NEW ACCESS TO Historical Digital GP Records in ... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
109,179 members126,824 posts

NEW ACCESS TO Historical Digital GP Records in England


If like me you have repeatedly requested and been refused access to your online GP records please be aware the GP contract in NHS England has now changed.

All practices must give full historical access on REQUEST. This means you should be able to see all your computerised medical history with the summary of the conversation you had with the doctor/nurse/physio. You should see test results and medication. This is in addition to the full record going forward.

As I have posted before not all GP Practices have the software system to do this notably VISION. Patient Access, EvergreenLife and others DO have the functionality so it is worth checking with your Practice.

This information refers to England only

If your mission is to see thyroid function tests over the years bear in mind that they may just be recorded as ‘normal’ with no further detail. It seems for many years my test was just TSH. However access to medical records is important not only to see results etc but also to correct errors which may affect your treatment or even insurance claims.

My full access was switched on yesterday. After the years of refusal, as the executive GP does not believe in giving patients access to their own data, this feels like a huge success! Many other Practices have been giving full access for over 15 years so we now have an even playing field. The image is taken from Annexe A p54 of the BMA GMS contract.

Please ask for your online settings to be adjusted if you want this access. Use the information below if you meet opposition. Good Luck!

16 Replies

Your posts about these issues have been, and continue to be, extremely welcome.

Thank you.

Did you notice they are not allowed to use Fax machines anymore ?

I thought Fax machines had become extinct decades ago......

I'm tempted to say that while online access may make it more convenient for those people who like all things 'digital' , the old fashioned 'Subject Access Request' route of accessing historic record allows you to see photocopies of the actual original paper records, as well as the transcribed to digital version.

I found lots of juicy bits of information when deciphering the doctors famously illegible handwriting . And the best bits were not transcribed into the later versions.

So i think there may still be a benefit in getting your historic records the old way for those of us old enough to have had 'paper' records.

in reply to tattybogle

I agree with you the detail in paper records is useful however my group of campaigners are focussed on easy access to records in case of emergency and the rights of patients to access information held in accounts online.

Medical records in the NHS are a shambles and not joined up. Our experience with a very sick relative in an emergency situation was frightening as information about his complex problems was not available.

Your online access to your record may be the only thing available in an emergency situation and may save your life. Your medical history is not shared within the NHS and with few exceptions cannot be accessed by other GP/hospitals.

I write on this here

I have used Subject Access Requests for the paper copies of our records as our online GP record only started in 2015 as the computerised record was not transferred. This was common practice until 2017 so if you have moved GP Practice or moved house your online record may only start from that date. Some Practices scan in the paper records but our current practice does not. The paper records are warehoused off site. I would Certainly recommend getting copies of all paper records.

We feel we have achieved a small victory as the view that patients are not entitled to see their GP records without legal process has been abolished.

We now have the right to full access to the online record on our phones after all we can’t carry our paper record around with us.

I have written several blogs on the link above


DJR1, Thank you for posting this important updated info.

Because posts disappear from view so quickly on this busy forum, I have decided to make this a 'Pinned Post'. (Pinned posts are listed on the right on largish screens but may be elsewhere on small screens). Hopefully that way, over time it will be seen by more members.

Thank you for pinning the post.

I post regularly on Twitter as well as HU but getting information into the public arena and keeping it there is difficult. This information is not publicised by primary care or the NHS.

Thanks for posting this info (and all the other info you've posted in the past).

Do you have a link to the information you've given in your picture? It is helpful to see information in context if possible.

in reply to humanbean

I have had problems with links the Annex keeps disappearing. This is from my Dropbox Account. I download and save these days as stuff disappears very quickly. I hope this works

in reply to DJR1

Looks okay.....go to .....Annex A: List of 2020/21 contractual requirements and

non-contractual agreements page 53

in reply to DJR1

Thanks very much for the info and the link. :)

Well done DJR1 for winning your fight for the right to party (or at least be party to...) your medical records. The executive GP (ha!) can jog on, now. His reticence to share is the mark of a person running scared...there is no reason why you should potentially suffer because he's an asshat.

Is there anything inherently wrong in we thyroidies ending up more knowledgeable than our GPs and all too often our consultants concerning this small and troublesome gland? I hope that you find the additional information useful. Best to you x

in reply to Rapunzel

Ah thank you. The executive GP is in his late seventies and very old school. He doesn’t see patients but runs the Practice group. He needs to retire as the world has moved on. I hope more people find out about their right to access. Best wishes

Thank you very much for this post, and all your past help with online access issues.

After trying and failing some time ago to gain online access, I tried again today to get the basic level of access to my digital record because it has become impossible to order repeat prescriptions over the phone. The sole local GP practice covers a vast rural area; anyone who is housebound or without transport or internet access (still a big problem here) has been penalised by this latest policy.

My husband has online access, but until he intervened with the practice on my behalf this morning, I was not granted a login or password. Once again, I have to have a man back me up with the medical system in order to get anywhere!

However, the practice still maintains that even under the new GP contract patients are still obliged to go through a formal paper application process (pre-printed form, letter and ID) in order to gain full access to their historic digital record. From my initial reading of the new contract, this would appear to go against the spirit of it. What do you think?

in reply to Hillwoman

I think on the first registration for online access to digital GP records a formal ID check has to be recorded. It is a security check to make sure access is going to the right person.

Any future adjustments to that access can be a verbal request.

Historic digital access still has to be requested as it is not part of the standard access. If you want to see your historic records write this on your application form. Historic access has to be given on request except in cases where harm would occur on disclosing information.

in reply to DJR1

Thanks very much for the clarification.

What about an access to children's record?

I have asked so many times...and the receptionist was always making such a big fuss. The peadiatricians and other professionals always send me test results....not the gp surgery.

Thank you for all advice.

in reply to Ania22

There information about Proxy Access in this link. It a quite clear that parents can apply to manage their children’s digital GP records. I will do another post as I can’t post another image on existing thread.

You may also like...