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.