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

LostInLimbo Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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? 


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 1,741 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Community member Posts: 5,209 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
  • Luggah
    Luggah Community 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
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Hi LostinLimbo, CockneyRebel and Luggah

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


    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?

  • susan48
    susan48 Community member Posts: 2,221 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

  • sav13
    sav13 Community 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!
  • [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).

  • StanB
    StanB Community 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
  • [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. 

  • [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!


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