Monday, January 21, 2008

Monkeys and NHS

At least the Cockroach Catcher was no monkey. Those who have read Chapter 1 – The Seven Minute Cure of the book “The Cockroach Catcher” will have to agree. Dr Crippen in his NHS BLOG DOCTOR noted on January 18 that:

“The medical profession has not been allowed to do its job. The government has forced doctors to implement focus group predicated health care. Professional judgment is neither respected nor required. Doctors' morale is at an all time low. Medical care is now all protocols and process. Protocol driven medical care can be done by monkeys, and often is.”

You will find similar sentiments in this extract from the chapter “The Seven Minute Cure” of my book “The Cockroach Catcher”:

“ I am no coward. So let us wait.

Adolescent Units are notorious for making life difficult for authority figures. This is perhaps due to severe professional rivalry. To most of the nursing staff, the only difference between the psychiatrist and them is that the psychiatrist is licensed to prescribe. If a patient is not on medication a psychiatrist would barely be needed. Over time various mechanisms have been introduced to minimize the input of the psychiatrist even when he is supposed to be in charge. Many psychiatrists gave up the fight a long time ago just to survive. A patient’s stay in hospital involves a large number of multidisciplinary meetings that often lead to half-baked treatment plans that have little hope of success. Surprises are unwelcome and generally discouraged.

I have found this kind of ‘consensus’ approach a serious problem. It is simply not my style. Perhaps one of the reasons I stayed as an outpatient consultant all these years was to continue to enjoy the independence from such approach.”

The monkey was in Kruger National Park, South Africa. One day he may be all you would see.

Or perhaps this one from Costa Rica is better. He is a rare species of golden monkey we saw in the Caño Negro wildlife refuge of Costa Rica. He looks more thoughtful.

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