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The infinite wisdom of NHS IT

All Copperfield was trying to do was refer his patient to the right consultant. Then Choose and Book intervened

You see, this is exactly what pisses me off.

Back in November '09 I referred a forty year old bloke who, to quote my excellent referral letter verbatim, 'fulfils the diagnostic criteria for moderately severe chronic fatigue syndrome', for a second opinion.

Because one of our local medics has been foolhardy enough to confess to a special interest in such cases, I addressed my letter to him personally, via his secretary, in his clinic, in his department, at the local hospital.

Eight weeks later I received a reply from a different consultant's SpR telling me pretty much what I already knew and suggesting that the patient might benefit from a consultation with the doctor I'd written to in the first place. He has a special interest in these cases, don'cha know?

I'm sure the hospital will tell me that my patient used their infallible 'Choose and Book' system to make his appointment at a time and place convenient to himself and it isn't their fault if he clicked on the wrong consultant's name. And I'll tell them that I wrote my chosen consultant's name down on a slip of paper and handed it to my patient to make sure he didn't.

Someday, somewhere, somebody will tell me what was wrong with the old system, where I wrote directly to the consultant who in my opinion was best suited to deal with a patient's problem.

And to do it at the patient's first visit too. Still, I suppose this farrago has generated a much needed additional care episode to boost the hospital's numbers...