I can fully understand that some patients do not want to see the information contained in letters between the hospital and GPs or results of scans etc. That's their perogative. Some people want to know what the hospital doctor is telling the GP, some people do not. That's fine.
Yes, obviously consultants do no usually write a separate letter to a patient but sending out a cc of a GP letter to the patient if he/she wants it should be a straightforward process - surely - or am I missing the point?
I am also aware that is some circumstances doctors are permitted to with-hold documentation in the best interests of the patient.
However, all things being equal, I do think it is outrageous that any hospital should refuse copies of letters if requested and furthermore it is outrageous that any hospital should charge a fee to access copies of letters which they should have been sending to the patient who has asked for them anyway. At the NHS hopsital, at which I have attended various departments over the past 20 years or so, it is standard procedure to copy letters to patients should they want them.
Keep fighting this 2catlady. Perhaps a phone call to BCC Helpline or Macmillan might help as they might be able to send a link to the relevant government guidelines.
Best of luck.
just noticed this thread. I used to be a medcal secretary and it is not normal policy to write to the patient, only the GP or other healthcare proffesional involved. If the patient wanted a copy of the letter though we would send one. You can contact the Medical records Dept at your hospital and they will send you a form. You will have to sent a copy of your passport or driving licence for proof of identity and often they will ask for £10 or sililar. For this you should receive all copies of data held by the hospital as everything goes onto a PACS system, letters, scan reports etc. Hope this helps
Helen, I have had copies of letters from my BC surgeon but never from the onc. The surgeon's letters have always been positive so have been cheered by these. Like Belinda though, I don't really mind not having one from the onc as I don't want any more details than he gives me himself. I do trust him though as he is usually thorough and I think he tells me what I need to know. I think in your case I would want a copy as he doesn't seem to talk to you does he? Love Sheila. Xx
Ive not thought to ask for copies of letters either...like belinda..im a bit afraid to ask!
Im sure if I read anything negative it would put me in a very dark place. But its nice to know we have a right to them if needed, they did ask if I wanted to see my ct scan but I said no, just having them read out the findings was enough to strike terror in me... I'm such a wuss!!
Love bev xxx
I'm glad you raised this. I've never had any letters or scan reports either. I hadn't even thought to ask but I will now. My GP surgery, who have historically been useless, seem to have a 'boost' button for service where cancer is concerned so I'm going to try the GP route first. Good luck x
Since I was diagnosed 5 years ago I have automatically received copy of every single letter from the hospital to my GP. My oncologist is not based in the hospital I attend so, the excuse you've been given that "its because he's from another hospital", is extremely lame and unhelpful.
Your BCN may be able to print off all the letters for you plus any reports you may want e.g. pathology, otherwise, as already suggested, obtain copies of letters from your GP. If you still get nowhere I'd suggest you take it up with the hospital PALS team.
It does make me cross to read about this sort of information being withheld from patients without good reason. You've enough hassle going on coping with diagnosis and treatment without having to overcome needless administrative hurdles put in place by the hospital.
Good luck and best wishes.
I also have all copies of correspondence. I like to know what the doctors have said and it is also helpful when visiting GP because I can show them should they have not have had a copy or if it awaiting scanning etc.xx
the advice from nice says we are entitled to recieve copies of all letters. I requested mine again and again. Finally got everything from the surgical dept after months. Didn't get the first oncology dept so I got a copy from my GP's. Now I get copies when they are sent out.
it has been very useful. My pathology report in particular. No one told me I had three different types of bc. In fact I take the letters and report to doctor appointments and use it when discussing treatment with GP and nurse.
keep pushing if you want the letters you should have them