Monday, 31 December 2012

Review of 2012

It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m sat in CafĂ© Nero in Egham which is where it all began (sort of).

On the 4th December I was sat here noodling on the net, nursing a coffee and listening to the jazz. I opened up a blog account and then when I went home put in the first entry.

Seems a long time ago.

Didn’t have a clue but since then I’ve learnt how to use a computer better, discovered fonts (try webdings and wingdings, go on-you have them too), had a load of fun, met a lot of people and got my message out to a fairly select band. Lots more to do. More people to speak to.

I finally got the report into my misdiagnosis but only because I registered a complaint with the Care Quality Commission. They told me they would contact St. Peter’s and within 2 days I had a phone call, within a week I had the report.

I wrote a lengthy reply which has not been acknowledged or answered – I’m used to that by now.

To my horror I discovered that it was a consultant who failed to notice that I had a dislocated fracture and that initially that very same consultant was appointed to investigate my complaint. Later another consultant from A and E took over the investigation. Not surprisingly, he decided that other than a “period of reflection” and some training, no action needed to be taken.

The hospital delayed 5 weeks in sending me the report, which meant its recommendations had been put into effect before I saw it and so I could have no influence on them.

Although I had tried to have an input into the investigation – I was not contacted.

Meanwhile someone who couldn’t spot a broken ankle on an X-ray is dealing with really serious stuff every day.

Well, if you think I’m going away, think again.

If you think I will rest while anyone else is treated in the same way that I was, think again.

2012 has been a really tough year, the worst ever but I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

Roll on 2013, a fighting year for me!

I hope all of you have a Happy New Year!


Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Release the inner subversive, go on!




Who needs it?

I don’t want yours.

That’s not what this is about. Mind you if anyone will let me use their photocopier free, I can supply the paper! Get in touch because I do need to sneak a photocopy or two (ahem) before I have to buy another cartridge for the printer.

Likewise I need to get my message out there, so any help is welcome.

In particular, if you are on Facebook or are Twittering, please spread the word for me because these are media I’m not covering. The deal is you can use my stuff but you can’t make any money from it. OK?

Most of all, I need you to release the inner subversive – that’s the little guy inside us all, the one who isn’t prepared to take it any more.

Where ever there is a notice board, a wall or a public space – post a copy of my stuff – its free to use as long as you keep it free to every one else.

Wherever you are you can help. I need as many people as possible seeing the Blog and, hopefully, recommending it.

Right now, it comes up on Google, if you search for it. It even comes up (a long way down), if you search for “St. Peters, Chertsey” + problems or complaints.  Which is pretty neat, because it embarrasses  them. 

But if I’m going to embarrass them enough to change the hospital, I need a lot of red faces amongst the suits. To do that I need to get the Blog further up the lists.

That’s where you come in (and your inner subversive, go on, let him out).


Neil Harris

(A don’t stop till you drop production)

Saturday, 29 December 2012

When the levee breaks

I went into the nearest town today, parking a good way out and walking in. Didn’t use my crutches at all for the first time, although I had them with me just in case.

Up till now I’ve been able to walk a good way without them but then it hurt too much and I had to use them on the way back. This was pretty good but then its over 4 months and should be by now. Now it’s hurting, but I’m fighting fit again and ready for St. Peters! (I hope).

The river Thames is high and muddy and over its banks as much as I’ve seen it before (in fact its got a good way further to go, if it wants to). Valley people have their fingers crossed there’ll be no more rain for a while, to let the water through.

Sometimes it’s high, rough and fast. Today it was high, slow and steady and I really didn’t like the look of that at all.


Neil Harris

(don’t stop till you drop production)

Friday, 28 December 2012

Why we really do need 10 consultants at St peters A and E

As many of you know, I’ve been banging on for some time for another 6 more consultants at St Peter’s A and E, to take the number up to 10.

You probably won’t be impressed to hear that I worked this out based on my own calculations of how many consultants you would need to cover three 8 hour shifts with overlaps for busy periods but allowing for holidays, sickness, further education and doing operations. That’s how I came up with 10 – it was common sense. Clearly, the current 4 won’t do.

All the same I never had much hope that my calculations would influence anyone at the hospital. So it came as some relief when I came on this government report;


“The demands on an EM Consultant are unrelenting, with a constant stream of decision making for high-risk patients presenting with critical illness, serious injury or with the potential for high morbidity and mortality, generally overlaid with additional Departmental management responsibilities.

In order to ensure patient safety, this decision dense activity is only safely sustainable for a limited number of hours. This is important when considering the total number of Emergency Medicine Consultants required in an ED, accepting that these Consultants will be working a shift pattern.

The College of Emergency Medicine has recommended a minimum of 10 whole time equivalent EM Consultants for each ED. This number is designed to provide up to 16 hours a day EM Consultant presence 7 days a week. Increased EM Consultant numbers will ensure improved work/life balance prospects for the trainees, enhanced protected training time and better supervision as well as an improvement in mortality and morbidity rates in and out of hours (OOHs).”


Emergency Medicine Taskforce Interim report. 2012.


Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Eh, GIMME 10!

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

keep your eyes on the prize

I got in danger of losing sight of what it’s all about over the last couple of weeks. I hadn’t been feeling that well and took a break from “activities” to concentrate on christmas.

When I opened up my blog this evening and found it had passed 400 page views, for a moment I got well and truly “up myself” and forgot that the views are because of the hospital and the NHS and not me.

I’ve got my feet back down on earth now and started planning out my campaign for the new year (I do have a little meeting in early January to get out of the way first) but on this site I’m going to start having a look at how the NHS is run and why it isn’t working like it used too.
Why some people working in it are telling me that while there are cuts and that’s a problem, it isn’t just about money. And to start getting practical and doing real things rather than virtual ones.

It’s not just that people are looking at the Blog. Before Christmas someone (I can't imagine who and it certainly isn’t grown up or clever), was putting up some of my posters. I couldn’t condone that. However, the funny thing is that they haven’t been torn down or written on as you would expect.

It means that people agree with what I’m doing and that there is a great fund of goodwill towards the NHS.  

Most of all, it isn’t just me and my ankle any more. I’m in a gang now.


Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

Happy Christmas John and Yoko

Neil Harris

(a don't stop till you drop production)

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas eve

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me;

6 consultants consulting

5 gold rings

4 colly birds

3 french hens

2 turtle doves

And a partridge in a pear tree.
Its Christmas eve afternoon. I've boiled a ham, cut holly, ivy and yew in the rain. Its all done, wrapped and tied with a bow.
If any one is working tomorrow, there will be a virtual present for you here, otherwise I'm signing off for a while.
After the festivities, the fight is on...........

Neil Harris

(a don't stop till you drop production)

Sunday, 23 December 2012


I’ve been warned I’m getting too nostalgic and my friend has a point but recently I was trying to work out why I like the net so much and I only understood it last week up in London, so you’ll have to put up with this.

Back in 1977, when I was a Punk, I spent a lot of time in Covent Garden. Now it’s a tourist destination – pretty old buildings, nice shops, a museum and an opera. There are buskers and acrobats, licensed of course. Back then it wasn’t nice and it wasn’t licensed.

It had been London’s fruit and veg market since the middle ages (think “My Fair lady”), but that had closed and moved further out.

In 1977 it was derelict, the old market buildings boarded up, the wholesale shops shuttered. No money around for old buildings. People didn’t hang around there at night, if they could help it.

Punk grew up as an attack on the music business and tried to operate outside of the commercial world. It needed to; the commercial world of newspapers and record companies didn’t want to know.

Punks promoted their own bands, produced their own records, wrote their own fanzines. No one had any money and so it was also a protest against a failing economy, cuts in public expenditure and growing inequality. It was a violent time and I was there.

If you went to Covent Garden, there were illegal squats in the shops – there were parties and music. The boards on the empty buildings were covered in posters put up on the fly; it was like our own newspaper, free to all. You could check out what bands were playing, what was going on in the world. You could even put up a poster yourself.  

All the main clubs were in walking distance. In China Town, Soho market was a place to buy records and chat with bands. Everything was in reach, most things were free or so cheap you could afford it.

Of course, in the end we lost that battle; gradually the music business recovered and found a way back.

“Oh no, you think it’s funny’

Turning rebellion into money”

(The Clash, White man in the Hammersmith Palais)

The Greater London Council started to clear things up, property developers moved in. The police pushed us out.

It wasn’t all nice; as I said it was violent, there were fights to be fought. But we had a space to make a protest.

Just like the net, just now.

I hope you do a better job of protecting it than we did in 1977.


Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Christmas Carol

Gather round all ye who are able,

holly, ivy, mistletoe, yew.

Sit a while at the festive table,

a mince pie and a drink or two.


A cracking joke, a yuletide log,

an evening with a candle bright.

Another drink, a sleeping dog,

a silent, silent night.


And then as if kindly Santa made it so,

a knock on the door, who could it be?

Ok, I’ll get up, I’ll go,

Why, its six more consultants for St Peter’s A and E.


Neil Harris


(a don’t stop till you drop production)

Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Christmas

Neil Harris

(A don't stop till you drop production)

Happy Christmas

Check out the link and pass on your own greetings.

I hope you have the christmas you deserve.

Neil Harris

(don't stop till you drop)

lager, lager, lager

I had a busy, lucky week, a lot of fun.

Last night I went up to London (you have no idea what this means to me). I didn’t feel able to cope with the tube, so (gulp) I drove.

But the traffic parted for me, the rain stopped and I met up with old friends and comrades for an Indian and a lager. I’m not going to tell you where, it’s the best kept secret in central London. A 1950’s Indian restaurant, not too hot, not expensive and the rice never stops coming.

Good conversation into the night;

No, woman, no cry. Bob Marley


'Cause - 'cause - 'cause I remember when a we used to sit

In a government yard in Trenchtown,

Oba - obaserving the 'ypocrites - yeah! -

Mingle with the good people we meet, yeah!

Good friends we have, oh, good friends we have lost

Along the way, yeah!

In this great future, you can't forget your past;

So dry your tears, I seh. Yeah!


No, woman, no cry;

No, woman, no cry. Eh, yeah!

A little darlin', don't shed no tears:

No, woman, no cry. Eh!


Said - said - said I remember when we used to sit

In the government yard in Trenchtown, yeah!

And then Georgie would make the fire lights,

I seh, logwood burnin' through the nights, yeah!

Then we would cook cornmeal porridge, say,

Of which I'll share with you, yeah!

My feet is my only carriage

And so I've got to push on through.

Oh, while I'm gone,

Everything's gonna be all right!

Everything's gonna be all right!

Everything's gonna be all right, yeah!


I drove back over the Westway (that’s an elevated expressway over west London) and I was listening to Massive Attack on the stereo (very Old Skool, I know, in those days we used to queue up for music on one of Mr Edison’s new wax cylinder’s – the excitement when we put it on the patent Edison Phonograph was indescribable). I was thinking of all the people who worked so hard to keep me going;

My specialist, the registrars, the scanners, the ultrasound, the MRI people, the Lab, the phlebotomists,  at West Mid and Charing Cross, my GP’s, all the people at St Peter’s who put me back together again – Swan Ward,the nurses and the care staff, the wrecking crew, again the registrars.

I’m not sure they spent all those hard years in college, all the long hours, working to get me a lager. Mind you it was a great lager. And I do do other things.


 Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Come on take a trip downtown with a beat poet


Come on, come on, wake up, forget the past

Life’s moving on, we’re living fast

If it ain’t happening for you, it ain’t gonna last

Come down to Soho where the beat goes on all night

and the groove just takes over, man,

Downtown and out of sight.


Carnaby street, Whimpy

cappacino, fries

If we’re lucky, catch an act at the 3i’s.

Grosvenor square, Granny Takes a Trip

It’s all to come, don’t you wanna be hip?


Oh no it’s the police, I just wanna to break free.

“Allo, Allo, son are you hiding from me?”

You wouldn't think it was almost 1963

Next you’ll be protesting for six more consultants at St Peters A and E”.

Neil Harris

(a don't stop till you drop production, normal service has been resumed)

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

"a full investigation"

It’s been an angry and boring couple of days, finding time to do a letter of reply to the Hospital, which is never going to change anyone’s mind or get any kind of result. I’m having difficulty keeping anger out of it, to keep it rational, sensible and objective because I know that the professionals I’m dealing with are looking for an opportunity to dismiss me (crank, nutter), so got to keep my cool.

I know I’m not alone I’ve got contact with others going through the same process, same hospital.

If I did nothing and then ended up reading an article like this one, I don’t think I could live with myself;


Mail online 22/11/2010.


A former NHS care worker died after doctors repeatedly failed to diagnose the cancer that killed her, despite dozens of visits to her GP and local hospital.


Maria Capuano, 65, had been repeatedly diagnosed with minor digestive ailments such as indigestion, despite complaining of severe stomach pains for three years.

Mrs Capuano's family claim she was 'fobbed off' by medics on numerous occasions before tests this summer revealed she was suffering from stomach cancer which by then had spread to her liver.

Maria Capuano was seen at St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey 'at least 30 times' her family said but the stomach cancer that killed her was not detected early enough

Mrs Capuano, a mother of four and grandmother of five, died eight weeks later. Her family, including widower Giovanni, 70, are devastated.

Today her son Claudio, 40, hit out at doctors who he claims failed to carry out simple tests that would have picked up the tumour before it was too late.

'My mother would still be alive today if they had taken her seriously,' he said.

'They have let our family down.'

He told the Evening Standard that Mrs Capuano, a former hospital carer who lived in Woking, visited the accident and emergency ward at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey 'at least 30 times', and her GP on numerous occasions.

'She kept getting turned away and fobbed off with various medical conditions like gastritis and indigestion,' he explained.

 'She knew there was something wrong and kept going back but they never carried out the appropriate tests in the early stages,' he said.

'We felt cheated that she wasn’t diagnosed earlier. They could have saved her.'

Hospital bosses promised a thorough inquiry.

 Dr Mike Baxter, medical director at the Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We have immediately begun a full investigation into Mrs Capuano’s treatment and care here and will of course share the full results with her family.”

I've got a brand new slogan

I've got a brand new slogan;

Gimme one less consultant at St Peter's A and E.

Now I'm really annoyed.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

[This is a later addition to this entry; I was never going to delete posts and won't delete this one but I do feel a bit ashamed of it now. I was pretty angry when I posted it. Reading the "report" brought back what had happened and the fact that it was a consultant who did it made me see red.

It is a bit funny but it's a cheap crack and I take it back.
Saturday 22/12/12]

I receive the hospital report and I'm not laughing any more

Its fair to say that when I got the report of the investigation into how Accident and Emergency at St Peter’s Hospital,Chertsey came to send me home with a broken ankle, I wasn’t expecting what I read.

Based on conversations I’d had, I had concluded that it was lack of expertise, experience or supervision, that was behind it. Now I’ve read the report, I know that the real decision was taken by a Consultant.
I can't believe it, I've seen the X-rays.

The report took nearly 4 months to get to me – in fact it is dated 9/11/12, five weeks ago.

Written by another consultant in A and E, its lack of any effective recomendations are a matter of real concern.

I’m currently writing my official response and I will be busy working out what action I can take against them - I'm going to do them every which way I can . Clearly I have to rethink everything I was told and understood about the problem.

Its all different now, the gloves are off and over christmas I’ll plan it all out and in January I come out fighting again.


Neil Harris


(a don’t stop till you drop production)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A Yarn from the Empire

At the head of the valley the General saw

The cannons, the cannons, the shot and the roar

The thunder of guns and the scream of the horse

“If we don’t act now things can only get worse”.


Send for the reserve, we need the men

If we don’t get them now we can’t ask again.

He chose the best horse and a messenger with dash

Screamed out the message, he was off in a flash.


To the camp at the rear, not a moment too soon

Past the flash of the cannon, rode the gallant dragoon

Through the smoke, through the screams and the fume.

And through to the rear he thought he was safe

But was hit in the head by cannons strafe.


He lay on the ground in the arms of a nurse

And spluttered  “if we don’t act now things can only get worse”

The Marshall whispered “How can that be?”

The subaltern’s last words will stay with me

“we need six more consultants at St Peter’s A and E”

Who are you calling stupid?

Had a bit of a disappointment; I was hoping to qualify for a spot on “jackass” – didn’t work out for me.

The Mission (should I chose to accept it), was high stakes; our Christmas was all in boxes up on the loft and you may have worked out by now that I am no Tom Cruise. Up a ladder (crutches not a lot of use there), across the rafters and then over the planks and back.

If it all went wrong – no problem - I had my mobile with me for a quick call for the fire brigade to get me down and then a rather sheepish arrival at a certain A and E, who probably wouldn’t get the red carpet out for me now.

Most people do stupid things on the spur of the moment – this stupid thing took real planning and forethought. Now that’s what I call stupid.

Still, that’s Christmas sorted



Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

Monday, 17 December 2012

A sweet sonnet for a summer's eve.


T’was in the perfumed garden,  there

That a handsome prince walked , nary a care

and saw sweet maiden, blushed and fair

with eyes of blue and flaxen hair.


Instead of words, the prince stood dumb

And stammered, lowly, overcome,

But from his hearts depths, words broke free

“we need six more consultants at St Peter’s A and E”.

Neil Harris
(stoppeth not until thou droppest)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Barbara Hepworth

You may have noticed I’ve been playing truant from serious stuff over the last couple of days; its Christmas and we all need a break.

I’ve built up a stack of stuff for the blog - stuff relating to the strange practise we have of leaving the most inexperienced Doctors to deal with serious emergencies they have no experience of. I’ve got stuff about the dangers of falling ill at the weekend and a few terrible tales about St Peters.

Its time to go back to the beginning and remind ourselves just what it meant to people when the National Health Service was created.

Barbara Hepworth was a sculptor, whose childhood was spent around the time of the First World War and was learning her trade during the 1930’s.  She was remarkably gifted, and as a woman in that time, she needed to be. Quite simply, women didn’t get opportunities to be artists then; many people feel they still don’t. In the world of sculpture it was hardest of all.

Despite this she won scholarships in Leeds and London, then a highly prestigious award of a year studying in Italy. This was won against fierce opposition from the artistic establishment which felt that a woman could not be trusted with such an award.

All her life, rival artists with less talent like her friend  Henry Moore, benefited from lucrative commissions which were denied to her.

Despite all this, she produced a wide range of modern masterpieces, which are now beginning to be appreciated in a way they weren’t during her life.

In 1947, she took a two year break from sculpture, which probably meant she missed out on work for public bodies in the post war reconstruction.

She had become friends with Norman Capener, an orthopaedic surgeon and amateur artist who had operated on her daughter and during the two years she produced some 80 pencil, chalk and pastel pictures of surgeons and nurses, in the operating theatres of hospitals in Exeter and London.

Her change of direction was intended to record and celebrate the birth of the new National Health Service.

Now a large selection of the pictures is on exhibition in Wakefield, some shown for the first time. They capture the idealism and hope of a very special time in our history; when for the first time ever ordinary people had some financial security and a right to adequate medical treatment when they needed it.

All of that hope jumps out of the pictures – they were completed very quickly, in the midst of all the rush and concentration of complex operations. These glimpses from over shoulders capture the eyes and hands of skilled people engrossed in their work.

Hepworth gave a lecture to a group of surgeons in the 50’s where she said: “There is, it seems to me, a close affinity between the work and approach both of physicians and surgeons, and painters and sculptors.”

It was a time which still brought the best out in people, who realised that they were present at the beginning of something important. The artist felt an overwhelming need to capture this moment and luckily the medical staff realised how important it was for that record to be kept.

I’m not going to be getting to Wakefield but luckily I’ve seen some of the pictures before. If you get a chance, go.  That the pictures are now getting the recognition they deserve is good and comes at a time when what they stood for is under threat.


Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

A Tale from the Gold Rush


T'was a cold dark night in the Yukon,

as the gold miner trudged through the snow.

The nugget he’d sought had eluded him,

so he searched for the path far below.


He looked for a light in the distance,

A chance to survive till the dawn

But the cold and the wind went right through him

And he died where he fell, all alone.


In the morning the search party found him

and saw in the snow how he’d scrawled

a last haunting message, his final plea

“We need 6 more consultants at St Peter’s A and E!”

 Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The virtual drinks are on me

Yesterday probably wasn’t the best of days, I hadn’t been feeling so good anyway but went out to do some Christmas shopping and get a bit of, ahem, publicity all the same. It poured with rain and I ended up looking like a drowned rat on crutches, with a suggestion of the kind of person you’d cross the road to avoid. I need a makeover and a break.

Not so good – “the darkest night of the year” – except it isn’t.

I hope you will all share a virtual drink with me on the night of the 21st, the winter solstice. A night of revelry and bonfires, to celebrate the casting out of the old devil and the return of the sun from its holiday – the days get longer every day. Yay!

Not far from where I’m typing this is a very old yew tree and depending how strongly you feel about it, it’s between 1000 and 2000 years old. Its branches have grown down to the ground and then cast their own roots, while the original trunk has rotted away leaving only a ring of knarled and knotted wood, so that you can put you head inside. People come to walk around its extended trunk and look into its twists and turns to see faces. I have to admit it’s a tree that deserves a hug. It’s a sacred tree, people leave ribbons and gifts in surprising amounts.

At the solstices the followers of the “old religions” assemble and have little ceremonies. Actually, it’s a modern thing and the numbers are quite large. Mind you, it always was the kind of villiage which had its fair share of people who might have had a little wax model and a box of pins handy, just in case.

Whatever rocks your boat, the 21st is a great day with a hint of new life in the air.


Neil Harris

(and I’m still not stopping till I’m dropping)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Tis the season to be careful.

I’m feeling a bit cynical today and my mood wasn’t helped when I read a report in the online Elmbridge News from the 28th November. It’s a standard press release from Ashford and St Peters Hospital and was intended to stop people with minor ailments which aren’t emergencies coming to A and E.

It said that “Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is asking local people to think first before they visit the A&E department at St Peter’s Hospital.”

Yes, now I think of it I rather wish I had thought twice myself, although I didn’t have any control over where the ambulance took me.

The report continued; “The trust said that more people are coming to hospital as the weather gets colder, with A&E attendances about 20% higher than normal averages. David Fluck is a medical director at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS foundation Trust. The report quoted him as saying;

“We are currently experiencing extremely high levels of activity in our A&E department and this is putting pressure on our services.”

It seems astonishing to me that the winter peak, which happens every year, is something which the hospital is unable to plan for. If you know that demand will go up by 20% every year, you would expect the hospital would increase staff at that time and reduce it at quieter periods.

In the same way, there are peaks of demand at the weekends and bank holidays, which are easily predictable and yet the cover isn’t there.

My first reaction would be that it is all down to money except that sensible hospitals save time and money by operating a triage system to separate out the urgent cases needing Doctors from minor problems needing a Nurse or advice.

In a while I’ll post extracts from a Daily Mail article dealing with the “nine to five” culture in A and E’s throughout the country but I do need to edit it down and work out how I can separately post the whole item for those who are interested in the detail.  In particular there are some very serious statistics about the increased chances of bad outcomes if you are unlucky enough to fall ill at the weekend. If you have a stroke, you are likely to be in serious trouble.

I, of course, would add that bank holidays are also a very bad time to fall seriously ill. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Christmas, I can tell you!


Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

On days like these....

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till  you drop production)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Thursday blues

A couple of hard days, ones to tough out and with the really cold weather, I’ve been taking it easy indoors which is unusually sensible for me.

Today I had to come out of hibernation to do the shopping at Tesco’s and that’s a grind, online really saved me when I was having problems but getting back to doing it myself was a milestone to remember. I won't complain about doing it ever again.

There was a special atmosphere today; the jolly christmas music seemed OK for the first time this year. People were talking and smiling at each other, rather than glowering and pushing past like normal. Someone on the tills was singing.

It’s a bit spooky that I was thinking about Mark Rothko a couple of days before the case ended up in court – the judge seems to have been even frostier than I would have been in his place.

All being well I should be out and about again tomorrow, with (ahem) a little adventure planned.


Neil Harris
(a don’t stop till you drop production

No, that didn't work

Neil Harris
(This is a don't stop till you drop production)

A harder road than I expected

I’m finding the responsibility of running this Blog is something I didn’t anticipate. When people began to read it, I had moments of doubt. People are starting to talk to me about experiences they have had and it’s hard. I’m hoping to record them here as I think it’s important that there is some recognition of what is happening.

A friend has mentioned, in an e-mail, her Father’s experience – nothing to do with St Peter’s and she hadn't expected to be pressurised into letting me use it. However, I felt that the way it was written is something I didn’t want tidied up, it’s from the heart;

“Unfortunately I don’t think St Peter's A&E are alone in the utter chaos that are our A&E departments and the short staff/beds are a common feature amongst most if not all A&E's I am sure. I know when my dad was taken into A&E several times throughout his battle with cancer, he was always left waiting several hours for a bed and once when he was extremely ill (not long before he passed away) he was left on a trolley for hours, which was horrendous when considering the fact he wasn’t well enough to lay on a trolley for 30 minutes let alone for hours. But we had no choice! I could tell you quite a few horror stories! In the end we opted to not send him to A&E if he had a fall/seizure as he was just not well enough to be treated like that and he was better off at home.”

Which, is exactly what I was listening to through the curtains, while I was waiting for a bed.

I’ve also been surprised by the goodwill I’ve found – to the Blog and to me. There are a lot of good people out there.

Respect due;

To Raj of Wraysbury News, the newsagents that delivers and supplier of very reasonably priced greeting cards. Who, when I asked how much it would be to put one of my leaflets in his window, refused to take any money.


Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)


Wednesday, 12 December 2012