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Medical negligence » Obtaining health records


Each year thousands of people are treated in hospitals and GP surgeries for injuries and illnesses both minor and serious. Many receive a correct diagnosis and prompt treatment that helps them to recover from their sickness. Unfortunately, this successful outcome does not apply to all patients and a minority of people experience physical effects of medical negligence.

When this happens, the person may decide to make a compensation claim against the nurse, GP or specialist that they feel did not adhere to their duty of care. However, medical negligence claims are often very complex and are notoriously difficult to prove.

In order to achieve a successful outcome, it is likely that very detailed medical evidence will be used to substantiate the claim. This medical evidence can take a variety of forms and usually includes one or more of the following:

  • medical reports from an expert in the particular condition or injury that the claim is based around
  • hospital records that show details of what treatments were administered and any readings that were taken
  • dental records (if appropriate)
  • GP records that give a past medical history and background

Health records

If you decide to go ahead with a medical negligence claim, we will need to request a copy of your health records from the authorities and organisations that have been involved in your treatment. Privacy is a key issue regarding this and your medical records are protected by the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Access to Health Records Act 1990.

We will need your permission to send a request to your GP, hospital or dental surgery for full copies of your health records. Once this permission is granted, the photocopies we need should be supplied within 40 days.

Although the copying of most health records, X-rays and scans may well cost up to 50, you will not be responsible for this cost, no matter what the outcome of your medical negligence claim.

\"\\"\\\\\\"\"Getting a copy of your own records

If you wish to get a copy of your own records for your information, this is also possible. Simply write a letter, either addressed to your GP if you are writing to your surgery or to the Medical Records Department if you are writing to a hospital, requesting a copy of your medical history.

It is important that you include all pertinent identification information in your letter, such as name, address and date of birth.

However, you will be responsible for the copying fees. The record holder is not allowed to charge more than 50 for supplying copies of medical records, although if there are a substantial number of x-rays or scans there may be an additional fee.

Claiming medical negligence compensation

At HappyClaim, we know that many people who have suffered the effects of medical negligence are left very distressed by the event. We offer a supportive, caring approach to taking legal action and make claiming compensation as stress-free and straightforward as possible for our customers.

We have assisted many people to get personal injury compensation after they received substandard medical treatment and believe that we could help you too. Our panel of solicitors has specialist knowledge of medical negligence cases and are some of the most experienced in the UK. This means you can relax, knowing that your claim is in safe hands.

If you would like to find out whether you could claim for medical negligence, please either telephone our freephone legal advice line on 01582 437070 or fill in an online claim form.