Medical Records

This is the NHS Scotland leaflet about your rights in relation to your medical records.
This is the NHS Scotland leaflet about your rights in relation to your medical records.

Your medical records include information about your health and any care or treatment you’ve received. This could be, for example, test and scan results, x-rays or letters to and from NHS staff.

There are lots of reasons you might want to see your medical records.  Sometimes people just want to check that they are correct.  Sometimes people want to see them for legal reasons or to work out if they are entitled to financial support as a result of the contaminated blood disaster. However, many adults with bleeding disorders tell us there are gaps in there medical records.

The NHS Scotland Leaflet, How to see your medical records has all the information you need.  It’s based on a Scottish Government Code of Practice which has more details.

Your key rights

  • You have a right to see your medial records and to get a copy.
  • You can choose to access all or just part of your records.
  • You don’t have to give a reason for wanting to access your records.
  • Once you have made the request in writing, proved your identity, and paid any fee you should get access to your records within 40 days.
  • You can claim compensation if you suffer physical, psychiatric, or financial damage because:
    • information in your records is inaccurate
    • your information is accidentally lost, damaged or destroyed, or disclosed without permission.

Some restrictions

  • You have to ask for your medical records in writing and may have to provide proof of identity.  You have to write to the practice manager at your GP surgery, or the health records manager at the hospital or other NHS organisation
    that has your records.
  • Some of your records might be withheld from you and you don’t have to be told this has been done.  This can only be done if letting you have the information would,
    • cause serious harm to your physical or mental health, or someone else’s.
    • identify another person (except NHS staff who have treated you), unless that person gives permission.
  • If your records have not been updated in the last 40 days you can be charged up to £10 to see them.
  • Depending on how your medical records are stored you might be charged up to £10 or up to £50 to get a copy of them.
  • The law allows you to see records made after 1 November 1991. However, records are usually only kept for three years after death.

NHS Scotland Medical Records Code of Practice

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