Oh my, we’re paying for this..

As an IT professional and ex NHS employee, I have been watching the ever increasing budget and over run of the NHS integrated IT project with both bemusement and horror.  Seriously what they are trying to do is not that hard and should not be costing the British Taxpayer at the last count an estimated £12.7 billion (The Times February 2009) bear in mind the Channel Tunnel cost £10 billion and this project is now running 4 years late.  Who knows when it will come in and at what cost? No one in the government seems to have control over it, I can only hope that someone in the next government does.

But today just proved to me what a complete waste of money it’ll be if you can’t get the doctors trained to use it.  I went in to see my doctor as I’ve been having some terrible stomach pains the last couple of weeks.  And after poking and prodding was complete and diagnosed as a pulled muscle but have some blood tests in case it’s anything nastier.  While I was there, prompted by what’s happened to Jade Goody, I asked when my last smear test was.  Miss L was a toddler the last time I had one and as she’s nearly six I thought it might be due.

The doctor looked at me blankly and said…

‘I don’t have that information to tell you’.

So I looked at him and then at the computer screen which was in front of him and he added

‘well it’s up to the nurses to tell you that’.

I pointed out that I maybe attend my doctors once every two years and I don’t see the nurses to ask them. So then he looked back at the screen, because I’d pretty much shamed him into it and he said with a very surprised

‘Oh look it’s here on the front screen’

He didn’t have a clue how to use the system.  Seriously will someone please, please, please make sure that they are going to be trained on the new system and don’t just leave them to it!

P.S Don’t get me started on the new touch screen receptionist system – obviously uncleaned touch screens and sick people together – what idiot thought of that?!?!

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  1. Yeah the pregnancy notes thing is hilarious! The NHS is one of those great in theory things, and I’d rather have it than not. But I worked in the NHS for 7 years and ended up as a Senior Medical Buyer before it gave me an ulcer and I had to re-train in IT.

    The waste of money is just phenomenal and this IT Project is just such a good example of the fact no one in the NHS seems to be able to put a contract together with penalty clauses and god forbid train staff on new equipment.

  2. I know someone working on the IT project, and they regularly get my venom.

    Plus having been a visitor in hospital of a part integrated system, I was amazed how difficult it was, and how we were in a ‘computer says no’ situation as the last medicine administered was not logged at the correct time. Madness.

    I like those booking in systems, it amuses me to watch the great unwashed and the elderly struggle with them. I am evil. Yes.

  3. Oh the frustrations of dealing with someone who should know what they are doing! Sometimes the smartest of people have the least amount of common sense.

    I hope your stomach pains go away quickly and that it is nothing serious. Do rest and take care of yourself. Lots of soothing tea should do the trick.

    I also wanted to thank you for lighting a candle at the Ely
    Cathedral in behalf of our Jordan. He has many lovely stories of his times spent over in Cambridge and other places in England. I always told him he got to do things I wanted to do way before me!

    Love to you, sweetheart,
    Becky (California)

  4. SPD – Give your friend a poke from me 😉 And yes you are evil, but you’re right it is quite amusing, which probably makes me evil too!

    Becky – I’ve e-mailed you x

  5. Oh LORDY. “Oh look it’s here on the front screen”


    My mom has been through some health struggles lately (here in the U.S.) and I can empathize with very similar stories.

    Well, I hope *you* are feeling better, and that you’ve steeped yourself some hot tea in that amazing Union Jack mug you’ve recently procured. 😉

  6. Urgh, why had I not thought of the touch screen thingy.. Will have to do it with my sleeve over my hand now! 🙂

  7. Blimey. Maybe he missed that Training Day?? Scary stuff. We have the Touch Screen System, but when you’ve used it a sigh beside it prompts you to use the handwash beside it. I always do. Just in case. Shiver.

  8. Jo, you have hand wash at the Doctors?!?! What kind of 21st Century magic is this?? 😉 we don’t have a hand wash anywhere in our surgery, which is just nuts.

    I’m so pleased you have such a clued up surgery x

  9. So right on the touch-screen system. I refuse to use it, which I know drives the incredibly unhelpful receptionists at our doctors mad (unlike you the boys and I seem to be in and out of our surgery more than a fiddler’s elbow…).

  10. I love the touch screens at the doctors. Saves loads of time. Does everyone not open the doors with their hands and pick up the magazines and so on? What’s the difference? Don’t understand it, though doctor’s surgeries are certainly pretty unhealthy places to hang out!

    I am shocked at how incapable some GPs are at using the computer systems, though. You sit there and they ask you things like ‘How like have you had asthma?’ or ‘How many pregnancies have you had?’ The information is there! It bothered me enough when they asked me these questions in the past, when they had my notes in front of them, as I thought surely they would flick through the notes beforehand. It’s particularly annoying when you’ve come back for a return visit at their request and they still ask ‘So what seems to be the problem today?’