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Access to Personal or Clinical Records

Everyone has a right to access their health or personal data, this is known as an “Access to Records Request”.

Access requests are processed under the Data Protection Act 1998 or in the case of a deceased individual, the Access to the Health Records Act 1990.

The Trust must comply with the request promptly, preferably with 21 days but no later than 40 days after the request has been made.

The person making the request has the right to complain to the Information Commissioner, who may respond with an ‘improvement notice’ to the Trust, if the Trust does not comply within the 40 day timescale

Releasing records

A review of the data/files held must be undertaken by a Health Professional/Consultant/Department Manager prior to release.

The process of ‘redaction’ must be followed as information may be withheld if it:

  • Identifies another individual “Third Party” or,

  • Could cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of the data subject, or any other person.


Third Party data may be withheld unless consent to disclose is documented or the Third Party is contacted to seek disclosure.