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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 October 6; 335(7622): 724.
PMCID: PMC2001065
Outside the Box

Dear Ofcare . . .

Trisha Greenhalgh, professor of primary health care

. . . I was pleased to hear that you're going to start levying fines on naughty NHS organisations that don't keep up standards. I've always been a believer that the punishment should fit the crime, so I herewith enclose some suggestions.

Firstly, I'd like you to pop into Seddle ward in St Fritters' Hospital (take the lift to the top floor, end of the corridor, first right) and set about that slovenly sister with the red hair. She wouldn't know a care protocol from the 263 bus timetable. And according to the woman I met in surgical outpatients, she's got a fancy man from Supplies whom she meets in the sluice while the student nurses are doing the drugs round. I'd respectfully suggest a two-year compulsory secondment to that nunnery at the top of the hill.

While you're at St Fritters, you should pay a visit to Catering. When my next-door neighbour was in having her gallbladder out, they kept sending up those cook-chill dinners (cooked on the outside, chilled on the inside, according to Gloria). And she found a human hair in the casserole. Personally, I'd make the head chef go on one of those Jamie Oliver courses and put up “five a day” posters in every ward at his own expense.

I don't really want to complain about the little cottage hospital as it's so convenient for my hip physio, but I'll do my duty. My nephew went to the A&E with a rugby injury (somewhere near the groin—I didn't like to ask). Apparently, the doctor's tie dragged right across the lad's pubes when he was examining him. Five minutes later, he was bending over a cot and the kiddy grabbed his tie and stuffed it in its mouth. It's a difficult one this, because I think they're all as bad as each other, so I recommend all the male doctors in that hospital should wear bow-ties for 12 months.

One final tip-off. The GP surgery on the corner of the High St has got a receptionist with a loose tongue. I was in the queue behind her in Asda the other day and she was spilling the beans about Mrs Connors' biopsy. What she needs in my view is for her smutty little diary to be scanned in and put on the practice website so the rest of us can poke our noses into her private business.

I do hope these suggestions help. Good luck with the new regulator.

Mildred Trotterby

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