Miles Kington Remembered: 'This witness seems to be off his trolly, m'Lud'

You can always get NHS things if you want to. They're so desperate for cash they're flogging stuff off. That's why they're so short of beds. They keep selling them

Share
Related Topics

(20 November 2001) There is a quite extraordinary trial going on at the moment in the High Court, in which a Mr Jason Cortisone is suing the National Health Service for stealing a hospital trolley from him.

His unlikely story is that... but perhaps an extract from the proceedings will explain it better than I can.

Counsel: Your name is Jason Cortisone?

Witness: It is.

Counsel: That is an unusual name, is it not?

Witness:I don't think so. I have met many people called Jason.

Counsel: It was your surname I was thinking of. Cortisone. I take it that that is your own name?

Witness: I think so. It may be someone else's. I don't know. They've never asked for it back.

Counsel: What I meant was, that is the name you were given at birth?

Witness: No.

Counsel: No?

Witness: No. I got it a few weeks later, when I was registered.

Counsel: Is it not unusual to be named after a drug?

Witness: Most. It never happened to me. My father was of Italian extraction and his forebears came from a small hill town in the Dolomites called Cortisone.

Judge: Excuse me, Mr Forrester, if we are going to spend all this trial discussing surnames, we shall never come to an end. You have done an excellent job of establishing Mr Cortisone's name, but you may proceed now.

Counsel: Thank you, my Lord. Now, Mr Cortisone, I believe you are not a man who likes being in hospital?

Witness: I hate it.

Counsel: You are a hypochondriac?

Witness: This is a condition which has been diagnosed in me. Along with all my other ailments of course.

Counsel: Quite so. Will you tell the court what precautions you took earlier this year to ensure that any enforced visit to hospital might be more comfortable?

Witness: Well, I had heard that you were lucky to get a bed in today's NHS, and that most people were forced to lie on a trolley for days until a bed became available. So I decided to buy a hospital trolley and practise lying on it at home.

Counsel: The idea being to get used to life on a trolley in case you had to go to hospital for one of your many ailments?

Witness: Yes. So I bought a National Health trolley...

Counsel: Excuse me. Where did you get an NHS trolley from?

Witness: You can always get NHS things if you want to. They're so desperate for cash they're always flogging stuff off. That's why they're so short of beds. They keep selling them. I actually got this at a Hospital Boot Sale. I started practising life on it immediately.

Counsel: Did it become more comfortable as you went on?

Witness: Not much. They're very narrow, too, so you're always afraid of falling off in your sleep.

Counsel: I believe this did actually happen to you on 17 July last?

Witness: Yes. I was doing a practice sleep on the trolley when I fell off and became entangled in its lower half. An ambulance was sent for and I was taken to hospital.

Counsel: Still attached to the trolley?

Witness: Yes. I actually heard one of the ambulance men say, "Might as well take the trolley - could come in useful."

Counsel: Were you seen to immediately at the hospital?

Witness: No. I was left for a long time on my trolley. Well, under my trolley, really, as I was still entangled with the lower infrastructure.

Counsel: Did anyone deal with you?

Witness: No. But someone climbed on my trolley.

Counsel: Another patient?

Witness: No, oddly enough. I banged on the upstairs bit from below and said: Hey! You up there! And the bloke on top said, 'Please – I'm trying to get some sleep.' It turned out he was a junior hospital doctor who was knackered due to long hours and decided to have a kip on my trolley. Thing was, he didn't know I had brought my own.

Counsel: Did he stay long?

Witness: He slept until he was awoken by his mobile phone. In his sleepy state, he dropped it over the edge and, trying to grab it, he fell off and had an accident

Counsel: Bad?

Witness: Yes. The phone was completely ruined.

The case continues. More some other time, perhaps.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Yvette Cooper campaigning in London at the launch of Labour’s women’s manifesto  

I want the Labour Party to lead a revolution in family support

Yvette Cooper
Liz Kendall  

Labour leadership contest: 'Moderniser' is just a vague and overused label

Steve Richards
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine