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My 2016 prediction: Hospital discharge notes will be done on toilet paper

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There had been a lot of concern among GPs that cuts to the NHS budget would lead to a reduction in the quality of consultant discharge reports.

A blinded study finds no statistical difference between the readability of traditional reports and the new style

This change to using sanitary tissue product-based hospital stationery will lead to some GPs suggesting consultants should stop using fountain pens for handwritten reports. However, this will be seen as an unnecessary restriction on individual consultants’ freedom to use whatever writing implement they see fit and in any case would have no effect at all on the letters’ legibility.

Concerns, raised by practice managers, that the new-style letters could prove difficult to scan into patient’s notes will be assuaged when a blinded study finds no statistical difference between the readability of traditional reports and the new style.

Rumours about the design of the new stationery will be dominated by suggestions that it will be embossed with an impression of the health secretary’s face and that this design will be likely to encourage recycling.

Practices will be advised to have their toilet-flushing mechanisms checked by a qualified plumber prior to a CQC inspection, because although the new stationery is designed to be fully recyclable, poorly flushing toilets could potentially lead to a breach of patient confidentiality.

Dr David Turner is a GP in west London

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I think it is only our sense of humour that is keeping many of us going. Laughing is so much better than a good blub, then blowing your nose on the offending letter !

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  • I am so relieved (no pun intended) that loo roll will be passed as satisfactory. I hope this can be extended to community hospitals and health centres where Prop Co are already f----ing up supplies - we have run out of hand towels just as we were considering using hand towels for letter writing and their idea of an orange clinical waste bag is a plain beige bag with no print at all on it

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