The down side of heatwaves

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in letters | 0 comments

Hot weather in the UK matters; in the ten-day August 2003 heatwave, it is estimated that there were 2,000 deaths caused by the hot weather in the UK, and an estimated 70,000 across Europe. Due to climate change, UK heatwaves are expected to become more frequent. Owing to its location and size, London is particularly vulnerable. Older people, infants and babies, people with physical or mental disabilities, people with long-term illnesses, people...

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The need to “ carer proof ” healthcare decisions

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Blog, letters, NHS, Public Health | 0 comments

This was the title of a recent editorial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ2016;352:i1651) It took my eye because, over the last 8 months I have been a main carer for someone who has become very dependent – chairbound with limited mobility – as a result of bilateral lymphatic/venous insufficiency of her legs compounded by a period of 6 weeks total immobility in hospital during an episode of refractory septicaemia. Looking back over a...

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SCREENING GETS TOP MARKS FOR PICKING UP BOWEL CANCER EARLY

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Blog, Contribute, Public Health | 0 comments

BOWEL cancer is more likely to be diagnosed at the earliest stage if it is picked up by screening, according to new figures* released by Cancer Research UK and Public Health England’s National Cancer Intelligence Network today (Friday). For the first time, data shows the stage (one to four) at which cancer is detected by the different routes to diagnosis – through screening, by a GP referral**, or as an emergency. Of the cases picked up by...

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Money and small things in the NHS

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in letters, NHS | 0 comments

Spending taxpayer’s money sometimes gives rise to much indignation, at times hilarity, and even incredulity. One recently reported lists of expenditure tell us much about our views of deserving and non-deserving recipients and the sacred ‘cows’, in ideological terms, of medical prominence and consumer choice. One that may be particularly relevant to readers of Health Matters is the list of items spent as part of Personal Health Budgets by...

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A cull of sacred cows – Managing the NHS like a supermarket. Or, bring back consensus management

Posted by on Feb 22, 2013 in letters | 0 comments

There are two lessons to be derived from the Stafford incident and the recent litany of other horror stories involving inhuman care and substandard treatment. These are that the healthcare professions are far too disengaged from hospital management; and that hospital chief executives have little understanding of, or interest in, the healthcare process. They are mainly concerned with kowtowing to their regional and Departmental bosses by meeting...

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