Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Sunday, 7 January 2018

From my recent experience we have to defend our great NHS


Following my recent experience of the NHS following my fall on black ice on Tuesday morning I am full of admiration for the NHS Highland from the ambulance crew that lifted me off the grass close to where I had fallen over and took me to Raigmore, the A and E department, Ward 3C and the operating team led by Malcolm Nicol. Everyone was so professional and caring. 

On Tuesday I spent about three hours in A&E before being x-rayed and given a splint. I had spent these three hours in a corridor but this wasn't a problem as there was plenty going – much more interesting than being in a cubicle. The doctor in A&E had correctly diagnosed what I had done to myself – ruptured the connection between my quads and my left knee. I was sent back to Newtonmore to return at 7.30 am the following morning. 

We were back by 7.30 and installed in Ward 3C Room 19 Bed 6. Unfortunately it wasn't possible for me to be taken that day but I was operated on the following morning. The operating team was well led by Malcolm Nicol, a consultant orthopedic surgeon. I chose not to have a general anesthetic instead I had a local anesthetic. An injection in my spine making the lower part of my body numb from my belly button down. 

I didn't have any sedation so I was able to chat to Malcolm Nicol and his team during the operation. We discussed the operation as well as cycling Malcom says that he had once raced round the the Bay of Poole. Fortunately he told me that cycling would be very good for my injury. 

It was fascinating that once the lower part of my body was numb I was unaware that my left leg had been lifted up as my brain was telling me that it was still flat on the operating table beside by right leg. The procedure meant cutting me open above the knee, doing some scrapping and then reattaching the quads using metal 'anchors'. These are held in place with permanent sutures. Then my flesh is put back in place with sutures that will dissolve. 

I was very impressed again ny the professionalism and the care shown by the team. 

After the operation I was wheeled into the large recovery room that I thought would be reminiscent of the pit stop area during a Grand Prix or the 24 hours at Le Mans with teams of medics clustered together ready to spring into action to deal with patients as they were wheeled in. 

Then back to my ward – I had been taken down around 10 am and was back around midday. Everything was fine until the local anesthetic started to wear off when my left knee area started to become very painful. I was given a series of morphine doses orally. These took a while to have an effect. Fortunately after a dose or so the next morning the pain subsided considerably and by yesterday I took no painkillers during the day. 

This is obviously going to be a long convalescence – 12 weeks in a splint. Six of these with my leg straight – no bending of my leg knee and then splint on all the time. Then my knee will gradually be allowed to bend over the next six weeks. Only after that will I be able to get back on the bike. Could be a very good excuse to buy an e-bike. 

Unfortunately this injury means that I will be unable to make Millésime Bio, the Renaissance tastings and the Salon des Vins de Loire this year. This will be the first year that I have missed the Salon since 1990, so I am very sad and disappointed about not being able to go this year but with the injury this is just impossible.  

As I have already said I am full of praise for NHS Highland for their outstanding level of care, professionalism and friendliness despite the pressure the health service has been put under my our uncaring government reducing real funding despite an ageing population.           

My left knee out of place due to the quads 
being ruptured

 Raigmore Hospital 
Part of the splint that covers almost 
my entire left leg

This morning's view from the patient's 
abode for the next 12 weeks


Bob Rossi said...

After your 12 weeks cooped up in a room, maybe you can make a movie -- Rear Window II.
Best of luck on your recuperation.

graham kent said...


Yes, of course, 12 weeks no travel (well 6 for that) means you can't get back to London -I wish you a speedy recovery and hope at least that you've some of your cellar with you.

All the best and hope the rest of 2018 is better than its start for you,


Jim Budd said...

Thanks Graham. Jim

Tom said...

Glad to see all went according to plans Jim and that you are now in recuperation mode. I like the 'rear window' suggestion... what really goes on in the Braeriach Hotel?! All the best for the next few months in Newtonmore - see you in February if not before.

Bob Rossi said...

Jim, in light of your positive experiences with the NHS, you might want to have a look at this: