Access to health records
This section looks at your right to see your health records and how to do this. It explains what to do if you think the information on your health records is wrong. In this section, when we say ‘record’ or ‘records’, we mean your health record.
- When an NHS professional sees you, they will update your record with information about your illness and treatment.
- Records are kept in different places. If you have seen mental health services, your record is kept there. Your GP will not have the information.
- You can see your records. Your doctor can withhold information if it may harm your physical or mental health.
- From the 25th May 2018 you should be able to see a copy of your record within 1 month.
- Other people, such as an employer or insurer, can only see your records if you agree.
- If you feel something on your records is wrong you cannot usually delete it. You can ask your doctor to add a note to show that you disagree.
- You should be able to see your records online if you sign up for ‘Patient Online’.
- You can have a ‘summary care record’ which gives the NHS important information about your health. This helps them to deal with emergencies. You don’t have to have one if you don’t want to.
From the 25th May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force. These regulations will replace the Data Protection Act 1998. We have provided updates throughout this section in line with GDPR changes.
For further information and the latest updates to GDPR you can see the NHS Digital website.
This section covers:
- What are my records?
- How long are my records kept?
- Why might I want to see my records?
- How can I see my records?
- Can anyone else see my records?
- Do I have to pay to see my records?
- When will I get my records?
- Can the NHS keep information from me?
- What if the information on my record is wrong?
- Can I see my relative’s records when they die?
- How can I complain?
These pages are created by Rethink Mental Illness' Advice and Information Service in accordance with the Information Standard. Last reviewed in May 2017. Next review May 2020.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays