Presentation on theme: "Patient Access To Health Records. Lucy Etukakpan.."— Presentation transcript:
Patient Access To Health Records. Lucy Etukakpan.
A patient has a right of access to their medical records through both the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Access to Health Records Act 1990. The latter is now mostly covered by the Data Protection Act but still applies to access to notes of a patient who has died.
The request for access to such personal data should be made in writing and a charge may be made. The patient must provide suitable identification. Some information may not be disclosed e.g. data identifying someone other than the subject unless that person has consented to the disclosure. The law allows 40 days for the requested information to be provided.
When can records be withheld? By law, a provider can withhold medical information from a patient if he reasonably determines that the information would be detrimental to the patient's physical or mental health or would likely cause the patient to harm himself or someone else. In such a case, the provider can supply the information to an appropriate third party or another provider who can release it to the patient
Children and Young people. Children over the age of 12 are generally considered to have the capacity to give or withhold consent to release medical records. In Scotland, there is a legal assumption that this is the case, but not in England,Wales or Northern Ireland where those under 16 should demonstrate that they have the capacity to make these decisions. Where the child is considered to be capable, then their consent must be sought before access is given to a third party.
Access can be refused by the health professional where they consider that the child does not have capacity to give consent / decline decisions. Individuals with parental responsibility for an under 18 year old will have a right to request access to those medical records. Access may be granted if access is not contrary to the wishes of a competent child.
The Access to Health Records Act 1990 grants rights to certain individuals to see what has been written about a deceased patient in a hospital and other health records. This only applies however to written records made on or after 1st November 1991. Access is available to the patients personal representative of the deceased or to any person having a claim arising out of a patient’s death.
Access may not be permitted if the following circumstances apply: 1. If it is considered that the patient would not have wished disclosure. 2. If access would lead to the identification of someone else not involved in the patients care. 3. If access would cause serious mental or physical harm to someone else not involved in the patient’s care.
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