You Should Always Get a Print-Out of Your Test Results

Whenever you have any tests done by the doctor, endocrinologist or another medical practitioner, always always always get the results printed out. You should be keeping a record of your medical history and notes at home so you can refer back to them whenever you need, and so you can see the full picture of your thyroid health.

Not just thyroid tests, but vitamin level tests and any others are good to keep a record of when exploring/maintaining your overall thyroid health. 12472340_10209343860940650_1736572743489020858_n

A problem can arise when patients feel too intimidated to ask, because of unhelpful receptionists or doctors who imply that you can’t have them.

However, the NHS Constitution contains a right for patients to access their health records, which is covered by the Data Protection Act 1998.

This says:

“You have the right of access to your own health records. These will always be used to manage your treatment in your best interests.”

Most people only need ask a receptionist at their GP surgery for it all to be printed out for them, but some receptionists may insist you get permission from your GP before they do it. This should be pretty straight forward, since they cannot say no unless they feel that giving it to you may cause serious harm to your physical or mental health or that of another person.

They may write them down for you to save on printing costs, which is fine, but do ensure that they write everything as it appears on screen – the name of each test, the date it was conducted, the ranges, results and any commentary. For this reason, print-outs are usually better. You do not need to tell them why you want them. Just say you like to keep a record at home. 

Most do not charge for this service, but some surgeries do charge to print them off per page, although this is up to a limit of £10.

Although very uncommon, if you are refused access to your medical records by your doctor, then you may need to file what is called a “subject access request” (SAR). A subject access request is a letter or email to the relevant person which will depend on which health records you w12472340_10209343857820572_7713592154607789263_nant to see.

Under the Data Protection Act, requests for access to records should be dealt with within 40 days, although government guidance for healthcare organisations says they should aim to respond within 21 days.

When requesting your personal information from an organisation, make sure you include the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Address
  • Contact telephone number
  • Details of the specific information you require and any relevant data, i.e. your medical records with dates requested and the doctor and surgery name for example.

Although you may be asked why you want to access your health records, there is no obligation for you to tell them.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given, but more reading and references can also be found at:

http://www.thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/NHS_Information/medical-records.html

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If you found this article informative, useful, helpful or in other words are grateful you stumbled across it, please consider helping me keep The Invisible Hypothyroidism running, so that we can carry on building a strong community, spreading awareness and helping each other. Running the site comes at the expense of my personal time and money from my own pocket. You can make a one-off or monthly donation to support me keeping this website going, by clicking the button below.

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I run a Facebook group, called Thyroid Family: Hypothyroidism Advice & Support Group. This group is for underactive thyroid/hypothyroidism patients only, and not medical professionals or anyone else. If you have any questions on living with hypothyroidism, or want some support, help or advice, please join us. 

I also run a group for the spouses, partners and other halves of hypothyroid patients, called Hypothyroid Patients Other Halves – Support & Advice Group. This is for the other halves only and not patients. 

-Rachel

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