Non-NHS practice services

Not all services that we are required to provide are funded by the NHS, for example medicals for travel, insurance or employment.

Balham Park Surgery is entitled to charge for all Non-NHS Services. We generally apply rates recommended by the BMA (British Medical Association).



Access to Health Records

Doctors have always had the discretion to allow patients to see their health records and to share information where appropriate with the carers of children and incapacitated adults. Additionally in recent years Acts of Parliament have given certain statutory rights of access to records. None of the legislation prevents doctors from informally showing patients their records or, bearing in mind duties of confidentiality, discussing relevant health issues with carers.

The implementation of data protection legislation in early 2000 changed patients’ statutory rights of access to their health records. The purpose of this guidance is to set out in some detail the legal requirements on doctors as holders of health records. This summary highlights the main points.

How do I access my medical records?

  • Let our Non NHS / Finance Team know in writing or complete a  Consent Form to Access to Medical Records online and hand in at reception.
  • Provide identification as well as proof of current address. Original copies of your identity documents must be available when collecting your information
  • Please note that our usual turn around time is 30 days. If there is limited capacity or unexpected complications this may be extended to two months. The Non-NHS Team would endeavour to inform you of any delays.

What records are covered?

All manual and computerised health records about living people are accessible under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Does it matter when the records were made?

No, access must be given equally to all records regardless of when they were made.

Does the Act cover all of the UK?


Who can apply for access?

Competent patients may apply for access to their own records, or may authorise a third party, such as their lawyer, to do so on their behalf. Parents may have access to their child’s records if this is in the child’s best interests and not contrary to a competent child’s wishes. People appointed by a court to manage the affairs of mentally incapacitated adults may have access to information necessary to fulfill their function.

Must copies of the records be given if requested?

Yes, patients are entitled to a copy of their records, for example a photocopy of paper records or print out of computerised records.

Are there any exemptions?

Yes, the main exemptions are that information must not be disclosed if it:

  • is likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to the patient or another person; or
  • relates to a third party who has not given consent for disclosure (where that third party is not a health professional who has cared for the patient).

Can a fee be charged?

Not under the new GDPR regulations. A fee may be charged for repetitive or excessive requests, these limits are set by the Surgery.

What about access to the records of deceased patients?

The Data Protection Act 1998 only covers the records of living patients. If a person has a claim arising from the death of an individual, he or she has a right of access to information in the deceased’s records necessary to fulfill that claim. These rights are set out in the Access to Health Records Act 1990 or Access to Health Records (Northern Ireland) Order 1993. The provisions and fees are slightly different from those in the Data Protection Act.

In these circumstances please contact our Non-NHS  Team on 020 8772 3322.

Latest guidance on confidentiality and on sharing information with relatives and carers is available from the BMA’s Medical Ethics Department.