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University College Hospital: Can’t Help or Won’t Help? – Does It Matter?

October 19th, 2007

Two very revealing conversations have taken place this week here at university College Hospital.

On Wednesday Dr Anton Emmanuel finally turned up after two weeks of waiting. He had agreed to “put to one side” his prejudices – as had I – and have a conversation aimed at understanding what I understand to be wrong with me. This conversation was a farce.

At the beginning of the session I showed Dr Emmanuel the 3D rendition of the scans of my neck which clearly indicate the misalignment of my cervical vertebrae and that some of the spinous processes have grown at an angle of around 10 degrees from the straight line they should inhabit. This is important as it is proof positive that my body grew under abnormal muscular strains and imbalance significant enough to mean my bones are the wrong shape. He said he needed to establish the significance of this.

I went on to start describing what is wrong with me. Dr Emmanuel – far from trying to understand what I was explaining – argued every tiny point with me. His favourite phrase was “you can’t prove that”. The whole two hours was frankly a waste of time. I listed the scientific medical proofs of the failure of my Pelvic musculature, namely: thinned and scarred internal sphincter, descended pelvic floor, internal rectal prolapse, urinary incontinence and that my bladder rolls forward on filling. “You can’t prove that”, said he. Yet unfortunately for him those things are already proven though he decided to deny them.

The time was a waste except for the discovery that Dr Emmanuel also works at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, home to the manipulative and disgusting Dr Joseph Cowan who kept me out of his rehab unit on spurious grounds for a year – such as “your attitude must improve” – then broke the GMC guidelines writing to other doctors asking them not to see me as I had complained.

As Emmanuel backed out of the door, having wasted two hours of his and my time arguing instead of trying to understand, he said “I can’t support you remaining in hospital any longer. It’s ridiculous – we’re not helping you”. On the last point I can agree with him wholeheartedly as this hospital is not helping me – and aside from the excellent colo-rectal consultant under whom I am admitted – this is largely because the hospital is not trying to help me.

They have refused to do certain tests which would show major problems on rather spurious grounds, chosen to dismiss out of hand both the psychological reports and physical reports of other healthcare professionals, repeated a bunch of tests already known not to be helpful and to show negative results, and, to quote the colo-rectal consultant some of the doctors I need to see have “refused to see me” as I am perceived as trouble – although he personally agreed it is not me that is trouble but the people and events around me.

When I enquired at the RNOH in Stanmore under the freedom of information act what the maximum and average times were for admission to Dr Joseph “I am the ultimate bastard” Cowan’s unit, the call to inform me of the information came from a lovely lady called Kim Harris. “I don’t know why they have asked me to telephone you”, said Kim, “I am the complaints manager. But the information you requested is that the maximum time to admission to Joseph Cowan’s unit is twenty one weeks. Eighteen weeks from GP referral to an appointment with the team and three weeks from that appointment to admission”. This was at a point in time when I had been under Cowan’s (lack of) care for a year and he had made excuses about having an extended waiting time for admissions and started interfering in my care under other doctors. So even though Ms Harris did not understand why “they” had asked her to call them it was pretty plain to me.

This is a prime example of exactly the kind of “trouble” I am. I want my right to health upheld and it is extremely inconvenient and troublesome to some doctors that I want this. Many doctors have truly forgotten that the “do no harm” bit of the Hippocratic oath is meant to refer to their patients: they think it refers principally to others in their profession. Yet more are so hyper-aware of the career realities of Doctoring in the UK that they are easily swayed by pressure not to do the right thing: if they cross the line and stand by an inconvenient truth such as myself they know it may be held against them. This is the nature of the closed shop and is the main reason the NHS is only 18th best health system in the world when measuring outcomes in the World Health Organisations analysis.

The other conversation this week that was informative was the one with my colo-rectal consultant. He tried once again to start discharging me from hospital. I have been here six and a half weeks and he has failed, despite his genuine and best efforts, to get the Multi-disciplinary team my healthcare requires in place. After all if the doctors he asks to see me refuse then how can a MDT be put in place? It can’t. He said during this conversation that the hospital “can’t” help me. I pointed out that only last week he had admitted that people he asked to see me wouldn’t come and drove home the point that it is that the hospital won’t help me.

Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the Medical Director of this hospital serves on the Board of the Royal College of Surgeons with Professor Williams – aka “the Lying Surgeon” – who not only has acted abysmally towards me, lied to my MP and interfered with investigations elsewhere but has recently scared off a journalist who was writing up my medical history with “cleverly worded, evil but veiled threats”.

That Doctors employed to serve us by a state organisation we pay for with our taxes can act in such unethical and self-serving ways and with total impunity and no fear of being held to account is proof positive of the danger of the closed shop.

It is no wonder one of the nurses here said to me “You couldn’t pay me enough to be a doctor in this country – doctoring is completely messed up”.

Since the day I arrived this hospital has done it’s best to appear to have done it’s best – It has not done it’s best nor tried to so. There is a big and important difference between the two.

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