Access to personal medical records in childhood (2)

19 June, 2023

Here are the results of our classroom survey on young people’s access to their records and their parents’ access to the students' medical records.

Children have different literacy levels and mature at different ages. In the UK The average age for girls to start puberty is 11, while for boys the average age is 12. But it's perfectly normal for puberty to begin at any point between the ages of 8 and 13 in girls and 9 and 14 in boys so maybe the EHR systems have to allow for personal choice below the age of 16? In the UK 16 years and older are automatically able to read their GP records according to the GP contract. The culture change and reality of patients accessing their records is slowly developing within England.

37 survey questionnaires were collected. There were 18 boys, 14 girls and five “I don't want to state my sex”. The completed surveys were analysed according to the age and then according to sex of the students. The analysis results are recorded as below, beneath the title of each question.

Questions analysed by age:


“question 1 was about the age of the student”


“Do you want to be able to read your record online?”

Yes 27 No 10


“Do you want your parents to be able to read your records online today?”

Yes 17 No 9 Don’t know 11


“Until what age do you think your parents should be able to read your health records on line”

at 13 years 7, at 10 years 3, at 12 years 2, at 13 years 1

at 14 years 6, at 15 years 1, at 16 years 8, at 17 years 2 at 18 years 6


“At what age do you want to start reading your health records online?”

10 years 4, 11 years 1, 12 years 9 , 13 years 10,

14 years 4, 15 years 2, 16 years 2, 17 years 1 1

18 years 3, I don’t want to read my records 1


“would you feel comfortable sharing your online personal information with friends or others?”

Yes 11 No 26

HIFA profile: Richard Fitton is a retired family doctor - GP. Professional interests: Health literacy, patient partnership of trust and implementation of healthcare with professionals, family and public involvement in the prevention of modern lifestyle diseases, patients using access to professional records to overcome confidentiality barriers to care, patients as part of the policing of the use of their patient data. Email address: richardpeterfitton7 AT