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 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

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Paperback Edition


Kindle Edition


Filed under: Hospital, NHS

Freedom to Speak up Review Seminar 22nd Oct

Fiona Bell attended the Freedom to Speak up Review Seminar yesterday held in Newcastle.

Here is her report. Well done Fiona in taking a stand to help so many…

Good Morning , as promised i’m reporting back on yesterdays meeting with Sir Robert Francis and the speak up review team. I cant tell you it was a perfect meeting or that miracles will happen over night . I can only tell you what stuck out , They were organised, interested and listening. There were people there from the GMC, NHS England, Monitor , Newcastle trust, NTW, Northumberland . The GMC got a tough time ,so did monitor (from me) NHS England were cringing a bit in parts and being seated next the the chap from Monitor – well that allowed me to discuss the new “Fit and proper person rule for CEO’s to come into effect 21st November. What struck me was the young man from the review team , He said straight away Hello Fiona (i didnt know him but he knew me) I read your submission , we all have and for a moment that knocked me sideways . The reassurance I got that I can pass on to others is that every single submission is read . They have got the message loud and clear from our NHS whistle blowers, as to what the end result is i don’t honestly know yet , I asked about families of the bereaved , Sir Robert is aware , very aware that Mid Staffs was not a one off, and there’s the acknowledgment is there is still alot pf work to be done . I know there are many cynics amongst NHS staff & fellow campaigners, all i can say to you is from what I saw there is a group of people on that review team that intend to do their very best with the tools that have been given.


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NHS: Five Year Forward View

The leaders of the NHS England have set out their vision of why the NHS needs to change and their proposals for doing so in a new document, the ‘Five Year Forward View’.

The 40 page document sets out the action that they think needs to be taken on the prevention of ill health, giving patients control of their care, the adoption of new care models and increased funding.

Click on the link to read the full report


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NHS: Money alone won’t buy us better treatment

The battle for the future of the NHS is well under way. And as the general election approaches, two visions for the service are competing for popular and political support.

Both sides recognise that the NHS is under great pressure and that something has to give. The population that it serves is ageing and growing. There will be up to four million more people in England by the end of the decade. The urgency of the new challenges it faces, such as Britain’s poor treatment of mental health, is becoming better understood. Senior figures within the health service believe that the gap between its responsibilities and its budget could amount to £30 billion a year by the end of the decade (compared with its annual budget of around £110 billion).

Click on the link to read more




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Anger over ‘cash for diagnoses’ dementia plan

Family doctors will be paid £55 for every patient they diagnose with dementia under a new NHS England scheme which has been condemned as an “ethical travesty”. Leading GPs said the national project amounted to “cash for diagnoses” – allowing doctors to make a direct profit if they classify patients as suffering from dementia. In some parts of the country, NHS authorities have gone still further – offering family doctors £200 for each new diagnosis made, The Telegraph can reveal.

Click on the link to read more



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Brain scans show cause of seasonal affective disorder

Remember the clocks go back in the UK on Sunday 26th October at 2am

People with Sad have an unhelpful way of controlling the “happy” brain signalling compound serotonin during winter months, brain scans reveal.


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Right-to-die campaigner’s daughter: ‘Law does not need to be changed’

The daughter of an 86-year-old woman who starved herself to death said she did not believe the law should be changed to support assisted suicide. Bronwen Davies admitted that she was “very shocked and very upset” about Jean Davies’s decision to end her life. But despite the agony of watching her deteriorate over the course of five weeks, she said her mother had proved that those who wanted to die did have the power to take their own lives.



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Live-in nursing could help older people stay at home

Nurses can provide 24/7 medical and personal care that is cheaper than keeping a person in an NHS bed

When asked about the care they would like to receive in old age, the overwhelming majority of people say care in their own home is their ideal choice. Our recent survey of 2,000 adults found just 3% of people would choose a residential home as their ideal, and yet many end up with this as a default option.

Our Care Choice Gap report   based on the survey, calls on NHS commissioners, local authorities and individuals to think about ways to meet increasing care needs.

The NHS and local authorities are struggling to cope with the demands of an ageing population and the increasing co-morbidities affecting many older people. Traditional packages of care are under increasing strain and appear unable to offer the person-centred, at home support that older people say they want.

Click on the link to read more

Hospital Ward


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Is this the most shaming hospital care scandal ever? Dementia patients restrained and their broken limbs ignored by swearing staff who claimed an exposé by desperate relatives was a breach of their human rights…

One of Britain’s most shocking hospital scandals in which dementia patients died after cruel abuse by nurses is exposed today. Elderly patients at an NHS hospital were left covered in faeces, injured themselves crawling on urine covered floors and were physically restrained with tables and chairs. Nurses threatened and swore at them, left them naked and taunted them about their past love lives. Hospital chiefs ignored repeated protests by relatives but were forced to act after a recording on a mobile phone camera smuggled into the hospital proved they were telling the truth.

The recording – the explosive contents of which have been obtained by this newspaper following an in-depth investigation – shows that nurses at a patient care meeting:

  • Admitted using furniture to restrain patients
  • Threatened and swore at them
  • Plotted to sabotage relatives’ complaints
  • Talked about their own sexual habits using disgusting language

An independent report into the scandal, including extracts from the recording, has been sent to police, health chiefs and Government Ministers. One senior figure who has seen it said: ‘It is the most shocking document I have ever read.’

Click on the link to read more


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CQC report: More than half of NHS hospitals ‘require improvement’ and at least five are ‘inadequate’

Patient safety is being put at risk by an “unacceptable” postcode lottery in the quality of NHS care, the hospital watchdog has warned in its annual report. The Care Quality Commission said that while its inspectors had found frontline staff to be caring almost across the board, too many hospitals were poorly led and failing to adequately keep patients safe. Their findings are based on a year of new-style inspections in which half of England’s NHS hospitals, as well as a number of GP surgeries and care homes, have been rated.

Click on the link to read more


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Ebola crisis: Vaccine ‘too late’ for outbreak

UK pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline says its Ebola vaccine will “come too late” for the current epidemic. GSK is one of several companies trying to fast-track a vaccine to prevent the spread of Ebola in West Africa. But Dr Ripley Ballou, head of GSK’s Ebola vaccine research, said full data on its safety and efficacy would not be ready until late 2015. The World Health Organization (WHO) says more than 9,000 people have been infected and more than 4,500 have died.



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One important reason why healthcare whistleblowers need to be protected – by Amanda Nieweler | WhistleBlower Security

Because they have first sight into the safety and treatment of patients

There’s been much in the media spotlight lately around UK healthcare whistleblowers. The scandal-hit Stafford Hospital has had it’s fair share of spotlight over questionable treatment of patients, and many patient deaths, that could have been prevented if only those in charge actually took seriously, the concerns raised from employees.

Click on the link to read more





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Ebola could mutate into airborne virus that is caught like a cold, says medical doctor and presenter Lord Robert Winston

The virus that has so far claimed more than 4,000 lives could mutate into an airborne virus that is caught like a common cold, says Lord Robert Winston. The medical doctor known for presenting scientific TV programs said that Ebola could mutate into an airborne virus that is caught like a common cold. He was reacting to Health Minister Earl Howe’s remark at the House of Commons that the Ebola risk to British people “remains low”. At the moment the disease is passed through bodily contact or fluids such as blood and sweat, but the contagion risk would increase if the virus became airborne.

Click on the link to read more



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HealthWatch England – What are the solutions?

Change so far has only tinkered with the existing bureaucratic arrangements for complaints handling, and largely looked at things from the system’s perspective.

This is the wrong starting point for change.

Click on the link to post your comments


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Parents long wait for truth on baby’s death may be over

Anne and Graeme Dixon have spent the past 13 years investigating the death of their 11-month-old daughter, Elizabeth, and the treatment she received after her birth. Now, due to recent changes in the way the parliamentary and health service ombudsman (PHSO) works, they believe they could be a step closer to finding some answers. Elizabeth was born eight weeks early, in 2000, in Frimley Park hospital in Surrey. Immediately after birth, her blood pressure began to rise but was left untreated until she was transferred to Great Ormond Street hospital some two weeks later. By that time, Elizabeth had suffered severe brain damage. It was another 10 months before the Dixons were able to take their daughter home. Then, just days before her first birthday, Elizabeth died during the night, after her breathing tube became blocked when an agency nurse failed to maintain it.

Click on the link to read more


Graeme and Anne Dixon whose baby Elizabeth died 13 years ago


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Ombudsman comments on Healthwatch England report

Julie Mellor, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman said:

“We sit at the apex of the complaints system and investigate complaints that individuals have been treated unfairly, received poor service where people are not satisfied with the response to a complaint from the NHS in England.

“We support Healthwatch England’s recommendations for replacing the current fragmented support and advocacy system with a more easily accessible system. We believe there should be national standards for complaints advocacy and one brand so that people know where to turn to for support when making a complaint.



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Report finds failure to address patient concerns

The extent of the NHS’ failure to address patient concerns has been revealed in a report released today. Healthwatch England says health professionals often refuse to say sorry, show no compassion and in some cases patients feel bullied if they complain about their care. Patients and care users describe the experience as a nightmare and a waste of time. We chat to Anna Bradley, chair of HealthWatch England and Erika Irwin, whose daughter Gemma died of cervical cancer last month


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Buzzer in your brain to boost dementia drugs: Device that ‘opens up’ brain could allow treatments to be vastly more effective

Scientists have developed a device that acts like a key in the brain, ‘opening’ it up to allow drugs for conditions such as dementia and cancer to be vastly more effective and trigger fewer side-effects. A device about the size of a 5p piece is inserted into the skull where it emits low-level sound waves that make it easier for drugs to pass through the defences of the brain, known as the blood-brain barrier. The blood vessels in the brain have a much tougher lining compared with blood vessels in the rest of the body – the cells in the former are very tightly packed, which stops most compounds or potential toxins escaping out of the blood vessels and harming the surrounding brain cells.

Click on the link to read more



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Half of patients failed by NHS never hear the word ‘sorry

Half of patients failed by NHS never hear the word ‘sorry': Just one in three feel they are taken seriously when they raise complaints

Fewer than half of those who complain to the NHS ever receive an apology, a report revealed yesterday. Only one in three patients feel they are taken seriously when they raise examples of poor care, the official complaints watchdog warned. Healthwatch England said the complaints handling process was ‘utterly bewildering and often ineffective’ – with far too many people put off by red tape or bounced round the system until they simply give up.  One exhausted patient told the watchdog: ‘This fight has robbed me of my flesh, dignity and energy.’ Another said: ‘There has been no outcome to my complaint – simply more distress, inconvenience, injury and injustice.

Click on the link to read more



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Healthcare strikes have worked before – could they save the NHS? written by Dr NEIL SINGH

Today is the first NHS strike since action over pay 32 years ago; health workers at the frontline know that if they do not act soon, the NHS will decompensate and fail.

Click on the link to read


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New guidance says CPR conversations must be ‘sensitive but realistic’ By Jo Stephenson – Nursing

New guidance on cardiopulmonary resuscitation makes it clear clinicians should talk to frail patients about whether to attempt it at the earliest opportunity, despite recent concerns these conversations were not being handled sensitively.

The updated CPR guidance, issued by the British Medical Association, Resuscitation Council and the Royal College of Nursing, emphasises the value of making decisions about whether to attempt CPR in advance of a crisis where possible.

But it stresses these conversations should be undertaken by “healthcare professionals necessary training and expertise”, and carried out in a “sensitive but realistic manner”.

Click on the link to read more


Click on link to read the guidance on Decisions Relating to CPR



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‘I HAVEN’T decided to die’, says Lynda Bellingham, as she urges others to talk about ‘unsexy’ diseases like bowel cancer

Lynda Bellingham gives her first TV interview about coming to terms with her terminal cancer diagnosis, and how she hopes her story will help others in the same situation.

Lynda Bellingham says she has not ‘chosen to die’, despite the fact she plans to stop having chemotherapy for bowel cancer.  The 66-year-old actress has spoken at length in the past fortnight about her diagnosis and treatment, since announcing her condition was terminal. Today she said she had taken the decision about chemotherapy while at her wit’s end with the pain and side effects of the treatment – and had wanted to get some control back over her life.

Click on the link to read more

Click on the link to watch her TV interview on BBC Breakfast


“BREAKING NEWS: 20th October: Actress Lynda Bellingham died in her husband’s arms yesterday after losing battle with cancer”

She was such an inspiration to so many suffering from Cancer. RIP Lynda



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‘Mum test’ guidelines are ‘another piece of spin’

Fresh guidelines brought in to improve standards in elderly care homes are “just another piece of spin” and a “rehash” of the old rules, according to one campaigner.

Eileen Chub, who founded charity Compassion in Care, told Good Morning Britain: “They just ask the same questions in a different way, and the abuse continues – and the abuse will continue with this as well.”

Click on the link to see the video


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Ebola outbreak: Live updates as 4 NHS hospitals are put on standby to deal with killer disease

The UK’s chief medical officer has told medics to watch for symptoms in patients – just a day after a Madrid nurse caught the virus in Spain
Four major NHS hospitals have been put on standby to deal with a mass  outbreak of Ebola in the UK
The four hospitals on standby include the Royal Free in north London, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals foundation trust.

Click on the link to read more



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‘More doctors than ever’ coming to UK from Europe

There are “more doctors than ever” coming to work in Britain from Europe, says the General Medical Council. Southern Europe now provides more doctors than South Asia to the UK, which was previously the main source. The GMC said the tightening of immigration rules for people outside the continent could explain the change. In an annual report the regulator also said more women were working in “traditionally male” areas such as surgery and emergency medicine. It said the profession would soon have equal numbers of men and women.

In total, the number of doctors coming to Britain from overseas increased 8% from 5,204 in 2008 to 5,619 in 2013. Of these, in 2008, 18% were from southern Europe and 28% from South Asia. This changed to 33% from southern Europe and 20% from South Asia in 2013. Overall there were 259,650 doctors in the UK in 2013.

Click on the link to read more



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Policy Paper – Mental health services: achieving better access by 2020 – First published: 8 October 2014

Sets out national waiting time standards from April 2015 and plans to provide better access to mental health services over the next 5 years.

This report shows what action the government is taking to provide better access to care in mental health services within the next year, including national waiting time standards for the first time. It also sets out its vision for further progress by 2020.

From April 2015, the following will be guaranteed:

  • treatment within 6 weeks for 75% of people referred to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme, with 95% of people being treated within 18 weeks
  • treatment within 2 weeks for more than 50% of people experiencing a first episode of psychosis

Targeted investment will also help people in crisis to get effective support in more acute hospitals. This plan will start to ensure that mental and physical health services are given equal priority by 2020.

Click on the link to download pdf document





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The patients kept in filth: NHS-funded private mental health hospital in police probe after whistleblower uploads videos of the horrendous conditions

An NHS-funded mental hospital is being investigated by police and an employee has been charged with assault after concerns were raised about patients’ safety there. Police were alerted to problems at the privately run Uplands Independent Hospital in Fareham, Hampshire, after a member of staff who was leaving filmed the ‘filthy’ conditions the patients lived in. The whistleblower’s video showed soiled mattresses, surfaces covered with cigarette ash, stained carpets and congealing food in the hospital which currently cares for 21 adults, some of whom have been detained under the Mental Health Act. After he uploaded his silent video tour of the home, which begins with the words ‘No words needed’, it prompted hospital regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to send investigators to inspect Uplands unannounced in August.

Click on the link to read more

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Whistle blowing doctor finalises legal claim for unfair dismissal

THE NHS has failed to stop a leading Midland doctor dealing with family planning, contraception and sexual health in Redditch and Bromsgrove from finalising her legal claim for unfair dismissal after making whistle blowing complaints about the way certain services were run. But Dr Poornima Prabhu complained at Birmingham Employment Tribunal about delays in progressing with her claim against the Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust after the respondents’ application to strike out her case failed.

Click on the link to read more



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NHS funding and finances – The Kings Fund

The NHS is going through the biggest financial squeeze in its history. Since 2010, its budget has effectively been frozen, increasing by just enough to cover inflation. While this is generous compared to other areas of public spending, increasing demand for care means that services are under huge pressure.

The NHS has responded well to these challenges but financial pressures are growing, with large numbers of hospitals now in deficit. Looking further ahead, pressure to spend more will grow as the costs of treatment rise, public expectations increase and the population continues to age. Here is a selection of our research, analysis and other content relating to NHS funding and finances.

Please click on the link to download pdf’s



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NHS funding crisis: Boss warns of £75-a-night charge for a hospital bed

The NHS may have to start charging patients for the “hotel costs” of their hospital stay if the health service’s looming financial crisis is not addressed, senior health service managers have warned. Hospital bosses will need to “think the unthinkable” if future NHS funding fails to keep up with patient demand, said Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which speaks on behalf of all health service commissioners and providers.

Click on the link to read more




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NHS and social care ‘at breaking point’, medics and charities warn, It cannot go on

The NHS and social care services are “at breaking point”, a group of leading medical groups and charities have said. Writing in the Independent, they said the NHS had been through its “longest and most damaging budget squeeze” ever. The letter says patient care and staff morale have suffered, adding: “Things cannot go on like this.” It is addressed to the leaders of the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats – all three parties have made major NHS pledges in recent days.

Leading figures from the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, the Alzheimer’s Society, the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Faculty of Public Health are among those who have signed the letter.

Click on the link to read more

Click on the link to read The NHS timebomb letter:



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NHS England consults on plans for a sustainable Cancer Drugs Fund

NHS England is proposing changes to the way its Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) operates, in order that it delivers maximum benefit for patients, within the resources available.Clinicians and cancer specialists believe the changes, if adopted, would:

  • improve patient access to the most clinically effective drugs available through the fund;
  • encourage pricing that delivers value for money for patients and the public; and
  • put the fund on a much firmer footing for the future, as it faces increasing demand and growing financial pressure.

Please click on the link to read more



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Miracle of life – From conception to birth

Did you know that we are all miracles?
After watching this you will know, that life is truly a miracle.

Please click on the link to view, just beautiful. Enjoy my friends

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NHS patients in England to have online medical records by April 2015

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has promised all NHS patients in England will have online access to their medical records by April 2015. Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Hunt claimed England will be the first country in the world to offer such access to patient data. “It means you will no longer have to pay to access your medical record. You’ll be able to see it and show it to anyone you choose. You’ll find it easier to do detailed research about your condition and easier to challenge decisions. Because the boss is not the doctor – it’s you,” he said.

Click on the link to read more



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Four-year-old girl who suffered brain damage when born to receive NHS payout

A four-year-old girl from Aldridge who suffered brain damage when she was born, is set for a compensation package from the NHS after hospital chiefs admitted making mistakes when she was delivered.

Click on the link to read more



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NHS funding crisis set to hit cancer patients

Cancer patients will have to wait months to be diagnosed after visiting their GP as the NHS here faces a financial meltdown, it was warned yesterday. People at risk of stroke and those with debilitating and life-limiting conditions will also be caught up in the growing crisis. Health chiefs also said the NHS needs a £21million injection or the number of people waiting at least 15 weeks for a first hospital appointment will rise by 20,000. A leading GP claimed the predicted rise in waiting times will be disastrous for sufferers.

Click on the link to read more



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End of life expert claims new framework permits use of controversial pathway – By Jo Stephenson – Nursing Times.Net

Clinicians are continuing to use the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway for end of life, despite a major review concluding it should be scrapped last year, Nursing Times has been told.

The review, led by Baroness Neuberger, was sparked by a series of national media stories that strongly criticised the care framework and led to it being dubbed a “death pathway”. The review recommended it should be phased out in favour of individual care plans.

Click on the pdf to read more

End of life expert claims new framework permits use of controversial pathway Nursing Times




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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.

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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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Kay, My Beautiful Elegant Mother

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