the curse of the NHS

  lofty29 17:31 03 Jul 2009

Let me just say right from the start I believe in the NHS, and I have just had wonderfull treatments for a life threatening condition. What gets me, and I am sure the medical staff, is the crazy amount of paperwork involved. I have been to the same hospital, same dept, same consultant, three times for various required treatments, minor op, major op, follow-up, and each time the nurses have had to fill in reams of forms, every one of which was identical to the ones filled in before, surely all that is needed is to get out the original and just up-date them, think of the savings in time and costs.

  Stuartli 18:20 03 Jul 2009

If you want to see large volumes of case sheets for an individual then you would be staggered at those for my other half.

Each volume is literally at least 30cms thick and there are several of them at various hospitals...:-)

What's more they get thicker by the month, even though quite a lot of information is also on computer databases; X-rays taken even moments earlier, for instance, can be called up immediately by a consultant.

My wife was a NHS radiographer but even she is staggered by the awesome range of X-ray features which have become commonplace since she retired.

  laurie53 20:10 03 Jul 2009

On the other hand I rang NHS 24 (the Scottish equivalent of NHS Direct) in the middle of the night a few months ago when my wife had a problem.

Post code, house number and DoB and the operator had my wife's full medical history, and all her current medications, on screen in seconds.

As my wife's condition deteriorated she, the operator, kept upgrading the priority until a full blues & twos ambulance was`ordered.

On arrival they already had all the relevant information, and when my wife arrived at the hospital the team already had her full medical history to refer to, though she'd never been to that particular hospital in her life.

The system does sometimes work, and when it does it's good.

  Stuartli 00:22 04 Jul 2009

We had a similar scenario late one night, except that it was an on-call doctor based some 10 miles away who helped us over the phone.

He even arranged for an ambulance to turn up, even though I had told him I would transport my wife to hospital.

The only problem was that I would have taken her to a hospital, although about 20 minutes further away, that had vastly superior facilities for dealing with her particular illness.

The ambulance service personnel will only take you to the nearest hospital which, in our case, is definitely not the best outcome as we know from experience.

  laurie53 09:30 04 Jul 2009

"The ambulance service personnel will only take you to the nearest hospital "

Again, my experience is different.

The crew took my wife, at my request, to a particular hospital (35 miles)when there were at least two nearer (both 22 miles), one of them they actually less than a quarter of a mile off the route they took.

  JanetO 10:36 04 Jul 2009

My mum was discharged from Kingston hospital a few years ago. We couldn't leave until the discharge document was processed. After nearly an hour we discovered the sister in charge didn't know how to process the papers on the computer, so a doctor had to do it. Amazing!

  lotvic 12:08 04 Jul 2009

I always thought that the Ambulance could only take you to a Hospital that indicated it had a bed for you (arranged by Doc on call), or are we talking about A&E and is that different?

  Stuartli 12:13 04 Jul 2009

I'm talking about A and E.

  Stuartli 12:19 04 Jul 2009

The reason for the ambulance crew (at least in the case of our area) going to the nearest hospital is due to the time it would be otherwise unavailable for other calls.

However, in the particular example I cited it was known, from previous experiences, that our local hospital has only a tiny proportion of the superb resources of the main city hospital to which we would have gone.

Even more importantly, no matter how many people would have been waiting in A and E, my wife would have had immediate attention and treatment - in contrast she would have had to wait several hours at the local hospital after a brief initial examination.

  lofty29 14:16 04 Jul 2009

I think some of the members have misundestood my comments, as I said I am an admirer of the HNS, it is just the repititious paperwork that I find crazy.

  Stuartli 16:25 04 Jul 2009

To be honest, your experience doesn't match ours.

Records are updated, but normally just once; I can't recall "repetitous paperwork" involvement.

To save various consultants and others having to correct any medicines taken lists, I update my wife's list as and when required, the date on which it was done and print out a number of copies.

This alone saves around 10 minutes use of a Biro and is gratefully accepted...:-)

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