Pay for your soup! (actually not funny but ...)

A friend of mine sent me this with the note “Memo to Dr. Renard: Pay for your soup or who knows what could happen!” It’s quite ridiculous (you’ll see what I mean about it actually being not funny at all) so I didn’t know where else to put it…
Sun Mar 21 2004 20:50:56 ET
A TOP brain surgeon has been suspended from work in a dispute over a bowl of
soup, London’s DAILY MAIL is reporting on Monday.
Terence Hope is accused of taking an extra helping at the staff canteen
without paying.
The GBP 80,000-a-year neurosurgeon has been sent home on full pay from the
Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, a teaching hospital where he is a
senior lecturer as well as a consultant.
Colleagues are furious at the decision. They say patients will suffer while
the NHS is deprived of a highly-skilled expert at a time when there is
already a critical shortage of neurosurgeons.
Mr Hope himself has been left stunned and shocked. He told a colleague he
was only getting some extra croutons. The surgeon, a 57-year- old father of
three, spent yesterday tending the garden at his GBP 700,000 home in the
Leicestershire hamlet of Hemington.
Asked about his suspension, he said: 'I have been told by the hospital not
to say anything at all.'
There is understood to be no suggestion that Mr Hope was abusive when
confronted about the alleged ‘theft’.
But an official complaint was made to hospital management after the incident
last Wednesday and an investigation is under way.
Medical staff are amazed that Mr Hope was sent home over such ‘a minor
One colleague at the hospital’s neurological unit, which is a regional
centre taking patients from across the East Midlands, said: 'It’s absolutely
It is only patients who will suffer.'
A senior neurosurgeon and former colleague of Mr Hope, who asked not to be
named, said: 'Terence Hope has an international reputation for excellence
and is a leading light in his field.
'There are not a lot of brain surgeons around, in fact there are fewer brain
surgeons in Britain than almost anywhere else you can think of. To pull
someone out of the service is a very serious matter, both for the individual
patients and the person who is dealt with.
'People have to be pretty desperate to go to a neurosurgeon and the surgeon
has to look after them hour by hour and day by day. The consultant holds the
whole show together.
'It is certainly true that if you take one consultant out it is very
difficult for another one to take over.
'In a good department like Queen’s no doubt they will take over. But to pull
a neurosurgeon for anything, unless he is technically dangerous, must hazard
the whole service.‘
Patients’ groups were also stunned. The Trigeminal Neuralgia Association
said: 'This does seem extraordinary. Any patient would be astounded.'
The waiting time for brain operations in the Nottingham region is officially
39 days for outpatients.
There are few brain surgeons of Mr Hope’s experience and qualifications in
this country.
He trained at Liverpool University and has been working in the NHS as a
qualified doctor for the last 34 years - 19 of them in Nottingham. He is a
leading expert on vascular neurosurgery.
The Queen’s Medical Centre NHS Trust said last night: 'A consultant was
suspended on Wednesday following an alleged incident at the hospital which
did not relate to any patient or another member of staff.
‘The matter will now be discussed as soon as possible with the consultant
involved. In the meantime, the trust is not prepared to talk any further.‘
The hospital management is understood to be hoping to resolve the matter
There is a general shortage of skilled neurosurgeons in this country.
In 2000, a report by the Society of British Neurological Surgeons said
patients were dying need-lessly because there were not enough surgeons or
specialist beds. It found that only just over<
half of the UK’s 37 specialist units had reached the minimum number of
consultant surgeons and only 14 per cent had the recommended number of
intensive care beds.
Cases involving the suspension of medical staff have become a GBP
40million-a-year headache for the NHS.
A report last year revealed that hundreds of doctors are left kicking their
heels at home for months or even years because of bosses’ incompetence at
settling disputes. The National Audit Office said many cases do not even
involve patient safety but are the result of personality clashes with
Between April 2001 and July 2002 - the last available figures - more than
1,000 NHS doctors, nurses and other clinical staff were suspended on full
The average suspension of a doctor costs GBP 188,000, made up of continuing
salary payments, paying a replacement and administration expenses.

Gee whiz, What a stupid thing to do. What was the hospital thinking? Oh, wait, that’s right, they weren’t thinking.

Hey Mary,
This sounds just like the VA system except the guy would not have been working in the first place. Last night I notified the cardiologist on call that I needed to have a pacemaker interrogated at the end of the case. He said that it would not be a problem. That was at 4pm. At 5pm when I finished the case, he said that he wasn’t going to do it. I ended up calling the rep who cheerfully came in and did a great job. I am willing to bet that he comes in to pick up his paycheck without hesitation.

This case is the talk of the town here. Old people are worried their doc may be fined or suspended for “getting extra croutons”. No kidding.