Asking for medical records

Hi folks, After much deliberation I've decided to get my medical records. I'm nervous though; what's written down, what's missed out, what's shredded. I do know that a period c. 1979 to 1982 is missing & was unable to track it down. However, I'm concerned that I will be questioned as to the reason I want them. I'm sure they will be suspicious. Do I have a legal right to them?

26 Replies

  • Yes you do indeed have the legal right to see your medical records and no one should question you on why you want to see them because you have the right to view them. Also just letting you know before hand, you will indeed be very surprised at what you might see written down by all the doctors and specialists you may have seen in your lifetime.

  • It would definitely be good to see what's been written by people who may have just seen you a couple of times and palmed you off with 'something or other' but never got to, or even thought of, an actual cause.


    Hope a;ll goes well :-)

  • Hi,

    link about accessing health records,

  • marigold,

    You have a legal right to see your medical records.

    If you register online you will be able to see your GP records and test results online (a bit like online banking.).

    Each GP surgery is making this info available at different times so you will need to speak to the practice manager and if available yet request an online registration number. More info at


    Accessing your medical records


    You have a right to see your medical records under the Data Protection Act 1998. Guidance on The Data Protection Act 1998 can be found at:

  • What if you disagree with anything written down?

  • Yeh, thats the risk.

    If its factually wrong, it must be changed but opinions are opinions and most doctors don't share ours.

    I haven't looked at mine (yet ! ! ..) ... have you got yours shaws ? ? ....

  • I can well guess :) I have been diagnosed with things I didn't have and remained undiagnosed with things I did have!

    No doctor ever diagnosed, or thought of, hypo.

    It was a First Aider who put me on the right track when, for the third time in three years he had to take me to hospital because I was very unwell.

    The Hospital discharged me - probably being a time-waster.

  • shaws,

    There is a section on the info sheet that states ....[.. If you see someone else's information in your record, please log out immediately and let your surgery know asap .... ] ... worrying or what ! ? ! ? .....


    Perhaps we SHOULD look to ensure there is no one else's info in our medical records. Perhaps my doctor is treating me for an ingrowing toenail or something. No wonder T3 is so hard get ! ....

    I pity the poor person who mistakenly gets ALL my medical crap on their medical records .... ;o))) ....

  • That sentence says it all! Beware some could have access to your records. So it's insecure in the first place - not confidential. What if someone has the same name as you also.

    If you did look at your records can you request changes to be made if you don't agree.

  • shaws,

    I don't know but presume if would need further discussion.

    These risks are there whether we access the online service or not.

  • Yes Radd you are correct - the risks are there.

  • In my experience ( which has admittedly not been good), it is one thing to dispute what has been written - and quite another for them to actually "change" it; they are - so I am told - legal documents that cannot be actually altered, however incorrect subjective and downright damaging they may be.....

    The "best" that I was told could happen was each Dr (I have seen quite a few - just the way it is with this Practice,unfortunately) could have my objection/request brought to their attention and they MAY or may not make some note or other on that particular part of the record that it has been disputed by the patient.

    Of course, that is only how my Practice "works" with regard to these things- and they are incompetent and pretty much useless in every other sense too.

    I hope that others who start this process have more luck - although it can be very depressing to read what these people (Drs or not.....) want to write about you on these legal and almost carved in stone records.


  • That doesn't seem quite right to me - that the patient cannot object. After all these people only usually see us occasionally and don't really 'know' us.

    Also if a person remains undiagnosed for whatever the cause is unable to object.

  • Oh - they CAN object.... just that it MAY be a fruitless exercise. I was given the brush -off and told what I said previously. Given that there were many damaging remarks, delays in other additions (hospital letters etc.) being made (of MONTHS) and call-backs after dodgy test results - and more - on my notes - and yes, I saw quite a few Drs, some of whom had left (being trainees/locums or whatever), there was little to NO hope that I could get the records cleaned up or corrected at all; it would have taken forever and been in part impossible.

    I started my complaint - after seeing my records (ONLY going back to 2010) about the records about two years ago - and I know, based on my experience with just how useless the Practice is in general - that I am (hate this saying) flogging a dead horse. But, as the saying goes - ugh - YMMV.



  • You appear to have had an awful experience and it can be an unsurmountable quest.

  • I know.....:o( I cannot help but feel that I must have somehow brought so much of this on myself. I am - or used to be - a natural problem-solver, and this has been a terrible source of frustration and anger for me, I have to say. And, of course, it is not some trivial matter either - this is a health issue - and yet, attempting to sort this out both fails to resolve the health issue and absorbs energy over what is basically an administrative (and incompetence) matter.


  • Let's look forward now and hopefully your health will improve, slowly, but surely. :)

    Anger within us isn't helpful so concentrate on getting well and members will help where possible with answers and support.

    It's taken us years for our thyroid hormones to gradually diminish, so it will take a little while to build-up again.

  • Just want to point out that online access for anything (test results, GP records, etc) is not available in Wales. My surgery has even taken down it's website which was for information only. NHS Wales is lagging behind NHS England.

  • Jezz S, we in The North Of Ireland will probably be able to access ours in God knows when,

    J 😊

  • We will have access to our medical records online-but it is still at the doctors discretion what is actually revealed on those records.if there is information that he/she deems unsuitable,damaging and would possibly cause the patient unecessarily harm/worry to a patient it will be blocked from view.

  • Last year I obtained a photocopy of all of my medical records and if I needed any proof that GPs can not be trusted with my health then the evidence was right there. Decades of untreated hypothyroidism for starters although I had suspected this followed by falsified medical records to cover up GP mistakes etc etc.

  • Cinnamon_girl, it's all of my medical records I'm after; going back as far as possible. Need photocopies. They should have a life's worth of records I presume? I'm expecting falsified stuff. x

  • marigold22 - maximum charge will be £50. There wasn't a lot of paper during my early years with a lack of test results which is very frustrating. I've now been able to join up the dots and bitterly regret that I didn't listen to my instincts when it was obvious that something was wrong with my body.

    Not sure whether I should mention this but I became very distressed when reading my records and this feeling lasted for some time. To see me being described as "emotional" by a stupid GP made me very angry but I get some satisfaction from having humiliated all those GPs who left me ill. Patient power!!

    Good luck and do hope that it will be helpful in building a picture.

  • Marigold22 - this is my experience - in Dec 2014 I requested my NHS med records from birth to date.

    Although they shouldn't interrogate, the GP asked me why I wanted these. I said I was exercising my right to see these. I think GPs may be scared of litigation, although that was not my reason for requesting the records.

    I paid £50 for this request - Wales. I have yet to receive any med records for the first 35 years of my life.

    The practice manager told me to contact somewhere or other in the NHS about the missing records - a wild goose chase. The NHS should track down the records, not the patient.

    9 months after my original request, I wrote to the chief exec of my NHS trust, enclosing every address I have lived at, and every GP practice I have been registered at, from birth to age 35. The CE told me a [name] in the NHS bureaucracy would deal with the request.

    18 months later, I'm still 50 quid down, with no complete set of records!

    Yes, you can put in writing any objections and factual corrections you wish to make to your records. I was told to send such corrections, should I make any, to my GP and practice manager.

  • megarub - that's unbelievable! I would write to the Practice Manager demanding a partial refund as you've not been supplied with what you requested. If he refuses then take the matter to the GMC. He who shouts loudest and all that.

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