Who can apply for access?
Patients may apply for access to their own records, or may authorise a third party, such as a lawyer, to do so on their behalf. Parents may have access to their child's records if this is in the child's best interests and not contrary to a competent child's wishes. People appointed by a court to manage the affairs of mentally incapacitated adults may have access to information necessary to fulfil their function. Information in medical records can only be accessed from November 1991 onwards.
Can a fee by charged?
Yes, and the fee varies depending on the type of record and whether the patient wants copies of the records or just to see them.
For example: To allow patients to read their records (where no copy is required) and held totally on computer there is no charge. For records held in part on computer and in part manually with copies of notes, a reasonable fee of up to £50 may be charged.