Sunday, 23 June 2013

Mr Bean the surgeon

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt reminds us that it's not just medical students who are fond of practical jokes -

"In 2011/12, there were 326 so-called ‘never events’ – events so unacceptable they should never happen. ‘The ones we know about include 161 people with foreign objects left in their bodies, like swabs or surgical tools; 70 people suffering wrong-site surgery, where the wrong part of the body or even the wrong patient was operated on; and 41 people given incorrect implants or prostheses,’ Mr Hunt said. ‘Put another way – every other day we leave a foreign object in someone’s body, every week we operate on the wrong part of someone’s body, and every fortnight we insert the wrong implant.'"

So you might come round to find a selection of scalpels in your stomach, all gradually inching their way towards your rectum. And woe betide you if you are admitted for an appendectomy and the staff mix you up with a man who wants another appendage snipped off, "oh and a couple of large breast implants if you've got the time, Doctor". The ghost of Dr Mengele seems to be wandering Britain's wards, sewing ears onto chests and feet onto the end of arms. Your only hope is that, like many thousands of other NHS patients each year, you won't emerge from hospital alive to see your reflection in the mirror.

The Health Secretary's grim sense of humour extends to his decision to put placards above hospital beds, showing visitors which Dr Frankenstein, and which deranged assistant, have turned their relatives into monsters -

"Jeremy Hunt will bring back the practice of writing the names of the responsible doctor and nurse above every bed so families know ‘where the buck stops’. The NHS should also publish better safety information, such as the likelihood of emerging unscathed from each hospital across the country, he said."

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Keep it clean.....