Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nurse Nanny

Nanny cannot resist poking her bony old nose into the affairs of her minions.

I am sad to say that, despite promises by Cameron et al to reduce the Nanny state, it seems that Tory Nanny is every bit as bad as Labour Nanny.

It has been announced by the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, that Tory Nanny will back the NHS Future Forum's proposal that will compel NHS professionals (such as; midwives, surgeons, health visitors, doctors and nurses) to pro-actively ask patients about their smoking, drinking, diet and physical activity every time they see them.

The intrusive "make every contact count" plan, has divided the profession; the British Medical Association supports it, but the Royal College of Nursing doubts its value.

Ironically Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, warned that this might extend the boundaries of the Nanny state!

In simple terms here's why the idea is bollocks:

1 It is intrusive and annoying to be harangued with questions about lifestyle.

2 People will be put off going to see their doctor, if they face a barrage of personal questions.

3 What will the state do with the information collected?

4 People will lie when asked these questions, therefore the answers will have no medical value.

5 The state, once it has crossed the rubicon of asking us about our lifestyles, will use the information to compel us to take treatment for any lifestyle behaviour that it deems to be inappropriate.

Wrt point 5, those of you who think that this is an exaggeration should bear in mind that the rationale for this "initiative" is to reduce the cost of the NHS. Gathering data such as this is of little use in reducing costs, if the patient is not then compelled to address his/her state defined medical "problem".

You have been warned!

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  1. To some degree, healthcare professionals already ask questions about lifestyle etc at ones annual review.
    I usually reply along the lines of "Oh no, not more box ticking for Nanny." My GP laughs and then bids me farewell.

    What would worry me more in relation to point five of Ken's piece, is whether the state, as it becomes more desparate for cash, would decide to sell such information, just as they have regarding the info that people must provide to the DVLA.
    All this health data would be very valuable to insurance firms and to private healthcare companies.

    I have noticed within the NHS recently that staff have expanded their job roles somewhat by pretending to be the font of all knowledge, especially doctor's receptionists and practice managers.

    Other than some proceedures defined under the mental health act and in clearly defined circumstances, all treatment requires informed consent and I would suggest that people can refuse to answer such questions but, I suspect Nanny will then encourage GPs to cut patients loose that refuse to co-operate with the lifestyle agenda.
    We live in interesting times......The more I look and listen to Nanny, the more I believe we are becoming a mini socialist dictatorship using George Orwell's "1984 blueprint."

    Sadly though.....I suspect the healthcare professionals within the NHS will embrace these proposals with glee as many people do seem to have a need to boss others around.

  2. Anonymous11:32 AM

    The medical staff may be put under an obligation to ask those questions, but a patient is certainly not under any obligation to answer.

    Personally, I would only answer questions that I feel are directly related to my condition. Any intrusions into unrelated issues are none of their fucking business.

  3. Smokers are already denied medical treatment justified on the basis of outcome despite the fact that there must be a number of factors which contribute to outcome.

    In the USA not only are some firms refusing to recruit smokers, they are sacking existing employees who smoke. It doesn't seem to me to be at all unlikely that legislation could be passed here to allow potential employers to access medical records. As the War on Alcohol (actually on those who enjoy a tipple) and the War on Obesity (actually on those who don't conform to the State-approved definition)progress, refusal to conform to approved behaviour could result in unemployment....and medical records are not sacrosanct (as they should be): even now LAs have legal access under certain circumstances.

    Welcome to serfdom.

  4. I have no problem with this. As soon as they ask about my eating / smoking or drinking habits, I tell them what position I last had sex in, how long it lasted and how it was rated by all parties involved.

    When they get over the shock and ask why I'm telling them this, I explain that seeing as they seem so interested in my personal life, I'd help them with the details. I've never been asked more than once by any doctor or nurse that I have regular contact with.

  5. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Don't mind up to a point esp if it's directly related to a health issue I have approached my GP about - BUT if the question is not relevant, or is intrusive, I will simply decline to answer. The GP may be required to ask the question, but there is no obligation on me to provide an answer. In short - if I don't like it, they can get stuffed!