Patient Advice and Liaison Service
how to obtain a copy of
letters written about you
Contact our PALS Co-ordinator on:
If your preferred language is not English, or
for those who are blind or partially sighted,
we can make arrangements to help you with
Please contact your healthcare professional.
Nëse dëshironi ndihmë me këtë dokument, ju
lutemi telefononi 01430 457351
Eğer bu döküman ile ilgili olarak yardım
istiyorsanız, lütfen 01430 457353 numaralı
telefonu arayınız. Published: April 2004
INTRODUCTION giving you a copy of the letter so that are used. However, if you require
they can explain what it means. more information about the meaning
The NHS Plan made a commitment that Occasionally the clinician may decide of such terms you may like to
from April 2004, patients should be able not to copy a letter to you. This may be contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
to receive copies of letters written about where the letter contains information
them by clinicians, e.g. doctors, nurses, about other people, or it is felt you could I AM A CARER, CAN I RECEIVE A
therapists, as a right. Some patients be caused serious harm. Ask if you COPY?
find copies of such letters help them to think you have not received a copy for
understand the information given to this reason. If you want to see a copy The letter will normally be copied to
them during a consultation. However, of this letter you can apply to see it and the patient, but the patient can ask
we understand that others may not want all your records under provisions of the for you as a carer to have a copy. If
to take up this offer. Therefore, if you Data Protection Act. the patient asks for you not to be
wish to receive a copy of a letter, it is sent a copy, the clinician will not be
important that you let us know. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE LETTER IS able to provide you with one. If you
SENT TO THE WRONG ADDRESS, are worried, discuss this with the
WHY DO I NEED TO SEE COPIES OF OR SOMEONE ELSE SEES IT? clinician concerned.
It is your responsibility to make sure HOW DO I INFORM YOU THAT I
The letter will tell you what that we have your correct address. If WISH TO RECEIVE COPIES OF
arrangements have been made from there is someone else in your home LETTERS?
the results of tests and may give you with the same initials, tell us how you
advice on how to manage your would like the letter addressed to make You will need to inform us each time
condition. Though your clinician may sure you receive it. If you are worried you want a copy letter. For
have explained these to you, it is often about someone else seeing the letter, example, if your treatment has
useful to have this information to refer you may prefer to pick it up in person, changed or plans are being made
to and also share with your family. It is have it delivered to a different address for further investigations, a copy of a
not always easy to remember all the or look at it at the hospital or GP letter outlining this may be helpful.
information you are given in a brief practice. However, if you have attended clinic
consultation. for a routine check-up, and no
WHAT IF I DO NOT UNDERSTAND changes have been recommended,
WILL I RECEIVE COPIES OF ALL THE MEDICAL TERMS THAT MAY BE you may not wish to receive a copy
LETTERS WRITTEN ABOUT ME? USED IN THE LETTER? of this information.
Yes, if you want to. If the letter contains Wherever possible we will ensure that Please note that it can take up to
new information the clinician may prefer medical terms are kept to a minimum three weeks for you to receive a
to discuss it with you personally before and explain what they mean when they copy of the letter.