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Your health records

You can get this leaflet as a PDF file by clicking the icon at the top right.

Health records are information about your health and any care or treatment you have had. They will include things like test results, x-rays or letters your doctor has written about you.

Picture of doctor with health records on desk.
This information may be kept at your doctor's surgery or may be kept at a hospital. It may be on computer or it may be on paper.

If you want to see your records you can just ask the doctor or nurse who is treating you. But they do not have to show you then and there.

Picture of nurse holding medical records.

If they will not show you, then you will have to write a letter. Get an advocate or advice service to help you with this.

There are some things you will not be able to see. These will be things that it would be bad for you to see.

Other people can also ask to see your records. People like your family or carers or social workers, if you agree. If you have a welfare guardian they may have the right to see your records.

Picture of patient in bed discussing records with doctor.

If you don’t want other people to see something in your records, tell the doctor or nurse treating you.

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Your Emergency Care Summary

Your doctor keeps important information about your health. This information might be needed in an emergency. Other doctors or nurses will ask you before they look at it, if you are well enough to answer.

Ask your doctor if you want to know more about this.

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Your rights

You can ask to see your records. You can get a copy if you want one. You do not need to give a reason for wanting to see your health records.

Picture of records being explained to patient.

When you look at your records it's likely someone will be with you while you see them. They should explain any jargon or words that you don't understand.

Sometimes it is free to see your records. Sometimes you will have to pay to see your records. It can cost up to £10. If you want a copy of any part of them, it can cost up to £50.

If you think information in your records is wrong, get an advocate or advice service to help you.

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If you are not happy about anything connected with your application to see your health records, get an advocate or advice service to help you.

To find out more about anything in this leaflet you can contact your local NHS Board.

To find out more about your rights you can contact:

  • People First (Scotland)
    77-79 Easter Road
    Edinburgh
    EH7 5PW
    Phone: 0131 478 7707
    Fax: 0131 478 7474
    E-mail: peoplefirst1@btconnect.com

Your comments please!

We want to know what you think about this leaflet.

Please give us your comments:

  • by post to NHS inform, NHS 24, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Beardmore Street, Clydebank G81 4HX
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  • by phoning us on 0800 22 44 88
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We have tried our best to make sure this leaflet is correct but the law is much more complicated than this. If you plan to take legal action, you should get an advocate, advice service or solicitor to help you.


You can get a longer version of this information which explains things covered here in more detail. You can also get it in other languages and formats.

You can get all of this information in a printed leaflet from your local NHS Board. If you need help to get this contact the NHS inform Helpline (textphone 18001 0800 22 44 88).

Produced by NHS inform.

Version 5
Produced February 2012
Revision date February 2015

Page last edited: 29 April 2012