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Medical Negligence

A solicitor’s view about requesting patients’ medical records free of charge

Written by Christian Beadell, Partner & Head of Legal Strategy & Ops


November 3, 2022

A recent article in the Law Gazette highlights the increasing frustrations of GPs now faced with complying with the GDPR, which allows solicitors to request patient records free of charge. The article paints the usual picture of solicitors ‘with a sense of entitlement’ and the struggling NHS, left with the bill.

It strikes me that as the NHS comes under increasing scrutiny, scapegoating continues to point the finger of blame at the easiest ‘fat cat lawyer’ target. This is unfair to both sides who I have no doubt are seeking to do their best for the patient/client in increasingly cost adverse industries.

What the coverage does not reflect is that lawyers incur significant costs in requesting medical records and complying with GDPR even before the cost of printing and postage costs comes into it.

GPs are no doubt only too aware of this when PAD applications are made showing the hundreds of pounds spent by solicitors trying to obtain records within the requisite time frame for their clients. I suspect the frustrations run both ways.

The original article can be seen here: https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/newssolicitors-patient-data-demands-anger-gps/5067585.article