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Wording on doctors new patient form

(23 Posts)
annie987 Mon 18-Aug-14 15:27:26

I can't decide if IABU or not .

Have recently moved house so went to fill in new patient forms including for my son who gas multiple disabilities and is a wheelchair user.

At the bottom of the form the final question was 'does your child have any special handicaps?' It really surprised me to see that word used - especially on a medical form.

I filled the forms in and won't say anything but should the form be worded differently?

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 18-Aug-14 15:36:16

YANBU. I have not heard that term used in a long time. I would have thought it should say "does your child have any long term health needs or disabilities" to cover all conditions a child may have.

PumpkinPie2013 Mon 18-Aug-14 15:37:48

YANBU not a word that should be used.

Health needs or disabilities is better.

Pr1mr0se Mon 18-Aug-14 15:39:18

Presumably your new doctor will want to see you & your son as new patients so bring it up then and they may just amend it. I think you are being a little bit over-sensitive as it's only one word and very unlikely intended to be offensive. Perhaps no-one else has ever mentioned it, so they're not aware of the impact it has. Mention it and it might easily be sorted, if not then at least you've got it off your mind. You don't want to feel uncomfortable seeing a new doctors after all.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 18-Aug-14 15:41:59

Special handicaps. As opposed to boring or run of the mill handicaps?

Which century are they living in I wonder?

alwaysdoinglaundry Mon 18-Aug-14 16:07:12

I'm a GP. I can pretty much guarantee you that the form will have been in use for many years and no-one will have considered the wording or notice it. If it really offends you then by all means complain and get it changed, but do consider that general practice is at breaking point and every minute that someone spends answering this complaint is a minute that can't be spent on patient care.

kentishgirl Mon 18-Aug-14 16:15:32

special handicaps is not even grammatical.

I wonder if it's an old form that someone amended. Intended to change 'handicaps' to 'special needs' and messed it up?

Mention it to them.

Andrewofgg Mon 18-Aug-14 16:35:27

It's like printed forms still asking for Christian names because nobody has ever got round to changing them.

2rebecca Mon 18-Aug-14 18:51:06

Agree it will be an old form no-one has paid much attention to although it sounds odd that they ask if a child has special handicaps not all new patients regardless of age.
I remember in the 90s being taught that disability and handicap were different and that a handicap was the effect of a disability but it has gone out of favour as a word as terms for impairments become vaguer.
If they put special needs they're maybe concerned they'll get details of educational needs like dyslexia rather than medical disabilities.
Usually these forms just ask for details of your past medical history and illnesses and I'd expect physical disabilities to be listed there along with operations etc.

Marmiteandjamislush Mon 18-Aug-14 18:54:57

Is the head of practice either of an older generation or not from the UK? YANBU to mention it, but I have heard this word used routinely in a number of countries relatively recently.

GaryShitpeas Mon 18-Aug-14 18:55:35

Omg really shock


TheAmazingZebraOnWheels Mon 18-Aug-14 19:01:35

Personally I would mention it in passing. Usually I say something "actually, I have a disability not an illness or a handicap those are different things." and then they can follow up or not as they wish but you've made the point and hopefully if enough people make the point a change is made.

Darksideofthemoon88 Mon 18-Aug-14 19:05:36

Special handicaps? As opposed to ordinary handicaps? hmm The phrasing itself is very poor English - as a pp said, I reckon it was supposed to be changed from 'handicaps' to 'special needs' or something similar and someone cocked up. Mention it by all means, but I wouldn't go in all guns blazing.

annie987 Mon 18-Aug-14 22:17:50

I have no intention of mentioning it or complaining. I was just surprised and wondered if my surprise was unreasonable.
I have completed the form, crossed out 'special handicaps' and written special needs and disabilities in its place.

Deverethemuzzler Mon 18-Aug-14 22:27:10

Really? The whole practice will come tumbling down if one mother asks for an outmoded word that reflects very badly on the place to be amended.

Don't talk such nonsense always.

If the form is on their system it takes a few clicks on a keyboard.
If it is a manky old photocopy its about time they had a printable one.
I doubt if the medical staff will be slaving over the PC so I think we can rest assured that no patient will go untreated because of it.

I think hinting to someone that they are going to destroy a medical practice if they have the cheek to complain about something is pretty low.

Jollyphonics Mon 18-Aug-14 22:36:43

Changing the form might not take long, but dealing with a complaint takes hours and hours. I wouldn't complain, but if there's a suggestion box I'd put a note about it in there.

greenbananas Mon 18-Aug-14 22:36:47

alwaysdoinglaundry, yes, you make a good point, but words ARE important.

OP, I think you should mention it - not in a complaining way, but in a "have you realised?" kind of way. This should certainly be changed.

Deverethemuzzler Mon 18-Aug-14 23:03:15

OP has already says she isn't going to complain.

There are ways of making comments and suggestions that do not involve embarking on a long winded procedure.

I doubt anyone has noticed or if they have they have thought 'must sort that out soon' but never got round to it.

TheFantasticFixit Mon 18-Aug-14 23:10:03

Always - surely every GP has some sort of admin support? I know ours do, surely this would be a suitable task for them as opposed to medical staff. I find your comment I bit odd really. The OP is rightly pointing out that at best this phrase is outdated, and at worst, offensive. It absolutely should be brought to the attention of the practice manager!

Greenrememberedhills Mon 18-Aug-14 23:16:10

Alwaysdoing, that was a sanctimonious response. Surgeries may be pressed, but so are many professions, and language matters.

JaceLancs Tue 19-Aug-14 00:42:41

No one seems to have mentioned the origins of the old fashioned wording 'handicap' and therefore why it is seen as unacceptable!

Aheadofyourtime Tue 19-Aug-14 00:51:00

When ds went to an independent sec school the website had a PDF of school rules of them said children will not be physically punished unless prior permission had been granted by parents!! Also details aout how the physical punishment would be executed.Horrified, I asked and they were equally aghast and said it was very old and had escaped attention. It has now been revised.

Dayshiftdoris Wed 20-Aug-14 00:03:31


If the form had been checked their would be no need to 'waste time'...

A stitch in time saves time as my gran said...

And a quiet word from someone like the OP plus immediate action to resolve will take less time than the person who takes it to the Daily Fail in an outrage...

Definitely say something OP - you will be doing them a favour

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