The Datix System

(A conversation between two old chestnuts)

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“Did you fill out a Datix when you fell over on that job last night?” asked Fred as he gazed at the clock, counting down the seconds before meal break.

“Of course I did” replied George, “you saw me struggling with the keyboard, and you know I can’t type very fast”.

It never ceased to amaze Fred how George always seemed to make a mountain out of a mole hill. “Did you give them all the info’ that we agreed on?”

“Of course I did” retorted George “ but there are so many falling down options that it leaves very little space for anything else to be added”.

“Drop Down Boxes” said Fred. “Drop down what?” asked George, cranking his neck at his mate while still managing to get the lid of his butty box opened.

“They’re called Drop Down Boxes” replied Fred “and they are meant to make it easier to complete the report, but there is other info’

that you can add further down the list”.

“Why should I want to add further info?” enquired George “after all, you said the form was created to make it easier for us to fill it out”.

Fred could see that this was not going to be an easy-explain so he tried to paint a picture for George. “When we were on that last job, George,

there was only me and thee that could see what we couldn’t see, if you see what I mean”… but George was lost.

“It was only us that can say what the day was like, or rather how dark it was, cos’ there was no street lighting,

it had been raining earlier and then the bitter bind came along with the blooming chill from the north which caused the ice which you slipped over on,

landing in the country pancake. Do you not get my drift?”

“So are you saying I should have included how light or dark it was; was it dry, wet, muddy ice or snow?” George had not yet started on his bacon buttie.

“That’s right” commented Fred “we need to give a bit more info so that they can get a better picture when they investigate why you came back to base smelling

like a dung heap and why you fell into one in the first place”.

Fred was getting into his stride now;” We need to let them know if the street lights were working, was there heavy traffic, unlit roads or pathways,

if it was near the start or finish of the shift, were we soaking wet from the rain or sweltering in the heat. We need to paint the picture so they can better understand the circumstances which may have contributed to the incident”.

“Gotcha” said George, picking the bacon from between his last two remaining teeth “You fill out the next one and I’ll watch how you do it”.