Patient Records, the One Hundred Year Rule and Genealogy

You may already know this, but TheTimeChamber has a little obsession with the old Victorian Asylums. We have a lot of information crammed into this website about them. Whilst we have this information, one thing we do not hold information on is old patients and their medical records (we have tried to glean information of what a patients day to day life was like from various sources). There is a simple reason for this.  The 100 Year Rule.

The Sort of Hospital information we are interested in.

The Sort of Hospital information we are interested in.

The 100 Year Rule acts was part of the Health Records Act that has been superseded by the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Requests.  Archivists have agreed that Medical Records should be kept closed from the General Public for 100 years. We are not aware of the full intricate rules about accessing patient records, as we have never desired to do so.

If you do require access to older records it is best to seek out the County Archivist, for the county the Hospital was based in, and make the enquiry through them.  The National Archives is the best starting point and they can point you in the right direction and provide the correct guidance. For more information, please visit the following guidance document: http://www.healtharchives.org/docs/After_100_year_rule.pdf

We do not wish to delve into the world of individual patient cases as it is not of interest to us personally. The information and history found on this website regarding the Asylums is more focused on the buildings, their development and their operation. In the past few months, we have been receiving more and more emails for patient information and medical records from family members trying to track down lost relatices.  This is something we cannot answer, nor do we wish to answer.  Our only advice is to head to the local archives or contact the National Archives to find out where they are held.

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