Wonder of the World It Is

A relative of Nye Bevan, the founder of the NHS, died after doctors failed to tell him he had lung cancer for 15 months, an inquest heard.

Roderick Bevan, who died aged 66 in May 2018 after NHS doctors diagnosed his condition, would have survived but for the failure of two sets of doctors..

A coroner ruled that the errors amounted to “neglect”.

No doubt lessons will be learnt.

30 thoughts on “Wonder of the World It Is”

  1. …and corners will be turned. The medical mafia will make sure no one is shown the door. This is NHS Wales? Run by the Welsh Assembly and a byword in medical malfeasance.

  2. “A string of blunders meant that he was never offered the radiotherapy.”

    This is one of the reasons why the private sector uses things like workflow systems. You record an event. You record a result. The system then creates subsequent events based on the result. And all of it has monitoring. You forget to create the result within a week, it gets flagged up. You don’t do anything with the subsequent result, it gets flagged up.

  3. Ted S, Catskill Mtns, NY, USA

    No doubt lessons will be learnt.

    The lesson of course being that the NHS is woefully underfunded.

  4. Why would anyone think socialised medicine is anything but the 14th wonder of the world….

  5. Worth pointing out that Nye Bevan didn’t found the NHS. The UK already had health services. He nationalised them.

  6. A Nationalised industry with a heavily unionised workforce? How dare you suggest that it doesn’t put the interests of sick people first?

  7. the health minister in the postwar government who is widely renowned for his role in driving through the creation of the health service in 1948.

    Before 1948 there was nothing. Even war casualties shipped back from the continent were left on street corners.

  8. @BiS. Not the whole story. Bevan’s original concept was for the State to be the single payer, contracting out to private providers for patient care. It was the Stalin-lovers in the Attlee government who pressed for the nationalisation of health services and a single provider system. The GP sector has always been privatised, as were consultants until comparatively recently. Dentists were originally nationalised, until after about 6 months when the demand for dentistry on the NHS threatened to bankrupt the NHS in it’s first year. Dentistry then reverted to private practice.

  9. A chap I know is in the same boat regarding testicular cancer… the NHS neglected to tell him for about 2 years that he had it. Needless to say that in that time it’s metastasized and is now terminal.

  10. Lessons will be learned: then promptly forgotten. Since the NHS shows symptoms of institutional dementia, is it any wonder that it can never remember to set up adequate systems for treating mental health problems?

  11. And if the authorities had realised who his relation was, they would have been extra vigilant to ensure his treatment was the best and avoided nasty headlines.

  12. God, this is a day for me to get worked up about things: I’ve got a very dear friend who had a blood clot in the brain (nearly died). Not a haemorrhage, not a stroke. Blood clot.

    Occurrence 1: Feeling very poorly (severe ear ache, balance issues etc.) Had CT scan, nothing fundamentally wrong, sent home with a few pills. Within a week (on Christmas Eve evening, none-the-less) she drops glass on floor, looks like having a stroke or something (can’t talk, shaking, no drooping face though), her housemate calls ambulance. This time straight into MRI scan. Clot seen, almost died on the table (so to speak), woke up unable to speak, move etc. Gained basic speech day or two later. Could not spell her name. Long(er) story short, she recovers within a few months (to some extent – part of her brain died as a result and will not ‘come back’.), back to work, life changing event nonetheless.
    The thing is – when the MRI was done after being rushed into hospital, the person looking at it referred to the original CT scan done a week before. Apparently, on that CT scan, the clot was there, clear as day. Either the CT scan was not looked at at all, looked at but the clot missed, or seen and ignored. That radiographer apparently could not understand how it was missed. In the intervening week or so, that’s when a bit of her brain was steadily dying and her condition worsened causing what will now be life-long issues.

    Occurrence 2:
    After ‘recovering’ (but having to be on blood-thinning medication, not nice stuff etc), decision made with consultant to come off medication (side-effects etc, low risk of re-occurrence (1%)). A week later tingling feeling down side, feeling unwell. Rushed into hospital with blues-and-twos (as workmates knew her history and called ambulance, made it clear to crew history). CT scan done: nothing wrong, sent home and told she was simply too stressed at work, go home and sleep. So my friend goes home, falls asleep, feeling like shit. She was then woken 2 hours later with people smashing on her door. After she’d been sent home from hospital… guess what…? Yup – the CT scan done that day showed that the clot had returned, and it had been missed again. They realised this, got paramedics / ambulance crew out to her and when they could not raise her got police to come and help gain entry.

    I mean, once (probably allowing or even causing life-long after-effects) is bad enough, but a second time?! Somebody is not doing their job somewhere. Probably several people.

  13. I sneeze in threes

    Well the welfare state promised care from the cradle to the grave. So the keep you infantilised as long as possible then kill you off.

  14. My mum fell and hurt herself, was in agony. Dad called an ambulance and she was taken to hospital (could not walk to car and he couldn’t carry her). X-ray etc done, sent home with bruises. Was in agony still.
    Couple of weeks later gets a call to go back to hospital, she had actually broken her back.
    By that time she had healed a little so they decided not to rebreak her back.

  15. Lockers

    Presumably the CT scans were done at the same hospital, yes? If so, it was probably the same incompetent radioligist both times. Will anything happen to them? What a silly question: of course not.

    Envy of the world, indeed. That must be why it is so widely imitated.

  16. Kevin Lohse

    The othert thing that should be remembered is that all the political parties would have introduced a ‘free at the point of delivery’ health service if they had won the ’45 election.

    I know that Labour likes to pretend they birthed the NHS in the teeth of vicious Tory opposition, but that just ain’t so.

  17. @Recusant – not sure, but I think it was 2 different hospitals in London (proximity to work / home being different). From memory #1 Whips Cross, other Royal London. Couldn’t swear on that though.

    Double- (or more-) not-good

    My friend kinda vaguely intends to take some form of action against them – not so much for money, but to nail the fuckwits who are not doing their jobs. But the whole thing is / was so traumatic, she’s reluctant to go get the gun, point the pistol and pull the trigger. I so wish she would. But understand if she can’t.

  18. @ Recusant
    There was, quite correctly, fierce Tory opposition to Labour’s change to Beveridge’s original plan so that instead of local services managed locally there was a uniform service with massive bureaucracy and any mistake had to be copied across every hospital before they got feedback saying “this is killing patients”.
    Nye Bevan founded the NHS by bribing the RCS to drop its principled opposition in exchange for unnecessarily high salaries for surgeons.

  19. If I have a blood test in Suffolk, where I live, the test is done at the local hospital, and the results appear in my GP’s desktop computer 2-3 days later.

    When I had the same blood test done in London, while working away from home, the results were printed on paper and posted to my GP, and it took two weeks.

    And of the last 10 blood tests Mrs Nerd and I have had, four have had to be re-done, because the self-adhesive labels detached from the sample phials.

  20. Bloke in North Dorset

    Radiology is one of those jobs that is going to disappear in favour of AI/machine learning. Sounds like it couldn’t happen soon enough.

    (I’m aware that there will still need to be human intervention in marginal cases but is sounds like Lockers’ case wasn’t marginal)

  21. “Labour likes to pretend they birthed the NHS in the teeth of vicious Tory opposition”: both the Conservatives and the Liberals had adopted Beveridge’s Health Service plan long before Labour reluctantly decided to go for a Health Service too.

    My memory (which is not always trustworthy) is that I have read that the opposition within Labour was from those who believed that ameliorating the workers’ lot would only defer the Revolution.

  22. My wife worked on a project to introduce workflows into treatment, biggest issue was the doctors refusing to participate and nothing being able to move ahead without doctor approval. They resist anything they think will impact their job or the need for doctors and as they are considered sacred within the health system arguing with them usually ends up with someone other than the doctor leaving.

  23. It happens in other places that have national healthcare as well:


    My wife has yearly mammograms, due to cancer in her family. The local hospital, about 2km away. Could not take her as they were ‘full’ so we had to go to one about 40km away. Ever since the discovery in the linked article the local our local hospital has managed to find the time to do her yearly checkups. 😉

  24. ‘A coroner ruled that the errors amounted to “neglect”.’

    Leaving one to wonder what “neglect” is, and how it differs from neglect. More? Less? Not prosecutable?

  25. Friend of mine suffered a TIA (mini stroke) at the relatively young age of 52. Ambulanced to hospital, all symptoms pointed to potential TIA, recorded as such by A&E. She’s given an appointment a few days later with a consultant, who ignored half of what she told him, and the A&E notes, wrote down only a few of her symptoms in his notes and proceeds to tell her that it couldn’t possibly be a TIA, she’s obviously had a aural migrane and not to worry about it, and that she’s fine to go back to work, and to drive, just [quote] ‘pull over if you feel a bit funny’. She’s understandably bemused by all this, and goes to see her GP, who is apoplectic, and arranges for scans to be done, which confirm the initial A&E diagnosis, in fact it was an actual stroke leaving damage to the brain, rather than a TIA which doesn’t. She then later sees the same consultant who spends most of the consultations telling her ‘Well it could have been a migrane!’

    The consultant is not British……..

  26. @bloke in spain June 24, 2019 at 8:54 am

    +1 Same as education and rail were nationalised.

    SNP are “voluntarily” nationalising GPs in Scotland using bribery, punishment and blackmail

  27. @Lockers June 24, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    “Somebody is not doing their job somewhere. Probably several people.”

    Yet nobody will be sacked/punished – except any whistle-blowers who expose the guilty.

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