What it is like working for the NHS: Book details paediatrician’s career caring for unwell children and babies

A pediatrician has released a book detailing his career caring for unwell children and babies.

Doctor Charles Godden’s book ‘Not In The Best of Health’ is split into three parts, the first looking at his junior doctor training, the next is about his childhood and family and the third describes his work caring for critically unwell children and babies.

He said: “When I was a consultant the buck stopped with me. Near the end I describe my time working on an NHS hospital board and then complete the book with some ideas, to open a debate, on whether we want to save the NHS, and if so how we might try to salvage our most treasured national institution .

“I witnessed the rapid decline of the NHS and felt I had an important story to share with the public. I was concerned that the government had misrepresented doctors, and the health service, to journalists, who had then misinformed the public and I wanted an opportunity to explain what was really going on in hospitals in the UK. I had seen so many amazing children and I also wanted them, and their parents’ stories told.”

Dr. Charles Godden with his book

Dr Godden, 62 lives in Iping, West Sussex, has worked for 31 years as a pediatrician and 21 as a consultant in Guildford, in a career that included stints in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The book contains a series of stories about real patients, mainly children and babies. When it came to choosing which ones to feature Dr Godden said there were many cases he found he couldn’t forget.

He added: “Some because they were tragic, others due to their being extraordinary reflections on sickness and health, success and failure and yet more where the events surrounding the child’s care raised important ethical issues. These stories will stay with me forever.”

The first chapter looks at Grace, a critically unwell newborn, the events of which were so traumatic they led to Dr Godden’s resignation. He adds that this story had an unexpected happy ending where Grace made a full recovery.

Not in the Best of Health is now available on Amazon in softback, hardback and Ebook.

Dr Godden will be doing a book signing at Readers Good Books, Petworth on Friday, December 2 between 5pm and 6.30pm.

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