I've just started working in a new NHS Foundation Trust. Last night I was on-call. During my on-call I got summoned to a ward and told by the nurses to do something - something both illegal and likely to have me up in front of the GMC - 'not bloody likely' I said, 'but it's trust policy they whined'. Eventually they called in the on-call consultant, who wouldn't do it either.
'Silly nurses' I thought, 'policy indeed!' Now, officially, I'm supposed to have read all 30 of the clinical policies (and the other non-clinical ones too), I've never had the time set aside to do this but the trust have told me to do it so that's their arse covered. They're each 20+ pages long and written in a dreary bureaucratic speak that makes it impossible to easily extract the approximately one line that is actually relevant to clinical practice.
Having a few minutes of downtime I thought I'd check the relevant policy, and sure enough, there it was, an explicit instruction that in these circumstances a doctor should do something both illegal and likely to get them struck off. I looked at who wrote the policy, a nurse and an admin person (sorry, 'organisational risk lead'), no doctors seem to have been involved.
So, feeling like a good little boy, I contacted the 'Risk & Clinical Governance Department' to point out this gross oversight - 'oh yeah, someone mentioned something similar in 2008 but the policy isn't up for review until 2012 so we'll take a look at it again then'. Fantastic.