Subject Access Request

What is Subject Access?

Data protection legislation gives individuals the right to request access to personal data held on them by organisations. This is known as a Subject Access Request (SAR).

What is Personal Data?

Personal data is defined, in the regulation, is anyone who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural/living person.

What is a Health Record?

A "Health Record" is any record which consists of information relating to the physical or mental health of a natural person, including the provision of health care services, which reveal information about his or her health status which has been made by or on behalf of a health professional in connection with the care of that individual.

Who can make a Subject Access Request?

Any individual can make a Subject Access Request (SAR). In addition an individual may nominate a representative (such as a solicitor or relative) to apply on their behalf. In this case, there must be a valid consent signed by the individual who authorises the release of information to the representative.

A person who has parental responsibility for a young child can request access to the child's records. Release of records is usually only made in the best interests of the child. Children may apply themselves - where it is considered that the child has the competence to be able to understand the nature and implications of making a SAR. If they are considered competent, they should also be consulted regarding any request that has been made for their records by another individual, i.e. a person with parental responsibility. The competence of the child in respect of requests for records can be considered from the age of 12.

For mentally incapacitated adults a person may make a request on their behalf if they have been granted power of attorney or agent by a court to manage their affairs. The request must be made in relation to the management of their health and welfare.

Organisations may charge a fee if it has been defined as manifestly excessive or unfounded. You will be advised of this during the request process if this is the case.

What about medical records regarding deceased persons?

The Access to Health Records Act 1990 allows certain individuals to request access to a deceased patient's health records.

How can I make a Subject Access Request?

If you wish to make a Subject Access Request, you must put your request in writing to:

Access to Information Team
Beech House
Waterside South
Lincoln
LN5 7JH

Telephone: 01522 308974

You will be required to provide sufficient information or complete the standard Subject Access Request form (below) so that we have all relevant information to process your request.

Subject Access Request form

Access to Deceased Patient Information

Who can make a request for a deceased patient's records under the Act?

The deceased patient's personal representative - this will be the Executor of the Will or Administrator of the deceased person's estate, or any individual, or representative, who may have a claim arising out of the patient's death. The applicant or their representative must specify what claim is being made, and only information that is relevant to the claim should be considered for release.

Requesting access to a deceased patient’s records form

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