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to feel a bit cross with GP and hospital

(24 Posts)
careergirl Sat 02-Feb-13 15:43:42

I attended at the hospital in December - was referred for low white blood counts
Rolling on, I didn't hear anything although numerous blood tests were taken. I assumed all was well
Until attending GP for completely unrelated matter two days ago where upon he asked me if i'd heard from the hospital to which I said no. Apparently the GP had, in early January and the hospital had recommended I undertake course of iron tablets. The GP thought I'd got the message as in the letter he had got it said cc to patient. Althought the practice took no steps to ensure I'd got the message! When I spoke to the hospital they confirmed no letter had been sent to me. The GP had left a prescription for iron tablets for collection but I hadn't collected it as I didn't know about it! It was a good job it was nothing too serious.
I have asked the hospital to now send me a copy of the letter not arrived yet and I don't realistically think it will come
Lesson learned in future I will ring after every appointment at the hospital to see if there is anything I need to know. If I hadn't attended at the GP when I did I would never have found out about this.

Ilovesunflowers Sat 02-Feb-13 15:52:54

I had a similar thing. About 6 months after seeing my consultant I got a letter outlining what our appointment had been about. It stated I had been started on a particular medication at x mg dose. I had never heard of this medication and it had never been talked about at the appointment.

My lack of this medication for 6 months could seriously affect my quality of life in later years.

careergirl Sat 02-Feb-13 15:54:22

the trouble is, yes, maybe I should have placed a phone call after the appointment to find out info but then again surely you aren't unreasonable to expect you will be told?

Euphemia Sat 02-Feb-13 16:32:49

I was in hospital in November, and sent home with three times the dosage of antibiotics owing to an error in paperwork. While in hospital I left a urine sample for testing, and was told the results would be sent to my GP within 3-5 days. Seven days later, GP didn't have them, no department I tried at the hospital knew anything about them! I gave up. Just hope I never have to go back!

careergirl Sat 02-Feb-13 16:42:15

feels relieved in a way its not me! I felt silly as if I should have chased things along but really you think the GP would have rung or sent me a prescription in the post.
and the reason I went to visit him was to ask if I could reduce my tablets for anxiety as I feel better....I'll be back on them at this rate!

MorganLeFey Sat 02-Feb-13 17:07:55

I think it's reasonable from a GP point of view to expect if a letter regarding an appointment comes from a hospital and clearly says it is cc-d to the patient that the patient would be aware of the hosiptal recommendation from both the appointment discussions and letter and would take responsibility to action it... Although leaving a prescription for iron tablets in advance would be more convenient.

So my wrath would more be directed towards lack of hospital communication.

MorganLeFey Sat 02-Feb-13 17:12:03

'Your GP will get the results' is another brilliant one - as actually often they won't automatically as the test will've been done in a different hospital and if requested by a hospital department won't be auto sent to them etc. The doctor responsible for acting on them is the one who requested the test. But systems failures mean a lot of time faffing about chasing up results.

Euphema - in your situation I would try either the ward (if an inpatient), on-call doctor for specialty admitted under (a bleep number should be on the discharge summary) or pathology lab if you're keen to know.

Percephone Sat 02-Feb-13 17:17:42

I would advise calling the consultant's secretary rather than the advice given above. The on call doctor is not going to know anything about your care (and will be busy with emergency work), and the path lab do not give results out to patients usually.

MorganLeFey Sat 02-Feb-13 17:25:39

No - but they'd have access to look up a straightforward pathology result like an MSU. & if it was outstanding at inpatient discharge it should be on their team's job list... ;)

KatherineKrupnik Sat 02-Feb-13 17:29:25

If the GP got a letter that aaid ccd to patient it is reasonable of them to assume it has been ccd, so I wouldn't be cross with the GP. It's not their fault. Chase it up with the hospital (many of which are reducing numbers of medical secretaries - I worked in one that had outsourced the typing to India & reduced from 6 secretaries to 1)

Percephone Sat 02-Feb-13 17:30:54

I'm a doctor - I've never worked anywhere that switchboard could put patients directly through to the on call doctor, and quite right too! It should be dealt with by the person requesting the test, so the admitting consultant's team should be contacted via secretary.

thebitchdoctor Sat 02-Feb-13 17:31:28

Morgan I know you're a doctor. If a patient unknown to you bleeped you when you were on call would you really give them their results over the phone when you have no way of proving they are the patient therefore possibly compromising patient confidentiality?

KatherineKrupnik Sat 02-Feb-13 17:31:43

In my dept I mean.

careergirl Sat 02-Feb-13 17:34:26

oh its the hospitals slip up no doubt and mine as I should have checked. No harm done this time.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 02-Feb-13 17:35:03

I had a blood test just before Christmas, taken at the GP's surgery, form filled in by the GP. I had a hospital appointment last Thursday, only to be told by the consultant that it was so low I need a blood transfusion! Surely the person testing my blood should have contacted my GP?? confused I'm cross with you.

Euphemia Sat 02-Feb-13 17:35:51

What's a discharge summary?

MorganLeFey Sat 02-Feb-13 17:37:14

thebitchdoctor - For external calls where the patient wasn't known to us we'd confirm identity by calling back on the telephone number held on the electronic record for the patient or offering to get the results faxed through to the GP directly & for them to access/action them that way.
Potentially not perfect but better than important results being unactioned.
Generally we'd try to be the people doing the calling once the results came back!

I agree via Secretary also a method - but in my experience the Secs would then reroute the query to on call doctor anyway (!)

Percephone Sat 02-Feb-13 17:55:37

Euphemia - it's a short summary giving the details of your treatment in hospital, management plan and medications. It goes to your GP. Sometimes the patient gets a copy when they leave the hospital but not always.

Euphemia Sat 02-Feb-13 17:59:28

I imagine the surgeon cocked that up too: he cocked up every other piece of paperwork, and couldn't perform the procedure I went in for! Not impressed.

Percephone Sat 02-Feb-13 18:10:37

Sounds like you didn't have a great experience! You could always speak to PALS if you feel there were a lot of mistakes?

thebitchdoctor Sat 02-Feb-13 18:39:30

Times have changed since I was in the hospitals on call then. I would have made sure the pt's GP was aware of the result but would not give results over the phone unless it was an extreme emergency.

When I've done out of hours as a GP the hospitals often call us to tell us the results, not call it through to the on call hospital docs. Different things for different areas I guess.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 02-Feb-13 18:57:01

The last time my hb was this low I was called at home by the OOH a few hours after the blood was taken and told what I needed to do. It was a different health authority but at least I wasn't left for weeks with a hb of 6.8 (it should be just over 14). Surely they should call you if there's a problem and tell you what to do rather then just do nothing? If a patient doesn't hear from them then they can assume all is OK.

2rebecca Sat 02-Feb-13 20:03:51

The hospital doctor could have just enclosed a community pharmacy prescription for iron tablets with their letter to you, that way no trip to the GP would be necessary. In Scotland hospitals have access to prescription pads for community pharmacies, I presume similar in England.

florry88 Sat 02-Feb-13 22:05:13

hi, havnt read through but just checking you meant red blood cells? thats what irons for not white cells.

I would check it out if you are sure they said white

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