Access to copies of referral letters/medical re... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
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Access to copies of referral letters/medical records and information on GP online record access


Just to clarify for everyone for future reference:

You are entitled to a copy of any data held about you from any organisation free of charge under GDPR regulations. You do not have to submit a request in writing, verbal requests can be made to any member of staff in the organisation to pass on to the relevant person. You can request your information in the format you require whether it is paper or electronic. The GDPR regulations came into force in May 2018. Requests prior to that time were chargeable.

Online Access to GP records

See my previous posts for the long story

Short version

Access to coded records Test Results, Immunisations, medications Appointments has been part of the GP contract since May 2016. If you do not get this your GP is in breach of the contract if the medical software has the functionality.

Documents such as letters, free text which is consultation detail and administrative items are not part of the contract at present and it is up to individual GP’s discretion. Many people see everything others like me the minimum. This has produced huge inequity across NHS England which is unfair and disadvantages self care. Some of this will change with the new GP contract.

15 Replies

Excellent post. I haven't checked your 'long story' post yet, but fully intend to. Do you happen to know how long records are held? I have full access online, but blood tests, results etc only go back to December 2017

DJR1 in reply to ILR2019

GP records are kept for ten years after the patient’s death. Hospitals vary. Useful table here

ILR2019 in reply to DJR1

Fabulous thank you. Exactly what I was looking for x

Miffie in reply to DJR1

Thank you, this is really helpful for an old biddy like myself. I see why many f my records will have been destroyed. Explains why my GP seems to be insistent that I know less about my past than he does. Many of his thoughts and comments are based on my having Hashimotos and recently developing an underactive thyroid. Actually I was diagnosed circa 1960 when still a child. I had received radiation treatment for a birthmark from being a baby until I was old enough to remember going to a Glasgow hospital and having the box strapped on my face. This probably destroyed by thyroid.

Perhaps I will ask him to check when I was taken off ndt and changed to levo. He may then notice how that impacted on my health.

Wish I had thought to check the info about records myself.


GP records do occasionally get lost though, if you move around the country. Or at least they did in the days of paper records, but maybe not so much now everything is digital. My GP records disappeared into the ether when I left college at 21, so there's no info about anything that happened to me prior to that.

DJR1 in reply to RedApple

You are quite right there. It’s been our experience that the GP electronic record has not been transferred and a ratty pile of muddled paper notes has been passed from pillar to post. I campaign on access to patient records to try to change the current situation. In my view we should all have access if we wish and hold our own data. I wrote a blog on why this is important

RedAppleAdministrator in reply to DJR1

Excellent, popping out now but will have a read later :)

Yes, I think they deliberately destroyed old records so they don't have to computerize them. MY GP told me (gleefully) that he didn't have access to anything from as long ago as the 90s as it wasn't on the computer

Funny that this should come up. I have noticed today that the documents (letters etc) that are attached to my online file have suddenly changed and now only show around 12 months worth where previously they went back a few years.

I've had a few letters attached that I sent to my GP with Medichecks results over the last year and letters back from various hospital departments so it may be that there is a limit to how many docs can be stored.

DJR1 in reply to MelonJ

This date is set by the Practice there is no limit as such only that set. I can’t add an image here but I will attach on a new post. The image relates to EMIS patientaccess

We have to complete a form before you can have access to your records. Can't remember what it's called advanced ? Is that usual?

Just had a look and it's an enhanced access form but it doesn't guarantee you will be able to access your records or results as it will be assessed as to whether it's advisable for the patient to see record🤔

DJR1 in reply to purple64

Yes to set up access to your detailed coded record there is a form which needs to be completed. It generally makes you aware of a number of things such as seeing records you may have forgotten about, what to do if you see records that don’t belong to you, security, sharing etc this isRCGP guidance. It does not been you will see free text in consultations or historical documents. The level of access depends entirely on your GP’s thoughts on this as it is not mandatory. My GP does not think GP notes are for patients eyes so I don’t see free text. Good Luck!

DJR1 in reply to DJR1

I have posted the RCGP template for record access in a new post

purple64 in reply to DJR1

Thank you

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