Showing posts from July, 2016

The power of kindness...a post script to my last blog

This is a short post script on my last blog. Yesterday thanks to the response of my local team to my blog, I was offered a cancellation at the respiratory clinic. No answers as yet which I'm not surprised by as this has been a complex situation but at least I'm in the system at last. I'm writing this to say a warm thank you to the nurse who hugged me as I cried and spoke about how hard a year it's been. I want to say a thank you to the radiographers who were kindness itself when they did a CT scan. And I especially want to thank the consultant who pulled favours and went the extra mile to ensure I was ok. I felt his kindness and concern. And so I return to the theme of the blog. My concern has rarely been about the people. I have seen small kindnesses ( to others and to me) in particular in the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, it's in the culture from porters to medics there I believe. BUT some of the systems are letting this good hearted team down. And

An appointment with the NHS.

An appointment with the NHS. You may not control life's circumstances, but getting to be the author of your life means getting to control what you do with them.”   ―  Atul Gawande ,  Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End I’m a health activist and I work as a coach and leadership consultant with a special focus on health and social care. I've been a nurse and health sector charity director and I have done all of this because I'm passionate about having the best health and care possible. This year I've come through treatment for my third diagnosis with breast cancer and my care for that has been outstanding. Excellent clinical care combined with a compassionate team at all levels. But that's not been enough as since my surgery I've been disabled by breathless which isn't related to the cancer or evidently to the surgery. And because of this I'm undiagnosed in a system that doesn't deal with this. Without


Cornfields; Ayrshire a poem inspired by a painting by Barbara Rae on exhibit in the City Art Gallery Edinburgh. Thanks to Helen Boden for the stimulus and encouragement.  Cornfields The ravens flight breaks the horizon the corn threatened by the coming storm. They soar like acrobats caught by the wind the performance as dramatic as the sky no net for us they cry.

I have a new Prime Minister

I have a new prime minister I'd gone out just for the morning And heard it on the news Is this taking back control? Be glad its a woman- Remember Thatcher? I need to know what she'll do not her gender She wants to unite her country this disunited kingdom Poverty and place Power and privilege Are the hard borders of division A referendum I didn't vote for A result I didn't vote for A prime minster I didn't vote for I have a new prime minister Who will make me less European Powerless in my capital city where 75% of us voted to stay in the heart of Europe Since June 24 I've grieved I've puzzled I've tried to understand I've looked everywhere for silver linings She's spoken of  governing for all not just the privileged So I'm clinging to some wreckage of my hope    for signs that my fear is unfounded It's nearly six months now and there's

Compassionate disruption?

This blog is a sort of confession, I'm a wee bit addicted to politics. I have grown up with a belief that democratic politics is a force to enable all of us to have a voice and even when I have at times lost faith I have still been drawn to the possibility of something better. So this last two weeks have tipped me into a horrible crisis of addiction to news and social media. I have read everything I can to make sense of what has transpired in the UK since voting narrowly for leaving the EU. I have looked under every stone for a glimmer of hope of something better emerging. Now I'm Scottish so that glimmer of hope for me has been our First Minister who has shown a compassionate and strategic leadership that is outstanding and yes reassuring too. But Westminster politics has left me breathless- literally! I will admit to a temptation ( ok I've given in to it at times) to kick back in the chair, open up the popcorn and marvel at the Machiavellian drama. But mostly I&#