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Smear Test Records

(16 Posts)
BernardsBum Mon 08-Dec-14 14:57:01

Background - moved house earlier this year, so have changed GP. I've just contacted my Surgery to make an appointment for a smear, I had my last one in 2011 & thought with moving maybe had been missed off auto-notification. Surgery says I last had a smear in 2013, so not due for one. I had some swabs done last year because I was getting a discharge, but the nurse said my smear wasn't due so wouldn't do it. New surgery will not accept this as they have my test results on their computer & they are insistent a smear was done! Does anyone have any advice about where I can go from here?

pinkfrocks Mon 08-Dec-14 16:15:53

You can have one done privately at most private hospitals if that is something you could consider.

However, maybe your old surgery could contact them or at least draw attention to the fact you are not lying!

I have the opposite problem- I have private smears ( just as it has happens) and my surgery does not appear to update my records despite the consultant cc-ing then the results because I am still in the NHS system for smears ( and mammograms too) and keep getting letters asking me to go, despite not having had an NHS smear for over 20 years!

TeaandHobnobs Mon 08-Dec-14 16:28:17

I had this - when I had my first smear done, my records came back (clear for that smear) with another smear result on from 3 years prior. Which wasn't mine! And it was an abnormal result, which of course affected how frequently they wanted to do them subsequently. I kept telling them the lab had got it wrong, I had only ever had one smear. I wrote a letter to my GP. I don't think it has been amended on my medical record though, as I often have to explain again (have since moved and changed surgeries).
I am well overdue for another one (pregnancy keeps getting in the way), so when I have one as soon as I can after DC2 is born, I will no doubt have to explain AGAIN. But I will see if I can get them to make some permanent adjustment on my record this time.
Felt like a real "computer says no" situation sad angry

Sidge Mon 08-Dec-14 16:40:17

It's a bit tricky as cervical screening recall is 'controlled' through the cervical screening programme and not by the GP surgery.

However it sounds like your old surgery has coded a smear when one wasn't done, or inputted someone else's smear result in your record (maybe similar DOB or name) - you may need to call or write to them to clarify. If they can confirm a smear WASN'T done (cross reference the consultation with the result) then they should erase it from the record and you should be on a recall list for 2014 and the new surgery should be able to print the smear form and do it for you.

pinkfrocks Mon 08-Dec-14 16:42:56

Doesn't this just show how the NHS is so inefficient that there is no joined up thinking- and communication between the two?

In these days of data collection there is no reason why records should not be accurate, and smears done elsewhere should be on the national screening system. It's not exactly rocket science.

Sidge Mon 08-Dec-14 16:52:05

pinkfrocks records are kept by the cervical screening programme and forms generated on a central system. The problem here seems to be that the new surgery is telling the OP she can't have a smear as her GP records show that "she had one in 2013" which doesn't appear to be true.

She needs to argue the point with the new GP surgery, and they can confirm she IS due a smear. This will be easier if the old surgery clarifies the record with dates etc.

Smear results are manually inputted onto a patient's record at the GP surgery so human error could be to blame here. A total pain for the OP I agree.

pinkfrocks Mon 08-Dec-14 17:17:38

Do you work in the NHS Sidge?

I totally understand what the OP says.
You don't seem to get my point that the cervical screening programme does not accept information passed on to surgeries. If they did, why would they keep recalling me for smears ( within months sometimes of having it done privately) when I've had then done by my consultant who has sent the results to my surgery?

BernardsBum Mon 08-Dec-14 17:24:24

Thanks for your replies all. I have spoken to my old surgery - apparently they have no records of me now hmm I have also spoken to my new surgery again and asked them if they knew when my previous test was (hoping to prove that I wasn't due a smear in 2013). The records say 2007 confused. I know I definitely have had a smear since then & I know it was 2011 cos DD was a baby. Anyway, they have now agreed that I can have an appt smear. I 'm going to have to go through all this again aren't I?

BernardsBum Mon 08-Dec-14 17:31:18

* appt for a smear

Sidge Mon 08-Dec-14 17:31:20

I don't know why that is happening to you pinkfrocks.

I don't know how information is collated and recorded by the cervical screening programme - if they don't accept your private smear results then that seems a bit daft. Or your GP surgery isn't informing them that you have had smears done privately. Or they are but CSP keep you on an NHS recall diary anyway as you are entitled to one? I don't know, I just do smears, I don't do the admin for them.

I was just trying to clarify for the OP how records can be inaccurate and how she might be able to rectify it.

nachohousekeeper Mon 08-Dec-14 17:32:57

I know this isn't that helpful but your old surgery are talking nonsense. Unless they have had a power cut, all of your computerised records can still be accessed after you have left. They could look in your notes and tell you the last recorded smear in about 10 seconds. If they were even half way decent, another few minutes and they could print it off an fax it to your new surgery.

Things like this make my blood boil as it gives General Practice a bad name.

nachohousekeeper Mon 08-Dec-14 17:36:40

Pinkfrocks - that is also rubbish. (I mean they are rubbish - not what you're saying!) The screening department send monthly or quarterly lists to practices, of women who haven't had smears. If a GP has information that a smear has been done, they should fill it in on the list and send it back, regardless of where you had it done. Then your records should be updated until you are next due.

Again - makes us all look incompetent. Some of us are good at jobs, honest!

pinkfrocks Mon 08-Dec-14 18:20:30

It is bad then- because of my age I am due for smears every 5 years. My consultant likes to do then every 2 years so there have been loads done and results sent to my surgery. I am getting called by the NHS as if I have not had one in the last 5 years angry

Also OP your medical records are kept for 10 years after your death- we know this as we tried to / needed to access some of a relative and were told by their GP that all records must be kept- they are held in a central location for 10 years after death so your surgery is talking nonsense.

BernardsBum Mon 08-Dec-14 21:26:54

Thanks again all. I'll have another go at my old surgery again - surely they must have records of my appointments if nothing else. I wish i could find the letter from the Health Authority following last test, but i probably chucked it during the house move. It's just so frustrating, I know & accept mistakes happen - it just seems that my new GPs don't believe the same!

PossumPoo Mon 08-Dec-14 21:35:34

I really struggle with this. You want a smear test but the NHS says no and so no it is...

Sorry nothing constructive to add OP but I hope you get your smear soon. In Australia it's recommended you start these at 18 or 2 years after you're sexually active, which ever comes first, then have one every 2 years.

3 years and 25 seems so shock to me.

pinkfrocks Mon 08-Dec-14 23:04:13

TBH it's worth paying £50-ish every 2 years to have it done privately if you are worried- less than a pair of shoes!

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