As an employee, you have the following rights under the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988:
- You are entitled to have access to any medical report obtained about you for employment or insurance purposes.
- You are entitled to be notified that your employer proposes to apply for a medical report concerning you and that they require your consent to do so.
- You are entitled to withhold or give your consent to that proposal.
- Where you give your consent, you are entitled to state that you wish to have access to the report before it is sent to your employer.
- You are entitled to change your mind about withholding or giving consent.
- You are entitled to change your mind about having or not having access to the report before it is sent to your employer (as long as you tell them you have changed your mind before the report is sent to them), subject to the timescales identified below.
- Where you request access to the report before it is sent to your employer, you are entitled to have your G.P notified of this requirement by your employer and for your employer to let you know when they have made the application for the report.
- Where you do request access to the report, this means it will either be made available for you to inspect or you will be sent a copy (for which your G.P may charge a reasonable fee to cover costs). Even if you initially decide not to request access to the report before it is sent to your employer, you can still ask your G.P for access to it up to six months after the report has been sent to your employer.
- Where you do require access to the report before it is sent to your employer, you must contact your G.P within 21 days of when your employer applies for the medical report to arrange to see it, otherwise if your G.P has not heard from you within 21 days, your G.P can send it to your employer without having to contact you or give you access to it first.
- If you change your mind because you now want to see the report you should contact your G.P and make arrangements to see the report within 21 days of contacting your G.P; if your G.P does not hear from you within 21 days about those arrangements, your G.P can send it to your employer without having to contact you or give you access to it first.
- Where you have asked to see the report before it is sent to your employer, it will only be supplied to your employer if you tell your G.P that you agree to it being sent to them. You are under no obligation to give that consent.
- Where you are given access to the report, and you think that all or part of it is incorrect or misleading, you can ask your G.P in writing for the report to be amended before it is send to your employer (although your G.P is not obliged to do so)
- Where you ask for the report to be amended but your G.P does not do so, you can either agree to the report being sent to your employer unaltered; or ask the G.P to attach a statement setting out your views to the report; or withdraw your consent for the report to be supplied.
- Your GP does not have to give you access to any part of the report that he/she considers:
- might cause serious harm to your physical or mental health, or that of others, or
- might indicate his/her intentions towards you, or
- would reveal information about a third party or the identity of a third party who has given your G.P information about your health, unless that person consents or is a health professional involved in your clinical care.
- Where your G.P chooses not to give you access to part of the report in any of these circumstances, you will be notified of this in writing and allowed to see the remaining parts.
- Where your G.P considers that the circumstances apply to the whole report, you will not be given access to it, and neither will it be sent to your employer unless you consent to this.
Best of the web
www.medicalprotection.org – Access to Medical Reports
NHS Choices – Do I have to tell my employer about my medical history?
TUC – Confidentiality and Medical Records