Does anyone know if the NHS can charge £50 for medical records even if you are out of work and on disability and incapacity?

Hi everyone, a quick question regarding medical notes. I have been ill for over 6 years now and misdiagnosed practically all my life as having mental health problems when instead it was Hashimotos, Diabetes and PCOS. I recently asked the receptionist at my surgery if I could get a copy of my medical notes of which her reply was why? When I stated it was private she told me well you will have to pay the minimum of £50 and got quite nasty about it. I was just wondering if this was true or not?

Thanks Libby


13 Replies

  • They may charge you and i believe it's capped at £50. I have never heard of anyone actually being charged this though, it's usually a nominal amount.

    I would put the request in writing - she might not be so bold about stating £50 in writing.

    Once you have the letter, if they still want to charge that, write again and ask for a reduction on the basis you are unemployed.

    If they still play games, make a request to go and view your records, i've done this. You can then go and read through all your notes, however, in my case this did not include print outs of tests. Still it was interesting as i came upon a nasty email a doctor had written years ago about my physical appearance, can you believe that?

    I for one do not suffer from white coat syndrome; Drs are not gods, they do not have higher levels of integrity than the rest of us. In fact the NHS gps are downright incompetent in my experience.

    I appreciate £50 is alot when you dont have it but it would be worth it just to get ownership of your information so that you can move forward

  • I saw mine some years ago. There was a horrible letter from a woman I saw when I was on anti depressants. She twisted everything I said, and what she was writing about was supposed to be confidential too. She really damaged my relationship with my GP. She told me I wasn't depressed just sad and to "deal with it".

    I've never felt well enough, mentally, even after all these years to go and confront what she wrote. It had lots of things wrong in it, factually. I was always afraid that other doctors would see it and judge me. One day I'll go and ask for it to be taken out under Data Protection Laws as it has so many mistakes. And if I can't then I'll put my own explainatory note in there to go with it.

    This is a reason I don't want my records going into an online system. Who knows what doctors and nurses have written about you! And from my experience it wasn't the doctor who I didn't get on well with that wrote nasty stuff about me but someone unexpected (but which explained the telling off I got from my own GP at the time. I was in floods of tears and my dad saw me and went and spoke to him, that's how I did get some limited help)

  • Thanks so much blue daffodil, you are so right G.Ps are not gods but do act as such not sure what that makes surgery receptionists but many of them have definitely had a personality bypass!

    Great advice about writing a letter and viewing my notes.

    Your a star for replying...thanks



  • Here's info on how to access them:

    and also about NHS fees:

    When you write to them I suggest you also say what the receptionist told you and that she should have retraining because she shouldn't question your right to see them and she was totally wrong about it being "minimum £50".

  • Thanks so much for all your helpful information totoro. It's just what I needed. Am appalled to hear about the cruelty you experienced at the hands of so called professionals, you are really brave to have come through all that. I have to say I am.nervous about what I will see on my notes especially after over a decade of mental health treatment. Will soldier on though as know what, why and when I started to get mistreated.

    Lots of love



  • Hi Libby

    I hear you and I empathise totally with you I am "In the Same boat" as you. I requested my records and they charged the maximum £50. I was floored when I read mine emotionally and am still trying to come to terms with what the one GP wrote to cover up her negligence. I cannot even look at the building now. I am disgusted that they have the power to literally write whatever they feel like and I mean that literally. I am also trying to find the emotional strength to have my record amended and if not want my version inserted on my record. I was literally "Gobsmacked" on many others. I have told my Psychiatrist of what I intend to do and know that will have been forwarded to my GP practice as they have connections with the community mental health trust. I have been to hell and back with them and I have been forced to E Mail my version of appointments after receiving Assessment notes after monthly visits. I was given because of this a diagnosis (after requesting one) Depression , possible anxiety disorder and wait for it Border line personality traits.As you can imagine I was absolutely floored emotionally and where I got the strength from I don't know but I said to him.infact begged him not to do that to me!!!!!! I asked him what do you mean traits??? he said you have 2 Miss trust of health services !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and I even said to him Dr ....... if you are a God fearing man you won't do that to me because everything I have said is the Gods honest truth and I have suffered at the hands of services and you know it. The other one he says is Dissociation. I was on Fluoxetine and had not slept for days, was exhausted emotionally and physically, Emotionally I was on shut down and was sent from the drug trial to A&E. I recall sitting there for 4 hours in a zombie like state. I was there but not there emotionally. Looking back I was probably suffering a thyroid related effect and emotional distress. He also says I have chunks of my life missing. how does he know??????? did he live my life also. I had a very abusive childhood but how does he know what memories I have blocked off???

    I feel we all need to request our records to see what they contain especially if you have had cause to not be a "Yes Sir No Sir ^ patient.

    Hugs Libby I have heard many similar stories and you are not alone x

  • Hi Jacaranda,

    Firstly to say wow what a fighter you are, despite being through the most awful negligent treatment from the NHS you are a very strong person to persist in seeing and contesting your medical notes.

    I,like you, am worried about what I may see, I have had every mental health label from hypochondria to personality disorder thrown at me and had accepted whatever they told me until I uncovered all my physical health problems and now know their previous labels to be a misdiagnosis. Try not to let yourself get upset about these labels, I know they are hurtful but remind yourself you are the best expert on yourself and they are eager to throw labels at people especially when there are big drug companies and profit involved.

    I am sorry to hear of your treatment, it angers me to say the least but I believe, like me, you are strong and will defy all their wrongful conclusions.

    Good luck with it all and thanks for your caring response.

    Love Libby


  • You are entitled to have your records, 50 pounds is the cap, they can't charge you any more than that. They have up to 40 days to get them for you.

    You can ask to call in and see your records and only have copies of certain bits which may cost less. They would arrange a staff member to do this with you.

    I was charged recently 50 pounds for all of mine and again for hubbys. Make sure you ask blood results included. Mine were full of inaccuracies, including a grown back ovary lol that was removed yrs ago. Doh !!

  • Hi Twinks,

    That is alarming to know that medical notes are full of inaccuracies and great advice for asking for blood tests results too. Its an interesting point about going into the surgery to view them, I am not sure this will be suitable as I am sure they will be full of upsetting material and since our receptionist is like one of Hitlers henchman I do not relish the idea of having her stand over me. If they want to charge me the full wack so be it, I am desperate to find out why,what and when I got so misdiagnosed that it cost me years of my life. Knowledge is power and all that.

    Thanks for your response

    Love Libby


  • I request mine, usually on a 2-year basis and for which I am charged £30. Surely in this day and age and with the available technology, the GP could and should provide the patient with recent records following a consultation. This could also put the onus on the patient to be responsible for keeping a record of his/her own medical developments.

  • I agree beaumoa, it seems to me as if they do not really want people accessing their medical records or else it would not be such an effort.

    Thanks for your reply

  • Good luck to you Libby with your quest for information. I think it's useful to know what's on there as it might be of use to you in the future.

    I have a very helpful GP so recently when I went to see my back notes,(I wanted to know when I had started thyroid medication and what the TSH was at the time as it was around 16 yrs ago and I needed the info), I decided to just ask to see the written records, not the computer ones from that surgery.. This was beyond the 10 yrs I had been with that surgery and so in my case it was 50 yrs worth. I sat with the surgery manager who got quite fidgety after the first half hour, but I was determined I was going to read them all! It took me about an hour, and I just made a few notes.

    Interestingly, going back about 40 yrs I found 2 written entries where they had confused me with my mother and put her record on my notes - I know this as I recognised the tranquiliser she was prescribed in the 1960s.

  • Hi Agapanthus,

    You sound as if you have a great G.P hold on to them! The mistake on your written records seems quite common, so I am a bit apprehensive to see mine, but maybe to save myself money I will ask to be able to read them in surgery if they have not all been transferred to the computer system.

    Thanks for your reply.



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