Mark raised Bob’s issue with protocol, see his last comment. Now this touches on an area anathema to my heart and the mass of bureaucratic bollocks that washes around us.

Medical protocol can refer to; (for there are many areas of protocol, there’s a whole institution devoted to it in Dutchland).

  • medical guidelines for a medical treatment. It usually includes a treatment plan, summarized consensus statements and addresses practical issues.
  • Clinical protocol, which has a more specific meaning. It describes a method to be used in a clinical trial (e.g. of a drug or medical treatment) or a medical research study.
  • A set of rules followed by providers such as EMTs or nurses. Often considered to be stricter than a guideline, and to carry more weight with the law, but there is no hard evidence to support this view and the terms are usually used interchangeably.

I’m afraid the cult of management has infected all areas of life. Of course no one can sensibly argue against a protocol drawn up for the treatment of a patient, thereafter things can get fuzzier as alluded to in the third point. One key aspect of the audit culture that’s been spawned in our neoliberal world is the devolution of accountability down upon the people who do the work. In olden days senior executives justified their position and remuneration by having responsibility and being accountable. That has shifted drastically to bear upon employees and most workers are now cowed to ‘follow protocol’ for fear of being disciplined. When i started teaching in 1980 schools had about 0 policies. Each school now, as for every institution and larger business, now has so many policies that it is impossible for any sane or rational person to keep up with them. First policy should be to have a policy about policies. Unfortunately this environment can also give certain types of people licence to behave in certain ways; ‘I was only obeying orders’. Enough already, just read my thesis on risk!

So reading The Guardian yesterday and on page 28 were some photos of Blackpool Airport and I was in one of them! I’ve never knowingly been to Blackpool so there would appear to be a doppelganger out there. People will soon be able to tell the difference though as I’ll be the hairless one. Currently when my hair goes I plan to wear a variety of wigs and hats, just hope I’ve got the balls to do it.

Apparently I’m suffering from ‘chemobrain’ which make sense as having a load of serious toxins in the body is bound to have a load of effects. But, as Mark suggests, maybe not all negative. And thanks Jo for all your lovely thoughts and comments although i never thought drinking and eating more important, rather they helped conversation develop.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan


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