Wednesday, June 16, 2010

'Dead' guy kicks up a terrible fuss as he is told, 'Sorry, you can't have an appointment... you're dead!', demands second opinion

Dear All

Alan Campbell is unhappy; he was told he could not book a hospital appointment because records showed he was dead.

The only thing was he didn’t know he was dead and kept leading a normal life even although he suffers from cancer.

You don’t generally get corpses trying to book hospital appointments so you might think the operator on the other end would twig something was wrong.

Very wrong!

We keep hearing that technology is wonderful but when it doesn’t work it is a problem. When calling the NHS Choose and Book system, a telephone operator informed him their records showed him as 'deceased'.

So, like anyone, he tried to convince the operator he was alive, uphill task, every dead body in the Blackburn probably tries the same stunt.

Mr Campbell said:

“It is unbelievable that they could get something like this so wrong.”

He added:

“When I rang to take take the appointment I was told, 'Sorry, we can't give you an appointment, our records show you are deceased. I said 'you're joking, I'm talking to you aren't I?' But they said 'you'll have to go back to your GP to get it sorted out'. I couldn't believe it. I was flabbergasted. I'm not one for complaining, but when somebody says you're dead its not on”.

So, the question arises why couldn’t NHS Choose and Book system cope?

I suspect the reason is they aren’t set up to do anything other than a prescribed text.

NHS Blackburn with Darwen Teaching Care Trust Plus, in Lancashire, which is responsible for the phone service, has since apologised for the error.

Will it get fixed?

That is anyone’s guess but judging by the intransigence, not anytime soon.

NHS Blackburn said to be helpful that it was trying to find an appointment as early as possible for Alan.

Well you would have to as a minimum.

Janice Horrocks, executive director of Engagement Partnerships and Operational Development said:

“We are sorry for the distress experienced by this patient. We would like to reassure patients that using the Choose and Book system, which allows you to choose the hospital, time and date of your appointment, remains the fastest route to getting the quickest and most convenient hospital appointment for the care that you need.”

Unless they register you as dead then there is a problem.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Grim Reaper said...

Step this way sir

Grim Reaper said...

Step this way sir

medical expert said...

To be fair he does look a bit rough.