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Medicine Balls

Dr Ian Henderson gets a few laughs from Phil Hammond's semi-autobiographical novel

Dr Ian Henderson gets a few laughs from Phil Hammond's semi-autobiographical novel



The author Dr Phil Hammond of Trust Me I'm a Doctor fame calls this a semi-autobiographical medico-political self-help comedy novel with poems.

His material is a mixture of amusing spoof consultations which would have Balint, Pendleton and Neighbour gagging on their tongue depressors and scripts from his comedy shows 89 minutes to Save the NHS and the Watershed. These are used as a pretext of an entry for a fictitious "The World's Greatest TV Doctor" competition whose organiser is one of his patients.

His rant about the NHS should be required reading for Michael Moore and his rose tinted view of it. The problems about which he rages are all very recognisable to NHS employees. He provides legitimate arguments and solutions in an entertaining and engaging way.

Phil Hammond for Health Secretary, perhaps, although I'm not sure which political party would have him. The Monster Raving Loony Party?

What else is there? Well – there is poetry, light and very dark humour, educational bits, especially about nits and bed bugs and even a twist at the end in keeping with all good thrillers, which is another description he could add for his book if it wasn't long enough already.

There are even prophetic words. In 2002 he said ‘The NHS is so vast and unaccountable, nobody will ever track you down. And it's great if you need to lie low for a while. As I was saying to Dr Bin Laden, only the other day, that's a clear invitation to infiltrate.'

Great book to dip into after a hard morning's surgery with your chocolate biscuit and Australian Shiraz for a few laughs and to brush up on your consultation skills. If you would like to understand the biscuit and Shiraz reference, buy the book.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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