Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Mixed up medical records!

Ok, so I thought I would check through my medical records, as I had a sneaky feeling something was wrong, and also my employer needed to know a few medical details and dates.

The last surgery I was at mixed up my notes with someone of the same name who lived on the next road up from what the staff at the surgery led me to believe, and that was (apparently) sorted out at the time.

So whilst looking through those old notes again I pulled out another letter addressed to this other woman - at an address at the other side of the town and brought it to the attention of the secretary at this new practice.

Then I took my newer notes home to read (printed from the computer) and lo and behold, 3 scanned letters NOT ME!!

One was an anon test result, no name and was slipped behind one of my blood test result sheets at the scanning stage. Another was about a men who had been admitted into AE for kidney stones - a letter of referral?. The last one was notification of a cancer (from obs and gynae) to the GP for a lady in her 50s - NOT ME!!!!!!

The last one was particularly worrying - what if this lady never got notified. Not an impossibility, as I found a letter from a consultant to the GP in there, where it mentioned at the end that due to one of the tests I had done with him at the time, it was unlikely that I had celiac disease. I was never told about this result and for many years I have wondered if I had Celiac disease and even considered a private test. I would NOT have forgotten if someone had told me about this test that was being done at the same time, that I didn't know about.


16 Replies

COR BLIMEY!!!! Hi Glenys, I think that is beyond disgusting it is absolutely unforgivable! The mind boggles when I hear some of these stories about GP's and their surgeries. I hope that you can get this all sorted out.

Take care

Ken x


Hi Ken, can you tell me if I am entitled to the medical records of my late wife, who passed away in August of cancer? Up to May she was doing regular "Keep Fit" and the only apparent problem she had was a lump on her arm which looked like a boil but the G.P. said was a harmless lipoma. Checking up, I found that a lipoma is a flattish raised area caused by a fat deposit under the skin, which it certainly was not. The lump grew steadily bigger and she was sent for an ultrasound scan. 2 1/2 weeks later the surgery had been notified that it was 'normal'! I recall that at the time of the scan there was debate as to which scan went with which set of notes and it has to be that they got it wrong. A sudden deterioration in my wife's health

led to 3 whole days spent in A&E at 2 local hospitals, during which she was getting weaker all the time, and was referred to the FRACTURE clinic for the lump!!! At the end of the 3rd day, about 7.30pm it was confirmed she had advanced cancer (which I already knew , having caught a glimpse of her chest x-ray) and they decided to keep her in but it took till midnight to find her a bed, by which time she was exhausted. She was transferred to the Royal Free 3 days later, where by contrast she was given the best possible treatment in a vain effort to build her up enough to enable her to spend her last days with me at home. Sadly, she passed away there on 9th. August



Hi Envirowiser.

I am so sorry to read your sad and devastating story, and I hope that you are coming to some semblance of peace with all of this. I really don't know if a doctor is obliged to hand over your wife's medical records. However, if the coroner was involved then they will have all of this on their records and you will be able to get hold of them this way through the coroner but it will come with a sizeable fee. If I were you I would contact a solicitor and ask them to write to the surgery for the records as they will know the in's and out's of how this works and a solicitors letter always holds more clout than people like us.

I hope this will help you in some way and please post me if you ever need anyone to talk to.

Take care



hi, sorry to hear about your wife. After my dad died mum asked PALS to look into his care/ notes as she was unhappy with his treatment ( he went in hospital for 4 days for tests and passed away 7 week later, still in hospital) They arranged a meeting with consultants to discuss this with us. Maybe PALS at the hospital your wife was in could help


Hi Glenys. in my very humble opinion I think you should get in touch with the manager of your practice and let them know what mistakes have been made and ask that they clarify everything to you very quickly. I would also mention your concern about the other people mentioned in the notes and ask that they too be clarified and the appropriate patients informed . This is a totally unacceptable set of circumstances and I think you deserve and need an apology and explanation and that the doctors concerned be reported if negligent in any way !

In slight defence, it may not have been the doctor, but perhaps some slip up on the administrative side, even then answers and explanations should be given. If your practice is not willing to comply with your request then my advice would be to let them know that you are considering bringing the situation to light to your local MP and possibly the BMA, that will I think let them know that you mean business. In the first instance do it in a very polite and positive way, so that they can't label you as a whinger, but if they come back to you with negative response, then gradually "up the anti" as the saying goes, so that although you are still polite! make it very clear what action you will be taking.

I'm sorry for my long ramble, but I have seen medical negligence many times over the years from inpatient treatment and sometime I think doctors count on the fact that the general public think the doctors always do, and know the best, which on some occasions could not be further from the actuality !!

I wish you the very best Glenys and hope that 2014 brings better things for all of us. :-)

Foggy x


Hi Foggy :-)

I have a feeling that the admin are to blame on that score, but there are plenty other things evident which is a fault of the system in general. The fact that after a Vit Ddeficiency and mega vitamin doses to top up,my levels, they have dropped again dramatically, despite being on twice the maintenance dose. It might have gone unnoticed if I hadn't seen my notes, as they were just within the "OK" parameters 4 weeks ago. Now they will be too low, but "no other action to be taken" was written on the blood test results from the lab.

The practice manager is a lovely chap, and the admin staff are really pleasant, but there definitely needs someone to make them aware that mix ups can happen. At the last practice when they got me mixed up with someone else of the same name, they started asking patients' when they pulled out their records, as I brought it to their attention and they reformed their working practice.

Do I have to do this indefinitely, though - is the system that flawed? I work for the NHS and safely can say that I have brought it up on countless occasions on the wards when the patients details are not correct in the notes. Yes I will mention taking it further and will if I have to. Thanx Foggy :-)


About 16 years ago I had cause to request all of my hospital notes going back some years as I was not pleased with two consultants treatment of one complaint.,all of this to prepare an official complaint.

After hours of collating the notes I found another persons notes in my pile of notes one consultant also stated I had been prescribed a particular drug which I had not and other drugs I been taking were not listed.

Since that time I have lived in two other areas of the country and in both appointment requests by consultants have gone missing

.Again NHS administration inefficiencies.



Are we able to request copies of all our medical notes without giving a reason and if so is there a charge?




I requested them around a year ago, but due to a tardy response and me being a little unsure it took till lately to get access. I don't think you need to give them a reason in the first instances (I had a reason) but should they say they need one, I told them my work needed to know dates of tests etc - as they did. They let me first look through all the older notes in the office (I think they could have copied them and let me take those away if I wanted, but I chose the former), then they did printouts of all the (nearly300 sheets) computer records and let me take them away for a tenna - a bargain me thinks! I've not really looked through all those later bits yet.


I was open mouthed when I read your post. Did you get in touch with the lady in the letters?

I only mix up I had at one of my old GP surgeries was my doctor looking at the notes and with a wry smile said " You did not know you were having twins did you" He called though to the reception and asked for the notes for MR &(£&%"(&% before I go into labour!

Be Well


I have only just found the letters, so I am going to take a copy of them to the surgery on monday, and insist that the staff there get in touch with them, and keep asking until they have. I think by law the other parties have to be informed of the error, and will also deserve an apology. I won't go behind the surgery's back at the moment, as foggy said I am trying to resolve it with the GP, but I am going to make sure that higher authorities get a run down of what has happened. I work at the local hospital and think nothing about whistle-blowing, as long as it can be kept peaceful and all parties are going to benefit from changes brought about.


Funny I wasonly thinking this morning about my med records for my ESA .I found out ply a couple of years ago that a medical report I had to pay for for insurance claim when dislocated a hip on holiday. I noticed then it had dates wrong for my cancer and for my hip ops. It also made no mention if my health when I lived in Devon,whig is where I lived when my rheumatoid arthritis was first diagnosed.along with A Spondylitis, this concerned me but never got an acceptable reply.And to honest I have not really worried about it till now. I have no energy for a confrontation but feel that maybe should contact my doctor here and get him to get my Devon med reports. Have tried filling my form but my hands hurt do much can only do a few lines at a time. My daughter was going to do it for me but has been so busy at work and then helping me here just not had the time to just sit and write.I am now quite worried.


Can I just ask do you have to pay for copies of your med records. I wanted them after my cancer treatment as was told it had returned and after check from surgeon told it was nos. four Weeks of stress for nothing I made a complain t only to be told the oncologist denied telling me it was back and the six students in the room would debut it also coos if their dragged on do long to just get a meeting then wanted fifty pounds for my records which did not have.


Wendylulu has just asked the same, so I gave her a reply above - it might help. I have found a few missing bits in my older records, but am hoping it will all tie up when I get my hospital records. If you ring medical records at the hospitals you were treated at, you will be sent a form in the post or by email to fill in and I think its around £20 (it is at our hospital in Sheffield) for copies to be sent to your address, or you may be able go into their offices and look for free. Best to ask them when you ring them.


hi, haven't they broken the confidentiality agreement by giving you some other patients letters? That definitely needs looking in to.

My bank started sending my statements to another address and when we realised they changed my accounts and compensated me.


Hi Jayfer.

I know they don't even know that they have done it yet - it will be a surprise to them - shows you how easy these things slip through the net. They just did a printout, got one of the GPs to flick through it (not very well it seems) and then gave the 1 inch wad of printouts to me! Its a vicious circle really as the patients with the most convoluted records are going the have the most mistakes made.

I work in the medical photography department and every patient we photograph has the potential to be a mix up if we didn't have protocols in place. As it happens in the 23 years that I have worked there, the only times a consultant or nurse has received the wrong image, it has been immediately recognised before it even reaches the records - and believe me that was around twice in thousands of patients, with many photographers on the job.

I see umpteens of patient name misspellings made by medical staff whilst on the wards however and am always bringing it to the attention of the nurses, sometimes asking the patients themselves so I know I am getting the correct spelling.

I wonder if I take such precautions because my notes were mixed up around 10 years ago at a previous GPs, where I became 20 years older and developed a daughter on drugs!


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