Accessible Information and Online Access to My Medical Records

‘Accessible Information Standard’




SCCI1605 Accessible Information – the ‘Accessible Information Standard’ – directs and defines a specific, consistent approach to identifying, recording, flagging, sharing and meeting the information and communication support needs of patients, service users, carers and parents, where those needs relate to a disability, impairment or sensory loss.

The Standard applies to service providers across the NHS and adult social care system, and effective implementation will require such organisations to make changes to policy, procedure, human behaviour and, where applicable, electronic systems. Commissioners of NHS and publicly-funded adult social care must also have regard to this standard, in so much as they must ensure that contracts, frameworks and performance-management arrangements with provider bodies enable and promote the Standard’s requirements.

Successful implementation will lead to improved outcomes and experiences, and the provision of safer and more personalised care and services to those individuals who come within the Standard’s scope.

The scope of the Standard is significant and so is its intended impact. It is unashamedly ambitious in seeking to set the framework and provide clear direction for a dramatic improvement in the ability of the NHS and adult social care system to meet the information and communication support needs of disabled people. Applicable organisations have a legal duty to follow this standard; however, the moral and ethical imperative in this case is also compelling.

The Standard allows for flexibility in implementation approaches, subject to successful achievement of the stated requirements and outcomes.

How can I access my health records?

If you want to view your medical records, you may not need to make a formal application. Nothing in the law prevents healthcare professionals from informally showing you your own records. You can make an informal request during a consultation, or by phoning the surgery or hospital to arrange a time to see your records.

How to access your GP record

Some GPs have given online access to their patients’ GP records for some time. From April 2022 ( subject to agreement in law) all GPs should give their patients online access to summary information in their records. This is part of the drive to provide more GP online services to patients. It should give you more control of your health and well-being, especially if you are managing a condition that needs regular monitoring and frequent prescriptions.

If you wish, you can also request for someone else to have access to your GP record, please contact your practice who will be able to advise you on the best way to go about this.

The NHS is committed to modernising its services so that they are as efficient and effective as possible and put patients in the driving seat of their care. The ambition is that by 2018 every citizen will be able to access their full health records at the click of a button, detailing every visit to the GP and hospital, every prescription, test results, and adverse reactions and allergies.

Offering people the chance to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access summary information held in their GP records online is a key milestone on the road towards becoming a truly modern and dynamic healthcare system which is responsive to what patients want.


For more detailed information about the patient online services download the Patient Online FAQ leaflet (PDF, 176kb). Alternatively, look up your local GP on this site and find out what online services the practice provides or read more about GP online booking systems including how to register for it.

How to access your Summary Care Record

If you wish to view your SCR you’ll need to speak with your GP. Unlike GP records you’ll not be able to access them online by yourself. Find out more about Summary Care Records.

How to access other people's records

If you want to view medical records held by other NHS services you need to make a formal request under the Data Protection Act (1998) and apply in writing to the holder(s) of the records. For example, if you can’t access your GP records online and wish to see a paper version, write to your GP or the practice manager. If you want to see your hospital records, write to the hospital’s patient’s services manager or medical records officer.

To access someone else’s health records, you must:

  • be acting on their behalf with their consent, or
  • have legal authority to make decisions on their behalf (power of attorney), or
  • have another legal basis for access

More detailed information is provided in the article: Can I access someone else’s medical records?






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