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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Polish minister Rafal Trazaskowski (second from right)  

Poland is open to dialogue but EU benefits restrictions are illegal and unfair

Rafal Trzaskowski
The report will embarrass the Home Secretary, Theresa May  

Surprise, surprise: tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have 'dropped off' the Home Office’s radar

Nigel Farage
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas