Applying for access
To assist people applying for access to health records we have produced an application form which can be downloaded by clicking here.
All requests need to be posted to Access to Health Records Team, Medical Records Department, Harrogate District Hospital, Lancaster Park Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG2 7SX or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once we have received your completed application form, along with the appropriate additional information, the records are reviewed for information outlined under the heading below ‘Can Access be Denied?’ This element of the process can take some time and we will keep you updated.
Where the request is excessive there may be an administrative charge. There is also an administrative charge if you require further copies of information we have already provided. We will inform you once we receive your request of any charges.
Deceased Patient’s Health Records
A Personal Representative or anyone who may have a claim resulting from the death can apply for copies of health records.
A ‘Personal Representative’ is the Executor or Administrator of the deceased patient’s estate; not simply a family member of the deceased patient. If the patient did not leave a Will or Grant of Probate has not been provided the patient’s next of kin can usually apply for a Grant of Letter of Administration in order to be the Administrator of the estate.
If you believe you may have a potential claim resulting from the death of a patient then you need to provide a letter from a Solicitor or Insurance Company outlining the potential claim and what information is required.
Children’s Health Records (under the age of 16)
As a general rule a person with parental responsibility will have the right to apply for access to a child’s health record. However, in exercising this right a healthcare professional should give careful consideration to the duty of confidentiality owed to the child before copies of records are provided.
Can Access be Denied?
The Trust to limit or deny access to an individual’s health record where:
- The information may cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of the patient, or any other person, or
- Access would disclose information relating to or provided by a third person who has not consented to that disclosure unless:
- The third party is a healthcare professional who has compiled or contributed to the health records or who has been involved in the care of the patient
- The third party, who is not a health professional, gives their consent to the disclosure of that information.
- It is reasonable to disclose without that third party’s consent
Those with right of access are entitled to see all records made after 1 November 1991 unless:
- In the opinion of the Trust, such disclosure would cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of the applicant or any other individual; or
- The patient had specifically requested (prior to death) that the information is not disclosed to the applicant.
Records made before 1 November 1991 may be made available on a discretionary basis if these are considered by the Trust to be necessary for the applicant’s understanding of the part of the record to which access is being given.