As a result of a long-term illness (multiple myeloma), visits to Barts and the Royal London hospitals have been part of my regular routine for some years. I never cease to marvel at the range of responsibilities involved in keeping me alive and alleviating my aches and pains.

Nurses, technicians, receptionists, porters, admin and clerical workers, cleaners, pharmacists, phlebotomists, pathologists, doctors, and others all in their different ways perform essential tasks. If any of them drops the ball, patients’ wellbeing can be compromised, sometimes fatally.

Sitting in the day unit at Barts with my IV drip and reading the newspapers, I can’t help but compare this weight of responsibility, and the diligence with which it is discharged in the vast majority of cases, to the wanton irresponsibility of bonus-primed bankers, asset-stripping corporate executives and our whole tax-avoiding elite. And I do wonder how it is that more people are not sickened by the perversity of our system of rewards.

Read the full op-ed at the Guardian.

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