Some years ago, on a flight to the USA, I had to fill out a visa waiver application form. One of the questions I had to answer was, “Have you ever been involved in genocide, terrorism or war crimes?” I could not remember having had any such past so I answered no. It did occur to me though that, had the answer been yes, I would hardly have admitted to it on the form, and I would have answered no anyway.
This phenomenon of filling in forms with the “right” answer, instead of the truthful one is going to be widespread wherever there are a plethora of forms to fill in, and the NHS is no exception. But the NHS has a solution to this problem of non compliance with form filling. It’s another form.
Not long ago every hospital in the land started using the WHO checklist for surgical patients. In fact not many of us would take issue with this form. Although the incidence of errors during surgery was already very low that is not much consolation to the few patients who wake up with the wrong bit removed, or left inside. So the form has received a generally positive reaction, and is always, as far as I can see conscientiously filled in.
But there is such a thing as taking the piss. A new form has now been issued, the purpose of which is to confirm that the WHO form has been filled in. That’s right, a form 2 to verify completion of form 1. What next? A form 3 to verify completion of form 2?
Remember some of your tax is going to pay the purposeless twat who thinks up things like this. What obviously has not occurred to this person is that, if you haven’t filled in the WHO form this is a disciplinary offence, so you are hardly bloody likely to admit it in writing, are you?