General Practitioners: Data Protection

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 19th November 2018.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of exempting General Practices from the General Data Protection Regulation that data controllers can no longer charge for processing subject access requests.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The fundamental purpose of the General Data Protection Regulation is to provide individuals with greater protection and control over their personal data.

Allowing General Practices to charge for providing responses to subject access requests would weaken the rights of patients. General Practices can still charge for repeat or excessive requests made by data subjects and for requests made by third parties such as insurers under the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has updated its guidance on the Right to Access, which can be viewed on its website at

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