Views & Reviews Personal View

Don’t throw out the mop with the muck

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 22 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2416
  1. Jeremy Thompson, clinical director, social inclusion services, NHS Hull
  1. jez.thompson{at}

    Last night I had a dream. My wife and I, tiring of the constant struggle to maintain standards in our professional and home lives, and recognising that the battlefront most obviously under pressure was the housework, made the radical decision to employ a cleaner. “Let’s commission a new service,” we trilled, brimming with enthusiasm after a recent practice based commissioning meeting. Lively debate about the sort of service we required and a thorough options appraisal followed; and at last, one bright Monday morning, our new cleaner stood on our doorstep, mop in hand, prim, confident, and keen. Life was great as she competently and professionally fulfilled the duties we asked of her, and our house was gradually restored to its PC state (that’s pre-children, not politically correct, which of course it has always been).

    “Hang on,” we said to ourselves, “we know that things are …

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