From November this year, patients using the NHS app will be able to view all new entries made in their GP records. This is an NHS initiative to give patients greater access to their health information.
Upon reviewing your records, you may feel that certain notes made by our clinicians are incorrect and you may wish to request that they are removed.
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 state that an individual has the ‘right to be forgotten’, which is sometimes called the ‘right to erasure’, however medical records are slightly different in that they hold special category data. The GP’s (or other clinician’s) opinion at the time will not alter, therefore we cannot remove information simply at the patient’s request.
In line with the General Medical Council’s (GMC) guidance, Doctors have an obligation to:
· Keep clear, accurate and legible records.
· Make records at the time the events happen, or as soon as possible afterwards.
The NHS constitution states that as a patient, “You have the right to have any factual inaccuracies in your health record corrected, however there are limited exceptions to this right, there is no obligation to amend something in a health record that is a professional opinion”, i.e. the GP’s opinion at the time.
This also applies to data that forms part of your medical record, for example letters and forms issued by other Healthcare organisations involved in your care that have supplied copies to us as your General Practice/registered GP. Data on your record is only to be used in relation to direct care purposes, and if considered to be used for anything else, it would need to have the relevant lawful basis and other data protection principles applied.
Should you request any corrections or redactions we will review your request and if we decide we are not able to comply we will inform you of this decision. We will also ensure we add details of your request to your record and the reasons why we have not been able to comply. Please make any such requests in writing via our website.
Understanding your Health Record
You can view some commonly used abbreviations here, which may help you understand your records.
Whilst we will endeavour to respond to any queries about your records, please bear in mind that we must prioritise our workload and deal with patients that are unwell and need us. You can prebook telephone calls and face to face appointments online via the NHS app should you wish to discuss a particular issue, but please do not use appointments purely to request something is removed from or changed within your notes. As above, please contact us in writing, via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will liaise with the clinical team and respond within an appropriate time frame – as with most administrative requests this can be up to 28 days.