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Snotty letter from surgery about smear- yet I have them done privately
Does anyone work in the NHS or can tell me what is going on here? I have not had a smear on the NHS for over 25 years. I HAVE had them done privately since then- more often than the NHS allows me for my age- and in the past the results were much quicker. At one point these were done by the local 'BUPA' hospital then latterly by my gynae consultant who I see for other gynae stuff ( privately.)
I have had letters from the 'mass screening centre' in my area some years ago and called them to explain.
Since then I have had about 3 letters from my surgery asking me to attend and today one came recorded delivery! What annoys me is that all the smear results I have had done privately have been sent to my GP and the practice as part of my notes, by my consultant- he always CCs them.
I am writing to the surgery to explain why I haven't gone to them but am want to know the system- are they 'blacklisted' in some way if there quota of smears falls, and are they going to continue to pressurise me to have one on the NHS? which I won't.
It's likely one of their KPIs and they don't get their £ if they don't do enough. Write to them and opt out. Their money comes from things like this as well as diabetes and asthma management etc. Slightly first world problem saying "I'm getting too much cancer detection..." I'm sure it's frustrating though.
the computer will have picked up that you have not attended for screening and it generates letters. We have to send 3 letters before exempting a patient from that recall. It is the same for recalling patients to diabetic clinic etc. It is governed by the GP contract rules it is nothing personal. If you later developed cervical cancer and said you had not received any invites to the smear test the practice would also be able to show that you were invited. You can sign an opt out form at your practice to stop the recall letters being sent.
I don't think letters should be sent out. A woman can book a test if she wants one. How many women out there have not heard of screening? The NHS could save millions by not wasting valuable resources on letters and leaflets that will probably end up in the bin.
It was the tone that annoyed me. No introductory sentence just' You have been sent several reminders informing you that your cervical smear is overdue, but to date you have not responded or booked an appt.' It sounds confrontational.
I have had smears every 3 years for the past 25 years - privately. This will be on my notes. Do they not have joined up thinking in the NHS where they check patient notes before wasting money on recorded delivery letters?
Again, how can an optional test be overdue? If your surgery can't do the joined-up-thinking, I don't see why you have to sort it out. As the letter is so rude, I would be tempted to write on the back "read my notes" and send it back without a stamp!
To my knowledge the letters aren't generated in the surgery, so the content of your notes may not be accessible - I have a friend who has had her cervix removed due to cervical cancer (a fact which is certainly on her GP record) who has had difficulty in being removed from screening lists as they're generated elsewhere based on a relatively basic dataset.
It's perfectly right to complain about the tone and the waste of money in the recorded delivery letter, I would just make sure you address the right part of the NHS when you do so. So I'd start with a less confrontational conversation with your practice to find out whether they're even involved in all this and then move things up a few notches if it turns out, for example, the screening is done by Public Health England.
The test are optional, the tone is rude, they have your information from your private tests! It's utterly ridiculous to be sending you recorded letters about this.
I won't go for smear tests to my GPs after a horrific experience with an internal exam and a doctor holding my legs down to penetrate me with some unexplained implement while I was having a rape flashback caused by the fact she didn't warn me of what she was doing. So I would be very very pissed off to receive a letter like this.
The NHS screening doesn't recognise smears tested in a private lab as they cannot guarantee the standard of test, but if you reply to the first letter they will not invite you for another 3 years, or you can opt out permanently if you get a disclaimer from the surgery. As others have said, they will send 3 letters if you don't respond so can call you a Non Responder for their targets. Not meeting targets affects payments for running the surgery.
I think this is a kind of 'final warning'. !!! I have had the letters several of you are talking about which DO come from a central screening centre. This is different. I have ignored all the previous letters from the screening centre because I have had smears regularly and ASSUMED that the letters sent by my gynae consultant giving the results of smears would be on my notes. It just shows how inefficient and impersonal the system is when they can put men on the moon but they can't link 2 data bases to show that women have screening elsewhere. I don't agree that it would be an inefficient waste of time for the surgery- it has taken more time to type this letter ( my name and address on the surgery notepaper, pay the cost of the recorded delivery and then have to spend time talking to me or reading my reply.)