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

Future of our NHS ‘Virgin’ on the ridiculous

…Pot pansies

Never let it be said that this column takes a parochial view of medical news. No – nothing is too much trouble for your tireless correspondent. Which is why I bring you this from the Seattle Times, if only to demonstrate that my opinion of Americans (effete, obese and stupid – like most foreigners, now I come to think of it) is not far wide of the mark. You’ll see that they are concerned about new legislation on marijuana and driving, because “it does set a level that many patients are concerned they cannot meet”. Of course you can! Man up and increase your intake a bit, for goodness’ sake.

Oh, wait a minute, I see. They mean the limit is too low. Well, I shouldn’t worry about it. You probably won’t get caught. It’s like the drink/driving laws over here. Not that I’m irresponsible enough to drive while pissed, but a few glasses of red have never given me a problem. And as for them being ‘patients’ who are taking ‘medical marijuana’, I think the fact that their spokesman is the proprietor of ‘Kennewick’s Hippie Store’ and not the oncology resident at the local hospital tells us all we need to know.

And more pansies

The Telegraph tells us that people tend not to do much work the day after office parties. Office parties my arse! – they should try some of the hospital Xmas pissups I’ve been to in recent years. They are worried that one in four workers do less than four hours work the day after a big bash. Never a problem for me (although to be fair, I was probably doing less than four hours work the day before the party as well). It’s all a question of what you expect from your workers – ask too much, and you’ll be disappointed. From the workers’ point of view, they’re just pacing themselves, aren’t they? Seems eminently sensible to me, especially in the medical context. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted Dan the Fat Gasman anaesthetising me on the morning he woke up after two pints of fruit cup spiked with absinthe and industrial grade meths. The wonder is not that his first hernia patient was unrousable for 24 hours, but that he ever woke up at all. The FG’s breath alone would have been enough to cover the op.

Where to dump grannie?

The Guardian tells us that the NHS is getting tough with care home owners, but luckily, the answer is at hand, because the luvvies are coming to the rescue. Sir Ronald Harwood, playwright to the gentry, seems to think we should all go into old folks’ homes like the one in his forthcoming film, Quartet. Presumably we’d be incarcerated with Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi and Judy Dench in a world perpetually lit by soft Autumn sunlight, sipping Darjeeling and musing on the golden age of British theatre. Dickhead. Mind you, I wouldn’t have minded seeing out my last days in an institution alongside Richard Harris, Oliver Reed and Peter O’Toole. I bet they weren’t sipping much tea.

Innovation my arse!

The Guardian again (look, I have to read it OK), this time informing us that the NHS is not sufficiently innovation-friendly. I don’t think many of us who actually work in the NHS need a bunch of cardigan-wearing nancy boys to tell us that it isn’t the best place to develop new ideas, especially if they need some investment. And of course, you can trust that leftie toilet paper to suggest that it’s the clinicians and royal colleges who are being obstructive. Well, for their information, it was clinicians who persuaded the RCS to introduce New World clarets at the annual dinner – how about that for innovation? Actually, the most interesting thing about this article is the name of their journalist. Dick Vinegar sounds like a folk remedy for the clap – for external use only, of course.

Pockets?…he must be joking

Poor old Jeremy is worried that Stafford may not be the only crap hospital around, and that there may be other ‘pockets’ of less than excellent care that we don’t know about. Well, I can point him in the direction of at least one, and I don’t suppose it will have got any better for being deprived of my input. The mortality data for the Bearded Dweeb’s unit at the MboET used to read like an end of year report from a Russian gulag. Would have been even worse if they’d included all the patients who bled to death at home after they introduced 48-hour discharges for all urology patients as part of their cost improvement plan. Still, if the Minister is really worried, he can always hand the hospitals over to another beardie … Mr Branson. Look forward to all the pictures of the bearded one trying to carry 18st nurses instead of svelte air stewardesses. Go on Jezza – you know you want to.

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