Monday, January 29, 2007

The thin blue line.

Somehow "Can you speak to WPC Watmough about...." never seems to pressage good news. It's not WPC Watmough's fault. She just happens to be the one on shift who gets to make the call. It's honestly no better when any of her colleagues call either so it seems unfair to single her out, so lets pretend I didn't.

"Good morning WPC Watmough, how can I help?"

"Well Doc, it's Mrs Bloggs. She never came home last night and her family are worried. Is there anything you can tell us that might help?"

After a quick scan of her records there really isn't much. No real cardiac history. No past major psychaitric illness or current depression or anti-depressant medication. In fact no record at all since her annual flu jab in late October. I regrettfully inform the WPC of the facts, she thanks me and the day moves on.

That was Friday morning.

There was still no news of Mrs Bloggs by close of play on Friday. However this morning one of the younger Bloggses rang to inform us that all was well. It transpired that Mrs B had failed to make her Thursday Night Bingo appointment with friends. They had become concerned when there was still no sign of her at the end of the night and had phoned her home, to get no reply. After alerting first Ambridge and later Borchester Police, a Mrs Bloggs-Hunt was initaited, and after the deployment of at least one helicopter and dozens of officers Mrs B was duly fund, some miles from home and entirely unable to give an account of her last 24 hours.

She has spent a short stay in hospital for observation, and likely will require more investigations to try to better explain her nocturnal wanderings, but she is back, safe and sound in the bosom of the Bloggs family.

And all thanks to the care and dedication of WPC Watmough and her colleagues.


stitchwort said...

Where have all your comment-ers gone?
Ah, perhaps they've wandered off with Mrs Bloggs.

(Do I get today's hob-nob?)

Doctor Jest said...

stitchwort-- I was assuming it has something to do with the random nature of my postings and the cosmos, that or the change in aftershave....

Anyway, thank you for calling and do please help youself to the aforementioned hob nob.

sooz said...

So what's the likely cause if it wasn't alcohol?

How can you tell she's not fibbing?
(you can see how I never made it to med school lolol!)

Doctor Jest said...

sooz-- no way of telling for sure, but somehow the truly bewildered do seem to stand out. it's hard to cosistently fake being that vague... as for the role of ethanol, often th ecase, but not ISFAIK in this case.

Anonymous said...

What can you reveal in this kind of circumstance? Where does the patient confidentiality bit kick in?

For example, what if she was being beaten by her husband - would that be the kind of information you'd divulge to the police?

Doctor Jest said...

anon-- all we tend to do is confirm if we have any concrens thay are at increased risk of clamity or are taking any meds that might cause confusion without going into specifics unless absolutely necessary, but you really have to take each request on it's merits. The rule of thumb would be to try to retain confidentiality without being deliberately obstructive. In the case of suspected spousal abuse, unless we had clear evidence that the patient wished it mentioned it would be very hard to air such suspicions even under these circumstances, for fear of later retribution being visited on the battered partner for "telling tales out of school". Thankfully not a call I have been asked to make as yet.