I had a message left with my secretary from an orthopaedic ward. It was about a post op elderly patient who'd fractured her hip and was profoundly confused, apparently throwing hot tea and drinks at people, pulling out lines and battering the staff.
I 'phoned up the ward, who know me well, and spoke with a staff nurse, saying I'd received some info about a patient causing havoc and could I make arrangements to review her that afternoon. I gave the nurse the patient's name (which was quite common) and asked for identification details (date of birth, NHS number) so I could see if we'd any past details from CMHT, GP, memory therapy or memory clinic contacts.
The nurse said she couldn't give me that information.
"So you're referring a patient to me, but you won't tell me who they are?!"
"Sorry, it's the policy . . . seems a bit silly, doesn't it?"
You couldn't make it up.