Certainly, however there was one event, which outshone everything that happened to me, and that was the death of my mum ... so here goes today's article ....
Undoubtably the most tragic event in my life to date, was when my mum took a stroke right in front of me and then died, 8 hours later in the Borders General Hospital at Huntlyburn, Melrose, in the Scottish Borders.
What's unusual about that ? well ... it's unusual to have all the equipment fail at the hospital when the patient is admitted .. and its damn unusal for family to have to plead for, and participate in medical treatment, to try and save the patient .. (well it was then ... but many have had to do the same as me since) ... and yes, the article is about me .. and how I had to do a brain scan on my mum, because all the staff were off doing their own stuff, or simply didn't exist, because of cutbacks so that all the admins and pencil pushers can get their fat wage cheques ... happens to many, not just me .. but here is the story for you to read.
The Daily Record article pretty much says it all ... if you are an old person - better not hope for any decent treatment in the Scottish Borders ... and there have been plenty similar cases to what happened to my mum since she died ... seems the medical lot in the Region never learn - or just can't be bothered.
That was that then ... after all the messing about at the BGH and failure to do anything, my mum was dead .. what a balls up that was, she should have been transferred immediately to Edinburgh to a medical unit which would have given her at least a chance, but no way ... they have to save money in the Borders, you know ... and the arguement I had with the Doctor (Broadhurst) to try and get a scan for my mum was about the lousiest conversation I have ever had with another person. If it hadn't been for the foreign Doctor and his test of my mum's reflexes with a set of car keys, which at least showed my mum was responding, there would have been no scan at all, and if I hadn't have actually helped in the scanning theatre, again, the scan wouldn't have taken place, because there wasn't enouogh staff to even do the scan.. but in any case, it was too late .. older stroke victim patients aren't meant to be revived - they are meant to die .. and save resources so that NHS Trusts can waste money on more officials and paperclips .. which they are great at doing in the Scottish Borders ... I was later told there was a chance she could have been saved, but alas, with all the delays, her poor treatment, and the lack of a scan, that was it .. but from what I saw, there wasn't much effort to do anything ... but there was a hell of a lot of effort put into denying what happened later, and actually targetting me to shut me up.
After the story broke of course, about me being in the scanning theatre (actually, this is illegal) ... the Hospital & Trust staff began a cover up to deny it .. although they eventually had to admit it ... The Procurator Fiscal at Selkirk, who was in charge of the case, did nothing, even though a lawyer who joined the case said there should have probably been charges of negligence against the Trust for my presence in the radiation theatre .. as well as an FAI to establish the real truth of what happened .. but.. nothing .. and to shut me up, that Fiscal sent the cops to threaten me to keep quiet too ... she then got a promotion to a Unit which specialises in seizing the profits of drug barons, etc ... probably her reward for beating cases into the ground and keeping cover ups intact ... of which there have been a few more at the Borders General Hospital since the death of my mum.
I later found out that there had been nothing of an investigation conducted by the Fiscals office - no staff at the Hospital were interviewed .. and to make matters worse, they brought in the oh-so-wonderful Professor Tony Bussutil to do an post mortem of my mum, some 4 months after she was buried - just to shut the arguement up about what happened at the Hospital ... but all Bussutil did was read the Doctors account of what happened, and sided with them of course .. and when we get someone as self-glorified as Prof. Bussutil in on a case - a man of course who can do no wrong in the eyes of those who use his opinions to silence critics ... that does tend to close down the arguement pretty quickly .. but as I found out, the great Professor wasn't infallible ... an ex-Fiscal had phoned me and told me all about some of the great failures of the great Prof in the witness stand ... and after hearing some of the stuff .. I don't really see what is so great and good about Prof Bussutil.
I wonder which company does his professional indemity insurance .. the same one as the lawyers or the Scottish Executive, or of the medical fraternity I was up against ??
interesting stuff ... indeed, I learned a lot about these so called "expert witnesses" which lawyers use against each others clients in cases ... for a start, most of them know each other, most of them go to the same steak & wine dinners, most of them honour each other with prizes & medals, and most of them are insured by the same indemnity insurance schemes and enjoy special financial benefits for their work - some, getting bonuses when the relevant case they testify in goes against some poor member of the public .... oh the mess I could cause with what documents I am reading just now.
What can I say ... you have seen in papers on this site, that some people tried to rob my mum too, and I had to battle to sort that one out for her ... and throughout all the battles I had with the lawyers, my mum told me not to give up on it .. but sadly, I lost her in the process.
Needless to say, there was a "party atmosphere" at the Law Society of Scotland's offices in Edinburgh at what happened to me, I was told. One of the big-shots at the Law Society hoped I would be so depressed by this, I would kill myself. He was quite adamant I would do it, and he actually invited someone up from the Borders for drinks to discuss the effect of getting rid of me from the public campaign against the Law Society and crooked lawyers ... nice people, the Law Society lot ... take advantage of any situation they can, particularly if it's a nasty one, and make it worse to benefit their position ... A journalist still at one of the newspapers I had dealt with, told me of a deleriously happy idiot at the Law Society, who was so full of joy at what happened to me, he compared his state to that of a clubber high on ecstasy ... nice guy, huh ? ... well, that is the type of people we have in the Scottish legal profession ... that's the reason they all have big houses, fancy cars, etc .. while they plunder clients at-will and get in on any action they can to stuff their own pockets and those of their colleagues.
So great was the 'glee' of the legal profession at the prospect of my [hoped] imminent suicide, even the local faculty of lawyers in the Borders got in on the act, spreading plenty of bile about me (particularly one little nasty crooked lawyer from Kelso who had a go at me a few years later) and they had a damn good laugh at what happened to my mum - what a bunch of miserable evil sods they were, all hoping I would top myself, ... but too bad, I am still here ... and lads, you can thank yourselves and Drew Penman for all the bad publicity you guys in the legal profession get these days.
The Scottish Executive also joined the fray of course, because I appeared on BBC & ITV to speak about what happened, and since I was upsetting the apple cart of government [fake] statistics on survival rates and stroke procedures in the NHS, etc ... they had to have a go at shutting me up too.
I had of course, written to the Scottish Health Minister over what happened, and also to the First Minister, Donald Dewar, to demand a proper inquiry into the circumstances of my mum's treatment in the Borders General Hospital, but Mr Dewar, who, by this time, had developed such a personal dislike for me because of my regular appearances in the media against crooked lawyers (Mr Dewar had been made a life member of the Law Society of Scotland for his support of the legal profession) .. it was alleged he signed a memo saying 'no further action' on my case, and the Health Minister at the time - Susan Deacon, simply didn't want to know about my case - and sent the usual brush off letters telling me to go jump in the river, so to speak.
Of course .. as you all know, Mr Dewar a few weeks later, tripped over a stair, took a massive stroke, and died within a few hours too.
So, your thinking that anything actually happened with regard to the death of my mum and the hospital learned any lessons ?? no way ... the Borders General Hospital still remains a dangerous place .. and of course the doctors there protect their colleagues when there's any question of wrongdoing or lack of care ... and of course, the Boss of the Hospital at the time, John Glennie, actually got promoted to be the head of the Health Trust, and Dr Gaddie, who was bitterly hostile to me in my meeting between Glennie, himself, and the 2 Health Council workers I had with me as witnesses, remains at the Hospital to keep things under wraps when patient care goes wrong ... .. but that really sums up the Scottish Borders and who runs things there.
Wondering how I survived this and didn't top myself ? well despite those at the Law Society, a bent accountant in the Borders, and some sickos in the town where I lived, I got through it.. thanks to my aunt & uncle in Jedburgh, and some damn good friends around the world who stood by me and supported me through this time. However, I never had any visits from any medical staff or anyone like that - they were all hoping I would just drop dead or something.
Scars are still there though, and my thoughts against those who wished me dead are ... unprintable.
So, my message to you all - if you have a loved one rushed into a Hospital .. make sure that you know everything what's going on, and don't let the doctors shunt them into a side room to die when they might have a chance.
More to come on what happened in this case, when you will see that the actual lawyers on the case let me down too .. and were struck off for lying to me a couple of years later.
Here's an article on a recent case of patient death at the Borders General Hospital ... after reading it, you can see they never learn .... but they still cover up for their colleagues ! ...
Surgeons move to defend colleague
TWELVE of the most senior surgeons and doctors at Borders General Hospital have banded together to defend the reputation of a colleague after a recent fatal accident inquiry into the death of a woman patient, writes Mark Entwistle.
The physicians have also slammed national and local press coverage of the case, claiming it was unfair and "one-sided reporting", and they say both the reputation and morale of the hospital surgical unit have suffered as a result.
And bosses at NHS Borders say that not only were they made aware in advance of the plan to send out the letter to every GP in the Borders and the press, but that they also support the sentiments contained in it.
Last week, TheSouthern reported the official findings of Sheriff James Gilmour into the circumstances surrounding the death of 61-year-old great-grandmother Margaret Reid, of Ancrum.
Mrs Reid failed to recover from surgery carried out two years ago at the BGH by the hospital's head of surgery, John O'Neill.
During the operation the wrong bile duct was mistakenly cut. Doctors later found that the artery to her liver had ruptured and Mrs Reid died five months later in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
The inquiry was carried out in October and Sheriff Gilmour concluded that Mrs Reid might have lived if Mr O'Neill had asked for guidance from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary when he ran into difficulties with the operation or if she had been transferred to the city hospital.
Despite Mrs Reid's operation taking much longer than the two hours she and her husband were originally told, Mr Reid never got to see a doctor after his wife was out of surgery and never received an explanation about the operation.
After publication of the sheriff's report, NHS Borders said it accepted the findings and had taken steps to address the relevant issues raised by the Inquiry.
But now every GP in the Borders has received a letter from the group of 12 senior medical practitioners supporting Mr O'Neill and criticising press coverage of the case.
In it, the doctors state that they hold Mr O'Neill in the highest regard as a colleague and that he "enjoys our total confidence as a consultant surgeon in whose hands we would be happy to place ourselves or our families".
The letter continues: "… it could be helpful to pass on our feeling to any patients who might raise with you understandable worries regarding issues raised by such unfortunate and one-sided reporting.
"This would help very much to restore the reputation and morale of the surgical unit in general and relieve the inevitable distress caused to an excellent surgeon."
Asked if the letter was sanctioned by NHS Borders senior management, the following statement was issued yesterday (Wednesday): "NHS Borders was made aware in advance of senior clinicians' intent to write to GP colleagues and to the press and is supportive of the sentiments expressed in the letter."
However, the letter makes no mention of whether the 12 surgeons and heads of department accept the sheriff's findings or if it is just the press coverage they objected to.
Neither does it explain which aspects of the coverage they felt were unfair and "one-sided".
TheSouthern wanted to put these questions to Dr John Gaddie, one of the 12 signatories to the letter and the senior overall physician at the BGH, but had received no response to our phone call by the time we went to press yesterday.
05 May 2005