Here, Angus Dei tell the horrifying story of the death of Mrs Angus - at the hands of our beloved National Health Service: The Envy Of The World And What All Good Americans Deserve. He urges us to join this Bloggers Unite page dedicated to exposing "all the horror stories of relatives and partners suffering injustice at the hands of the NHS, the Healthcare Commission and the GMC."
I suppose that that must include me, then.
Going back to the mid-1970s when my father visited a GP to complain about stomach pains. He prescribed indigestion tablets for Dad: a man with a history of high blood pressure and shortness of breath and possessing the distinctive club fingers of those prone to heart disease. The doctor never took his pulse or checked Dad's blood pressure. And away came Dad, and off we went to the chemist's for the useless pills. He was having his first heart attack there and then in the clinic.
He lived through a year's convalescence until he went out for a heathy stoll and never came back.
Oddly enough, that self-same surgery prescribed tranquillizers for the insomniac and grieving new widow, and so mum was given Temazepam, which is "for the short-term treatment of sleeplessness in patients who have difficulty maintaining sleep...
Temazepam is officially indicated for severe insomnia and other severe or disabling sleep disorders. The prescribing guidelines limit prescribing of hypnotics to two-four weeks due to concerns of tolerance and physical dependence."
The NHS was so thoughtful and caring that the original diagnosis was never reviewed and for 10 years this habit-forming drug was repeat-prescriptioned on the nod by a succession of incurious State-employed physicians with no interest in changing her treatment or even in questioning the growing illness and depression in an increasingly sickly and sleepless woman. In the end, someone noticed that it was doing her no good, but by the time she had signed herself into a mental hospital and been taken off Temazepam she was so sick and dispirited and messed-up by the drug and still a grieving widow that she decided that the bottom of the local river would be the quickest and best route to sleep, peace, and maybe to my father.
So do visit Justice for bereaved patients partners and relatives and read what it has to say - and use it, if you wish, to use Angus's angry grieving page send the Health Secretary your heartfelt wishes...
The NHS got both my parents. Nuke from orbit.
How to find stuff in Citizens and Neighbours.