Paper Trails and Mountains


I spend a lot of time with my computer at work. Inputting and logging. Writing and refining. Reports, contacts, telephone conversations, attempted visits, visits, phone calls from concerned friends and neighbours. It is all logged.

Or rather it is supposed to be. I’m definitely more lax than I used to be with some parts of my job. It’s nothing I’m proud of. Currently, I’ve been locked out of one of the databases that I use because I forgot my password and the people that need to reset it haven’t got back to me yet. Yes, that’s a really childish shifting of blame for something that it completely my fault! I suppose I could Hassle More!

image anomalous4 at Flickr

Recording is vitally important. But sometimes I despair of some of the tedious and repetitive nature of the work. I think it is more of an issue in statutory work. Every piece of work seems to demand replication.

Take, for example, a CPA (Care Programme Approach) review of an older person who has a care package in place from the borough, as most of the people I work with do. We carry out these CPA reviews 6 monthly. It is an indication of both where we are at, and where we are going with a particular person. We involve all those who have a defined interest and discuss plans for the next six months as well as what has been happening. The CPA forms we complete are fairly straightforward. I was going to mention how much less complicated they are than the Local Authority Review Forms that we have to complete when someone receives a service from the Local Authority –  but oh, we have to complete those too anyway – as a result of the same meeting and with the same information.

Two for the price of one.

We then, of course, enter the data on both the NHS system and the Local Authority System. The documents are attached to the databases. The local authority have also introduced a lovely new form that was introduced on 1st Oct but that I have managed to avoid – until yesterday.

We have to complete a form related to the employment status of the person that we have seen. Hmm.. fair enough, it’s just a tick box and it’s fairly quick. So let me see, full-time, part-time, employed, unemployed, length of time employed, previous employment if unemployed, doesn’t wish to answer. OK, I don’t object too much because it’s straightforward and won’t take me a moment to complete. Oh, nothing for retired. Hmm. That’ll kind of make things a bit trickier in a team that works almost exclusively with people who are over 65.

I give up and deciding that ‘unemployed’ probably isn’t a fair statement for someone who is  in their late 80s, I actually settle on the ‘doesn’t wish to answer’ and attach a fairly hopeless rant into the wind about the lack of useful options on their list of about 10 different types of employment or lack of employment.

I know it won’t do anything but it made me feel better momentarily.

So after I have completed my two different reviews for the same person, relating to the same meeting, I ponder and wonder if the time spent doing that is really valuable to my employers.

I send the reviews to the user and the carer. I wonder what they make of it. Sometimes I don’t need to wonder because people tell me directly. In fact it is often a source of merriment. It makes me wonder though.

Currently, as I write this I am at home. On my desk at work is a report I have written. Quite a complex one – it took me a good part of a day to pick through all the pieces and get it written up. I need to write another one today on the same meeting. It will, of course, necessitate a fair amount of cutting and pasting of the same information onto a new document to send to the same person. It doesn’t make much sense to me – which is one of the reasons it hasn’t been my top priority.

It does make my heart sink a teeny bit when I think of it though.

2 thoughts on “Paper Trails and Mountains

  1. It’s a pity that you didn’t take advantage of bonfire night.
    Y’know, or sometimes electical accidents do happen. One faulty toaster, and goodbye paperwork…
    🙂
    Kidding about the arson, I identify way too much with the paperwork flood! I can handle the paperwork, and the training on how to do the paperwork, but its the paperwork on the training of how to do the paperwork, that gets me going…

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