Easy Read Information
From here you will find out how to apply for your health records using the forms below.
The Subject Access Office is not able to offer a ‘drop in’ service, if a personal visit is necessary a prior appointment must be made. All applications must be made in writing, by post or can be sent electronically e.g. by email. You can also deliver completed application/written request by hand at the main reception of the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
To help us to deal with your application you are asked to use the correct Subject Access Request form. This will help us deal with your request more speedily and accurately as it contains guidance on the information you need to tell us about.
There are three different application forms:
These can be returned by email by clicking here
or alternatively posted to:
Subject Access Request Team
Royal Liverpool Hospital
Please complete the form and remember to tell us the start and end date of the information request. If your application doesn’t tell us this we will assume that access is required to the whole health records file and this could potentially take longer to deal with your request.
There is no requirement for you to give a reason why you wish to access records but the information is helpful in providing you with an appropriate and speedy response.
Acting on the Patient’s/Data Subjects Behalf
A person acting on the behalf of the data subject, e.g. a relative, a carer, a solicitor, may apply for a copy of the records, but must have obtained informed, explicit and written consent from the data subject, have lasting Power of Attorney, or be an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA). Such a request should be dealt with in exactly the same way as a request from the Data Subject (The Patient) themselves. The applicant should be given access only to the information and explanation that would otherwise have been made available to the data subject.
If there is any doubt as to whether the data subject has the mental capacity to give consent, the Trust must refer to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The mental capacity assessment and outcome must be recorded. If the data subject is assessed as lacking mental capacity to give consent, the record holder and the Caldicott Guardian must then jointly consider whether:
- Releasing the information would be lawful, seeking legal advice if necessary
- The applicant is acting in the best interests of the data subject
If a decision is taken to release the information, then:
- The reasons leading to the decision must be recorded
You must complete the section containing the written consent of the patient (or their legal representatives) to the release of the information.
Please ensure you enclose a copy of your identification, for example:
- Driving License
- Bus Pass
- Other form of formal photographic identification
Please don’t send your original identification to us in the post
Access to the health records of deceased persons
This is governed by the Access to Health Records Act 1990. The Data Protection Act 1998 does not have any provision for access to the health records of the deceased.
Who can apply for copies of a deceased person records?
The personal representative (executor or administrator of the estate) of the deceased or any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient’s death may apply for access.
Where an application is being made on the basis of a claim arising from the deceased’s death, applicants must state the reason the records are needed to support the claim.
For a personal representative/legal executor a copy of the Grant of Probate (if you are the Executor of the will), or a copy of the Grant of Letters of Administration (if you are the Administrator) must be provided to us.
For a relative with a claim against the estate arising from the death of the deceased person, a statement to say why you should have access to the health record must be provided. This would help us to assess your ‘right to access’ if you indicate a very broad outline of your concerns.
Any information released will only relate to the claim or potential claim
Duty of confidentiality
Access is not allowed if the patient indicated while alive that they did not wish their information to be given to a particular person(s). Consideration will also be given to expectations that information created or given in confidence at the time of treatment and/or care would remain protected.
Evidence of right to access and identification is required for all applications
For a living Individual (Via The Data Protection Act 1998)
- Electronic and /or paper records which have been updated within the previous 40 days of the application ( applies to health records) - No cost
- Copy of electronic records only - £10
- Copies of electronic and paper records - Maximum of £50.00 (RLBUHT will make every effort to keep fees £10.00 by digitising records whenever possible)
For the records of a deceased Patient (via The Access to Health Records Act 1990)
- Electronic and /or paper health records which have been updated within the previous 40 days of the application - No cost
- Electronic and/or paper health records which have not been updated within the previous 40 days of the application - 0.25 per single sided A4 sheet. No maximum cost (RLBUHT will make every effort to keep fees £10.00 by digitising records whenever possible)
- Copies of electronic health records only - £10
Option 1: A4 professional images at £5 per sheet with max of 5 images on each
Option 2: Images can be supplied on an encrypted CD at a total of £5
How to Pay
Payment must be made in advance for your request to be processed
When your application is received, you will be provided with a unique reference number that will be linked to your request. Please telephone 0151 706 2790 and quote the reference to make your payment.
Alternatively a bank transfer can be paid using the same reference number to:
Account Name: R LIV/BRG UNI HOP NHST
Sort Code: 60-70-80
Account Number: 10010092
The Data Protection Act 1998 specifies 40 calendar days to comply with all Subject Access Requests, however, Royal Liverpool Hospitals will make every effort to fulfill within 21 days, rather than the 40 days specified in the Data Protection Act 1998.
Review and consent from health professional
Before information is released, the Senior Health Professional with responsibility for the patient will authorise the release of records.
There are certain circumstances where information can be withheld from a subject access request. Access can be denied or limited where:
- The information might cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of the patient, or any other person
- Provision of access would disclose information relating to, or provided by a third person who had not consented to disclosure
- The Trust is not obliged to inform that information has been withheld
Generally, a person with parental responsibility has the right to apply for access to a child’s health record. However, there may be exceptions to this. For further guidance please see Department of Health document 'Guidance for Access to Health Records Requests under the Data Protection Act 1998'.
The minimum amount of personal information to satisfy the purpose for which it is being requested should be released.
How we supply the information to you
Information is customarily provided electronically either on password protected CD and sent by Royal Mail post or via secure email.
Passwords for CDs will be sent separately to you via email or post
Administrators cannot comment or guide on the content of records. If you have a query, an appointment with the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Team (PALs) may be recommended to advise you about talking to a suitable health professional.
Information is provided directly from the data systems and cannot be retyped by the Subject Access Team as this may compromise the integrity and accuracy of the information held.
Some information within the record may be obscured /removed from the copy. For more information about this please see the section on Withholding Information
We are not able to supply copies of records from other NHS Trusts.
Disputed or inaccurate information
If information recorded on the health record is inaccurate, patients have the right to have the information corrected. However, if the patient disputes the accuracy but the Senior Clinician maintains the information is correct, the information will remain unchanged but a note will be added to the records by recording the nature of the dispute.
There may be exceptional circumstances when information should be amended or removed and agreement will always be sought from the Trust’s Caldicott Guardian alongside robust evidence of the decision making around removal of information.
Examples where information may be removed or amended are:
- Information not about that patient, and/or may put them or others at risk
- A Data Subject (Patient) has asked for the amendment and this has been agreed by the Senior Health professional
Subsequent subject access requests
The Trust does not have to comply with a subsequent request if we have already complied with an identical or similar request by the same individual, unless a reasonable interval has elapsed. In deciding what a reasonable interval is, the nature of the data, why the data is used and the frequency with which the data is altered will be taken into consideration.
Complaints and concerns
An individual has the right make a complaint under the Trust’s Complaints Procedure and will be advised to contact or write with details to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) Contact:
t: 0151 706 4903/4908/4909
Royal Liverpool University Hospital
ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) this is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals
The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House, Water Lane
t: 01625 545700
Department of Health Document Guidance for Access to Health Records Requests under the Data Protection Act 1998