Why can’t the NHS use Ethnic background information sensibly

Why doesn’t the NHS use tick-box surveys for our benefit – not just meaningless statistics.

When I see someone approach with one of these clipboards, I bury my head in the nearest leaflet
Their questions seem designed to supply meaningless statistics to supply

admin with meaningless stats to justify expenditure, NOT to help us.

I have had Polio. Last weekend I fell off my trike (as one does).

The Triage Nurse in A & E said I would have to wait a long time as they were very busy. Expecting this, I asked if I could lie down on one of their trolleys – or a bed. Explained I have had polio, and know I need to lie flat before my back siezes up.

No – “I have assessed you and you don’t need this”.

As my Polio specialist says (a Professor no less), “Polio patients have been living with polio for 50 years and know best what’s needed”.

I had to sit, hunched up, with my back getting more and more painful.

Finally, when it was my turn, I dived onto the cubicle bed and glared at anyone who wanted me to move – but seeing my face they let me be !

Next morning, I was in so much pain I couldn’t move – certainly not to return to A & E. So phoned the GP’s surgery – and eventually get the out-of-hours locum, who promised a visit.

It wasn’t more than an hour later, when a charming doctor arrived – obviously from a country where polio is rife. Assessing the situation, his eye-brows were rising higher and higher when I recounted what had happened in A & E, and he almost apologised for his colleagues’ mistakes. Changed my pills, and was full of sensible advice.

Why not make use of our diverse workforce ?

Politicians love to spout phrases such as ‘diverse workforce’, ‘ethnic mix’. and all sorts of meaningless mumbo jumbo – to show how Britain welcomes the world t work here.

But none of it means a thing, when you are faced with a condition that could be well treated by doctors who know the disease – if only we could find them.

I knew I had to start on a vaccination programme within 48 hours of being bitten. But was told “we don’t have rabies in Britain”. Finally the Hospital for Tropical Diseases told me they had run out of the drugs. Luckily a friend phoned Colindale, and someone with a foreign-sounding name took in the situation immmediately, and things started to move like lightning.

Moving populations bring medical problems with them

Aid workers in Romania warned that due to the collapse of the Berlin Wall, we should be careful of TB. Last year UK had over 7,000 cases. We love to holiday abroad but there are still people who return with Malaria and other nasties, because we just don’t realise what waits out there (over 200 million cases last year).

So PLEASE Politicians – scrap those PR-correct, time-wasting questions that fill every form we have to fill out these days.

Instead, why not set up a register of doctors who have had experience of, and understand, those diseases that we thought we never had, but now find WE DO. We, 111, our GP and anyone else could then use the Internet to find someone with specialist knowledge living near – and I might have saved the NHS money by being treated properly when I ended up in A & E.

Depression after cancer
NHS – Please can you leave us alone