GP receptionist won't give me my blood test results?

I've had a few different blood tests done recently (TFT, vitamin d, calcium, UE+GFR, ESR full blood countl, liver function.. Might have been more but can't remember..)

The doctor called me on Monday to say that calcium and kidney were fine, the full blood count showed enlarged blood cells but he said that's most likely the hypothyroidism causing that. I called yesterday for the rest of the results and the receptionist told me that the doctor would call me this morning to discuss the results. By 12 I hadn't heard anything so I called again. Was told that all results had come back but that the doctor will be calling me to discuss..

I am getting really worried now as it looks like they've found something. My question is, are the receptionists allowed to keep the results from me?

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9 Replies

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  • No. Write a formal letter saying that, as per the provisions of the Data Protection Act, you are writing to request a copy of your test results by X date.

  • Yes, it would not be professional for them to discuss with you whatever the doctor wishes.Doctors have obviously no idea how anxious patients get when they are told 'GP will phone you' and they don't quickly.

    This is a link:-

    mayoclinic.org/macrocytosis...

  • I'm with Shaws on this one. while you are entitled to see and have copies of any or all of your medical records, there are protocols to follow to get them. However just being entitled to request them is not the same thing as getting results from receptionists over the phone. The receptionist can only tell you what the doctor has noted they can tell you, in this case "that the GP wishes to discus them", they would be going against both policy and the GP if they gave you them without permission.

  • Thanks, my doctor did call me about 30 mins ago. My TSH has gone flown from 316 to 131 so that's a good start. ESR was slightly high and vitamin d very low so will be on meds for that as well.

    Nothing serious at least, and I've had a sleepless night cause of this... Phew!

  • Now that your doctor has discussed the results with you, it would be a perfectly reasonable next step to ask for a copy of the results (including reference ranges) from the receptionist. If I was in your shoes I would do the following :

    Phone up the surgery and say something like "I spoke to my doctor today about some blood test results and now I would like a paper copy of them for my own records with the reference ranges included as well please. When could I come into the surgery to pick up the printout? Is later today or tomorrow okay?"

    By phoning in advance it cuts down on the chance of there being any kind of public confrontation with an unwilling or obstructive receptionist. It also allows time for the receptionist to get permission from the doctor to print them out. The receptionists would be overstepping their responsibilities if they just gave them to you without checking with the doctor first. There are circumstances in which permission could legally be refused, and it isn't part of the receptionists' job or training to know when those circumstances apply.

    Let us know what happens. :)

  • Hopefully the doctor will call you back and put your mind at rest today. If he/she doesn't, I think I'd simply ring tomorrow--and the next day, and the next day, until he/she does.

    Something's niggling at me about enlarged blood cells. Think that might be a sign of B12 and/or folate deficiency. Did the doctor test those? If not, it might be an idea to suggest that those tests are done!

  • No I don't think I was tested for that even though I asked for that to be done. But he is going to call me back this afternoon to advise me on the next increase in levo so I will ask for that again!

    Thank you, I'm calmer now that he's called me. Was so worried since yesterday. Thought it was something really bad..

  • Just to say, when you phone to ask like human bean suggests do it in the afternoon when they are not so busy - I was told I could get mine any time but it would be better if I did it in the afternoon when they were less busy - so no point you ringing ( and maybe putting their backs up ) when they / if are likely to be really busy in the mornings

  • I believe that you should always apply for results in writing. You are entitled to copy of the results under the data protection act but I would omit this act in your initial request. A letter stating, I am formally requesting a copy of the blood test undertaken on ..........Thank you in anticipation for your help in this matter.

    Yours etc.

    Give it to receptionist and await response. If any difficulties at all, then I would say firmly, that I am entitled to receive this under the data protection act.

    This is what I do.....

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