• We're currently experiencing technical issues with our newsletter software, so our Dementia Talking Point monthly updates have been put on hold for now. We hope to restart the newsletter soon.

    Find out more >here<.

Letter to GP to request access to medical information?

Yorkshire Girl

Registered User
Jul 16, 2014
21
Hi everyone,

My mum has the early stages of dementia plus other medical conditions (heart problems etc)and we have PoAs (welfare and financial) set up for if/when she can no longer make her own decisions. Mum has a brilliant GP and one of the things the GP has suggested is that mum writes a letter to the surgery authorising me to have access to all her medical information. The idea is that I would be able to phone up for test results etc on mum's behalf. Mum is very happy with this and she takes me to all appointments (other than completely routine check-ups) anyway. I was thinking I would type the letter up and then mum just has to sign it. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to word the letter, or can you point me in the direction of a template? I'm hopeless at thinking of the wording for formal letters!

Many thanks
 

lin1

Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
9,319
East Kent
Hello. My dad did this for me. It has worked very well, even the receptionists discuss things with me, so it must show up on the computer screen , sometimes I am asked politely who I am.

My advise is to keep it short and sweet,
Ie, I insert Mum's name and title. Give you permission to discuss everything with my daughter, insert your title and name here.
Mum should sign and date the letter.

If mum is agreeable it may be a good idea to do the same with any other specialists mum is under.
 
Last edited:

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
12,022
London
Why is that even needed when you have health and welfare POA? Wouldn't it be enough to lodge a copy of that with them? Surely not everyone with dementia is able to sign such a letter anymore? I must say I have never had a problem with our GP surgery, I go to every appointment with him and they give me blood test results over the phone, as they know I am his carer. I have never written anything official.
 

Yorkshire Girl

Registered User
Jul 16, 2014
21
Hi,

Lin1 - thanks. Sometimes I can't see the wood for the trees and I was thinking I'd have to write something much more complicated than that!

Beate - Mum still has mental capacity and is still very much at the stage where she is capable of making decisions for herself, so I can't use the PoA to act for her yet. Despite her capacity, sometimes she likes me to get the information and explain it to her. The memory clinic have it on record that mum is happy for me to have all the information, but the GP surgery is quite a large practice with lots of different receptionists and having something "formal" in place will make it easier for everyone.
 

AlsoConfused

Registered User
Sep 17, 2010
1,953
You might find it helpful to keep a signed, dated copy of this letter to show hospital staff too.

When Mum attended various hospitals the staff helping her couldn't share information about her to us "kids" because her letter of permission to do so only covered the GP surgery. We had to rely on getting information through Dad - and he rarely asks medics the detailed questions we would.
 

lin1

Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
9,319
East Kent
You might find it helpful to keep a signed, dated copy of this letter to show hospital staff too.

When Mum attended various hospitals the staff helping her couldn't share information about her to us "kids" because her letter of permission to do so only covered the GP surgery. We had to rely on getting information through Dad - and he rarely asks medics the detailed questions we would.
Thanks I never thought of that also it would be good to have copies just n case
 

mrsted

Registered User
Sep 18, 2012
39
leicestershire
HI

This is a very useful tool and we did this when FIL was still able to understand. The doctors were fab and even sent us his blood test results with regards to his warfrin. We also included the hospital and the memory clinic. All services were fab and even sent us copies o f any appointments in case FIL did his usual hiding trick. I would suggest on the letter that it states all medical records and appointments.
K
xx
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,036
Staffs
Beate - Mum still has mental capacity and is still very much at the stage where she is capable of making decisions for herself, so I can't use the PoA to act for her yet. Despite her capacity, sometimes she likes me to get the information and explain it to her. The memory clinic have it on record that mum is happy for me to have all the information, but the GP surgery is quite a large practice with lots of different receptionists and having something "formal" in place will make it easier for everyone.
I would still suggest getting them to scan the PoA even though your mum still has capacity. Also take a copy to any hospital visit.

However a simple letter would be...

Dear Practice manager,

Can you please give access to all my medical records to my daughter Yorkshire Girl (full details).

She is also able to speak to you in person or by phone about any health issues.

Signed Mum


It does not have to be any more complicated than that.:)
 

Gigglemore

Registered User
Oct 18, 2013
526
British Isles
Sorry might be too late seeing this post but I would add "This authority will remain in force unless revoked by me in writing".

Mum's group GP practice were fine sharing info with me but despite a letter Mum signed for the Memory Clinic to give authority for me or my sibling to be given any info requested, the Memory Clinic staff insisted on getting my Mum's verbal consent "in case she had changed her mind". Mum hadn't and there was nothing in her behaviour to suggest we were no longer close - she always said yes but couldn't really understand what she was being asked as time went on. In fact on one occasion I gave up asking and waiting for a copy of a test result from the Memory Clinic and just went to the GP surgery for a copy - a total waste of carer's time.
 

skaface

Registered User
Jul 18, 2011
107
Ramsgate
It may be worth checking with the practice manager whether there is already a form available for just this instance (the GP may not be aware of it). My Mum wrote to her GP asking that I be given access to her medical records, but they refused until I had completed their 'carer' form and Mum had signed it.
My mum was unceremoniously given a form one day and asked to complete and sign it (well, I completed it for her to sign). I thought she'd kick up a fuss about it (one of her main problems is, as it has been all her life, paranoia) but surprisingly she did it without a word, even when I explained what it would do and that I would be able to discuss her with her GP.
 

Hibni

Registered User
Sep 16, 2013
46
Mum's GP has always spoken to me but suggested that Mum signed a consent form so that I could ask for test results etc. I haven't had any problem so far with obtaining information about Mum's health.