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Access to Health Records Act 1990

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Access to Health Records Act 1990, Cross Heading: Main provisions is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 15 August 2018. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Main provisionsE+W+S

3 Right of access to health records.E+W+S

(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—

F1(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F1(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F1(cc). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F1(e). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F2(ee)where the record is held in Scotland and the patient is incapable, within the meaning of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 (asp 4) in relation to making or authorising the application, any person entitled to act on behalf of the patient under that Act.]

(f)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)F3... where an application is made under subsection (1) above 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 section 5 below applies, an extract setting out so much of the record as is not excluded by that section;

(b)in the case of a part of a record, by allowing the applicant to inspect an extract setting out that part or, where that section 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 subsection (2) above F4...

(5)For the purposes of subsection (2) above 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 subsection (1) above does not contain sufficient information to enable the holder of the record to identify the patient or, F5. . . , 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,

subsection (5) above 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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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 3(1)(a)-(e) repealed (1.3.2000) by 1998 c. 29, s. 74(1), Sch. 16 Pt. I (with Sch. 14 para. 17(1)(a)); S.I. 2000/183, art. 2(1)

F2S. 3(1)(ee) inserted (S.) (1.4.2002) by 2000 asp 4, s. 88(2), Sch. 5 para. 21; S.S.I. 2001/81, art. 3, Sch. 2

F3Words in s. 3(2) omitted (25.5.2018) by virtue of Data Protection Act 2018 (c. 12), s. 212(1), Sch. 19 para. 38(2) (with ss. 117, 209, 210); S.I. 2018/625, reg. 2(1)(g)

F4Words in s. 3(4) omitted (25.5.2018) by virtue of Data Protection Act 2018 (c. 12), s. 212(1), Sch. 19 para. 38(3) (with ss. 117, 209, 210); S.I. 2018/625, reg. 2(1)(g)

4 Cases where right of access may be wholly excluded.E+W+S

F6(1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F6(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)Where an application is made under subsection (1)(f) of section 3 above, access shall not be given under subsection (2) of that section if the record includes a note, made at the patient’s request, that he did not wish access to be given on such an application.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F6S. 4(1)(2) repealed (1.3.2000) by 1998 c. 29, s. 74(2), Sch. 16 Pt. I; S.I. 2000/183. art. 2(1)

5 Cases where right of access may be partially excluded.E+W+S

(1)Access shall not be given under section 3(2) above to any part of a health record—

(a)which, in the opinion of the holder of the record, would disclose—

(i)information likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health F7. . . of any F7. . . individual; or

(ii)information relating to or provided by an individual, other than the patient, who could be identified from that information; or

(b)which was made before the commencement of this Act.

(2)Subsection (1)(a)(ii) above shall not apply—

(a)where the individual concerned has consented to the application; or

(b)where that individual is a health professional who has been involved in the care of the patient;

and subsection (1)(b) above shall not apply where and to the extent that, in the opinion of the holder of the record, the giving of access is necessary in order to make intelligible any part of the record to which access is required to be given under section 3(2) above.

(3)[F8Access shall not be given under section 3(2) to any part of a health record] which, in the opinion of the holder of the record, would disclose—

(a)information provided by the patient in the expectation that it would not be disclosed to the applicant; or

(b)information obtained as a result of any examination or investigation to which the patient consented in the expectation that the information would not be so disclosed.

(4)Where an application is made under subsection (1)(f) of section 3 above, access shall not be given under subsection (2) of that section to any part of the record which, in the opinion of the holder of the record, would disclose information which is not relevant to any claim which may arise out of the patient’s death.

(5)The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that, in such circumstances as may be prescribed by the regulations, access shall not be given under section 3(2) above to any part of a health record which satisfies such conditions as may be so prescribed.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F8Words in s. 5(3) substituted (1.3.2000) by 1998 c. 29, s. 74(1), Sch. 15 para. 13; S.I. 2000/183, art. 2(1)

6 Correction of inaccurate health records.E+W+S

(1)Where a person considers that any information contained in a health record, or any part of a health record, to which he has been given access under section 3(2) above is inaccurate, he may apply to the holder of the record for the necessary correction to be made.

(2)On an application under subsection (1) above, the holder of the record shall—

(a)if he is satisfied that the information is inaccurate, make the necessary correction;

(b)if he is not so satisfied, make in the part of the record in which the information is contained a note of the matters in respect of which the information is considered by the applicant to be inaccurate; and

(c)in either case, without requiring any fee, supply the applicant with a copy of the correction or note.

(3)In this section “inaccurate” means incorrect, misleading or incomplete.

7 Duty of health service bodies etc. to take advice.E+W+S

(1)A health service body F9. . . shall take advice from the appropriate health professional before they decide whether they are satisfied as to any matter for the purposes of this Act, or form an opinion as to any matter for those purposes.

(2)In this section “the appropriate health professional”, in relation to a health service body F10. . . , means—

(a)where, for purposes connected with the provision of health services by the body, one or more medical or dental practitioners are currently responsible for the clinical care of the patient, that practitioner or, as the case may be, such one of those practitioners as is the most suitable to advise the body on the matter in question;

(b)where paragraph (a) above does not apply but one or more medical or dental practitioners are available who, for purposes connected with the provision of such services by the body, have been responsible for the clinical care of the patient, that practitioner or, as the case may be, such one of those practitioners as was most recently so responsible; and

(c)where neither paragraph (a) nor paragraph (b) above applies, a health professional who has the necessary experience and qualifications to advise the body on the matter in question.

(3)F11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F9Words in s. 7(1) repealed (28.6.1995 for certain purposes and otherwise at 1.4.1996) by 1995 c. 17, ss. 2(1)(3), 5(1), 8(1), Sch. 1 Pt. III para. 119(3)(a), Sch. 3 (with Sch. 2 paras. 6, 16)

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