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HomeHealth LawRequesting Medical Information after a dying | Medical Negligence and Private Damage...

Requesting Medical Information after a dying | Medical Negligence and Private Damage Weblog

Shedding a cherished one whenever you assume it might be as a result of they obtained poor medical care is extremely aggravating at a time when household and pals are grieving their loss.  Usually, individuals need to see a written report of the ultimate days of their cherished one and what occurred to them, or they could need to undergo years of information to establish whether or not there was a analysis which will have been missed, resembling most cancers.

The regulation referring to the disclosure of a deceased particular person’s medical information are different to the final guidelines about launch of medical information.  It may be a complicated course of to navigate as a result of the Basic Knowledge Safety Regulation (GDPR) which supplies automated entry to your individual information, doesn’t apply when attempting to entry the information of somebody who has died.  Additionally, the Knowledge Safety Act solely applies to dwelling people.  That mentioned, the duty to respect a affected person’s confidentiality extends past dying.

Who can request medical information after a dying?

Solely sure individuals have the precise to entry the medical information of somebody who has died and that is lined by the Entry to Well being Information Act 1990.  This Act permits disclosure of medical information to:

  1. The Private Consultant of the one who has died.  If the deceased particular person has a Will, the Private Consultant is named the Executor of the Property.  If there isn’t a Will, the Private Consultant is named the Administrator.
  2. Anybody who might have a declare ensuing from the particular person’s dying.  This implies the consultant of the deceased’s Property (the Executor or the Administrator), or the ‘dependants’ of the deceased. There are strict standards as to who is taken into account a dependant; very typically, this consists of spouses, civil companions, youngsters, dad and mom and folks dwelling in the identical family for at the least 2 years earlier than the dying and instantly earlier than the dying as husband/spouse/civil companion.  People falling into this class could also be entitled to deliver a civil declare arising from the circumstances of the deceased’s dying by the use of the Regulation Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934 or the Deadly Accidents Act 1976.

Offering Proof

You will have to supply proof that you simply fall inside considered one of these classes.  That is pretty easy in case you are the consultant of the Property as summarised in class (1) above.  The Private Consultant can present a duplicate of the Grant of Probate (in case you are the Executor), or a duplicate of the Grant of Letters of Administration (in case you are the Administrator).  You don’t want to supply any cause for requesting the information.

The scenario turns into extra sophisticated in case you are not the Private Consultant, however consider you could have a declare ensuing from the particular person’s dying.  For instance, an individual might die, leaving a partner and kids.  Nonetheless, the deceased might have chosen to call another person as Executor (for instance, his brother).  In sensible phrases, the best solution to receive the information is at all times for the Private Consultant to request them.  Issues can come up when the Private Consultant doesn’t need to deliver a declare for the Property as a result of they might not want to be concerned in a authorized course of resembling a medical negligence declare and due to this fact refuse to request the information.

If somebody apart from the Private Consultant feels they’re entitled to deliver a declare they might want to present proof of their relationship with the deceased.  They may even have to say why they need the information.  It’s normally not sufficient to say you might be fearful about some side of the medical care and therapy otherwise you need to write a letter of grievance and want the information to take action.  You will have to set out particular issues concerning the healthcare the deceased obtained that has led you to contemplate a declare for medical negligence.  Such a declare have to be introduced inside sure cut-off dates.  In case you really feel you do have a declare and entry to information is proving tough or taking a really very long time, you need to communicate to our specialist medical negligence group.

What occurs in case you are not a Private Consultant and should not contemplating a declare?

If you don’t fall underneath the classes of individuals entitled to request the information then entry to a deceased particular person’s information is set on a case-by-case foundation.  The particular person requesting the information would want to jot down to the hospital or GP demonstrating that:

  • They’ve a legitimate cause for requesting the information;
  • They’ve a professional relationship to the deceased;
  • Entry to the information is within the public curiosity.

A GP or hospital will take account of the needs of the deceased particular person previous to dying, the views of the surviving household, any misery the discharge of this data might trigger to a dwelling particular person and any lack of privateness which will affect the popularity of the deceased.

Who must you write to?

To request GP information, you need to write to the Apply Supervisor on the deceased’s GP surgical procedure.  When an individual has died, the GP surgical procedure typically not retailer the information and the information are despatched to Main Care Help England.  The Apply Supervisor will have the ability to inform you the place they’ve been saved.

To request NHS hospital information, apply to the Entry to Medical Information Crew on the Hospital the deceased particular person attended.  The Hospital may have data on their web site that gives the exact tackle particulars, so it’s price checking as a result of the information could also be saved with one other hospital throughout the identical Belief.  In case you can’t find this data it may be price making a name to the Hospital’s Entry to Medical Information Crew to make sure you are writing to the proper division and tackle.

To request hospital information relating to non-public therapy, write to the personal hospital concerned, naming the physician who offered your care and ship the request to the Medical Information Supervisor/Entry to Well being Information Crew.

What is supposed by the time period ‘well being information’ and the kind of information that may be disclosed?

The Entry to Well being Information Act 1990 defines a well being report as being a report which “consists of knowledge referring to the bodily or psychological well being of a person who might be recognized from that data, or from that and different data within the possession of the holder of the report; and has been made by or on behalf of a well being skilled in reference to the care of that particular person.”  

The time period ‘well being skilled’ has the identical that means as that utilized to the time period throughout the Knowledge Safety Act 2018.  This implies well being information made by the next people are lined by the Entry to Well being Information Act 1990 –

  • Registered medical practitioner
  • Registered nurse or midwife
  • Registered dentist
  • Registered shelling out optician or a registered optometrist
  • Registered osteopath
  • Registered chiropractor
  • Particular person registered as a member of a career to which the Well being and Social Work Professions Order applies
  • Registered pharmacist
  • Youngster psychotherapist
  • A scientist employed by a well being service physique as head of a division

Limits to Disclosure

Pursuant to the Entry to Well being Information Act 1990 entry won’t be given to any a part of a well being report which: 

  1. Within the opinion of the holder of the report, would disclose (a) data prone to trigger severe hurt to the bodily or psychological well being of any particular person, or (b) data referring to or offered by a person, apart from the affected person or a healthcare skilled, who might be recognized from that data;
  2. Was created earlier than the graduation of the Act on 1 November 1991, and
  3. Is the topic of a be aware, made on the affected person’s request, that he/she didn’t want entry to be given on such an software.  Such a request may relate to information previous to a selected date or information referring to a selected situation.

If a part of a well being report falls into class (1) the information are prone to be disclosed in a redacted format.  If class (2) and (3) are relevant then information can be withheld. 

Time Limits

If the information had been up to date through the 40 days earlier than the date of your software, you ought to be given entry inside 21 days.  If the information had been up to date greater than 40 days earlier than the date of your software, you need to obtain the information inside 40 days.


Following the implementation of GDPR, the Entry to Well being Information Act 1990 was amended in order that the information of a deceased particular person have to be offered freed from cost.


If you want any additional data or recommendation concerning the subject mentioned on this weblog, please contact Richard Lodge or our Medical Negligence and Private Damage group.



Richard Lodge is a Accomplice within the Medical Negligence and Private Damage apply and has been recognised throughout the discipline of scientific/medical negligence throughout the Chambers UK and Authorized 500 directories.  He’s an individually ranked lawyer for scientific negligence inside Chambers UK, A Consumer’s Information to the UK Authorized Occupation.





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