Archive for December, 2008

Get your bug at your local surgery

December 16, 2008

Walking in an NHS surgery today can seriously entrench one’s position that the world is run by tunnel-visioned zelots.
What I’m talking about is the latest feature of NHS surgery reception, the touch screen monitor that people are asked to “touch” to log their arrival ahead of their appointment with the doctor.
This task once performed by a human being that would have acted as interface between you and the doctor has now been given to the most inappropriate of means. And I say most inappropriate because although it delivers a measurable budget saving in the form of one job at the desk, is also likely to give a stomach bug to everyone.

As today’s news report about stomach bugs educates us:

“It can be spread by contact with an infected person, through contaminated food or water or by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, such as door handles… ”

…or the touch screen monitor at the local surgery I’d add!
It is true that people with bugs are advised to stay away from it but will they all?
Personally I can’t think of a better way to start a stomach bug pandemic in London.
One wonders if the budget gurus of the NHS asked a doctor if they thought this was a good idea.

Today I refused to touch it and I had to do some serious waving to get the attention of a member of staff in lieu of the monitor. Fortunately, since I was late for my appointment, I had a good reason to do so, but what if you’re in good time and don’t have an excuse for speaking to a member of staff? Say that you need to wipe the screen before touching!