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Accessing and sharing health records and patient confidentiality

27 October 2015

This briefing from the House of Commons sets out current arrangements for accessing patient records and sharing confidential patient information.

Individuals have a right to access their own health records, and in limited circumstances, access to the records of other people. The Government has made a commitment that patients should gain access to their health records within 21 days following a request. Access to health records may also be granted in limited circumstances for relatives or in the case of deceased patients. This briefing describes how patients may request access to their records, and the circumstances in which access to the records of others may be allowed.

This briefing relates to patients in England.

Published by:  House of Commons Library, BRIEFING PAPER. Number 07103, 7 September 2015