How to access information we hold about you
You have the right to request a copy of the information we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. This is called a subject access request.
I want to make a request
You'll need to send your request to us in writing along with a £10 cheque made payable to the General Medical Council. This is to cover our processing fee.
Please send these to:
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 will look at your request as quickly as possible, normally within the 40-day limit set by the Data Protection Act. The 40 days start after you have paid the fee. We may also ask you to send proof of your identity.
Is there information you can't give me?
There are a number of exemptions under the Data Protection Act, which may mean we can't give out some information. If we can't give you your personal data, we will tell you why it has been withheld. In some cases the Data Protection Act exempts us from having to confirm or deny if we have your personal data.
Who can make a request for information?
Anyone can make a request for their own personal information under the Data Protection Act. 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 am requesting?
You don't have to give a reason why you want to see the information. However, we might ask you some questions to help us understand exactly what it is 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 putting your request in writing. We'll give you advice on alternative options.
Can I access my health records through the GMC?
We don't usually hold people’s health records. But, if we need to look at them as part of our investigation into a complaint about a doctor, we can ask a health authority to send them to us. 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 that if we're not holding your health records as part of our investigation process, we won't be able to access them on your behalf.
Can I get information about deceased people?
The Data Protection Act only covers living individuals, so there are no subject access rights to information about people who have died. You can request any recorded information under the Freedom of Information Act. However, the Act 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 Freedom of Information Act.
The Access to Health Records Act 1990 gives limited statutory rights of access to the health records of deceased people to certain categories of people. If you want to apply for access to a deceased person’s health record through 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 Data Protection Act
You can find more details about the Data Protection Act at: