Dr Max Pemberton

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 13th April 2017

I've never met him but how I would like to.  Because he is a Medic and gay and writes superbly, he's allowed to get away with so much we ordinary folk would not dare to say.

I buy the Mail on Saturday - and for the rest of the week I don't take a paper because it is all too depressing and i've better things to do with my time.  Why do I take the Mail on Saturday - mostly because the Television Supplement is excellent with a clear run down of programmes on terrestrial TV, Freeview and Sky but also because I don't have to pay for a TV Mag full of articles about who is 'bonking' who, who is having whose baby, who is cheating etc. and so forth.

But also I can't wait to read Dr. Max because he sees it and says it as it is.

He's written about foreign care workers who simply do not speak English well enough if at all.  Not only are they depriving their own countries of their services but they aren't really helping us.  My mother was in a Care Home (costing £4,000 a month) for the last 18 months of her life.  Initially I thought the Home was doing a good job and wrote a glowing report which I now cannot eradicate on the internet.  Gradually I saw the very evident cracks.  Apart from the Manager, nearly all the staff were foreign and though they were charming and well meaning, the accents and lack of conversational English were a great drawback.  On the penultimate visit to my mother, a very sweet and I'm sure kind girl came to ask Mother something.  Three times Mummy said 'Pardon' until I finally translated - the carer was asking my mother if she wanted a drink but the accent and poor hearing on Mother's part meant that she needed an 'interpreter'.  There were two English Angels who worked in the home for pittance wages and they were both studying hard so that they could go and work as nurses and who could blame them.  They were very caring to my Mother and at Christmas I sent them some Gift Vouchers.  They were overwhelmed because no one had ever thanked them before. And they really were Angels.  I watched them as they spent an hour lifting, hoisting and moving the inmates in the sitting room to the dining room - a process which had to be repeated all over again after lunch.  They really did have the patience of Angels and they were paid an insulting wage as 'non qualified' workers.  

Mother had items 'purloined' on a regular basis because the residents could not be kept in a room with a shut door.  They did have 'ropes' which could be put across the entrance but these were never used. Folk wandered willy nilly and several times I had to ask a patient to leave Mother's room.  Her clothes were always a major concern.  I'd find clothes to fit everyone from Mini-Mouse to an Elephant - and Mother's clothes (all marked) would disappear or look like rags within weeks of being bought for her. And as for the food - it was diabolical.  You couldn't tell whether the offering was fish or chicken as I suspect it was the bits processed and pressed together like tinned Ham.

But I've wandered away from the lovely Dr. Max who has also said - quite rightly - that people should stop expecting the NHS to sort out everything and should be more mindful of health tourism (an old article) and taking back aids like crutches. I think the problem is predominantly that there are too many chiefs (management consultants and the like) and not enough indians (staff).

Last week he addressed the compensation culture which costs the NHS a huge amount of its budget.  As he said, we all make mistakes and in some cases all the patient wants is an apology which the NHS seems incapable of doing.  He quoted a case of a swab being left after a woman's operation.  Initially the surgeon found  nothing  wrong but when it was proven he actually went to her and apologised and said she had every right to sue.  She smiled at him and said 'We all make mistakes and all I wanted was an apology - which I have now got'   And that was the end of that.

SORRY - when truly meant is one of the best and biggest words in the World.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.