The NHS seems to run on forms
We all get those ones handed to you without a smile. The Receptionist knows what’s in it, and she’s not giving anything away.
No wonder doctors are always running late. It’s a ploy to make sure, when given a form, we have enough time to fill it in, Latest time-wasting exercise from Whitehall is to say GPs have to ask us our sex etc. And in next breath Jeremy Hunt says GPs are wasting too much valuable time over paper-work. Does anyone think they should re-programme this robot?
You struggle to remember what diseases you have had. If you leave anything out, could that cause problems? Finally you reach page and turn it over to sign. Oh boy! Then it hits you – there are reams more questions to fill in, and these are the REALLY important ones. The ones that your hospital, the NHS and any other nosey parker really wants to know.
What is your Ethnic background? Easy, I answer Angle-Norman (totally true). That’ll confuse the computer.
Do I consider myself Male/Female/then a list of words comes next, which I am not sure I really understand. Suppose I tick the wrong box? Will they suddenly operate on the wrong bit? Will I be chucked out of the ward I might be in, and end up somewhere alien? Decisions. Decisions. Why not just ask me which loo I want to use?
Instead I write MYOB. And with any luck I will be out of there before the Receptionist tells me that’s not acceptable.
Religion. Well, that used to be easy: I filled in C & E (Christmas and Easter) and that satisfied them. The hospital Chaplain would pass by my bed, and boy – did I make use of them. They knew everything that was happening in the hospital, and were a fount of knowledge if you needed anything done. Now, in a cost-cutting exercise (hospitals don’t like providing offices nor accommodation), the NHS is cutting down on these useful people.
Dignity Then comes “do I consider I was treated with dignity”. No, what’s dignified about giving blood and being punctured with a ‘sharp scratch’ Ouch!
Did I find it easy to complain? So tell me, before this even comes into my head, you are telling me I should be complaining. Hasn’t the NHS got anything better to do?
Boot on other feet
And so it goes on. I seem to remember that once, we were promised that we were aiming for a paperless society. Fat chance.
But, query something about your treatment, and quick as a flash back will come a jobs-worth quoting ‘data protection’. Now I actually read the act, many years ago, to see how it might impact on the company I was running. We were doing a lot of work with Government Ministries and such-like, but as long as one acted like a sensible human being, it seemed the Act made sense.
NOT the way it is run today, when it is used as a cop-out for doing nuffin. If anyone can tell me why the NHS can ‘lose’ 700,000 items of our personal data, yet refuse to talk to you if you phone to ask how a friend is doing, “because you are not a member of their family”; – they can’t. It’s just the lazy person’s way of saving work.
And don’t get me on the reasons why the NHS can be so secretive, yet Outpatient Receptionists can ask in a loud voice “what’s your date of birth?” then “And do you still live at…..?” – questions which are tailor-made to help any Hacker sitting in a crowded room. It beggars belief from an organisation that says it keeps our data safe. Huh!
If I am brave enough you will see the next form I get handed, used for the useful purpose of making paper airplanes. Now that is a good use of paper, and should keep a crowded waiting room amused for hours.