Thursday, March 20, 2008

Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust Fishbowl Internet Access

UserWatch has been alerted to the possibility of a new Inpatient Internet access policy on the wards in Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust ... No its not a spoof story ....Its true.. ...Userwatch has been made aware of information that at least one way to control what patients see and access requires that the BSMH Trust blocks ALL access to ALL websites apart from those the Trust approves of ... Ahhh a new job for someone .....Ward Web-bureau-controller.....Wow we like the spidery feel of that - yeah sure ..

So on one side of the story you have the Trust with a corporate need to protect its reputational risk whilst on the other side you do have some Inpatient surfers who may be ill but sufficiently coherent to use what passes for access to the web but also will face severe restrictions and monitoring over their use of the web on the ward ... This necessitates more supervision and control on what people watch on the web ...Oh well that's going to make some patients feel less paranoid and intruded upon isnt it ? Inpatients love surveillance don't they ?

Tip offs to UserWatch indicate that BBC sites will be approved and some educational software and LearnDirect courses ... Okay, we are restraining ourselves to state that is at least something but the paradox here is of taste censorship and supervised thought imprisonment too because we have also been tipped off that inpatients can have any "inappropriate material" they access notated down onto their "assessment notes" ...

Porn and violent material appear to be targeted for no access - fair enough some might say after all why should public money support access to that ..But what is "inapprorpiate material" - its left open to the wonderful objectivity of staff ..We are also aware that no other news channels will be allowed for inpatient access .. HUH ! ?

It reminds us partly of a story about Max Miller a comedian in the 1950's whose work was banned for 5 years by the BBC from being commissioned again .

The joke that pissed them off was about a young lady coming up to Max Miller (so he said) on the edge of a narrow cliff path . Max Miller claimed he did not know whether to "block her passage or toss himself off "

Yes he was banned for 5 years ......

Lovely place the UK - in wards or out of wards..... Ahhh but the BBC is a well balanced establishment neutralising good cold showery shot in the brain isnt it ? ......We wonder exactly what gets tossed off the NHS caring cliff.........Individuality ... ?

One patient who heard about all this reported to UserWatch :

"I'll wait till I get home to use my own computer"

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