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Subject access and Access to Health Records Act

Can I see my healthcare records?

Yes. You have the right to receive a copy of information we hold about you. This includes paper records and those held on computer.

You may authorise a third party to seek access on your behalf e.g. Solicitor, but we will need your written consent.

Where a patient is incapable of managing his or her own affairs, a person appointed by the court to manage those affairs may seek access.

Children over 16 and those under 16 who are capable of understanding the significance of their records' disclosure must give their own consent to access. This judgment must be made by the healthcare professional in charge of the child's care. Otherwise, authority must be given by an individual who has parental responsibility under the Children Act 1989.

The Data Protection Act 1998 does not cover the records of deceased patients. Statutory rights of access to these are contained within the Access to Health Records Act 1990. Any person with a claim arising from the death of a patient has a right of access to information directly relevant to that claim.

Where access may be limited or denied

Access may be limited or denied if:

  • disclosing information may cause serious harm to you or
  • where giving access would disclose information relating to or provided by a third person who had not consented to the disclosure.
    If you require a copy of your records, please write to:

Subject Access Co-ordinator
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust HQ
225 Old Street,
Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 7SR

You are entitled to receive some or all of your information but please note a charge of up to £50 may be made.

What can I do if I am not satisfied with the outcome of my application?

Our aim is to ensure that you are satisfied with the ways in which we look after your healthcare records and provide access to them. However, if you are unable to resolve your concerns or would like to take the matter further, please write to:

Chief Executive
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust HQ
225 Old Street,
Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 7SR

What if I find inaccuracies in the records?

You can ask the Trust to correct inaccurate or incomplete information. If the health professional agrees that the information is inaccurate or incomplete, they will correct the records and give you a copy. As far as it is reasonable we will inform those who have been given the inaccurate information.

If the health professional does not agree that the information is inaccurate, they will make a note on the record of the point you have brought to their attention.

Copying Letters to Patients

The NHS Plan made a commitment that patients should be able to receive copies of clinicians letters about them as a right, subject to their consent.

A 'letter' includes communications between different health professionals, for instance those to GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, therapists and other health professionals.

The Trust sees this initiative as being good practice and is looking at the best way of introducing this. Some services are already working to encourage this and you may be asked if you wish to receive a copy, how you wish to receive it and in what format. Other services are not working in that way at the moment but you may still ask the clinician working with you about this and they will explain the present arrangements.

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