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Is there a way to see my GP blood test results for free?


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I had a blood test. GP receptionist called to tell me that a deficiency was identified and that I need to buy over-counter supplements, as they can't do a prescription.

 

When I asked if I could see my blood results they said I have to pay £5 and they can print it off at the reception. I asked them again if there was another way I could see my blood test results, they confirmed that I have to pay £5 to see them.

 

I wanted to book a GP appointment, they said they can't book a GP appointment for this.

 

This is not a private GP, its an NHS one, and I currently don't have ANY cash to spare, as I'm currently on sickness benefits.

 

Can GP's do this?

Is there really no way to see my blood test results for free or get a prescription?

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SAR them. its free. At least online records are. But takes a while to get your info

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I had a blood test. GP receptionist called to tell me that a deficiency was identified and that I need to buy over-counter supplements, as they can't do a prescription.

 

When I asked if I could see my blood results they said I have to pay £5 and they can print it off at the reception. I asked them again if there was another way I could see my blood test results, they confirmed that I have to pay £5 to see them.

 

I wanted to book a GP appointment, they said they can't book a GP appointment for this.

 

This is not a private GP, its an NHS one, and I currently don't have ANY cash to spare, as I'm currently on sickness benefits.

 

Can GP's do this?

Is there really no way to see my blood test results for free or get a prescription?

 

Do you think a phone conversation with the GP would help?.

 

Book an appointment with your GP. You don't have to tell the reception why you want one, if they ask.

 

You can say "I understand you may be told to ask, and that you might want to check that it is a GP appointment I need, rather than a nurse or other health care professional, but it definately is a GP who I want to see / speak with".

At this point, if you think a telephone conversation would suffice you can say "speaking with the GP may mean I can avoid an appointment in surgery, do you think you could ask them to call me?".

Alternatively, if you don't think a phone conversation will suffice, you can say "I'm happy for the GP to call me back to ensure I do need to have an appointment. Would you prefer to just book the appointment or get them to call me?".

 

This should suffice, but if not:

a) write to the practice manager, or

b) does the surgery offer online booking (either by app or over the internet from a computer)?

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SAR them. its free. At least online records are. But takes a while to get your info

 

As you say, this route may take a while. It also doesn't solve the OP's desire to get a prescription, nor any explanation of the result (or its cause!0.

One of the things the OP can raise in a discussion with the GP is what has likely caused the issue, as this may impact on what needs to be considered as well as the supplement ......

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It seems not all GPs are the same. I asked the receptionist for a printout of my blood results for my records. They were printed off and given to me there an then.

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There is another way but it does mean that you will have to speak to your GP AND if the surgery is part of the Patient Access service.

 

Most of what is on the site is to deal with repeat prescriptions but by having a chat with your GP, they may allow you access to test results. My GP has done this for me and I can see all my blood test results online. Some GP's are reluctant but some are quite willing as it saves them time.

 

The service is not for contacting your GP directly although you can book non urgent appoinments.

 

https://patient.emisaccess.co.uk/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2f

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I can't help but think there's a bigger question lurking in the background here.

 

I did read that the NHS is withdrawing prescriptions for certain items, paracetamol, nit shampoo, omega 3 etc. Presumably this is because the items are generally thought to be cheap over the counter, are not considered necessary for general health or where the efficacy is questionable. However, for people on low-incomes like the OP, where every penny counts, the impact may be significant.

 

 

We can only assume that the deficiency that the OP is suffering is considered by the GP (at this time at least) not likely to be contributing to any current health issue.

 

The OP should be able to challenge the GP's decision and the surgery shouldn't be placing obstacles in their way to prevent this, by falsely stating that there is a charge to view, not allowing a GP appointment to discuss, or forcing them down the SAR route.

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The cost is more significant if they allow them on prescription.

 

Think about it. 30p from your supermarket, or a tenner or so in prescription costs

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The cost is more significant if they allow them on prescription.

 

Think about it. 30p from your supermarket, or a tenner or so in prescription costs

 

Except that it isn't that simple.

a) The prescription fee is fixed across all prescriptions, regardless of if they are for a cheap item (paracetamol) or expensive (like erythropoetin)

b) Your analogy doesn't take into account pack size. The GP can prescribe a tub of 500 if the OP needs long-term paracetamol.......

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Sorry, I made an assumption. I meant that it was significant to a person, like the OP, who is on benefits, (but also to pensioners, students etc), who would normally be entitled to free prescriptions. Their budgets would now have to pay for medicines they previously got for nothing. And, yes, I think that would be significant for some.

 

A person who did have to pay for prescriptions should be savvy enough to work out what is cheaper over the counter, although I'm still confused why people continue to pay for branded ibuprofen, when supermarket-own is just as effective.

 

I understand that medicine prices vary according to what they are. To have a system that varies the cost of the prescription dependent on that factor would probably be more expensive to administrate than maintaining the status quo.

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Sorry, I made an assumption. I meant that it was significant to a person, like the OP, who is on benefits, (but also to pensioners, students etc), who would normally be entitled to free prescriptions. Their budgets would now have to pay for medicines they previously got for nothing. And, yes, I think that would be significant for some.

 

A person who did have to pay for prescriptions should be savvy enough to work out what is cheaper over the counter, although I'm still confused why people continue to pay for branded ibuprofen, when supermarket-own is just as effective.

 

I understand that medicine prices vary according to what they are. To have a system that varies the cost of the prescription dependent on that factor would probably be more expensive to administrate than maintaining the status quo.

 

I wasn't disagreeing with your previous post, Sal, nor even with this current one! . I didn't read it as you calling for varying (or tiered) prescriptions fees, either. We don't know the details of the 'deficiency' that the OP has, but if it is something the GP has found through tests, either:

a) It is something that needs to be treated, and that is why it is tested for, or

b) If it isn't 'medically necessary' to treat it`: Surely they then shouldn't be testing for it!

 

I agree with:

I can't help but think there's a bigger question lurking in the background here.

 

I did read that the NHS is withdrawing prescriptions for certain items, paracetamol, nit shampoo, omega 3 etc. Presumably this is because the items are generally thought to be cheap over the counter, are not considered necessary for general health or where the efficacy is questionable. However, for people on low-incomes like the OP, where every penny counts, the impact may be significant.

 

 

We can only assume that the deficiency that the OP is suffering is considered by the GP (at this time at least) not likely to be contributing to any current health issue.

 

The OP should be able to challenge the GP's decision and the surgery shouldn't be placing obstacles in their way to prevent this, by falsely stating that there is a charge to view, not allowing a GP appointment to discuss, or forcing them down the SAR route.

 

For people on low incomes, especially if they get free prescriptions, the fact that the items may be available (for a small pack) for less than the cost of a prescription for someone who pays for their prescription can still place those items "out of reach, due to finances", if they aren't prescribed / prescribable.

 

I was just disagreeing that it was as simple as:

 

The cost is more significant if they allow them on prescription.

 

Think about it. 30p from your supermarket, or a tenner or so in prescription costs

 

Cost to whom?., as well as:

 

Except that it isn't that simple.

a) The prescription fee is fixed across all prescriptions, regardless of if they are for a cheap item (paracetamol) or expensive (like erythropoetin)

b) Your analogy doesn't take into account pack size. The GP can prescribe a tub of 500 if the OP needs long-term paracetamol.......

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Bazzas, I didn't think you were disagreeing with me and I wouldn't have any issue if you did. Absolutely, I would not want any person having to make a choice between food or pain-relief. It is only the English who still have to pay for prescriptions.

 

I'm guessing (and only guessing) that the OP may have a vitamin D deficiency. GPs will test for vitamin D (which is, as you know, really a hormone) in some cases and not necessarily on the patient's instigation and may suggest the patient purchase their own supplements if found to be deficient (according to the current guidelines) - unless, of course, they are quite obviously suffering from rickets. This approach may change as more research is done and we learn more about the vitamin's role in disease prevention.

The thing is our 'national' health service varies from town to town, surgery to surgery and GP to GP.

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Interestingly, I know someone recently diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency, who receives free prescriptions (medically exempt as a result of a different condition), and:

a) they found out because the practice told them to collect

b) a prescription for the treatment (a monthly oral supplement)

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It’d be interesting to see what the recommended supplement was and also in seeing the numerical results how that might change the OP’s position at all?

 

I was under the impression that if requesting a test, a clinician has a responsibility to not only check the results but also to act on them and treat appropriately. That said, I wonder if this is a case of in the process of reviewing the results following a test for another purpose altogether the GP has noticed that the OP’s iron level is a bit low and has asked the receptionist to recommend that the OP take some sort of dietary supplement.

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And they monitor the levels through blood tests?

 

Yes. (For both vitamin D, and iron).

 

For the initial “working out is there a problem”, Vitamin D levels would have had to be specifically requested (it isn’t a “routine test”), while iron deficiency would be hinted at by a particular type of anaemia.

 

That anaemia would be detectable on a routine ‘full blood count’ (which would show a “microcytic anaemia”, which they would then look further into, iron deficiency being the most common cause of one subset of microcytic anaemia).

They wouldn’t actually monitor “iron levels” (by measuring the amount of iron) though, using a surrogate marker (ferritin) instead.

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There is a facility for patients who are undergoing renal therapy to see their results on line through the hospitals "renal patients view "system.

 

The system has been operative for some years using the testing and IT facilities available to the larger hospitals.

You just log in and get a detailed report. You also get a graph of previous results and a "cheat sheet" giving the range of readings in a healthy patient.

 

The system was original produced to aid home dialysis patients who needed quick results in order to adjust their own ongoing medication.

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I always ask tp see my blood test reports to ensure that my drug therapy is going in the right direction and have never been refused or charged regardless of which doctor, hospital or surgery it was done by.

I suppose that your surgery might think that they have tom offer some explanation of what the numbers mean and what is within range but if you look at the results on screen the dodgy bits are highlighted in red when your doctor looks at them. Knowing what it means is the bit that needs either explaining or looking up. If they have identifies say vitamin D deficiency than that becomes the main thing to look at changes in but calcium levels should also be monitored in conjunction with this and probably vitamin B as well as symptoms for vit D deficiency and vit B12 deficiency are similar.

 

It seems to me as though they are behaving like lawyers and priests who use latin to stop the plebs form understanding what they are on about and removing all of the mystery. You could ask for the raw data from the lab but they may say no because you cant prove who your are for Data Protection reasons

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Yes. (For both vitamin D, and iron).

 

For the initial “working out is there a problem”, Vitamin D levels would have had to be specifically requested (it isn’t a “routine test”), while iron deficiency would be hinted at by a particular type of anaemia.

 

That anaemia would be detectable on a routine ‘full blood count’ (which would show a “microcytic anaemia”, which they would then look further into, iron deficiency being the most common cause of one subset of microcytic anaemia).

They wouldn’t actually monitor “iron levels” (by measuring the amount of iron) though, using a surrogate marker (ferritin) instead.

 

This is a Pulse article on Vit D from 2013.

 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/more-clinical-areas/musculoskeletal/vitamin-d-testing-guidance-to-prompt-sea-change-for-gps/1/20002686.article?PageNo=2&SortOrder=dateadded&PageSize=10#comments

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