Jane Bates: On the IT road to fairyland

Jane Bates fights back tears as she battles an NHS computer programme

Jane Bates fights back tears as she battles an NHS computer programme

Picture: iStock

Is it just me, or is life in the NHS becoming too complicated?

Picture this: I am working alone and need to order some online blood tests for a patient but the system has locked me out, and not for the first time. Some programmes, usually the ones you need in a hurry, seem to take a sadistic delight in messing you about when you are already under pressure.

Shall we let her log on today? I could imagine this one saying. Well, she’s not had lunch and she’s so computer-illiterate she thinks software is a nice cashmere sweater, so let’s go for the jugular and make her cry.

And cry I nearly did when the man in IT informed me that my access to the program had been denied. I would need to find someone senior to fill in a form to reinstate me as a bona fide user.

It used to be so easy-peasy…

To retrieve the online form, he said, go to the home screen, follow the satnav’s instructions halfway to Fairyland, do a U-turn at the Milky Way, turn right at the lamp post in Narnia and go straight on until morning. At least I think that’s what he said.

Couldn’t he just let me in? I pleaded. I am on my own, and this is urgent. ‘I know,’ he cooed. ‘I understand where you are coming from.’ He sounded more like a counsellor than a computer geek. Maybe I had dialled the wrong number and this was the Nursing Anonymous helpline.

Time was when you gave a patient a piece of paper and they trotted along to the pathology lab and had their blood test. Easy-peasy. Why has it all become so difficult?

Jane Bates works in outpatients in Hampshire



More from Jane Bates

This article is for subscribers only