Wednesday, 1 December 2010

When the Party allows choice the people decide.

A small article in the GP rag Pulse caught one of the teams eye.

Now one of Za Nu Labour’s big buzz words was that of Choice. For those of us who have worked in the NHS for years know patients have nearly always had a choice of which consultant they could see and at which hospital. The old fashioned and now verboten method of referral called the paper referral letter could be put in an envelope and sent anywhere in the UK.

However, Tony and Gordon after all their years in healthcare, felt that patients had no choice and so preached about choice and introduced the Soviet style command and control structure called Choose and Book. They thought this was good for it gave the patient any choice that their local Soviet felt they could allow to be put on their local system or what is popularly known as Hobson’s choice.

Tony and Gordon felt that all people wanted their personal medical records to be on one uber computerized records system called the Summary Care Record and again patients were given a Hobson’s choice of opt in or opt in.

Unfortunately for Tony and Gordon the people sometimes do get a choice and at the general election they chose not to choose more of Tony and Gordon’s Za Nu Labour. Unfortunately there was not much better choice and so we have a coalition government who seem not too dissimilar to their predecessors.

We digress slightly but look at the article and see what happens when 2.24 million people were invited to, not told to, open an advanced HealthSpace account. If you have not heard of it don’t worry most of us knew not of its existence but if you are snowed in and bored here is a link.

So how many people opened such an account? A million? Well Connecting for Health reckoned 5-10% and they of all people should know about matters health electronique.

So when given a free choice how many of the 2.24 million invited actually registered?

2,913 or a massive 0.13% according to Pulse. Does that tell one anything?

Praise be to the Party for sometimes allowing patients a free choice. Freedom is a wonderful to those who have it but to those who allow it, it can sometimes hit you back in the face. Ignore it at your peril especially when spending large sums of public money.

People want face to face healthcare not electronic smoke and mirrors manifesting as real healthcare.


Nails UK said...

I am one of the very small minority who have an advanced healthspace account. My GP recommended it to me, as I was a patient who wanted to be actively involved in their own healthcare, and who was technically competent enough to go through the sign up procedure. I had to jump through a variety of hoops to get it, including visiting an out of the way office to have my credentials checked and my identity officially verified. I found it spectacularly useless (my PCT is not signed up to transferring GP records onto it, so I cannot look at my test results) and have instead gone back to my trusty old small ring binder, in which I can write my results when my GP gives them to me. Typical Nu Labour - promises much, delivers little.

Northern Doc said...

Thank you very much for reading and being kind enough to comment. Unfortunately you experience of Party sponsored IT projects is no different as a patient to ours. Sometimes old fashioned methods work best especailly when the new is so much worse than the old.

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