Thursday, 21 June 2007

One final National Health Service moan

There was just one more thing that irritated me when I was trying to sort out my mum. The hospital wanted the full name of her GP as the person who referred her was a trainee and their computer didn't recognise him. Well, she has seen several different GPs so she didn't know which one was hers. When I called in to the practice earlier I was given a card with the contact details of her GP on it so I naturally got that out. True, it did have the name and address of the practice and a phone number, but there were no names for the doctors on it. One side was full of advertisements for a Massage therapist (no details of qualifications given, just a name and phone number- could have been any kind of massage) Asian Funeral Care Ltd (not very reassuring), a Shiatsu and Counselling Service (although it didn't say what sort of counselling) and an advert for the people who published the card. Now, I do understand that in parts of the National Health Service it is necessary to generate income, but for me this kind of advertising is a bridge too far. It does state that the practice in no way endorses the things it advertises but I don't think that would stop people thinking that if it is on a card that they got from the doctors then it must be okay. Additionally, the very information that is important is missing. I wonder who advises them on the ethical implications of their actions.

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