One of the great things that the founders of the NHS never anticipated by the law of unintended consequences is the concept of the continuing and almost universal abuse of the NHS free at the point of care.
Anyone who works in the NHS on the frontline will recognize this but the fact is that no NHS patient ever misuses or abuses the NHS which is why every home visit patient without fail always says “I never have the doctor out”. And no patient every misses an NHS appointments.
If they do they just ask for another emergency one now, tomorrow, next week whenever – its free it won’t cost me nuffing and I just have to lie to get one. Hear that on every home visit and every day and it makes one a tad cynical.
The other great thing about the NHS being free at the point of the abuse of care is that it gives every clerk in a council office, benefit office, bank, travel agent etc. the ultimate get out of jail free card of how to remove an awkward punter. It is called the “we can ONLY help you IF you get a letter from your doctor”.
Using a Star Trek universal translator tool this means we will tell you to get lost and waste someone else’s time and we get you out of our office ASAP SUCKER and you still won't get a thing but it will be your doctor's fault not ours.
Now for any UK patient having a 5 year old’s Tesco’s till tantrum along the lines of “I want my sweeties now” at any such institution, and there are thousands of such tantrums in the UK by so called adults every day, this get a letter from your doctor get the clerk out of jail scam, combined with the 2 Scottish moronic former prime ministers “let’s make sure that all patients are seen by GPs within 48 hours (with any crap whatsoever)” scam means that if you are acutely ill you can’t ever get seen by a GP blocked by sheer (Scottish generated) crap.
So when GPs were once allowed as professionals to define emergencies as illness not politically retarded want to appease we used to see genuine acute illness not QOF crap or the urgent letters scam for the Rab C. Nesbits of Scotland.
A recent piece in the GP rag Pulse shows just how valuable these letters from GPs actually are.
Now there is always a glass is half empty a glass is half full argument to apply here.
One argument is that if you are lucky enough to be the 2.9% of benefit claimants who blag a winning letter then that is well worth your while wasting a doctor’s time especially if you can blag it for free. There is a wealth of reports on how the highly flawed benefits system has generated extra work for a GP service with decreasing resources and now apparently decreasing returns.
The other argument is that for every successful appeal there will be 33-34 letters that have completely wasted a doctor’s time, blocked appointments for real illness to achieve nothing so if you can’t get to see your GP ask them how much time they spend doing benefit appeals letters?
Read the article in detail and see what the major cause of success is for successful appeals. It is the successful oral evidence (41.7%) which is 14 times more successful than a letter from your doctor. However this approach means patients doing something for themselves and for nothing. Now that isn’t what the NHS is about is it? No self care here is there? Far easier to waste your doctor’s time for nothing isn’t it?
Many of those in GP land know which letters work and which don’t because they have have over the years met and talked to those who deal with these letters for benefits, housing, insurance etc. and many GPs do not do the letters that don’t work. Does that make these GPs bad doctors?
More information is here and remember who provided this information? It is the judges (lawyers) who have reviewed cases and determined that the initial assessments were legally wrong. Doctors who take the time to read the reasons why appeals are successful, when patients ask you to tell them (translate legalise) why they have been successful from the letters they have, see that it is down to legal reasons rarely if ever medical letters. The law has been misinterpreted by the (private) companies doing the assessments who are costing UK taxpayers a fortune for doing their job incorrectly as 40% of appeals are successful.
Praise be to the Party and its politicians for realizing that whatever is provided for free will be abused for free for any reason whatsoever and the abuse is always as an emergency.
The Police have better protection from time wasters than the NHS for there is a crime of wasting Police time while wasting NHS time is a god given right free to all at the point of abuse of care with no come back whatsoever. And that is just for those doing the assessments wrong . . .