Absolutely gobsmacked!

a couple of weeks ago as part of my ongoing attempts to get some sense out of the medical profession, I went into my GP's surgery and talked to the practice manager and asked them to provide me some kind of explanation as to why 3 years ago they had brought up the subject of my cholesterol when I'd only gone in with a skin infection - thereby triggering 3 years of complete stress mixed with farce from my point of view.

I had - wrongly as it turns out - assumed that a trainee GP I saw just saw my cholesterol result in a general test my GP had taken to find out if there was anything causing the repeated skin infections and decided to bring the subject up. It now turns out that actually the GP had - for reasons best known to herself - just decided to order a cholesterol test completely without my consent because I had had one (that I had consented to) three years previously and she thought it would be ok! A friend who works for the GMC complaints department has confirmed that although this isn't striking off territory, it's definitely not an ok thing to do. Patients are supposed to give fully informed consent to any treatment.

I'm dumbfounded really. How can any doctor think this is ok? They obviously realise it isn't now, and I have been offered a meeting with the GP to discuss it. I've asked for a written summary of their response beforehand so that I can prepare the issues I wish to discuss.

But I would really prefer that they had just left me alone, and not raised the subject of cholesterol with me. I don't want to take statins - which I said to the trainee GP, so what is the point? It just causes stress and anxiety.

The most positive outcome I can have from this is at least use the meeting to press this home and hopefully spare anyone else from a similar outcome. But I'm just amazed they a)did this and b)admitted to it and then tried to defend it.

8 Replies

  • Nothing surprises me any more. there was push a couple of years ago to get everyone over certain age on to statins. there was also a financial incentive attached to this. Our surgery offered us a medical MOT, I told them to take a hike and we would not be attending.

    You have to be asked permission for them to carry out any tests.

    Good for you for finally getting getting the answers. I wonder how many other patients have had the same thing done to them,

  • It's absolutely terrifying, not everyone is as bolshy or sceptical as me. Some people (especially older patients) trust the GP implicitly and assume they must be recommending what is best for them.

    A good book on the subject is 'the patient paradox' by Margaret McCartney. She also blogs for the BMJ, has her own blog, and writes pieces in the press.

  • We have just finished with an official complaint against the local hospital regarding a diagnosis made when my husband was admitted. If I had not gone with my gut instinct he would on medications that possiblty could have done him further damage. When he came home we sat down and went through things blow by blow, when we got his medical records we were justified, but because someone scribbled something and this person was a Consultant, no one queried her diagnosis. Two hours earlier another Consultant said there was nothing untoward in all the investigations. So we went for a second and third opinion and these two other opinions came out on our side. the letter from hospital was a wishy washy justification but conceded there was a mistake in the diagnosis. During all of this our GP did not get in contact with us, the wrong diagnosis was accepted. I have to check now that the records down there have been corrected. We never go to the GP, there is no need to, we are in our 70's and not in need of any medication. This might change in the future, but everything will be questioned if that time comes.

  • I totally agree in asking questions and getting a full understanding. I will be 70 this year, for me I say time will tell if I need any medication. All I want is quality of living without medication, not length of life with medication.

    I question every time I am given medication, some time I do not take medication.

    My GP who is retired now used to say to me if you need to take this medication, think about it and then go the chemist.

  • NHS heath check community explain the reason for health check for 40-74 age group. Why?, Who provide the guide lines?

    We different individuals look at checks and tests in different ways!, I am glad my GP practice did a blood test and left an answer phone message for me to discuss my blood tests. On that day my life style change started!

    Years ago, portable machines to go cholesterol testing was expensive. I went to North Acton ASDA to get petrol, a friend came to buy smoke, while waiting for my friend I saw am medical van doing bloods at a cost of £10.00, I went for the test and it was normal.

    My friend said what a waste on £10.00, his money went in smoke!!!

  • I wholeheartedly agree and the subject of those as myself stuggling w/FH and trying to do all i can to avoid statins there is alot of unnecessary anxiety that "health-care professionals" add to it.

  • Interesting to realise others feel the same as I did. Back in 2009 there was a lot of talk in the press on cholesterol testing and stupidly I went for a test at the GP. I lead a healthy lifestyle [but always room for improvement] and I never anticipated a problem. Not knowing a thing about numbers I had a total of 6.4 and was given a lecture and diet sheet and told to return in 3 years. So in 2012 I was called back, then a month later received an 'invitation' for an NHS health check. I rue the day I accepted and have never forgiven the HCA who said when my BP was high 'Well you are 70' as if I was fit to be shunted into a care home. After a 24 hr monitor hypertension was confirmed and that was when I felt that I was being used as a cash cow for the surgery! Endless tests and ultimately medication - they never believe a patient will improve their lifestyle. I was told I should be grateful to have had this discovered but I wasn't - in fact I was furious. I was on the 'register' now and forever in their sights :(

    Months later I was able to get my med notes online and noted that 11 years earlier my BP had been logged at 160/90 yet nobody had batted an eyelid or followed it up presumably as there was no money in it.

    These NHS checks have the opposite effect to what is intended and end up making patients of well people.

  • That's why patients need to fight back! My GP's surgery actually isn't bad some of the time - there are lots of GPs and I've learned which ones to avoid.

    Unfortunately when I saw this particular GP it was an emergency as I had cellulitis and had to get antibiotics straight away as it can develop into sepsis and literally kill you. So I wasn't as picky and I'd never seen her before in any case.

    I think after meeting me, she'll be well up on the law of medical consent.

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