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Is it right to pay for medical infomation?...

I only have a small doctors letter as evidence in my paper hearing and even that cost me thirty pounds to acquire. I would like more evidence to supply to the courts like my medical history and records, but am afraid of what the cost would be, why do i have to pay for my own medical information to begin with is this right? 

Replies

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,756 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger

     Requesting Your Medical Records

    If you want to view your health records, you may not need to make a formal application. Nothing in the law prevents healthcare professionals from informally showing you your own records. You can make an informal request during a consultation, or by phoning your GP surgery or hospital to arrange a time to see your records.

    Formal requests under the Data Protection Act
    Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have a legal right to apply for access to health information held about you. This includes your NHS or private health records held by a GP, optician or dentist, or by a hospital.

    A health record contains information about your mental and physical health recorded by a healthcare professional as part of your care.

    If you want to see your health records, you don't have to give a reason.

    Applying for access to your health records
    Depending on which health records you want to see, submit your request in writing or by email to:

    • your GP surgery, or
    • the health records manager or patient services manager at your local hospital trust.

    This is known as a Subject Access Request (SAR).

    You can ask for a range of dates or all of your records

    The health records manager, GP or other healthcare professional will decide whether your request can be approved. They can refuse your request if, for example, they believe that releasing the information may cause serious harm to your physical or mental health or that of another person.

    Under the Data Protection Act, requests for access to records should be met within 40 days. However, government guidance for healthcare organisations says they should aim to respond within 21 days.

    You may have to pay a fee to access your health records so ask if there is a charge before you apply to see them.


     Charging for medical records

    The Data Protection (Subject Access) (Fees and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2000 sets out the fees a patient may be charged to view their records or to be provided with a copy of them. These are summarised below:

    To provide copies of patient health records the maximum costs are:

    • Health records held electronically: up to a maximum £10 charge.
    • Health records held in part electronically and in part on other media (paper, x-ray film): up to a maximum £50 charge.
    • Health records held totally on other media: up to a maximum £50 charge.

    All these maximum charges include postage and packaging costs. Any charges for access requests should not be made in order to make a financial gain.

    To allow patients to view their health records (where no copy is required) the maximum costs are:

    • Health records held electronically: a maximum of £10
    • Health records held in part on computer and in part on other media: a maximum of £10
    • Health records held entirely on other media: up to a maximum £10 charge, unless the records have been added to in the last 40 days in which case there should be no charge.

    Note: if a person wishes to view their health records and then wants to be provided with copies this would still come under the one access request. The £10 maximum fee for viewing would be included within the £50 maximum fee for copies of health records, held in part on computer and in part manually.


    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • LuggahLuggah Member Posts: 18 Listener
    Hi, the law has now changed from May.  They are no loner allowed to charge for medical records, check online.  I will try finding link
    Ddd
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Hi LostinLimbo, CockneyRebel and Luggah

    It took me a while to find this, but here we are.

    https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/fees/medical-records

    It seems that existing records have to be provided to the patient free of charge under the new general Data Protection Regulations, but if you ask for a letter to be written for a specific non-NHS reason, then a charge can still be made. 

    Does anyone else have experience of this?

    Gill_Scope
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger
    My experience has been very positive, Iv needed various letters from my gp, copies of Psychologist letters, letter from go etc and have never been charged for them.

    Think im in the minority though, sadly

  • sav13sav13 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi i have all my medical records they incl a disc so i can view my mri scans...it was a few years ago and it was a £50 charge...  that said i have had a further mri scan which i now also want to have myself to keep.. i will have to see about getting that, and uncertain of costs, if any. However it is certainly worth having all mine, to understand my specific health issues and to give me my own peace of mind. The expert patient is what I am after perusing mine!
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,628 Disability Gamechanger
    The wider point here is that you really need to assess what medical evidence brings to your case. It’s not legally required and can only really talk about diagnosis, prognosis, symptoms and treatment. Provided none of those are in dispute then medical evidence is of limited use in most cases bar maybe specialist mental ill health and learning disability cases where people may lack insight into their own health. 

    52% of disability claims succeed without medical evidence. That speaks for itself. 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Hi mikehughescq

    Can't completely agree with that.  I certainly agree that there isn't a lot of point in offering pages and pages of appointment letters or vaguely worded letters.

    But very often and  sadly, people are not believed without there being a doctor's letter confirming their degree of difficulty, say with walking or for example that work preparation would be stressful and would represent a further  risk to their health. 

     Some doctors including specialists really know what helps. Some understand that benefit issues are adversely affecting health, and they write targeted letters that seal the deal. Not always though, as you say. 

    (I felt I had to write my take on this).

    Gill_Scope
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,628 Disability Gamechanger
    @Gill_Scope doctors letters on mobility are mostly disregarded. In terms of physical mobility a doctor sees you walk to/from a waiting room and can only legitimately draw a small number of inferences from that about indoor walking. If they write any more it’s not medical it’s speculative and no more credible than the HCP who sees you walk toward them down a corridor and concludes you can do 200m indoors and out unaided. That’s the approach taken by most tribunals. 

    There may be some merit on planning and following a journey for people with learning disability and mental ill health but not for other conditions such as sensory impairment because the doctor only knows what they would expect the problems to be for a given condition rather than a person’s lived experience. Where a medical professional does know the exact details it’s not because they’ve seen it it’s because the claimant told them. Caselaw has held that where a medical professional does no more than repeat what they’ve been told it’s not necessarily given weight as medical evidence (because it isn’t) but it can add credibility to the evidence of the claimant because it’s saying “I don’t know because I haven’t seen it but it does seem likely”. 

    When it comes to daily living pretty much the same applies. No medical professional sees you cook, wash, budget, form relationships and so on. Again the exceptions would be mental ill health and learning disability. So, for PIP, DLA and AA it’s of very limited use indeed unless it addresses a specific thing in dispute like diagnosis or prognosis. 

    For ESA it’s slightly different. The focus is on repetition, safety and the context of work. Medical evidence on the latter especially could be entirely speculative but truly helpful.
  • StanBStanB Member Posts: 21 Connected
    Hi Mike,
    Something you mentioned above completely resonated with me I have literally just had my PIP award letter through and although it went ok I was shocked to have my Mobility component dropped to standard and I believe it was based on the 10 meter walk from there waiting room to the assessment room I requested my assessment report and reading through it it pretty much backs up what I think I have posted more fully my story on this board if you or Gill would care to take a look at it It would be appreciated

    Thank you
    Stan
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,628 Disability Gamechanger
    I can’t see it at present but I’m afraid that the DWP PIP assessment providers guidance is very clear that the assessment begins once you’re in the building rather than in the assessment room. 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Just to be clear, I would not want to advise people I speak to that medical (and other written) evidence, including those letters of evidence from physios, occupational therapists, mental health specialists, hospital consultants, social workers even, would not have a positive impact on their benefit claim. I think that advice would be detrimental to the interests of the people I speak to.

    The fact that the assessment starts at the door, or in the car park, is a separate issue. It is definitely the case. 

    Gill_Scope
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,628 Disability Gamechanger
    Just to be clear, I would not want to advise people I speak to that medical (and other written) evidence, including those letters of evidence from physios, occupational therapists, mental health specialists, hospital consultants, social workers even, would not have a positive impact on their benefit claim. I think that advice would be detrimental to the interests of the people I speak to.

    The fact that the assessment starts at the door, or in the car park, is a separate issue. It is definitely the case. 

    Gill_Scope

    I understand fully where you're coming from but I think the counter balance to that is that

    - 52% of claims succeed without medical evidence.

    - people often experience massive frustration because they put in tonnes of medical evidence but no-one tells them that it's often of little value if not directed to things that are at issue rather than things which are not. Loads of threads on here expressing exactly that frustration.

    - people generally don't know what their medical evidence is saying beyond "I definitely have x" when that's usually not in dispute. Nowadays it's as common to see evidence put in which is detrimental to a claim as it is to see stuff that helps. A simplistic message that all medical evidence is good and should be submitted is potentially dangerous. A realistic assessment is required.

    - I would never say to not use any medical evidence. I have said that it needs to be focused on gaps in evidence and there are a couple of examples where it will be essential because of lack of insight but ultimately detailed anecdotal examples are what gets you the benefit in the majority of cases.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Yes, mikehughesqc...Can't really argue with most of what you're saying, and I wouldn't want to.  Another point is that you can't always ask a medical professional to say exactly what would be useful when they write a letter for you. Sometimes, yes, sometimes, not at all.   Of course I agree that targeted evidence works best, and anecdotes from medical professionals or someone else including the claimant, best of all.  

    I'll leave it there!

    Gill_Scope 


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