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Access to health records

Health professionals often receive requests from people who wish to access health records. These requests can include requests from patients to view or obtain copies of their own health record using GDPR subject access request rights or the requests might come from third parties, such as the police. Sometimes the requests are for access to the records of deceased patients.

The guidance covers the following areas:

  defining a health record
  advice on record-keeping
  subject access requests 
  requests for access on behalf of others 
  requests by the police 
  requests by insurers 
  requests for access to the records of deceased patients 
  records retention 


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)