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Behind the Screens at the City General

Peter Sykes

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : New Generation Publishing

Published : 2013

Copyright : Peter Sykes 2013

ISBN-10 : PB 1-910053-80-5
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-910053-80-5

Publisher's Write-Up

What really goes on 'behind the screens' of a busy hospital ward?

The heroes of the novel are Paul Lambert and his girlfriend Kate Meredith. Paul, a quiet and introspective young doctor, tells the real-life tales of some of his patients, at a time forty years ago when care and compassion ruled supreme. Kate is a nurse who learns more about patient care when she is admitted as a patient to her own ward than she does from all her nursing tutors and text books!

Some stories are humorous, some sad, others poignant, but all are very 'human'. There is the tale of the wife who becomes pregnant two years after her husband’s vasectomy, the milkman’s tattoo that was mischievously altered whilst he was anaesthetised and the case of the elderly spinster who brought her pregnant cat to the emergency department! These stories explore many facets of hospital life; the sense of care that existed within healthcare at this time, the anxiety experienced when treating a fellow human being, the pain felt when patient outcomes are unfavourable and the chronic tiredness resulting from long hours on duty, it becomes clear that humour and compassion make wonderful medicine.

From the author of The First Cut.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (310814) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
Reading about a young doctor, a senior house officer called Paul, in the 1960s it is hard to avoid the clichéd images of Carry On Doctor and other similar sitcoms, but this is a much more thoughtful and honest account of the experience. We see the young doctor, Paul, returning to a hospital in which he had worked as a junior house officer, and how this affects his relationships with some of the staff.

The accounts of the relationships between the nurses and doctors, the consultants and their house officers, are examined, along with the hospital and sexual politics of the time. This story is interspersed with patient stories, the medical and the social, and these show a truly caring environment, the most moving of which was about the kittens, which I just thought was adorable.

Alongside the professional development, we see the romance between Paul and a nurse called Kate, to whom he had been close but whose relationship had failed to develop after they had been separated by unfortunate personal circumstances. It was so nice that he admitted how much he regretted the faltering of their relationship and how happy he was to find that she too had missed him.

I became very attached to this lovely, idealistic, slightly naïve person, and was impressed that he laid himself bare towards the end, regarding an interview. I thought it very brave, and respect his integrity for including it in his memoirs. I look forward to the next instalment of his story, or even a series of short stories, they would be very well received. As an added incentive, all funds from this book go to assist two hospices, a worthy endeavour if there ever was one, and in keeping with the self-effacing tone of the writer. Bravo.
Chrissi (31st August 2014)

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