Access to Health Records Act 1990

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)Subject to section 4 below, 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 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 [F3such maximum as may be prescribed for the purposes of this section by regulations under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998]; 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 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.


(a)an application under subsection (1) above does not contain sufficient information to enable the holder of the record to identify the patient or, F4. . . , 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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