I lied to a patient today. I didn't feel good about it, but I didn't know what else to say. It was a man I was visiting at home, let's call him Stan. An elderly patient who is normally in excellent health and rarely comes to the surgery. He was down for a home visit to check his chest after being unwell for a few days. Before I went out I looked at his notes, and saw we hadn't seen him for a good six months. Quite uncommon for a lot of older patients. He isn't a smoker, isn't on much in the way of medicine, and had rung the surgery last week. The notes were from my colleague. They were brief...
A survey released this month by the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF) has revealed that an alarming number of doctors are experiencing mental health and wellbeing problems, such as depression and anxiety as a result of working under increasing pressure and scrutiny. Yet despite their obvious need for support and advice, the doctors surveyed also said they are unlikely to seek help for fear of discrimination or stigma from colleagues (84%).
A child electrocuted by a loose cable. Exhausted men and women living in squalor, losing toes to gangrene. Children caked in mud, coughing and vomiting. Families forced to sleep outside in torrential rain. These are not scenes from a horror movie. They're just some of the desperate stories medics are witnessing at the Greece-Macedonia border right now.
Perhaps the stolen camaraderie led me into my chosen profession - emergency medicine. The siege mentality, punishing rotas and huge reliance on teamwork made me feel like I belong somewhere. Sadly with the unrelenting workload and no sign of empathy from up high, I can feel myself drifting. For now, the search continues.
I am a doctor, trained for 10 years, highly qualified. But I wouldn't be half the doctor I am today without nurses. From my first days on the wards as a medical student, with no idea about the human body, nurses have helped me. To a few days ago when I didn't know which dressing was best to put on a leg wound, nurses have helped me. This is a small, unworthy tribute to all the hard working nurses in the NHS. It involves a lot of cups of tea...
It is my belief that by leveraging the maximum funding for GP services, we can build a better future for London and its residents. We cannot have new homes and then neglect the social amenities that underpin new communities. To make London a decent place to live and work, we must adopt an holistic approach.
A+E is the link bridge from primary to secondary care and it is fair to accuse it of being a reflection of the overall functioning of a vast healthcare system. Sadly, crowding currently plagues A+E; patients queue in corridors, ambulance staff wait to handover and professionals get burnt due to unsustainable intensity.
In an increasingly capitalist world it is easy to give in to temptation, however, that is neither the ethos nor the mandate of a socialist NHS. Before forcing through change let us talk yet perhaps more importantly; let us listen. Only then we can devise a strategy on how to deliver the future, together.