Template letter to patients regarding accessing new entries made in their GP record

  • Template letters

This template letter is designed to explain to patients the potential risks from records access around coercion, health anxieties and data protection.

The letter contains hyperlinks on the basis it will most frequently be sent out via a link in a text message, if a practice intends to send it in a printed format it is advisable to write out the full URLs in the body of the letter to avoid confusion.

The main points covered are:

  • Abnormal results or bad news.
  • Choosing to share information with someone the patient knows.
  • Coercion (including recent BMA guidance).
  • Proxy access.

Possible patient queries addressed are:

  • Only being able to see records form their current practice following a recent switch of practices.
  • Amending or deleting information they believe is incorrect.
  • Not being able to understand information in the record.
  • Where information appears to require an action by the practice.
  • Information about someone else appearing in the record.
  • Access for patients aged under 16-years-old.
  • Not being able to see any of their record in the NHS App.

A previous version of this letter made reference to records access coming into effect on 31 October 2023, on 1 November the letter was updated to reflect patients already have access to their records.