News

MPs attack NHS for putting finances and targets ahead of patient safety

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2706 (Published 03 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2706

nhs bureaucracy affects patient safety

Recently, I developed an urgent life-threatening condition. In
January 2009 I was referred by my GP to see a Consultant in hospital X.
My appointment to see this Consultant has never occurred. On two visits
there, I never saw him. After many months I lost confidence in hospital X
so I asked my long-suffering GP to refer me to see a Consultant in
hospital Y.

After six months I have not yet seen a Consultant. I have two
questions:

1. As a former consultant myself, I used to be phoned by GPs to see
urgent cases right away. Apparently, the NHS bureaucracy has stopped this
from happening. Why?

2. If one is promised, as a patient, to see a named Consultant why
or how can the Consultant remain absent? Is the Consultant not the gold
standard? How can such specific promises be abandoned to suit the NHS
bureaucracy?

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 July 2009
David H.S. Reid
Consultant Paediatrician
Retired