EXIT music

This photograph is of a corridor that led out to a courtyard in the old hospital that I trained in. That hospital was Royal Cornhill in Aberdeen. I used to like sitting in the courtyard with patients and staff at break time. [Please click on the image below to play a short film about this hospital]

I was one of the last doctors to train in the old hospital (now mostly demolished) and my memories are generally fond. The grounds were beautiful and inside it had a most lovely ‘floral corridor’. The hauntingly beautiful album “EXIT music” always reminds me of Royal Cornhill Hospital and its ‘country companion’ Kingseat Hospital where I was the very last doctor to leave (exit).

[Please click on the above image to play my short film on Kingseat Hospital]

Dr John Crichton is the current Chair of RCPsych Scotland and he has been a wonderful champion of taking effective measures to tackle serious violence and has advocated providing greater support to young people. Dr Crichton has also been a lead in addressing knife crime: such as the ‘rounded knives save lives’ campaign. I do not personally know Dr Crichton but have spoken to him once on the phone (he has lovely intonation) and we have exchanged e-mails. I am aware that he shares my interest in the history of medicine.

Dr Crichton has recently returned from giving advice to the Serious Violence Summit held at No 10 Downing Street. I hope that this summit gave due consideration to the potential for antidepressants to cause akathisia and seriously alter behaviour including suicide and homicide.

In late October of last year I spoke with Dr Crichton on the phone. During this conversation I asked Dr Crichton:

(1) if the College in Scotland supports  sunshine legislation?

(2) if the College recognised the potential scale of prescribed harm?

(3) if, as Vice-President, he thought the online behaviour of some members of RCPsych was acceptable?

Dr Crichton carefully avoided answering these questions but said that he recognised a “wee shift” in relation to the College view on antidepressants and prescribed harm.  Given this, I asked Dr Crichton if he might share my perspective: Room under the umbrella‘. He later replied that he hadn’t because “the debate is highly charged and I am cautious” but that he would “speak about all of these matters” when he next met the President of the College.

The following week I was asked to meet up with the Associate Medical Director of NHS Lothian (my employers). I  was advised that Dr Crichton “had been in touch”. Uncertain what this was about, I felt it was reasonable to ask Dr Crichton for some clarification. Dr Crichton replied by e-mail

 “I was concerned about your health . . . I hope you are getting the right support.”

I have to take Dr Crichton’s concerns at face value but I find myself wondering if my open questions in relation to College ethics and patient safety were also a factor here?

Here are two heavily redacted communications from RCPsych Scotland (obtained as part of an FOI request):

Dr Crichton, as Chair of RCPsych Scotland, has expressed concerns about an increasing number of doctors deciding to retire early and the loss of experience this brings to the NHS. I myself am now in my fifties. I am hearing ‘EXIT music’.

2 Replies to “EXIT music”

  1. And this is spot on too Peter!

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

  2. Thanks Marion,
    I have now added to this post two old films by me. They are both short. One is on Royal Cornhill Hospital and the other is on Kingseat Hospital. Neither hospital is still there. It is only lived experience that can begin to make them real!

    aye Peter

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