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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Sex, white lies and videotape

Fans of the excellent sitcom 'Early Doors' will remember the episode where Duffy realises that the spark is going out of the relationship with his girlfriend.

Fans of the excellent sitcom 'Early Doors' will remember the episode where Duffy realises that the spark is going out of the relationship with his girlfriend.

After a stolen afternoon of passion he confesses to his mate that even though his lover had worn her sexiest kit for a private and intimate photo-shoot, he hadn't even had the urge to put any film in the camera.

Hold that thought.

Radiologist Dr Otto Chan, giving evidence at an employment tribunal, said that while working at the Royal London Hospital in 2006 he had found 100,000 unprocessed X-rays hidden in a cupboard.

We all know that some investigations are ordered because the doctor expects to glean some useful information from them, some are ordered as part of a routine and a great many are ordered simply to get the patient to vacate the consulting room chair to allow the next punter to sit down.

And it's these unnecessary investigations that cause so much trouble. Patients who win a consolation prize Full Blood Count, Chem Seven and chest film by spending nine minutes describing symptoms that suggest pathology affecting every physiological process in the body are the very patients who will insist that their marginally raised lymphocyte count and borderline cardio-thoracic ratio are investigated further. And further. And further. To no avail and at our expense.

So let's campaign for an extra tick box on the X-Ray request form. 'NFIC – NAD'.' No Film in the Camera – please report as Nothing Abnormal Detected' for those occasions when the dangers of a miniscule radiation dose would outweigh the investigation's negligible benefit.

Copperfield Copperfield

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