paper containing just one set of results. (I think this is illegal and any charge should only be proportionate to their actual costs - say 10p.)

    Online access to your GP records is free of charge.

    The Data Protection Act gives you the right to see your health records by making a subject access request (SAR). No fee is charged to see your records but if you wish to take a copy away you may be charged. The charge will vary, depending on how the information is stored. The maximum charges are:

    £10 for records that are only held electronically

    up to £50 for those records that are not available in electronic form or only partially available electronic form

    For more detailed information about how to submit your SAR visit the GOV.UK website.

    By law, you're entitled to receive a response no later than 40 calendar days after your application is received, your identity is checked and any relevant fee has been paid. You will then receive an appointment to see your records.

    If you have asked to see a copy of your records, they should be written out in a form that you can understand. This means that abbreviations and complicated medical terms should be explained. If you still do not understand any part of the record, the health professional who is holding the record should explain it to you.

    On the ICO's website you can find advice about how to request your personal information or download the Subject Access code of practice guidance (PDF, 1Mb).

  • I did say that this only referred to England. Other countries are at different stages. Well over 90% of GP practices in England have the functionality to give their patients access to their coded information records online. This includes test results, and they should register patients for access if they ask.

    I sit on a national forum on this issue and practices are being monitored on levels of registration and usage by NHS England.

    Records held at hospitals would be a different matter, which I don't know enough about.

  • Sorry, I missed where you said "England".

    My English GP surgery utterly failed to offer access. They inadvertently enabled registration for it, but never made it available.

  • Thanks. I get charged £15 a time Helvella for a few month records.


  • thanks Chris

    I have paid twice for some records from my GP. These included all letters and test results so if asked I should think they would say the results are free.

    I always ask for reports and results at every apt with a consultant they always say yes. The four line letter is the most I have ever seen. Pathetic

    Thanks for the info on the bowel condition. I am having discomfort but doubt Ill be treated, why start now?

    B12 noted



  • If you look up the GPonline services explained under NHS Services/GPservices. It makes what you can expect clear. I am not good at links. Can you get repeat prescriptions and appts online. Its worth persisting and showing them what it says, They would need to give a good reason to refuse. Do you have patient participation group. Can you get them to raise the issue with the practice. Otherwise NHS England woul be interested!!

  • Yes - well aware that I should have expected online access.

    Yes - I could get repeat prescriptions (though am trying to remember the last time it worked without going through the process of turning up to collect and finding it had not been done - how can there be a system which has no way of telling the patient "Done" when it has been done?)

    I took the "nuclear option" - moved a long way away.

  • Should be reply to Chris above

    Again, Chris thanks. I see the difference now. Yes I am electronically registered though they wont allow me to order repeat prescriptions, have to get paper. Ive been told its cos my meds change all the time.

    I was triumphant when I received the papers but further depressed that they showed in black and white how neglegent they are GP. Time after time these letters ask for follow up, test for this, retest for that and to my certain knowledge none of these requests have been followed through so you can see the depth of my despair of ever getting treated seriously and concientiously for all my conditions. For eg a Lupus specialist asked in May for my anaemia to be investigated and I was handed an iron pill which I have not taken.

    Health anxiety? DO THEY REALLY THINK I AM BEGGING FOR YET ANOTHER DISEASE? I simply want what I have and may have investigated and explained properly. Its obviously too much to ask.

    Sorry for the sad rant, I was trying to not go into too much detail.

    Thanks Chris I have taken it all on board and now see the difference between paper, hospital records to GP and electronic, where I could see defamatory references to me which I believe have been noted due to disrespect etc shown.



  • Sorry you're having such a bad time. The current records you can have access to don't include what they call free text, which is what the doctor writes, so there wouldn't have anything defamatory about you!! What you can get at the moment includes test results and a description of what is happening eg referrals, injections medications etc.

    The fuller records are coming soon which is why GPs are getting jumpy.

    I can see that if your meds change they wouldn't put them online, it is useful really for people who have the same script all the time

  • Thanks for the sympathy Chris

    Further to all this my hubby has just come in from the GP. He asked for a copy of the blood test he had last week. He was point blank refused. Hearing all the responses I have had, he knew his rights but still no budge.

    Yeah dont mind re meds.

    Thanks, what a shame cant get GP notes must have misread a response. Academic really, weve just decided to jump ship to another practice.

    Yes they were investigated some months ago and got good. Wish Id spoken to them!

    I name you guru Chris for your care and depth of responses.

    You are one good egg!



  • He was point blank refused. Hearing all the responses I have had, he knew his rights but still no budge.

    Just out of principle I would put in an official Subject Access Request using the link given by helvella above. And I would ask for every single thing they hold electronically - you may as well get value for your tenner.

    Then, when you go in to ask for yours they may be in a less stroppy mood.

  • 😂😂😂😂

    Love your optimism fbirder.

    He has done now. He was told I will give it to a doctor...

    Watch this space

    Useless surgery filled with useless Great Plonkers!

    Expect the (he cant cope/not good for him) type response.



    Ps the reason for refusal


    4pm Pps phone call results ready!!!!

  • chris193, do you mean that 'free text' is omitted from all records provided to patients, or just the online version?

  • The information which they currently can provide online under the Patient Online Programme is what they call 'coded information' which fits into certain categories they have to complete, eg test results, referrals etc. I think there would be nothing to stop them showing free text and anything else to a patient, if they chose to, but they are not required to release it online at this point. That will be the next step.

    I hope that makes sense

  • Thank you.

  • Sounds like a pretty rubbishy practice in organisational terms. Wonder if they have had a CQC inspection yet. I did have some problems initially getting prescriptions, as it seemed a bit erratic. Works well now there is a duty doctor on each day who has the responsibility for making sure that scripts are done. They are now sent electronically to my pharmacist and they deliver it to me. Do they not have e -prescriptions? No probably not given everything else. You probably made a wise decision to move. Hope things are better now.

  • I'd 100% agree.

    I have never been offered e-prescriptions.

    [Mind, I want to keep paper ones forever. Having the paper in my hand allows me to go round as many pharmacies as necessary in order to get the make of levothyroxine I want. Many of us find that the three UK makes are not equivalent.]

  • "Ps the reason for refusal


    As far as I know the only reason a GP is allowed to refuse to give you records is if they feel it will cause you or another person harm.

    The Patients Association publish a leaflet called

    "How to obtain access to your medical records A patient’s guide"

    Patients Association Helpline Tel: 020 8423 8999


    Have you considered speaking to the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau)?

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