Accessing Records via the Mental Health Act

Mental Health Act 2014

Individuals who have received contact with the mental health service have the additional right to apply for access to their health records under the MHA 2014. This right is separate to the right to apply for access under the Freedom of Information Act (1992).

Section 248 of the MHA 2014

Under section 248 (1) of the Mental Health Act 2014 (MHA 2014), a person who is or was provided with treatment or care by a mental health service is entitled to inspect and be given a copy of any relevant document relating to them. This includes the whole or part of the person's medical record.

Exemptions

Access to documents is subject to certain exemptions which are outlined in section 249 of the Mental Health Act 2014 (external site).

1. A person is not entitled to have access under section 248(1) to a relevant document relating to the person —

 a). if a psychiatrist reasonably believes that disclosure of the information in the document to the person —

(i) poses a significant risk to the health or safety of the person or to the safety of another person; or

(ii) poses a significant risk of serious harm to the person or to another person;

or

b) if disclosure of the information in the document to the person would reveal —

(i) personal information about an individual who is not the person; or

(ii) information of a confidential nature that was obtained in confidence.

2. Subsection (1)(b) does not apply if the personal information is about an individual who consents to the disclosure of the information.

3.  A person is not entitled to have access under section 248(1) to a relevant document relating to the person if the person —

a) is or was a mentally impaired accused required under the MIA Act to be detained at an authorised hospital; and

b) the relevant document came into existence under, or for the purposes of, the Prisons Act 1981.

Lodging a Request for Information under the MHA 2014

Application

A request to access documentation under the MHA 2014 can be made by:

  • Writing to the Health Information Officer
  • Completing the appropriate form that is available from every clinic, ward and reception area at BHS
  • Providing a clinician with your request, who will forward this to the Health Information Officer for processing.

Download the Request to Access Documents form (PDF 73.2KB).

Written requests and application forms can be submitted via:

Mail:
Freedom of Information Coordinator
Bentley Health Service
PO Box 158
Bentley WA 6982

Email: BHS_FOI@health.wa.gov.au

Alternatively, a printed form may be mailed to you upon request, by contacting the FOI Office on 9416 3827.

Identification

Proof of identification (for example, driver's licence or passport) is required in order to the application to be valid.

Costs

There are no costs associated with this process.