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Can I access the medical records (health records) of someone who has died?

If you want to see the health records of someone who has died, you can apply in writing under the Access to Health Records Act (1990).

Under the terms of the act, you will only be able to access the deceased's health records if you're either:

  • a personal representative (the executor or administrator of the deceased person's estate)
  • someone who has a claim resulting from the death (this could be a relative or another person)

Only information directly relevant to a claim will be disclosed.

Applying for access to a deceased person's health records

After a person has died, their GP health records will be passed to Primary Care Support England (PCSE) so they can be stored. GP records are generally retained for 10 years after the patient's death before they're destroyed.

To access their GP records, you need to contact the last GP surgery they were registered with.

You can use the Find a GP service to look for a surgery.

If you do not know which GP surgery they were registered with, you can request the information from the PCSE Information Services Team by emailing

If their last GP surgery has closed you can apply through PCSE.

Find out more about how to access medical records and patient registration details on the PCSE website.

For hospital records, contact the records manager at the hospital the person attended. You will have to apply to the NHS trust and fees may apply for accessing these records.

Further information

Page last reviewed: 22 June 2022
Next review due: 22 June 2025