SAR requests: Costs to GP's due to GDPR and modifiable template letter for practices to send to their MPs

Date sent: Friday 3 August 2018

To All BBOLMC Practices

Issue date: 03.08.18

Please see below a template for letter for practices to send to their MPs over GDPR and SAR requests

Dr Paul Roblin


Tel: 07799116597 or 01628 475727

From: GPC Local Medical Committees discussion list <LMC-L@LISTSERV.BMA.ORG.UK> On Behalf Of Paul Cundy
Sent: 02 August 2018 14:51
Subject: Re: Costs to GP's due to GDPR and SAR requests - Letter to MPs


Dear LMCs,

The text below is modified from a practice manager’s letter that has resulted in Matt Hancock being forwarded a note from the MP. I would encourage LMCs to get their practices and GPs to consider using elements of the letter, inserting their own numbers, personalising it slightly and then sending it to their own personal home address MPs as well as their practice’s constituency MP. You can find any MP by postcode at this link;


Text of letter


Dear (MP name)

I am writing to bring to your attention the unintended consequences of the recent adoption of GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 on 25th May 2018.

GP practices receive numerous requests for copies of patient records from insurance companies, solicitors and claims management companies. The purpose of these, many of which are pursued under “no win no fee” arrangements, is the seeking of financial compensation for the victim, our patients. As private activity it is not funded by NHS funding streams and we would not expect it to be. Under the previous Data Protection Act 1998 GP practices could charge a fee up to a maximum of £50 for undertaking this work. Although most of these extracts are prepared by admin staff every one has to be checked and validated by a GP to be compliant with the law. In many cases the previous £50 rarely covered the true cost of the work but it was a usefull contribution. Since 25th May we are advised that except in exceptional circumstances, which do not include our costs or even capacity to actually do the work, we can no longer charge a fee for these extracts. This work is now therefore being done either pro bono or in reality NHS resources, admin staff and GPs, are being diverted from frontline care to the detriment of our patients. As a consequence of these extracts now being free to the requestor we have seen a X% increase in requests since 25th May. This adds further to the diversion of NHS resource. A GP can take up to 30 minutes to review a set of records and the administration time including receiving, processing, tracking and despatching them can amount to an hour for each extract. This equates to an average of £60 per request. In addition we are expected to cover the costs of postage.

We are an average sized practice and are receiving around Y requests per week on average which equates to £Z of unremunerated activity per year.

You will be aware of the pressures on general practice at this time. This additional cost to our practice is a significant burden that will be difficult to absorb and can only result in frontline resources being diverted away from providing care for our patients. The Government can amend the law to allow practices to recover these costs via legitimate fees. We urgently request that you exert whatever influence you can to bring about these changes, without which for some practices this may well be the last straw.

Yours sincerely




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