Requests for health records

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2016 and Data Protection Act 2018 entitles individuals to access their personal data.

The Request for Information Team (RFI) is responsible for processing applications from patients for copies of their personal health records known as a Subject Access Request (SAR). This right can also be exercised by an authorised representative on the individual’s behalf or by specified persons in the case of a deceased patient.

To access medical records please download this application form:

Alternatively a form can be sent out to you if you contact the RfI team by:

Request for Information (RFI) Department
Eastbourne DGH
Ground Level
Kings Drive
Eastbourne, BN21 2UD

Checking of identity and legal right to view or receive copies of health records

If you are applying in relation to your own health records you will need to supply copies of the following documentation:

  • 1 x copy of current photo ID (e.g. passport or driving licence)

and

  • 1 x copy of a utility bill showing your current address (e.g. a gas bill or bank statement) – please note this must be dated within the 6 months of the application

If you are applying on behalf of someone else you will need to supply one copy of the following relevant documentation:

  • Parents can apply for access to the medical records of their children – a copy of the child’s birth certificate will be required. Please note that proof of parental responsibility will be required if the applicant is not the mother
  • Power of Attorney (healthcare version) if you are applying for an adult who cannot consent for themselves
  • Will or grant of probate if you are applying on behalf of a deceased person.

The information will be provided free of charge, and within one calendar month of receiving  the request, however if the request is complex, or it is required in an accessible format due to a disability such as large print, braille or audio, we may need to extend the period by a further two calendar months. You will be informed of this extension if this applies.

A reasonable fee may be charged to cover the administrative cost of providing the information if it is excessive or repetitive.

Additional information

There may be times when we are required not to show you parts of your record, but this will only happen if there is information that might relate to another patient, or if a health care professional considers that seeing the information might be harmful to you.

Deceased patient records are destroyed after eight years. This eight year period is a legal requirement; it allows sufficient time for the relatives to find out any information regarding their family members’ health care leading up to their death. There are some exceptions to this rule.

Maternity information within the patient record is kept until the child of the patient would be 25 years old.

Paediatric deceased notes are kept for 25 years.

If the cause of death for any patient is found to be suicide, notes are kept for 25 years.