NHS ‘snap off’ online access to RTE News?

A GP from Derry writes:

All primary care workers in NI have NHS e-mail addresses and can access the web from work via a central Health &Social Services spine. It has just decided that the RTE news website contains “inappropriate material” and blocked access. It was allowed up until today, now when you try to access it you get the blocked, inappropriate material message. BBC, Google, The Guardian, MSN news and Al Jazeera all allowed, just RTE singled out.

Seems harsh. Is it political?

  • Pete Baker

    Well, unless it’s being blocked repeatedly and the GP has confirmation that it has been added to a blocked list, I’d suggest it’s a temporary technical hitch.

    The RTÉ News website, in my experience, is often difficult to access.

  • slug

    In all parts of the UK, GP salaries start at £95,000.

  • na

    I can’t see how any of those named websites benefit patients and doctors aren’t short of work. I would suggest this doctor could have fitted in another patient rather than checking the internet and emailing Mick.

  • DaithiO

    As of today I can no longer see that web-site either, our firewall/filter says the reason is “Proxy Avoidance” whatever that means.

    I do NOT work in the NHS !

    Bizarre !

  • slug

    Agreed na.

    Especially when we, the taxpayer, are paying them each £100,000 or more.

    UK doctors are the best paid in Europe.

    It is free to visit GPs in the UK.

  • Crusty

    I’m doing some work at Network Rail, who use Websense to block undesirable sites. This morning I found that Websense had blocked the entire http://www.rte.ie site using the excuse “Proxy Avoidance”.

  • dantheman

    likewise at my work. rte is banned without reason

  • Nevin

    I’ve contacted Websense and passed the complaint on. Let’s hope there is a prompt response.

  • barnshee

    More workshy time wasters what are they doing on the interent at the tax payer/employers expense

    Monitor their usage -Time it- wheel them in and award P45s

  • JR

    “More workshy time wasters what are they doing on the interent at the tax payer/employers expense

    Monitor their usage -Time it- wheel them in and award P45s ”

    I hope all posters who are complaining about waste of employees time are browsing on their own time and computers? I think not!!

  • If I thought my GP was “surfing the internet” when I waited in the waiting room reading 6 month old mags I’d report him to the GMC. Never mind what website he can or cannot see.Maybe Slugger has uncovered the problem with the Health Service and why there are such long waiting lists, they’re all on their bloody computers surfing the net !

    Back to work…

  • dantheman

    Are there any depths the orange propaganda machine won’t sink to??

    On the other hand, it may just be a temporary glitch.

    On second thoughts, it the Orange propaganda death machine of doom and destruction. And evil.

  • Mick Fealty


    Indeed… On the other hand being inside a glass house never disuaded many in Northern Ireland from throwing copious numbers of stones.

  • Nevin

    I’ve just had some feedback. Apparently the problem has arisen because of the way the RTE website operates. I’ve suggested that Websense contact RTE to see how the difficulty can be overcome – for the benefit of all RTE aficionados on the internet who are currently depraved (OOPS) deprived …

  • Nick J

    My works firewall does not allow me to view this site either.

    Damn those securocrats………………….

  • smcgiff

    Not surprising really – Sure words like democracy are banned in countries like China and other repressive regimes! 🙂

  • Occasional Commentator

    Aren’t the GPs allowed breaks? Are they not allowed to read the news online during those breaks?

  • Nevin

    Just received this message:


    The site http://www.rte.ie/ has been reviewed. We have made an update to the following URL in our master database to address this issue:

    http://www.rte.ie/ – News and Media

    Categorization updates are reflected in the latest version of the database x2586 which is currently available for download.

    Thank you for your assistance,

    The Websense Database Services Staff

    Can any Websense users confirm they can now access the RTE site?

  • Jen Erik

    My anonymous source says that within a month of introducing the system, they found that 95% of the bandwith was being taken up by 5% of the GPs & staff. Those users were datastreaming – which, untechnological as I am, I think means they had the radio on as background noise through their computers – but this usage slowed down the system for important things like lab results, business critical messaging and radiology results. Therefore all radio and TV streaming was cut. He assures me that the BBC has been ‘snapped off’ also.

  • Lámh Dearg

    RTE back on stream.

    Jen, legitimate concerns but actually most lab results are sent out overnight, radiology results are only starting to be sent online and again will be sent overnight. BBC was never affected and all is back to normal now.

  • slug

    Lmh Dearg can go back to being paid £100,000+ for surfing.

  • Yokel

    No its nto political for christs sake, its either a hitch or the fioltering software used by the NHS (which shall remain nameless) is being a bit of a gyp as can happens.

  • elvis parker

    Shouldnt the primary concern of primary care workers in NI be their patients?

  • smcgiff

    ‘Shouldnt the primary concern of primary care workers in NI be their patients?’

    Exactly – Logging on to websites like RTE.ie will allow Primary care workers to shoot the breeze with their patients. Improved bed side manner etc.* Heck, it’s their duty to log onto RTE.ie.

    *realises there’s a PR company out there missing a valuable employee! 🙂