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Sunday 15 April 2007

Public service bloggers

The Guardian carries a special edition of their Society section with interviews with public service bloggers.
  • The consideration missing behind closed doors
    As an ambulance worker, 'Tom Reynolds' regularly attends calls at care homes for older people. He finds abuse and neglect is more common than he expected.
    I recently put in a report about a doctor who prescribed a "teaspoon of salt in a cup of lemon juice, to be taken three times a day" to a 93-year-old woman. An ambulance officer will be visiting the GP and investigating this dangerous advice.
  • The doctor - knotty problem
    When the NHS can't cope with demand for even the most common treatments, having no private insurance can ruin livelihoods and lives, says 'Dr John Crippen'.
    The last time a patient of mine with back pain was seen by a nurse-specialist he was told to "take appropriate analgesia on a time-contingent basis". This is a fine example of "nurse speak". I refer to it often. I am not good at foreign languages, I do not speak "nurse". I think she meant for him to take two paracetamol every four hours.
  • Reality bytes - extracts from the blogosphere
    A mental nurse, the father of a son diagnosed with schizophrenia, an employee of a Scottish council and a doctor at an NHS hospital recount their experiences.
    I realised very quickly that working in a government office had nothing whatsoever to do with helping to achieve mission statements or teamwork, and, as far as the voting taxpayers were concerned, well, they could vote and they could pay their taxes. After that, we could forget all about them and get on with raking in some reasonable salaries and employee benefits.
  • The policeman - on the run
    Life for a bobby on the beat means pursuing the same criminals, chasing endless paperwork and trying to keep up with the government's latest targets and laws. Mary O'Hara meets the man behind the Policeman's Blog.
    Senior officers ... emailed me to say 'this is the kind of thing that happens'. I'm saying things that they think as well. They can't say it publicly, so I'm saying it.
  • Power of the secret policeman's blog
    It would be foolish of the establishment to think that the questions by the blogger about modern policing can be ignored, says Patrick Butler.
    The ease and cheapness with which online blogs can be created and maintained is rewriting these rules. With the freedom of anonymity, public servants and service-users now have a largely unmoderated platform on which to tell it "how it is", connecting easily to the public and each other outside authorised channels.
  • I had a dream of getting a book published
    'Wandering Scribe' blogs about being a homeless woman living in a car. But some people suspect her story is a publicity stunt. Alison Benjamin reports.

  • Do you want to talk about it?
    The web creates a new citizen - state dialogue, says Paul Hodgkin.
    A new language is struggling into existence - a way for citizen and state to communicate that moves beyond the adversarial and towards a more nuanced public discussion of the thousands of micro issues that arise in a complex and networked information society where voice has been democratised.

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