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Accessing Your Medical Records - How It Works
If you have suffered injury or illness and you believe this was because something went wrong while you were being cared for by a healthcare professional, accessing your medical records can allow the team at JMW to build a successful claim for compensation.
Your records can help our expert solicitors to better investigate the circumstances of the incident, allowing us to paint a clearer picture of what happened and what should have been done differently.
Read on for details about the reasons for accessing medical records and how to access them; if you’d like to learn more or make an enquiry, call JMW on 0800 054 6512, or complete our online enquiry form to request a call back.
Every time you visit the GP, attend a hospital appointment or undergo any kind of medical treatment or procedure, an official record is kept of what happened and when.
Every patient has a legal right to access the records and notes that have been made by healthcare practitioners responsible for their treatment and care under the Data Protection Act 2018.
There is nothing to stop patients from asking to see notes and records during consultations with healthcare staff. However, to get a full history of your medical treatment, it is advisable to make a formal written request to have your records sent to you.
Where a patient has died, an application can be made for their records under the Access to Health Records Act 1990 by anyone who is bringing a claim for medical negligence following the death
If something has gone wrong with your care and you have been injured as a result, you may want to speak to a legal expert about bringing a claim for medical negligence. By doing so, you can claim compensation and hold the responsible healthcare trust to account for their actions.
Specialist medical negligence solicitors, such as those at JMW, will always thoroughly investigate the circumstances in which you came to be injured to build the strongest possible case. As such, it will be necessary to review the relevant medical records to pinpoint exactly what went wrong and when, and what healthcare staff should have done differently.
How can you access your medical records?
If a JMW solicitor takes on your case, it will be possible for us to request medical records on your behalf; we will simply require you to sign a form of authority to enable us to do so.
However, if you wish to handle this process personally, you can obtain a standard form to request your medical records from the GP practice or hospital where you were treated. You can also simply send a letter to the medical records department of the hospital, addressed to the practice manager of the surgery, clearly setting out whose records you are requesting.
The healthcare body that holds your records has one month from the date of receiving the request to supply them to you or your solicitor. If the request is on behalf of a child under 16, their parent or guardian can make the request on their behalf; if the request relates to someone without the mental capacity to do so on their own, then a court-appointed representative will be able to handle this.
As medical records are confidential, a signed form of authority will be needed to access the records of another person.
Legal action to obtain compensation for clinical negligence is a highly specialist area of the law, so the need to have an experienced and specialist trained solicitor is crucial. Our solicitors have dealt with many erroneous and late cancer diagnosis claims over the years, and we have become experts in this field of medical negligence law, often recovering considerable compensation for our clients.
We are able to deal with claims using a no win, no fee scheme in appropriate cases. We offer a free advice session either personally or on the telephone and, if after talking to us you decide not to take matters further, you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged for our initial advice session.
The clinical negligence team at JMW includes members of both the Law Society's specialist panel for clinical negligence and the Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) solicitors panel. Headed by Eddie Jones, the team is among the most respected in the UK.