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TOPIC: Intrusive hospital forms

Intrusive hospital forms 2 months 1 week ago #227529

Hi there

Following a stay in hospital for a spinal disc problem I was referred onto the local pain clinic - even though I didnt ask for this.

I have received a 14 page form to complete which has to be returned within two weeks of date printed. To me this form asks inapropriate questions in relation to the help/advice/treatment that they are likely to offer.

I accessed this service a number of years ago and the questions asked now are certainly more intrusive than they were in the past.

Questions asking about employment cover TEN senarios ranging from full-time, part-time, unemployed, retired, retired through medical reasons, student etc.

This then asks what is/was your job title, when did you stop working, how do you spend your days.

It then goes on to ask what benefits you currently receive and any benefits you have applied for but not yet received and also asks if you are suing or likely to sue in relation to the problem presented.

Also worrying is that the next seven pages cover topics/boxes that cover most of the topics on the PIPS questionnaire albiet in a slightly different manner
e.g. do you need the help of your family and friends to complete everyday tasks (including both work outside the home and housework) because of your pain? 'Does your pain affect your ability to walk or run'? 'moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed'? 'Does your pain affect your ability to grasp objects or reach for things or bend, stoop or squat'?

It goes on to ask if you can do most of the household chores (where you score 0-6) and ask if you can do some form of work, which includes housework whether paid or unpaid. There are a miriad of other questions.

I know as a long term disabled person and with all the trials and tribulations I have gone through with the benefits system that I am more than naturally suspicious of these types of forms and how they could be used against a claimant.

To your knowledge has this type of form been hightlighted to you by other benefit claimaints and would you have any thoughts or concerns about how it could be used and indeed about completing it all?

Goodlife

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Intrusive hospital forms 2 months 1 week ago #227542

babydoll

You're the first.

These all seem to be reasonable questions for them to ask to help you manage your pain and to reduce its effects on your daily life.

It's not anything to do with your benefits and the information cannot be accessed outside of the NHS without your permission.

Gordon
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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Intrusive hospital forms 2 months 1 week ago #227569

When I had my knee replacement last year followed by hospital physiotherapy. I had reams of paper sent to me relating to similar questions. In fact one long questionnaire I never got around to completing. Nobody even noticed!!

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Intrusive hospital forms 2 months 1 week ago #227728

They are regular questions. To help them assess areas of concern, where you may need more help, things that exasperate pain, there's also the connection with physical and mental health which some of those questions sound like they are from the PHQ 9 and looking at psychosocial aspects as there is an increased risk of isolation after injury and with chronic pain.
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Intrusive hospital forms 2 months 1 week ago #227882

Gordon wrote: the information cannot be accessed outside of the NHS without your permission.

One should be careful, such information can and has (in my case at least) been shared with the DWP, on the assumption of "implied consent", and the DWP stating in it's request that the claimant has given permission.

Sadly, in order to claim benefits one has to sign the claim form and in signing the forms you are giving the DWP permission to ask for such info.

If you do fill in this form for the pain clinic and you don't wish the information you give to be provided to organisations outside of the NHS (including the DWP) then you need to state that very clearly on the form. Not that there's any assurance that they won't anyway.

Furthermore, you have the ability, if you wish, to restrict how NHS information held on you is shared. Ask your GP about the "National Data opt-out" and also about your right to prevent confidential patient information about you from leaving the surgery for purposes other than your individual care.

Furthermore, if you have a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, and that information is classed as sensitive (eg, sexuality, religion etc) you can request that such information is not released to anyone outside the GP surgery without your express and direct permission. The GP surgery will mark that info as 'protected' in your file.

Sadly I have found that if you don't do this they see no problem in sharing such data inappropriately with anyone who asks. My GP surgery released the sensitive data of my protected characteristic to the DWP !!! Needless to say I made a formal complaint and showed the Practice manager the current legislation and left her in no doubt that releasing such information was actually illegal under UK law.

As for the form you've been asked to fill in, As Gordon says, it sounds reasonable for the pain clinic to gather information about how your pain affects you in day to day life, however, if you wish not to answer some questions then I'd suggest you just say so on the form and say you'll discuss the question, if relevant, in person in the clinic during your appointment.

Good Luck!
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