Firstly ( it nearly being Sunday ) I must say a huge 'AMEN' to the gentleman or lady who sent me an anonymous comment on 'Happy Birthday UHW', written by my colleague and friend Lynette. Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to write and, please let us all have the benefit of your opinion on the NHS again soon. Your comment is most welcome !
Now, back to the critical epistle from above. Does anyone out there know who Dr Graham Shortland BM, DCH, FRCPCH is ? I didn't either, except when I managed to find the bottom of his letter and his title 'Medical Director Wales NHS'. Phew, I nearly fainted ! For over 3 months I been waiting for his eminence the First Minister to give me his promised answer to my questions about the fact that 'The Queen of Heart's' instructions on recent consultations were deliberately ignored. Since then, I've had my blog blocked from access by anyone working for the NHS, and my e-mails intercepted by Big Brother and the Thought Police. I complained about this ( well who wouldn't ? ), but didn't get any response until the good Dr Shortland took the time and trouble to write to me to say that the UHB has the power to block a particular Blog, when deemed necessary. He also goes on to describe how the "filtering process ( of e-mails ) from potential Phishing - definitition of which is an attempt to criminally and fraudulently acquire sensitive information etc etc ad nauseum", is necessary, especially when "e-mails do not comply with the UHB's Internet/Email Policy". [ Has anyone out their ever seen this policy, please ?]
I'll spare you the rest of his comments, until the bit that is just too 'peachy' to keep to myself. Verbatim, it says. "Finally, I have received information that you do not have the status of Patient Advocate and this reply is to inform you, as a member of the general public, the seriousness with which the Cardiff and Vale UHB treats communication issues". Let's hold that thought for a moment, shall we ? Firstly - by any definition of the word Advocate, I meet all criteria and conduct myself with 100% honesty and commitment when dealing with the many concerns I receive regarding the blatant and deliberate misrepresentation that the UHB put into writing. I am completely independent ( of any extraneous influence of the UHB or any of it's subordinate orginisations ( such as the CHCs ) and my services are provided entirely free of charge. Secondly, this eminent doctor is completely oblivious to the total lack of seriosness which the UHB gives to communications. Anyone who has read any of the consultation documents or so-called 'plans' for changes to our health service, will know that none of them comply with current legislation, and singularly fail to observe the accepted standards of 'Best Practice' in 'Management', 'Planning' or 'Probity'.
Everything I have written is 'the whole truth, the entire truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God', so what has a Medical Director got to do with responding to a complaint about censorship, blog-blocking, or the patient's perspective of the integrity of UHB communications ? I am sure that he is a great doctor, worthy of every letter after his name, but, he doesn't know me, or anything about me, and obviously hasn't read any of my complaints or any of the communications made by the UHB to the Patients and public that they are bound to by a 'Duty of Care'. So, why does he have the temerity to write to me in such terms, unless the Welsh Government have abandoned any semblence of democracy, fairness, openness or transparency ? Perhaps if the Medical Director devoted his attention to the activities of the UHB that are of concern to their patients, he might not be so quick to judge a truly dedicated and genuine Advocate. R.W.