Access to health records

When you visit our hospitals, we record what happens to you so that health care professionals can plan your future care. Clinic visits, operations, tests and investigations are documented in your health record, alongside copies of all correspondence relating to your care. We also record information such as allergies, medicines, past reactions to medicines, and any long term conditions such as diabetes or asthma. And we hold your personal information such as your name, address, gender, next of kin and ethnic origin.

 

Confidentiality

Your health record is kept confidential within the hospital at all times and is only shared with staff when they need it to carry out their job. All staff are required to work to strict professional and contractual codes of confidentiality, and where possible we will anonymise information so that individual patients cannot be identified. The only time information will be shared to outside organisations is if they are directly involved in your care, for instance, your GP, social worker, community nurses or other hospital.

 

Digital records

As part of our on-going goal of becoming a digital-first organisation, the Trust is gradually moving to digital records.  This will give staff the ability to manage their time more effectively, remove the risks associated with paper, improve communication and access to information, and ultimately provide better care to our patients. The changes are being introduced gradually and will not immediately affect all areas, and your care will not be affected in any way.

 

Requesting access to your health records

Should for any reason you would like access to your hospital health records, please make your request digitally using our new online portal. Click get started online, then follow the instructions to set-up your account or login if you have an existing account.

Requests are managed electronically and once complete, patients will be able to view their health records using a download function within the portal, reducing the need for paper copies and DVD files to be created and posted to homes.

When making your request, please ensure the correct application type is selected.  This will help the Access to Records team process your request effectively.

Download the Requester Portal Guide and view the FAQs at the bottom of this page to help you through the process. You’ll need to supply identification as part of the request process - you can find out what you need to supply by downloading the Identification documents needed to access health records document.pdf.

 

Access the portal at https://msb.ams-sar.com

 

Requesting access to the health records of another person (Organisations)

If you’re requesting access to the health records of another person, please continue to contact the Access to Records team by email. You’ll move to applying and receiving records digitally in September. Please contact the hospital where treatment was received:

Basildon / Orsett

Tel: 01268 522956 / 522957

Email: mse.accesstorecords@nhs.net

Broomfield

Tel: 01245 514288

Email: mse.accesstorecordsbureau@nhs.net

Southend

Tel: 01702 508007

Email: mse.access@nhs.net

FAQs - Accessing your Health Records

 

Can I request access to my Health Records?

Yes, as a patient, you can get a copy of your health records digitally from 1 August 2021, through the online portal: https://msb.ams-sar.com/. Click get started online, then follow the instructions to set-up your account or login if you have an existing account. A user guide is available to help you through the process.

All other requesters should continue to request access to health records in the usual way using the appropriate forms, by email, until 1st September, when you too will be able to apply and receive health records electronically.

Is there a fee for making a request?

No, the Trust must provide a copy of the information free of charge.  However, the Trust can charge a "reasonable fee" when the request is deemed excessive or repetitive.

How long does the Trust have to disclose patient records?

The Trust must respond to your request within one month (unless advised otherwise by court order).  The Access to Records team will inform you if it is going to take longer than one month.

Can I see the progress of my request?

You can track and see the status of your request on the online portal via the Manage Requests section. You will also receive emails from the Trust if you need to provide more information for your request. The sender will be “Sars No Reply”. You can log in to the portal at any time to check your request and respond to any messages.

Will I always receive everything I have asked for?

Not always, in some circumstances the Trust is legally required to withhold all or some of the information held in an individual's health record where;

  • the identity of an individual cannot be satisfied by the Trust.
  • consent of the individual has not been given, but is legally required.
  • it has been judged that supplying the information is likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health or condition of the patient or any other person.
  • providing access would disclose information relating to or provided by a third party who had not consented to the disclosure. This exemption may not apply where that third party is an NHS health professional involved in the care of the individual.
  • a deceased person had indicated that they did not wish information to be disclosed, or the record contains information that the deceased person expected to remain confidential.
  • the information may no longer be available.

Will I need to provide identification?

Yes. Identification checks are required by the Trust for security, this is to protect your personal data from unauthorised access. Acceptable forms of identification are outlined in the “Identification documents needed to access health records” file on this internet page.

Can I apply for access to my child’s health records?

Unless otherwise indicated, children aged 13 or older are usually considered to have the capacity to give or refuse consent to parents or those with parental responsibility requesting access to their health records. A person with parental responsibility (as defined in the Children Act 1989) can make an application on the behalf of a child only if it shown that the child does NOT have capacity. 

A person with appropriate parental responsibility will usually be entitled to access the records of a child who is aged 12 or younger.

How will I receive the health records?

When the Trust has completed your request, you’ll receive an email. Follow the instructions to download the files. Once downloaded, you are responsible for the confidential, secure storage of the records, and, when they are no longer required, their secure disposal.

 

For further information, please contact the hospital where treatment was received:

Basildon / Orsett

Tel: 01268 522956 / 522957

Email: mse.accesstorecords@nhs.net

Broomfield / Braintree / Maldon

Tel: 01245 514288

Email: mse.accesstorecordsbureau@nhs.net

Southend

Tel: 01702 508007

Email: mse.access@nhs.net