We are aware that part of the NHS England Future Vision is for all patients to have immediate access to their notes from 1st November 2023. We agree that this aim is ultimately a positive step in patient autonomy and engagement in their own care, however there are significant risks associated with a blanket policy where all patients over 18 have immediate access to their future notes.
As of yet, we feel that these risks have not been resolved and after advice from our governing bodies and discussion with our fellow PCN practices we have therefore made the decision that the safest way forward is to adopt an Opt In model of access.
The aim of this is to allow patients access in a systematic manner which allows us to review notes before release and protect potentially vulnerable patients. Access to prospective notes can be granted by written request to the practice.
I am sure that you all understand that clinical care will take priority over notes review and this process may therefore take up to 6 months for access to be granted after request. This process does not fall under the Subject Access Request for retrospective information access which has its own time frames for completion.
Not all requests for access may be considered safe and can be refused if it is felt access could be harmful. A routine appointment can be made to discuss these decisions.
To request access to your notes please complete the following form and bring it into the surgery with photo ID so we can confirm the identity of anyone making a request.
Medical records for children under the age of 16 years can be made available to their parents or legal guardians by proxy access.
Children age 16-18 years will need to request access to their own records.
We are aware that many patients already have real time access to their investigation results via the NHS App. We would like to remind all patients that they may subsequently receive their results BEFORE they have been reviewed by the requesting clinician. This is completely outside of our control and is a system that has been set up by NHS England without consultation with us. Whilst we endeavour to ensure all abnormal results are reviewed as quickly as possible, there may occasionally be an unavoidable delay in this. Furthermore, some results may be marked as abnormal by the lab as they fall outside the reference ranges but this does not mean that they automatically require any action and it is up to the clinician to decide if these abnormalities are significant or not. Please do not call the practice to discuss blood results as soon as you receive them as these calls block the phone lines and take up unnecessary receptionist and clinician time and takes us away from acute patient care. If you have further queries after you have received the results AND they have been reviewed by a clinician, please complete an e-consult or send an email via reception with your questions which will be reviewed by clinicians based on clinical priority. Patients going on holiday does NOT increase the clinical urgency and whilst we try take into account social & medical commitments affecting patients, we cannot guarantee that queries will be dealt with quicker because you have other commitments or are anxious about the results.
We ask that you do not call the surgery to discuss prospective online access as we need to keep the lines clear for clinical queries.
- Any requests for access need to be via the forms above which will need to be brought into the surgery along with photo ID.
- If you have other questions about access, please send these via email or letter.
- IF YOU WISH ACCESS TO REMAIN BLOCKED (OPTING OUT), please email or write to us.
Cuckfield Medical Practice & The Vale Surgery