A brave new paradigm?

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 05 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:357
  1. Michael Williams (, consultant radiologist
  1. Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

    Today we stand on the threshold of a new medical paradigm. The post-1948 consensus has broken down, and medicine in the United Kingdom embarks on a journey into the unknown.

    Aneurin Bevan famously complained that in order to bring the effectively private sector consultants on board the new NHS in 1948 he had “to stuff their mouths with gold.” Training as I did in the 1970s I met many consultants who fondly remembered this era and for whom practising in a large teaching hospital was a salaried hobby, with the right to see and treat private patients as and when they chose. As one of my bosses said, “I am a consultant. I am not here to do anything; I am here to be consulted.” Not for him the …

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