the blog Synergy

Friday, September 16, 2005

Our Life in the Their Hands

I spend a lot of my time talking to and working with Family Doctors and Hospital Doctors here in the United Kingdom. The essence of my business is healthcare.

I just wanted to share how impressed I am with the commitment and conscientiousness of doctors. They sometime get bad press

Part of my work at the moment is to assist in a major UK National project on ‘assessment'appraisal’ of doctors by their colleagues and by their patients.

This has been bought about largely by concerns following the case of Harold Shipman, who killed 200 or more of his patients – in his time as a Family Doctor. In a nutshell no individual and no agency seemed able to alert the appropriate authorities to any suspicions about what was going on.

I spent 35 years as a manager in healthcare until I became a freelance healthcare consultant 10 months ago and I have worked with hundreds of doctors.


I am convinced that at least 98% of doctors I have known are hard working, caring and patient centred practitioners who are altruistic in their career aspirations.

The awesome responsibility that society has given to doctors brings with it many personal challenges for those doctors and many responsibilities for us as patients whose lives are often given over to the care of doctors.

Of course we have to find secure and robust methods of appraising doctors effectively to prevent the sort of Shipman incident ever happening again.

At the same time we have to make sure all doctors are not ‘labeled’ as 'another Dr Shipman' when the reality is that almost all doctors I have known are wonderful caring people just trying to help their patients at times of great need.

One of my closest colleagues - a Family Doctor - put it this way.

“Harold Shipman was first of all a murderer and secondly a family doctor. Don't label us all in the same way."

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