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    • OK, so I've rather unfairly picked up a CCJ from a business overdraft debt that's been going on for years. I had court claim forms in 2014 which I managed to stave off. and again in sept 2016. This time I've acknowledged the service, filling in what I thought was the correct amount I thought I owed. I've since had the personal guarantee paper copies in my possession and I owe £21K. I sent them back along with a new address for all correspondence to be sent to, and then agreed to a Tomlin order to pay debt off monthly.  Now, these were sent back and forth and eventually signed, but apparently only partially. So DD was set up at same time, in Jan 2017. over next couple of months we paid, and also go letters to sign new Tomlin which we ignored as it was signed. In March we got another TO with 7 days to sign it and send back. We had one day to get this to them and phoned to say it wouldn't be there, that's ok they said, well extend it, just keep paying and send it back asap, we did send recorded (since lost receipt). We assumed they'd got it, and didn't hear a peep from them. Until July 18, when I found id got a CCJ from Feb that year. I've logged a complaint with solicitor, and had a response, they are denying any knowledge of anything. They had no TO so took it to court without my knowledge.  I didn't think there was anything I can do. However, as it turns out, the court sent papers to an old address even though solicitor had new address for 13 months, and address for correspondence was on the claim papers I sent back. Upon closer inspection the numbers are all wrong too, nor a lot but its about £200 adrift. We called their office too within the 30 day notice period, oddly they have no record of that.  And all this is on a "Business Charge Card Guarantee" …. anyone explain that?? In the mean time we've paid £5K+ of the debt off. At no point did anyone in the process let us know we'd had the CCJ logged against us. Is that right?? Or legal? I was intending to get it set side, but was told by them it was pointless. Just want to get back to point A. Paying it isn't the problem, it getting the CCJ reset. Please Help!!! 
    • same with jaguar s-types etc. all kind of weird issues if the battery is on the way out or the terminals/earth straps are not reconnected tightely/properly.   mine was the earthing strap to the gearbox, was rotted and got knocked during the gearbox oil change.
    • what have they got that they can respond too that counters your SB defence? zilch.   as with every erudio claimform or PAPLOC thread on CAG you solely got the claim because for whatever reason , to that date, everything was ignored.   once a response is made they go away.   default CCJ avoided. you must read up and understand how arrows [erudio!!] operate  
    • so won by a section 75 claim under the consumer credit act then   consequential losses are also covered by section 75 as the card provide is equally liable as you've already found out   as for the dealer and court there is no time limit, well 6yrs I believe   though it would be a tough battle but made slightly easier as BC coughed up. but again what would you in all reality 'win' probably go bust or change name        
    • It was settled by Barclaycard because I bought the car using my VISA credit card. Do you know if there is a time limit for taking the company to court to claim the consequential expenses incurred?
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nolegion

Audio-recording your consultations with NHS doctors

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I am unaware of how a PPG operates, Nolegion. Do the GPs attend the meeting, or are the views of the members (who I assume must be their patients) presented to them later in writing? On the subject of recording consultations, why is it that you have to wait for them to come up with a policy, when it is perfectly legal in the UK for a patient to record their consultation overtly or covertly? Is this policy just about how they will make the patients aware of their rights?

 

And what will you do if you do not like the policy they come up with? What clout do you have to change it? Are timescales involved and enforced?

 

****

 

I don't think anyone would argue that a vulnerable person's privacy and dignity isn't important, but the risks have to be balanced. A person's consent (on camera installation) should always be sought where possible.

 

I cannot see body-cams in a hospital or care home setting working. The police body-cams are (currently, I believe) only switched on at certain times - when it is suspected by the officer such evidence may be useful, but that's not a foolproof system. Constant surveillance (on body-cams) in a care home or hospital setting would, I feel, be open to abuse and how would you go about seeking permission on each occasion?

 

When would the footage be reviewed? Only when a resident/patient/family member raises concerns? Constantly, like at Bramley Court? How long would the data be held? Who would have access to it?

 

A covert camera (installed in the room) would pick up most forms of abuse (including neglect, poor care and some psychological abuse) and will often be a last resort. It will be seen as a lack of trust in the care home's management to address issues and conerns, but I cannot think of an occasion when a relative would do this unless they absolutely believed it was in the best interests of their loved-one.

 

If I were to design the bodycam system for care homes, I would have them always on and controllable/reviewable by an outside firm (as in the article) so that there can be no interference by the home themselves. It should be easier and cheaper to review the cams of the 12 staff on duty than the (for example) 36 bedrooms plus 4 lounges and assorted bathrooms. The main effect would be preventative - an always on bodycam which you have no access to is going to be a serious discouragement to any abuse in the first place, rather than only reviewing when abuse is suspected. It also targets the perpetrators rather than the victims, and ensures resident privacy is preserved as much as possible.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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yes, i am also sure that there are many excellent medics out there, but just like blue whales, i know they exist - i've seen pictures and there's a skeleton of one in the natural history museum....i've just never encountered one in its natural environment. Yet.

 

:)


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Umm, constantly switched on body-cams. The footage I've seen from body-cams is often so jerky it would be hard (for me, anyway) to watch for more than 5 minutes without feeling nauseous. Also, there may be aspects of their care that a patient/resident (or their relatives) may not wish to be filmed and how would that be solved and what would happen if it were not respected? Some residents may not wish to be filmed at all.

 

I think CCTV in the public spaces (of a care home) is fine (as a democratic decision). After all, most of us are caught on camera numerous times a day: They are on buses, in GP waiting rooms, carparks - so prolific, yet we rarely notice them, they have become part of the furniture of our everyday lives. In a care home setting, in a private space, that's up to the resident/family. If they choose to place a covert camera at any point, without the consent or knowledge of the staff or management, that's their choice.

 

I'm sure there are many good, compassionate employees in this sector, (as there must be many good medics in the NHS) but the exposure of horrifying abuse over recent years, (and then by Panorama or relatives' covert film, not the home's manager/staff or CQC) has made me question the standard of monitoring and regulation. Abuse of the vulnerable is a vile crime and has to be attacked on all fronts. Covert recording is just part of the armoury.

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Umm, constantly switched on body-cams. The footage I've seen from body-cams is often so jerky it would be hard (for me, anyway) to watch for more than 5 minutes without feeling nauseous. Also, there may be aspects of their care that a patient/resident (or their relatives) may not wish to be filmed and how would that be solved and what would happen if it were not respected? Some residents may not wish to be filmed at all.

 

The article was talking about permanently on cameras in all bedrooms - my suggestion of body cams is because with cameras in rooms, resident privacy is completely removed. Many residents in care homes are not completely dependent, particularly where there are mental health issues, but will not have decision making power over their care, and may be overridden - their personal lives then either get filmed or they have to alter their behaviour. I've worked in a few homes, and there is plenty going on in the resident's lives that they would prefer not to be filmed. Body cams at least ensures that the only time filming occurs is during staff interaction with the resident - which is the bit that needs to be monitored.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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I am unaware of how a PPG operates, Nolegion. Do the GPs attend the meeting, or are the views of the members (who I assume must be their patients) presented to them later in writing? On the subject of recording consultations, why is it that you have to wait for them to come up with a policy, when it is perfectly legal in the UK for a patient to record their consultation overtly or covertly? Is this policy just about how they will make the patients aware of their rights?

 

And what will you do if you do not like the policy they come up with? What clout do you have to change it? Are timescales involved and enforced?

 

All good questions. Truth is I am at best 'learning as I go' – or more like feeling my way though the dark.

 

Although they have a legal basis (I understand that practices can claim 'funding' if they have one) it doesn't seem that 'PPGs' have any real 'clout' beyond the vigour and co-operation of their members. And those aspects may vary all too little round the country.

 

Our PPG 'demographic' ( = largely, euphemism for age group) is pretty plump and grey-haired, and mostly comprises those who are 'cosy' with GPs. Anything a bit 'ginger', like the topic yours truly has finally got onto the agenda, wrinkles the brows of those patients who (in my personal opinion) are more accustomed to act like suet puddings when doctors (one or two of whom do indeed usually attend meetings) are present.

 

Nevertheless, the subject is minuted, the minutes go on the waiting-room wall, and it is the partner practitioners who now have to respond. I won't let that stay in the long grass for ever.

 

My ambitions are not so very lofty. I want a you-are-welcome-to-audio-record-consultations notice on the waiting room wall – like T.A.I's practice already has. To get there, though, first of all one has to persuade those in charge to educate themselves and their staff about the principles involved – and this is a practice with over 20,000 patients.

 

What's another year?

 

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Yes, I understood, estellyn. I just think that body-cams, not controlled by the carer, would be difficult to manage. They would have to be switched on/off or removed/re-attached (raising the possibility of faults) during a carer's breaks and could not easily be controlled amongst a group of residents, some, perhaps the more independent, who opted not to be filmed at all (in their own rooms). And that's apart from trying to follow the jerky footage.

 

I also think there is a benefit to a wider view camera in public spaces in positions where they can not be tampered with. Not only would we see the actions of a particular carer, but also who else was present and their reaction. However, I wouldn't want the CQC to become complacent and substitute unannounced inspections with reviewing archive footage in the comfort of their own offices. I can see we have arrived at a sad state of affairs in feeling it necessary to implement such a system. I do not have any relatives residing in care homes, but I believe I would feel more confident of a care home where CCTV was operating in public spaces. Depending on the circumstances of the individual, I would also be sorely tempted to install a covert camera in their private room.

 

Did you say you were a care home manager at one time? I've always wondered why it costs so much money - until I hear that some owners are making fortunes in the business. Do you think care homes should always be run 'not-for-profit' or would that have no impact? What do you think could be done to improve the care? Carers seem not to be valued in our society. Would raising salaries and training (although compassion cannot be learned) make a difference?

 

***

nolegion

 

I'd like to see a directive from the appropriate body which makes it a practice's duty to display signage welcoming the recording of consultations.

 

I'm not liking the sound of GPs claiming funding for the existence of a PPG, if they can just ignore any agreed recommendations with impunity. How do you become a member? Do you have to be asked, or is it more of a job application? And who exactly do you represent - yourselves or do you canvas opinion from the patients on what topics are raised/outcomes desired?

 

I cannot say that I am a regular at my surgery, but I do browse the noticeboards when I'm waiting, rather than sitting zombie-like, and I have not yet come across the minutes of a PPG.

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I have no issues with cameras in public spaces just in bedrooms.

 

No, I wasn't a care home manager, I was the nurse night manager responsible for staff and care on night shift. I like the idea of 'not for profit', but as many homes are private, it would decrease the incentive to own or build homes and I can't see the current government picking up the slack.

 

To improve care a combination of better staffing levels, better training, better shift management and care policies and better wages. No sadly compassion can't be trained, but I think having care staff involved in decision making, understanding why things are done are certain way and learning the history of their clients, meeting family members etc. all does help.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Care homes scare me slightly, I've seen an excellent one - a relative was a resident for many years and it always got good feedback from her and then I took on managing the practice that served it and our team sung equally high praises. If it comes to it, I'd go there.

 

Then in the dim and distant past with an out of hours service I saw another side. A reluctance to have patients admitted to hospital as they'd not get paid, an unwillingness to call an ambulance for someone without a DNACPR who was gravely ill for apparently the same reason. It bothered me then and it bothers me now even though I raised concerns through the correct channels at the time.

 

You're right you can't train empathy but you can recruit it, how you do it when you're offering NMW and challenging working conditions is the difficult bit.


My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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Yes, care homes scare me too, but then so does my local hospital - it's only the latter I've seen in action.

 

I do think we need better training and better wages for carers. It should never be a business which makes millionaires of the owners

 

I hadn't realised that some homes prevent residents being admitted to hosptial so that they did not lose money. Surely this cannot be legal. It's certainly morally abhorrent. I thought residents still had to pay the full going-rate regardless how long they spent in hospital. This is also plain wrong, as is the continuing fees to relatives because they did not give notice of the death of their loved-one!

 

I'm guessing, thinkaboutit, (and in your role you would surely have more influence than a resident's relative) you had no feedback from your complaint and therefore no belief that the situation has changed. Why is trying to change things for the better so like banging your head against a wall? Is it any surprise that some of us feel it necessary to take matters into our own hands and wear or install recording devices.

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Sali, I hasten to add this is well over 15 years ago, however you're right to assume that I never did get any feedback. Being told "I'm not allowed to call an ambulance, they have to be seen by a dr..." by someone in charge of someone else's care scared me, as I said, it still does.

 

However, I'm happy to say that in the many dealings that I've had with them since I've never had such a cause for concern. My role doesn't carry any more influence, it's just a job, albeit a very rewarding one 99.9999% of the time even though it's getting more and more challenging.


My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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Sali, I hasten to add this is well over 15 years ago, however you're right to assume that I never did get any feedback. Being told "I'm not allowed to call an ambulance, they have to be seen by a dr..." by someone in charge of someone else's care scared me, as I said, it still does.

 

However, I'm happy to say that in the many dealings that I've had with them since I've never had such a cause for concern. My role doesn't carry any more influence, it's just a job, albeit a very rewarding one 99.9999% of the time even though it's getting more and more challenging.

 

I never had any instructions from my nursing home manager not to call an ambulance if needed, and I worked in a couple of places - but then again, I wouldn't have paid any attention anyway. Pretty worrying if the residential side had those types of instructions.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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I never had any instructions from my nursing home manager not to call an ambulance if needed, and I worked in a couple of places - but then again, I wouldn't have paid any attention anyway. Pretty worrying if the residential side had those types of instructions.

 

 

I really hoped it was an isolated thing, thankfully it seems it was.


My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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I'd like to see a directive from the appropriate body which makes it a practice's duty to display signage welcoming the recording of consultations.

 

I'm not liking the sound of GPs claiming funding for the existence of a PPG, if they can just ignore any agreed recommendations with impunity. How do you become a member? Do you have to be asked, or is it more of a job application? And who exactly do you represent - yourselves or do you canvas opinion from the patients on what topics are raised/outcomes desired?

 

I cannot say that I am a regular at my surgery, but I do browse the noticeboards when I'm waiting, rather than sitting zombie-like, and I have not yet come across the minutes of a PPG.

 

To take the point about the rules governing\constitutions of 'PPGs' first , I discover there is no standard or template. I'm not sure quite how long my PPG has been in existence, but it has muddled on without any formal set of rules at all. If one applies to join (as a member of staff or a patient of the practice) people just seem glad you are interested enough to spend the time.

 

This is about to change – we are drafting a constitution or 'terms of reference', as we are entitled to do, apparently. It still doesn't give a PPG any actual 'authority' but it will at least be a self-perpetuating body which is able to reach the ears of the partner practitioners on a fairly frequent basis. Quite an extensive minute about our discussions of the subject of patients recording has now been published by the practice – and, at the very least, this will ( or should) ensure that its staff are aware of the legality of patients so proceeding , which would be start.

 

If any further progress is made I will report (without names or pack-drill).

 

A regards a notice on the waiting room wall (which I have wanted to see in most clinical circumstances since before this thread started), I couldn't agree more that some health 'body' needs to take the lead – as NHS policy. Otherwise it remains for each practice manager, hospital 'information governance manager', sub-committee, clerk, half-baked junior lawyer, etc., to research and interpret the law – and we have already seen the dire (and indeed illegal) results of that in places.

 

It should, I think, be either the Department of Health (which would lay continuing failure to act sensibly about this patient initiative at Mr J Hunt's door) or the shadowy bulk of "NHS England" - which does what, exactly(?).

 

The GMC could also of course, do it, at stroke, by issuing 'supplementary guidance' to its current statement of Good Medical Practice.

 

I'm not holding my breath.

 

However (!), meanwhile there are some signs that awareness and rationality are now beginning to creep into the utterances of an ever-wider field of medics – some of them holding senior\'official' positions.

 

Viewers might remember there was a (frankly very) silly article in the GP online magazine 'Pulse' a little while back – which in turn stirred up some self-righteous indignation (and ignorance) from all too many 'commenting' doctors.

 

I wonder whether this further article published today and linked below, was intended as some form of counter-balance to that.

 

The tone of the print of all three doctors concerned, is very different from that which appeared earlier this year:

 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/dilemmas/can-i-stop-a-patient-recording-our-consultation/20030215.article#comments_form

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And so now come along (ref. recently-added comments to the 'Pulse' article just mentioned) the bleating bless-'ems of doctors, tearfully to complain about their 'rights'.

 

I particularly like,' Anonymous | Sessional/Locum GP 21 Oct 2015 3:28pm':-

 

" what awful advice from all of these contributors…

 

… Well when I am recorded I can definitely say I would not be able to perform at the same standard as I would normally do. That is my assessment of the situation."

 

Good. Let's look forward to a considerable improvement in your performance when you are being recorded, then.

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Yesterday turned out to be quite a day for online discussion of this thread's topic. Not long after the Pulse article was published, the BMJ printed an article about the merits of recording clinical procedures (with patients' consent, of course) – for the improvement of medical practice. (It used the now-famous USA colonoscopy-patient's audio-recording as an example.)

 

A link or two has been forged between the two articles by one of the doctors who co-authored the Pulse article. Here's the BMJ 'rapid response', today, by Professor Azeem Majeed:-

 

http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h5169/rapid-responses

 

I've mentioned before that I don't think that doctors should necessarily feel entitled to know all their patients' motivations, but this medic is nevertheless coming from very much the right direction, in my view, and has patiently put up with the 'bleaters' commenting extensively - and ignorantly - on his 'Pulse' contribution.

 

Give his 'click to like' button a press at the BMJ site, perhaps?

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"The argument that there isn't 'time' for doctors to adhere to all relevant 'health and safety guidelines'… but that it would be 'insulting' for there to be recorded evidence of such non-adherence, deserves no respect from patients, their families, or any part of the medical profession…"

 

Condign response in the BMJ yesterday – to some really extraordinary assertions made by an anaesthetist called Nithin Kumar, the day before.

 

See:-

 

http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h5169/rapid-responses

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A friend of mine found himself in a twitter conversation today with one Dr Ford Vox, an American doctor who could rightly claim to have been one of the earliest internet commentators of much note on this thread's subject. He wrote a blog article which Reuters published in March 2010 ("iPhone App makes doctors iRate" - linked right back at post #08 here, and: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2010/03/15/iphone-app-makes-doctors-irate/#comment-29893 ). It was an article which, as you may see, attracted a lot of comment.

 

While I by no means agree with the approach he took then (which seems not to have changed much over the years), Dr Vox acutely spotted the change in patient thinking with the advent of new technology and chose to address that initiative seriously and openly, rather than - as some, still, today - pretend nothing's really happening.

 

The twitter conversation I refer to, in turn, prompted another (UK) doctor, Jonathon Tomlinson, to chip in with a link, which it is now my pleasure to reproduce here:-

https://abetternhs.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/recording-consultations/

from which:-

 

"Two facts need to be set out from the start. Firstly, as a recent article in GP magazine, Pulse explains, patients are fully within their rights to record a consultation. Secondly, where patients suspect that doctors will refuse or object, rather than arguing for their legal rights they may be covertly recording consultations "

 

In my view, this represents part of so very much better informed, considered and argued a presentation than most of the wretched, embarrassingly-poorly-'reasoned', commentary appended to recent articles in Pulse, that the few relatively minor cavils I might muster with Dr Tomlinson's whole blog entry, I'll leave to another day, if at all.

 

Refreshing.

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Tweet from GMC last week (29 10 15):-

 

GMC@gmcukOct 29

 

Patients recording consultations with doctors

 

Read: http://tl.gd/n_1snoeco

 

9 retweets 2 favourites

 

 

The link leads to this:-

 

 

" GMC · @gmcuk

 

29th Oct 2015 from TwitLonger

 

@jitheshak1 @trishgreenhalgh @Sectioned_ There is no legislation to stop a patient recording a consultation with a doctor, as long as no other patients are included in the recording.

 

We give detailed advice to doctors about the recordings they make of patients in 'Making and using visual and audio recordings of patients' bit.ly/1kV6cbx But we do not provide equivalent advice for patients on recording doctors.

 

We do recognise that there are some situations where making recordings may be valuable for patients. For example, to help patients understand information given to them during a consultation. You can read more in our guidance on consent (paragraph 21) bit.ly/1PSliuM

 

We expect all doctors to follow our core guidance, 'Good medical practice' (bit.ly/goodmedicalpractice). So, if a doctor was unhappy with a patient recording a consultation, we would expect him or her to be polite, considerate and fair when exploring this with the patient. The patient and doctor relationship should be a partnership. "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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REF: PPGs

 

I investigated a little more about PPG's at my local surgery and it seems there is one, but it is full up. What I cannot gather at the moment is how this committee gathers patients' concerns or opinions.

 

Some time ago I complained about the policy of only being allowed to see my named doctor, effectively meaning if he is on holiday or ill I have to wait for an appointment. When I first raised this (with the doctor verbally) I was told it reduced patient complaints through continuity of care. My point was that they took away my choice. I rarely visit and I felt my computer notes would detail my history (if I couldn't enlighten them myself). I followed this up in a web-form, but received no response.

 

More recently, I went to collect a prescription, but it appeared that it had been inadvertently handed (probably by being stuck to another person's form) to another patient. Now, I am a little senstive about my personal data and the prescription had my dob, name and address on. I don't ever want to be the victim of identity fraud and all the problems that would cause me. I complained. Nothing happened initially, but I see now that the prescription forms have been changed and no longer display the dob. A new system of handing out the prescriptions has also seemingly been put in place. Maybe they did listen to me, or maybe it was already in the pipeline. With no feedback, it's difficult to say.

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I liked Dr Tomlinson's blog - not just the article on patient recording. I'll be revisiting.

 

He says that one of the biggest fears that doctors have of patients recording consultations, especially covertly, is that it represents a loss of trust on which their (the doctors') symbolic healing depends. I don't discount that this plays a part with some patients, but experience has left too much fear in my heart to make room for any trust. Maybe in time.

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I investigated a little more about PPG's at my local surgery and it seems there is one, but it is full up. What I cannot gather at the moment is how this committee gathers patients' concerns or opinions.

 

Hello Sali, I used to belong to a patient group which was one of the predecessors to the current Patient Participation Groups. I vaguely recall that it was called the Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) forum which later became a Local Involvement Network (LINk) forum and which later still became a Patient Participation Group (PPG). Or something like that.

 

This group I attended was a somewhat half-hearted affair and I suspect there is a huge amount of variation in effectiveness from one group to the next. I think these groups originally came into being in order to give patients a voice (the group I was in also had the valuable right of unannounced physical access to may parts of the hospital). However not all patient populations are equally effective at organising themselves.

 

You mentioned above that GPs or other medical bodies can ignore recommendations of PPGs but I seem to recall that PPGs submitted an annual review to some official body such as the Care Quality Commission and their submission held a particular status as the view of patients.

 

In addition, I recall I attended some of my local council's Health Scrutiny Committee meetings at which very senior members of the local hospital would attend and often get lambasted by councillors. Members of the public could attend such meetings but did not have a right to speak (unless called upon by the chairman). To judge by the total absence of other members of the public at the few meetings I attended (as part of my familiarisation with how such committees worked) and the excessively fawning attention me and my friend were given, I think such meetings rarely have outside observers.

 

As my patient group was rather non-confrontational, I had intended to raise in private a matter of concern with one of my councillors with a view to him raising it at one of these committee meetings (as a matter of policy rather than of personal grievance). Unfortunately I became so ill that I wasn't able to see this through but nevertheless such meetings, if they still exist, seem a useful vehicle for flagging issues to the local hospital.

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Interesting My Turn. It is extremely important for patients to have a voice, but only if listened to. I'm not sure that I have a similar option at my local hospital. My own complaints to the hospital, during and after my relative's treatment, (which led to their unnecessary suffering and death), fell on deaf ears and every other body or individual that I contacted (including my MP) were ineffective. I did see shortly afterwards that there was a public meeting, but it was in the middle of the day and quite frankly I was so traumatised by events that I could not have spoken without crying and becoming incoherent. I hope there is never a next time. I have so little faith in my ability to be heard by the doctors/nurses/managers or for them to admit poor care or mistakes, that I will prepare myself for the worst - and covertly recording will be part of that strategy. I will never bother to contact the CQC or the Ombudsman ever again, the former I found useless, the latter just prolonged my agony.

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Hello Sali. I'm very sorry to hear about your loss.

 

To be honest, I don't think any of the official channels for handling patients' concerns work well at all. It seems to have been like this for a long time. If anything, it's now worse because legal aid has been withdrawn for medical negligence and few people have the funds to take on hospital and doctors.

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Thanks My Turn; it was a few years ago, but my rage at the mistreatment and misdiagnosis (and the incompetence of all the associated services) still burns brightly and followed a somewhat similar experience with another loved one at the same hospital.

 

Up to that point I had never had any dealings with the health service and no person close to me had died. I believed in the NHS. I had faith in the expertise and professionalism of the medics. I trusted the system. That was my mistake. I see the world differently now.

 

I concede that many other people will have had positive experiences, but I also know from what I read and hear in this forum and elsewhere that mine is not an isolated case. And it is the voices of those harmed or grieving who tell of the healthcare's failure to listen, acknowledge, learn or change that makes it all seem so hopeless. They damage you twice.

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I wonder if there are two parts to the problem of audio-recording consultations with doctors.

 

(1) There is the right to record and this right is getting more and more clearly stated by the relevant bodies - such as medical insurers.

 

(2) There is the right to use what was recorded and this can be more problematic.

 

This touches upon what Sali and I have been discussing about how to get the health system to take action when wrongdoing is brought to their attention. However it's all very well having the principle of using what was said in a somewhat obscure legal right but it's another to get an inappropriately irate individual to read or hear what was said in an important discussion.

 

I believe this thread some time ago discussed the case of Amwell View School -v- Dogherty in which it was established that an employee of a school could use a covert recording as evidence in an employment tribunal. Also Section 36 of the Data Protection Act 1998 permits a private individual to store recordings of others (provided no other law is broken, such as voyeurism, in making them). These are rights which apply more broadly than to recording your doctor.

 

In my own case, a builder was recently doing some major work on the house and had been given some clear verbal instructions and in return he had given verbal assurances. When things went wrong he wasn't pleased at all to know I could quote what was said and indeed could replay it from my recording of the meeting which I had made without telling anyone. Quoting Amwell & Dogherty or Section 36 doesn't count for much when confronted by an irate builder who has messed up some building work. Ha!

 

There is a parallel between this and doctors. If you have a recording of what was said in a consultation and use it to remind yourself and later find medical matters have taken a turn for the worse by not following what was done, then you are in the same situation. How do you get anyone to listen to this without going bonkers about "my human rights not to be recorded" or whatever nonsense they dream up. In fact, you can aggravate the situation by alienating people who incorrectly think you have done something wrong.

 

I have experience of this in a medical setting too. The massively adverse reaction by my GP to my "Patientgate" recording meant I subsequently ran the risk of being struck off for the slightest fault. Consequently I would not see a GP without someone else present and having someone with me was so difficult to arrange that I had only 3 GP consultations in 3 years whilst extremely sick and in need of referral to specialists. Yes, I recorded my GP's highly unprofessional reaction on another recorder (just as the "Patientgate" article in the BMJ describes) but who was going to listen to it? As it happened, no one.

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