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TOPIC: Optical Express Charging £50 for patient's records

Optical Express Charging £50 for patient's records 27 Feb 2014 19:55 #1

  • Anonymous
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I requested my records from OE and got the standard response stating I would have to pay £50 for them. I rang to pay by card and was told I would receive the receipt along with my records within 21 days. When my records and receipt arrived they had only charged me £10.
;) Happy days

€6.35 for Irish Patient Records 09 Jan 2014 15:35 #2

  • Dublin
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If your treatment took place in any of the Irish stores, then OE are subject to Irish Data Protection laws - the max fee is €6.35
_________________________
From: "DPC Info" < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: Nov 19, 2013 9:08 AM
Subject: ODPC response - 19/11/13

The Freedom of Information legislation is separate from the Data Protection Acts and as far as we are aware only applies to certain designated public bodies. In relation to your email once Optical Express has a Dublin based branch and process's personal data from there it will be subject to the
provisions of the Irish Data Protection Acts including the right of access provision.
To exercise this right you should make a written request under section 4 of the Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003 to the branch that treated you, requesting a copy of any personal data they hold about held on computer or manual file. If there is specific information that you are seeking like in this instance emails relating to your treatment, you should include details of this in the request . You should keep a copy of your instruction and include an access fee of €6.35. Optical Express will have 40 days from the date it receives your request to provide you with a copy of your personal data. Further information on the right of access can be found at the following link:
www.dataprotection.ie/ViewDoc.asp?fn=/do.../2d.htm&CatID=17&m=r

Information Officer
Office of the Data Protection Commissioner
Canal House
Station Road
Portarlington
Co. Laois

Optical Express Charging £50 for patient's records 30 Dec 2013 23:16 #3

  • Curious
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www.opticalexpress.co.uk/docs/journal_of_refractive_surgery.pdf
Page S635

"To facilitate efficient patient care across multiple locations, Optical Express uses an electronic medical records system to capture and store all relevant clinical information. Because information can be extracted from this database, the Optical Express biostatistics department has the data resources necessary to perform a range of large-scale patient outcomes analyses."

If this is true then OE must be able to email records to patient for maximum £10 charge as quoted by Mr X below!

Optical Express Charging £50 for patient's records 29 Dec 2013 15:25 #4

  • FYI
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To quote Craig (True Stories):
When you pay for your records please pay with a Credit card, because if your records do not arrive within the 21 days you can report this to your credit card company for a ‘charge back’ for none receipt of goods (fraud). This puts a black mark on their mrechant account and the more complaints made to credit card companies will have a massive effect on Optical Express being able to accept any card payments for transactions in the future.

Optical Express Charging £50 for patient's records 11 Nov 2013 11:09 #5

  • Danny
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Luckily I got my records before they started charging silly fees to put people off.

But I also at some point requested a copy of the customer satisfaction surveys that they ask you to do on a computer after most appointments, I got these and they are most interesting indeed, on the majority of the things where I gave a negative comment there are duplicates of those questions, the first is the proper one with my comments and the duplicate directly below it has a positive comment, I believe that it's been tampered with (so does my legal team) and the person that did it made the huge error of not taking out my original comments!

Optical Express Charging £50 for patient's records 11 Nov 2013 00:49 #6

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"Under the Data Protection Act 1998 (Fees and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2001 the maximum fee that can be charged for providing copies of health records is £10 for computer records and £50 for copies of manual records or a mixture of manual and computer records. Charges are for copying and posting the records only and should not result in a profit for the record holder. Some types of records, such as x-rays, may be expensive to copy."

In short if you require ONLY electronic records then the maximum is £10 that can be applied.

It really depends on what you require and how they have the information stored.

The charges should be proportional though, it would be in extremely poor taste to charge someone £50 for two sheets of paper as a document for example.

If they will not move on their charges I would personally ask for a breakdown of the costs incurred to supply the information you require. They may refuse of course, but if their charges don't equate to profit making they shouldn't.

You cannot be charged more than £10 for electronic records. If O.E. still ask for £50 you can complain here!

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 5745
www.dataprotection.gov.uk

Optical Express Charging £50 for patient's records 10 Nov 2013 12:50 #7

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Mr X, I agree with your observations and also believe you have a right to view your records and make your own copies free of charge.

However at the first Harley Street demo in July I asked David Mungall this question:
"As OE are unwilling to waive the £50 charge for patient records how should patients go about making a request to view and copy their records?"

His response was that it would NOT be possible as the records were held in a central location (somewhere in the North East if my memory is correct) which did not accommodate visits from members of the public.

So the question is, are they breaking the law by charging £50 for electronic records?

They're certainly abusing the system when so many received theirs free until a few months ago - and some people still get them free if they don't think you want them for solicitors!

Re your reference to amendment of records: I have undisputable evidence that my records were amended retrospectively. This was done years after my surgery, presumably when OE considered that legal action was likely. I have in my possession the 'before' and 'after' versions, both traceable to the OE employees who sent them.

Optical Express Charging £50 for patient's records 09 Nov 2013 13:24 #8

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This seems a new trick from O.E.

I requested mine without too much hassle and did not have to pay a penny!?

I received a large folder recorded delivery etc.

I might conlcude that given the number of people commencing litigation myself included, they are having to pay someone to check them and amend? ;) prior to sending out.

I could be wrong but just a thought.....

I have posted the current legislation below. The maximum that can be charged is £50 it would seem.

I would argue however that as your contract is ongoing to have every right to view them and as such they must make the original copies available for you to view whereby you can make copies at your own expense. They might back down.

I'll need to do a bit of research into a way of legally not paying this nonsense charge so bear with me on that.

Can I access my personal information?
You have the right to get a copy of the information that is held about you. This is known as a subject access request.
This right of subject access means that you can make a request under the Data Protection Act to any organisation processing your personal data. The Act calls these organisations ‘data controllers’.
You can ask the organisation you think is holding, using or sharing the personal information you want, to supply you with copies of both paper and computer records and related information.
Organisations may charge a fee of up to £10 (£2 if it is a request to a credit reference agency for information about your financial standing only).
There are special rules that apply to fees for paper based health records (the maximum fee is currently £50) and education records (a sliding scale from £1 to £50 depending on the number of pages provided).
However, it is important to remember that not all personal information is covered and there are ‘exemptions’ within the Act which may allow an organisation to refuse to comply with your subject access request in certain circumstances.

Optical Express Charging £50 for patient's records 03 Nov 2013 23:52 #9

  • Chris
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I'd heard that too and I think they must base the fee on your request. I made no reference to problems and said I needed a full copy of my clinical records to support a job application, fully expecting a fee of £50.

The message I received back was to write to Clinical Services and that,
"Once we have received the request we will send you an invoice for the £10 administration fee and the methods you can pay.  Once the payment has been received you will receive your records within 21 business days.  If you wish to discuss further or require the records urgently, please call."

Optical Express Charging £50 for patient's records 03 Nov 2013 16:38 #10

  • Jeff
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Having had problems with my vision since November 2012 i requested my records & was told I would need to put it in writing, so i asked if an email would suffice. I was informed that was OK if i attached a signed letter.

i scanned one in, sent it off and received a copy of my records VIA EMAIL the same day. Yet when i sent the customary letter requesting a refund of my treatment cost, a paid referral to an independent eye specialist and a copy of my records they declined my request for the refund & referral - and told me i would be required to pay a £50 administration fee to obtain a copy of my records - which they'd already sent me free of charge!

When i had asked the optometrist at one of my previous appointments i was simply told i was legally entitled to receive them as a matter of course if I wanted them, but it appears that they are now saying you need to pay £50 in order to discourage people from obtaining them.

OERML & My Beautiful Eyes Foundation rely on your support to expose the horrors of this unregulated industry.

Your help is very much appreciated!

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