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The link copied below has been brought to the attention of the LMC:
http://pcse.england.nhs.uk/recordsrequests/

It would appear that PCSE/Capita is demanding an administration fee of £50 for access to deceased patients records. Such access is governed by the Access to Health Records Act, not the Data protection Act and the £50 demand therefore breaches the statutory maximum. This matter is being brought to the attention of Capita and NHS England’s leadership and also to the GPC.

If any practice believes they have been charged inappropriately they should seek redress from PCSE and also report the matter to the Information Commissioners Office at https://ico.org.uk/

This however leads me on to another very important related issue:

If a deceased patient is no longer on your practice list and you no longer have the records, then the practice is no longer the data controller and the responsibility for providing access to the medical records or for providing an insurance or other report has passed from the practice to PCSE which is now the data controller. Therefore the requestor of a report or copy of the deceased’s records should be advised to contact PCSE directly . The PCSE may then legitimately request medical advice in order to check the records prior to release or in order to provide a report, and this advice may reasonably be requested from the practice where the deceased was registered. However this work is neither contractual nor covered by any statutory maximum fee. A practice may therefore charge its own private professional fee to do this work, or decline to provide the service, and it should certainly decline the work if its professional fee is not agreed.

I have attached both the DH’s guidance and the comprehensive guidance issued by BMA on the issue of access to health records, include information on accessing those of deceased patients which are covered by the Access to Health Records Act as opposed to the Data Protection Act.

Click here to download the document "Access to Health records".

Click here to download the document "Guidance for Access to Health Records Requests".

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