Monday, 14 July 2008

Many gaps in Bacon's defences

Neil Bacon in consultation with the DoH and GMC has set up Iwantgreatcare, a new website that allows anonymous punters to say whatever they want about named doctors. There is no right of reply for the doctor, the patients can just say whatever they want and this is then meant to result in better patient care. Quite how I cannot quite see myself.

The motivations behind this site are strange as it appears that Neil Bacon may be struggling somewhat financially, hence this may be a desperate last ditch attempt to rescue his economic well being. Bizarrely comments added in support of doctors are being removed, while those slagging them off are allowed to stand; this hardy seems fair when those who are indulging the character assassinations can do so completely anonymously and unaccountably.

Giving patients a free shot at doctors is a very dangerous business indeed. Why I hear you ask? Well the kind of patient that is likely to indulge in vindictive abuse is most likely a particular type of character, for example this kind of racist and bitter individual:

''If they think that all these years we pay national Insurance , yet if you walk into XXXX Medical Centre . You will find I line of Migrants trying to get free services on our backs . Including Somalians , Eastern Europeans etc... I was told I only had 10 minutes to see a doctor . So , after paying national insurance for so many years , I only get 10 minutes . I don't think so !! Kick them the migrants out ! Its time this government realised this country is not a dictatorship . I refuse to pay for the rubbish and the scum that comes hear to steal and turn this country into the biggest toilet in the world.''

This shows just what a stupid idea this website is. There are so many hypothetical cases that would guarantee the unfair abuse of doctors that I could list them all day. What about the deluded and aggressive psychiatric patient who resents being forced into necessary treatment for their mental illness? What about the fat smoker who didn't like being told to stop smoking and lose some weight?

What about the worried well from middle England who expect several hours of a doctor's time in clinic despite the fact that the doctor has other patients that need to be dealt with? What about the woman with breast cancer who thinks homeopathy will cure her cancer and who gets angry when the surgeon tells her that that this is not the case? What about the surgical patient who suffers an expected complication from their surgical procedure? And on and on.

All these individuals may well want to abuse their doctors on Iwantgreatcare, and all their doctors will have been acting in a completely professional manner, certainly not deserving the abuse that they would be likely to recieve on Neil Bacon's poorly thought out site. Likewise any good comments will be meaningless as who knows where they came from, after all it's all completely anonymous.

The first examples of unfair criticism are already starting to appear, Neil Bacon must be so proud for the noble work that he's doing for his bank balance and high quality patient care, he's almost as devastatingly brilliant in this regard as Lord Darzi. From a personal point of view I remember one patient in particular who would have loved to slag off a consultant of mine on IWGC.

My consultant was a very eminent surgeon indeed and spent many minutes patiently explaining that there was no evidence that any alternative therapies would cure his condition, while there was good scientific evidence behind the surgical option. This patient refused to take no for an answer and almost refused to leave the consultation room after half an hour of protestation, the mild mannered consultant almost had steam rising from his ears by the end. Only in the NHS would a scenario like this occur. IWGC is yet more power to patients at the expense of doctors, whatever happened to the doctor-patient relationsip being a two way thing as I was taught at medical school? Soon why not let these patients prescribe their own drugs and book their own operations, they seem to think they know it all.


Jobbing Doctor said...

I completely agree with the tenor of your post. I do hope that the Department of Health,the Royal Colleges and the GMC put an end to this nonsense, as I am sure that they would not have anything to do with it.

Would they?

GrumpyRN said...

For once I am in agreement with yourself, The Jobbing Doctor and Dr.Crippen and have stated this publicly on my blog. A stupid, stupid idea which can only alienate.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone sensible use this site when it is possible to write to the Senior Partner of your practice?

I did, and received a reply from the Business Manager (now the Business Partner). Her reply made no reference to the Senior Partner at all, (deliberately?) misinterpreted parts of my letter and attacked me. If she worked for me she would have been sacked, not promoted, (OK, given a formal warning) for sending a customer that sort of letter.

I presume this is a result of some sort of Government action/initiative/pressure and not just poor partners in what used to be a first class practice.

Perhaps there is reason for some sensible folk to use this sort of site after all.

Anonymous said...


You love doing FOIs to the DOH. Why don't you try it RE Bacon and his piglets.


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