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Audio-recording your consultations with NHS doctors


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Obviously we are all mistaken. According to someone termed ‘a spokesman for the DoH’ in The Times today:

 

“ We expect the NHS to be open about mistakes, apologise to those affected and ensure that lessons are learnt to prevent them being repeated.”

 

So that’s all right then.

 

(Article, p.10, 12-01-12. Can't link, paywall)

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Sorry – it's just that someone just message me and asked me to open this thread because they wanted to add some information.

Hello shallowthought9 and welcome to this thread. For what it is worth I think that in the light of the clearly disgraceful way your (former)  behaved it is very generous of you to contribute to a thr

Obviously we are all mistaken. According to someone termed ‘a spokesman for the DoH’ in The Times today:

 

“ We expect the NHS to be open about mistakes, apologise to those affected and ensure that lessons are learnt to prevent them being repeated.”

 

So that’s all right then.

 

(Article, p.10, 12-01-12. Can't link, paywall)

 

And we believe them, don't we?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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So we read that the Duchess of York won’t be extradited to Turkey because the alleged offence of secretly recording appalling treatment in an orphanage there "is not a crime under British law."

 

(See e.g.:-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9011182/Duchess-of-York-charged-by-Turkish-authorities-over-orphanage-film.html)

 

Well, that’s a relief, then,

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Well, Well, Well, looky what i have found hiding in one of the darkest corners of the internet.

 

Why oh why is this not on billboards outside hospitals and doctors surgerys i wonder. Perhaps i have found a new job to do. lol

 

Enjoy and sorry about the highlighting. It may not view correctly on google docs, so just download original and it should be able to read properly again.

 

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B_Y8GOjd-WmPMjYxNWNjMzYtZTU3NC00ZDUyLTg0YmMtZDcwNWQxMzFlZDJj&hl=en_US

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That ‘Command Paper’ Andy links above was the government response to a parliamentary Health Committee inquiry last year. Stephen Dorrell MP, the Chairman, said on the radio last July (see post 232 this thread) that there would be follow up inquiry to the Committee findings, this year.

 

Unfortunately, can’t see anything scheduled yet…and the parliamentary diary is filling up…

 

We can still hope.

 

On a somewhat different tack, I see from the What Do They Know site that a tenacious enquirer under the Freedom of Information Act has finally managed to squeeze a rabbit dropping of information out of the DWP concerning the grotesquely stupid situation it has organised with ATOS and benefits claimants who want to audio-record their ‘medicals’. Congratulations are due to a Mr J Newman, who doesn’t take a fob-off for an answer.

 

Even on the basis of an extremely limited, cumbersome and potentially highly-skewed, or even biased and prejudicial, ‘pilot scheme’, nearly half (230 out of 500) offered the chance of being provided with an ‘overt’ recording for use e.g. in an appeal, indeed opted to have that done.

 

In the circumstances of the arrangements insisted on, that is clearly a very high take-up rate - and all too obviously not one that the DWP wanted to declare.

 

Of course, we don’t know the percentage who didn’t bother to accept the offer because they were recording easily and covertly anyway – which is perfectly legal.

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I see from the What Do They Know site that a tenacious enquirer under the Freedom of Information Act has finally managed to squeeze a rabbit dropping of information out of the DWP concerning the grotesquely stupid situation it has organised with ATOS and benefits claimants who want to audio-record their ‘medicals’. Congratulations are due to a Mr J Newman, who doesn’t take a fob-off for an answer.

Nolegion, thank you for reminding of the What Do They Know site. I saw J Newman is quite active in raising questions about benefits assessments and his questions extend to audio recording medical examinations. Good for him!

 

I wish I had his tenacity and patience.

 

My Turn

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Hi all, FYI i have just purchased this, http://www.spycameracctv.com/spycamera/realtime-d1-mini-dvr-spy-camera-007-sd to be used in the war that i seem to have been forced into with NS PCT and NS council.

 

TurboAndy, I see your fight is getting more serious. Please be careful as I recall you've already had access to health care restricted by your PCT on account of a complaint you made.

 

My Turn

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Result,

 

I have been able to locate Tim Sykes and today I spoke to him on the phone. He has confirmed that North Somerset PCT effectively dismissed his questioning them about his right to record his consultations. He tells me that he is still currently doing this and hasn't been removed from his surgery for continuing to do so. However, he is only audio recording, whereas I need to video record due to the fact that video would be the only way I could prove in court that I haven't caused a doctor alarm, harassment or distress during any future consultations I have with them. If you refer to the last letters I have uploaded containing Somerset PCT’s response to my video recording requests, you will see that they have allowed me to audio record but not video record. One can only wonder why?

 

 

My Turn,

 

you don't know the half of it yet. I haven't gone into the real motivation behind my PCT's desire to criminalise me because of my pending negligence claim with a estimated quantum of £70,000 yet, but in the meantime I will explain what's happened so far......

 

I now have a criminal record for daring to complain to North Somerset PCT's PALS complaints manager, namely Vanessa Dando, about a negligent doctor who refused to give blood test results and refused any follow up treatment, I must insist in this methodology as it’s the only one that could prevent me from having to defend myself against the PCT in court again. North Somerset PCT fabricated hearsay evidence and got me convicted of a fictitious crime by claiming that during a phone call to the complaints manager, I threatened to kill her down a dark alley. Even though they said they phone call was being recorded for training purposes etc, not one single shred of anything was produced in court to back their claim up. I was convicted on the “balance of probability” alone because I admitted that I was angry that they were refusing to deal with me. I guess next time under police caution the correct response is “no comment”. I regret not appealing this conviction now.

 

Since the conviction I have been relentless in my attempt to have my original complaint heard and properly investigated by the PCT. Unfortunately, they have been able to, on partly the strength of that previous conviction, convinced the local county court to serve an injunction banning me from all PALS offices, hospitals, and a whole host of other PCT owned buildings to prevent me from getting anywhere with my complaint. Soon after the serving of this notice, the local council also were able to jump onto this bandwagon banning me from entering any of their council owned buildings. This was because I had tried to get advocacy help from them in my quest for honest healthcare from my PCT. They have interdepartmental relations and channels where information is passed around.

 

North Somerset Council also tried to get a conviction of the same threats that I made whilst using their own internal phones on 29th April 2010. They claimed that I had threatened to kill a Patrick Aston and this time they submitted a 42 minute recording of my alleged offence to the court. However, the judge after listening to this recording actually said that I was free to go without even making a plea, because it was clear to the court that I had not been making threats but merely asking for help and that he would make a complaint to the CPS for wasting tax payers’ money with this case.

 

A few months later, I was arrested again for guess what? Exactly the same offence, only this time I was allegedly going to kill the doctor I wanted to make my original complaint about. And guess what? I won that case too due to lack of evidence. So far the score is 2-1 to me, but I fear that because im am still persisting with gathering evidence of their conspiracy against me that they might falsely accuse me of something far worse such as attempted rape of one of their female officer workers.

 

How do I protect myself from this sort of allegation without a camcorder rolling 24/7?

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News update:

 

The spy camera i bought has been returned due to poor quality issues. I will be obtaining a better quality item which will be more proffesional like what the police use for covert filming. Most likey one of the Lawmate range such as the pv500 evo.

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So, the turn of the year sees three new contributors to this thread (Tintoret, romany, and turboandy) each electing to record their treatment by the NHS, and each standing their ground in their own way. I do hope we will get news of any developments in due course.

 

I also hope that anyone coming this way in connection with the thread-title will continue to appreciate that they are not alone in their endeavours, and that there is information to hand and common experience to be shared here, arising quite apart from any pontification from me (not that I don't enjoy doing the latter: it comes naturally).

 

As I have acknowledged before, some of my info derives from friends\former colleagues whom I refer to as 'co-conspirators' – but most of all from the same www. which nourishes us all.

 

I have a feeling derived from both sources that this year will not be an easy or quiet one 'on theme'. The benefits claimants' case is going to come to a head, perhaps sooner rather than later, and I understand that FoI and other manoeuvres are now being applied to the NHS\DoH as regards the wider picture, as well. I remain convinced there is no good reason why any individual should not take and preserve an audio-recording of how they are treated by an actual or alleged 'professional' behind closed doors, if they so wish, without being obliged to give any reasons.

 

We will see what resistance remains.

 

By way of only partly random conclusion, here is a quote from one of today's newspapers:-

 

A Department of Health spokesman said that doctors and consultants were among the highest earners in the NHS and had benefited hugely from the final salary scheme:" Under the current scheme, a typical consultant retiring at age 60 will receive a pension of over£48,000 a year for life. In addition they will receive a tax-free lump sum of around £143,000 – this equates to a pension pot of over £1.7 million in the private sector. This is unsustainable."

 

(Sherman/Smyth – TheTimes, 19 01 12)

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North Somerset PCT fabricated hearsay evidence and got me convicted of a fictitious crime by claiming that during a phone call to the complaints manager, I threatened to kill her down a dark alley. Even though they said they phone call was being recorded for training purposes etc, not one single shred of anything was produced in court to back their claim up. I was convicted on the “balance of probability” alone because I admitted that I was angry that they were refusing to deal with me. I guess next time under police caution the correct response is “no comment”. I regret not appealing this conviction now.

Hello TurboAndy. You certainly have had some trouble! If such a recording by the PCT of your phone call to them exists at all then you should be able to get a copy (of the audio or a written transcript) by making a Subject Access Request. In fact I suspect you could make a Subject Access Request for any data they hold in which they discuss you and your phone call. There is probably a lot of that. Others here can advise you if you get a negative response citing "legal privilege" as I am not sure that would hold water.

 

... Soon after the serving of this notice, the local council also were able to jump onto this bandwagon banning me from entering any of their council owned buildings. This was because I had tried to get advocacy help from them in my quest for honest healthcare from my PCT. They have interdepartmental relations and channels where information is passed around.

Sadly the local councils work closely, sometimes too closely, with their Primary Care trusts and Hospital trusts to the point of breaching your confidentiality by passing patient information between themselves. As an aside, I have found that council advocacy services aren't worth having but your issue currently seems to be that your reputation has been unjustly tarred from data being swapped. Working between PCT and council should be limited to things like the Community Mental health Teams which will be made up of staff party from the Mental health trust (and perhaps the PCT) and partly social workers from the council.

 

Your ban against entering council buildings would, presumably, deprive you of your right as a member of the public to attend any council meetings as an observer. This sounds very unfair.

 

The PCT should have board meetings at which member of the public can be present and even have an agenda item during which members of the public can make a brief statement to the meeting.

 

Personally, I have found it easier to get a local authority to be responsive rather than try to get an NHS trust to do so. If you can find a helpful local councillor then they can often exert quite a lot of influence on the council's permanent staff to make them properly follow the rules. However this is opening up another front in your war and it may be more than you can add to your already busy life.

 

Good luck to you!

 

My Turn

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News update: The spy camera i bought has been returned due to poor quality issues. I will be obtaining a better quality item which will be more proffesional like what the police use for covert filming. Most likey one of the Lawmate range such as the pv500 evo.

TurboAndy, that's a rather pricey bit of kit. Remember you don't need a really good quality viewer simply to make a decent video recording.

 

I presume you will avoid being maligned or declared psychiatrically dangerous for daring to make a video by having a friend with you at the time who makes a video recording of your consultation without, ahem, telling you about it until afterwards.

 

I don't know how this action stands in in the eyes of the law but I imagine at least you can't be dragged through legal proceedings if you didn't make the recording and didn't permit it. Of course afterwards you would probably not decide to press charges against your friend so they should be alright.

 

Others here may want to comment on how viable my suggestion is.

 

My Turn

 

PS: I hope you hvae made subject access request to the PCT for data held by them about you including the complaints department's files of (a) your complaint against the doctor and how it was handled and (b) a record of their alleged experiences of what you are supposed to have said.

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Phew. Just had a look at the price tag to which My Turn refers. That certainly represents commitment to cause…

 

My current audio-recording gadget (which my children mock because I don't use a mobile thingummy 'App') cost me les than £20, though I respect the fact that it wouldn't answer Andy's requirements.

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I note from both the What DoTheyKnow site and the well-known-site-about-benefits-we-don't mention that the 'heat is on' as regards the ability of benefits claimants to have an audio-recording of how they are treated by 'healthcare professionals' behind closed doors.

 

Astonishingly, it seems that the Department for Work and Pensions does not want to release the details of the 'pilot study' about this - which the 2010 Harrington report told it to undertake, and which was concluded in April 2011 - until 'late summer' 2012.

 

I can see no possible justification for this delay, and the DWP is already finding itself obliged to let out embarrassing information 'bit by bit', under pressure. People are not 'letting go' of this and I wish them well.

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Now, according to a new instruction manual for 'healthcare professionals' "hot off the press" (issued January 2012) it appears you can get your medical assessment for benefit audio recorded…

 

"A claimant may request that their assessment is audio recorded. Each MSC has a dual CD recording machine to provide audio recordings.

 

Currently for any requests made by claimants for their assessment to be audio recorded, the Medical Services resource team at the MSC will be responsible for arranging for the audio recording equipment to be sent to the appropriate MEC for the assessment. Currently audio recording of assessments can only take place at a MEC. Further information can be found inthe document; ‘Audio Recording of Assessments Manual’ (MED-ARAM01)."

 

…but only if you are being assessed as regards Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance, it seems - and only if the claimant can get to a medical examination centre; so the immobile wouldn't get that privilege, if e.g. the assessment had to be done by 'home visit'. (Any specialist disability discrimination lawyers knocking around this thread, at all?)

 

The above extract comes form the revised 'Handbook' for those benefits - not the one issued November 2011 for Employment Support Allowance "Work Capability Assessments" (which have caused the most extensive resentment) and which still seeks to prohibit recording.

 

The clumsiness and contortions of the DWP and its subcontractor in this matter beggar belief, in my view.

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I am grateful to co-conspirator Jim Otram for sending me this link to Hansard's record of parliamentary proceedings, 01 02 12, specifically concerning work capability assessments for ESA:-

 

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120201/halltext/120201h0001.htm#12020157000270

 

from which I extract (see Chris Grayling's speech, commencing 10.49 am):-

 

" Tom Greatrex: I was making the point that, given the lack of confidence in the system, many people feel as though they are being hounded rather than helped. That is the crucial matter that must be addressed in the coming period.

 

Chris Grayling: I accept that, but I genuinely hope that hon. Members will take note of what I said about the time lines and the changes that we have introduced. Professor Harrington said of the concerns highlighted in the Citizens Advice report to which hon. Members referred, “This happened before my changes.” I hope that we can send the message that the system is changing and improving and that we are making genuine efforts and will continue to do so.That is why we changed the guidance in November. It is a process of continuous improvement. We want to get it right as far as we possibly can.

 

I shall try to answer one or two specific questions before I finish. On audio recording, we will offer everyone who wants it the opportunity to have their session recorded. We decided not to implement universal recording because, based on the trial experience, people did not want it. Few people wanted their sessions recorded, and some said that they definitely did not. We decided therefore to offer recording as an option to those who want it. That seems entirely sensible."

 

Excellent news, at last, and undeniably the result of pressure from claimants and their advisors which has been going on for years. The whole debate is highly informative and worth a 30 minute read if you have the time.

 

A bit mystifying, about the changes supposedly introduced in November, though. I would be glad for any accurate correction on this point but it seems to me very clear so far that the changes introduced to 'the guidance' last November did not include an express right for claimants to ESA to have an audio rexcording of their WCAs

 

And, indeed, quite how claimants - or come to that 'health care professionals' - are now supposed to know about it, unless they happen to be Hansard readers, remains to be seen.

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Delighted to see that ErikaPNP has now announced the Grayling capitulation in the benefits forum , and indeed has promised to get it into the CAG newsletter.

 

No doubt other well-known consumer-orientated sites will pick up the point very shortly too, and any attempt by the DWP to introduce the change 'on the quiet' will thus have been totally subverted. Excellent. What did we do before the net?

 

Prediction. Notwithstanding the fact that the 'pilot' of audio recording medicals was complete over 9 months ago and indicated (in so far as the tiny and highly skewed study can be taken to have any statistical relevance at all) a 46% take-up rate, the DWP\Atos will find themselves utterly inadequately prepared to deal with the demand for recorded interviews - and the result will be yet further congestion and delay in the benefits assessment process, already woefully backlogged. Hope I'm wrong, but we will see.

 

Also, unless and until we see the small print on this - which will probably arrive via further amendment to the 'WCA Handbook', but when? - claimants are going to be in a quandary about how to claim the right, unless, in fact, each 'health care professional' is going to be ready to record merely on request at the commencement of a WCA as from tomorrow – which I beg leave to doubt.

 

For those with appointments already booked I suggest that if there is time, a recorded delivery letter (but to whom? Atos? JobCentrePlus? DWP regional office?) is despatched a.s.a.p. It might at least save a wasted journey to the assessment centre.

 

There was a short-lived arrangement at the end of 2010, when claimants were permitted to require a recording. At that time (in answer to a FoI request) the DWP said:-

 

"This request should be made through the Jobcentre Plus office that administers your claim (who will be responsible for making the arrangement); and should also be stated on theIB/ESA50. The request for a recording should not delay the arrangement of a medical."

 

It might be thought reasonable to proceed accordingly until such time as better is known.

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Hi nolegion.

 

I hope I'm not dragging this off topic. I'm very interested to see how the recording will affect the outcome of ESA claims. As you know, many of the people on the Benefits forum say that their answers aren't recorded as they said them on the computer printout and many have won at appeal because reality wasn't as written up by Atos.

 

As I think you said, appeals are costing huge amounts of money and I've read that the tribunals service has had to bring on board more panel members to hear the volume of appeals that is coming through. I wonder if it could be an overall saving if needless appeals are reduced.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi,

I've only just joined the forum and did so because I was doing a search of the net and found this thread.

To be honest I'm looking at the situation in reverse but can find little about it anywhere on the net.

My situation is that I asked to see my medical records due to an on-going illness. These records revealed a failure to treat me for a recorded condition. I've since jumped through a whole load of hoops with regard to a complaint about the same. My complaint, if it's relevant, was upheld.

That aside. My medical records show that on one consultation was written (after the medical info) '24 hr tape.'

Now, at the time I was a lot more concerned about my health - and rightly so as it turns out. And, since then, I've been fighting the battle with the Powers That Be, regarding it. But now my attention is turning to that comment. It certainly wasn't referring to any tape I made, because I didn't.

 

I was wondering if any members had any thoughts because there is always the possibility I'm jumping to conclusions and have missed something obvious.

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Hi HB. You raise important points I'd like to come back to. Janey7 first?

 

Hi Janey. First, congratulations on extracting your records and getting a result from your complaint. So many get fobbed off by 'the system', it's good to hear of someone prevailing, despite the considerable stress the process usually involves.

 

I don't know what '24 Hr tape' would mean in the context of medical records, but it is highly unlikely to indicate that you were audio or video recorded without your knowledge and express consent.That is specifically forbidden by General Medical Council ethical rules other than in truly exceptional circumstances. (I'l find you a link if needs be, but I don't think you should worry on this particular score.)

 

I'll bet there are others here, who may know, though. Night Owl, anyone? Could it perhaps be a recommendation for something like extended ECG or other form of scan\ monitoring – which was never actually carried through?

 

If all else fails, J, you can go back to source and require, by letter, an explanation for the entry. Under s.7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 you are entitled to have information conveyed to you 'in an intelligible form' – which this clearly isn't.

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Thanks for the quick response Nolegion.

 

With regards to taking 'the system' on. I'd actually advise anybody that if they've got as far as going to the local Health Authority, and got an obvious load of baloney back, to then bite the bullet and go to the Ombudsman. Unfortunately it's usually when you get the baloney back that you start to wilt and can't be bothered with it eating up any more of your life.

 

With regard to the tape comment on my notes. Initally I didn't really go even as far as thinking it was anything to do with even a test. I just thought, 'can't be what it looks like.' Now, you see, you've got me thinking it could be something like that. I'll dig out the notes again and just see what the context looks like.

 

Unfortunately, I don't think going back to the source would be of much help - although I realise I'll probably have to do it to get to the bottom of it.

The source was the base of my complaint and part of it revolved around inaccuate and misleading notes. Ethics didn't come into it much. But I will know more when I get the whole report through. Could even be that somebody has picked up on the comment even though I didn't mention it.

Also, the source, failed to respond to my last request for information and also didn't, despite repeated requests, send on my notes to my next GP.

 

It's been fun.

 

Just as a matter of interest, I couldn't claim benefits after being told repeatedly I wasn't ill, yet it transpired that a seriously deficient blood test result had been missed. Whoopdeedoo. Waddaya got to go through to get benefits in this country? For a year it was a toss-up which came first: Die of my 'imaginary' illness, starvation or hypothermia.

Still, I may be able to find an answer somewhere on this forum I've just found!

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I found the reference to it and it reads:

 

.... Arrange CXR??? 24 hr tape

 

I'm presuming CXR is Chest X-Ray - maybe somebody will know how/if the 24 hr tape fits in here?

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And answer comes there none so far.

 

Suggestion, Janey. Start a new thread entitled something like " Anyone know what '24 hr tape' means in my medical records?"

 

(Go to top of this page, click on 'NHS' > before the audio-recording title, then down a few inches on the left to 'post a new thread')

 

This really is a helpful forum and I'll bet you get an informed answer from a wider field.

 

And I hope you would come back here to say how you got on.

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As you know, many of the people on the Benefits forum say that their answers aren't recorded as they said them on the computer printout and many have won at appeal because reality wasn't as written up by Atos.

 

 

This seems to me the nub of the matter which unites , to the way of thinking of this ol' yellow- fang, the idea of recording your NHS appointment and your 'WCA': once it has been recorded by an alleged professional, it is 'fact', unless you can prove to the contrary. Now let's turn the tables.

 

I think there every good reason to keep the pressure on the DWP to reveal what one might call the statistical path about this, but I will stop here because, darn it, this is the third time I have tried to respond to HB's post and I'm having no small PC\server problems. Any views, anyone?

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