Friday, 30 September 2011


The tendency for Trusts, and the private medical sector to try and provide medical care on the cheap, by insisting that those nasty expensive doctors are really not necessary has claimed another victim.

On the one hand perhaps we should not blame the triage nurse involved, because she (he?) is a nurse, not a doctor, and diagnosing appendicitis is not something she is trained to do. 

On the other hand however, whoever she is, she has had the arrogance, or the stupidity, or both to apply for this position thinking she is up to it, and then carry on in the role with enough confidence to exclude the diagnosis of appendicitis without actually bothering to see the patient. 

If a doctor had fucked up in this manner he would have been suspended immediately and reported to the GMC. His name would be all over the headlines, his career permanently blighted. But the nurse has not been identified and all that the company responsible have done is to have “revised their protocol.”

I think that non medical staff who take on medical roles should be personally identified when they screw up, just like a doctor would. Then perhaps, knowing that the job comes with responsibilities, they would think twice before taking on a job they are not qualified to do.

Because as long as employers try and get away with providing sub standard care on the cheap, and non medical staff are willing to step up and play at being doctors, we are going to see more and more of these episodes of incompetent negligence.


  1. the a&e charge nurse30 September 2011 at 19:14

    I agree entirely that any nurse entering into phone diagnosis is both a fool and a danger - it seems little has been learned since the death of Penny Campbell?

    None of the doctors, including the surgeon who operated, and dismissed the possibility of a post-op complication without ever examining the patient, or the 8 GPs who either visited or diagnosed by phone come out of it very well.

    This doesn't justify the actions of the triage nurse (who must now live with his/her catastrophic misjudgment) I'm just saying the perils of misdiagnosis by phone have already been documented.

  2. It is said enough if the child had an incurable cancer growth but this is in-excusable.

    But because it is Serco, they are going to get away with it. The boy died of natural causes, but it was un-diagnosed and untreated natural causes.

    But Serco is not just going to run your DLR, Prisons but OOH as well.

  3. It is sad enough if the child had an incurable cancer growth but this is in-excusable........