NHS verses people with no internet access

imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
Dad and I are both under the hospital, me for my cancer treatment and Dad for his cataracts. Of course, since Covid disrupted our lives, our local NHS trust have started doing everything on the internet. Dad recently received a letter asking him to fill out a form online to help confirm he was still willing to have his cataract operation. The only problem is, he has no access to the internet for himself and they gave no alternative for people in the same situation. Obviously I can do it for him, but if there is ever a time I can't be there to help, what do we do. If Dad rings them to say he can't get online, I have this idea they will only argue that he should be able to find someone to go online for him. Any suggestions?
 

captain clutterbuck

LOTSW Fanatic
I am pretty sure they won't kick back at the fact your Dad doesn't have internet access . All I have read and the experience I had with my Mum albeit late last year leads me to conclude there should still be a phone based service available to him . Whilst they are trying to shift onus to internet working to take the burden away from telephony based services they still maintain that the service will be available to those who do not have computer based access .

Your Dad should have no consternation or concern at conducting the discussion by phone . All I have read is that the use of online services remain arbitrary not compulsory . Whilst you are family ,communicating through you remains a breach of medical confidentiality [ your Dad has a right to have his personal medical data protected if he choses to , even if in your case he may happy to share with you ] so the suggestion of being able to find someone to go online for him should never be offered by any NHS authority because it offers the potential to breach confidentiality. I would suggest he calls them and if they push back he could perhaps mention that confidentiality angle.
 

maltrab

Administrator
Staff member
With all this telephone appointment from Hospitals and GP, if you miss their call, i.e the GP calls to discuss results,so you have no idea when he might call so could be out, they don't leave a message, often the number is withheld so you don't even know who called you, the reason behind them not leaving a message is confidentiality, but what they don't tell you is you can inform them on record that you are happy for them to leave a message.

Also this business of using withheld numbers is so outdated, they can have a general type number for all outgoing calls, like BT have done for several years, if you call the number back it explains who has called, i.e Lincoln County Hospital followed by x-department, so in your own time you can call them on their specific number and find out what you need to know.

Locally several folk that live near me have had a withheld call, no message left, they then go to their booked appointment at the hospital, only to find it has been cancelled at the last minute, the staff tell them we tried to call you, which then shifts the blame and inconvenience onto the patient for not standing by the telephone 24-7
 

RickAns

Dedicated Member
Sorry to hear that imitation. Hope things get better for you both. I would think they should make allowances for an older generation that is not always connected to the internet at the hip like some in the younger generation are. Also, if their internet service could be down in which case they could not be in contact.

As far as a doctor's office blocking their number or not leaving any message is silly on their part. They do not need to say who they are calling for about an appointment when leaving a message. That way if someone over hears it which the patient does not want to know about. Then all the patient needs to say is it must be a wrong number the doctor called. Then they can get back to the doctor when convenient, simple as that. At least in my mind anyway.
 

imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
Thanks for your concern about my cancer treatment Barry and Rick. I had my chemotherapy in February 2018. Surprisingly I only had one round of it and I am back to full health now, but I am still having check ups at the oncology department at Lincoln hospital.

I too think it's silly the hospital don't leave a message and always withhold their number. The least they can do is actually say it is the hospital, who they want to speak to and leave a number for them to phone back. They needn't say anything else until they are actually speaking to said person. The patient can't then be blamed for missing messages.

Also, all this going online and texting doesn't suit me either. Obviously I do have access to the internet, but if I actually want them to use the good old landline and snail mail instead, they just refuse. I actually don't have my mobile switched on that often (only when I'm out, which these days is not much) and by the time I look at my Emails, it will probably be too late. At least with the landline and the post, I know I will receive the message straight away. I actually took my mobile number and Email off the system in our GP surgery and dentists for that very reason. One thing the NHS don't consider is people who can't access the internet, or who don't want to use it for this purpose.
 

Adanor

Dedicated Member
Dad and I are both under the hospital, me for my cancer treatment and Dad for his cataracts. Of course, since Covid disrupted our lives, our local NHS trust have started doing everything on the internet. Dad recently received a letter asking him to fill out a form online to help confirm he was still willing to have his cataract operation. The only problem is, he has no access to the internet for himself and they gave no alternative for people in the same situation. Obviously I can do it for him, but if there is ever a time I can't be there to help, what do we do. If Dad rings them to say he can't get online, I have this idea they will only argue that he should be able to find someone to go online for him. Any suggestions?
Here, across the Pond, they have dumbed down senior citizen computers that only have specific easy-to-use functions. That is one alternative. But, yes there is a point where Technology, used by the Twenty somethings, is rapidly replacing access via snail mail and the (land line) telephone. That is UNFAIR to senior citizens and others who do not have internet access and would rather not trust these newfangled ways of doing things. And of course the way to take a stand is to firmly and politely say to them, "I do not wish to or cannot fill out this form on the computer, I do not wish to use my cell phone to do (this)."
 

Marianna

Dedicated Member
And of course the way to take a stand is to firmly and politely say to them, "I do not wish to or cannot fill out this form on the computer, I do not wish to use my cell phone to do (this)."
Here in New York State (and possibly elsewhere in the country) medical practices assume that everyone has, and uses, a cell phone. Lase summer I registered with a practice a hundred miles from here for a highly specialized consultation. Of course, the online form asked for my emergency contact, but wouldn't accept the name and address without a cell phone number. I had to phone them and complain bitterly about that. It took a lot of explaining to convey the concept of someone owning a cell phone and leaving it in a drawer for years on end with a dead battery. The person I spoke with finally acknowledged that it was possible for her to enter my contact's landline number in that field even though the system wouldn't allow me to do that.

This is a very hilly area, requiring a lot of cell phone towers to provide adequate coverage. Many of the local governments won't issue a permit for anything as, they believe, disfiguring as a cell phone tower, so there are great swaths of territory with no coverage. The two local medical practices are aware of that, so they never ask for only a cell phone number.
 

imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
Here, across the Pond, they have dumbed down senior citizen computers that only have specific easy-to-use functions. That is one alternative. But, yes there is a point where Technology, used by the Twenty somethings, is rapidly replacing access via snail mail and the (land line) telephone. That is UNFAIR to senior citizens and others who do not have internet access and would rather not trust these newfangled ways of doing things. And of course the way to take a stand is to firmly and politely say to them, "I do not wish to or cannot fill out this form on the computer, I do not wish to use my cell phone to do (this)."
Living in England, we don't have such things, only full blown PCs or laptops. Dad wouldn't know one end of a computer from another, and Mum only has limited knowledge, despite owning a computer herself. The way we use our mobile phones and Email service does not make it worth while for medical purposes, as we have missed many messages in the past (from many sources, not just medical services) and not realised we have received them until it is way beyond too late. As I have said, I actually took my Email address and mobile number off the system in our GPs and dentists surgeries. The dentists were quite annoyed about it at the time, but what they don't have, they can't use. To say everyone must use the internet or mobile phones is completely wrong and there really should be a method of doing things without them.
 
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imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
Talking of Lincoln, we're hoping to move to Lincolnshire next month as we're buying a place not far from Skegness.
WellyMan, be aware that medical services are very few and far between in Lincolnshire. More than likely you would be passed on to Lincoln, Boston or even Nottingham or Leicestershire hospitals (depending on your medical condition or procedure). It would be the travelling to the hospitals that would be the worst thing, especially if you have a condition or a procedure that stops you from driving. The hospitals can offer you transport if you request it, but they only take the patients themselves. It is far better for you to make your own arrangements, especially if you want someone (Spouse, sons, daughters, friends etc.) to accompany you.
 
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WellyMan

Dedicated Member
WellyMan, be aware that medical services are very few and far between in Lincolnshire. More than likely you would be passed on to Lincoln, Boston or even Nottingham or Leicestershire hospitals (depending on your medical condition or procedure). It would be the travelling to the hospitals that would be the worst thing, especially if you have a condition or a procedure that stops you from driving. The hospitals can offer you transport if you request it, but they only take the patients themselves. It is far better for you to make your own arrangements, especially if you want someone (Spouse, sons, daughters, friends etc.) to accompany you.
Thanks for the heads-up. I know we’ll have to travel further to hospitals, but hopefully Boston or Lincoln will be better than our local hospital here. My wife needs a follow-up brain scan which we'll arrange when we've moved.
 

imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
Thanks for the heads-up. I know we’ll have to travel further to hospitals, but hopefully Boston or Lincoln will be better than our local hospital here. My wife needs a follow-up brain scan which we'll arrange when we've moved.
I'm sorry to hear your wife needs a brain scan, WellyMan. I hope she is doing OK. Good luck to you both for the future of your wife's medical care.
 

WellyMan

Dedicated Member
I'm sorry to hear your wife needs a brain scan, WellyMan. I hope she is doing OK. Good luck to you both for the future of your wife's medical care.
Thanks. After previous scans she was told it was nothing to worry about, but another scan is needed to try and get a definite diagnosis of the problem.
 

imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
Thanks. After previous scans she was told it was nothing to worry about, but another scan is needed to try and get a definite diagnosis of the problem.
I hop all is sorted out in the end. In my experience of hospitals, they will do their best to get you as close to full health as they can. I must say, Lincoln hospital has done wonders for me during my cancer and chemotherapy.
 
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