Recent legislation, the Access to Health Records Act (1991), which came into force in November, will mean that patients will be able to apply for access to their written case file. This law will not be retrospective, and notes written before this date will not therefore fall under the scope of the act. Similar legislation has already been passed enabling access to Social Services case files (Access to Personal Files Act, 1987). The legislation follows increasing pressure for consumer rights in various areas and follows similar developments allowing access to health records in other countries.
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