AF Association
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Am I entitled to my ECG and Echocardiogram records

I have an NHS cardio appointment on 9 June and am thinking I may seek a private consultation prior to that. I have had an ECG, 24 hr. monitoring and will have an echocardiogram in 10 days times. Am I entitled to a print out of all these results. I figure it will save me time and money if I can hand them to the consultant but I believe there may be some protocol which prevents this.

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I don't think there is a standard protocol that prevents it but I think unless you see an EP who works in the hospital you had the tests in you will find it tedious to go through the written protocols and in my hospital in any case, will have to pay for a copy. I also found that the private specialist will want to do his own tests. Your GP will, however, receive a full written report from the cardiologist who saw you and you are entitled to copies of all correspondence between GP and the cardiologist. In both my hospital and GP practice you just

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Sorry,this post has a mind of its own! To continue...

Tick a box on a form you fill in when you are originally seen. The EP will take the report as a good record and I think may request a copy himself. And I gather from this forum other systems or non systems operate in other areas.

Good luck and I think you will benefit from the private consult, you just seem to be treated completely differently.

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Hi Peddling, I took copies of all the correspondence from my first cardio. obtained from my GP when I went to see an EP at the hospital of my choice, not privately, and had ECG and echo repeated, I don't think they like to rely on other peoples tests. Wherever you go you have at least a brief ECG before seeing anyone. You can ask for the costs of all the tests up front before you make your private appointment and do your sums. Good luck Liz

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In Dec of last year a nasty virus triggered a bout of AF. I was in A and E an hour later and kept in for hours whilst they did many tests. They were marvellous! Tests revealed I had not had a heart attack etc etc.

A few days later I made an appointment to see my Private Specialist in a hospital close by. I specifically asked his secretary to get my test results from A and E.

I see this EP privately, reluctantly, I have done four years, because it is the only way I can see the same person who knows my story.

When I arrived at the hospital, I immediately handed over my card, as usual, and went in to see the EP.

He was totally charming but had not got any of my recent test results.

Without any investigation at ALL, not even a BP let alone an

ECG, I was told I had a virus and sweetly sent on my way.

I was charged a great deal of money for this and, later charged for an ECG report which I never had.

Many letters later and requests for a free follow up consultation I am no further forward . Certainly no money back and reply to my requests.

All this has made me rather cynical.

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I always ask for copies of e.c.g.s e.t.c. and have always been given them. It has proved invaluable a few times. For example when I went for a long awaited appointment with my E.P. and my test results were not on the system. He was very glad when I produced them from my handbag! X

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It's your medical information - it belongs to you including X-rays, ECGs, MRI scan images, your notes. It's all your data. You can request it in writing. I think the maximum fee is £10 but check with the information commissioners office.

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Who and where do I find this? Is it a govt, agency or NHS outfit?

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I have always been given copies of ECGs along with copies of all letters to and from EP and GP etc. I though it was standard practice to offer these.

Bob

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The N.H.S. Internet sight recommends that you should keep records of any E.C.G.,s Carried out--you don't know when you may need them

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Thanks Nicejack, that seems to nail it. Do you think the same goes for echocardiogram ?

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Your own doctor should have all your medical records.The secretary should be able to provide copies of anything you think maybe useful now or in the future. Good luck

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You should be ok if there's nothing contentious, but if there's something they don't want you to see they have enough legal wriggle room to withhold it.

Presumably some of your test data is going to be in the form of computer files, though. I would think a print of a Holter test would be half a mile long unless it were just the edited highlights. There's also going to be a limit to how much information you can present on a 2D printout from a 3D test such as an echo or perfusion scan, too.

How do you go about finding a private consultant?

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Most of them do private appointments !

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I have never had an Echo, but I ask for, and am normally given, any print outs, etc., that I think may be of interest to me. I paid £10 for a series of 6 x-rays of my leg, on a DVD which I can view, but not print out, alas.

Could make interesting Christmas cards!!

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Having been diagnosed with AF by ECG locally I went to the county hospital for an Echo and there was a notice in the hospital saying ''Do not discuss your echocardiogram with the technician'' I was a bit put out because when reading a review on the hospital website one patient had said ''The helpful technician discussed my results''. I asked if I would be getting a copy and was told they don't discuss it and the results would take 3 weeks to reach my GP. They took 6 weeks after many prompting phone calls to the consultant's secretary from myself and my GP .

Having been told by one secretary that the results were 'with them' after 3 weeks but they hadn't got around to dealing with them I said I would make an appointment at the consultants private clinic to discuss the results. I was told ''You can't do that, it makes treating you too confusing for the hospital''. I asked for a copy of the results to be sent to me and was told ''We are not allowed to give them to patients'' so I waited and waited feeling like a naughty child making a fuss over nothing.

This is how I have been made to feel since I first went to see my GP with symptoms of AF. I think had I called an ambulance and been taken to hospital when having severe episodes of AF instead of waiting it out at home on my own I might have been taken more seriously .

In the end I got a letter about my echo with just a few lines saying ''no significant abnormalities' whatever that means.

I have received an appointment to see the arrhythmia nurse at the local clinic next May so will eventually get a chance to discuss my Echo then a year after it was taken .

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Here in the USA the law says copies of your records are yours for the asking although each doctors office has to maintain records on every patient they see even if you don’t go there anymore, for a number of years (I think 7yrs). We can either ask for copies and bring to a new medical provider or sign a release form at the new provider’s office prior to the first visit and they will obtain them from the other office with time to review before they see you. It’s quite common here either way, people are always free seek a second (or 3rd, or 4th, etc) opinion.

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