Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Welcome to Strength in Numbers

swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliationWe must always take sidesNeutrality helps the oppressornever the victimSilence encourages the tormentornever thetormented.

                                                                                                             Elie Wiesel

A blog for you…..

This is where you can have your stories published about the care you or your loved ones have had while in hospital.

This is where you can interact with others on the subject of care within the NHS.

This is where you can view helpful links, and news stories.

This is a blog for you.

You can email me directly on if you would like me to publish your story. Please note, that I may not be able to publish names etc for legal reasons.

You can also email me any helpful links which I can publish on the blog.

Please also follow me on Twitter and Facebook
icon-twitter @joannaslater


Thank you for all your support.


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The Last Six Months Including Fifty True Life Stories Kindly Contributed By My Readers

The Last Six Months is about my mother who went into an NHS hospital for a routine hip operation. Her condition deteriorated soon after her operation, so I started writing notes every day. Six months later I was still writing. My notes have become an up-to-date diary during this terrible and tragic course of events.

My readers have also kindly contributed their own stories in this 2nd edition. I want these stories to be brought to the public as this is still happening in our hospitals today, and should never be yesterday’s news. We should always remember to write everything down. I am one of many fighting for the right for people to be treated with respect, dignity and ultimate care within our NHS system.

Together we can make a difference. Strength In Numbers

Buy from

Paperback Edition


Kindle Edition


Filed under: Hospital, NHS

Up to 200 ‘dangerous’ GP surgeries face closure under inspection regime

Up to 200 GP surgeries face closure or being placed in special measures for providing potentially dangerous care to thousands of patients, the chief inspector of family doctors has warned. Professor Steve Field has said that a handful of surgeries would be shut down after being found guilty of “serious failings”, while others would be given a year to improve or be closed.

Click on the link to read more



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As Lynda Bellingham reveals she has only months to live… Bowel cancer patients left undiagnosed for YEARS

Katie Pearson could be forgiven for being angry or full of resentment and bitterness. But the terminally ill 35-year-old is determined to remain positive and enjoy what time she has left. In October 2010, Katie was diagnosed with bowel cancer, a disease more commonly associated with the over-50s. Her late diagnosis — two years after her first symptoms — meant the cancer was already very advanced, having spread into her pelvis and lymph nodes. Despite treatment, the cancer spread further, and last September she was told that patients with cancer as advanced as hers aren’t expected to live more than a year.


Click on the link to read more




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Cancer survey highlights importance of specialist nurses for patients – Nursing Times.Net 25 September, 2014 – By Jo Stephenson

More than a third of cancer patients felt there were not enough nurses on duty to care for them in hospital, according to the latest national survey, which also highlights the importance of providing specialist nurses.

The survey of more than 110,000 cancer patients suggests services have improved over the last four years, however, it reveals ongoing concern about nursing staff levels.

Click on the link to read more

Cancer survey highlights importance of specialist nurses for patients

Read the full results of the cancer patient experience survey, Click on the link



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Improving palliative care data collection: joint statement from PHE and NHS England

Proposal for the national collection of individual level data.

Joint statement from PHE and NHS England on plans for improving palliative care data.

Working with the National Council for Palliative Care, Help the Hospices and the Cicely Saunders Institute.

Click on the link to download


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Nurses’ poor handwriting and maths ‘is costing lives': Death rate at two hospitals falls 15% when staff were given electronic devices to record information

Thousands of patients are dying in hospital each year because of bad handwriting, errors in maths and poor monitoring by nursing, according to a study. The death rate at two hospitals fell by 15 per cent after nurses were given electronic devices in place of handwritten paper notes to record patients’ heart rates and breathing. Researchers calculated that 750 deaths were prevented in a year at the two hospitals, Queen Alexandria in Portsmouth and University Hospital in Coventry.

Across the NHS, this means 37,000 deaths could be avoided if nurses were given the devices rather than relying on traditional handwritten notes from nurses. At present, nurses are meant to measure patients’ heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels and take certain other readings and note them down on a board at the end of the bed.

Click on the link to read more




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Performance of Hospitals in England

A new comparison website tool has been published that allows health and social care organisations to see how their services compare with those of others. MyNHS is a transparency web tool that compares on a range of outcomes at both national and regional level.

Please click on the link



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NHS whistleblowing ‘problems persist’

Promoting whistleblowing was a key recommendation of the public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal. A number of steps have since been taken in England, but Patients First warned that a “culture of fear” still existed. It has produced a dossier of 70 cases, highlighting problems like bullying and mismanagement of complaints. The document is being handed in as part of Patients First’s submission to an independent review of whistleblowing, which was set up by the Department of Health in England and is being led by Sir Robert Francis, who was in charge of the Stafford public inquiry.

Click on the link to read more



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We’d never have had our children if we knew they would die so young: Anguish of parents who have passed on fatal gene taking a terrible toll on their family

  • Connie and Joe Elson both suffer from rare and incurable disorder MLD 
  • Condition affects muscle and mental function causing blindness
  • Then leads to paralysis, being unable to walk and ultimately early death 
  • Disorder is gentic with just one in 160,000 suffering from the juvenile form of the disease 

Like all good parents, Nicola and Ian Elson love their two children with all their hearts. But they are burdened with a terrible guilt. For they are living with the sad truth that purely by bringing their beautiful five-year-old daughter Connie and three-year-old son Joe into the world, they have condemned them to a premature death.

Click on the link to read more




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52,000 cancer cases a year are spotted too late: Delays blamed on ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality and pressure on GPs not to refer patents for costly tests

Half of all cancer cases are spotted at a late stage when treatment is less likely to be successful, experts have warned. They calculate that more than 52,000 patients a year are having their odds of survival cut because the disease is not being caught quickly enough. The shocking figure is based on huge variations in diagnosis around England, with some cancers almost five times as likely to be diagnosed late in some parts of the country as others. Lung cancer is the most likely to be spotted late – with fewer than one in four cases caught early. Late diagnosis is blamed on factors from a ‘stiff upper lip’ to GPs under pressure not to refer patients for costly tests. Cancer Research UK, which commissioned the analysis of NHS data, said that early diagnosis is ‘crucial to give patients the best chance of survival’. Delays in treatment can not only be deadly, but can also mean patients are subjected to much more aggressive treatments than would have been necessary earlier in the disease’s progress.

Click on the link to read more



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Care Quality Commission Board meeting: 17 September 2014

Agenda for the meeting of the Care Quality Commission Board on Wednesday 17 September 2014

Please click on the link to read


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Deadly mosquitoes ‘are heading to Britain’ – Experts fear disease-carrying bugs spotted around Europe are crossing Channel

Public health officials are monitoring Britain’s southern borders amid concerns deadly mosquitoes are heading our way.Experts fear that the disease-carrying mosquitoes which were already spotted around Europe are crossing the Channel.One invasive mosquito already seen in Kent is culex modestus, which spreads the infectious West Nile virus.The disease causes serious flu-like symptoms and leads to swelling of the brain and spinal cord in the most serious cases

Click on the link to read more



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Parents of boy who died from effects of cancer treatment call for more funding

The parents of a five-year-old boy who recently died after suffering from the same kind of brain tumour as Ashya King have called for more funding and research into combating childhood cancer.  The death of Skye Hall from the toxic side-effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy has led NHS  doctors to suspend the treatment regime he was on.

Click on the link to read more

Skye Hall


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Tragic Death of Four Year Old Pressures Health Chiefs To Change Hospital Guidelines

Doctors are the third leading cause of death, and children are unfortunately no exception to this statistic. Health chiefs are looking into the death of a four-year-old autistic boy who died just days after going to hospital with a suspected tummy bug. All eight Doctors who reviewed the case failed to find the problem. The problem is it wasn’t just a tummy bug. Harry Procko’s parents took him to the GP when he started vomiting and having diarrhea on June 18th, 2014.

Please click on the link to read more and to sign the petition


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Poem – Nine Years Old with Dementia – written by John David Baker


I am not old
Yet I have been told
That I have dementia
I am nine years old
Who do I turn to?
Who do I hold?
My mum I turn to
Remember I am nine years old!

My son is not old
Yet he has been told
That he has dementia
He is just nine years old!
Who can I turn to?
Who do I hold?
I turn to the doctor
And my son I hold
He’s nine years old!
The doctor says he is not the only one
Others get it young
It’s rare
But he’s my son and at that moment I just care
About him
My little Tim

The patient is not old
Yet I have just told
That he has dementia
Poor lad, just nine years old!
Who should they turn to
who should they hold
They turn to me!
and each other they hold
Mother and her nine year old!

I look at my mother, my mother looks at me
The doctor offers his professional symphony
But I am not listening, my mum does not hear
His professional sounds falls on deaf ears
And in the stillness of my mother’s embrace
I hear the ticking clock
And a future with cruel Dementia we both embrace

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Fears that hospitals are covering up death rates

Hospitals have been accused of “fiddling” their death rate figures by claiming patients were terminally ill, after new figures showing dramatic changes in the way mortality is recorded. The NHS data shows a five-fold rise in the proportion of deaths being “coded” so that they barely count towards hospital mortality statistics – with some trusts now recording one in three deaths as a “palliative” case. Last night experts said they were troubled by the “deeply concerning” trends, fearing hospitals could be hiding the fact patients had suffered poor care which contributed to their death. They said the scale of the misreporting was such that it could even hide “another Mid Staffs” scandal. Every NHS hospital has to collect and publish data showing how its death rates compare with what would be expected.

Please click on the link to read more and see the table for more detail on a trust


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PLEASE HELP ONLY 6 more signatures needed – Petitioning David Cameron Justice for Aunty!

Teresa Noakes the niece, who brought about this petition is being threatened by solicitors to remove this petition! She needs just 6 more signatures to take to the ‘next level’ so please sign and share. If you have already signed then share with all your Facebook friends.

Please click on the link to sign, and please share


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Give Me Roses While I Live – The Carter Family 1932 – 1933

I have just come across this audio. Such wonderful words written and sung such a long time ago

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Man Who Suffers From Cerebral Palsy Paints Masterpieces Using Just A Typewriter

Paul Smith was an incredible artist who created his works of art using a typewriter. Unfortunately, he was born with cerebral palsy, a severe disability that affects his motor abilities and strength. In his Oregon nursing, he types away using 1 finger tirelessly. Once you see what he’s creating, you’ll notice his artistic abilities are extraordinary.

Paul died in Roseburg, Oregon in 2007.

It just shows what can be done with determination

Click on the link to watch this incredible man

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Cameron’s Lies Concerning the Scottish Referendum – With thanks for the video from Named and Shamed

Cameron’s lies to the general public, throughout his ‘no vote’ in the Scottish referendum. The NHS is above the law, doctors, surgeons, radiologists, nurses etc., make mistakes, and to cover for those mistakes, they deliberately ‘lose’ peoples’ medical records, which are supposedly ‘legal binding documents’ , they unreport evident damage on xrays, MRI scans etc., and lie, thereby falsifying records as to the true

Please click on the link to watch the video

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Baby Lizzie’s parents, Anne and Graeme Dixon – The longest wait – written by Heather Mills at Private Eye

A COUPLE’S 13-year battle for an inquiry into the blunders that led to the brain damage and subsequent death of their baby daughter has been dealt a blow after NHS England suddenly pulled the plug on a planned investigation.
Elizabeth Dixon, born prematurely in Frimley Park hospital in Surrey, suffered severe brain damage after nurses and doctors ignored, failed to properly record and did not treat dangerously high blood pressure over 15 days – instead giving her medication for a non-existent infection. By the time she was transferred to Great Ormond Street hospital in London, where her blood pressure was eventually reduced, it was too late to prevent brain damage.
Then, while being cared for at home 10 days before her first birthday, Elizabeth suffocated after a newly qualified agency nurse, with no experience of paediatric tracheostomy care, failed to keep her breathing tube clear.

Click on the Private Eye pdf written by Heather Mills to read more

Private Eye



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Whistleblowers, Victims of Abuse Protest at Parliament Sq 10th September 2014

Whistleblowers, victims of abuse, union members, students, peaceful campaigners, and all other supporters met at Parliament Square at noon today Wednesday, 10 September, to take part in a silent protest against abuse of whistleblowers. A call for a new law, Edna’s law, one that will protect all whistleblowers and stop the wrongdoing.

For more information on Edna’s Law click on the link

For more information on The Whistler who have helped many whistleblowers from the NHS, private medical care, financial and regulatory organisations, the police, the military, as well as government and office workers.

Here are just a few photo’s and a video in support of whistleblowers, and of the people who had lost a loved one or friend. The whistles were blown for two minutes at 2pm to remember that whistle-blowers could have saved them all.


2014-09-10 13.49.09P9MeP5P3P3aP8P1P4P6p10P7

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Older patients at risk because drugs are tested on the young

There is an embarrassing secret at the heart of medicine.
When it comes to anyone much older than 65, doctors have little evidence to tell them what drug or treatment works.
As Marion McMurdo, professor of ageing and health at the University of Dundee, says: ‘Much of the NHS budget is spent on looking after older people, who often have several chronic diseases.
‘So you’d think that there would be a real effort to make sure that we have the best-quality evidence to treat them.But we don’t.
‘A typical trial of a cancer drug, for instance, involves people in their 50s whose only problem was cancer, and who were taking just that drug.

Click on the link to read more*


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New drug for pancreatic cancer turned down

The NHS drugs rationing body has ruled that a drug for pancreatic cancer that can extend lives of patients is too expensive to be given before other treatments have been tried.
Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed late meaning patients often live for only two to six months.
The drug, nab-paclitaxel, also known as Abraxane, has been shown to extend life by an average of two months but some have survived for two years.

Click on the link to read more


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Cancer services weakened by coalition’s NHS shakeup, says report

Cancer services have been weakened by the coalition’s shakeup of the NHS and lack the money to cope with the growing number of people getting the disease, a report on Monday claims.
Diagnostic and treatment services are under such strain that improvements in recent years are in danger of unravelling, according to the charity Cancer Research UK. Its findings are based on anonymous interviews with 45 leading cancer experts and an online survey of 450 other NHS cancer personnel.

Click on the link to read more

A nurse treats an NHS patient

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Dementia risk for middle-aged: 42,000 under the age of 65 have the disease including some in their 30s

Tens of thousands of middle-aged adults are developing dementia, a report will warn this week.
More than 42,000 Britons under the age of 65 are thought to have the illness – twice as many as was previously thought. This includes 2,000 who are in their forties.
Charities warn that many adults are coming to terms with the condition whilst still working, looking after children and paying off their mortgage.
They are also concerned that doctors are misdiagnosing many younger sufferers as they assume dementia mainly occurs in the elderly.
But a report by the Alzheimer’s Society to be published on Wednesday will warn that twice as many adults are developing dementia in mid-life than previously thought.
There are now 42,325 cases of early onset dementia in UK – which occurs before the age of 65 – previously there were only thought to be 17,000 cases.
This includes 2,010 in their 40s, 7,700 cases in their 50s, 32,000 in their 60s and 707 cases in their 30s.

Click on the link to read more

General Stock - Education - May 2008

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Nursing Times – NHS England pulls plug on probe into baby death 2 September, 2014 – written By Shaun Lintern

Here is an update to the probe into baby Lizzie Dixons death

Dr Malcolm Coulthard, a consultant paediatric nephrologist, who reviewed Elizabeth’s treatment in 2013, found she was left with severe brain damage after staff at Frimley Park Hospital failed to treat her “dramatically high” blood pressure over a period of 15 days.
Instead she was treated for a non-existent infection before being transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

    Notes from her time in hospital also went missing and were later destroyed.

The hospital apologised last year for the poor care of Elizabeth.

Click on the link to read more
Nursing Times Elizabeth Dixon 2nd September 2014 (1)


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CAN YOU HELP? A new page where you can post your questions and I will tweet and FB for others to reply: email me your questions on and I will post them


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Doctors’ allergy mistakes ‘risking lives’

Thousands of lives are put at risk by doctors prescribing drugs to which patients are known to be allergic, the medicines watchdog says.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said there were “major issues” in the way allergies were recorded and shared.
In its first guidelines on allergy, it is calling for known allergies to be recorded on all prescriptions.
The charity Allergy UK said a “lack of awareness” was putting lives at risk.
Official data recorded 18,079 incidents of drug allergies affecting patient safety in the NHS in England and Wales between 2005 and 2013.
Most involved medicines which were prescribed to a patient with a known allergy to that class of drugs.

Have you been prescribed drugs to which you were allergic? Has treatment of a condition been hindered by such an allergy? You can email your experiences to

Click on the link to read more


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Robert Bird’s harrowing tale of a fight against ‘the powers that be’ to receive justice for his son Garry, who became a victim of the NHS and their botched attempts at covering up their mistakes, when a failed diagnosis of Crohn’s disease in 2006 led to catastrophic events, that was to effect all of their families lives.

On 28th June 2006 Robert’s son, Garry Bird aged 22, was taken to East Surrey Hospital with rectal bleeding, loss of appetite and weight loss. Unfortunately, there was no appropriately qualified person to carry out an endoscope for diagnosis of his condition and after a week Garry was discharged with medication for piles and sleeping pills. At that time Garry had severe perforations and adhesions of the bowel caused by undiagnosed Crohn’s disease. The medication he was given actually inflamed this condition.

Please click on the link to read more

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Reunite Ashya with his parents! Please sign and share

Ashya is a young boy with stage four cancer. His parents Brett and Naghemeh are being held under arrest in Spain unable to care for Ashya or give him treatment. They have now been denied bail.

Please sign this petition and share


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“I am just a dreamer who dreams of better days”

Please listen to the song, brilliant lyrics, we can all relate to this.

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35,000 patients wrongly struck off GP registers

Up to 35,000 patients have been wrongly struck off GP registers in the last year in NHS cost-cutting exercises targeting the elderly and vulnerable, an investigation has found.
Doctors said patients are increasingly being denied vital check-ups, cancer screening and suffering delays obtaining medication because of botched attempts by authorities to update records and reduce practice funding.
In some parts of the country more than one third of patients who were stripped from the lists should never have been deleted, official figures show.
GPs said blunders by schemes which have targeted the elderly and children who failed to attend vaccination appointments had led to angry scenes in GP surgeries when patients found out what had happened.

Click on the link to read more


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Only one in four have faith in system to care for them in old age

Only a quarter of people in England believe they will receive proper care in their old age despite the Coalition’s sweeping reforms of the system, one of the biggest surveys of opinion on the subject ever conducted shows.
Research commissioned by an alliance of 75 charities and voluntary organisations involved with elderly and disabled people concludes the care crisis could prove a decisive issue in next year’s general election, with concern as high among middle aged voters as the older generation.
It shows that voters rank care for elderly and disabled people second only to health as a national priority justifying an increase in spending – well ahead of schools, transport, policing or the armed forces.

Please click on the link to read more


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Ashya King found in Spain as father speaks in video – Please watch, My heart goes out to the courageous parents of Ashya

My heart goes out to the courageous parents of Ashya. They left to pay for the treatment in another country. Another BIG FAIL BY THE NHS!


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“YOU SEE ME” , “AND YET, YOU DON’T KNOW ME? – Such a truthful heart-rending poem, please read…


You see me , and yet you dont know me?
You hear me, and yet you ignore me?
You talk about me, and yet, don`t talk too me?
You laugh at me, yet i am not Funny?
You Pity me, and yet know nothing about me?
You whisper about me, and yet i can hear you!
You dress me, and yet never ask me?
You feed me, and yet i dont feel hungry,
You wake me, and yet i am so tired,
You speak at me, and not to me?
(And yet i am still me, i was me before my Dementia, and i will still be me at the end, so why, i ask again)

Cc Norrms Mc Namara Diagnosed with dementia 7 yrs ago now aged 50 and still fighting it!!


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Write To Them – A website that makes it easy for anyone to contact their MP, Councillors, Representatives, etc even if they don’t know who they are.

If you can’t name your MP, that doesn’t make you unusual. 78% of the UK population cannot name their representative in Parliament, according to a recent report from the Hansard Society
Contact your Councillors, MP, MEPs, MSPs, or NI, Welsh and London Assembly Members

Click on the link to find who you can write to


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One week to go for the NHS to comment on how it will be honest and accountable

NHS trusts have until next Friday (5 September) to have their say on how they could show they are meeting the government’s new regulations on being open and honest to patients when things go wrong and on making sure they employ directors who are suitable for the roles.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has drafted guidance on how the 162 NHS trusts across England can meet the government’s new ‘duty of candour’ and the ‘fit and proper persons’ regulations.
These will oblige providers to be open and honest when things go wrong and to hold directors to account when care fails people.
NHS trusts will have to make sure they are meeting these two regulations from November, with other providers of health and adult social care following next spring, subject to Parliamentary approval.
Also, NHS trusts have the chance to comment on the CQC’s proposals about how it will use its enforcement powers when the regulator believes that a regulation has been breached and on its wider guidance on how they can meet the new ‘fundamental standards’ of care.
CQC’s guidance will help both NHS trusts to determine whether they are meeting the regulations and, CQC to decide what action to take when they do not.

Please click on the link to read more


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Magnetic stimulation could help to restore memory

Elderly people who are losing their memory could be helped by using a magnetic field to stimulate part of their brain, a study has shown.
The effect lasts at least 24 hours after the stimulation is given, improving the ability of volunteers to remember words linked to photos of faces.
Scientists believe the discovery could lead to new treatments for loss of memory function caused by ageing, strokes, head injuries and early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr Joel Voss, the lead researcher from Northwestern University in Chicago, said: “We show for the first time that you can specifically change memory functions of the brain in adults without surgery or drugs, which have not proven effective. This non-invasive stimulation has tremendous potential.”

Please click on the link to read more


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Hospitals to be ranked by quality of food

Hospitals will be forced to provide better quality food under legally binding rules after patients tweeted a series of pictures of inadequate and unappealing meals.
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, has announced new clauses in hospital trust contracts to provide better quality food.
Hospital canteens selling food and drinks to staff, patients and visitors will also have to comply with strict rules on fat, sugar and salt with healthy options available.
However shops, coffee bars and junk food outlets will be exempt meaning chocolate, crisps, burgers and supersized sweet drinks will still be available.
Under a new set of inspections, hospitals will be evaluated on a number of points and ranked on the quality of their food. The results will be available for patients to search on the NHS Choices website.

Please click on the link to read more


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Complaints to NHS about staff attitude rise

More complaints are received by the NHS about the attitude of its staff than almost any other subject, official figures have revealed.
Last year there were more than 13,000 written complaints about staff attitude, an eight per cent increase on the previous year.
The figures will raise questions about the governments dignity and respect agenda which is supposed to be central to patient care.
The data, from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, showed that the only subject area where there were more complaints was clinical treatment, with more than 52,000 complaints in 2013/14.
Overall the number of written complaints received by the NHS in England has risen by four per cent to reach 174,000, the equivalent of 480 per day.

Click on the link to read more


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Cancer patients with depression ‘are being overlooked’ – Have you experienced any of the issues raised in this story? Email and include your contact details

Three-quarters of cancer patients who are clinically depressed do not get the psychological therapy they need, according to research in the Lancet.
This “huge unmet need” is partly due to a focus on physical symptoms at the expense of good mental healthcare, researchers say.
They argue depression is often overlooked but could be treated at a fraction of the cost of cancer drugs.
Charities say the current situation is “heartbreaking”.
People often wrongly assume that major depression is part of a natural reaction to cancer – but this is much more than transient sadness, the Edinburgh and Oxford university researchers say.
Their report suggests a new nurse-led treatment could help thousands of people.
In a series of studies they analysed data on 21,000 cancer patients living in Scotland.
They found 6% to 13% of people had clinical depression, compared with just 2% of the general population at any time.

Please click on the link to read more


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Sick could be monitored by video as NHS looks to US

Critically ill NHS patients could be monitored by video link under plans to learn from models of care used in the United States.
Hospital watchdogs have announced plans to examine the way care is delivered in other countries, including the US, France, Germany and Canada, and recommend changes which the health service could introduce.
Monitor, the regulator for NHS foundation hospitals, said its experts will examine systems used by other countries, including the use of “remote intensive care units” which are common in the United States.
Officials said they would examine a range of services abroad, including stroke, maternity and Accident & Emergency Departments, in order to recommend ways to improve British healthcare and make systems more efficient.
Senior managers at the watchdog said the NHS needed to “change and improve in order to survive”.

Please click on link to read more

May 15, 2013 - Sacramento, California, USA - Neurologist Dr. Alan Shatzel uses a computer to remotely operate a new medical robot at Mercy San Juan Medical Center Neuro Intensive Care Unit in Carmichael in Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Officials at Mercy San J

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NHS England withdraws involvement from baby death probe – Written by Shaun Lintern for HSJ 27th August 2014

NHS England appears to have ruled itself out of direct involvement in patient care investigations after refusing to join the Care Quality Commission in a probe into the death of a baby girl.
In a policy line direct from chief executive Simon Stevens, NHS England yesterday declared it is “not and has never been an investigatory body”. This comes despite the body possessing the power to investigate patient care in its role as a commissioner.
The commissioning body issued the line after it emerged the CQC had signalled its intention to launch an investigation into the death of a baby girl with the close involvement of NHS England.
NHS England’s national director of patient safety Mike Durkin had “worked closely” with the CQC as the watchdog developed an approach to the investigation, NHS England confirmed

Please click on the link to read full article
NHS England withdraws involvement from baby death probe

Copied from HSJ artical :


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Thousands of foreign nurses will no longer require UK work experience to treat patients in Britain

Thousands of foreign nurses will no longer have to do any work experience in the UK before treating patients here.
In a hugely controversial move, the nursing regulator is to scrap its requirement to do three months of supervised work placements in Britain.
Instead, staff from outside the EU will simply have to take an online multiple choice test and exam.
One senior NHS official, who works at a major hospital trust in the North of England, said they were concerned that the lack of checks would “put patients at risk”.
In a dramatic twist, when approached by the Daily Mirror, the Nursing and Midwifery Council asked us not to run the story until the end of September.
It said this would give the regulator time to inform “stakeholders” about the changes and prepare arrangements to make a formal announcement.
But at 5pm today, the NMC emailed our reporter to say it was bringing “forward the announcement to tomorrow”.

Please click on the link to read more


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Self-harm by mental health patients in NHS has risen by 56%, figures show

Growing numbers of people being treated in mental health units are harming themselves and trying to take their own lives, new NHS figures suggest.
The number of such incidents at 29 of England’s 52 NHS mental health trusts rose from 14,815 in 2010 to 23,053 last year, an increase of 56% over four years.
The average number per trust rose from 511 to 795 last year over the same period.
Labour, which obtained the figures under freedom of information laws, linked the increase to cuts in the number of doctors and nurses working in mental health units and their budgets.
“Mental health services have been squeezed year on year, the number of specialist doctors and nurses has dropped and there aren’t enough beds to meet demand. The pressure this is putting on mental health wards is intolerable”, said Luciana Berger, the shadow public health minister, who obtained the figures.
“It is unacceptable that people in touch with mental health services may not be getting the support they need. They are some of the most vulnerable patients in our NHS”, she added. That some mental health wards were running way above their recommended maximum capacity of 85%, sometimes reaching as much as 138%, was also a factor explaining the rise, Berger added.

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Cancer patient ‘kept on trolley in hospital storage room without food for THREE nights’

A cancer patient claims she was treated “like a dog” after being kept on a trolley in a hospital storage room for three nights.
Charlene Lynch, 27, who suffers from Hodgkins lymphoma, also claims she was not fed because staff did not know she was there.
She was admitted to Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, Dublin, last Friday, when she required emergency surgery on her foot.
But after the procedure, instead of being sent to a post-op recovery ward, a bed shortage meant she was 
abandoned in the tiny room and given a curtain for a blanket

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PHSO – 81 Case summaries show the profound impact that failures can have on the lives of individuals and their families

These short, anonymised stories show the profound impact that failures in public services can have on the lives of individuals and their families.
They provide examples of the complaints the PHSO handle and they hope they will give public service users confidence that complaining can make a difference.
This first set includes cases the PHSO closed in February and March 2014. Most of them are cases they have upheld or partly upheld. These cases provide clear and valuable lessons for public services by showing what needs to be changed so that similar mistakes can be avoided in future. They include complaints about failures to spot serious illnesses like sepsis and mistakes by government departments that caused financial hardship.

Please click on the link to see all of the 81 case summaries


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£1m state payout for ‘blacklist’ care staff

Nurses and care home workers accused of abusing or endangering elderly residents have been paid £1 million in Government compensation, after judges ruled that their human rights had been breached.
Sixty nurses and care staff received out-of-court settlements worth a total of £1,062,005, including legal costs, last year, equating to £17,700 each.
The compensation was paid after they were automatically placed on a “blacklist” banning them from working with vulnerable adults as soon as allegations of misconduct against them were made.
The most senior judges in the country ruled that the blacklisting procedure broke human rights law by denying nurses the right to a fair hearing before suspending them without pay for months, forcing some to sell their homes


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Britain braced for a bargain ‘Viagra’ boom: Thousands more to get impotence pills on NHS as price plunges 93%

Hundreds of thousands of men could enjoy a boost to their love lives following an NHS decision to dish out much more Viagra on prescription.
Until this month, only men who suffered impotence as a side effect of illness or those evaluated by a specialist could be given the pills on the NHS.
But since Viagra’s patent ran out last year, its cost has plummeted by 93 per cent as generic versions of the drug have become available.

Click on the link to read more and see the video


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North East NHS patients hit by huge rise in number of cancelled operations

Thousands of cancelled NHS operations are putting a “drain” on resources as figures reveal a massive rise in procedures not happening at the last minute.
Information from NHS England shows that as many as 1,924 planned surgical procedures were cancelled in the region in 2013/14.
Some hospital trusts had more than a 100% year-on-year increase in the number of operations that had to be rescheduled, with a shortage of beds and increase in activity reasons behind the problem.
Health unions have raised fears that the high number of cancellations is draining financial NHS resources as an operation can cost anything between an average of £730 for a cataract operation to as much as £5,800 for a hip replacement.

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Kay, My Beautiful Elegant Mother

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