General Practitioners: Data Protection

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 9th October 2018.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will clarify whether (a) pursuant to the Answer of 6 September 2018 to Question 168973, GP practices will not be allowed to charge third parties for subject access to patient medical records or (b) pursuant to the Answer of 12 July 2018 to Question 162134, the right of access under GDPR confers more personal information than is needed or is justified for insurance underwriting. Accordingly, insurance companies should instead use the established mechanism of the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 (AMRA) to obtain summary medical reports from general practitioners (GPs).

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), general practitioners (GPs) cannot charge patients or third parties for subject access to patient medical records, except where the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive and where the third party is an insurance company. Where the access request is deemed manifestly unfounded or excessive, the GP can either refuse the request or charge an appropriate administration charge for the work involved. Also, where the third party is an insurance company, the Access to Medical Reports Act (AMRA) 1988 would apply. The AMRA allows the GP to charge a reasonable fee to cover the cost of copying the report.

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