145,266 members

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


In the consulting room: compulsive lying


Blog headlines

  • What White people don’t see
    26 November 2020

    This year’s Black History Month (BHM) has, unfortunately, in its shadow another example of why campaigns like this exist.

  • Primary Care: Why don’t we talk about Racism?
    20 November 2020

    Rita Symons is an ex NHS leader who is now a leadership consultant, coach and facilitator. Her work is mainly in the NHS and she is an associate for PCC offering facilitation, coaching, strategy development and team development activities. She is a concerned but hopeful world citizen and combines work in the NHS with a board role in a non for profit organisation and an interest in writing.

  • Primary Care and the Health of the Public
    12 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • What now for primary care
    4 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • Boosting your resilience
    30 October 2020

    The last year has been a difficult one, who would have imagined last Christmas that we would have been in lockdown, with the NHS seriously tested by a global pandemic. So much change has happened and the resilience of people working in and with health and care services has been seriously tested. Resilience is our ability to deal with, find strengths in and/or recover from difficult situations. Its sometimes referred to as “bounceabiliy” – but bouncing in what way?

  • Link of the week: National Cholesterol Month
    23 October 2020

    Every month or week of the year seems to be an awareness week, October has more than its fair share.

  • New redeployment service offers talent pool of motivated, work-ready individuals
    15 October 2020

    People 1st International have shared some of the work they are doing to support people displaced from industries due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There is an opportunity for health and care services to benefit from this workforce.

  • Link of the week
    9 October 2020

    Article published in the BMJ looking at the ability of the health service to quickly bounce back to pre-Covid levels of activity and considers if it is desirable.

  • Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective
    2 October 2020

    This week Jessie Cunnett, director of health and social care at Transverse has shared this article.

  • Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective
    1 October 2020

    This week Jessie Cunnett, director of health and social care at Transverse has shared this article - Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective.

  • Celebrating innovation in eye research
    24 September 2020

    This week Julian Jackson from VisionBridge has shared a report on eye research.

  • Link of the week: Comprehensive Spending Review and Covid-19
    24 September 2020

    This week we are sharing a blog that outlines the funding pressures and uncertainties faced by the health and care system

  • Risk stratifying elective care patients
    10 September 2020

    This blog has been shared by MBI healthcare technologies. As services are starting to treat routine patients those on waiting lists are making enquiries as to where they are on the list, and if they are still on the list.

  • Link of the week
    4 September 2020

    This week the link we would like to share are reflections from physiotherapy students on placement at Alzheimer Scotland https://letstalkaboutdementia.wordpress.com/

  • Link of the week
    28 August 2020

    This week we would like to share a blog published on the Mind website about being a BAME health worker in the pandemic.

  • Remote clinical triage model
    20 August 2020

    This week we are sharing how a remote clinical triage model was implemented at Tollgate Medical Centre. This has been shared with us by Sarah Portway, a Nurse, and Clinical Services Manager at Tollgate Medical Centre.

  • Can the Community Pharmacy become the gateway to integrated care in the NHS?
    13 August 2020

    The NHS is a continually evolving innovative demand led public service the role of the Community Pharmacist is becoming the public face on a journey to the more responsible public engagement in the personal care of individuals and their family. There are currently over 11000 Pharmacies many are single or small chain service providers, while multiples occupy the urban shopping centres and more densely populated conurbations, the value of the rural High Street can’t be understated.

  • Crunch time for patient involvement
    7 August 2020

    There are new challenges for primary care, which could really do with patient input. Mike Etkind, chair of a PPG and founding member of his PCN’s patient group, recognises the size of the task clinical directors have managed over the last few months but identifies two particular issues where patients have a necessary and valuable contribution, that need to be addressed now – the 2020 vaccination programme and primary care from a distance- total triage, remote consultations, and the use of telemedicine.

  • Link of the week - Visionbridge
    31 July 2020

    The link we are sharing this week was submitted by Julian Jackson, Visionbridge.

  • Links of the week
    23 July 2020

    This week we are sharing two articles with you.

Friday, 1 June 2018

In the consulting room: compulsive lying

In this week’s instalment of our fly-on-the-wall documentary about the working lives of doctors, an NHS finance director discusses a delicate matter with her GP

Doctor: What can I do for you today?

Patient: It’s a bit embarrassing. I’d rather not talk about it

Doctor: There’s nothing you can tell me that I haven’t heard before

Patient: You won’t tell anyone else?

Doctor: I’ve taken an oath

Patient: I’m worried that I’m becoming a compulsive liar. I simply can’t tell the truth any more

Doctor: I see. Why is that a problem for you?

Patient: I’ll be sacked if I tell the truth

Doctor: I find that hard to believe

Patient: No, honestly. I’m not lying – at least not about that

Doctor: Why do you feel the urge to lie?

Patient: It’s the only way I can keep other people happy – the chief executive, other members of the board, NHS Improvement, NHS England

Doctor: And you’d rather tell the truth?

Patient: God, no! The truth is far worse

Doctor: Do the people you’ve mentioned know that you’re lying to them?

Patient: Yes

Doctor: And they don’t mind?

Patient: No, they prefer it. In fact, they insist. They’re all doing it too

Doctor: Have you ever tried telling the truth?

Patient: I tried it last year. I said we couldn’t meet our financial targets. Everyone was furious

Doctor: Because it wasn’t true?

Patient: No, because it was

Doctor: What happened?

Patient: We didn’t get our transformation funding

Doctor: Which is…?

Patient: The extra cash we need to transform the balance sheet

Doctor: I see, so other people are rewarding you for lying? That’s very unhealthy

Patient: Maybe, but it’s better than being punished for telling the truth

Doctor: If everyone’s lying surely you have nothing to worry about

Patient: I’ll have plenty to worry about at the end of the financial year when the truth comes out

Doctor: Just tell them you were all in it together

Patient: The board will deny it. They’ll say the figures I gave them showed that everything was fine

Doctor: And do they?

Patient: Yes, but only because they told me to make them up

Doctor: So, what do you want me to do?

Patient: I hoped you could give me something for it

Doctor: I could give you the name of my accountant or a short course of anti-depressants

Patient: I think I need something stronger or I’m not sure I’ll get through next winter

Doctor: Did you have something in mind?

Patient: Ten million should do it

Doctor (writing prescription): Take this to the pharmacy. You should feel better in a couple of days

Patient: Is it a cheque?

Doctor: Yes

Patient: Honestly?

Doctor: No, not really, but I have other patients to see and your time’s up

Patient: Thank you for being so honest with me, doctor

Doctor: Not at all. Send in the next liar on your way out   

Editorial regulator: Julian Patterson