Your Records

Accessing my GP-Held Records

As your GP practice, we have been encouraged to provide you with access to your full medical record going forward via the NHS app (and NHS website) if you have a suitable NHS login. This is for all patients who are aged 16 and over.

What does my GP record contain?

  • consultation notes based on conversations between you, your GP and their team
  • medicines prescribed to you
  • all test results including hospital investigations
  • allergies
  • vaccines
  • details of your medical conditions
  • documents from local hospitals, clinics or other agencies, e.g. the police

Non-urgent advice:

There is likely to be sensitive and personal information within your medical record.

Making an informed decision

We are supportive of providing you with access to your record, but it is important that you understand the possible risks and have the opportunity to opt out if you wish.

  • It is important for us to highlight the potential risks involved in having such confidential data either on your smartphone with the NHS app installed or online
  • You may wish to consider anyone that might have access to that information through your devices
  • If you are in a difficult or pressured relationship for example, you may prefer your records to remain accessible only to those treating you, with them not appearing on your smartphone or online
  • Government has been clear that if a patient does not wish to have access, then we do not have to provide it
  • All patients aged 16 and over who have a mobile telephone number on their record will have received a text message asking if they wish to opt out
  • If you have not received this text message and wish to opt out please complete our online form stating that you wish to opt out of having your medical record online.

What information can be accessed?

  • It is possible to have different levels of access- for instance, you may wish to just order your repeat medication and view your allergies
  • It is also possible to request access to what we call your ‘coded record’ where you can see a list of medical problems and results
  • You can also request access to the ‘full’ record where you will be able to see everything, including the notes which have been written by doctors, nurses and others involved in your care, at the GP Practice, and elsewhere

Other things to consider

  • It’s important to remember that these documents may, at times, contain information that could be upsetting, especially if they contain news of a serious condition
  • It can also be a cause for worry seeing results online when it isn’t clear what the results might mean, and no one is available to ask, as can be the case during the evening or at weekends, for example
  • Sometimes documents may be a reminder of difficult times in your life. For example, letters may go into detail about past events, and great care would be needed in deciding whether you would want to see these letters
  • It is possible for individual items to be hidden at your request and we would be happy to discuss about any concerns you may have
  • Great care is also needed in case private details might cause harm at home, should people in a difficult or pressured relationship be forced to show their medical record to an abusive partner
  • Anyone in such a position should make this clear to us at the practice, so we can take steps to keep you safe. This may mean removing access through the NHS app for the time being, or through a careful process where we hide sensitive things. We would be happy to discuss this with you

Opting Out – what do I need to do?

  • If you do not wish to have full access to your records, please complete our online form and advise us that you would like to opt out.
  • If you are unable to use the online form, you can contact us in writing, or by phone to advise us that you would like to opt out
  • If you would like some access but not full access (order repeat medication, see results etc) you can contact us as above stating what you would like access to

Requesting access – what do I need to do?

If you do not have access but would like it, please follow the steps below.

Create your NHS login: If you have a smartphone/tablet, the easiest way to get access is to create an NHS login through the NHS app

  • To use the NHS app, you’ll have to set up an account using a unique e-mail address and then ‘authenticate’ yourself to the NHS system to prove you are who you say you are
  • This will involve confirming your name, date of birth and contact details
  • The NHS login has several levels of authentication and to gain access to your records you’ll need the highest level of authentication
  • This generally involves you recording a short video of yourself to prove you are a real person as well as uploading a copy of a suitable identification document

You can also access your GP records via the internet on a computer

  • It may be that the practice wishes to contact you to discuss your request if there are any concerns raised so that access can be given safely

Non-urgent advice:

Remember to be mindful of the risks associated with access.

It is important to not share passwords or have them stored in your smartphone, if you think other people might want to see them without your permission.

If you have any concerns, you should explain these to your GP practice team who can guide you.