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GP practice repeatedly not contacting me regarding test results that did require follow up - WWYD?

(7 Posts)
KBabs Mon 13-Jan-14 14:32:00

hi there, this felt to me a bit like an AIBU but it is about Health so hope I've posted in the correct place.

I'm not a frequent visitor to the GP, as I am normally in reasonable health. In my family we have several female relatives with a history of Hypothyroidism, and both my mum and my aunt said to mention to my GP for my medical records (which I did) a few years ago. I had some routine blood tests a few years ago and thyroid was 'fine'.

Over the past 2 years I've not been feeling so great and put it down to my age (47). Went to see nurse earlier this year to see about possible menopause/peri-menopause symptoms - GP said I did not have these. Doctors practice contacted me to get a battery of tests for the over 40/45 done (including Diabetes etc) in July. I asked whether I needed to call to find out the results. Was informed that no news was good news and that if there were any problems that they would contact me.

Heard nothing, in August I received a call asking me to come in for a Lucozade GTT blood sugar test (the way the receptionist who called me was insistent and it sounded really urgent). I had an appointment for the next day. Awaited results - heard nothing. Popped into GP surgery to pick up OH's prescription in September, some 4 weeks later and just asked the nurse casually if there was anything I needed to do about results. She asked me why I had not made an appointment to see the GP, I had not received a call or a letter! So an appointment was made for later on that week. My normal GP was not there and I saw a locum. He seemed to be confused as to why I was there, so I explained that I needed my GTT test results interpreting. He explained my GTT blood test was fine but could not understand why my thyroid results taken in July had not been followed up with me.

Basically I obtained a copy of all my blood tests and my thyroid ones are out of range. Locum advised me to get another blood test done to confirm immediately. I did that. Again, no call or letter from GP about results. I've been to the surgery again to pick up a prescription, some 3 months after the test. So I ask about the outcome of the test and the practice nurse asked me why I've not made an appointment with the GP about this and that they have contacted me (they haven't!). We checked - my phone number and address details are correct. I obtained my most recent results which now say apparently I have worsening Hypothyroidism that I did not know I had!

I have made an appointment to see my GP tomorrow to find out more about this.

I would like to ask the collective knowledge and experience of Mumsnet am I being unreasonable to assume that I should wait to hear from the GP if there is a problem. I did not want to waste NHS time chasing OK results but there has been 2 cases now of GP practice not following up on things that needed further input/action from me and the GP. Is this a valid reason for making a complaint? Any suggestions would be most welcome!

Haribolover Mon 13-Jan-14 14:45:56

For my surgery you need to call for your results and they say ok or give advice on what to do next. Once I didn't call and there was an issue they did write saying to call but it was a couple of weeks after the test was done.

eurochick Mon 13-Jan-14 14:50:46

I would expect to have to call to get results unless they specifically say otherwise (e.g. they will call if the result is abnormal but you won't hear anything if it is fine).

Thumbwitch Mon 13-Jan-14 14:54:09

IF they wanted you to call for your results, then they should have said so.
Otherwise, if test results need follow-up, they should have contacted you.
The fact that they said "you were contacted" (when you received no contact) shows that their system IS to contact you, someone somewhere just fucked up.

I'd draw it to the attention of the GP when you see them, and possibly write to the Practice Manager to "clarify the protocol" for future reference.

holidaysarenice Mon 13-Jan-14 14:55:14

Do you ever think to take responsibility to call for your own results? Especially when you knew previous ones had been abnormal?

Gps do hunndreds of tests a day unless you want an even more stretched service pick up the phone and take responsibility for yourself. You are a grown adult.

KBabs Mon 13-Jan-14 14:56:10

thanks for the replies. At our practice, where I have been for over 16 years I was told that no need to call and that I'd be informed if there was a problem or follow up required with the test results which is why I'm a bit confused tbh as they were much more on the ball in the past (and with the same admin staff) I guess GP Practices are busy and sometimes things fall through the net. There has been a change of GP in the past 3 years and there is only 1 GP

sublimecorpse Mon 13-Jan-14 15:22:24

I would make a complaint in writing to the practice manager and also to PALS.

This is not on and I don't think you're being unreasonable to be concerned.

It is standard practice for the go to contact you with any abnormal result. If they can't get you on the phone then they should send a letter.

Had you been on the right treatment your hypothyroidism would have been monitored and hopefully controlled. There can be a big of jigging with dosages when you are first diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

Hope you get things sorted soon smile

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