Your health records

Patients and visitors

More in this section

What are health records?

Your health records contain information about your healthcare. They are made by doctors, nurses or other health professionals and can include:

  • details about you, for example your date of birth, address, next of kin, gender, language, ethnicity, any disabilities you have
  • hand-written clinical notes
  • electronic clinical notes
  • letters to and from other health professionals
  • laboratory reports and results
  • imaging scans such as x-rays
  • printouts from monitoring equipment
  • photographs and other recordings.

For more information, see our leaflet How we use and protect your health information (PDF 35Kb).

  • How is my information used?

    Health and social care services need to share some of your information so that you can receive the best possible care. This happens in a number of ways – letters, phone calls, fax and through secure email and computer systems. Information in your care record includes things like details of your medication and treatments, current and previous care, test results and any other relevant care information.

    Health and care staff working in south east London (Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark) now have better access to more accurate information, so they can provide safer, faster and more effective care and support.

    The Local Care Record (Bromley, Lambeth and Southwark) and Connect Care (Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham) systems have been linked, connecting 15,000 care professionals across six boroughs. This means relevant information about you can be safely shared between the staff who need it across the whole of south east London. No matter where you receive care in south east London, the staff looking after you will have the most up-to-date information when they need it.

    For example, if you live in Lewisham but are receiving treatment from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, your records are immediately available to the staff looking after you or making the referral.

    How does this help with my care?

    • You won’t have to tell your story to lots of different professionals.
    • You will have fewer unnecessary appointments and tests.
    • Transfer of care between services will be smoother.
    • Care records are available immediately online.
    • Delays in care and treatment will be reduced.
  • Can I access my health records?

    Yes, with very rare exceptions (such as where the member(s) of staff caring for you believe this would cause serious physical or mental harm to you or anyone else).

    If you would like to see your health records you can ask the clinician who is treating you, or another member of staff. 

    If you would like a copy of your health records contact: 

    Information governance
    St Thomas' Hospital
    Westminster Bridge Road
    London SE1 7EH

    Tel: 020 7188 7525

  • Is there a charge?

    You can get copies of any of your records which are held either on computer or in paper format; however, there will be a small administrative charge for this and you will be advised of the cost when you make your enquiry.

    Find out information on the fees at the NHS Choices website.

  • Confidentiality

    Under the Data Protection Act 1998 we are required to keep your health records secure.

    Every member of staff working for, or with the NHS, has an individual duty to keep your information confidential. We will only share it with other organisations in strict accordance with the law and where this will help us in providing high quality care.

    See our leaflet How we use and protect your health information (PDF 35Kb) for more information.

a patient discussing her health records with a nurse

Contact us

If you would like more advice on any aspect of the information on this page, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS):

Tel: 020 7188 8801/8803
Email: pals@gstt.nhs.uk