Sunday 20th June 1993 Sunday morning 09:15

“I have been thinking about Mrs Vaughan’s beds, Desmond. You should help her.” Mum had made bacon and eggs for a change. She was watching Dad like a hawk, hoping she might be able to stop a splodge of egg yolk ending up on his best pyjamas.
“Hospital beds are nothing to do with me, Daphne.”
“The way I see it, Desmond, is that everyone working in the NHS has a degree of responsibility. We all know what’s going on, but no one is saying very much or doing anything.”
“What can we do?”
“Maybe you could rally some of your colleagues. There are over 30,000 general practitioners in the country. If every GP took action, I am sure the government would listen.”
“I doubt it!” Dad chuckled. He pierced a large tomato with his fork and a jet of hot juice shot out. Before Mum had a chance to intervene, he mopped it off the tablecloth with the corner of his toast.
“I am going to talk to my nursing friends this week. Maybe we’ll start a petition. I feel I’ve got to do something.”
“We are meeting the Secretary of State for Health on the 27th of August.” Declan had finished his breakfast and picked up the paper.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Declan!”
“We are, Dad. Mrs Vaughan and I arranged it.”
“Hmm! Whose going to be there, then?” My Dad asked sceptically.
“Valerie, Mr Thompson from the hospital, Virginia Bottomley, me and you.”
“Me?”
“Yes, you’re representing GPs in the area.”
“I won’t be there, Declan. I can assure you of that.”
“I think you will, Dad. Mrs Vaughan says you will probably get struck off if you don’t turn up. Mrs Bottomley is looking forward to meeting you.”

Valerie Vaughan’s beds.