Firstly, thank-you all so much for the lovely comments about yesterday's post, and to those who published it more widely. It reminds me of how lucky I am to be trusted with people's stories, and how I can best steward those stories. My responsibility to my patient's can never stop at the ward door, even though the overwhelming pressure is to act like it. I am thankful every day for the friends - online and off - who remind me that justice is more than political correctness and that systems can be changed.
And just to make sure that I remember the wider justice issues within the NHS/social care system, today I read Max Pemberton's latest tome 'The Doctor Will See You Now' all in one greedy gulp (well, I did have a 4 hour train journey to kill...). This book covers his year after (what is now) the foundation programme as he starts the process towards specialising in old-age psychiatry. He covers many really important topics, and covers them very well - his passion for his work is evident, and he beautifully illustrates the unjust treatment of older people within the current system.
His book has given me some ideas for posts looking at other issues of justice within the NHS, including :
- The treatment of older people and those with dementia
- Food and the NHS
- The NHS and 'non-professional' carers
- Physical health problems in psychiatric patients
- Speaking out against injustice / whistle-blowing
- LGBTQ individuals and the medical profession
- NHS dental treatment
- Working conditions for auxiliary staff
I also have some public health geekery to throw your way! Don't worry, it's wicked cool stuff, and a good framework for some of these discussions.
Something I also want to explore further is the structure of the NHS. Do you know that the whole way through medical school, noone teaches you about the history of the NHS, how it is structured and governed and so on? I may be showing my cynicism when I tell you that I believe this to be deliberate. It's much harder to fight a system when you don't know what you're up against...
So tell me : where do you see injustice within the NHS? Do you feel you know enough about the NHS as an organisation? Do you know of any good resources for learning more about the NHS? I would love to hear your thoughts =]