An hour later he is on his round of the acute ward. "We have 17 beds and 29 people needing them," he says. "Last year I admitted 460 people, all seriously disturbed ... People have to leave as quickly as they can, to make room for a more disturbed person."
He skips lunch to go straight to the emergency clinic, pursued by patients and relatives.
A schizophrenic patient has stopped taking his medication and is "going berserk in the community". "I'm physically too busy to do anything about it, so I have to send a junior doctor down to find this 6ft 6in huge guy ... [who] abuses drugs and is very dangerous when he is ill."
Dr Deahl is now 15 minutes late for a case conference for a patient who self-abuses. "When I turn up late it seems as if I'm not taking her case seriously."
Driving through London in heavy traffic, he is late for another meeting, this time with a schizophrenic and a council housing officer who is threatening to evict him because of complaints from the neighbours: "If this man is evicted ...he stress will lead to a breakdown, putting him back on the ward, and when he gets out he will have nowhere to live."
Dr Deahl leaves at around 6.30pm - nearly 11 hours after he started out. "I'm 39, and I already know my retirement date: 29 September 2014. That says something about morale, if you know it off by heart," he says.Reuse content