No privacy if you’re chained to a warder

Mr David Sellu

Surgeon Mr David Sellu, convicted for gross negligence manslaughter of a patient at a private hospital – later overturned – continues describing how he was treated as a ‘very non-private’ patient while he was a prison inmate.

The young man behind the reception window in the hospital looked up from the computer.

‘We are from HMP Highpoint South,’ the male officer said, as he handed over a letter in a brown envelope. ‘You are expecting this prisoner.’

We were told the triage nurses would see me soon. The male officer went to make a phone call and this was the first time I had been left alone with the female.

After a long period of silence, I turned to her and asked: ‘Do you like your job?’ She looked at me, looked towards the reception desk and replied: ‘Would you like doing a job like this?’

This was not what I expected, but I was determined to find out more.

‘Why do you say that?’

‘It is a lousy job. Would you enjoy being verbally and sometimes physically abused almost every day? She pondered for a moment and continued: ‘This prison is so overcrowded and we are so short-staffed it is a surprise no one has been killed.’

‘Why do you do it? It was your choice.’

‘I need the money,’ she said. ‘It pays the bills.’