Letter to GP to request access to medical information?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Yorkshire Girl, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. Yorkshire Girl

    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
     
  2. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    9,322
    Female
    East Kent
    #2 lin1, Mar 10, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
    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.
     
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,481
    Female
    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.
     
  4. Yorkshire Girl

    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.
     
  5. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    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.
     
  6. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    9,322
    Female
    East Kent
    Thanks I never thought of that also it would be good to have copies just n case
     
  7. mrsted

    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
     
  8. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    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.:)
     
  9. Gigglemore

    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.
     
  10. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    1,530
    Northamptonshire
    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.
     
  11. skaface

    skaface Registered User

    Jul 18, 2011
    108
    Ramsgate
    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.
     
  12. Hibni

    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.
     

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