If you have received a patient recall letter from the NHS, we have set out answers to some of the questions you might have.

What is a patient recall?

A patient recall is when a Trust or Hospital contacts people who have previously received treatment to ask them to come in again to be re-examined. 

Why have I been sent a recall letter?

If the NHS has concerns that a particular type of surgery, treatment or the behaviour of an individual medical professional has fallen below the correct standard, it has a duty to contact patients who may have been affected to make them aware of those concerns. 

What happens as part of the recall?

It is common for patients to be offered an independent review of their treatment. 

What information will I need for my recall appointment?

It is normal procedure for the recall letter to set out the information you will need, but there are certain questions that you will likely be asked.

  • What was the date of your treatment?
  • Where was the treatment carried out?
  • What treatment was carried out?
  • Have you had any treatment since?
  • Have you had any medical problems since?

Who will be reviewing my case?

It depends on the nature of your treatment, however, your case will be normally be reviewed by independent specialists with expertise in a particular field. 

Am I at any immediate risk?

This will depend on a number of factors such as the treatment you received and your overall health. The letter you receive should give you additional details and give you an idea of the timescales for arranging a recall appointment. 

However, in the meantime, if you are at all worried contact your GP. 

How long will it take me to receive an appointment?

A recall letter will normally set out information on when on how to book an appointment and how long it might take you to receive one. If you are at risk of immediate or urgent health issues, you should be offered an early appointment date. 

What happens after my recall appointment?

Just in the same way that people’s treatment is different, the follow-up recommendations from the expert panel will vary from patient to patient.  For example, it will depend upon how long ago surgery or treatment was, and what that was. You will be advised on what the next steps are. 

I received treatment a few years ago. Why has it taken so long for me to be recalled?

It is not always immediately apparent when a treatment or surgery has fallen below the correct standard. As soon as a problem has been identified, the hospital or relevant authority will contact the patients affected. 

My friend received the same treatment and they have not received a letter. Why is that?

The Trust/Hospital/NHS will be getting in touch with people who had a particular surgery, treatment, set of symptoms or clinician. It may be that the recall is not relevant to the type of treatment received by everybody. 

If your friend had a different type of operation or it was provided by a clinician not under review or investigation, they wouldn't be contacted. However, if he or she is worried they should contact their healthcare provider to ask. 

Does my GP know about this recall?

Your GP will not have automatically been informed about the recall. If you have any concerns or would like to discuss the recall with your GP you can, of course, contact them. 

Will there be any psychological support available at my recall meeting?

At the meeting, you will be able to discuss your needs with the experts there. If you have any concerns or would like some additional support, they may be able to help arrange the appropriate care for you. 

Who should I contact if I am concerned about receiving this letter?

The letter you received should have the contact details of the best person for you to speak to. They will be able to give you more information and advise you on what the next steps are. 

If you have concerns about negligent medical treatment or diagnosis you can talk to us for advice and support today. 

Our discrete and compassionate solicitors are experienced in the full range of medical injury claims and will work with you to establish whether you have a claim for compensation. If you, or a loved one, think you have suffered medical negligence in the last three years, contact us for advice

If the incident happened more than three years ago, you will usually not be able to make a claim for compensation. However, exceptions do apply – such as if you could not have reasonably known your symptoms were caused by medical negligence, or if the case involves adults who lack legal capacity or children. 

For further information, call 0800 0 224 224.