We need to ensure that 'suspected' major life changing conditions, are not relayed to patients, before tests are carried out.
This goes against every principle of putting people/patients in charge of their care. Clinicians are not Gods. It is not within their gift to deny individuals very personal information about what tests are for, and why they might be necessary. Yes, people should be able to decide the level of information they are comfortable with and communicate that, but for most people taking control means having all the information they need at every stage.
If dementia is suspected it makes sense to have some evidence from tests, to confirm, as this can be very stressful to wait months for MRIs, other tests to ensure things like memory lose are not down to things like anxiety (fairly common).
Some suspected life changing conditions can cause other problems, until confirmed one way or the other. Blood pressure, stress causing heart issues, stroke, depression, etc... We need to ease patients worry, and help them maintain quality of life, until some sure evidence available. This can stop other major medical problems possibly happening.
Some conditions are so life threatening the waiting for a test result may be too long before telling the patient so they can make sensible preparations.
If a condition is suspected, presumably it is on the basis of symptoms shown by the patient? If so, the patient should be made aware of the symptoms and how they relate to the suspected diagnosis - I would certainly not appreciate being "kept in the dark" Also, if I knew that I had symptoms which suggested I had a suspected condition, I would monitor the symptoms closely, and return to the clinician if I thought they got worse. NHS should learn that most patients are fairly intelligent people!
Some patients can be left for months, before a follow-up appointment, which confirm or not a 'suspected' diagnosis. If a life changing condition has been mention before tests are done, keep the patient in the loop regularly, not waiting for months on end. Let them have some quality of life, until confirmed or not. Conditions need to confirmed after tests, not before tests. Do not increase patients worry anymore than needed.
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