Before people start getting upset with me, I feel I should start this post with a disclaimer.
I am a huge supporter of the NHS. I am very appreciative of the free healthcare we get in the UK and I want to protect our NHS desperately from the likes of Theresa May, who let’s face it, would sell it off to companies like G4S to line the pockets of people like her husband! OOOOsh
Now that’s out of the way…
BUT… it can be absolutely ridiculous at times and I’m feeling the need for a rant!
For those that might not know, when a child is legally adopted they receive a new NHS number so that they cannot be traced via the NHS by birth families. It’s absolutely the right thing to do and is so important in protecting adopted children and their forever families.
However the process of doing this is so flawed, frustrating and beyond ridiculous it’s untrue!
For starters, no one tells you the process once the adoption is done, I had to ask some friends that we had made through the adoption process, how they had done it. Next I had to go to our GP and explain EVERYTHING to them, well to a stressed out administrator who looked at me like I had two heads and got snarky with me because she just didn’t understand so therefore saw me as a pain in her arse.
We finally get the boys new numbers and great, that’s sorted… how wrong was I!
Over the last year I have had to tell the WHOLE STORY over and over again to various departments within the NHS; the health visiting service, the orthotics department, the paediatric consultants… the GP surgery AGAIN (even though they organised the new numbers!!!) Each one has their own database system, some have the same system but can’t share each others notes because of confidentiality, which I get to a point but when they are treating the same condition it gets a bit ridiculous!
Each department has a different approach to changing kids details depending on which member of staff you get that day and quite frankly how bothered they can be. Some do it really quickly and happily, some made me go and get a letter from our GP and write to them at a cost of £25 (and still didn’t change it properly) and others took all the details and I’m sure shredded the post-it notes the moment I got off the phone…. who am I kidding, the notes will totally have just gone in the bin!
Recently we received letters in their old names and NHS numbers AGAIN which started a 2 hour mission of telephone calls that basically told me this;
- Departments do not communicate with each other
- People don’t read records properly and make huge errors as a result
- When it comes to telephone conversations, confidentiality seems to go out of the window!
- Staff turnover and sickness is frightening to the point that appointments we have had over the last year haven’t even been recorded anywhere
- People get inpatient, defensive and borderline aggressive when challenged in a non-confrontational way… just by stating facts!
- Nobody wants to take ownership over anything
- You have to re-tell your story over and over to random strangers
- Some departments don’t understand their own processes and just try and blag their way out of something (they tried with the wrong person yesterday… the words ‘you can’t blag a blagger’ come to mind)
- On new records they WONT transfer any of their old info so effectively any future treatments will mean having to return to old records anyway
and my favourite (note sarcastic tone)…
10. Our details are all over their old records anyway, so any rationale regarding preventing traceability seems pretty irrelevant!
I could expand greatly but it probs would be unethical of me to do so!
To top it all off, by the end of the marathon of phone calls, it turns out that the new number we have been provided (in writing) for one of the boys is different to the one given to the GP… so now he is effectively a ghost to the NHS until they can sort out which number is correct!!!
It really frightens me at just how poor the whole administration and bureaucracy situation within the NHS is. (NB. I’m referring to the whole administration process NOT individuals who work as administrators so please don’t be offended!)
Yes we are so lucky to have access to instant, free medical treatment, and yes there are so many hard working, under-paid and passionate individuals working within the NHS, but something has got to change and I don’t think throwing a load of money at it is the answer.
It needs a whole system change, dare I say reform. But given the state of the country right now with a government who couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery, I won’t hold my breath!
Another disclaimer… I get that it’s great me getting on my soapbox about it, but that I need to get my arse off the sofa if I really feel that passionately. Well I do feel strongly, but likely so many people… I just wouldn’t know where to start, and those few child free moments I get are better spent on the sofa at the moment… I’ll change the world another day.
Rant over…. look at the Parenting Phils getting all political! OOOOsh!
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