Unicycling Doctor

There was an article on the radio news today, about a woman who was waiting with her sick Grandchild for two hours while a Doctor unicycled about the hospital ward.

When the Doctor came over later to see her Grandchild, she gave him a hard time, but his hospital have backed him up. They have said they want to make the ward a happier place to be for the children, and how they sometimes take in musicians, or other entertainers.

You can see how she was fed up waiting, but well done on the hospital for supporting the Doctor.

Yeah, it’s a good idea, but if people are waiting, maybe it’s not the best time to be unicycling around.

What do you think Ken? (or was it you :p)

The publicity around this story seems to be quite negative though. The woman didn’t seem to want her kid seen by someone who did something as socially undesireable as unicycling.


Ah, round here people are always waiting. There is an endless stream of people waiting to be made better or happier or something. And they want socially ‘straight’ people to tend to them, thank you very much.


Here is a different interpretation of the same story, no mention of the grandmother in this version:

The hospital was definitely defending the doctor and stated “I am not aware that the child’s care was delayed because of this. We needed this period of time for the condition to settle so we could assess it and we apologise if this wasn’t explained properly.”

Overall the article was fairly positive and mainly polite to all parties concerned.

Thats the opinion I got. The hospital basically said “We were waiting for the condition to stabilise before commencing treatment. This is procedural, and the fact the doctor was unicycling during this time did not affect the patients level of care”. If only people spoke plain english instead of generic-statment BS then maybe there’d be less inaccurate reporting in this country…


so if he was playing solitare on his ipod, he wouldn’t have been in the news? I cry prejudice!

Harper has been Farked. The story about the doctor on the unicycle made Fark.com.
Baby waits two hours for doctor while unicyclist rides around waiting room; Mom not amused when rider dismounts, announces he’s ready to see her now
Harper picture goodness:

That shirt is bloody fantastic!
nice work john!

The full text of the article follow: definitely good positives from the health authority. All hail to him for entertaining the kids as well as mending them.
I simply cannot see that it is at all likely that a kid would have been ignored for 2 hours in this way. Once again I suspect the press have chosen their words … er … carefully.

But who was it I wonder? Anyone we know? Suggests he was a newbie rider.


I waited with my sick baby for two hours as doctor rode unicycle on the ward
By Paul Stokes
(Filed: 26/10/2005)

A mother spent two hours waiting with her sick baby on a hospital children’s ward while the doctor they were due to see was passing in front of them on a unicycle.

After Paula Dadswell complained, she received a letter from hospital managers assuring her that in future all unicycling on the ward would be restricted to “special occasions”.

Miss Dadswell, 33, had taken her six-month-old son James to South Tyneside District Hospital, South Shields, after he fell ill.

As they waited to be seen, she watched the young doctor practising his one-wheel feats up and down the corridors of Ward 12 as nurses looked on.

He eventually put down the unicycle, picked up his notes and walked over to assess James’s condition. Miss Dadswell said she told him: “You must be joking.”

“His face went bright red. We had been asking for someone to see James for two hours and we had even told the doctor that he probably shouldn’t be cycling around in case he hurt someone,” she said.

Miss Dadswell lodged a formal complaint about his behaviour with the main reception of the hospital and received a letter of apology later that week.

The trust wrote: "All staff have been informed that such activities are to be confined to specific events, eg parties, fund-raising activities etc.

“As a children’s ward, we strive to combine professionalism with an air of informality and fun aimed at putting children at ease. I accept on this occasion that we did not succeed in achieving this compromise.”

Miss Dadswell, a Post Office worker, had contacted NHS Direct when James was having difficulty digesting his food, and it was suggested that she take him to hospital.

As they were waiting to be seen they were treated to the impromptu circus act by the man about to take on the case.

Miss Dadswell said: "We asked the doctor what he thought he was playing at, and he said he had not had the unicycle very long and was trying to learn how to ride it.

“It was as if that was more important to him than his job. There were no other children for the doctor to be entertaining; he was simply messing around with the nurses.”

James’s father, Alan Dukes, said his son was later diagnosed with an ear infection by the family GP.

Dave Shilton, the hospital’s executive director of nursing and clinical governance, said: "We have already apologised to the family.

"On the children’s ward there is a balance to strike between being professional and light-hearted. We probably misjudged the situation.

“I am not aware that the child’s care was delayed because of this. We needed this period of time for the condition to settle so we could assess it and we apologise if this wasn’t explained properly.”

South Tyneside Health Care Trust said last night that it regularly provided “diversions” not related to medical care in an attempt to make hospital visits less stressful.

“We have involved musicians, artists and others in trying to create a friendly and warm atmosphere,” said a spokesman. "The staff of our children’s unit make every effort to provide a welcoming and happy environment.

"Many parents have commented favourably on this approach and indeed about the unicycle.

“The child in question was not neglected and his care was not compromised in any way.”


I didn’t edit or post the picture. I’m not even registered Fark. If I had a membership at Fark I’d never have time to spend here. I just saw the unicycling doctor article on Fark and read through the replies.
Besides, I have no Photoshop skills.

/ just saying

OMG WTF??? That’s my picture. Well, I mean, it’s a pic I took of one of the American kids at Unicon last year.
It’s in my Unicon gallery:
Can they do that? Oh well, it’s pretty funny.

As far as unicycling in hospitals go- I’ve only done it once, and I felt really stupid- it was for a newspaper photo.

But I think the article in the Sun has totally blown it out of proportion- c’mon, lighten up, hospitals are dreary enough places already.

Damn right unicycling is more important than work! (and any opportunity to “mess around with nurses” should be taken… helllloooooo nurse! :smiley: )

Sounds like this kid’s family got their panties in a knot. No kid’s gonna die from a farkin’ ear infection… some people will take any opportunity they can to b*tch and complain. (like me!)

Aaaaahhhhh. I’ve been farked. Can I ever return to my previous stature of very serious, not to be trifled with, unicycle rider? My reputation is destroyed.

OK. I’m over it.

I doubt the Doctor was actually in the hall unicycling for the whole two hours,it was proably 5 minutes at a time, a few times during that period. It’s amazing that someone can blow somethign so out of proportion.

This finally made the medical press too: a publication called “Hospital Doctor”.
ran an article “Warding off Circus Acts”. 24th November.
A Devon doctor : Bob Baker, was reporting the story, apparently the Sun version. Bob went on to say that many years ago he worked in a hosp[ital where things were often quiet, and walking past a shop one day he spotted a uni: perfect to relieve the boredom. So he practiced on the hospital terraced flat roof and eventually became good enough to do the night hospital rounds on it, including riding down stairs and through the wards. Also played hockey with a local club. Later in life, and at another hospital, he met second doctor, recently having passed his exams, who was also on a uni in his white coat. This second guy went to Australia.

The article was quite well written. I leave you with his last paragraph. Get your dictionary ready.

“You could draw any number of conclusions from this series of coincidences. One might be: In this series, 66% of doctors who rode at work did so with full patient compliance. Another is that it is a perfect, if absurd, paradigm. It exemplifies the eternal clash between the solipsism of many doctors, and the self righteousness of some of the public. But the main conclusion I draw is - what prize prats we three must have looked.”


And all of this ‘free of charge’, right?

Re: Unicycling Doctor

cathwood wrote:
>>Ah, round here people are always waiting. There is an endless stream of
>>people waiting to be made better or happier or something. And they want
>>socially ‘straight’ people to tend to them, thank you very much.

and GILD responded:
> And all of this ‘free of charge’, right?

Erm, no, it’s not exactly free. It’s what we pay our taxes for.

Danny Colyer (my reply address is valid but checked infrequently)
Subscribe to PlusNet <URL:http://www.colyer.plus.com/referral/>
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” - Thomas Paine

Hence the use of the quotes.
I just wanted to make sure that this wasn’t a private institution where you would have to (like in SA) slap down a R10 000 deposit before they’ll even look at you and then get hit with some staggering bill to be settled before being discharged.