NHS charging patient for blood tests requested by GP. Whatever next?

Today I have received an invoice from the Gloucestershire NHS Labs for £123; payment for 7 blood tests requested by my GP. ( B12,F,TPO,FT3,FT4,RLP,TSH) These same tests had been repeatedly requested by my GP before and I have never been charged. So what has changed?

I have Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism and was severely deficient in Vit D3.

However my GP is not allowed to request Vitamin D testing from these same labs despite requests from my Endo.

Has anyone had a similar experience?

Fortunately through your help, guidance and ongoing support I have been able to take some control and use suggested supplements and monitor my own blood tests through medicheck.

Would be interested in replies as I am about to do battle on Monday. Thank you

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I'm hoping they've made a mistake and someone has either

1) Sent the bill to you instead of the practice

2) Confused you with an overseas visitor who I believe can be charged for blood tests

Let us know the outcome, very intriguing!

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Hi seasidesusie - I too am hoping that a mistake has been made.

Interesting - if the invoice should have gone to the practice then they are being overcharged quite a lot more. Same + more tests from medicheck would have been around £99.

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Hi SeasideSusie.

The outcome; The lab informed me that my GP had ticked the private patient box, hence the bill to me. When I explained that I was not, then she cancelled the invoice and was going to contact my GP surgery to check. So the mystery has been solved. Thanks to all for your support.

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Cheslee

Maybe the GP hadn't had his morning coffee to properly wake him up, or maybe it was the end of a long day :D Glad it's all sorted and thanks for letting me know :)

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Sad thing Seaside Susie I was sitting with her when she was organising all these tests on her computer.

She is quite a good GP and at least tries to understand where I am coming from. We have a good relationship and I am lucky in that I get to see her every time. She has been battling to 'sort me out' for the last 7 years. She tells me she is fed up with the NHS, she cannot fight the system of constraints and tells me this is not what she trained for. I expect in time she will leave! I do feel for her which is why this forum is so crucial in helping us to look after ourselves. Thank you all

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Cheslee,

NHS doesn't charge patients for blood tests. There has been an error and the invoice should have been sent to your practice.

It would be very interesting to see how much the individual tests cost. Would you mind uploading the invoice as an image or manually typing out the tests and costs?

I'm shocked your GP is unable to order a vitamin D test considering how serious vitamin D deficiency can be yet how easily diagnosed and treated it can be. If your endo is NHS endo should be able to order the vitD test. If endo is private you can order a vitD test from City Assays for £28 via thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

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If you do upload an image, make sure you obscure your personal details.

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Thanks for the nod - have typed in results myself. Cheers

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Hi Clutter here are the tests and costs:-

Haematology Dept

Lab Facility fee - B12, F, TPO - cost £68.22

Consultant Haematologist - cost £28.14

Biochemistry Dept

Laboratory Fee FT3,FT4,RLP,TSH - cost £12.93

Consultant Pathologist - cost £19.39

The RLP I believe was an annual cholesterol test added on by the nurse taking the bloods.

The medicheck cost for the similar Thyroid ultra check is £79.

All tests had been previously requested by GP.

Regards

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Cheslee,

Thanks. Seems excessive to have 2 different consultants reporting on the tests. Costs would be similar to Medicheck's without the consultant fees.

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£12.93 for basic TSH,ft3,ft4! Medi check looks £29. Most doctor's don't want to run this.

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I had a quick look at Gloucestershire guidelines and couldn't see anything obvious about charging for blood tests.

The Gloucestershire hospitals vitamin D treatment guidelines (http://www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk/SharePoint1/Treatment%20Guidelines/Vitamin%20D%20Treatment%20Guidelines.pdf) includes:

WHO SHOULD BE TESTED FOR VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY?

- Pts with bone diseases that may be improved with Vitamin D replacement e.g . osteomalacia, Paget’s

- Before commencing potent anti-resorptive therapy (e.g. Zolendronate or D enosumab)

- Pts with musculoskeletal symptoms that might be attributable to Vitamin D deficiency

e.g. myopathy, chronic widespread pain

There is no need to routinely test for vitamin D deficiency in the following groups

- Asymptomatic individuals at higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency – these patients should be

commenced on maintenance Vitamin D therapy.

- Osteoporosis or fragility fracture where a decision has been made to prescribe an oral

bisphosphonate. In this situation a Vitamin D preparation (with or without Calcium) should be routinely co-prescribed.

- Asymptomatic healthy individuals

Vit D is fat soluble (so it's possible to overdose) so it seems wrong that people taking the supplement aren't being routinely tested, let alone people who may have an undiagnosed vit D deficiency.

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Thanks Babette very helpful, I shall pursue with my GP

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Last week I went to the surgery to have the usual blood tests for my annual thyroid check. As usual I requested Vits to be checked and was told that they are not allowed to do the Vit D check any more because it is too expensive.

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