To be sure there are many dedicated, professional and caring individuals in the NHS and medical profession. The kind of people who will go the extra mile to provide care, treatment, reassurance.
Who really do care.
Unfortunately I just don’t seem to come across many of them.
The ones I usually meet do not care, do not want to provide treatment. They cannot be bothered, and do not give a fig for the consequences to the lives and deaths of others, the people they are supposed to be caring for.
Take my mother, for example. Diagnosed with breast cancer in her 40s, given a partial mastectomy and follow-up radiotherapy. Supposed then to be monitored every few months, scanned, reviewed. Cared for. Her cancer resurgence was not spotted, by carers who did not care, who did nothing. She died in 1990.
Or take my father. Diagnosed with early-stage bladder cancer in his late 70s, and due to his age the oncologist thought it would be a “good idea” to treat the condition aggressively. Unfortunately he did not take account of – or was too disinterested to take proper account of – my father’s diabetes, which has the effect of amplifying radio-therapy dosages. He died in 2008. The oncologist flatly refused to speak to me, to make any comment at all.
Or take my ex-wife. Diagnosed with endometriosis, her gynaecologist recommended a hysterectomy, which he was too slapdash to perform properly. She was left with a permanent nerve injury, untreatable except with painkillers. The gynaecologist refused to do anything to rectify his error except refer her to an old friend and colleague of his. It eventually turned out that this colleague had long-since retired from practice. Nobody was able to offer an alternative specialist. I researched this for (eventually) years, but found none to help. I pleaded with her GP, begged him to research this himself, to follow up on the few pay-walled leads I had found and propose any treatment, anywhere, at any cost. He listened fairly politely. And did precisely nothing. Nothing at all.
Or take my son. Taken to A&E in excruciating agony, and given a provisional diagnosis of pancreatitis. Given morphine, quite a large amount. And then when he decided to go for a walk, nobody on the ward supposedly caring for him – nobody – could be bothered to ask him where he was going, or suggest he should wait for the houseman to come round on his rounds first. So they quite happily watched him walk out of the ward, out of the hospital. They couldn’t see him when, in a morphine-induced trance, he stepped in front of a moving vehicle.
Out of sight, out of mind.
He died because the carers, who were supposed to be caring for him, did not care.
Just like the carers supposedly caring for my ex-wife, my father, my mother.
Please take that statement on board: the “carers” did not care.
To be sure there are many dedicated, professional and caring individuals in the NHS and medical profession. The kind of people who will go the extra parsec to provide care, treatment, reassurance.
Unfortunately I don’t seem to have come across any of them.