The information on this page is intended for patients seeking copies of the information which the Trust holds about them.


Rights of access

The Data Protection Act 2018 give individuals rights to access information held about them by organisations. DPA18 relates specifically to information relating to living individuals. This is known as a ‘Data Subject Access Request’ (DSAR).


Who can access a deceased patient’s health records?

The Common Law Duty of Confidentiality continues after death, therefore, the Trust is only able to provide copies of a deceased patient’s health records in exceptional circumstances.

The Access to Health Records Act 1980 deals with the disclosure of deceased individuals’ health records. Under the AHRA90, the health records of deceased patients may be accessed only by the patient’s personal representative (the executor of the Will, or a person granted probate or letters of administration), or by any person with a claim arising from their death (which is being dealt with by a solicitor):

  • A ‘personal representative’ is either an Executor named in the Will or if the patient died without a Will, the administrator of the estate. The Executor will obtain ‘Grant of Probate’ whilst an administrator would take out a ‘Grant of letters of administration’ or ‘letters of administration with Will annexed’.
  • A person with a claim arising from the estate will need to supply adequate evidence that they have a claim arising from the patient’s death and therefore have a legal right of access under the Act. They must supply supporting evidence such as a copy of a claim from a solicitor or other evidence of a legal challenge.

Lasting Power of Attorney only remains valid during the lifetime of the person who made it (called the 'donor'). After the donor dies, the LPA will end.

Family members and next of kin have no automatic right of access to records, even after a patient’s death.


How to make a request

Please complete the application form and return with the relevant documentation as listed within the form, to our Subject Access Team at the postal address or email address.

If you are blind, partially-sighted, or have any other disability which would make it difficult for you to make the request in writing, please contact the Subject Access team as detailed at the end of this page.


Other types of disclosure

The Subject Access team is only able to deal with subject access requests pertaining to health records.

If you are seeking specific healthcare information about yourself, you should always contact your GP in the first instance, or else the relevant clinical department in which you were seen.

If you are seeking disclosure of records without the patient’s consent, your request will be handled differently and you may be asked to provide alternative justification to ensure a lawful basis.


What you need to provide

You must provide written evidence of identity and, if you are not the patient, appropriate lawful authority to act on the patient’s behalf. The application form lists the evidence which is needed for each type of application.

If you are the parent/guardian of a child and are making an application on their behalf, please note that you can only act without their consent until they are old enough to understand the nature of the request for themselves. We therefore normally ask for the child’s consent if they are 12 years of age or over – see our Confidentiality and Data Protection Policy for more details.

Under the General Data Protection Regulations dated 25th May 2018 there is no charge for records.


What you can expect from us

We will respond to your request within the statutory calendar month upon receipt of all relevant evidence that you have the legitimate rights to access the records. However if we are receiving significant volumes of requests and if there is any delays we will contact you.


Further information

You can contact the team between 9am and 3pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays):


Subject Access Team
Medical Records
Ashford Hospital
London Road
TW15 3AA

Tel: 01784 884773

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please do not attend in person unless you have made a prior appointment as it is otherwise unlikely that the team will be able to meet you.

Unencrypted internet email is not secure, and Trust policy normally prohibits staff from disclosing personal data by email. If you send us a patient’s personal data by such means (for example by emailing a completed application form to us), we will infer your authority for us to do likewise in correspondence with you.

If you would like to find out more about how the Trust deals with subject access requests, please contact either the Subject Access Team or PALS. For more general information about your subject access rights, you may find the Information Commissioner’s Office guidance useful.


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