Parents may wish to request a copy of their baby’s medical records. Some parents choose to do this to help them to understand what has happened with their baby. Some parents also choose to request copies of their baby’s hospital records for keepsake purposes.
Hospital records of a baby who has died are usually stored within the NHS for 3-8 years depending on where you live in the UK. Some parents who request their baby’s medical records feel unable to read them straight away but want to keep them to read later.
Some parents find it helpful to have somebody with them when they read their baby’s records, this may be a loved one or close friend. A healthcare professional, hospital bereavement service or patient advice and liaison service (known as PALS) may also be helpful to support you through this process particularly with clinical terminology and observation charts included in baby’s records.
There is usually a small fee involved in obtaining copies of NHS medical records however from experience many trusts will waive fees involved when a baby has died. PALS can be incredibly helpful in trying to find out if waiving a fee is possible under these circumstances.
A good starting point in requesting medical records is generally to go through PALS or the records manager at the hospital.
Post it notes or paper clips can be a helpful way of highlighting or marking where you have read up to without using ink on the records themselves. A note pad and pen to jot down any questions or things you are unsure of may also be helpful.