A little while ago my son had a rash on his face I asked my ex to take him to a GP as she had moved house and presumably, had a new doctor. After a week she said she had. I didn''t believe her so I took him to the gp myself. Long story short, it was nothing serious but the GP said that his records hadn''t been transferred and he hadn''t been seen at that surgery (no record of any appointment). Rather than call her out as a liar I asked her what surgery he is registered at. I hoped it would motivate her to actually register him. She wouldn''t tell me, and then a few days I heard from my solicitors. I don''t know if they''d had a letter or been on the phone to her solicitor.
Anyway, they told me the surgery he was registered at, and told me that she had booked an appointment in my contact time (12 days after I asked her to get him checked out). She sent me a text later that day to say that I would need to pick him up later. I said no, that I would take him to the doctor myself. She gave some flimsy excuse, telling me that I couldn''t take him to the appointment because it was in her name and that she would have to cancel it because I''m so argumentative. I just let it wash over me.
Skip to the present and I have decided that I should take the bull by the horns on the speech issue that is discussed in another of my posts. Given the waiting list for speech therapy I went to the GP surgery to book him an appointment. I was told by the receptionist that he isn''t registered there! I guess I now know why she wouldn''t let me take him to the doctor myself, I would have rumbled the fact that it was a total lie! I imagine he''s registered at some other surgery in the area, but I don''t actually know.
She also told me that no surgery would tell me whether he was registered there because of confidentiality. I tried to point out that I have PR, and a right to know. She said even if I turned up with a copy of his birth certificate and my own ID to prove it, most surgeries would refuse me outright.
So the rant part of this post is basically this... If my son came down with an illness in my contact time and I was unable to contact his mother (which is not beyond the realms of possibility if her phone is on silent/turned off/in a black spot or she just doesn''t feel like picking up), I would take him to a hospital, they would ask where his medical records were and I wouldn''t be able to tell them. I wouldn''t be able to tell them if he has any allergies (that I don''t already know about) or other important information that might be contained in his medical records. To me that sound bloody dangerous, and I think it''s entirely inappropriate for her to lie and conceal important information from me.
And now for the constructive part... Do any parents have any experience of playing detective? How would you go about finding things out? Ask her directly? Contact the NHS for a duplicate NHS card? Phone around all the nearby surgeries and hope that the police don''t get involved? Phone his old surgery and ask if they can tell me where his records have been sent?
I expect that I am going to face the same battle when it comes to finding out if he is registered for school. My solicitor asked me to find out what school he is due to attend in September. I want to be a real father figure in his life, and that means attending parents evenings, school plays, helping him with his school work. If she won''t tell me where he goes to school some of those are going to be difficult or impossible.
My ex hasnt even asked for my daughters details re doctors, dentists etc so you should be applauded for covering all the bases!!
If it was left to me i would ring the local surgeries and ask to book an appointment, go through the motions and if your son isnt registered they will tell you. Just say you must have got the wrong phone number, apologise and hang up! The police wouldnt get involved if you approached it like that.
As for schools, as the allocation of schools is done by the local council you should be able to contact them and ask for the details as a parent with parental responsibility. You may need proof but as you''ve already expressed this should be ok. Then you can write to the school explaining the situation with shared PR and request copies of school reports/parents evening dates etc. There shouldnt be any problem with that.
I dont for a minute propose that this is the ''proper'' way to go and someone else may be able to advise you better, this is just how i would handle the situation!
You can locate GPs and schools by writing to the local Primary Care Trust and Local Education Authority providing evidence that you have Parental Responsibility (birth certificate, PR agreement or order etc)