Monday 14 February 2011

"National" Health Service

I want to start this by saying I love our NHS. We are so lucky to have free healthcare and access to all sorts of medical care that in other countries people either have to pay for or just can't get to. However right now I am querying the National part of it.

Having moved from one end of the country to the other in the summer I had to change health authority. This shouldn't be too much of a problem as when you register at a GP surgery the notes from your old surgery eventually catch-up. 

However if like my daughter you have been attending hospital clinics for ongoing conditions then there can be delays. She has just attended outpatients appointments at our new local hospital for 2 different medical issues toxocariasis and her kidneys. The paperwork for her eye had turned up so the hospital knew exactly what the consultant in Hastings had done. For her kidney appointment there were no notes or test results from the hospital just the information her old GP had recorded on her notes.

This means that she has to almost start again with an appointment in about 2 months with the "local" consultant - he is based in Manchester and comes to Lancaster bi-monthly. She will have to repeat some of the scans she already had in Hastings which if we hadn't moved she wouldn't have. It really feels that we are having to start all over again because there aren't consistent centrally stored records. I know that government computer systems don't have a great track record but for things like this it would make things a lot let stressful for patients.

Having had hospital records get lost in the post between health authorities when I was ill on a holiday I really think its time the NHS got into  the 21st century when it comes to medical records. It really isn't a "National" service if you can't straight forwardly transfer to another health authority without paperwork hassles.


  1. Becky. I work for the NHS and it's going to get much much worse not better. The services will be provided by commished agencies so will all use dufferent systems. Even in Kendal the web based notes in the hpospital are not in sync with the community ones. so GP's and district nurses can not see what someone was addmited to hospital as on different systems. It's madness.
    In your case I think I would call Hastings and get the notes sent if at all possible, or ask the secretary to call the ceretary up here. Hope you get it sorted.

  2. thanks Donna - it really does beggar belief that in 2011 they still can't sort out medical records. if notes haven't arrived by next appointment I will be kicking up a stink!


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