Intensive care needed at Lister

PUBLISHED: 12:08 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:34 06 May 2010

The poster

The poster

MEDICAL secretaries are appealing to the public to get involved with their fight to save their jobs and stop medical notes being sent abroad. Trade union Amicus has produced leaflets warning people that doctors letters will be sent to India for typing.

MEDICAL secretaries are appealing to the public to get involved with their fight to save their jobs and stop medical notes being sent abroad.

Trade union Amicus has produced leaflets warning people that doctors' letters will be sent to India for typing.

The leaflets, which urge patients to contact East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust and local MPs, states: "The Trust wants to introduce a system whereby the dictated clinic letter following your outpatient visit, and the summary regarding your inpatient admission is sent to India for typing making your consultant's secretary redundant."

It says that the letters "will be typed by someone whose first language may not be English", "drug doses may be overlooked" and "your hospital consultant will need to spend more time doing administrative duties and have less time with his patients".

A Trust spokesman said the union is free to do what they wish. He said the Trust had received feedback as a result of the flyers and they had been responded to individually.

Last month the Trust told its medical secretaries how the new remote medical transcription service would be phased in.

The Trust said it had agreed with its trade unions to manage this process through seeking voluntary redundancies.

The final number of voluntary redundancies has yet to be decided but it is expected to be around 24 posts.

The Trust's director of human resources, Danny Mortimer, said: "There are sufficient safeguards in place to ensure the quality of such a service for routine letters dictated by the Trust' senior doctors, usually in outpatient clinics.

"Patients' confidentiality will also be maintained at all times. We will still be employing over two thirds of the medical secretaries that we do now, but more of their time will be spent supporting doctors and their teams, as well as enquiries received from GPs and patients.

"We believe that at significantly reduced cost to the Trust, this new service will result in as good a service as is the case currently.


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