The dinner party consultation

It is reported that Peter Mandelson recently ended up in hospital to be treated for a kidney stone. It is also reported that Lord Darzi, the health minister who believes polyclinics are the future, dined with Mr Mandelson, and was later called upon to see him professionally. 

Who knows what actually happened, but ‘dinner party’ consultations are an overwhelmingly bad idea.  Architects, policemen, lawyer and hairdresser friends tell me the same thing: informal, convivial advice has a tendency to end in tears and should be regarded as a bad idea for the following reasons: 

1) the consultee may not be willing, due to circumstances, to disclose full information

2) the consultee may too willing, due to cirucmstances, to disclose way too much information

3) the consultant may be very biased due to feelings/lack of feeling for the consultee and may be influenced into under or overinvestigation

4) dinner parties where the best treatment for piles and chlamydia are discussed do not make for the most fun evenings

There must be more reasons.

Margaret McCartney’s Blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

A forum on healthcare policy and professional issues, by Glasgow-based GP and FT Weekend columnist Margaret McCartney.

FT Blogs