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The Access to Health Records (Northern Ireland) Order 1993

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Right of access to health records

5.—(1) An application for access to a health record, or to any part of a health record, may be made to the holder of the record by any of the following, namely—

(a)the patient;

(b)a person authorised in writing to make the application on the patient’s behalf;

(c)where the patient is a child, a person having parental responsibility for the patient;

(d)where the patient is incapable of managing his own affairs, any person appointed by a court to manage those affairs; and

(e)where the patient has died, the patient’s personal representative and any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient’s death.

(2) Subject to Article 6, where an application is made under paragraph (1) the holder shall, within the requisite period, give access to the record, or the part of a record, to which the application relates—

(a)in the case of a record, by allowing the applicant to inspect the record or, where Article 7 applies, an extract setting out so much of the record as is not excluded by that Article;

(b)in the case of a part of a record, by allowing the applicant to inspect an extract setting out that part or, where Article 7 applies, so much of that part as is not so excluded; or

(c)in either case, if the applicant so requires, by supplying him with a copy of the record or extract.

(3) Where any information contained in a record or extract which is so allowed to be inspected, or a copy of which is so supplied, is expressed in terms which are not intelligible without explanation, an explanation of those terms shall be provided with the record or extract, or supplied with the copy.

(4) No fee shall be required for giving access under paragraph (2) other than the following, namely—

(a)where access is given to a record, or part of a record, none of which was made after the beginning of the period of 40 days immediately preceding the date of the application, a fee not exceeding the maximum prescribed under section 21 of the Data Protection Act 1984(1); and

(b)where a copy of a record or extract is supplied to the applicant, a fee not exceeding the cost of making the copy and (where applicable) the cost of posting it to him.

(5) For the purposes of paragraph (2) the requisite period is—

(a)where the application relates to a record, or part of a record, none of which was made before the beginning of the period of 40 days immediately preceding the date of the application, the period of 21 days beginning with that date;

(b)in any other case, the period of 40 days beginning with that date.

(6) Where—

(a)an application under paragraph (1) does not contain sufficient information to enable the holder of the record to identify the patient or, in the case of an application made otherwise than by the patient, to satisfy himself that the applicant is entitled to make the application; and

(b)within the period of 14 days beginning with the date of the application, the holder of the record requests the applicant to furnish him with such further information as he may reasonably require for that purpose,

paragraph (5) shall have effect as if for any reference to that date there were substituted a reference to the date on which that further information is so furnished.

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