As a result of recent experiences, UKPIPS would like to bring two important pieces of advice to your attention regarding the safekeeping of your ‘Z’ Card.
- ‘Z’ Card has the size advantage of it being kept in your purse or wallet.
- Recently a UKPIPS community member mislaid her purse containing her ‘Z’ Card, all her bank cards and her driving licence. While the purse was eventually found at home, it became clear during its temporary loss that if the loss had been actual, the owner might have faced the far more serious threat of identity and state benefit theft. Remember, the ‘Z’ Card contains quite a lot of medical information about you. Therefore the more astute thief might deduce you are receiving some form of state benefit and attempt to use your identity to change address and bank details for their own ends.
- In the light of the above experience, UKPIPS suggests you do NOT keep your ‘Z’ Card in your wallet. A possible alternative is keeping it in the leather case of your mobile phone where there is often a pocket in the wallet where your card could go?
- You may well have other ideas best suited to your needs – but take care of your ‘Z’ Card. It could be very useful to someone else.
The Information in your ‘z’ Card
A member of our community was recently admitted with pneumonia to a hospital that does not have its own Immunology Department. While the patient was under the joint care of a Consultant Immunologist from another hospital and a Consultant Chest Physician at the admitting hospital, some major problems were still experienced by the patient with a junior doctor. For reasons unknown, the doctor failed to write up some of the daily drugs from the patient’s ‘Z’ Card to the patient’s hospital record card. The result was that nursing staff were unable to administer the required medication because “the doctor hasn’t written them up for you.” This (some might say careless) oversight resulted in a delay of more than 24 hours before the problem was rectified and the patient could resume the daily course of medication. UKPIPS offers two pieces of advice:
- If you are admitted as an in-patient to any hospital, do not hand over your ‘Z’ Card to any doctor or nurse to take away from the room or ward in which you find yourself. There is a serious risk it will get lost and the ward staff may be too busy to start a search for it.
- If at all possible before going to an A&E Department or as a direct hospital admission, take at least six photocopies of your ‘Z’ Card with you. They can then be given to nurses and doctors instead of the original document. This will also give you a means to work with staff to ensure that your daily or periodic medication is not administered when you require it.
Should you have any suggestions about or require any additional information related to ‘Z’ Cards and their use please feel free to contact UKPIPS.