Sunday, 28 March 2010

NHS: Another Consultant Horror Story

Last Thursday’s post about Mr Toblerone and Jimmie was my first NHS post for some time but another has come along already.

For those who have recently become visitors let me refer you back to three posts from 2008 which described primarily Mrs Carr’s maltreatment by NHS Lothian [1, 2, 3].  Mrs Carr suffered terribly through deliberate inaction: despite two letters from our MSP the health board refused to answer her most basic but pertinent questions.

I acknowledge that I am not well-disposed to those within the NHS whom I believe are denying patients the treatment and support they need but I am delighted to acknowledge good treatment.  A few months ago at the end of a normal GP’s appointment I praised the new GP because he was outstandingly good.

In Jimmie’s story he met a consultant with the people skills of a cruise missile.

Today’s story was overheard but, even if the story were embellished a little and I have no reason to believe this to be the case, the actions of the consultant (Con) concerned were outrageous.

A patient, Johnnie, suffers from a very painful and debilitating condition.  Con wanted him to switch to a new drug but Johnnie, who had read on the web about this drug and its side effects, decided to stay with his current medication because he had few side effects with it.

Con was livid that Johnnie, a mere patient, should not take his advice although I guess he wasn’t actually giving advice.

Johnnie stood his ground and did not take on the new drug.  Whether this action prompted Con to behave so appallingly I don’t know but Con saw an area of red skin on the patients arm and said,

“That looks like AB cancer.  You need to get that removed immediately”

Now Con was not a cancer specialist and so shouldn’t have made any judgments about the patch of skin by eye but, even if he were, he should never have “diagnosed” in that way nor addressed the issue in this cold and brutal way. 

Where was his concern, his caring, his compassion?

Posted missing!  Possibly never there!

As it turns out, Johnnie saw a cancer specialist and he did not have AB cancer.

He did not have cancer.

But a disgrace of a consultant stepped way outside his expertise and left a patient, already in great pain, to fear for his life by his lack of skills or lack of interest or out of pure anger.

Each of these reasons should preclude a consultant from practising. 

NHS waken up!

We are people! 

Treat us as people!

Con, if you can’t do this, get out and find a job where you can’t cause damage.

But you won’t move on, will you?  Your NHS salary, your private salary, your ego will keep you there causing trouble.


  1. People who are ill especially need treating with compassion and understanding. If consultants, doctors or nurses can't do that they are in the wrong job.

  2. So far, touch wood, I've had virtually no dealings with the NHS. In Russia, I had very brief dealings with similar and you just don't want to know. The patient care was virtually non-existent. Sounds similar here. As Cherie said, when sick, the last thing needed is this attitude.

  3. "treat us as people"

    That's the crux of it.
    We are all regarded as machines hence the notion of 'preventive' medicine.
    Preventive maintenance works for machines because wear and tear in a machine is predictable. People are different from machines and from each other.

    What happened to 'the customer is always right'?
    They call us customers now, don't they.

  4. This is despicable. Utterly utterly outrageous.

    This gobshite piece of worthless arse who's causing untold misery to perhaps many patients should be strung up by his orchids and left to rot.

    But this is common. There isn't enough space here to enumerate the number of consultants who have been rude, careless, abusive to me and mine.

    Russian system the same? Same Marxist/Stalinists here.

    But they'll never lose their jobs. They'd lterally rahter we die than that.

    BTW, my name's Offside week I go in to have an MRI to check for 'significant' metal fatigue and 'abnormal' structural disintegration. I'm told it may require a whole infrastructure replacement or a bolstering plate welded in, and a partial respray.