John Lennon and HD TV

Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans, John Lennon sang this in 1980 in ‘Beautiful Boy’, which featured in his Double Fantasy album. Listening to it brings back memories and feelings of my life in the 80’s (a desultory Glaswegian schoolboy). I was thinking about this song on Friday when IContinue reading “John Lennon and HD TV”

Human Factors, space-time and Yiddishkeit

On Friday I attended the Yorkshire and Humber Patient Safety Collaborative ‘One Year On’ conference. A number of speakers from the region discussed the work they are doing to make predominantly hospitals, but all care in the wider sense, safer, less likely to result in inadvertent harm. Primum non nocere – first, do no harm,Continue reading “Human Factors, space-time and Yiddishkeit”

Dementia, Bruce Lee & Conservation of Energy

The law of conservation of energy states that in a closed system, energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed. Energy flows through every interaction, engagement or conversation between people; in everyday life, mostly there is a give and take, a volley of information, movement, listening and talking, acknowledgment and respect. This flow can beContinue reading “Dementia, Bruce Lee & Conservation of Energy”

There is a strange aesthetic associated with care

If you go to an art gallery, whether the National Portrait in London or your local museum, where paintings are displayed, there is something mesmerising about the human face; when an artist captures the moment of silence, of stillness or of movement, when the years are brought into focus and a person is seen as aContinue reading “There is a strange aesthetic associated with care”

Locked-in, drugs & the 60’s

Here is a question… What do you do when someone you are caring for, refuses your attention? When you, the ‘carer’ – doctor, nurse, therapist, father or son are unable to find a position or a stance that makes sense to the other person, to the extent that you are viewed as a burden, anContinue reading “Locked-in, drugs & the 60’s”

Depression & hospitalisation

Earlier today I watched a TED video by writer Andrew Solomon about his experiences with depression. It is a mesmerizing performance from someone who is both stunningly articulate and strange. Solomon describes his experiences with depression and one of the most significant moments in the piece relates to him discussing the idea that depression isContinue reading “Depression & hospitalisation”

Falling over & knots

I hate it when one of my patients falls over on the ward. Each time this happens, I feel as if I, somehow have personally failed to keep them safe, safe, when they are unwell and at their most vulnerable. It is true, that people falling in hospital is complex, it is equally true thatContinue reading “Falling over & knots”

Tigers, Scotsmen, and hospitals

Last night I watched a re-run of ‘Lost Land of the Tiger’ – this is a nature documentary with Steve Backshall, Scottish Wildlife Cameraman Gordon Buchanan, Scottish Entomologist George McGavin and others wandering about the highlands and lowlands of Bhutan in search of evidence of tigers. The programme focuses on the creation of a ‘tigerContinue reading “Tigers, Scotsmen, and hospitals”

Dentures, specs & hearing aids

Amongst the piles of lost-and-found that accumulate in wards, care homes, clinics and hospital laundries across the UK, surely the missing dentures, spectacles and hearing aids point to something wrong with the way care is operating. ‘I’m fine, thank you,’ smiles Mary. ‘Do you know where you are?’ No response A little louder, ‘Mary, doContinue reading “Dentures, specs & hearing aids”

Wandering & the Israelites

I just returned from wandering with my dog. We don’t tend to describe our everyday activities, particularly those associated with movement, as wandering. I walked the dog (although clearly, at times, she walked me – but that is besides the point.) How much of our everyday movement is with purpose, intention, a plan? If thereContinue reading “Wandering & the Israelites”