Your Medical Records: How to Get a Copy

When you are involved in legal proceedings to make a compensation claim for medical negligence or personal injury, it is very important to be able to access your medical records. There are various ways to do this, and you can discuss the best approach with your solicitor at S.T. O’Sullivan & Co Solicitors.

If your claim relates to an injury you have sustained or a medical procedure that you believe has been carried out negligently, whether this is for yourself or a member of your family, you will need to produce copies of your medical records along with all other relevant documents and notes, as part of the procedure for making your case.

How to Get Access to Your Medical Records

Unless there are exceptional and unusual circumstances, individuals are entitled to access their personal medical records. This is possible in the following ways:

1.    Via administrative access to Health Service Executive records. This is the most straightforward way to access your medical records, and simply involves writing to your doctor or the hospital you have been treated at and asking for your records as a matter of administration, without invoking your statutory rights. You will not normally be expected to pay for a copy of your records, although you may be asked to pay a fee for copying if the records are very long. You will probably be asked to provide identification and proof of address to get a copy of your records but these documents will usually be provided when you request them. Occasionally, it may not be possible to obtain medical records in this way.   

2.    Under the Freedom of Information Act 2014. Public bodies that hold medical records are obliged to provide individuals with copies of their records under this Act. You should apply in writing to your hospital, explaining that you would like a copy of your medical records pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. The hospital will need to identify your records, so you should include your name, date of birth and address in your letter, along with proof of identification. You should note that a copying fee may be requested, and that private hospitals are not subject to this Act.

3.    Under the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003. If the treatment that relates to your case was carried out in a private hospital, your records can be requested under the provisions of the Data Protection Acts. You should set out your request in writing and include your name, date of birth and address, with proof of identification. Getting a copy of your medical records in this way will usually incur a fee of €6.35.

Find Expert Solicitors in Ennis, County Clare

If you wish to discuss a medical negligence or personal injury claim with our experienced team of specialists, contact us at S.T. O’Sullivan & Co Solicitors to see how we can help. Simply call into our office in Ennis, Co.Clare, contact us online or call us today on +353 (065) 6820620. We guarantee to call you back to discuss your case within one business day