I was politically ambivalent about the general election. Like a lot of NHS staff, I was torn between knowing that things were bad in the health service, especially in general practice, but equally knowing that a change of government would inevitably mean some sort of re-branding, reorganisation and changes of priorities. I knew an NHS on its knees already wouldn't cope with that. When the result came in, it was going to be more of the same. No massive changes, just slogging on trying to get the government to listen. I was totally wrong.
Public awareness is still far too low, but the symptoms - which include diarrhoea, muscle pain, mottled or discoloured skin, itching, difficulty passing urine, chills and shivering, fever, and fast breathing - can be spotted by friends and family, or even the patient themselves. Until we all start to suspect sepsis, and say sepsis, the outlook won't get better.
Monday brought the first announcements on the NHS from David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt since the election - although as John Humphrys rightly pointed out in his interview with Mr Hunt, they have been doing the job for five years already. Greeted with trepidation by NHS staff, the announcements outlined some key policies. Consequently I am disillusioned, sad and angry, in equal measures... I'm no expert Mr Cameron, but I think your business plan is shocking. It is going to fail. It is going to push the NHS to collapse, and we are already teetering dangerously on the brink. Push it into the hands of private providers. Which the cynic in me says is your endgame.
When a photograph of an emergency room doctor grieving for a 19-year-old patient was posted online recently, it went viral with thousands of shares, likes and comments. Most of this stemmed from the fact that doctors are not known for showing personal emotions. Like all healthcare staff we deal with difficult, sometimes hugely distressing scenarios every day. We have all had moments like that doctor. Where a patient has affected us so profoundly, we cannot hold it together and need some space. This is a tribute to just five of the patients that have taught me to be a better doctor. Identifying details have been changed to preserve patient anonymity.
Relegating the four-hour target in importance and looking across a richer set of indicators like these could be an important way forward. But doing this will mean moving away from the weekly fix of headlines about hospitals 'underperforming' or, alternatively, meeting the target. Are politicians brave enough to go cold turkey on the totemic four-hour A&E target?
You are stuck in a busy, noisy, unfamiliar building. You are unsure of where you are or even what time of year it is. All the corridors look the same. You find it hard to judge how far away the floor is. You can't remember where the toilets are. You can't remember why you're here. You feel a rising sense of panic as you search for clues to where you are, and even who you are.
Despite repeated calls from numerous medical experts and various health intellectuals hospitals across the UK continue to serve junk foods to sick people. As recently as last year Doctors themselves meeting at the BMA made the strongest recommendation that all hospitals should stop this practice completely because it was exacerbating almost every medical problem they faced.