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Benefit in statins? Well, for drug firms anyway

Our Q&O visit was arranged. I worked very hard, sometimes until 9pm. One week before the visit we were asked to print summaries and consultation details for the 33 chronic disease domain patients.

Then three of us spent six horrendous hours masking the name, DOB, NHS number, address and telephone number. These were packed in clear folders and left on my desk.

The PCT manager, lay person and a doctor duly arrived. The atmosphere was very cold ­ as if they were investigating a murder. The PCT manager asked for the bundle of consultation sheets for the 33 patients, but when I went to collect them from my desk they had disappeared. No one had seen them. I spent 45 minutes looking for them.

The manager, lay person and the doctor met in a locked room and then asked us to print them again. The PCT manager started interviewing me, but kept going out of the room to talk to the visiting doctor.

Eventually he decided the papers were taking too long to print and suspended the visit. I was in tears. I suggested blocking the computer screen and letting them view that way. But No was the answer.

The minute they left I sat with my head in my hands and looked up. I saw a confidential waste bag in my office. I opened it and, to my surprise, saw the documents. Apparently the cleaner had thought it was confidential waste and decided to put them there.

I telephoned a member of the group's mobile but it was no good to them. I wrote a letter of apology to the group for wasting their time. It was a devastating experience.

I have now come to understand that that first step of the visit ­ patient information ­ has been withdrawn. For our rescheduled visit I do not have to mask any patient notes.

Harmander Wasu

Practice Manager



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