"Illness, as opposed to Disease, is Immeasurable and requires Compassion"

"Illness, as opposed to Disease, is Immeasurable and requires Compassion"

Series Name College of Life Sciences Inaugural Lecture Series
Speaker Professor Rodger Charlton
Type Lectures & Talks
When 30 Jan 2018, 06:00PM - 07:00PM
Venue LT1, Centre for Medicine
Open To Public
Ticket Price Free
For Bookings Contact Danni Benyon-Payne, dmrbp1@le.ac.uk


You cannot pigeon hole people into disease boxes. Yes you might have a low thyroxine but what matters is how it makes you feel and so the illness you suffer. Up to two thirds of people who see their GP have an illness, often causing great suffering, but no identifiable disease. It may be tiredness, headaches, pain or much more, but it's real. Many are worried they may have something awful like cancer and a clinical friend (your GP or hospital doctor) to listen, investigate if appropriate and reassure, is vital. But lack of resources, the interference of politicians who use the NHS as a political football, constantly trying to regulate the treatment of this immeasurable illness leads to a floundering NHS through the purchaser-provider approach to health care. It puts doctors off wanting to be GPs as is does GPs to stay GPs, which can be the greatest job in the world. Being a patient (as we all are), it is important to have a good experience as this is part of restoring health. To be able to help someone who is ill is a great privilege.

NHS hospital practice and general practice is very challenging due to under resourcing. Professor Charlton argues it is important for GPs and hospital doctors to support each other and patients as they aspire to continue to provide good health care at the point of need for all. As doctors, Professor Charlton feels they can still make a real difference for their patients and will do in the future if they recognise, acknowledge and above all in their attempt to help their patients, they are compassionate and so provide Cum Scientia Caritas, Scientific care with loving kindness.


Rodger Charlton is a GP and from 1st September took up post as Professor of Undergraduate Primary Care Education at Leicester Medical School. He remains an active GP in Hampton-in-Arden in the West Midlands where he is also both a GP Trainer and VTS Training Programme Director. He has moved from Nottingham Medical School where he was Director of Primary Care Education. He has completed 7 textbooks including the latest of which is; “Compassion; Compassion, Continuity and Caring in the NHS.” (2015 RCGP Publishing). Outside of medicine he is a keen cricketer both as a life member of Leicestershire County Cricket Club and as a leg spin bowler for his village cricket team.

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