Access Your Personal Data / Health Records

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information request update (click here)

Under data protection legislation, living individuals have a number of rights relating to the personal information that organisations hold about them. One of these is the right to view or obtain copies of the information that we hold about you, including your medical records. This is known as a subject access request or SAR.

SARs can be made verbally or in writing and to make it easier we have produced tailored application forms that capture all the information we need to process your request. You do not have to complete our form, however we would ask you to read it to ensure you have provided everything we need in order to handle your request efficiently.

Staff members who wish obtain a copy of their personnel record may apply using the request to access: personnel records form.

To be valid, your request/completed application form must include the necessary evidence of your identity, so that we can be sure that you are entitled to receive the requested information.

If you are applying on someone else’s behalf, we will also need evidence of their consent. Alternatively, you may have a legal right to represent a patient, for example, where they are unable to manage their own affairs and you have a Lasting Power of Attorney (Health and Welfare); or, in the case of a young child, you have parental responsibility.

Access a deceased patient’s health record

In accordance with the Access to Health Records Act 1990, access to a deceased patient’s medical records can be given only to:

  • The patient’s personal representative (this will be the executor of the will or the administrator of the estate)
  • Any person who may have a claim arising out of the patient’s death

The Trust has a duty to maintain the confidentiality of all medical records and this duty persists even after death. Next of kin and close relatives of the deceased do not have automatic right of access to patient records unless they are either the personal representative of the patient or have a claim arising out of the patient’s death.

We ask that requests of this nature are made using the request for access to: health records of deceased patients form.

Making Your Request

The quickest way to submit a request is to complete the relevant application form and email it to us at:

Alternatively you can get help completing the form at the PALS office, contact us by telephone on 01392 402623 or send your request to us at:

Information Governance Office
Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
Barrack Road

All releases of information are via NHS secure email unless requested otherwise. You can also use the NHS Secure email to submit your ID documentation, please email us to enable this. For more information please see the Access Encrypted Emails Guide for non-NHSmail users.

In accordance with the Department of Health guidance to NHS organisations, we will try to provide information within 21 calendar days if it is at all possible to do so. However, the General Data Protection Regulations allows us a legal timescale of one month to respond which can be extended to three months for complex requests. The time starts when we receive your request together with all the required supporting information.

Please make sure that you describe clearly the information you would like to receive as we may otherwise have to contact you for clarification, which would delay your request.


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