My cat’s got no nose

Actually he’s suffering from coughing fits, lack of appetite and lethargy (but that’s irrelevant to the story) and my current vet isn’t making an accurate diagnosis. We’ve had several consultations which all require payment usually £20, boxes of expensive cat food for sensitive stomachs at £1 a pouch (Co-op 30p), an x ray (£200), an injection (£35) and a series of blood test (£77). In total we’re approaching £500 but he’s not getting to the root of the problem.

What would you do if your child wasn’t getting the right diagnosis? You’d ask for a referral to a hospital or maybe a second opinion. You might even ask to see your child’s medical records. But what do you do with a cat? There is no cat hospital and as far as I know there are no specialists or consultants who take over where vets get stuck.

I asked the vet for my cat’s medical history so I could transfer to another vet. He said no. Obviously Data Protection Act doesn’t apply here as I know only too well but who owns my cat’s medical records. Could it be the cat? Is it me or is it the vet? I can’t try Freedom of Information although it would catch doctors so exactly how do I get my cat’s personal data? Is it in the gift of the vet? And if he feels that it would affect his commercial interest if he let a captive cash cat move to another provider can he just say no? Who has any rights here? I might have encountered a grumpy old vet but can I appeal to the commissioner? Which commissioner?

Meanwhile my cat is wasting away. I have no confidence in his current medical practitioner but cannot move to another. I can’t access his data; I can’t use any law to force handover of the data. It’s a catastrophe.

Answers please (and awful puns) to info@actnow.org.uk with Tiddles in the subject line.

This entry was posted in Data Protection, Transparency and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to My cat’s got no nose

  1. Eric Stone says:

    Very interesting and possibly amuing (a mew sing), however from a legal point of view you have paid for the service, so I would have thought, much as with an accountants or or any other private consultants / specialists work you are entitled to a copy of the findings? Do Vets have a registration form in which you sign away your rights to written reports on youe ‘pets’ health? Surely you register, not your pet? Therefore are oyu not the Data Subject?

  2. Mark Allen says:

    Does anyone else have the same problems? You may need to conduct some covert surveillance to find out though and I’m not sure how this fits in with RIPurr.

  3. Phil Bradshaw says:

    Code of conduct says the records belong to the vet but

    Copies with a summary of the history should be passed on request to a colleague taking over the case.

    and

    At the request of a client, veterinary surgeons must provide copies of any relevant clinical records; this includes relevant records which have come from other practices, if they relate to the same animal and the same client …

    So a complaint to RCVS may be in order.

    http://tinyurl.com/82as9w3

  4. Pingback: The Cat came back | Blog Now

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