Monthly Archives: February 2014

‘Dementia friends’ in shops part of new care package

BBC News reports 28th February 2014~: ‘Dementia friends’ in shops part of new care package

“A new package of care for dementia sufferers will help fight the illness, the health secretary says.

Jeremy Hunt has announced help from businesses to support customers with dementia, and a “world dementia envoy” has been appointed.

NHS England will invest £90m in an effort to bring down diagnosis waiting times by March next year.

But Labour warned that the government must tackle “poor care standards” in order to combat the condition.

As part of the announcement, 190,000 staff from British businesses, including Marks and Spencer, Argos, Homebase, Lloyds Bank and Lloyds Pharmacy, have signed up to become “dementia friends”.

“We welcome the focus on post-diagnosis support which will provide a vital lifeline to thousands who are currently left in the dark”…..

End Quote Jeremy Hughes Alzheimer’s Society

They will be trained to learn how to spot the signs of dementia among customers and offer support for sufferers.

At last some words to back up the demographic need. My own two parents are suffering from old age dementia and one of them is on medication, which has failed to improve things over 9 months… I am suspicious that the research for the benefit of the drugs needs independent verification, and that the money used on drugs would be better spent on carers and support workers… and this is impossible as we don’t officially ration health care!

Unite union boss Len McCluskey vows to defend NHS against ”private predators” in speech at Cambridge University

Jason Beattie in the Mirror 26th February 2014 reports: Unite union boss Len McCluskey vows to defend NHS against ”private predators”  in speech at Cambridge University

He said a new campaign will target private health firms, pension funds and  politicians responsible for the creeping privatisation of the health service in  England

The leader of Britain’s biggest union tonight vowed to hound private business  “predators” out of the NHS.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said his union would start a “leverage”  campaign in defence of the health services.

He said the campaign would target the private health firms, pension funds and  politicians who were responsible for the creeping privatisation of the NHS in England.

The Unite union caused controversy last week with its “leverage” campaign  against the bosses of the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland.

Mr McCluskey said the new drive would not see union members and supporters  “turning up outside directors’ houses” and demonstrating.

But he warned he would use the full force of his union to hold to account the  Tory and Lib Dem politicians “that have given the green light” to the  privatisation of the NHS.

“Let me be clear – this will not target health professionals, or premises  used by patients, under any circumstances,” he said in a speech to students at  Trinity College, Cambridge University.

“This is about defending the NHS from the predators, and it is the predators  we will target, not in the interests of trade unions, but in the interests of  the whole community.

“What society needs is more community leverage over politicians and business  – and I am proud that Unite can give a lead in providing it.”

Mr McCluskey also warned his union would campaign against the private firms  looking to work in the NHS.

“We will be there to take the gloss off your PR events. We will talk to the  pension funds and financial institutions that hold your stock. In short – you  will be accountable,” he said.

He said the NHS was the country’s most treasured possession but it was being  “gutted” by the Coalition…..”

I would agree that the NHS has been evicerated – but by Mr Blair in the devolution which has resulted in much weaker mutuality and protection from the fear of an inferior service..

@ 20% of NHS staff suffer physical violence along with long hours and antisocial work patterns

The Eastern Daily press reports 27th February 2014: Almost a third of N&N staff suffer harassment or abuse from patients, according to survey results

The number of staff recommending Norfolk’s biggest hospital as a place to work or receive treatment has risen for the third year running.

“The 2013 rating at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital was 3.74 out of 5, compared to the national average for NHS acute trusts of 3.68 out of 5.

NHS survey results reveal mixed views from staff across East Anglia

Almost 20pc of QEH staff suffer physical violence from patients, according to survey

In addition, the NHS staff survey found that workers rated the N&N above average for the percentage of staff able to contribute towards improvements at work.

However, the N&N is also above the national average for the number of staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from patients, relatives or the public (32%). 535 staff took part in the survey….”


One advantage of the potential combining of patient data could be the recognition of over-demanding and abusive and potentially violent patients…

GPs should exclude family members as translators…

Katie Gibbons in the Times 28th February reports: Cautious GPs put victims of honour crimes at risk. So GPs should seek permission to exclude family members from the consultation and not use them as translators…

“GPs are putting victims of honour crimes at risk by using family members as translators and being afraid of offending “cultural sensitivities”, an NHS adviser on the issue has warned.

Healthcare professionals who use victims’ relatives to translate confidential meetings have been accused of failing to address evidence of honour crimes — which can be connected with forced marriage — and exposing women to violent retribution.

Guidelines issued this week by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) called for immediate reform in the way that doctors, nurses and social workers tackled the issue of honour violence…..”

Mea Culpa. It’s true and I was at fault during my time as a GP. I often thought of getting a translator and ducked it because of time pressures. It should become routine to use a translator with only the patient in the room,  if we are to protect these people… It means more time for each GP and casualty consultation… and in some cities this could be significant.. It also means warnings of intent in practice leaflets, on websites and, I would suggest, on registration forms, which should not be completed by any adult except the one the form applies to.

Welsh leader was told of neglect at hospital a year before inquiry

Oliver Moodly for The Times reports 27th February 2013: Welsh leader was told of neglect at hospital a year before inquiry

Mr Cameron: “There are people on NHS waiting lists in Wales who are dying because waiting  lists are too long and because the NHS is not being properly managed,  properly funded and properly reformed in Wales,” he said. “That is a matter  for the Labour Welsh Assembly Government, and they need to get their act  together.”

“Fresh allegations of neglect by nurses have emerged at a Welsh hospital trust  compared to Mid-Staffordshire as it was disclosed that the principality’s  First Leader had known about the scandal at least a year before it became  public.

David Cameron said that the Labour administration in Wales “need to get their  act together” in the wake of a series of revelations about failures in its  healthcare system. At the heart of the concerns is the Princess of Wales  Hospital in Bridgend, South Wales, where police and the NHS have  investigated dozens of complaints about poor care.

It can be revealed that nurses have been accused of pouring a 104-year-old  woman’s medicine down the sink and failing to feed her. It has also emerged  that Carwyn Jones, the Welsh First Minister and the Assembly Member for the  local constituency of Bridgend, was first asked to look into alleged  malpractices at the hospital in June 2012.

Separately, the Welsh health watchdog, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, has been  challenged by the Royal College of Surgeons over delays in responding to  concerns about unexpectedly high mortality figures among patients waiting  for heart surgery.

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Wales, questioned whether  the body was fit for purpose. Next week the Assembly will debate her plans  for a Bill that would introduce minimum staffing levels for nurses in Welsh  hospitals, which have an average of 10.5 patients for each nurse, compared  to 8.8 across the UK. “I would suggest that we need to revamp our  inspectorate,” she said.

Asked about the mortality figures during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday,  Mr Cameron backed a call from Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of NHS  England, for Wales to conduct an inquiry into the death rates in its  hospitals……”

I would of course go further than Mr Cameron. The people running Wales do not like open aspiration to high standards, as it involves creating short-term inequalities. Even though “on a rising tide (of quality) all boats float”, the administration continues on its path. Until the people of Wales understand how their health service is being undermined, they cannot appreciate that Aneurin Bevan is probably gagging on his lava bread, and heaving in his nightmares while he watches from above. The irony is that people in Wales who can afford it need Private Medical Insurance (PMI) more than those in England, thus increasing inequalities. It follows that Insurance companies may be justified in making their PMI premiums higher for people living in Wales.. as they will be more likely to claim.

Rationing in the mistaken name of equality?


Welsh hospitals under fire as 99 die awaiting heart surgery

Tom Whipple for The Times 28th February reports: Welsh hospitals under fire as 99 die awaiting heart surgery

This report and the previous day’s report indicating the Minister knew about the problem of neglect 12 months ago, shows how limited the options are in Wales. With a mutual of only 3 million people you cannot expect the same level of service as one of 60 million. Wales voted for this smaller mutual after all….

Good News: Britain ready to welcome babies with three parents

Hannah Devlin in The Times 28th February reports: Britain ready to welcome babies with three parents . This technological advance has the potential to help reduce and/or eradicate certain hereditary diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis and Huntington’s Disease…. But it will be very expensive and without sufficient funding it wont be available to everyone equally – there is a risk of it being available only to the well-informed and assertive..and with Post-Code rationing.. But it’s good news …

“Babies with three biological parents could be conceived in Britain by the end of the year, under proposed changes to the law permitting an IVF technique to be used in clinics for the first time.

The therapy, which could help to eliminate certain incurable genetic diseases, involves swapping a fraction of a mother’s DNA with that from an anonymous female donor.

Draft regulations, published by the Department of Health yesterday, could come into force by the end of the year.

Professor Doug Turnbull, who has pioneered research on the technique at the University of Newcastle, said that the final efforts to ensure its safety were taking place: “You’re always going to keep looking for things to be safer and more efficient, but we would hope to be ready to go by the end of the year.”

The technique involves replacing faulty mitochondria, which provide cells’ energy. They account for less than 1 per cent of a person’s DNA and do not influence appearance or intelligence…….”