I have a story for you this morning, which is a very different kind from the last blog I wrote. For now, heaven help me, I am back in the world, not of the superb NHS – still miraculously functioning – but of my local GP’s Surgery, where I have encountered a very different breed of doctor.
When the team who’d been looking after me in Worthing, sent me home, they gave me a list of all the medicines I am now required to take and told me their names and what they were for. I was grateful, although baffled and I was having problems trying to swallow the very large pills that figured in the midst, so I was glad to see that they’d also added a note to my local GP ‘please liaise with Mrs Kingston regarding administration of her Atorvastatin, she may find a liquid a more suitable long-term solution’. Now, I thought someone from my local surgery will be there to help me. I was wrong.
This particular doctor, who is the Diabetes Lead in the practice, had absolutely no intention of helping me, until he had bullied me into doing what he wanted, which was quite straightforward, I was to join all his other diabetics for an annual review. He implied that he couldn’t attend to medicines until that was sorted out. I hate being bullied and I hate bullies, but I felt too ill to withstand him and had to give in. I needed to be able to swallow those pills. The doctor did not tell me his name, so I took a petty comfort from calling him ‘Dr Bully-rag’. How childish you get when you’re not well.
Two days later, the diabetes practice nurse appeared to take, what I thought appeared to be a blood sample. It wasn’t. It was a whole crop of them. And when I queried the number, she said she was doing as she was told, which seems an odd and ominous thing for a member of the team to be doing.
On the 5th of October, I had a letter from the surgery, with the headline ‘Recent Result’, it was a request for me to make a NON-URGENT telephone consultation with a doctor to hear my results, which I did.
It was a very profound shock, for none of these results had anything at all to do with my diabetes, just as I had known all along that they would not. These were all to do with my now very fragile state of health since I started taking one set of pills after another. My liver was compromised, there was too much sodium in my blood, something which should be scoring 40 was scoring 100 or visa versa, but the doctor whose English was poor was unable to tell me what she was talking about. I put the phone down feeling low and depressed and that there wasn’t much hope. I don’t know whose suggestion it was that Dr Bully-rag should conduct all these tests and then tell me the results so brutally, but it sure as hell hadn’t done me any good at all.
I got in touch with my very helpful and knowledgeable and friendly Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist Nurse who said she had the results in front of her as she spoke and was going to discuss it with my consultant and that she would get back to me. A real NHS practitioner, not a loud mouth street bully like the Diabetes Lead, I made it my business this morning to find out the gentleman’s name and it is Luke Webb, who describes himself as the ‘Diabetes Lead GP’. Hmmm.
I am getting better I think, but very very slowly and it will take me some time to work out what should actually be done about this (to me) very serious breach of confidentiality. Somebody must have told this man to take all those blood tests, if so who was it? or did he get the idea himself? if so how and why?
A bullying doctor is not something that I am used to, nor one I really know how to handle. But when I feel better I will work out what has to be done and by whom and set the wheels in motion. Our NHS is now being very steadily dismantled and privatized. But that is no reason for blatant bullying and what I can only from my vantage point call deliberate cruelty.
I would welcome any advice, because all this will take time if it’s to be done properly and I’ll try to find a happier and more entertaining blog for my next sortie into the blog world.
In the meantime can I remind Dr Luke Webb of the Hippocratic Oath, which makes the case quite plainly and simply.
‘I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing.’ – Hippocratic Oath