- Patient information
- Information about health rights
- The Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities
- Making a complaint
- Your health records
- Health care for overseas visitors
- Information for young people
- Information for carers
- Information about health services
- Other languages and formats
- Local NHS contact details
How to see your health records
What do I need to know about my health records?
What are my health records?
They are records that include information about your health and any care or treatment you've received. This could be, for example, test and scan results, x-rays or letters to and from NHS staff.
Why look at my health records?
You might want to know more about treatment that you've had or check that your information is correct. It's your choice whether to look at them and there can be a charge to do this.
How and where are my health records kept?
- Your records can be written on paper, held on computer or both.
- Different parts of the NHS hold records. For example, your GP surgery and any hospital you have been to may hold records about you.
- Your records may only be kept for a certain period of time, after which they can be destroyed. The NHS has guidelines about how long it should keep health records. If you would like more information about this, speak to the person in charge of health records at the place where your records are kept. In your GP surgery this will probably be the practice manager, and in hospitals it will probably be the records manager.
- It’s important that your records are kept up to date. You should tell NHS staff when your personal information changes (for example, your address or phone number), or if you are going to be out of the UK for a long time.
Your Emergency Care Summary
Most patients in Scotland now have an Emergency Care Summary. This gives some basic information about your health that may help staff if you need urgent medical care when your GP surgery is closed, or when you go to an accident and emergency (A&E) department.
NHS staff can also use your Emergency Care Summary if your GP refers you to an outpatient clinic or for admission to hospital. For example, it will help NHS staff check whether your medication has changed since the GP wrote your referral letter.
Before any member of staff looks at your Emergency Care Summary they will usually ask your permission. If you are too unwell to give permission, they may need to read your Emergency Care Summary without your agreement, to give you the best possible care.
For more information, see the leaflet 'Your Emergency Care Summary: What does it mean for you?'. You can get a copy from your GP surgery, by phoning the NHS inform Helpline on 0800 22 44 88, or in the 'Other patient information' section of our website.
The Key Information Summary
Patients with particular needs (for example, palliative care, support at home or care from family members) and patients living with long-term conditions may also have a Key Information Summary. This includes information that patients want NHS staff looking after them to know (for example, who should be contacted in an emergency, what conditions they have and what treatment they receive).
Your GP will discuss with you what information can be included in your Key Information Summary, if you need one.
Page last edited: 09 May 2012