Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner, Complaints Resolution
Good morning Ms Lamb
I refer to your earlier correspondence in which you advise:-
"However, our focus is on whether there is potential risk to patients, or issues relating to the standard of care. "
Accordingly, I wish to lodge a formal complaint over the current state of affairs viz a viz blood testing services in the regions covered by the Auckland, Waitemata and Manukau District Health Boards.
There are reports that an orchestrated campaign of industrial sabotage against the current supplier Labtests is being waged by DML and certain general practitioners. It is obvious to a dispassionate observer that such a campaign is damaging the service itself and already has put in jeopardy the safety of patients. It seems to me it will be only a matter of time before there is a death which may be attributed directly to this alleged sabotage.
Would you kindly investigate and report on the following specific allegations.
- Since the changeover, a number of general practitioners have marked ALL their sample requests as 'urgent,' thereby flooding the system and causing considerable delay in provision of test results.
- A number of general practitioners have failed to include the Labtests identifying codes on request forms, leading to inevitable delays in and misdirection of test results.
- A number of general practitioners have actively encouraged their patients to lay complaints against Labtests.
- A number of general practitioners have permitted DML staff to subject patients to a barrage of anti-Labtests propaganda during the weeks leading up to the changeover of providers. This has been my personal experience.
I'd be obliged if you would advise as follows:-
- The total number of sample requests processed within the bounds of the three DHBs during the five weeks following change over and during the same period last year.
- The number of requests carrying incorrect NHI numbers or doctor identifiers during that period and the same period last year.
- The number of requests marked 'urgent' during that period and the same period last year.
- The identity of any General Practices where the number of urgent requests has substantially increased compared with the previous year - say by 20% or more.
- The identity of any General Practices producing above average numbers of requests carrying incorrect numbers or identifiers.
Adolf Fiinkesein is a blogger pseudonym. The writer has no personal, business or financial connection with the medical/health industry or anyone in it, with the exception of his personal GP. He will identify himself in person to the Commissioner if requested, subject to the Commissioner's prior written agreement of confidentiality.