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...
Junior doctors already have in their armour all the advantage we will ever need. We have already spent every day of our working career balancing and respecting the needs of patients against our own. We know that mainstream media may chose to be our friend or foe. Indeed, as history has taught us, their allegiance may change on a daily basis. We are grateful for an immense amount of public support, yet we could never forget and so will continue to respect that there are millions of vulnerable, sick patients and their families who do not have the luxury of prioritising anything but their next few hours.
The NHS is a system we all take for granted and I cannot begin to express its worth, or the worth of its employees. However, when faced with the all challenges it has had, the NHS struggles to provide the help nurses deserve, much less adequately address and support staff with chronic health problems. Nurses struggle, and their health suffers.
Dear George, I've had a chance to digest your new budget and it seems clear to me that you are the one politician who is in sympathy with me and my issues. I too have bitter enemies who I wish to undermine and destroy by any means necessary, regardless of the impact on anyone else. So here are my problems, George, maybe you can help me.
Earlier this month, with the stroke of a pen, the Chancellor reduced the Department for Health's annual budget by some £200 million. These cuts were explained simply as "non NHS savings" - a point which may be technically correct, but neatly articulates the Government's position that where the money comes from is more important that what it actually does.