NHS and communication don’t go together

NHS Scotland
Staffed by angels, managed by idiots

Been a while since I had a real whinge on here about anything. So here we go. Today’s target is the NHS. Not the lovely people who work the front line – the nurses, doctors, pharmacists, receptionists and so on. You’re lovely.

But the muppet who put the system in place for shifting your medical records from one place to another when you register at a new surgery? They need a kick in the nethers. A hard one.

Two weeks ago I registered at a surgery near my aunt’s where I’ve been living for some time. A few forms to fill in and no worries. The doctor saw me right away and all was well with the world.

Today I popped back in to see about getting boosters and inoculations for my upcoming trip back to Vietnam. Again, I was welcomed in my lovely staff… who found that they didn’t have any details on my record as yet. Little things like what injections I got in 2001 and 2006.

No problem. I called my old doctor’s surgery in Bradford who looked me up… and told me that my file was “in transit” to the new place. According to the nurse who jabbed a needle in my arm, this could take a couple of weeks. A month, maybe. Perhaps 6 weeks. During which time nobody has access to my medical history.

Apparently the file goes from the old surgery to the NHS central office down south. They then send it to NHS Scotland in Glasgow who finally farm it out to the surgery I’ve just joined. All by post or something. Maybe marching goblin. Or cycling arachnids. Either way, a month to move a file from one place to another seems absolutely absurd.

Given the fact that the records are held electronically, it amazes me that they couldn’t be transferred instantaneously from old doctor to new.

I’m fortunate in that I don’t have any dodgy medical past or important medications that need to be kept track of. I can only imaging the inconvenience for some poor sod who’s got a prescription that needs renewed and who didn’t bother making a note of the medication. Instead of a simple repeat prescription, you’re back to a new diagnosis, doctor’s time being wasted and so forth.

And all because electronic files are transferred by road, rail or a leprechaun on a pogo-stick.

Seriously. Who the hell thinks this is remotely acceptable in this day and age?

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