In the British Medical Journal Dalrymple remarks on the slower pace and more relaxed atmosphere of British hospitals 20 years ago:
Was it inefficiency or humanity that made them so? I recall with nostalgia a deliciously peaceful seven days in hospital in the late 1970s on my return from abroad where I had suffered heart failure from presumed viral myocarditis. I was in for investigations, but was left largely undisturbed. The ward was half empty, spotlessly clean, delightfully calm give or take the irruption of the tea trolley, and endowed with a wonderful bath of gargantuan proportions. The nurses were a sadomasochist’s dream, all starch and black stockings.