"testing for HIV without my consent"

About: St Thomas' Hospital (London)

(as the patient),

I was horrified to find that after a hospital admission for an entirely unrelated matter, I had been tested for HIV without my knowledge or consent.

I only found out because I always insist on copies of all NHS blood tests, I also regularly exercise my right to inspect my records as irregularities are all too common in my experience.

What is all the more galling is that the hospital failed to test for myasthaenia gravis, the most likely cause of my symptoms, which I assumed they had done.

NHS policy states quite categorically; "Blood is only tested for HIV if you specifically consent to it". This policy is still up on the NHS website as I write.

The hospital was unable to provide me with a cogent explanation as to why the NHS would mislead the taxpayers who fund it by publishing the above policy, but then breaching it.

Instead, the hospital simply says there are notices in the hospital wards warning patients they will be tested for HIV. I certainly never saw such a notice in the ward. I was there in connection with a debilitating visual impairment, so could not be expected to see it anyway.

Of course, it's totally irrelevant. The fact is NHS policy states categorically you will not be tested without your specific consent, but the hospital does in fact test you without your consent.

One wonders why the NHS has chosen to actively deceive people in this way. It is deeply disturbing.

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Responses

Response from Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Waarheid, I was concerned to read about your experience during your recent admission. If you would like to contact me directly I would be happy to discuss this with you and look into this matter further. If you would like to make contact my telephone number is 020 7188 7347. Regards Wendy Doyle, Complaints Manager