Saturday, 31 January 2009

NHS Rangers lead the Way Confidentiality #1

ND has for as long as ND can remember been aware of the duty of confidentiality with regard to patients’ medical information. It was drummed into ND from basic training onwards. Indeed ND and the team have often been accosted by a patient’s friends/family/employers’ when they find out from the patient that ND or the team have been giving the patient sick notes sometimes for years which the patient’s friends/family/employers’ have not appreciated.

NDs’ team did not tell their patients’ friends of this relationship the patient did. The Team knows what confidentiality is, how valued it is by patients and that it is a keystone of good ethical medical practice.

However, NHS managers and the Party have a different view on this issue.

They want all of the population to give their medical data, without consent to the Party, but as a responsible Party they are not prepared to do the same with their medical information. Certain senior Party comrades will not have their medical details on the system as they enjoy the Blair option (for they are Holy and divine) unlike the people that they serve and enjoy the all Pigs are equal option of opt in or else but some Pigs, as they are Holy, may opt out.

Many, many light years ago in a galaxy far, far away ND was a junior grunt. While toiling in the small hours mindlessly but conscientiously labeling small bottles with patients’ names, ranks and serial numbers ND noticed in the faint light provided by the hurricane lights that there was a computer and a printer by the side of ND that could print labels faster than ND could write them. To label all the samples required for a sick patient with meningitis would take ND 20 minutes but, if labels were printed, this labeling process would take less than 5 minutes so speeding up the diagnostic and treatment process.

So ND did ask of the seniors why, during daylight hours, were labels printed off by the ward clerks, but at night this did not happen?

(Hint: clerks work 9-5 grunts work all hours). They did not know and suggested several people that ND could speak to about having access to printing labels at night a seemingly simple task.

ND, feeling supported in this matter, did follow the leads for 2 months rising higher and higher into the intellectual black hole known as Management with each level saying “I don’t know sounds like a good idea I will ask the next level” up until he eventually reached the high point the Manager person dude who could explain the inefficient use of resources (capital purchase of expensive technology used only one third of daylight hours but available for 24 hours with a limited life expectancy, use of lowly paid junior staff to write labels, delays in patient diagnosis due to inefficient use of doctors time and skills, ward clerks employed for a mere 8 hours a day).

ND had reached the summit and hoped that ND would see into the chosen land and be able in matter of seconds to print off enough labels to avoid nights of 20 minutes of handwriting while dealing with seriously ill patients.

Did ND achieve this simple task of access to a hospital’s computer system out of hours?


ND did not.

The reason?

“You cannot print sticky labels at night because it is a breach of patient confidentiality.” (Crawl back into your hole worm and use your pen).

“So clerks can print labels with the same information on them as grunts can write and that does not endanger ‘confidentiality’ ”. (Yes worm)

NHS Rangers protecting your confidentiality from doctors but not from managers and the Party (and speeding up your child’s treatment by delaying prompt diagnostic tests while a junior grunt handwrites labels next to an idle printer).

Remember, where were the managers and ward clerks when grunts were handwriting labels next to idle printers and your child was ill?

In bed, thinking, and protecting patient confidentiality as they always do 24/7.

Rangers lead the way.

Praise be to the Party.

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