Oscar's teeth

Oscar’s teeth

I took my son recently to the Manchester Dental Hospital.  It’s part of Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust where he was born and where the regional genetics centre diagnosed his condition – which affects both his fingers and his teeth

The very charming dentist knew nothing about his medical history and didn’t have access to his hospital notes, because the Dental Hospital have their own paper records,  so I had to give her what was doubtless a garbled version of his medical history.  They took a very fancy X-ray of his teeth, but when I asked for a  copy I was told

  1. They didn’t have a printer
  2. They weren’t allowed to send emails to anyone outside the NHS
  3. It was against Trust Policy to give any patient information from their medical records unless they made a written application under the Data Protection Act.

When I complained (to the Hospital Pals service, where the first person I talked to do didn’t even know there was a dental hospital)  I was told that the records were not yet integrated.  The Dental Hospital only joined the Trust in 1991, so I suppose it’s early days yet.

It took me nearly 6 months to get a copy of his X-ray.  I had to produce his birth certificate to demonstrate that I was his father – they don’t ask you any such questions when you appear in person.

Joining organisations together has little to do with integration.  I’m not sure its much to do with culture either.  It’s more to do with access to records.

 

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One Comment

  1. bhfisher says:

    Quite so. And this will get more difficult as the NHS fragments. One excellent way to improve integration is for people to be able to access their data online and be able to share with whomever they choose. We can expect that eventually the NHS will enable different bits of the system to share data – but I think that is still a long way off.

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