First off, yes I know as an orthopaedic surgeon he's a 'Mr', not a 'Dr.' If he ever reads this, that will hopefully rile him from word 1.
For those who don't know, David Dunn is the barnstorming consultant who burst into the Cameron/Clegg photo opportunity the other day shouting 'I'm not having it' as he alleged the camera crews were inappropriately dressed and breaking hygiene regulations. If you missed his performance the video is embedded below.
I have heard several people since saying things like ' oh isn't he marvellous, putting those politicians and their spin doctors in their place'. Well no, I don't think he's marvellous at all. I think he's a fool. And here's why.
1. First off, according to Guys, he was wrong, the crew were all conforming with their infection control rules. Since his outburst I've been told by another consultant that the rules in her Trust are very clear. No jewellery, watches, long ties and you must wearshort/rolled up sleeves for anyone coming into contact with a patient. Clegg and Cameron were doing just that, and so had to conform. The crew were not, so could have been wearing clown suits and still been fine. I did wonder if Guys had stricter rules than other Trusts but it seems the management at Guys are now suggesting Mr Nunn was just 'mistaken'. Oh dear.
2. Let's look again at what this crusader for the people actually said. What was uppermost in his mind when he burst in? Was it patient safety? Was it a passion for consistent application for infection control protocol. Sadly, no. What he actually says is
'Why is it we're all told to walk around like this...'
Hmm. So what he's most bothered about is that he has to conform to some rules. He may as well have said 'it's not fair, why should I have to do it when they don't?'. Which is exactly the sort of thing my seven year olds say. Mr Dunn, you were, in my humble opinion, self centred, and childish.
3. Finally the real problem. For everyone who is campaigning to have consultants and hospital nurses more involved in the management of patient care, Mr Dunn has done both us and them a grave disservice. For what view do you think the PM, DPM, and Health Secretary formed of consultants after their visit? That they are a bunch of reasonable, intelligent and caring people who put patient care above all other interests? Or that they are a bunch of arrogant, unreasonable self serving control freaks? I think we can probably all guess what the conversation went like in the Ministerial limo afterwards, can't we?
Don't get me wrong. I am ALL FOR people refusing to conform to the 'rules' of spin doctors and media managers. It's a good way of getting things done, and telling politicians what you really think. It's a positive thing.
But not when you all you are doing is being self serving, attention seeking and wrong. It doesn't help.
Mr Dunn should apologise to the majority of reasonable, intelligent and caring consultants whose image he has so tarnished.
But I know he won't.