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I hope you enjoy….

Chapter Fourteen: Reappearance

Martin held his presentation in the brief case gripped in his hand. It was ordered and prepared, ready to win the support of the judges willing to offer the confirmation of the surgery amendments.

He marched down a large, immaculate corridor, white floors and walls accentuating the light pouring in through the large windows consecutively positioned along either side.

He turned left and then right, until he came to a wooden door. Martin peaked through the glass to see a row of people sitting behind a desk, waiting for him. He pushed the door open, and stood like a child in front of his teachers.

"Martin!" Chris embraced as he stood from his chair and walked forward to shake his hand, "Good to see you have come."

"Chris," he took his hand, titling his head in a greeting.

"Let me introduce you to the other senior colleagues of the PCT," he said and then named each of the eight people, where Martin individually shook their hands without a hint of delight that he was meeting them for the first time. The nerves were getting the better of him.

"Right now that's out of the way, we'd like to see what you have in mind Ellingham." Chris smiled.

"OK, let me just put this in here," he said, as he took out a memory stick and plugged it into the computer. After a moments fiddling and Martin cursing himself for the awkward pause where all eyes were on him, he stood in front of a screen where his Powerpoint was displayed from a bright projector hanging on the ceiling onto a white screen. He squinted as he turned towards the panel as the bright stream of light blinded him.

"Good morning," he began, scanning the unfamiliar faces again, "I am Doctor Martin Ellingham, a General Practitioner in Portwenn, previously a fully trained surgeon in London in the field of Vascular Medicine, in fact I ran a group of surgeons as head of the department." He stopped, not wanting to go into detail about his sudden change of career, as some faces downcast at the alteration in career path, "I am married with two children," a few of the panellists looked at one another in surprise, but Martin continued ignoring the highly opinionated population of professionals that British hospitals tended to consist of, especially when it came to him, "and I am here to put forward an idea that I think is both time effective, logical and life saving to the patients I tend to."

He cringed at his introduction, he wouldn't have said it so politely, he would have cut to the chase, but Louisa had convinced him to tell the panel what he was going to show them and add a little information about his personal life so that they had a clearer idea of who he was.

"You need to push yourself, no good standing there with thunder on your face if you want to get them interested in your proposal." She had warned him.

Chris gave him a nod to continue and with a tap on the screen by Martin, the slide changed to pictures of the interior surgery.

"As you can see this is what I use as my surgery at the moment," he pointed to the photos of the waiting room and his consulting room and then tapped the screen again where it changed to the other rooms of the surgery, "and these are the rooms that are no longer required for any use especially with just one doctor in the surgery. Now, my idea is to renovate the upstairs level of the surgery to another consulting room and a nurses room, if need be."

"Can I stop you there, Doctor?" a woman with a long nose perched on the end of her seat interrupted, her long fingers pointed at the screen, "What positive outcomes are expected to be seen if this plan goes ahead?"

"Well, I can say that many patients have to have their appointments rescheduled or cancelled if I get an emergency call. Sometimes these calls can be to one of the surrounding three villages, in this case it can mean that I have to travel up to fifteen minutes to reach the ill patient. Depending on the time I spend at the emergency, the patients in waiting in the surgery are increasing. Thus, I have a great deal of patients to tend to on my return whether it is staying in the surgery to see those who are reluctant to change their appointment times until late evening or reschedule their appointmnets resulting in worsening illnesses," he paused, "Recently, a woman died of a cardiac arrest because I couldn't fit her in for a consulation to see her progress after heart surgery."

"Isn't that just bad organisation of the doctor?" asked a male, who had longish white hair, scruffily sitting on his head.

"I would have to disagree with you on that on an unbiased opinion," Martin said, "I put my severe ill patients at the top of my list, this patient came out of hospital the day before her morning appointment, unfortunately I was called out to a potentially life threatening emergency. I told my receptionist to reschedule her appointment for the following morning, but it proved too late." He bitterly snarled at the man, feeling the urge to grumble something to him.

"I see," the male nodded, "Now that is a problem."

"If we have two doctors, the ill patients get seen without disturbing their appointments, while the other tends to the emergency if that is the case." Martin explained, seeing the pleased look on most of the faces glaring at him.

"Good point," Chris nodded.

"Where will you be able to get hold of a nurse?" a blonde woman asked.

"I will interview several qualified nurses, and consult with my new colleague to see who fits the position best," he said, taken aback by the question.

"Good," she replied, "Now, if your new doctor is located upstairs, how will that help the disabled population of the area or the elderly?"

"I have given this a lot of thought," Martin nodded, "My consulting room will stay downstairs where the disabled and older people in the area will have access to my room, so I will be their doctor. The new doctor will be able to consult with other patients."

"Right," the white haired male hummed.

The presentation went on longer than expected with a load of questions, some he was prepared for, most however weren't planned to answer.

"Thank you Martin," Chris smiled offering him to the door, "Now, if you just step outside and we'll discuss the proposal."

Martin stood outside the room, pacing up and down the corridor, twiddling his thumbs, he kept thinking that he should call Louisa, but remembered she was usually teaching around midday. He felt quite alone without being able to speak to her or even have her with him. She was always a reliable person to talk to about his day or what worried him, if he chose to open that door.

"Ellingham?" a voice spoke from behind him, the iciness in the tone, the amplitude of the volume and the pronunciation only represented one person.

He froze; sweat broke out on his forehead, adrenaline secreted to his veins as he turned.

He scowled. The cold blue eyes stared at him. The thin, long face, surrounded in deep ginger hair, the whole essence of this person's personality was portrayed in the style of the sharp, flicking style of her hair.

"Edith," was all he could splutter out.