Application for a deceased individual's health records
Use this form if you wish to apply for access to health records in relation to a deceased individual.
The Access to Health Records Act 1990 grants rights to certain individuals to see what has been written about a deceased patient in a hospital and other health records. This only applies to written records made on or after 1st November 1991.
Access is available to:
- The patient's personal representative (this will be the executor of the will or the administrator of the estate)
- Any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient's death
NHS Digital is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body (ENDPB), whose main responsibilities are the collection, analysis and publication of health and social care data and statistics, to inform local decision making and improve the quality and efficiency of frontline care. NHS Digital is the new trading name for the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
We do not hold medical records in the same format as a GP or Hospital would hold (case note files, x-rays, doctors notes etc.). To obtain a copy of your medical records, you should submit a request to your care provider(s) (GP or Hospital).
Please note medical records are defined as a "chronological written account of a patient's examination and treatment that includes the patient's medical history and complaints, the physician's physical findings, the results of diagnostic tests and procedures, and medications and therapeutic procedures."
The data that we do hold and process is used for secondary use purposes. For example, we can provide Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), and also Secondary Uses Service (SUS) data files. HES holds records on hospital episodes of care including, inpatient, outpatient and A&E. SUS is the single source of comprehensive data to enable a range of reporting and analysis. NHS hospital trusts submit patient activity to SUS for performance monitoring, reconciliation and payments purposes. Both of these systems may contain information in regards to you.
If you request this, it will be presented to you in a spreadsheet format, which will provide you with statistical information on each hospital attendance, rather than any doctor's notes/files for each visit.
As a Data Controller of personal information, NHS Digital can charge a fee for dealing with a request for personal information. The charges will be:
Health records held electronically only: up to a maximum £10 charge.