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The Quest for Records

Posted on February 19th 2021

Accessing your medical records is your legal right – but what happens to records after a patient has died?

After a patient’s death, their hospital records are usually stored by hospitals themselves, whereas their GP records are usually transferred to Primary Care Support England (PCSE) to manage. PCSE is an administrative body within the NHS.

In normal circumstances, you can obtain your own records via the health care provider who stores those records. However, if you are looking to obtain the medical records of a loved one who has passed away, the method of requesting these records is different, more complex and can take a lot more time.

The process between applying for and receiving these records can be a long one and is being further drawn out due to the continuing delaying effects of the current coronavirus pandemic.

Many people also find that once the records are finally received, they are often either incomplete or have been inappropriately redacted (meaning sections of the records are ‘blacked out’), particularly when received from PCSE.

For claims conducted by our clinical negligence, industrial disease and personal injury departments, medical records form vital evidence in establishing whether or not a claim is going to be successful.

In a clinical negligence claim for example, it is essential that a full set of medical records is disclosed in order to evaluate the complete medical history of that person and to see the bigger picture. This is crucial in determining whether or not somebody was subjected to negligent treatment, and the consequences thereafter.

It has been noted recently that people who apply for copies of medical records of loved ones who have died, have been experiencing many issues with accessing the full set of records that they have requested, along with a lack of detailed reasoning as to why certain records were either held back or redacted.

If you think your loved one received negligent care in the last three years, and have been experiencing difficulty obtaining copies of their medical records, get in touch with our specialist solicitors who may be able to help you in investigating a potential claim.

If we think you have a claim, we can help obtain the necessary medical records on your loved one’s behalf to review them in order to establish whether you are likely to be successful in your claim.

We benefit from in-house medical knowledge from the outset of a claim as our Clinical Negligence Department is headed by a dual-qualified doctor and solicitor.

We offer free and confidential initial advice. If you have an enquiry and would like to speak to a member of our team, please do not hesitate to call on 01244 312 306 or email us at law@oliverandco.co.uk.

Call and speak to a lawyer on 01244 312306