Help accessing medical records: Does anybody have... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
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Help accessing medical records

moniacho
moniacho

Does anybody have a template of a letter to a GP to allow me to see my past blood results online?

I have an account via app and can book an appointment and request prescription, but when I try to access the results I get the message “this function is not yet available at your practice”.

I understand that they are supposed to allow me to see them and would like to write a letter/email asking for access, but don’t know where to start. A template would be great.

20 Replies
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SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator

Ring receptionist and ask if this service is available. Many GP practices don't have it up and running

If not available just ask Receptionist for print out of ALL you blood test results, past and present. Say you will pick them up from reception middle of next week

moniacho
moniacho
in reply to SlowDragon

Oh, I thought that they are supposed to have it available already... Thanks SlowDragon, I'll give them a call.

I found the receptionists had no idea, so I emailed the practice manager asking politely to give me access. I got a reply in a few days asking me to bring in ID. They had to ask a GP to check I was safe to have this access but it wasn't difficult.

moniacho
moniacho
in reply to carnation

Ok, thank you Carnation. Did you support your request with any rules, f.e. that they are supposed to give me access according to this or that?

carnation
carnation
in reply to moniacho

No moniacho I didn't go down the route of saying they had to do it, just asked what I had to do to get access. But I would have argued if necessary! I was surprised it was so easy. Good luck with your application.

Hi

Mine said something similar, anyway I went to the doctors and they said I needed more ID (they photocopied it) and then said they have to ask my allocated GP for permission.

Once that had been done I was able to access everything including my medical records notes. Interesting read.

I thought it was bizarre that I needed permission from the GP to see my own results, but as they didn't refuse I thought no point arguing with the receptionist.

Another thing, until your GP has seen your results you will not be able to access them. Blood results normally only take 2/3 days from taking them to putting them online for me.

Best Wishes

Peanut31

moniacho
moniacho
in reply to Peanut31

Thank you Peanut31, I’m not brave enough to do it face to face. They make faces and roll their eyes and make everything sound so hard to do. And I am just to darn tired to persist or argue. Last time they tired me out and I left with last test results only after requesting all records... :(

I’m exactly the same! I only have limited access.

helvella
helvellaAdministrator

The Information Commissioner's Office is quite clear - you do NOT have to follow any particular format, or fill in a form. Indeed, all that is required is that they receive the message.

Just write what you want to get. If you want blood test results over the last five years, simply ask for that. Doing it in writing is simply to make sure there is evidence.

The information below is directed at organisations but what is says is straightforward. The GDPR is the overall requirement of the EU and it is implemented in the UK as the Data Protection Act 2018:

How do we recognise a request?

The GDPR does not specify how to make a valid request. Therefore, an individual can make a subject access request to you verbally or in writing. It can also be made to any part of your organisation (including by social media) and does not have to be to a specific person or contact point.

A request does not have to include the phrase 'subject access request' or Article 15 of the GDPR, as long as it is clear that the individual is asking for their own personal data.

This presents a challenge as any of your employees could receive a valid request. However, you have a legal responsibility to identify that an individual has made a request to you and handle it accordingly. Therefore you may need to consider which of your staff who regularly interact with individuals may need specific training to identify a request.

Additionally, it is good practice to have a policy for recording details of the requests you receive, particularly those made by telephone or in person. You may wish to check with the requester that you have understood their request, as this can help avoid later disputes about how you have interpreted the request. We also recommend that you keep a log of verbal requests.

Should we provide a specially designed form for individuals to make a subject access request?

Standard forms can make it easier both for you to recognise a subject access request and for the individual to include all the details you might need to locate the information they want.

Recital 59 of the GDPR recommends that organisations ‘provide means for requests to be made electronically, especially where personal data are processed by electronic means’. You should therefore consider designing a subject access form that individuals can complete and submit to you electronically.

However, even if you have a form, you should note that a subject access request is valid if it is submitted by any means, so you will still need to comply with any requests you receive in a letter, a standard email or verbally.

Therefore, although you may invite individuals to use a form, you must make it clear that it is not compulsory and do not try to use this as a way of extending the one month time limit for responding.

ico.org.uk/for-organisation...

moniacho
moniacho
in reply to helvella

Thank you helvella. That’s very useful information.

Londinium
Londinium
in reply to helvella

Organisations previously demanded payment of £10 - £50 for data. Can they still demand payment?

I'd like a complete copy of ALL my records held by the GP practice inc. ALL letters between GP's and hospital consultants, lab tests, scan reports, and the notes that GP's have made in my medical data inc. berating and besmirching me in my medical records merely because I queried/challenged them on an issue. For example, when I disagreed with the owner/senior GP (whom I'd never met - she rang me), I then found out that she besmirched me in my records just because I had disagreed with her and challenged her on her ignorance over Vit D. Another GP then (during an appt in person) denied that the senior GP had written anything about me - even though I'd just seen it on the computer screen ! and I told get that I'd just seen it! Even so, she carried on lying and denying that anything was there! What a totally unethical lying bunch of GP's!

Are they also obliged to provide a copy of all email communications between medical and admin staff of the GP practice in which I have been named or referred to?

helvella
helvellaAdministrator
in reply to Londinium

Just follow the link from my response above. You will find this:

You cannot charge a fee to deal with a request in most circumstances.

Further down, there are exceptions but you need to read for yourself.

The ICO does not appear yet to have produced their full guidance to GDPR/DPA2018.

Hello moniacho. I have just done exactly what SlowDragon has advised above.

Like you I can renew meds and make appointments online so thought I'd be able to see my records online too, but been told they are still in paper form. I just asked receptionist for copies of them going back 20 years - and they are being sent for.

It was much easier than I expected ;) best wishes j

I just phoned the surgery and asked for a print out of my latest results.

The receptionist was a bit officious and said it was dependant on the doctor permitting me to have them & if he did I could collect the next day.

I knew from here I am permitted to have them so just waited until the next day when I was given them with no problem.

They don't like to provide a copy of any material in which they've berated or besmirched you. I suspect they'd allege that they've withheld some material on the basis that it might put you at risk.

Was worth getting them as was just below range for T3 but was told everything was fine!!!

Endocrinologists at a leading teaching hospital (inc. the Lead Clinician) said that my results were fine - regardless of whethere my results were in/out of the ref. range. They were dismissive, defiant and unapologetic. The senior registrar at that hospital 'cebtrevif excrllence' said in confidence that he would be in "big trouble" with his colleagues, with the Lead Clinician and with the hospital, if he told me what my lab results indicated. And he said that if he couldn't tell me verbally, he certainly couldn't put it in writing to my GP or me, because (he said) it would put his job and position in jeopardy. That was at a leading UK hospital.

That’s scary! So glad we now have a legal right to our results!

But no right to receiving an admission of failure from the endocrinologists and GP's and other consultants.

Yes that’s another battle....

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