‘Have you ever noticed that certain days are injury days?’

I was filming in our garden today as the sky was beautiful, the spring bulbs colourful, and the green as fresh as can be.

By chance, an NHS Forth Valley lorry passed in front of the camera. My heart missed a beat. The lorry was advertising the Minor Injuries Unit.

Three years have nearly passed since I resigned from NHS Forth Valley. When an employee with NHS Forth Valley I championed an ethical and evidenced-based approach to the diagnosis of dementia and for transparency in terms of financial interests of staff.

As a consequence of this, I myself left NHS Forth Valley with injuries. Not physical injuries but just as real.

Looking back, I am proud to have tried my wee best to put ethics at the very heart of my practice. To stand up for those who may not be as able or who may feel frightened to stand up for themselves.

The title of this film comes from the novel “Vinegar Girl” by Anne Tyler

The music is by Steven Lindsay – “Exit Music”

Nelson Place

Christina Paterson Danks who died of a broken hairt. Stirling, 10th May 1889.

‘The sky is making a new proposition to the earth’

This was a kind of experimental film where I combined an old audio track (narrator and choir) with some of John Berger’s words from “Here is where we meet”. I was perhaps trying to follow John Berger’s statement that he “risks to write nonsense these days”

The audio track is from this film by me: Oor auldest relative (made 2 years ago)

The words are by John Berger from “Here is where we meet” (just recently read by Peter)

This was filmed at Stirling castle in the old cemetery and features the Martyrs monuments.

So what might this film be about?
Well I have no religious faith so it is not about that. 
Perhaps it is about learning over time? 
Perhaps it is about the meeting of Philosophy with Science? 
Perhaps it is about wounds and how we react to them? 
Perhaps it is about how poetry can convey briefly what other 
disciplines of thought may struggle with? 
Or perhaps it is about all of these and more? 
Though, rest assured this film does not offer an overall Philosophy!

To root in these very specific places

T S Eliot rooted poems about ideas in very specific places. He was very interested in yew trees:


The following film is on the Fortingall Yew.

Time passes. Listen.

Gilbert Farie Revisited

I made this film 5 years ago.

In the five years that have passed since making, prescribing of antidepressants has risen from 1-in-9 Scots to 1-in-7. My view is that this is most unhealthy.

Time moves on and I would perhaps change a few words in this film. That said I feel that this film remains an important presentation:

To learn from and cherish

In the Scottish Herald on the 1st October 2016:

the-elderly-should-be-valued-and-respected-1-oct-2016-2

reminded us all that:

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and suggested that we:

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Rebecca McQuillan  worried, as I do, that:

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Our treasured NHS and those who educate us might consider:

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As an NHS doctor for those who I value and respect I worry about the promulgation of a reductive language of loss. I often hear our older generation described as a “challenge” and that complex, and unique situations have been reduced to a single word, such as “frailty”, “capacity” and “delirium”. Language evolved over tens of millennia to avoid such simplification.

Rebecca McQuillan closes beautifully:

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I shared this post with the British Medical Journal. There was 
an interesting reaction on social media to my post and to those made 
by others by the original columnist:

"some truly bizarre responses to what was a mainstream common 
on acute frailty"

"I am thinking of changing my BMJ column from 'acute perspective' 
to 'everybody must get Stoned'"