Thursday, 15 December 2011


I rush into the Department, pager in hand, and am swamped with people wanting to join me on another shout,  High Tower and New Boss are the chosen two, and we jog over to the car, the two of them jostling for the front seat.  There's a lot of joking around: with High Tower in the car I am not going to have the same acceleration as I would normally get.  New Boss is very excited at the chance of seeing some action on the streets.  I'm quiet; I know what we are going to, and I know the impact it will have on these two.

New Boss is in the front seat, holding on for dear life as I hit the road.  The two of them continue to joke about my driving skills, and about how different I am out here, compared to in the Department.

The rope hangs from the banisters: a mute reminder of what this man has done.  The screams from the back room echo around us as we determine what we already know: this man has managed to do what he wanted to.

We drive back to the Department, each lost in our own thoughts of what we have witnessed.

I have seen many hanging victims, and so have High Tower and New Boss.  But they had never been to the house before, and the sights and sounds at the scene of a violent death can never be explained, can never be shared with someone who has only ever dealt with the victims in the sterile, cold environment of a hospital resuscitation room.  And what they continue to see in their mind's eye will remain with them forever.

The rope.


I've been avoiding you, dear Constant Reader.  I look back, and see that the last time I ventured here was three months ago.  It's not that I haven't thought of you, nor that I haven't had anything to say, no jobs to post.  In fact, quite the contrary.  There are some that I want to tell you about, and some that I need to tell you about.  It's not even the dreaded writer's block.  Posts and stories rise unbidden into my mind, and ache to be transposed to the page.

But I can't.

My anonymity on this blog has always been paper-thin. Some comments have even refered to me by name, and I have rapidly removed them, or asked the commenter to edit them.   Those of you across the pond, or just in another part of the island, won't know me, and therefore won't know my patients.  But, let's be honest: anyone who works where I work knows who I am.  There aren't many of us around, and it only takes one or two jobs for the connection to be made.

I cannot have my patient's confidentiality breached.  That's an absolute.  There is no grey area.  Anyone who knows me (here we go again) will know how precious I value confidentiality.

If I tell you about the police officers who spun their car off the road, you will say, "ah yes, I remember them."  If I don't say they are police officers, the story is missing the part that makes the story worth telling.

If I tell you about the chap found hanging (and I will, but with anything patient-related taken out) you will remember reading about it in the local news, and that patient's confidentiality will have been breached.

So I sit here, musing over what I can, and what I cannot, say.  And I end up saying nothing.

But I still have the need.

So, dear CR, read on...