Making a request for the deceased

Whilst the Data protection Act does not extend to cover deceased persons, the Trust is bound a duty of confidentiality to ensure that only the representative of a deceased person accesses records.

Access to Health Records Act 1990

Under the Access to Health Records Act 1990, the personal representative of the deceased and people who may have a claim arising from the patient’s death are permitted access to the records. This applies to information provided after November 1991 and disclosure should be limited to that which is relevant to the claim in question.
 
Access to the health records of a deceased person is restricted to a limited number of people.

What are you entitled to?

You are entitled to see all records made after 1st November, 1991 unless:
  • in the opinion of the Trust, such disclosure would cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of the applicant or any other individual; or
  • the patient had requested that that information is not disclosed to the applicant
For this reason, agreement must be sought from the Health Professional(s) before disclosure can be made.
 
Records made before 1st November, 1991 may be made available on a discretionary basis if these are considered by the Trust to be necessary for the applicant’s understanding of that part of the record to which access is being given.

How much will it cost?

From 4 July 2016 the Trust will invoice you for payment prior to records being prepared for disclosure. Once you have paid for the records, we will prepare them for disclosure and despatch to you.
 
The fees are as follows:
 
Up to 10 pages of records: £10 + £10 for imaging
Up to 25 pages of records: £25 + £10 for imaging
Over 25 pages and images: £50 including imaging
To view records £ 10 with the above fees applying if copies taken.

How long will it take?

At the present time we are required by law to respond to your request within 40 days where the record has not been added to within the 40 day period preceding the request, and 21 days where the record has been added to within this 40 day period. We will, however, endeavour to respond to all requests within 21 days. This period will commence as soon as we are in receipt of your payment and ID. We will update you if there are any difficulties in complying with your request within the timescale allowed under the Act.
 
While we make every effort to provide information to those who request it there are certain circumstances where this is not possible (destruction, fire, theft). Should this affect your request we will endeavour to keep you informed

How to obtain copy medical records for a deceased person

Please send the completed access to records form by post to:
 
Information Governance Team
Deceased Records Office
Perimeter Road
Medway NHS Foundation Trust
Windmill Road
Gillingham
Kent ME7 5NY
 
Telephone: 01634 830000 ext 5360