STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Jeremy Hunt’s ‘24/7’ plan for the NHS proves it – he should be sacked By Jullien Gaer

Overworked, stressed health professionals are cured with a secretary of state who knows nothing of service they work in and its ideals

The current impasse between Jeremy Hunt and the medical profession over what the secretary of state likes to call 24/7 working in NHS hospitals is expected to come to a head this weekend. This says far more about political imperatives in Whitehall than it does about realities on hospital wards.

Allow me to illustrate my argument referring to a patient recently admitted to our care. After lengthy discussions with the patient’s family, when all hope of recovery was extinguished, the medical team at the hospital where I am a cardiac surgeon switched off the artificial heart that had been supporting their mother, sister and daughter.

As is so often the case, the family was embarrassingly grateful for the care that we had given them, despite the unhappy outcome. Our patients don’t expect guaranteed results, nor do they expect infallibility. They expect honesty and sincerity; and, unlike too many politicians, they are quick to acknowledge professionals doing their utmost in the face of formidable odds.

This particular patient (let us call her Mrs W) presented with a condition that is both common and, if untreated, uniformly fatal. An attempt to deal with the problem without recourse to open surgery (and the significant attendant risk of paraplegia) resulted in a complication that necessitated emergency surgery.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/12/jeremy-hunt-nhs-sacked-health-service?CMP=share_btn_tw

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‘The notion that I or my colleagues have succumbed to a nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday culture would be laughable, were it not frankly slanderous.’ Jullien Gaer

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