Lud­dites in NHS must adapt to change

Macclesfield Express - - BARLOW’S BRIEF -

THIS is a true story al­though names have been changed to pro­tect the in­no­cent.

I’ve been having phys­io­ther­apy on an in­jured knee for a few months. It hasn’t re­ally im­proved and with so many dogs to train I need to be fully mo­bile.

“I shall write a let­ter to your GP’s surgery ex­plain­ing your con­di­tion,” my physio told me. “Then what?” “They will pass it on to your doc­tor.” “And...” ‘He will write to you.” “To tell me what?” “To ask you to make an ap­point­ment.” “What for?” “To dis­cuss what to do next.”

“Look, I’m very grate­ful to the NHS and have ev­ery faith in my doc­tor but many of the dogs in my care will be dead by the time all th­ese letters change hands. Why don’t you just send my doc­tor an email?”

You’d have thought I’d sug­gested tak­ing off our clothes and danc­ing down to the surgery. “We can’t do that!” “Why not?” “It’s prob­lem­atic, it’s sys­tem­atic, it’s...grease light­en­ing.” (She didn’t say that last bit I just made it up.)

The gist was that email isn’t an ac­cept­able means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

I wanted to point out that the banks have found ways to ex­change our most con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion via the in­ter­net with­out too much dis­tress but it was a lost cause.

The big­gest com­mu­ni­ca­tion revo­lu­tion of all time has some­how by-passed the NHS. Con­sul­tants fight like Lud­dites to hold on to their dic­ta­phones and typ­ists while the rest of the world hur­tles by in cy­ber space.

God knows how long it took to faze-out leech­ing.

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