Why am I never allowed to view my medical records? Watch
How come I am never able to view my medical information? If I have a blood test and ring up to find out the result (they dont contact me) the receptionist sometimes says the results are normal. If I ask if I can get a copy its like getting blood from a stone, the receptionist says they dont tend to do that. She said theres no point me having the results unless Ive studied medicine and that i just need to know that they are normal . I mean I see her point but isnt it my business if or why I want to view them though? I know that in nursing patients are allowed to view their notes if they want to. Is the NHS that pressured that its a waste of time giving me my results or something.
There are some situations where they can refuse. But "I want to see my blood test results" isn't one of them.
Is the NHS that pressured that its a waste of time giving me my results or something.
1) Logistics like you say. Even the most routine samples often return a whole host of measurements. For example, a Full Blood Count done to check if you're anaemic with have 3-4 measures of red cells, platelets, your white cells plus all subtypes listed out. About 15 values, each of which you're going to want the normal maximum and minimum values for aren't you? So now you've trapped a receptionist there reading 45 values to you over the phone. And that's just an FBC.
In hospital it would be even worse.
2) Indeed you do not know how to interpret them. When you're taking 15 measurements from a patient the chances of one or two being slightly outside the normal range is very high. Someone trained can look at that and say that's fine, just a random variation nothing to worry about. Whereas you cannot. There are already enough hypochondriacs out there who waste thousands of pounds of NHS resources - telling [almost] everyone that they have one or two abnormal results is not a good way to tackle that. If it were a private system I'm sure they'd tell you in a heartbeat. If you want a repeat appointment to discuss it that's fine £100 please. But we don't, so we try not to waste patient's time.
As records become more electronic we probably will see an increase in accessibility though. A personalised health 'passport' with your history and results on it has been suggested - seems a good idea. Data protection and security is what has stopped that from going ahead to date. Many hospitals still use Windows XP, after all!