Under the Data Protection Act 2018 individuals have a right to get a copy of the information that RDaSH holds about them – this also applies to staff members. Click here to read more about Data Protection. If you wish to know what information we keep about you click here to view our privacy notices.
Under the Access to Health Records Act 1990 certain people have a right to get a copy of the information that RDaSH holds about a deceased person. Those certain people who have a right of access are:
- the personal representatives of the deceased, eg a named executor or a legally appointed administrator; or
- any person who may have a claim arising from the patient’s death.
These requests are known as a subject access requests. Individuals may also give consent to another person or organisation to get a copy of their information, such as relatives or solicitors.
If you want to access your records, ie medical/health/patient information, you can make request verbally or in writing. Although if you make your request verbally, we recommend you follow it up in writing, as we have to be satisfied as to your identity, but it will also provide a clear trail of correspondence provide clear evidence of your actions.
You will also be required to provide the relevant identification/authority documentation, and you must ensure you only supply copy documents, as this Trust cannot be held responsible for the loss of original documents submitted.
When making a request, please be as specific as possible regarding the information you wish to obtain, include relevant dates, clinics, wards, etc.
Why do you need to provide proof of identity/authority?
We need to take steps to ensure that other people are not trying to obtain your personal information dishonestly. Providing us with copies of documentation showing details such as your name, address and date of birth assists us to determine if a subject access request is genuine.
In the instances of requests relating to deceased persons, the requestor will be required to provided documentary evidence of their rights (as noted above), this may be in the form of the deceased’s will, etc. Please note that being someone’s next of kin does not give you an automatic right to access their personal information.
What will happen once RDaSH receives your request?
- We will acknowledge receipt of your request in writing;
- If we have all the information we need to process your request, we will acknowledgement this and notify you of the date by which you will receive a response, which will be one month commencing on the date that we receive the complete request. We will also inform you if a fee may be payable;
- If we do not have all the information we need to process your request, we will notify you in writing that further information is required; once we have all the necessary information we will acknowledgement this to you as noted above.
How much will I have to pay?
In most cases we cannot charge a fee, however, where a request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, or if an individual requests further copies of their data following a request, we may charge a “reasonable” fee for the administrative costs of complying with the request.
Will I receive a full copy of the requested information?
In most instances, yes, but as you can appreciate some records may contain third party information, therefore restricting the rights to access this information may be made to protect you or the rights and freedoms of others. Each request is dealt with on a case by case basis, whereby redaction (blanking out or removal of data) is made only in limited circumstances.
What if I am not happy with the way in which my request has been handled?
- Speak to your health professional, ie key worker, support worker, consultant, etc;
- Click here to visit our Information Governance web page; or telephone them on 01302 796189 or email them at email@example.com;
- Should you have any further queries about the uses of your information, please email the Trust’s Data Protection Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
- click here to access our Complaints Team / Patient Advice and Liaison Service web page; or
- to get further advice or report a concern directly to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), the UK’s independent authority, you can click here to access their website or telephone them on 0303 123 1113 [Please note that the ICO does not support complaints or queries that have been made under the Access to Health Records Act 1990 (relating to deceased persons)].
Click here to read our Guidance on Requests for Information.
Click here to view our contacts page