Case Studies: Accessing My Records, Or Not Print

When I accessed my records, or not.

I got in touch with In Care Service to access my records. I have been trying for over 10 years to get my records myself but I don’t seem to get listened to by agencies and I have been hit with alot of red tape.

I have been offered to take a look at my Social Work records but I seemed to be stopped in getting copies. It was the same with my GP. My hospital records have not been kept and I got different stories about they don’t need to keep them any longer than 5 years, or they should have kept them until 5 years after I die, or they don’t keep anything current if a condition was not treated in hospital. It was like I was asking for the crown jewels.

I felt embarrassed that it took headed paper to get my records. I was in 18 care homes in Scotland, and my worker tried really hard to get my records. I got records from nearly all of the homes but all of them were incomplete. Some were illegible, especially the nuns writing and the GP writing. I know I was on medication when I was 5, like an anti depressant, but its not documented.

Some of the care homes, assessment centres or list e schools no longer exist so my worker spent hours trying to find out from the Councils who would hold records up there.  I know that there is an old cottage with piles of records in them and the cottage is locked up, I looked through the window, but no one will acknowledge it or take a look. Some of the staff in the stat agency told my worker there was no one old enough left working to remember that particular home. Its on Google earth though!

My worker agreed with me how to get the records, and she made up a table for me of the different homes, the progress being made, and who returned records and who didn’t. It helped me because I cant remember everything. There was information about other members of my family in my records so I found out things about them. 

That made me think the missing information about me might be in their records, my brothers and sisters, but my worker was told that she couldn’t get information about their records.

Two things for me I want to say – the first is that it shouldn’t take an organisations letter head for me to get my records, how powerful is that! The 2nd thing though is that its just as well the organisation was there because I have a huge box full of records and I don’t know what would have happened to my head if the emotional support didn’t go alongside getting my records.

It cost me £150 to get my records. My GP charged £50 and the first set that was sent to my worker contained only 6 pages, thats not exactly value for money, but after a 3rd attempt we got the rest, well I think we did.