Printed in New Statesman in October 1994 in a competition asking for poems by doctors. 


Yet another awful day which sets me thinking glumly

That it’s time to write a letter to the dreaded Mrs Bottomley.

“Dear Sir, My frank opinion of your ‘Health Reforms’ is this:

That they do not work and never will: they’re just a load of contribution!

What seems to be the problem, and please do not say I’m lying,

Is I’ve just rung seven hospitals while patients here are likely to require only tender loving care,

And some say ‘Try Mount Vernon’ and others ‘Tooting Bec’

When I see that Trust Director I will dislocate several of his cervical vertebrae!

If you’d only seen me earlier before you drafted bills

I’d have diagnosed the problem and prescribed these special – can’t quite read what I wrote there –

Next please! “ I mean “Yours Faithfully”.  I hope I really shocked her,

“An overbudget, overworked but loyal General Practitioner, B. Chir, M.R.C.P., L.R.C.S.”

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