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Access to health records

Health professionals often receive requests from people who wish to view or obtain copies of their own health records or those of others.

Sometimes these requests come directly from the patient and at other times the requests may be from third parties such as solicitors. You may also receive requests for access to the records of deceased patients.

The purpose of this guidance is to set out the circumstances in which health professionals may receive, and respond to, requests for access to health records:

  • find out what a health record is
  • get advice on record-keeping
  • know how to deal with requests about living patients
  • find out about health records for deceased patients
  • template consent forms

Access for medical students

There are processes in place, through NHS Connecting for Health, to ensure that students are issued with Smartcards for access to records and systems.

Read more



Accessing health records (PDF)

Consent form for releasing information to solicitors in England and Wales (PDF)

Consent form for releasing information to solicitors in Scotland (PDF)