Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘NHS


(This one is a RANT- and if I say anything that is uncharacteristic it is because I am angry and may feel differently tomorrow… but I doubt it.)

The term ‘Moron’ has long since lost its ‘scientific’ meaning as the title of a specific condition and now is used as an alternative word for ‘Idiot.’

After something I witnessed this week, I want to rehabilitate the medical connection of the word ‘moron.’

Now as morons are perceived to be of low intelligence, it makes sense that they would tend to have more accidents, so statistically will end up in A&E or ER more frequently than the rest of us. For instance, a moron may need medical assistance for a lung condition after burning his house down. Any of us could find ourselves in that position. Only in the moron’s case it has probably happened because when it started raining he (or she, because moronism is not gender specific) thought it a good idea to move his barbecue inside the house. That sort of thing.

The condition only becomes dangerous when the moron is taken to A&E. And he will be taken, even if he can get there under his own steam. He will be taken, because somewhere in the haze which is his brain he has grasped the idea that the big van with a flashing blue light is a free taxi.

And another thing that the normally docile moron is good at grasping is what things are his ‘rights.’ He will fight ferociously to defend the rights that a modern democracy has given him, without once feeling the need to give anything back in return.


On Tuesday night my wife suffered from a severe asthma attack. Her peak flow meter (a tube which measures how well you are breathing) usually registers 250 but had plummeted to 50. Similar things have happened before, and a visit to an emergency doctor’s clinic has been enough. This time, I phoned the clinic and after getting my wife to speak down the phone and listening to her breathe they advised me not to panic but to get an overnight bag together and call for an ambulance immediately.

In retrospect, there is a very funny side to a man having to get things together for his wife for a night. Somewhere in the urgency of it all I was there trying to choose a matching outfit and appropriate underwear. I was alao having to compute what the best alternative would be for our foster son, which I decided was to reassure him that she would be OK but soon and ambulance would arrive so would he get his shoes on and go over to the neighbours.

A paramedic in a car arrived first, shortly followed by the ambulance. I have to say that from the paramedics, to the receptionist, the nurses, the doctors and the porters, the service was absolutely first class, both in terms of competence and in terms of their professional and reassuring approach.

But then along came the morons…

My wife was admitted and put on a nebuliser very quickly, but due to about three morons kicking off  it was an hour before a doctor got to see her.

One moron had been wheeled by two porters to x-ray, wheeled back to A&E, then got up and walked to the front door to chat on his mobile.

When this waste of resources was pointed out to him he verbally abused the nurse and demanded to see a manager. The nurse pointed out that they were understaffed, and that the manager would gladly see him when she had finished her tour of thirteen wards, but the implications of this were totally lost on the moron.

His demands to see a manager and rant about his rights seemed to go on forever, and I’m there watching the fluctuations in the monitor that is attached to my wife as his manner became increasingly aggressive.

Then another moron interrupted the staff to ask if his wife could leave the building. They said no, because she had a head injury, and that led to a confrontation because she just had to have a cigarette…

Something else happened- we couldn’t see what it was from the cubicle- but the next thing was the police turning up.

Let’s just take a reality check here. This is a place where people go to be healed. It is staffed by intelligent, hard working people, who are there to save lives.

It seemed that the majority of their time was spent pacifying morons.

As far as I was aware, only one of them was drunk- the one who gave the staff a load of abuse when advised that he should not be walking on a  leg which was so badly injured. The drunks usually appear at the weekend. This was Tuesday night and these were morons. And they knew their rights.

I don’t know what the answer, but there is something so wrong about these hardworking heroes having to cope with this additional stress. And there is something wrong about genuine patients (one of the morons had a season ticket at the A&E) having to wait for treatment.

When it came it was superb, and my wife is fine now.

But tonight those staff will probably be facing the same situation all over again. And if you are thinking of scenarios from ‘Casualty’ or ‘ER’ you are in the wrong area. The scene was more like something from ‘M*A*S*H,’ as a group of staff did their job with humour and efficiency, at the same time as keeping one eye on how close the bombs were getting.

And although I have always prided myself on my ‘socialist’ leanings, I find myself wondering if the morons will eventually lead us to inevitable right-wing solutions, where the dwindling resources are allocated only to the deserving.

An advertising campaign once said ‘Don’t die of Ignorance.’

If only it were that simple.

(End of rant.)

This is the story of two men.

We’ll call them man A and man B.

Man A is 48. Man B is 30.

Man A got a nail in his foot, causing some internal damage. It was his own fault. Man B got a broken leg. It was no fault of his own.

Man A got the medical attention he needed. Man B didn’t.

Man A had access to pain relief. Man B didn’t.

Man A‘s injury didn’t lead to any complications. Man B‘s did.

Man A is typing this. Man B isn’t here to contribute, because…

Man B died…

WHY? Was it because Man B lived in a third world country without access to proper medical treatment?

 No, it was  because…

Man A manages services for people who have learning disabilities. Man B has… had… learning disabilities.

And it happened in the UK in the twenty-first century.

 Mark Cannon was admitted to hospital after his leg was broken whilst in respite care. He waited three days to see a pain team. Although his family pointed out that he needed close supervision in hospital, he was given a bed at the furthest point from the nurse’s station. After his leg operation he needed a blood transfusion. He didn’t get it, along with vital medication which he should have had to prevent him from having seizures. Mark Cannon was discharged from hospital in agony. He suffered renal failure, had a heart attack, and died.

 Remember: this was just a young man of thirty with a broken leg.

And, sadly, Mark is not the only one.

Now tell me: how far have we come?



I seem to have got to that age where medical issues have become a normal topic of conversation, so…

Interesting Medical Fact Number 1: I’ve just had a mole removed from my back. No, not a fluffy little creature (I just like the picture, and thought you’d rather see it than a skin blemish.) It changed colour and shape when I was on holiday, so I went to see the Doc, who said it had to come off.

The procedure was painless. And afterwards the Doctor gave me the scissors and other implements he had used. Apparently sterilisation is no longer good enough because of superbugs, so they would only throw them away. It occurs to me that I could commit the perfect crime- all of the clues would point to someone who has access to surgical instruments. And now I’ve told you, I’ll have to kill you… and eat your wife.

Interesting Medical Fact Number 2: My Dad has just had his second knee replacement. The first was done in a BUPA hospital, the second in an NHS hospital. The procedure, the staff, the food and the aftercare were all far superior from the latter.

interesting Medical Fact Number 3: Seasonal Affective Disorder has kicked in earlier and affected more people this year because the British Summer was duller and grottier than ever. I know, because I get it. I like to keep my blogs lighthearted, so if you want to read more on this subject check out my ezine article at:—A-Personal-Perspective&id=1511457

My Latest Twitterings