WEMJ Volume 112 No. 2 - June 2013

West of England Medical Journal (online)  ISSN 2050-8530 

Editorial June 2013

The newspaper headlines are unremittingly gloomy about the British National Health Service and there appears to be good reason for this. The ramifications of the Mid-Stafford crisis continue to reverberate throughout the system. The top man of the Health Service, Sir David Nicholson, is retiring early and a police enquiry into the Stafford affair is underway.

Other problems are reported daily in the press such as Death risk lottery of NHS surgeryShortage of doctors ‘causing thousands of hospital deaths’ and GPs blamed for crisis.

In this climate it may seem odd to publish an article praising the healthcare system in the UK but that is what is on offer in this issue. Dr.s Xi Jin and Liang Wen  from The First Affiliated Hospital School of Medicine of Zhejiang University were over in the UK to observe our hospital system. Along with twenty-three other doctors they were sent here with the support of the Chinese Government and, in their case, the help of the Severn Deanery.

.....And what they saw they mostly liked. They found the medical education and training system to be excellent and the doctor-patient relationships exemplary. Their main criticism was reserved for the perceived lack of efficiency on dealing with non-emergency cases.

One referee of the article thought that it was praising the NHS too much but the editorial committee felt that it was the honest opinion of the visiting doctors and therefore valid.

As a person who is well-known to be a critic of the problems besetting the NHS the editor is pleased to be able to publish an article in support of our very important institution.

The NHS deals with over one million patients every 36 hours and employs more than 1.7 million people. It is our hope that this enormous undertaking will overcome the crises and move towards a better future.

Paul Goddard

Article 1. WEMJ volume 112 No 2 Article 1: June 2013

Experiencing the NHS system. A three month visit by Chinese clinical observers

Drs Xi Jin and Liang Wen

China is now at a critical stage in its health care reforms. Learn- ing successful experiences from other countries is important to us. Among various health care systems, the NHS in the United Kingdom has shown its global reputation for serving the public with free health care of high quality and equal-ity. To gain vivid knowledge from the NHS system, 25 senior doctors from China were sent as clinical observers to different hospitals for 3 months under joint support from the Chinese Government and the UK Severn Deanery. 

Download the full article

Article 2. WEMJ Volume 112 No 2 Article 2: June 2013

Imaging of Vertebral Trauma by Richard H. Daffner
Book Review by Rebecca Geach Specialist Registrar in Radiology, Bristol 

Daffner presents the third edition of Imaging of Vertebral Trauma aimed primarily at radiologists although the book would also provide a useful reference guide for any doctor working with trauma patients 

Download the full article

Article 3. WEMJ Volume 112 No 2 Article 3: June 2013: The King’s Evil 

First presented to the Bristol Medico-Historical Society   

Welcome to the West of England Medical Journal. This is the online journal of the Bristol Medico Chirurgical Society. The journal was formerly known as the Bristol Medico Chirurgical Journal and was first published in 1883.

This is a general medical journal and is available for everybody to read online. To access the issue please click on the link in the column to the left of this introduction.

Please see the Instruction for Authors if you wish to submit an article or send a letter.

View details of the WEMJ Editoral Board