Ayoung woman in the hospital's discharge lounge approached me nervously, asking if I could get someone to mop the floor because she had spilled a cup of water.
As I laid paper towels down to soak up the mess, she looked at me astonished.
Noting the look of amusement that crept over my face, she said it was nice of me to do it and that a lot of people wouldn't.
It was a sentiment, I fear, that would not be out of place in much of our healthcare service. All too often, tasks are seen as somebody else's job, with the result that things are either done after much delay, or not at all.
We should be the champions of our patients, whether we are student doctors, consultants, nurses, ward clerks, or domestic assistants charged with serving meals. This is our privilege.
We live in an age where bureaucracy