I read Dr Phil Hammond's article on Guidelines on ringing a consultant at home with interest.

Apart from the calumny heaped on consultants, which I have to say does not resonate with my own method of working, he seems to have overlooked one reason for lack of familiarity between consultants and senior house officers.

With the reduction in hours that SHOs now work, it is not infrequently that I carry out my regular ward rounds on my own without benefit of either an SHO or a middle-grade doctor accompanying me, as was invariably the case in the past.

Perhaps Phil Hammond should look into repeating the Oxford recognition test by showing a group photo of consultants to house officers and asking them to identify their consultant!

Miss MR Howells, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Withybush General Hospital

Guidelines in Practice, October 1999, Volume 2
© 1999 MGP Ltd
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