Nagging – part two…

Posted on August 30, 2007. Filed under: Journal from behind the desk... |


Did you think I was joking about nagging going on? Did you? eh? Right then, I’ll carry on, but first, could you sit up straight please and how many times do I have to tell you to uncross your legs!?

In part one I passed a comment about health professionals nagging patients.  In the world of primary care, we have developed a concept that could be referred to as the “Reverse while I’m here”.

Traditionally it is a cringe moment, you’ve spent quality time with your patient, you know the next patient is waiting, you round up, and then the patient drops that bomb…“While I’m here could you just….”

However a change has occurred. With the introduction of QOF, the health professionals are rewarded points, which turn into money, for meeting government targets.  So it’s the government nagging primary care to make sure that all diabetics get their reviews, all hypertensives get their BP checked 6/12ly etc.

This nagging is now passed to the patient. So the roles have reversed. The patient is trying to go home, in time to pick up the kids, put dinner on, make a cuppa, but no!  The clinician is now the one saying: “While you’re here…can I just check your BP, peak flow, depression score, blood sugars, ask you to stop smoking etc. etc.”

It therefore seems nagging is contagious. The government nag us, so we nag the patient, the patient is then late home, and has to nag “someone else” to get things done on time, that “someone else” then gets extra stress, feels run down, gets a cold, goes to the surgery, tells the clinican about their cold, and then….says “While I’m here, can you give me something for the stress of living with a nagger”, then the clinician says, “while your here can we just……..”

It’s a vicious circle.

In fact it is not only a vicious circle, it is contagious and like nagging it goes on and on and on.  Actually what is the difference between going on and on and on, and something being contagious. OH MY GOD – there isn’t one, ladies and gentleman we have an epidemic!!  Hey, if we have an epidemic, then surely the government will make another QOF target to combat the epidemic, thus perpetuating the problem further, meaning we will need yet more targets to combat it and then the problem will get worse so we will need more targets and on and on and on and on and..….

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