Health records

Well, I finally got my health records from my GP surgery (my delay in requesting, they provided fairly promptly). Was surprised to discover that in only comprised of prints of test results, hospital referral letters and letters from hospital reporting on tests/consultations/regular reviews. I kind of expected to see notes from every GP appointment, detailing issues raised, advice given, medication prescribed etc, but there was none of this.

I've had a look at the NHS website on the subject but I'm not seeing any guidance on whether or not this should be included.

Can members shed any light on whether consultation notes should be included? I am in Scotland if that makes a difference. TIA.

I still need to look through all the test results and I also just got my results from BH this morning, all of which I will share later.

Thanks to members for all advice given so far! 😀

6 Replies

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  • There should be some GP notes I would have thought. But I think you are optimistic about what the GP would have recorded. I was given copies of GP notes for at least some of the more recent years of my life, but they are practically illegible and really don't say anything helpful.

    If you've seen doctors writing notes during consultations then clearly you should query the fact you don't have any.

    Another possibility is that with the increasing use of computers over the years that GP consultation notes may have been gradually destroyed.

    And if you have changed surgery at any time then notes could have been lost.

    I do remember reading a post from one patient years ago whose old notes had (allegedly) been lost in a fire. I've also heard of floods being responsible for the loss of notes. Obviously fires and floods do happen.

  • I asked for my notes from Dr Skinner's clinic after he died, to try to prove to my own GP that his diagnosis was valid and that he had explained all my symptoms. I received similar to you, test results and copies of letters to my GP, all of which I had already been sent at the time, but none of the notes I had seen him taking during consultations which would have included my symptoms, my questions and his answers. I'll be interested to see what others reply to you and if anyone has received fuller details of appointments.

  • Soreknees2016,

    My GP notes of each appointment were noted in the Summary Records. Usually a couple of lines outlining reason for appointment, tests ordered, 'diagnosis', meds prescribed.

  • I've just received mine. Twenty years of GP notes are missing and there are no test results, scan results etc. I have GP notes, mostly illegible, and correspondence between GP and hospital, but even that is not complete. I am plucking up courage to ring the practice manager and ask her about what is missing.

  • I don't know of anyone who has had what I would think of as full, detailed consultation notes written on their medical file when a copy has been requested. My own tend to be a short comment about a consultation, although the older handwritten notes (from the 80s) are fuller.

    There is no mention of the repeated catalogue of symptoms I'd visited with over time (it often just said "thyroid" or "unwell"), often no mention of specific reasons I visited (such as a repeated request to have a vitamin D test, another reason would be written), there are condescending comments, incorrect information and, believe it or not, letters about totally different patients in my file. On the summary notes, diseases I have been diagnosed with (by NHS specialists) in the last 5 years are not even listed, so I have to remind doctors as it affects other treatment. God forbid I should ever be unconscious in A&E.

    I have always passed copies of my private blood test results and dated symptom lists to the GP, with an assurance that they would be put on my file. I expected those to be copied when I received my medical file, but they're not. I wonder if they were just binned? Copies of letters from specialists should be there too (they're not), nor bog standard thyroid tests done by the hospital which my GP always assured me were there too (but no copies are on my printed files or my results which I can access online). It makes me think they make it up as they go along.

    It means that, whenever I visit a doctor (which is very rare as I self-treat now), I assume that they know nothing about me. Even if they looked in my notes, they wouldn't know anything. I am much more confident about just stating the facts now, with a "of course, you know I have Hashimoto's and blah blah blah", and I list my health conditions.

    My faith in these people was out of the window with the mismanagement of my health over the last few years, it dropped down the toilet when I realised that it has probably gone on over my entire life.

  • Thanks for all the replies regarding this. I have now been in touch with my GP Practice Manager to request the missing information. She was quite apologetic and immediately agreed to arrange for it to be provided, but described it as 'your Data Protection Summary sheet' which doesn't sound to me like a full set of notes! I will wait with bated breath to see what they provide......

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