The NHS, eh?

My one, by all accounts, is one of the better ones, less overloaded than the English ones. But it can’t afford to have reception staff full time, and the delay between a doctor dictating a letter and having it typed is two months.

Who, in this day and age, gets secretaries to type their letters?

12 thoughts on “The NHS, eh?”

  1. If they wasted less time on the mentally troubled they would have more time for real medicine.

    And what kind of multi-GP practice –at least 2, himself and his missus–can’t afford full-time reception staff or someone to type a letter (-never heard of voice-type software?). Unless the money is down because they are both in hot water with the GMC.

  2. the delay between a doctor dictating a letter and having it typed is two months.

    What the actual fuck? That would be a joke in 1750 (ignore the typing up)

  3. I wonder what the delay is when sending invoices out – considerably less than two months, I’d wager.

  4. Fifteen, maybe 18 years ago I was treated by the NHS in Scotland, which involved seeing a hospital-based consultant surgeon. He said he’d write. Letter didn’t arrive after a couple of weeks. On querying it with consultant’s office (?) it transpired that he’d dictated the letter and the audio file had been sent across the internet to a central typing pool in India where a trained medical typist would type it up and send the print file back across the internet for printing. Then the consultant gets to check it. It needs correction (local accents make that likely); he corrects, and someone sends the corrections needed back across the internet to India where they dig out the original audio file and retype with corrections. Then the print file…………. well, you get the picture. Rinse and repeat as necessary until the letter is OK and can be posted out to the patient and GP. Most of the lost time was in waiting for the consultant to check his bloody backlog of letters.

    The rank stupidity of these people beggars belief. I hope they fired whoever cooked that one up, but NHS Scotland probably thought it was a cutting edge example of using modern technology.

  5. Most of this stuff should be standard templates. Maybe fill in a few details, but an organisation with 1.4m employees serving 70+ million people should have that stuff, and when you’ve got that, it isn’t worth having secretaries. It’s quicker just to fill in the bits yourself.

    The NHS is a disaster, though. I did a consultancy job where I found out that the district nurses in one area didn’t have sat navs. Before they were on a phone, but when they were about £200 in Halfords. Something every delivery company and taxi had by then. And the reasons were just a list of excuses. You could tell what they really thought. This would mean some hard work, and they weren’t going to get anything for it, so why bother.

  6. Well there’s an opportunity for an Indian call centre if ever I heard one. Ring ’em up, dictate letter, emailed back within the hour. I imagine most of it boilerplate anyway.

  7. Never underestimate the NHS’s ability to make a quick process more complex and time consuming.

    After first appt with consultant he said he wanted to see me again in six weeks. Much typing, printed a sticker, went to drawer to find a form, attached sticker, wrote on form, signed it.

    Gave it to me and said “Take to reception and make next appt.”

    I asked “Wouldn’t it have been quicker if you’d done it now instead of all this?”

    “Yes, not allowed to…”

    Went to reception – closed, they finish at 1600.

  8. @ Mr Ecks
    “They” are not complaining about the GP but the “gender clinic” which is the thing which takes two months to type a letter.
    Mrs Webberly was a GP but suspended – it sounds as if Mr Webberly was not a GP due to “adminstrative reasons” such as “having not completed a professional course or being on a recognised register of practitioners.” i.e. an unqualified and unlicensed “Quack”

  9. RLJ, it’s usually the consultants who are Indian and the secretaries who are English. And many (older) doctors are pretty good with their hands but hopeless at typing.

  10. Mrs Webberly was a GP but suspended – it sounds as if Mr Webberly was not a GP due to “adminstrative reasons” such as “having not completed a professional course or being on a recognised register of practitioners.” i.e. an unqualified and unlicensed “Quack”

    Or she could be a perfectly well qualified medical doctor but didn’t complete some ‘essential’ but completely useless admin course, and was so suspended. Who knows? It’s a vast State-owned bureaucracy – literally any level of malevolent incompetence is possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *