Nelson's Column, Bolg, Blog, whatever...

A column as controversial as a non-emergency phone line

Jobs for the boys

So, more than 25 senior DoH staff have their salaries paid to limited companies, in order to avoid minimize their tax burden? Very nice too, but what really struck me was the statement that ‘the 25 were not civil servants, or technically even staff, although a large number have been employed by the department for many years and hold very senior positions’ (my italics). Now I yield to no-one in my contempt for the DoH, but I have to say that in this case, I do feel a grudging sense of respect – they have clearly got their shit together, as I believe the young people say, when it comes to greasing the palms of their top people. And that reference to them not ‘actually’ being members of staff rang a few bells with me. I can think of more than one senior consultant colleague in the Middle Bit of England Trust who adopted a similarly semi-detached view of their NHS responsibilities. I suspect that, very soon, Andrew Lansley will also be ‘not actually a member of staff’ at the DoH, ‘technically’ or otherwise.

Keeping abreast of the PIP campaign

I think I may have mentioned the PIP implant furore in this column previously. But, it’s an important story so I am going there again (and not just because I’m breast obsessed and see an opportunity for easy journalistic double entendre). Sixty recipients have marched on the capital demanding action. Still, I’m pleased to see that in some parts of the country the boys are cashing in on the hysteria. And given the most common reason for a lady to want bigger knockers, am I the only person to think it appropriate that the industrial grade silicon in the PIP was really intended for mattresses?

Is this a joke?

Why do I even ask – I know the answer. There is, apparently, ‘concern’ over the roll-out of the new 111 phone service. This service is designed for patients with – wait for it – non-emergency conditions. FFS!! Given that the neurotic morons composing 50% of the population already call the pre-existing emergency number (999, in case you have forgotten) because they have mislaid the remote control for their Sky box and want to record TOWIE, what the hell are they expecting to hear about over a non-emergency line? Dissatisfaction with the colour of their 3-piece bloody suite; orders for chicken tikka masala and fifteen pints of Cobra? Jeez! – talk about making a rod for your own back. I’d be concerned as well, if I gave a toss.

Lassies who inhale

Well of course more women in the north of England smoke during pregnancy than in London. For a start, they have to produce stunted children, otherwise they won’t fit up the chimneys, and they are already inhaling so much smoke as they clog their way through the grim terraced streets that a few fags don’t make much difference. Then there’s all that black pudding, and whippets crapping all over their beer-stained carpets. Frankly, it’s a wonder that any of the poor little buggers just have the one head when they pop out.

Och aye the noo etc

Now I may have given the impression in the past that I am not altogether convinced that my future lies north of the border. However, it seems that there is now a shortage of doctors in some of the more remote regions, including Islay. I am prepared to make myself available to work in the following areas of that beautiful island: Laphroaig; Lagavulin; Bowmore; Bruichladich; Bunnahabhain; Ardbeg or Caol Ila (I’m not sure they are all actual places, Jerry – Ed). If I’m slow to answer the phone in an emergency, give it twelve hours or so, then try again. No rush, but ideally, I’d like to be in post before Port Charlotte opens up again.

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5 Responses to “A column as controversial as a non-emergency phone line”

  1. Armin says:

    @Ed, each of the names Jerry mentioned are places, there are also at least a handful of people (and therefore potential patients) living in all of them. The surgery in question is the one in Bowmore, therefore in walking distance from a distillery.

    Port Charlotte is a different story, the Wikipedia entry is in dire need of an update. I haven’t heard much news there recently, but I wouldn’t expect that to happen for quite some time at the moment.

  2. Jerry Nelson says:

    Thanks Armin – useful information. Bowmore it is then (a pleasant enough brew although it lacks the iodine intensity of the coastal distilleries). Just a couple of queries – do they have a betting shop, a golf club (private not public thanks very much) and a decent restaurant?

  3. Armin says:

    Can’t think of a betting shop, you would have to do that online. There’s a golf club (not sure about membership) at The Machrie, which is currently being refurbished. Don’t know what your expectations for a decent restaurant are, but there are a handful I’m happy enough with (Port Charlotte Hotel, Bridgend Hotel, The Islay in Port Ellen, The Old Kiln at Ardbeg distillery for lunches to name some)

  4. Jerry Nelson says:

    Sounds better by the minute. I’ll get my application in. Damned good job there are no special qualifications or anything for becoming a GP. I guess once you’ve been a surgeon everything else is easy. Hopefully they’ll provide a stethoscope – gave mine to the vet years ago, in part payment for putting down a springer that wasn’t retrieving. Thats another thing now I think of it – shooting – they won’t mind me banging away in the heather, I suppose?

  5. spindoc says:

    Banging away in the heather…..that brings back memories. Oh no that’s probably one of those dam false memories that sneak in when your not looking.

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