If you find me face down on the pavement in Tottenham, make sure you have a fiver spare

One day, dear reader, you may find me face down on a pavement. Don't jump to the obvious - I may not be drunk, I might be needing urgent medical attention. If you find me in such a situation and you want to help me, please DO NOT let the ambulance crew take me to the North Middlesex 'University' Hospital, Edmonton. Slip them a fiver for the extra petrol and direct them to the Whittington Hospital at Archway or the Homerton in Hackney.

Tomorrow I have a funeral to go to in All Hallow's Church in Tottenham. My Godmother's mother's cancer worsened when she caught MRSA, the deadly superbug, in the High Dependency Unit (she was admitted with a chest infection). If the HDU contains bugs, what hope is there for the poor sods on the ordinary wards? Paying my respect to Joan today, I couldn't help but think we were all robbed of another few years of knowing her.

News has just reached me that a friend's friend's mother has just kicked the bucket aged 49. Guess where? You guessed it! She was admitted to the North Mid with breathing difficulties and was put on an observation ward. She caught a bug even worse than MRSA.

It would be easy for Panglossian fans of the NHS to write off this post as a crude attack on hardworking staff. It isn't. I realise that there are people working at the North Mid who do amazing jobs under very difficult circumstances. But there is all too clearly a minority of staff who provide poor care to extremely vulnerable patients. This can be manifested as a lack of people skills, an uncaring attitude, professional incompetence and poor personal hygiene. These people need to be identified, warned to improve and sacked if they don't - stuff the unions!

The North Mid - regardless of what the crazy 'star' systems give it - has a widespread reputation in these parts as the worst hospital around.


David Allen said...

I agree that the Whittington is a great hospital _ I have needed the A&E there and been impressed on all 3 occasions. The A&E at the Royal Free in contrast is a total nightmare. However, the 'elective' wards at the Royal Free have been very impressive when I have visited people there.

Newmania said...

We had a good time at the Whittington with the birth of Elliot but it is exceedingly dirty. I spoke to many people who work there during the NHS campaign and they were dismayed at conditions under which they said they could not work.

Still it does sound better

Matt Davis said...

Justin I know exactly what you mean about the North Middlesex. My Aunt went there complaining of pains in her back, her side and her chest. They didn't examine her and told her she just had indigestion and to go home where 3 hours later she suffered a fatal heart attack. That same hospital also once told my late Grandmother that there was nothing wrong with her and that the serious pain she was complaining of was just hypochondria. Turned out she had a gallstone the size of a small apple. You are most wise to avoid the place if at all possible, not one of our better hospitals unfortunately.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...


Thanks for your last post - most interesting. Email me at justinhinchcliffe@hotmail.com if you would like details of tomorrow's demo against NHS cuts. I gather that your own Whipps Cross is on the casualty list?