Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The bits that work

It took a bout of something very nasty, that has resulted in me losing about 10 lb in a most unpleasant manner, to find a part of our cherished National Health Service I cannot complain about. But in NHS Direct, we have a world-class service. Simply by visiting their website or calling their hotline (0845 46 47 if you were wondering), and going through a process of elimination of your symptoms, a trip to the GP or Casualty can be avoided and hypochondria soothed.

You are connected to a trained operator, then a nurse calls you back, then a local GP on call rings as well if the problem is deemed serious enough. Options and treatments are explained, and staff are very understanding when you explain that it really is too tense down there to insert anything they might recommend you.

The most impressive thing is that it represents a victory for joined-up thinking. Systems and people talk to each other and seem to transfer smoothly. For example, on the next GP visit, all your records have been neatly updated remotely by the NHS Direct operator. They do what they say they will, calling back within a given window, and apologising profusely if it takes a little longer than they expected.

The rest of the NHS is still largely crap, wasteful and bureaucratic, but I thought it was worthwhile to mention the bits that work. Anyone else with positive experiences of the NHS system, please let us know!

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

Mr. Freedman,

Greetings from the USA. Try "The Freedman Archives." Ciao