"To whom it may concern
Dear Sir or Madam,
I wanted to write to inform you of something that happened recently when I was on-call at the Vale of Leven hospital. .....
At 2.30 am approximately, I was called to the cardiology ward about a patient of Dr Forbat’s who was unwell, and had a very complicated cardiac history, with a particular problem with an arrhythmia which was not controlled, and was precipitating heart failure. I had been told about this man at the 11pm hand-over,....
As I rushed along the corridor to see this man, I was aware that this was a complicated problem, and was thinking of all of the possible options open to me in terms of treatment, and ongoing care. I felt somewhat uneasy about what I was facing, as this was a crisis situation, but I was met on the ward by Dr Forbat and the nursing staff, who had already begun treating the crisis. I was hugely relieved that Dr Forbat had taken control of the situation, and busied myself with the much simpler practicalities of replacing the IV line that the patient needed to have replaced. Dr Forbat stayed for about an hour to ensure that the patient was stable, before leaving again to go to bed.
Much later, when the situation was safe for the patient, I quizzed the nurses about how Dr Forbat had come to be on the ward as he was not on-call (pleased as I was to see him). It turned out that he had finished work the previous evening feeling very unwell, and went to bed at 6pm. He then slept for 4 hours. When he woke up, he felt much better, and knew that he had a lot of ECG reports to be done, that he had planned to do earlier that day, but had not done due to pressure on his time. He went up to the ECG department and had spent several hours on these reports by the time the crisis with his patient had arisen. The nursing staff had noticed him in the ECG department, as this is adjacent to the cardiology ward and approached him to help after they paged me. It had taken me a few minutes to get to the ward, and in that short time, he had already taken control of the situation, very willingly and professionally. He did not point out to anyone that he was not on-call, and should not have been disturbed. The nurses clearly knew him well enough to be able to ask, expecting a positive response, rather than a rebuff. He showed professionalism and clinical skill in dealing with the situation without hesitation, and I was impressed by this.
I feel that this situation highlights the dedication that Dr Forbat gave to his appointment at the Vale of Leven hospital, and also how many hours of extra time he was prepared to put into ensuring that the job was done, and done well.
I hope you find this helpful,
"Dr Lance Forbat who was appointed as West Cumbria’s first ever Consultant Physician and Cardiologist in the spring of 1995 during my time as Clinical Director in General and Elderly Care Medicine...
During the last three years, Lance has built up a first rate department both clinically and technically starting from scratch. He has provided a state of the art echocardiography service including paediatric and TOE, full 24 hour ambulatory ECG assessment, a greatly expanded treadmill service (both with and without myoview imaging), “one stop” outpatient clinics, a permanent pacemaker implantation service, and a mobile coronary angiography service.”
J D McCrea MD (Hons) FRCP FRCP (Glas) (A good friend who died suddenly 28.09.14, 63yrs)