Ex Blue Funnel Ship's Doctor

6th May 2011, 22:47
Today's "Scotsman"carries obituary ofDr William Fulton.He qualified in medicine in 1945 and"did his National Service as a ship's Doctor with Blue Funnel Line".
As I've never heard of anyone doing N/S in the Merchant Navy I wonder if this is a case of a reporter making it up.

7th May 2011, 00:06
Most of us on this site of a 'certain age' did the equivalent of national service in the MN. It was a choice of spending two years in the army or staying in the MN until you were 26.
At this age the MN was becoming more attractive as, with luck, you had achieved promotion and a decent salary and tended to carry on.

Derek (Royal Regiment of Army Dodgers)

7th May 2011, 22:20
It's probably as I thought,maybe they didn't want to say"He dodged National Service by sailing with Blue Flue for a couple of years".
Better pay too!!!!

7th May 2011, 23:32
Talking of Blue Flu' Ship's Doctors - does anyone remember the aptly named, Dr Kneebone- he was an Aussie and served with me on "Glengarry" some time in the early sixties?

8th May 2011, 20:12
I had the honour of being a member of the Royal Regiment of Army Dodgers.
More money in one day than a week in the army and the food was superb.

Hugh Ferguson
9th May 2011, 12:39
During my 10 years, 1943/53 in the Blue Funnel Line, I never once sailed without a fully qualified doctor in the crew: no matter whether the ship carried passengers or not, there was always a doctor on board. There must have been a lot of doctors around in those days.
That does not appear to be the case any longer as far as British doctors are concerned. Here in Cornwall, where I live in a village, one of our two local doctors is German and having, just recently, had a cousin in hospital with pneumonia in a very well known South Coast resort, this tendency to rely on foreign sources for medical staff was further confirmed both for nurses and doctors.
My cousin was so ill that she became delirious and could not avoid the delusion that she had been hospitalised some place abroad! On every occasion I 'phoned to ask after her I noted that the receptionist was English, but on only one of those several occasions the nurses I spoke with were all, with just one exception, foreign.
My elderly cousin had herself been a Queen Alexandra nurse and had worked in military hospitals abroad.
Is it not positively immoral that this country has, in order to fill the demand for medical staff, to denude hospitals in places such as Manila and Johannesburg and the West Indies. Why do we have this problem, is it because so many people in this country do not aspire any longer to nursing and doctoring as a career and if so, why is that the case?

Thats another Story
9th May 2011, 13:33
don my daughter in law was a sister in the ICU of a large childrens hospital she is a very clever girl like all started from the bottom and worked her way up. she is now a home visiter {district nurse} working on the wards she had three shifts of 17hours plus paper work and answering to paper pushers and been counters. and the the public ?the abuse they take for keeping their kids alive plus stress. to some it's not worth it.john

Hugh Ferguson
9th May 2011, 14:54
To add to my concerns about the N.H.S., as if my cousin's experiences during that week were not enough, in the same week there had been broadcast on BBC radio 4 a program called "Care To Be A Nurse". In this a women who had had surgery for breast cancer recounted, to an audience, what I would regard as the very inadequate care she had to endure. Her nurse, on her first day after the surgery, instructed her how to disconnect herself from the various bits of equipment in order that she could make her way to the breakfast tray located at the other end of the ward in which she was confined. She was so weak that she was not even able to pick up the large teapot to pour herself a cup of tea!!
I listened to as much of this as I could stand and it left me wondering what kind of Florence Nightingale culture still exists amongst nursing staff in so many of our hospitals these days.

Thats another Story
9th May 2011, 17:55
sadly hugh to some its just a job thats what makes the proper nurses mad pre natal childrens nurses are special{and they care} thats the main thing.john

Ron Stringer
9th May 2011, 21:10
I regret that it is just another sign of the times and society in which we live. The UK has gone along the route of valuing academic qualifications and denigrating practical and vocational training. Nursing used to have reasonable but modest academic educational entry requirements. It then provided training on the hospital wards under the strict supervision of qualified nursing and medical staff, supported by classroom/lecture theatre instruction. This was validated by practical, oral and written examinations prior to becoming a State Registered or State Enrolled Nurse. Think of it as something along the lines of 2nd Mates Certificate. Anyone with an uncaring, unsafe or slipshod attitude was quickly identified by the professionals with whom they worked and either given corrective training or weeded out.

Some years ago the training was moved from the hospital to University and the students now do 3 years (4 in some places) degree course at University with only short spells spent in hospital to gain some practical experience. It is possible to become qualified without having any aptitude for dealing with sick or incapacitated people and instead viewing them as customers or users of the service.

So we have many nurses with academic qualifications but limited practical experience, who seek only a route to a professional career, moving up the management tree as rapidly as possible. I think that many will recognise similar changes of emphasis in the MN and the MCA.

9th May 2011, 22:09
That was very clearly explained.I agree with you that in today's commercial environment patients are regarded as customers.
I work for Social Services at a ResidentialHome for the Elderly,and how I hate the"in"expression"Service User"!Mind you I have been pulled up a couple of times for referring to them as PUNTERS.

Thats another Story
9th May 2011, 22:11
my daughter in law moved from ICU in childrens .the babies nurse in charge of the children that never came through had to prepair the childs body and did what she said was the lonley walk to the mortury and meet the parents. and then go home to her own kids.i think that would get to anyone.john