Sunday, 24 August 2014

'Why I resigned from NHS Forth Valley' @PeterDLROW


Hole Ousia Blog post 'Why I resigned from NHS Forth Valley' by Dr Peter Gordon (@PeterDLROW), Consultant Psychiatrist

Introduction:
"I resigned from work on the 6th June 2014. Some folk have been wondering why. Below I offer briefly the background to my decision to resign and why it was a matter of more than just principle.

I have worked for NHS Forth Valley as a Consultant in older adults in Clackmannanshire for nearly 13 years. This has been hugely rewarding for me and indeed a privilege to share in the lives of the wonderful elders of Clackmannanshire often in a time of need."

Excerpts:

"I was concerned that our most elderly were more at risk of mis-diagnosis of dementia."

"My concern was that in the late stages of life individuals who would never develop dementia were being told they had it."

"My approach was first to discuss this with colleagues, which only confirmed that my view was that of the minority. I then raised the matter through the appropriate channels of line-management. Initially I was supported in raising my concerns. However this did not last: the most likely reason for support being withdrawn was that I was diverging from the majority."

"From that time on my professional life got tough."

"Through stress I was signed off by my GP and was off for 6 months. Interestingly having been off once before in 2004 (my only severe depression caused by discontinuation of Seroxat) I found that I was re-defined by some as a case of “recurrent illness".  I have found it very difficult to escape this stigma and my experience has been that my profession is just as likely as any other to see “illness” before the person."

"I have petitioned the Scottish Government for ‘A Sunshine Act’ and have argued that we should at least have transparency of financial interests equivalent to that which we expect of our parlimentarians.

My experience has been that it is not easy to pursue transparency in the health service. If anybody is interested much of this can be followed here."


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