Blood test results belong to NHS

Empowered by this forum, I went to the surgery to ask for print-outs of my blood tests. The receptionists then said that they would have to ask the doctor if I was allowed the results. Apparently, the blood results are for the doctor and any tests and medical files belong to the NHS, so the doctor has to approve me having them. They cannot just hand them over to me.

I can understand the results are for the doctor to interpret, because obviously he's the expert. But they are surely my results and I can have them if I want to without having to explain why? I now feel like the doctor is allowed to censor my results if he wants to. Hopefully he'll just approve them, but I will find out on Monday.

I am still surprised about this response, even though this forum has already showed that surgeries are very arbitrary in giving you your own blood results.

26 Replies

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  • WHAT? Who's blood is it? Yours or the doctors? I feel that this is yet another case of the receptionists being snotty. Either that or they are just not allowed to make any vaguely clinical decisions without asking first. We really do not need any of this additional "pain" in our lives. By the way ... your comment about your doctor ... "he's the expert". You sure about that? xxx

  • Well I expect the doctor to know more about these things than me :). But I also want the results just to have a look myself with the info I now have from this forum and books. I think he's been okay so far, but I don't really know the figures or what he tested exactly. I just want to me more informed.

  • My doctor will give me printouts of recent blood results if i ask him face to face but if i ask the receptionist, they have to have authorisation from my doctor. I have to pay if i want a lot of paper work . X

  • Hi, do you know how much I have to pay for this or I pay they will give everything?

  • Full information about rights, how to get access, etc. available on the main Thyroid UK web site here:

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/NHS_In...

    The person in ultimate control of the records is actually secretary of state for health - not the NHS as such. Might be a technical point!

    You absolutely DO NOT have to explain why.

  • I finally plucked up the courage to ask my doc for mine today.....it's only taken me about a year! I was told everything was completely normal & I didn't need them :-(

    Good luck getting yours x

  • Don't accept that. Follow the link above and ask again.

    I realise it might not be easy but unfortunately there is often no other way.

  • You do not need to accept your doctor's response. State that you want ALL your lab printouts with the reference ranges. You can also get them from the hospital lab. Just write to the medical records dept or hops lab to say you want the above.

    You may be asked for some money towards the cost of paper and ink, etc - but they're not allowed to try to make a profit from it, i.e. to ask you for an unreasonable amount of money for doing it.

    You must be forthright, otherwise they'll assume they can fob you off and that you have no idea that you're entitled to that data.

  • Thank you Helvella & Londinium for your excellent advice. I will write to the practice & hopefully get results after my next tests next week. It's think it's time I was allowed to take control of or at least have a say in my own health.

    Unbelievable as it may seem I used to have a good & responsible job now I don't even have the confidence to speak up for myself!

  • Thanks everyone. It makes sense that permission from the doctor would be needed, but I guess the receptionist just doesn't know much, for instance that I don't need a reason.

  • The receptionists should know. It is part of their job to know.

    As I see it, the only reason that the doctor needs to be involved is if your records are among the few which they will refuse to hand over to you for your own good. Although we hear of lots of problems getting access, absolute refusal on those grounds seem rare. Indeed, the doctor might need to back up that claim so may be wary of making it.

  • H,l know its frustrating,l,m a thyroid patient myself and recently retired from my job as a drs receptionists, whenever we were asked by patient we had to get drs permission otherwise we were hauled over the coals ,we were told we are receptionists not a dr and it was,nt our decision, l always ask for my results and have never had a problem so wonder if its a decision taken by practice managers,l,m at a different surgery to where l was working protocol being you had to see another practice other than the one you were employed at, receptionists take a lot of flack ,there are a lot of good ones,best of luck with getting your results next time, writing to practice manager is a very good idea, x

  • And a previous post & link

    thyroiduk.healthunlocked.co...

    Freedom of information act springs to mind - NHS records indeed! J :D

  • Write a letter to the doctor and copy it it to head of practice. Enclose a stamped addressed envelope, head it. Data protection act 1998. And say that under the terms of the above act you are entitled to copies of results and reference ranges, for tests which have been undertaken. Ask for copies of test you have had for. Tsh, free t4, free t3 and any vitamin or mineral tests you have had done in the past 5 years....... Much better if you can actually name the tests you are looking for the results of.

    I offered to trawl through my notes for my test results if the doctor was unable to spare staff to do it..... Thy are allowed to charge but its a reasonable charge based upon the cost of printing the results...... No doubt someone will know the actual amount, I have never had to pay.

    Say you would like the results within 15 days .... You do not have to give a reason, nor do you have to say what you will do if the results are not forthcoming........

    Good luck

    G

  • I have had the same thing, but when I asked a different receptionist he just printed them off no questionned asked and no charge, the same with my doctor, asked for alternative medicine told there wasn't any, saw a different doctor explained that I felt bad on thyroxine and that it may/could be giving me migraines and that I had tried every medication too prevent them and non worked, so I was stopping thyroxine, amazing he offered armour, what I am getting at is for 20 years I have been messed about? by just changing too a different doctor in same practice and speaking about medication too the Boots Pharmacist and of course this website, I am now on armour it might help me but at least I feel in control of my treatment now, I know there are people on this website that will help, good luck and I hope you get what you are after, karen

  • Hi,

    The J.P. seems to have control of what happens to our medical records and uses "his" judgement and quite often limited knowledge of how the Thyroid gland does or does not work and I have the experience of my doctor saying there is nothing wrong, you are just overweight and are consuming too many calories,but why does it appear to my that I have most of the pointers to state that have an underactive Thyroid and a son living in New Zealabd who has really difficult times with his underactive thyroid and there he is on medication to get some quality of life.

    Unfortunately I have given up with mine even having changed doctors recently this has not helped address my problem,fortunately for me I don't have some of the very difficult side-effects of an underactive thyroid which seems to have affected my son. I have been overweight for the last 25 years and tried every diet designed and none work for me.

    Good luck and keep fighting on.

  • I had the same reaction as Lenny! I didn't need the results. Why on earth don't the Doctors like us having knowledge.

    I did get my first results when I saw the nurse. The computers were down the 2nd time, so Ill have to request those on Tuesday when I have test number 3. Like Hattiehound - I have had medication changed by a different Doctor in the practice, only to have it changed back again when my prescription review came up.:(

  • Galathea and Rod are giving sound advice. I asked to see my test results. I had to give them a small amount of notice and they were provided several days later, so my surgery appears to know what the law is. Good luck.

  • I have to fight every time for my results

  • Hello,

    See my Question 'Curios and Curiouser.' and 'Result not what expected' in my profile.

    I finally got my result in writing - pathetic! Just the TSH value - nothing else! Now seeking to be referred, looking for an Endo for a proper service. Just written to Dr Skinner for advice.

  • you have a legal right to see any data about you (including blood tests results) that any NHS body holds under the Data Protection Act. you can see them for free or request a copy for a reasonable cost - no more than £50.

  • I received the results! They printed them all out for me at no cost, which is great, with the reference ranges even. Guess the GP just needed to approve and the secretary just doesn't know what she's talking about.

  • After reading your comments, I rang my surgery. At first the receptionist said " of course " but then came back and said she couldn't do it! I explained that I had an appointment in two weeks time and I wanted to 'study' the results before my visit so that I knew what I was talking about. She said it needed to be discussed with the Dr. I explained that when I have my '10 minutes' with the Dr there isn't time for me to ask much as well as explain how I'm feeling. Only result is a double appointment, that I had to book online myself Grrrrrrrrrr!

  • Had the same thing happen to me, they're charging me £50 for a copy of my sexual health blood test results. Not even my GP has access to them, they're apparently only meant for the consultants (and secutaries) to look at. Disgusted by this situation, I refuse to pay for print-out of my own test results!!!

  • I have had this problem today. It makes you feel they are hiding something. The gp manager told me it's because they're open to misinterpretation. So I said that's irrelevant ...what if I did misinterpret them ...I can hardly write my self a prescription and cause any harm. Also your not allowing for that fact that all patients have different levels of smartNess and I happen to have a degree in science so I'm only going to check my results myself to know what I'm taking about when I see my consultant. Her reply was well give is the consultants name and we will send them. I said no because you won't and never do. Also I want them for my own file my right, it's my results your keeping them on my behalf. In the end we'll ask the doctor was her reply. So angry !!!

  • Great comment from - catlover339 - are they the experts!? This point could probably be a whole new post! [I write enough Blogs on the subject]

    Anway - about tests. I never had any problems getting them from any surgery or from the hospital. "Could you print for me my latest blood test results, please"? seems to work fine. I think many ask: "I was considering asking..." - which allows them to say no or maybe. They charge me 20 pence per page, btw. At hospital I always ask for copies of x-rays or MRIs - again, no problems. Good luck (and Happy New Year)!

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