My struggle to get free just for a day

Surgeon Mr David Sellu, convicted for gross negligence manslaughter of a patient – overturned on appeal after a 30-month prison sentence – continues his story from last month.

Dr Lindsay Crockett asked me to take a seat. ‘I am afraid I have to have my two nursing colleagues sit with me during consultations. Prison rules. I hope you do not mind,’ she said apologetically.

‘I don’t mind.’

‘I have been reading your notes and I see you are a doctor.’

Dr Crockett listened sympathetically as I explained why I was in prison and I summarised my medical condition.

‘I heard about your case and I must admit the medical world was shocked by your imprisonment,’ she said, to my surprise. ‘We will do all we can to support you through this difficult time.’

Reasoned discussion

I could not have wished for better treatment. The doctor had a reasoned discussion with me about the choice of medications: I would take it for about two months for my blood pressure to come down, during which time I would visit the health centre once or twice a week for blood pressure checks. 

One day, I went to collect my medications. They had been ordered the previous week on repeat prescription and it took two to three days to be delivered from the pharmacy in Watford. 

I took my ID card with me, as, understandably, the staff in the centre were not permitted to hand over medications without the recipient showing valid identification.

The healthcare assistant who gave out the medication sat in the small office that doubled as a dispensary and was doing paperwork when I knocked on the window of the hatch. I told her I had come to get my medications and showed my card.

‘We only give out medications between seven and eight in the morning and between 2.45pm and 4.15pm Monday to Friday and 7pm to 8pm at weekends.’ I had arrived at 11am.

‘I didn’t know that; I’m sorry,’ I replied but, before I could say any more, she handed me a printed sheet with this information.

‘Come back in the afternoon; I am busy,’ she added.

‘But it only takes two minutes or less for you to give me these tablets, I know they are in that cupboard I can see over there,’ I said.

‘They probably are, but I don’t have the time right now.’ She gave me the package when I called back at 4pm.

Bursting to go