Wednesday, 18 January 2017

NHS humanity beats Harley Street, says AA Gill as he tells of his cancer

AA Gill with his partner Nicola Formby. Gill has chosen to undergo chemotherapy at Charing Cross Hospital

AA Gill, the Sunday Times columnist and restaurant critic, who is in the advanced stages of cancer, has chosen to leave private medical care and have treatment with the NHS because he does not want to die in “a trench in Harley Street”.

Gill, 62, said he wanted the “human connection” of the health service and has chosen to undergo chemotherapy at Charing Cross Hospital.

He was given a diagnosis of lung cancer after his summer holiday, with other tumours having been found elsewhere. He described it as the “Full English” and added: “There’s barely a morsel of offal that is not included.”

Having visited his doctor privately and paid for his x-rays, he said he was determined to go back to the NHS. “What I always look for is the spark of human connection in everything, and that’s one of the reasons why I’ve always wanted to be in the NHS. That’s why I wanted to be here in Charing Cross Hospital, because I want the connection it brings,” he said.

“My father would say he didn’t want to die in a trench, and I don’t want to die in a trench in Harley Street.”

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