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Snotty letter from surgery about smear- yet I have them done privately

(18 Posts)
rednailpolishes Mon 09-Feb-15 17:42:01

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.

rednailpolishes Mon 09-Feb-15 17:43:05

there quota- their quota- typos.

Kundry Mon 09-Feb-15 17:43:50

Letter will be computer generated. Just ring the surgery, let them know and chuck the rest in the bin.

BeatriceBumble Mon 09-Feb-15 20:10:10

Cervical cancer screening is an OPTIONAL test. Why the surgery is wasting money on recorded delivery letters is quite beyond me.

Bin the letters. You have chosen to have these tests privately. Your GP receives copies of your results. What else do you need to do?

Mrsmorton Mon 09-Feb-15 20:14:14

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.

Skyland Mon 09-Feb-15 21:10:57

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.

LipglossHoney Mon 09-Feb-15 21:13:36

Honestly isn't this a good thing, you go private which is fine but what about the many many women who miss smears and put them off. That 'snotty' letter may save their life.

Explain to the surgery, end of. No big deal really.

BeatriceBumble Mon 09-Feb-15 21:21:06

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.

rednailpolishes Mon 09-Feb-15 21:28:29

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?

BeatriceBumble Mon 09-Feb-15 21:34:43

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!

GothMummy Mon 09-Feb-15 21:34:57

I dont even think that those letters are generated from your local surgery. My recent reminder came from the cervical screening service and not from my GP. Dont worry about it!

tribpot Mon 09-Feb-15 21:35:34

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.

Fuckmath Mon 09-Feb-15 21:40:55


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.

Kundry Mon 09-Feb-15 21:45:13

Paying someone to check every set of notes would be far more expensive than sending a few recorded delivery letters.

Also I don't think these letters come from your surgery either - they are written to look like they are, but they actually come from a central system.

Milliways Mon 09-Feb-15 21:51:45

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.

Theas18 Mon 09-Feb-15 22:01:31

The smear recall letters are generated centrally. Nowt to with the gp. Gp can and no doubt did exempt you but tht only stands for 1 round iirc.

Just ignore it.

rednailpolishes Mon 09-Feb-15 22:09:35

Sorry - but this letter IS from my surgery. It is on paper with their letterheads.

It is not the same as the letters sent from some central screening centre about mammograms, which I've had in the past.

This is from my surgery and asks me to call their appt line to make an appt for the smear.

rednailpolishes Mon 09-Feb-15 22:20:09

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.)

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