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Medical Records

Department of Health written question – answered on 11th December 2017.

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Photo of Lord Warner Lord Warner Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether an NHS doctor denying an NHS patient access to their medical records would be grounds for disciplinary action by their professional body, employer or contracting authority.

Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Patients have a legal right to apply for access to their medical records and do not need to give a reason. A patient who is denied access to their medical records can make a complaint to the Information Comissioner and/or the relevant contracting authority and/or the General Medical Council (GMC) and/or the relevant employer.

There are some circumstances where exemptions may apply to a patients right to access this information and it would be a matter for the relevant body to whom the complaint is made to investigate further and decide on appropriate action.

Doctors have a responsibility to be familiar with and follow GMC guidance, and must use their judgement in applying the principles to the various situations they face in practice. They must be prepared to explain and justify their decisions and actions, and serious or persistent failure to follow the guidance will put a doctor’s registration at risk.

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