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To complain to PALS about this?

(22 Posts)
shouldicomplain Thu 04-Apr-19 17:36:34

NC for this as several outing details!

DH and I recently moved house, much larger mortgage and were recommended a more comprehensive life insurance policy by mortgage broker. Started the process for this months ago and then eventually we were contacted to request further information on my DH's GP's records. We were puzzled by this as he has been to the GP once in the last few years for a minor issue that required no further treatment whereas I have several ongoing medical investigations....

Turns out his records say that he has been referred to a neurologist. This hasn't happened! His issue was related to snoring - GP wanted to check for sleep apnoea, he wore a monitor thing for a week, all clear, no further treatment or investigation.
When he spoke to the GP in question they can't remember the actual appointment as it was a few years ago but agreed there was no referral made and wrote a waffling letter that doesn't really make this clear.
Insurance company has considered it further and decided not to cover DH. He has asked for it to be removed from his record and been told this can't happen - he can write to request it but all they'll do is add some new info that contradicts the earlier stuff. I'm not sure how useful this will be.

Meanwhile he's without insurance, we've moved to new property and as he's the main earner by far I'm worried! He's now starting the process again with a different insurer but we're worried it's going to come up again......

Given that this was an error that a GP made it seems absurd that it can't be fully removed from his record. If it does continue to cause us problems how should we proceed? Complain to PALS?

shouldicomplain Thu 04-Apr-19 22:03:08

Anyone any advice?

itbemay1 Thu 04-Apr-19 22:08:58

Ask for a meeting with the practice manager to look at the record and ask for a copy of the info sent to the insurers. Sounds odd. But yes PALS to complain but I'd give the practice a chance to sort first. If not then PALS. Good luck

shouldicomplain Thu 04-Apr-19 23:07:34

Thanks. I'm getting annoyed at DH apathy too! Have told him he needs to speak to Practice Manager tomorrow morning and if he gets another wishy washy answer then straight to PALS. I wish he'd get more mad about the negative consequences this error has already caused!

sleepymummy2019 Fri 05-Apr-19 00:10:57

YABU, I think. I don’t think that a complaint will do you a great deal of good unfortunately.

From the GP’s point of view, somehow (the GP, admin staff or a software blip) an erroneous entry was made in a ptient’s record. It’s the kind of thing that happens all the time; luckily this time no-one faced serious illness or injury as a consequence. I just don’t think the NHS is that concerned with private insurance issues, especially if any error made has been corrected and a letter written confirming it.

Honestly, unless the letter was so waffley as to be incomprehensible, it sounds like the insurance company is to blame for refusing to accept a reasonable explanation for an erroneous entry several years ago.

What would you like PALS to do for you if you do complain? They can’t make the insurance company change their minds.

Redskyandrainbows67 Fri 05-Apr-19 00:14:16

Are you sure he’s not had a referral you don’t know about? This could explain his lack of care/action. He might have kept this from you so not to worry you.

Tolleshunt Fri 05-Apr-19 00:16:02

Unfortunately, with medical records, nothing ever gets removed, they just add a correction. This can be a real problem if you are misdiagnosed with certain things, or errors are made, but nobody with any power seems at all worried about it.

The best thing you can do is to speak to the practice manager and get a correction on the system before approaching another insurer.

Hopefully you will have no more problems, but if you do maybe approach a broker for some help? There will be an insurer willing to cover your DH out there.

Redskyandrainbows67 Fri 05-Apr-19 00:16:38

Ps insurance companies don’t normally contact your gp. You normally have to self declare. I don’t know of any life assurance companies that demand access to your medical records!
Def your oh is spinning a few lies here.

Cheeserton Fri 05-Apr-19 00:23:09

Lies, is that why the GP wrote a letter then? Because they were never contacted? 🤔

Redskyandrainbows67 Fri 05-Apr-19 00:31:28

No it’s just the oh would have had to disclose his history and then consented to his gp being contacted. Most insurers use data subject requests I think nowadays and so would have just sent facts.
I would def keep it as a possibility that the oh did have this referral and didn’t let the op know.
Why would an insurance company turn down business?
It doesn’t make sense to me.

StargazyDrifter Fri 05-Apr-19 00:40:49

I'd ring the ICO - isn't there something in GDPR about correcting erroneous records?

StargazyDrifter Fri 05-Apr-19 00:43:37

This is what I had in mind. Seems as though a clarification of the medical record is all you can get, but that should still be helpful for your purposes.

lyralalala Fri 05-Apr-19 01:03:06

They won't remove it. The only thing you can have done is a correction. I have something on my medical records as a child that clearly should have been on my mother's record, but it still can't be removed - only noted that it was recorded on the wrong record.

As an aside though was it not a neurologist who gave him the sleep aponea test monitor? It's the neurology dept that deal with my DD's sleep disorder so that could be where the discrepancy is.

IfOnlyOurEyesSawSouls Fri 05-Apr-19 02:29:52

Neurology deal with sleep apnoea ... i know this as i work in the NHS & we refer to Neurology for sleep apnoea

EleanorofCastile Fri 05-Apr-19 05:13:10

I’d speak to a good life insurance broker about this. We had a couple of things we knew may be issues with getting life insurance and the broker spoke to the insurance companies for us first so find out and chose the best to apply to.

That a referral is recorded should not be a problem, but following this they will want to know if he still awaiting any investigations and what the outcome was before making a decision.

So in their system they have recorded that a referral to a specialist was made, but no is outcome given - e.g he was never seen, or the investigations are still ongoing.

Possibly some insurance companies are more fussy about this the others, who will accept it was an error.... I’m sure this type of thing is not uncommon and brokers are probably dealing with issues like this all the time (we didn’t pay any extra for ours, they just got a commission).

shouldicomplain Fri 05-Apr-19 06:27:29

Thanks all. It was years ago, he definitely wasn't referred any further though now I'm thinking maybe he did see a neurologist initially to get the monitor and has forgotten and this is where the discrepancy lies! His record made it look like there was an open, ongoing investigation which there definitely is not.

Glad to hear that it's not just our GP practice that has the policy of not removing errors from records!

Thanks for all the advice - maybe a good life insurance broker is the way to go next.

slipperywhensparticus Fri 05-Apr-19 06:33:04

It will only be a correction on his notes I'm afraid, I was accused of being a potential harm to my daughter as I took her in when she was "fine" and insisted she was unwell demanding a specific test the following line shows she was unwell and needed consultants care but that line feels like a stain on my character and cut me to pieces I cried blush they cant remove it I just have to live with it

Sleephead1 Fri 05-Apr-19 06:49:21

Hi I work in a surgery where we are the letter would come from neurology but under the dept of a sleep clinic. So the letter head will say Neurology then under that it will say sleep clinic and address. I think this is why they can't remove it as they have referred him to neurology and he was seen. If you want to complain you put it in writing to the practice manager usually and they will give you the complaints policy. They usually give you a time frame you can still contact pals for help with your compliant. But to be honest I'd look up where he was seen , which dept and hospital and if the sleep clinic is part of neurology at that hospital. If it is you could request the GP writes a letter stating that he was referred it was for sleep issues and no further action was needed. They will probably charge for this. Other option is to request the hospital letters and see if that would help.

Becles Fri 05-Apr-19 06:50:06

If the information is clearly and factually incorrect (rather than a difference of opinion) they can and must remove it and apologise once known.

Your DH needs to email the practice manager and cc NHS England's complaints team and the CCG's complaints team. The email should point out that they have a limited timeframe to rectify the error and that you consider the timescale to have started when you initially contacted them.

Be clear that will be seeking redress from them via the ombudsman if there are any financial or other consequences from the lack of timely action to resolve.

shouldicomplain Fri 05-Apr-19 09:20:17

Thanks all. Haven't had a chance to chat to him further about it but I think what's happened is that neurology gave him the device but sleep apnoea was ruled out and no further investigation needed. His record made it sound like there was an open neurology investigation however, which has caused concern with the underwriters. Such a palaver!

IfOnlyOurEyesSawSouls Fri 05-Apr-19 12:48:08

Good luck @shouldicomplain glad it makes sense now.

tobypercy Fri 05-Apr-19 13:21:18

Your actual issue here is that you're without insurance for DH, yes?

I'd suggest you try a different insurer. Shop around (look on for good places) and you can save a fortune, and you can start afresh and hopefully avoid the issue. It's probably quicker than trying to change the decision from the company your broker sent you to.

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