We were contacted by a GP Practice manager who had received a letter from solicitors asking for disclosure of a deceased patient’s records as part of the administration of the deceased’s estate. The solicitors had sent a copy of the grant of probate from the High Court to our client.
The Practice manager contacted us to ascertain if the records could have been disclosed. We reviewed the matter and advised in respect of the Practice’s obligations of confidentiality and data protection towards other living individuals who could have been identified through the medical records.
We also advised the Practice manager that that the grant of probate was invalid in that it did not bear the seal of the court and she could therefore refuse the request on that basis in addition to the grounds of confidentiality and data protection.