The issue means Doctors/Medical Practices can no longer charge for the information under the Access to Medical Records Act 1988 and is becoming increasingly problematic, with the British Medical Association (BMA) surveying its members about the scale of the problem ahead of forthcoming talks with The Government.
One Doctor recently tweeted: "I’m getting several patient record requests every week from solicitors which we have to supply, free of charge, after removing all 3rd party references. Some notes are thousands of pages long. I don’t have time.”
The issue has also been raised in Parliament with a written question recently about what steps The Government was taking to ensure that insurance companies requested medical reports under the Act rather than GDPR.
Digital policy minister Margot James replied: "If a solicitor is acting on behalf of an insurer and is seeking health information about a prospective customer, these are not subject access requests under the GDPR. Such requests should be made under the [Act] and standard charges apply. Adding "The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for regulating compliance with data protection legislation and may consider taking action against insurance companies which fail to comply with the relevant legislation.” No clarification was given whether this would be the same for solicitors acting for claimants.