HC Deb 04 November 2002 vol 392 c64W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether military medical records are made available once service personnel(a) have completed their military service and (b) are deceased; and if he will make a statement. [78271]

Dr. Moonie

On leaving the armed forces, personnel are provided with a summary of their medical history (Form F Med 133—Medical History on Release from HM Forces) to give to their civilian doctor. Release of full military medical records is permitted if an individual makes a Subject Access Request to the appropriate Service Records Office. If an individual wishes to make his or her records available to other parties, such as civilian health care providers or solicitors, written consent must be given to release the records.

In respect of deceased persons, the Access to Health Records Act 1990 applies. Records are usually released only for the purposes of litigation or claims, and disclosure of these records is subject to the consent of their executors. Where there are no executors, the consent of the administrator of the estate is required.

Disclosure of medical records of deceased personnel to other Government Departments, such as to the War Pensions Agency for the purpose of establishing entitlement to War Widows' Pensions, is permitted only on a strict "need to know" basis.

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