Grandmother handcuffed and escorted from GP surgery by police after demanding to see medical notesMary Kerswell, 67, paid 10 to see records at Biggleswade Health CentreBut receptionists 'refused to print them out' she claimsShe was handcuffed and led off by police after she refused to leave
08:51 GMT, 8 April 2013
02:05 GMT, 9 April 2013
Handcuffed: Mary Kerswell was led from Biggleswade Health Centre by police after a misunderstanding over her medical notes
A grandmother was handcuffed and led away from her doctor’s surgery by police after a row over her demand to see her medical notes.
Mary Kerswell, 67, asked for a copy of her GP records after she was called in for a urine test for a kidney condition she did not have.
When the mother of two was shown a brief summary of her medical history she was shocked to see that as well as being wrongly listed as having chronic kidney disease, it said she was a heavy smoker with Alzheimer’s.
The incorrect summary of her notes also said the healthy pensioner had undergone a hysterectomy and a double hip replacement.
Concerned about the errors, Mrs Kerswell demanded a copy of her full 43-page medical notes – as patients are entitled to do – and was told it would take a week. But when the retired scientist returned to the surgery a week later after paying a 10 fee, she was told the notes were not ready.
Frustrated, Mrs Kerswell staged a sit-in and refused to leave until the receptionist printed the records and addressed the errors.
But the surgery called the police and a community support officer attended, before calling for back up.
Mrs Kerswell was then handcuffed and spoken to in a police car. The pensioner, from Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, yesterday told the Mail that she could not believe the reaction to what she claims was a ‘peaceful protest’.
She said: ‘When I went back they were not ready. The receptionist insisted they could not print the records for me.
‘I was going to see my cousin the next day and then be away and I wanted to get the records sorted.
'So I said I would wait. Anyone else would have just left me sat there until I gave up. They told me if I did not leave they would call the police. But I wasn’t doing anything wrong. It was a peaceful protest. I just sat there and sat there wishing I had my Kindle with me.
‘A PCSO came and called for reinforcements and then a policeman handcuffed me and led me outside. I just had to laugh. I could not believe what was going on. All because the receptionist wouldn’t press “print”.’
Receptionists at the Biggleswade Health Centre in Bedfordshire (pictured), reportedly refused to print them out the records for Mrs Kerslake
Yesterday, Bedfordshire Police apologised to Mrs Kerswell after admitting that the incident, in December, could have been dealt with ‘in a less intrusive manner’.
Chief Inspector Mark Upex said: ‘I have spoken with Mrs Kerswell on two occasions and while she does not wish to make a formal complaint, she did raise some concerns about the actions taken by the officers.
‘The officers involved have been spoken to and advised about their future conduct. Mrs Kerswell was satisfied with this outcome.’
Mrs Kerswell said she was called by Biggleswade Health Centre just two days after the incident and told she had been taken off their patient list. She has since had to find a new GP. She has complained about the inaccuracies in her medical records.
A spokesman for NHS Midlands and East said: ‘The investigation into this complaint is still on-going and therefore we are unable comment.’ The GP surgery was unavailable for comment.