How to access information we hold about you
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you the right to request a copy of the information we hold about you.
I want to make a request
Information Access team
General Medical Council
3 Hardman Street
I want help with making my request
We've answered some of the common questions people ask when making a request below.
How long will it take to respond to my request?
We'll respond to your request as quickly as possible – normally within the one month limit set by the GDPR. If a request is complex, the regulation allows us to extend our response time by a further two months.
We may need to extend the response time by a further two months if we need to review a large number of documents, if there are third party data considerations or if there are other circumstances involving a lengthy or complex consideration process. We'll consider this on a case by case basis – if this is the situation with your request, we'll let you know and explain why we need the extension.
Is there information you can't give me?
There are a number of exemptions from the right of access, which may mean we can’t give you all the information you need. These exemptions are set out in the UK’s Data Protection Act 2018.
Who can request information?
Anyone can make a request for their own personal information under the GDPR. If you want someone else to apply for your personal information for you (such as a solicitor or other representative), we'll need your written authorisation as proof that they are acting on your behalf.
Do I need to give a reason to see the information I'm requesting?
You don't have to give a reason why you want to see the information. But we might ask you some questions to help us understand exactly what you want us to provide.
How can I make a request for information if I have a disability or writing difficulties?
Please let us know if you have difficulties submitting a request. We can accept a verbal request – you can contact us on 0161 923 6365 and we will assist you.
Can I access my health records through the GMC?
We don't usually hold people’s health records. However, we may hold some health records if we need them to investigate a complaint about a doctor. If you ask to see your personal information, and we are holding some of your health records, we must get advice before giving you access. In practice it is usually more straightforward to ask your healthcare provider for access to your health records directly.
Please note, if we're not holding your health records as part of our investigation process, we can't access them on your behalf.
Can I get information about deceased people?
Data protection legislation only covers living individuals, so there are no subject access rights to information about people who have died. You can request any recorded information held by a public authority under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). However, the FOIA is ‘applicant-blind’, so we must consider whether the information is suitable for release not only to you, but also to the general public. In most cases, it's likely that information requests about deceased people will be considered exempt under the FOIA.
The Access to Health Records Act 1990 gives limited statutory rights of access to the health records of deceased people. If you want to apply for access to a deceased person’s health record under this Act, you need to ask the relevant healthcare provider who will decide whether to disclose these to you. We're not able to release records under this Act, even if we hold them.
I want to know more about the GDPR and Data Protection Act
You can find more details about the GDPR and Data Protection Act at: