STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

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 the tormented.

Quote from 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 thelast6months@hotmail.co.uk 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

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Thank you for all your support.

Joanna

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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 Lulu.com

Paperback Edition

http://www.lulu.com/shop/joanna-slater/the-last-six-months/paperback/product-20323948.html

 

Kindle Edition

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Last-Six-Months-ebook/dp/B009AEO29M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1348037711&sr=8-2

 

Filed under: Hospital, NHS

NHS crisis grows as young Britons turn their backs on family doctors

An alarming new dimension to the NHS crisis has been revealed as data shows young adults are bypassing GPs and heading straight to overstretched A&E departments because they can’t get suitable appointments. A stark generational divide in the way people use the NHS is highlighted in a report by Citizens Advice, which finds that people aged 18 to 34 are more than twice as likely to attend A&E departments or walk-in centres as those aged 55 and over – and that they are far less likely than older people to be able to see a GP when they need to.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/20/nhs-crisis-young-health-family-doctors

Accident and emergency

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Anti-psychotic drugs given for wrong illnesses: Half of prescriptions are for conditions that are not mental illnesses

More than half of prescriptions for anti-psychotic drugs in Britain are for conditions other than serious mental illnesses, say researchers. And the elderly are twice as likely to be prescribed the drugs as people in their 40s, even though they are linked to a higher risk of premature death in older people. The drugs, often dubbed the ‘chemical cosh’ because they are wrongly used to sedate dementia patients, are licensed for serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  But a study of GPs’ prescriptions between 2007 and 2011, using an electronic database of anonymous patient records, found that less than half were prescribed the drugs for these conditions. Often they were handed out for anxiety, sleep problems and personality disorders, as well as dementia, even though doctors have been told to prescribe them only as a last resort.  This ‘off label’ or unlicensed prescribing resulted in older people with conditions such as dementia and anxiety getting them, says the study published online by the journal BMJ Open.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2879902/Anti-psychotic-drugs-given-wrong-illnesses-Half-prescriptions-conditions-not-mental-illnesses.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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NHS managers ‘delaying cancer tests to meet targets and avoid fines’ are putting lives at ‘serious risk’

Patients with suspected cancer are being refused urgent tests by NHS managers in a ploy to meet waiting times targets, senior doctors have warned. Some patients have their cancer risk ‘downgraded’ and are told they do not qualify for the two-week track. They are then not seen for up to six months. Many are later confirmed to have cancer and campaigners warn that such lengthy delays are putting lives at ‘serious risk’.  Cancer survival rates in Britain are notoriously lower than those elsewhere in Europe and this has partly been blamed on GPs not picking up the early warning signs, and referring patients for tests. But an investigation by Pulse magazine has identified that doctors are increasingly having referrals ‘bounced back’ by hospital managers who say patients are unlikely to have cancer, so can wait longer.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2880025/NHS-managers-delaying-cancer-tests-meet-targets-avoid-fines-putting-lives-risk.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Emergency services brace for booze-fuelled ‘Black Eye Friday’

Paramedics, police and hospitals are braced for a traditional surge in binge drinking tonight, in what is fast becoming known as an annual ‘Black Friday of booze’. The last Friday before Christmas – also known as Mad Friday or Black Eye Friday – is often treated as a party day, with many office parties being scheduled for the date. There was a reported 114 per cent rise in the amount of alcohol sold in pubs, bars and restaurants sold at this time last year compared to an average Friday.  Official figures show around £3.7 billion was spend on alcohol in England last December, with alcohol sales rocketing by 28 per cent between November and December. And with the seasonal excess in mind, public health bosses are today launching a campaign to encourage people to go dry for January.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.itv.com/news/2014-12-19/emergency-services-brace-for-booze-fuelled-black-eye-friday/?

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6 year old Jack Adcock: Medics charged with manslaughter

A doctor and two nurses have been charged with manslaughter by gross negligence over the death of a six-year-old boy. Jack Adcock, from Glen Parva, who had Down’s syndrome, was admitted to Leicester Royal Infirmary on 18 February 2011 suffering vomiting. He later suffered a heart attack and efforts to revive him failed. Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, Theresa Taylor and Isabel Amaro are due before Leicester magistrates on 23 January. An inquest into Jack’s death was adjourned in 2013. Fiona Morrison, specialist prosecutor with the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “Having completed our review, we have concluded there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Dr Bawa-Garba, Sister Taylor and Staff Nurse Amaro to each face charges of gross negligence manslaughter.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-30516542

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The NHS Frontline – The Reality of Mental Health Services

Please read this very well written article by Dr Zoe Norris who is a GP in the NHS, and her frustration in trying to get help for one of her patients

Click on the link to read

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-zoe-norris/nhs-mental-health-services-the-reality_b_6329050.html?

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Four in five new NHS nurses are from overseas

Four in five extra nurses recruited in the last year are from abroad, according to new figures which sparked warnings that the NHS has become “astonishingly over-reliant” on foreign labour. Nurse leaders accused hospitals of “panic-buying” overseas workers at great expense to plug staff shortages, while patients groups raised fears that care is being compromised by nurses with poor command of English. It comes as separate figures show almost one in 10 council houses is now occupied by those from abroad. Data from every NHS hospital trust in the country shows 5,778 nurses were recruited from overseas over the last year, with the largest numbers coming from Spain, Portugal, the Phillipines and Italy. The figure makes up 81 per cent of extra nurses hired in England over the period, as hospital trusts rushed to hire more staff after widespread shortages were exposed in the wake of the Mid-Staffs scandal.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11297761/Four-in-five-new-NHS-nurses-are-from-overseas.html

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Dying is part of living – by Andrea Sutcliffe

This is a very good article written by Andrea Sutcliff of the CQC.

If you know someone who is bereaved, go to them and simply be with them – it could be the greatest gift you give

Click on the link to read 

http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/dying-part-living

Dying Matters have produced a leaflet with tips of what to say and do. Please click on the link –  Being there

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http://www.dyingmatters.org/

 

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Woolwich gynaecologist who defrauded NHS out of £49,000 avoids prison

A Woolwich gynaecologist who defrauded the NHS out of tens of thousands of pounds while off work sick has avoided a prison sentence. Anthony Madu, 45, of The Oaks, received a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years, by a judge at Newport Crown Court. He was also ordered to complete 150 hours’ community service and be subjected to a three month night time electronic tag curfew, following an investigation by the NHS Counter Fraud Service (Wales).

Click on the link to read more

http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/11669154._/?

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My brain was bleeding – but out of hours operators told me to go to bed and see my doctor in the morning

A PENSIONER has hit out at South Western Ambulance Service after they did not send an ambulance when she fell ill with what was diagnosed as a bleed on the brain. Susanne Parkin, 73, called the emergency services after waking up during the night with a ‘terrible headache’ and later asked husband, Michael, to continue the call due to the amount of questions she was being asked. As a result of the answers Mrs Parkin and husband, Michael, gave, was they were told that the service would not be sending an ambulance.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/health/11668205._/?

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Strength in Numbers has been shortlisted in the 2015 UK Blog Awards – An Almighty Thank You

I am so happy to announce that my blog Strength in Numbers has been shortlisted in the 2015 UK Blog awards in both categories Health and PR, Media. Strength in Numbers will now go through to the judges panel, and all those on the shortlist will attend the Awards Ceremony later in the New Year to see who has won.

Once again, thank you to all that have supported, and voted for me.

Let’s get all your stories out to the world. Joanna xxxx

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Help Hannah get a new heart and join the donor register

WHILE many of us are hoping for clothes, books, DVDs and jewellery for Christmas, Hannah Cochrane is asking for a new heart. The 21-year-old is on the organ transplant waiting list and is urging people to sign the register to help her and others. The administrator had been healthy all her life until she noticed a change in June 2013. Hannah, of St Ursula Grove, Southsea, said: ‘I started to lose my appetite, felt sick, lost weight, and couldn’t even climb a flight of stairs without feeling out of breath. ‘After going to the doctor four times, I was referred to Queen Alexandra Hospital.’ Tests revealed her heart was three times the size it should be and was put into intensive care where she was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/health/local-health/help-hannah-get-a-new-heart-and-join-the-donor-register-1-6473483

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‘There is a shortage of donated organs but if more families agreed to donate a loved one’s organs, more people would get the transplants they need.’  To join, visit organdonation.nhs.uk, or call 0300 123 23 23.

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‘U’ turn from Hunt’s team following media pressure – Sharmila Chowdhury

Fiona Bell, NHS whistleblower and an avid campaigner, wrote to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State and Ed Jones, Special Advisor,  in 14 October 2014, raising serious concerns on behalf of a Morecambe Bay whistleblower, regarding a nurse who allegedly went around turning off the drips off elderly end of life patients in order to speed up their deaths.  Fiona, hoped that due to the serious nature of her complaint, matter would be urgently investigated. However, to her amazement, Fiona received the following response:

You can access the full Sunday Times piece from  Sharmila Chowdhury’s website and of course see how they got that U turn from the Department of Health.  http://sharmilachowdhury.com/2014/12/14/u-turn-from-hunts-team-following-media-pressure/

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NHS finally apologises to family eight years after man’s death at scandal hit hospital

The family of a man who died ­eight years ago at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital have finally had an apology from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Mr Hunt has also offered to meet ­relatives of John Moore-Robinson to discuss their concerns after an inquest found a “continuous series of ­shortcomings” contributed to his death. John’s family – who have campaigned with the Sunday Mirror for a safer NHS since his death in April 2006 – sent a copy of the coroner’s report to the Health ­Secretary demanding that medical staff responsible for his death are held to account. He replied: “I am sorry for your loss, for the failings of the NHS and that the system let you down so badly when you sought answers and redress.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-finally-apologises-family-eight-4806487

John-Moore-Robinson

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Mum called NHS 111 helpline 23 times before death

A review has been launched after a woman died at home alone despite repeatedly calling the NHS 111 helpline for assistance. Phone records show Anne Roome called 23 times in the hours before she died, although it is not clear how many times she got through to an adviser. 111 advisers can arrange ambulances in emergencies, but they did not send one to the 68-year-old’s home in Derby. Derbyshire Health United said the circumstances were “unfortunate”.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-30448116

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Woman killed by cervical cancer aged 23 was refused a smear test because she was under 25 – Please sign the petition

A young woman who died of cervical cancer just weeks before Christmas has ensured all her family have a gift to open on Christmas Day. Sorcha Glenn was aged 22 when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in September 2013. Her family were told her cancer was terminal on October 7 2014 – and she died just 17 days later in her boyfriend’s arms.  Sorcha, from Derry in Ireland, loved the festive period and began buying her gifts while receiving treatment in hospital. She finished her Christmas shopping before she passed away in her boyfriend’s arms.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/beautiful-young-woman-killed-cervical-4782612

“An early smear can literally save the life of a young woman as it is a preventable disease as are all cancers if caught in the very early stages. 

More than 25,000 people have already signed the e-petition Sorcha’s family have set up in her name. Please click on the link to sign the petition, thank you.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/71455

Sorcha-Glenn

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Leadership vacancies in the NHS What can be done about them? – The Kings Fund

There is a growing awareness that NHS provider organisations are experiencing a high number of vacancies at senior levels, are reliant on interims and are experiencing a greater ‘churn’ of senior leaders. This situation could have a negative impact on staff morale and engagement, on costs and on performance.

The King’s Fund, in collaboration with the HSJ Future of NHS Leadership Inquiry, undertook a freedom of information (FOI) request to obtain an accurate picture of board-level vacancies, supplementing the data gathered with in-depth interviews and a literature review. This report details the level of vacancies and their impact and suggests reasons for this.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/leadership-vacancies-nhs

Click on the link to read the full report

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Smooth Operator? Surgeons and songs are a winning mix, study finds

After a study of music and healing, Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales came up with a tongue-in-cheek list of what to play in theatre. While classical music is preferred by most surgeons, some more current suggestions were put forward. Sade’s Smooth Operator was approved – but REM’s Everybody Hurts is a no-no. Although the songs are only meant as a bit of festive fun from medical staff at the hospital, the benefits of music helping patients and surgeons alike stems from a legitimate study. According to their findings, around 80% of theatre staff said music helped while carrying out operations. They also found that music is played 62-72% of the time in the operating theatre, with songs often chosen by the lead surgeon.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-30413978?

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Controversial NHS patient data sharing pilot scheme may be delayed until 2015

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said the public was ‘broadly supportive’ of data sharing.

Pilot schemes for the delayed and controversial NHS programme to share data from patients’ medical records might not start until well into the new year, it has emerged. The launch of the care data programme was postponed for at least six months in February this year – well past its planned date of April 2014 – and NHS has now said it will not even have completed signing up GP practices for experiments in how it might work until the new year. Doctors in four parts of the country will be involved, and there will be trials in how to inform the public and patients about how the system will work, its perceived benefits and on how they can opt out of having confidential information shared.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/12/nhs-patient-care-data-sharing-scheme-delayed-2015-concerns

Katherine Murphy

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Government’s £250m campaign fails to clear waiting list backlog – BY SOPHIE BARNES – HSJ

The number of patients waiting over 18 weeks for treatment has increased despite the government pouring £250m into the NHS to clear the backlogs of longest waiters over the summer. The waiting list for planned care has now grown to over 3.2m, the latest official figures reveal They show that 204,390 patients were on waiting lists for more than 18 weeks in October – a steep increase on the same point last year when the number of waiters was 169,907. The rise is despite the government handing out £250m to clinical commissioning groups to help clear provider backlogs.

Click on the link to read more

HSJ – Government’s £250m campaign fails to clear waiting list backlog

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NHS ombudsman provokes fresh complaints

Just weeks after a report raised the alarm about how the NHS ombudsman handles patients’ complaints, more than 140 families have voiced concerns. The Patients Association charity which wrote the report said it had been inundated with new calls from patients who feel badly let down by the service. The ombudsman is the final port of call for patients in England who are unhappy with a hospital’s original handling of their complaint.

Click on the link to read

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30395267

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Are you one of those, who voiced concerns about how the NHS ombudsman handles patients’ complaints? You can send us your experiences to haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

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Rob Bird – My song for us to the NHS – LISTEN….

Please click on the link to listen to the words

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Nurse who ‘leaked’ ex-Para’s medical details to try to raise money to pay for man’s funeral could be struck off

A nurse leaked confidential medical details about an ex-Para he treated as he tried to raise money to pay for the man’s funeral, a tribunal heard. Steven Farley (pictured) allegedly posted Mike Riley’s medical records on Facebook after discovering his family couldn’t raise enough money to remove his body from the mortuary at Leicester Royal Infirmary. Steven Farley allegedly posted Mike Riley’s medical records on Facebook after discovering his family couldn’t raise enough money to remove his body from the mortuary at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Nurse-leaked-hero-ex-Para-s-medical-details-try/story-25451716-detail/story.html

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MAKE NHS COMPLAINTS COUNT!

When one complains to NHS bodies such as hospital trusts one is often fobbed off with half answers, non answers, and other tactics to bemuse and bewilder. Complaining to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is an even worse experience. Complex complaints that have to be taken in their entirety are broken into bite sized chunks and handled ineffectively. Findings ignore evidence or give undue weight to the NHS’s side. The current Ombudsman talks the talk, but fails to implement it by handling complaints effectively. Please ensure that the NHS together with the ombudsman, supposed to be the final arbiter of complaints, are each held accountable. Of these two the ombudsman must be a high priority to fix. The PHS Ombudsman is broken and must be held to account and improved

Click on the link to sign the petition

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/make-nhs-complaints-count

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Regulator calls on NHS workers to join 5,000 plus that have blown whistle – By Nicola Merrifield Nursing Times

In a report about its initial findings on the state of complaints handling within healthcare organisations, the CQC said that between 1 April and 31 October 2014, 5,638 staff contacted the CQC. It follows a 10% increase in whistleblowers contacting the CQC in previous years, from 8,643 in 2012-13 to 9,473 in 2013-14. The regulator said it uses the information provided to inform its regulatory activities and to monitor which organisations may need to improve their procedures to make it easier for staff to raise concerns. It called for more people to come forward.

Click on the link to read more

Regulator calls on NHS workers to join 5

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Brain drill death: NHS Trust took six years to admit responsibility, court told

An NHS trust took nearly six years to admit that a Birmingham surgeon negligently caused a teenage mum’s death by drilling into her brain, the High Court has heard. Brian and Terry Brock are suing the NHS for £500,000 over the death of their 18 year old daughter, Rachel Bradshaw, and the psychological injury they say it caused them. The mum-of-one died when a pressure bolt was inserted into her brain at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, in February 2009.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/brain-drill-death-nhs-trust-8245989?

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It’s so difficult to complain about the NHS that patients give up trying: Thousands put off lodging formal grievance as they fear it may lead to reprisals against relatives

Hospital patients are so confused by NHS complaints procedures that many do not bother to speak out at all, a report warns today. Thousands are put off lodging a formal grievance by baffling systems or concerns that their gripes will lead to reprisals against a loved one, say watchdogs. A review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) also pointed to poor complaint handling, slow investigations and patients not being taken seriously as key areas of concern in hospitals. It said complainants were met ‘too often’ with a defensive culture rather than one that listens and is willing to learn. But it is also worried about ‘very few’ complaints over adult social care and primary care, which could indicate the lack of an open culture in which concerns are welcomed.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2864793/It-s-difficult-complain-NHS-patients-trying-Thousands-lodging-formal-grievance-fear-lead-reprisals-against-relatives.html

The boss of the NHS in England, Simon Stevens, has admitted that services are under pressure across the NHS. He added that the health service has to get serious about preventing illness in the first place.

Click on the link to watch the Video:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/embed/video/1132257.html

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Shhh…. It’s a secret – Getting closer

Hello dear friends, just to let you know that the project I’m working on to help patients in organising their health issues and concerns is still ongoing, and will help so many. It’s a bit closer now, and will keep you all updated. Joanna x

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NHS Christmas crisis: Hospitals face turning patients away after 1,800 nurses quit in 2 months

Hospitals may have to turn patients away this Christmas after more than 1,800 nurses quit the NHS in two months, reports Vincent Moss of the Sunday People. Britain’s total nursing staff plummeted alarmingly from 280,765 in June to 278,924 in August, according to the ­latest official figures. This prompted fears of a winter staff crisis that will force stretched hospitals to close their doors to ­patients. Embattled Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt faced more ­damaging news after the Government’s Health and Social Information Centre revealed an exodus of NHS matrons. Since David Cameron became PM in May 2010 the number has slumped by more than 1,200 from 6,399 to 5,154. Overall the number of senior nurses in the NHS has fallen by 3,373 from 66,832 in 2010 to 63,458 this year.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-christmas-crisis-hospitals-face-4761091

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EXCLUSIVE: Christmas crisis for A&E wards

A RECORD 13,000 patients will be stuck on trolleys in hospital Accident and Emergency departments this Christmas.

Figures compiled by this paper show that 11,265 patients spent between four and 12 hours waiting for a ward bed in the past two weeks as overstretched A&E departments struggle to cope with increased demand.   Figures from NHS England also reveal the number of trolley waits over the whole year is the highest since records began a decade ago.  Numbers are predicted to go up a further 15 per cent over the Christmas and New Year fortnight to a record 13,000.  Between January and October this year, 153,517 patients waited up to 12 hours on a trolley, more than treble the 2005 figure.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/544480/NHS-will-face-A-E-Christmas-crisis?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+daily-express-uk-news+%28Daily+Express+%3A%3A+UK+Feed%29

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NHS waste’s more painful than cure

Britain is struggling to pay for the NHS yet its inefficiencies cost a fortune each year. Time it was run like a proper business

Why on earth is the NHS paying £3.67 for tablets you can buy at Boots for 23p?

Finding the money to pay for the NHS is a headache for every chancellor. Millions of baby-boomers are discovering their bodies need running repairs. A few of us are at the stage where parts are not just wearing out but seem to have dropped off. Falling birth rates from the 1960s have created a yawning gap between those paying into the NHS and those getting benefits out. Longer life expectancy means this problem can only get worse. The number of over-65s is projected to rise from 2012’s 11million to 18million by 2037. The number of over-85s will more than double from 1.4million then to 3.6million by 2037 when alarmingly I shall be 88. The NHS costs us £113billion a year, or £2,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. Another way of looking at it is that out of every £1,000 we earn more than £100 goes on the NHS. We do get reasonable value for money: the NHS is cheap compared with our European neighbours’ health systems. The problem is finding extra cash to improve it from already too high taxes.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/neil-hamilton/544604/Neil-Hamilton-on-the-need-to-run-our-NHS-like-a-proper-efficient-business

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Exclusive: ‘I had to blow the whistle on care home’

Carer Jamie McKnight called the Care Quality Commission (CQC) when his concerns about Manorcroft were ignored by senior managers. After starting work there in April, Mr McKnight said he became increasingly concerned about staffing, residents being left in bed for days at a time and a lack of respect by staff. “It got to a point where the home was understaffed all the time,” he said. “People weren’t getting out of bed. “They only had one hoist for 40 residents – lots of them were getting pressure sores from being in bed all the time. “I wouldn’t like it if my mum was in that home in those conditions.”

Click on the link to read

http://www.dewsburyreporter.co.uk/news/local/exclusive-i-had-to-blow-the-whistle-on-care-home-1-6989038

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One in three hospitals do nothing when visitors complain

One in three hospitals has admitted to doing nothing when visitors complain about poor treatment of those in their care. NHS watchdogs said they had been contacted by members of the public who had attempted to intervene because they feared patients were at risk of harm, only to be told it was none of their business. In one case, two female visitors who found a lost and confused elderly man roaming a hospital without shoes on, said staff refused to help them, leaving them to look after the man who went on to soil himself. In another, a hospital visitor who complained that an Accident and Emergency department was cramped and dirty, with dried blood on stretchers, said he was told that as he was not a patient, his complaint could not be considered.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11273698/One-in-three-hospitals-do-nothing-when-visitors-complain.html

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5 ways to address rising depression in young people

Depression and anxiety are affecting more young people than ever before. According to a study published today by the Office for National Statistics, one in five 16- to 24-year-olds are suffering psychological problems, which is almost the rate at which these are seen in early middle age, the life-stage usually most associated with mental health issues. Areas of concern for young people stretch from relationships with parents, friends, colleagues or fellow students, to worries about appearance and fitting in. Young women were more likely than young men to be showing signs of distress, with a report earlier this week claiming that one in five teenage girls are opting out of classroom discussions, and even playing truant because they hate the way they look. How to deal with this rise in anxiety and depression among a group that some perceive as carefree? Society’s role can be debated elsewhere, but for these “emerging adults” and anyone associated with them.

Here are some good starting points for action

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/04/5-ways-address-rising-depression-young-people-psychological-issues-anxiety?

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Thank you all for your support

Thank you to all that voted for my blog in the 2015 UK Blog awards. Voting has now closed. I will keep you informed if I have got through to the next level. Thank you once again for all your support. Joanna x

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‘Landmark legal win’ for cardiologist Dr Kevin Beatt sacked by Croydon Hospital for whistleblowing on patient safety

A leading heart doctor who blew the whistle on safety following a patient’s death at Croydon University Hospital was unfairly dismissed amid a calculated attempt to damage his reputation, a tribunal has ruled. Consultant cardiologist Dr Kevin Beatt stands to receive thousands of pounds in compensation following his landmark victory in a two-year legal battle with Croydon Health Services NHS Trust. The trust sacked him in September 2012 after he raised the alarm about staffing shortages, “appalling” equipment and workplace bullying.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/local/11640263._Landmark_legal_win__for_cardiologist_sacked_by_Croydon_Hospital_for_whistleblowing_on_patient_safety/

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NHS Grampian patient care whistleblower quits post

A whistleblower who went direct to the Scottish government to raise concerns about NHS Grampian has revealed he has quit his post in frustration. Speaking to BBC Scotland, cancer specialist Malcolm Loudon said he felt he had no option but to approach former health secretary Alex Neil.  The findings of a series of subsequent investigations were published earlier  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-30287223  NHS Grampian has accepted all the recommendations of the reports and apologised to patients. A report by Health Improvement Scotland (HIS) said patient care at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary faces a “serious impact” if problems are not “urgently addressed”. It made 13 recommendations for improvement for NHS Grampian.

Click on the link to read

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-30301258

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Please read the letter that Rob Birds brother has written in support of Rob.

Rob, your brothers letter is very powerful and explains the injustice and horror that you and your son Garry have and are still going through. Yes, anyone trying to defend the actions those responsible for this sad situation should be completely ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES. You only have Garry’s best interests to heart. A loving father who is being tortured every which way you turn. Keep as strong as you are my friend, you have my fullest admiration, and take comfort in the many people that are supporting you, Joanna 

Please click on the link to read the letter…  Letter from my brother    lotus-flo

Please click on the link to read a brief account of Garry Birds horror story…  Garry Bird

Garry Bird

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NHS England delays treatment choices after legal threat – HSJ – By Sarah Calkin

NHS England has cancelled key meetings at which it was due to decide whether to fund a series of treatments for serious conditions following a threat of judicial review, HSJ has learned. The organisation’s first specialised services “prioritisation round” meetings were due to take place tomorrow and on Thursday, at which its clinical priorities advisory group was due to consider cases for funding drugs and treatments previously put forward by clinicians on its specialised commissioning clinical reference groups. However, CPAG members were informed on Friday last week that the “prioritisation round” meetings had been postponed.

Click on the link to read

NHS England delays treatment choices after legal threat

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Report suggests 600,000 face waits of 24 hours in A&E

More than 600,000 patients a year are being forced to wait more than 24 hours in Accident & Emergency departments, suggests a new report which names the worst units in the country. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) report on A&E comes amid growing concern that casualty units are buckling under the strain even before winter sets in. The survey of almost 40,000 NHS patients names the 10 hospitals in the country with the lowest ratings from the public. The worst score goes to Tameside Hospital Foundation trust, in Greater Manchester followed by Medway Foundation trust, in Kent. Both were put into special measures during summer 2013 amid concern over failings in care and high death rates.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11269215/Report-suggests-600000-face-waits-of-24-hours-in-AandE.html

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My little boy tried to cut his wrists but the GP just told him to buck his ideas up

Shocking reading that this is happening… To quote from the Daily Mail, “It’s estimated 290,000 children aged five to 16 suffers from a diagnosable mental health disorder”. This is an invisible disease which can prohibit any child/adult from enjoying life in the way they once knew. We need our health professionals to be trained into spotting the first signs of this silent epidemic. Joanna

“Putting the kitchen knives away and out of reach of our 11-year-old son for fear he would deliberately hurt himself has been, without doubt, our lowest point as parents. But we had no choice. Two months after starting ‘big school’ last year our lovely boy, Jack, our previously care-free fourth child, had made an attempt to cut his arm with a large chopping knife. Jack had skipped off to secondary school full of excitement. But within weeks he had descended into a mental health freefall — consumed with worry about being late to school and struggling with his homework, he became severely withdrawn and paranoid.  He wasn’t sleeping, and his anxiety was making him physically unwell. My husband and I were not remotely prepared for it. Three months after he tried to cut himself — and by now nearly halfway through his school year — Jack was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), which means you feel anxious about almost everything”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2856438/Menatl-anguish-children-little-boy-tried-cut-wrists-GP-just-told-buck-ideas-up.html#ixzz3Kl1msCSE

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NHS staff are failing patients with dementia: Hundreds are dying on wards rather than at home surrounded by families because they are not seen as having a terminal illness

Dementia patients are being failed at the end of their lives as they are not deemed to have a terminal illness, charities warn. Many are dying on an undignified hospital ward when they wanted to be at home with loved ones. The final stages of the disease have become the ‘forgotten aspects of a silent epidemic’, according to a joint report by the Alzheimer’s Society and Marie Curie.  It says that unlike other illnesses, NHS staff do not sit down with families of dementia patients and draw up an end-of-life care plan. Around 850,000 Britons are known to have dementia, and the number is expected to rise to 2million by 2050 as the population ages.  The Government has promised to make the illness a national priority over concerns that there are no effective treatments and diagnosis rates remain shockingly low. But this report warns that despite efforts made to detect and treat the illness early on, too little attention is being paid to sufferers and their families at the end of their lives.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2855462/NHS-staff-failing-patients-dementia-Hundreds-dying-wards-home-surrounded-families-not-seen-having-terminal-illness.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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World AIDS Day 2014: This is what HIV looks like

The truth about HIV:

  • There are nearly 110,000 people living with HIV in the UK
  • Approximately 26,000 people living with HIV in the UK have not yet been diagnosed
  • More than one million HIV tests were performed in sexual health clinics in 2013
  • In 2013, 6,000 people were newly diagnosed with HIV  in the UK
  • In 2013, 42 per cent of adults newly diagnosed HIV were diagnosed late, after they should have started treatment
  • In 2013 less than 1 per cent of people with HIV died
  • Around 1 in 17 men who have sex with men (MSM) living in the  UK has HIV
  • Black African people make up 1.8 per cent of the UK population but 36% of all people living  with HIV
  • In 2013 there were 2,449 black Caribbean people in the UK living with a diagnosed HIV and accessing HIV care

More information from  National Aids Trust nat.org.uk

When Hunter Charlton was diagnosed with the virus aged 20, he was overcome with grief, believing he would be dead within 10 years. As he learnt more, the anguish turned to anger – at the ignorance that still causes fear and stigma for so many like him.

In a single moment, my life was irreversibly altered. The doctor’s reassurances washed over me in a haze: it was as if he was trying to communicate with me in a language I could not speak. There can be no single correct way to break this sort of news; in retrospect, I think his light-touch approach was misjudged. At the time, I believed that I would be dead within a decade. Looking back, what I needed was information, a support line, and someone to dispel the grief that was drowning me. At the very least, an info leaflet to tell me that I was not at death’s door. The student-health clinic offered none of these. I left the consultation room consumed by denial but also confounded by a set of newly discovered contradictions.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/world-aids-day-2014-this-is-what-hiv-looks-like-9894256.html

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Chemotherapy from your GP: Cancer sufferers to undergo treatment at family doctors – as Osborne announces ANOTHER £1bn cash boost for health service

Doctors surgeries will be upgraded using a new £1 billion fund paid for by bank fines, George Osborne announced today. The Chancellor said the cash would pay for a ‘permanent improvement in GP services’ and comes on top of an extra £2 billion injection into the NHS budget set to be formally announced on Wednesday. The funding will allow patients to undergo chemotherapy and dialysis closer to home.  The announcement, ahead of Wednesday’s Autumn Statement by the Chancellor, is designed to blunt Labour’s electoral advantage on the NHS. But Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls this morning promised to spend an extra £2.5billion on top of the Government’s £3 billion cash injection. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show this morning Mr Osborne insisted that increasing funding for the NHS was only possible because the economy was growing. He said: ‘Because we have a strong economy and we’ve got the public finances under control, we can afford to put £2 billion into the front-line of the NHS, across the UK.’

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2854837/Chemotherapy-GP-Cancer-sufferers-undergo-gruelling-treatment-local-surgery-1bn-overhaul-family-doctors.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Hospital nurses drugged elderly patients for a quiet night

The son of a one patient raised the alarm over fears patients are given powerful sedatives to make sure ward staff aren’t bothered during the “graveyard shift” at the hospital. Detectives have handed a report to the CPS over criminal charges against nurses at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, South Wales, for allegedly giving sedatives to vulnerable patients without prescription or consent. The hospital is already at the centre of a major police investigation with five nurses charged with falsifying medical records and wilful neglect. Nurses drugging patients without prescription was revealed by a whistle-blowing nurse and has already been admitted in the case of 82-year-old Lillian Williams during a Protection of Vulnerable Adults investigation into her death. Her son Gareth Williams said he was told by nurses, before his mother’s death in August 2012, that elderly patients on her ward were being drugged with powerful sedatives Zopiclone and Temazepam.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.carmarthenjournal.co.uk/Hospital-nurses-drugged-elderly-patients-quiet/story-24919169-detail/story.html?

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OVER 20,000 VEIW’S ON MY BLOG TO DATE. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE – STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

 

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Norman Lamb has said the NHS must deliver “high quality personalised care” at the end of life.

The minister for care and support was speaking at the launch of Compassion in Dying’s project ‘My Life, My Decision’. Compassion in Dying is a national charity that supports people at the end of life to have what they consider to be a good death by providing information and support around their rights and choices. It is leading provider of free Advance Decisions in the UK and conducts and reviews research into rights and choices in end-of-life care. Lamb said the new Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination Systems (EPaCCS) which is being rolled out across the country will transform the way people can record their end of life care choices, such as whether they want to be resuscitated. The new system will be used by 70% of Clinical Commissioning Groups by April, the minister said, but he wants the rollout to continue beyond that.

Electronic records of end of life care should stop “awful mistakes” where people have been treated against their wishes by NHS staff. The electronic records will allow a range of NHS professionals across the country to see what someone’s palliative care choices are.

Click on the link to read more

http://centrallobby.politicshome.com/latestnews/article-detail/newsarticle/digital-records-to-transform-end-of-life/?

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Chloe Beaney 14 years old is saved after having a successful heart transplant

Great news. I posted on 26th November that Chloe 14 years old was waiting for a heart transplant. Yesterday she got her wish and was given a new heart. My thoughts and prayers go to the family of the donor who unselfishly gave the heart of their loved one to save the life of another. Joanna

Seriously ill teenager Chloe Beaney’s prayers have been answered as she has got a new heart. It has been a race against time to save the 14-year-old as she was in desperate need of a transplant and medics feared she may only have weeks if not days, to live. Yesterday morning Chloe and her family were given the news that a suitable heart had become available and the youngster underwent the life-saving operation within hours.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/chloe-beaney-cramlington-teenager-saved-8193076

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Seven mental health patients died waiting for beds

Seven mental health patients have killed themselves in England since 2012 after being told there were no hospital beds for them, the BBC has learned. An investigation of coroners’ reports and NHS trust papers with the journal Community Care found another patient denied a bed later killed his mother. It comes as mental health beds are being cut in England – figures show more than 2100 have gone since 2011. The NHS England said spending on mental health was increasing in real terms. The investigation by BBC News and Community Care has also revealed an email that a chief executive of a mental health trust wrote to NHS England in frustration this summer after one of her senior officials came to tell her that: “Yet again there were no mental health beds in London in either the NHS or private sector.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30236927?

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Former Haywards Heath agency nurse struck off after stealing drugs

An agency nurse who worked for a specialist unit at a Haywards Heath hospital has been struck off after taking medication he stole. Patrick Cunningham, 41, was working for a healthcare provider First Assist in Purley Surrey, when he was caught stealing Tramadol and Midazalam from sealed bags. He was interviewed at Croydon Police station where he also admitted stealing medication while working as an agency nurse for Hurstwood Park ICU in Haywards Heath, part of Princess Royal Hospital.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.westsussextoday.co.uk/news/county-news/latest-news/former-haywards-heath-agency-nurse-struck-off-after-stealing-drugs-1-6439759

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Kay, My Beautiful Elegant Mother

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