We are carrying out a survey about NHS dental services on behalf odof your local Primary Care Trust (PCT). which [sic - they also misspelled my name] is the organisation responsible for providing local NHS dental services.
Odd. I call them Joe and Sally.
There are then ten tick-box questions.
Q1. Did you visit your dentist between 28/07/2001 & 08/08/2011?
You know I did. Your covering letter also states “We understand that you recently received NHS dental services…” It also asks me to provide info to the “best of my recollection”. Seeing as I spent half an hour supine with a woman using instruments (c) Tomás de Torquemada AD1491 I am hardly likely to forget.
Q2. Did you visit the denist at [address of my dentist].
Q3. Was the following information about you correct at the time you last visited the dentist?
This was my name and my date of birth.
Q4. Did you have (tick one box)
[ ] Just NHS treatment
[ ] Combination of NHS and private treatment
[ ] All private treatment
[ ] Unsure
The rest carries on to Q10 and is pretty much all about money. Q7 asks if I know what band my NHS treatment was and if I got a receipt. Q8 is about whether NHS prices were displayed or not. Q9 and Q10 are general and meaningless and only there to make it look pukka. The meat is earlier.
And the meat of course is a fishing expedition to discover if Joe and Sally have been doing a bit too much bridge-work for a Mr Michael J Mouse recently. And if you think about it… Look all I need to do to get free drugs on prescription is tick a box and sign my name. This of course is small beer. Imagine if I own the pad! Imagine if the tooth-tapping check-up was a rather tricky wisdom tooth extraction? It is fishing for “Grandmother’s funerals” if you know the works of Sir Terry.
They can sod off. My Dentist’s BMW is about five years old so he is clearly not on the take. Or he’s very clever and has a Saturn V in a hollowed-out volcano somewhere. But ye Gods! the scope for fraud on the NHS is stunning. A doctor who treated me when I was a kid was struck off for prescription fraud. He was shipping drugs to India via his magic pad. He was done for fraud but that wasn’t the only reason he was stricken - he had been prescribing sometimes very powerful drugs (I mean you’re not going to do that to supply some bloke with a bad head in Bangalore with a few aspirin) to folk he had not actually examined.
All I’m saying is an NHS prescription pad is like having bankdrafts counter-signed by Zeus himself! And if I recall my last visit to the dentist there was a Mr Z Eus in front of me who had a crown that needed replacing…
No, not really!