Professor Linda Luxon
Professor Linda Luxon studied medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. She specialised in neuro-otology and was the first female consultant physician at the National Hospital, Queen Square as well as the first female treasurer of the RCP.
Professor Luxon also held the chair in Audiological Medicine at University College London. In this extract she recalls the advent of medical bleepers for summoning physicians to emergencies.
Linda Luxon on introduction of hospital bleeps:
He was very much of the old school. I remember when I started, he said to me, "Linda, I feel so sorry for you,” he said. We'd just got bleepers. These were not mobile phones, they were things that went bleep, bleep, bleep when one of the nursing staff or somebody wanted you.
And he said, "You know, when I was a doctor we didn't have those wretched things that go bleep, bleep, bleep all the time." He said, "When Sister used to come and get me in the middle of the night because Mrs Smith wasn't very well, she would bring me a cup of tea, and say, "Mrs Smith isn't very well. I'd like you to come and see her."
And by the time I'd had my cup of tea and got up and got dressed, Mrs Smith was either dead or better." [Laughs]. He would have been a junior doctor, I guess, I suppose in the early 30s, he would have been. And I guess there wasn't very much you could do in the early 30s, so perhaps it wasn't such a silly approach to things.
Gosh, it would be so unlike that now. You'd be there in point one of a millisecond if you could be.