Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

The Last Six Months

My mother Kay passed away 12 years ago. Not a day goes past without my mother in my thoughts.

I documented my mother’s last 6 months in hospital and The Mail on Sunday published extracts of her story in June 2011

After many years I self-published her story in a book as I found it very cathartic to put pen to paper to tell her story ….. ‘The Last Six Months’

New Phototastic Collage 11

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Time to Remember

“All we have of freedom, all we use or know – This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.” “Lest we forget”


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* Welcome to Strength in Numbers *

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented”

Quote from Elie Wiesel

My Mother’s Story

I self-published a book called ‘The Last Six Months’ documenting every day of the six months when my mother Kay originally went into hospital for a routine hip operation. Whilst still in hospital sadly six months later she died after a series of tragic events.

Writing is very cathartic, and it helped me to release the sadness I had. The book also contains 50 more heartbreaking stories sent to me by my followers.

Buy on  or Amazon Kindle

Book cover

Twitter icon-twitter  @joannaslater

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50% of millennials would pick CBD oil over prescriptions for mental health

Eos Scientific has commissioned research across a sample of more than 2000 UK adults exploring the growing shift in health-conscious millennials seeking CBD oil over prescriptions for mental health

The proportion of NHS A&E patients seen within four hours has fallen dramatically, leaving many people in need of immediate care waiting for longer periods to be seen.

When it comes to mental health, the NHS is providing additional funding to better service the rising number of people seeking support in this area.

However, does it do enough to challenge the fears surrounding the strength of prescription medicines and their side-effects?

Click on the link to read more


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Elderly people should take MARIJUANA to ease aches and pains, study claims

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Researchers from Dent Neurologic Institute claim that medical marijuana eases pain, anxiety and sleep disorders in elderly people

Medical marijuana eases pain, anxiety and sleep disorders in elderly people with neurological conditions, according to new research.

After just four months it helps those caused by chronic disorders including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosismotor neurone disease and spinal cord or nerve damage.

About seven in ten (69%) reported some improvement after taking cannabis for four months.

As well as being safe and effective, it also caused a third of patients to reduce their use of powerful opioids that can lead to addiction.

Click on the link to read more:



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Has your operation been cancelled? Please share your experiences with us by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

  • WhatsApp: +447555 173285
  • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
  • Upload your pictures / video here
  • Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100


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Health secretary Jeremy Hunt sorry as A&Es struggle to cope

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has apologised to patients in England who have had their operations postponed. Non-urgent treatments had already been cancelled until mid-January, but NHS England said on Tuesday that would now be extended to the end of the month.

It came after hospitals reported they were struggling to cope with the surge in patients being seen since Christmas. At least 17 hospital trusts – one in 10 – have declared a major incident in the last 24 hours, the BBC understands.

Bosses said they had been forced into the move as patients were experiencing long waits in A&E and being left on trolleys in corridors because there were no beds available.

Click on the link to read more



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The Daily Mirror is calling for a ban on NHS hospital car park charges. Please sign the petition

One of the founding principles of the NHS is it is free at the point of access. Whatever your background, finances or circumstances you should not have to pay for treatment.

Increasingly lucrative car parking charges at NHS hospitals make a mockery of this important concept.

The Daily Mirror is calling on the Government to end the scandalous stealth tax on the sick.

  • My mother was in hospital for 6 months and my sister and I went to see our mum every day for 6 months and stayed at least 3 hours each, it cost us a fortune in parking fees as it does for many others. Please sign the petition.

Please click on the link to sign:

This petition will be delivered to:


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Map: Which CCGs are most at risk from the GP ‘retirement timebomb’?

General practice is facing a growing workforce crisis, with the proportion of GPs aged over 55 rising steadily. GPonline looks at which CCGs face the worst of what the BMA has called a ‘retirement timebomb’.

Click on the link to read more


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Stephen Hawking blames Tory politicians for damaging NHS

Exclusive: Physicist criticises ministers over funding cuts, privatisation and pay caps before address revealing his reliance on health service

Stephen Hawking has accused ministers of damaging the NHS, blaming the Conservatives in a passionate and sustained attack for slashing funding, weakening the health service though privatisation, demoralising staff by curbing pay and cutting social care support.

The renowned 75-year-old physicist was speaking to promote an address he will give on Saturday outlining how he owes his long life and achievements to the NHS care he received, and setting out his fears for a service he believes is being turned into “a US-style insurance system”.


Click on the link to read more


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The Government is lying when they say mental health services are getting better – it’s time we did something about it

Mental health is as much a priority in Westminster as reducing the happy hour in the Commons bar.

Pre-election Theresa May was so confident as she pledged to prioritise mental health as part of her election promises. So sure was she that the Tories would do everything they could to revolutionise the mental health strategy and put the people first.

And, although a lot can change in politics, one thing has remained consistent throughout the years – mental health is as much a priority in Westminster as reducing happy hour in the Commons bar.

Year after year we are told by the experts that we are at breaking point. That the services are beyond the salami slicing process and are hitting bone.

And year after year they plea to those in charge to act on their words, to take reasonable action and to see the mental health epidemic for what it is. We sit and watch and wait as the Government do nothing at all.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Mental Health, Uncategorized,

MyNotes Medical – Download the app to your mobile or tablet.

The MyNotes Medical program has been designed to help people care for themselves, their loved ones and their patients (even if they are carers or health practitioners)   


MyNotes Medical

The MyNotes Medical program has been designed to help people care for themselves, their loved ones and their patients (even if they are carers or health practitioners)

Users of the app can keep and share accurate and accessible records of their health condition and treatment at the tap of a finger.

To Take Notes: Recording robust written, audio and visual notes with the MyNotes Medical app enables patients to be more “informed, involved and engaged in getting better”.

The rich, chronological event log of text, audio, video and photo notes is automatically built and secured in a searchable format by the MyNotes Medical app. Users of the MyNotes Medical app can easily add their personal information and details of treatment, medications, and appointments.

To Share Notes: MyNotes Medical users can easily refer to and share all of these details – including an accurate record of what was said as treatment progresses.

To Research Health Issues between visits to the doctor or consultant, MyNotes Medical allows patients and carers to review and share recordings of the consultation/diagnosis with friends and family and to research vetted sites about related healthcare issues.


Available on Android

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Staffing crisis leaves NHS on brink of another Mid Staffs disaster, nurses warn

Exclusive: The Royal College of Nursing is giving the Government a ‘final warning’

Nurses are warning Theresa May that dire staffing shortages have left the NHS on the brink of another Mid Staffs hospital scandal, putting hundreds of lives at risk.

Royal College of Nursing chief executive Janet Davies said the Government has failed to respond to clear and alarming signals that the tragedy she called “inevitable” is about to happen again.


Click on the link to read more


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GP statistics available to public through new data hub

The public can now access a wide range of statistical information on GP practices from across England, with the launch of a new data hub.

NHS Digital’s GP Data Hub, which launched in April, aims to bring together data from GP practises in an easily accessible format.

Over the next six months NHS Digital will add more figures from a variety of health areas onto the unique hub.

“Currently it has Qualities Outcomes Framework (QOF) data, patient list size, as well as indicators about people with learning disabilities,” an NHS Digital spokesman said.

Click on the link to read


Filed under: GP's, NHS, Uncategorized,

30,000 excess deaths in 2015 linked to cuts in health and social care

imgres Researchers exploring why there has been a substantial increase in mortality in England and Wales in 2015 conclude that failures in the health and social care system linked to disinvestment are likely to be the main cause.

There were 30,000 excess deaths in 2015, representing the largest increase in deaths in the post-war period. The excess deaths, which included a large spike in January that year, were largely in the older population who are most dependent on health and social care. Reporting their analysis in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the researchers from the University of Oxford with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine,  and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, tested four possible explanations for the January 2015 spike in mortality.

After ruling out data errors, cold weather and flu as main causes for the spike, the researchers found that NHS performance data revealed clear evidence of health system failures. Almost all targets were missed including ambulance call-out times and A&E waiting times, despite unexceptional A&E attendances compared to the same month in previous years. Staff absence rates rose and more posts remained empty as staff had not been appointed.

The researchers say that there are already worrying signs of an increase in mortality in 2016. Without urgent intervention, they say, there must be concern that this trend will continue.

Click on the link to read more



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Exclusive: Morecambe Bay inquiry chair to lead new investigation into baby Lizzie Dixon death By Shaun Lintern Senior correspondent for Nursing Times

Jeremy Hunt has appointed Dr Bill Kirkup to lead an investigation into the death of baby whose case has exposed “regulatory gaps” and “significant risks” in the care of sick children.

Dr Kirkup led the inquiry into maternity failings at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and also led an investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile at Broadmoor Hospital.

An independent report in 2013 confirmed that Elizabeth Dixon had been left permanently brain damaged after staff at Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust failed to monitor or treat high blood pressure following her premature birth in 2000.

Less than a year later, she suffocated to death when a newly qualified nurse failed to keep her breathing tube clear. 

In a handwritten note on a letter to Elizabeth’s parents last week, Mr Hunt said: “I do hope the appointment of Dr Kirkup will give you confidence that we are totally determined to get to the bottom of what happened and learn the necessary lessons.”

Click on the link to read the full article



Elizabeth Dixon


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My mum’s care means that decisions not to resuscitate must now be discussed with patients by Kate Masters

Doctors as well as patients should talk more openly about dying, death, and care at the end of life, says one of Janet Tracey’s daughters, Kate Masters.

In March 2011 my mum, Janet Tracey, died in hospital. She’d broken her neck in a car accident; she also had terminal cancer. Care in her final days seemed dictated by a form with a funny acronym: DNACPR, which I now know means “Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation.”

Mum was often intubated and communicated with pen and paper. “Please do not exclude me,” she wrote. Her medical notes recorded that she wanted to be involved in discussions about her care. But, when doctors decided that she would not survive resuscitation, they didn’t discuss it with her. This medical decision was in my mum’s best interests, they told the family. They didn’t mention DNR, DNAR, DNACPR, or the red edged form documenting the decision and conversation.

Mum had already had two failed extubations, and we were told that she might die when they tried again. But she didn’t. She spent that afternoon chatting with us and asked for a Burger King.


We were elated that she was feeling better. Staff said not to worry about the “DNACPR form” on my mum’s file, but a few days later my sister looked it up online and asked the hospital to remove it. Mum didn’t want that form, and now conversations with staff about it were frightening her. On one day her notes made more mention of the form than anything else.

Click on the link to read more


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My best friend Marsha’s daughter Lauren is desperately trying to raise money for Jeyda and Sherri her mum, please help.

Jeyda is 21 years old and was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis – a rare form of juvenile arthritis – 8 years ago. It developed into uveitis – inflammation of the eye, in both eyes – not long after. She maintained it fairly well until recently, when she had a huge flare up that has left her with very little vision, a hugely inflamed spine that has left her wheelchair-bound, and a new diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, all before her 21st birthday.

Her amazingly strong and inspirational mother, Sherri, has supported her relentlessly but has had to give up work to stay with Jeyda in the hospital. She is a single mum with no support and they need some help to get them through this time.

We can’t cure Jeyda instantly, but we can help this amazing family financially if we all give just a little bit.

Jeyda should be in her third year of university, going traveling with her friends and enjoying these years but instead she is in a hospital bed in UCLH. Please help to help them…

Please click on the link to help

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NHS accused of covering up huge data loss that put thousands at risk

Exclusive: More than 500,000 pieces of patient data between GPs and hospitals went undelivered between 2011 and 2016

Thousands of patients are feared to have been harmed after the NHS lost more than half a million pieces of confidential medical correspondence, including test results and treatment plans.

In one of the biggest losses of sensitive clinical information in the NHS’s 69-year history, more than 500,000 pieces of patient data sent between GP’s and hospitals went undelivered over the five years from 2011 to 2016.

The mislaid documents, which range from screening results to blood tests to diagnoses, failed to reach their intended recipients because the company meant to ensure their delivery mistakenly stored them in a warehouse.

NHS England has quietly launched an inquiry to discover how many patients have been affected. So far 2,500 cases that require further investigation to discover potential for harm have been identified. The NHS is spending millions of pounds paying doctors to assess the scale of the medical impact

It is also undertaking a clinical review of patients who have died since the loss of documents was discovered in March 2016 to examine whether delays in material reaching GPs played any part in any patient’s death.

The correspondence included the results of blood and urine tests, and of biopsies and screening tests for diseases including cancer. It also included letters containing details of patients’ visits to hospital, including to oncology clinics and information about what they had been diagnosed with after visiting A&E. Other paperwork that went astray included summaries of the care patients had received while in hospital. Some involved material related to cases of child protection.

In total, 708,000 pieces of correspondence were undelivered. However, 200,000 of these were not clinically relevant as they were temporary change of address forms.

Click on the link to read more


The mislaid documents, which included screening results and diagnoses, were accidentally left to languish in a warehouse. Photograph: Medical Research Council/Douglas/PA

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BBC war reporter, 49, flies to Mexico for a £62,000 MS operation after being refused NHS treatment

  • Caroline Wyatt travelled to a private hospital in Puebla in January
  • The neurological condition affects victims ability to swallow, see and think 
  • MS doctors used her own stem cells to ‘regrow’ her immune system 
  • She lost all her hair after the treatment and felt as ‘vulnerable as a newborn’   

A former BBC war correspondent has been forced to spend £62,000 of her own money after being refused NHS treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Caroline Wyatt, 49, flew to Mexico for groundbreaking therapy for her crippling neurological condition. The illness, which affects the brain and the spinal cord, makes it hard for victims to balance, gives them double vision and even affects their ability to swallow and to think.

Click on the link to read more

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Miss Wyatt traveled to a private hospital in Puebla, two hours south of Mexico City, and started treatment in January. In the grueling operation, MS doctors use the patients healthy stem cells to ‘re-grow’ their immune system. Pictured right, Miss Wyatt receiving treatment

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NHS crisis tracker – What’s the state of the NHS crisis in your area? Check here

The NHS funding crisis might seem huge, overwhelming, and frightening. But thousands of 38 Degrees members created the NHS Crisis Tracker – a map to help you find out the truth about how the NHS funding crisis affects you. Click to find out more now.

Click on the link to check your area


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Bed-blocking: ‘Managers ask how long patient will live’

Fighting to hold back her tears, an A&E nurse has told 5 live Investigates: “I really struggle when management comment and they ask how many hours will the patient be alive for… because we need the bed.”

The bed-blocking crisis in A&E departments in England is worse than ever before according to the British Medical Association.

One of the biggest problems is delays in social care assessments which means patients are stranded in hospital because there aren’t care packages for them when they leave.

This clip is originally from 5 live Investigates on Sunday 22 January 2017



Filed under: A&E, Uncategorized,

Government has tried to ‘scapegoat’ GPs for NHS crisis, say angry GP leaders

GP leaders have slammed attempts to ‘scapegoat’ GPs for the NHS crisis, after widespread reports that Downing Street sources had blamed GPs for making patients suffer by failing to provide enough access to appointments.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the cause of the crisis engulfing parts of the health service was underfunding, and warned this was ‘not the time to deflect blame or scapegoat overstretched GP services’.

Conservative MP and former GP Dr Sarah Wollaston called comments attributed to Downing Street ‘beyond belief’.

Reports over the weekend suggested that some practice funding could in future be linked to the requirement to open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week unless they can prove there is no local demand.

Click on the link to read more



GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul

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How can this be happening?

A young lady 37 years old who for 15 years ago has had mental health issues which leads her to drink. When under the influence of alcohol she is aggressive and verbally and physically abusive which has led to her being taken away by the police from her family home where she lives with her mother and father in their early 70’s and put in a cell to dry out.

When she dries out she is remorseful and cannot remember what has happened. She has been taken to hospital on many occasions only to be told that after the psychiatric team have assessed her she is fit to return home.

The last episode was a few nights ago when the hospital phoned her parents and said they are sending her home at 2.30 in the morning as nothing is wrong.

She is slowly killing herself but no one will help. A once a week counseling session is not enough. She needs 24-hour care 7 days a week to get to the very heart of her troubled mind which she only finds comfort in alcohol.

What will it take for someone to help? Will she just become another statistic when she dies?

How do her parents get the health professionals to listen and believe that she is ill.

Please give me your thoughts and how can they get help.

Mental health symbol conceptual design isolated on white background


Filed under: Mental Health, Uncategorized, ,

Tory Health chair says Theresa May risks allowing NHS crisis to worsen as she is ‘distracted by Brexit’

Tory MP Sarah Wollaston also said the Prime Minister’s claim that the NHS had been given “more funding than they required” was untrue

She declared Theresa May’s claim that “In fact, we gave [the NHS] more funding than they required” was untrue.

She said: “I don’t think that is strictly true. The term the government uses with a £10 billion figure, what that does just refer to is NHS England spending but there were transfers of other budgets into that which we would normally think of as health spending. It also refers to a longer time period – six years rather than five – so it changes the basis where we would calculate what’s called a ‘real terms increase’”

“So yes, you can see how the government’s reached that figure, but the committee felt that a fairer figure if we’re using the usual measures, was actually £4.5 billion which is a very different number.”

Click on the link to read more


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I’m a junior doctor in the NHS, and I’m terrified for this winter… By Aislinn Macklin-Doherty

The deaths in Worcestershire are tragically no surprise. Decades of reshuffling, top-down disorganisation, and now private sector demands have hammered the NHS, and it can barely cope any more.

Widespread concerns that the NHS will face the “toughest winter ever” are not exaggerated or unfounded – just look at the terrible news today from Worcestershire. We really should be worried for ourselves and our relatives. As a junior doctor and a researcher looking after cancer patients in the NHS, I am terrified by the prospect of what the next few months will bring. But we must not forget this is entirely preventable.

Click on the link to read more



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‘Humanitarian crisis’ in NHS hospitals, warns Red Cross

There is a “humanitarian crisis” in NHS hospitals in England, the British Red Cross has said

The charity said volunteers and staff had been helping patients get home from hospital and called for more government money to stabilise the situation.

It comes as a third of hospital trusts in England warned they needed action to cope with patient numbers last month. NHS England said plans were in place to deal with winter pressure and beds were not as full as this time last year.

Figures show that 42 A&E departments ordered ambulances to divert to other hospitals last week – double the number during the same period in 2015.

Click on the link to read more


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‘Inaccurate and incomplete’ nurse record keeping raises safety concerns, warn researchers… BY NICOLA MERRIFIELD Deputy news editor Nursing Times

Patient care information is often being recorded by nurses in an “inaccurate, inconsistent, repetitive and incomplete” way, leading to potential safety concerns, according to researchers.

A study at a large acute trust in England, which was led by researchers in Nottingham, found nurses sometimes completed documentation retrospectively without full knowledge that care had actually been completed.

One nurse in the study described a case in which a patient collapsed, but when their notes were consulted there was no information about why they had been admitted.

In other instances, documentation had been filled in before nurses had carried out procedures to ensure they did not forget ahead of any potential audits.

The researchers – Liz Charalambous, a staff nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, and Sarah Goldberg, a professor in older persons’ care at Nottingham University – also heard nurses that could not always find the information they needed, despite it being recorded in several places.

Missing information, errors and duplications were partly being caused by nurses feeling exasperated by the sheer amount of paperwork they had to complete, and the fact they believed it was often repetitive and took them away from patient care, according to the study authors.

The study – titled  ‘Gaps, mishaps and overlaps’. Nursing documentation: How does it affect care? and published in the Journal of Research in Nursing – looked at nurse documentation for older patients on acute wards in England. It involved in-depth interviews at the start of 2015, with eight nurses employed by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Click on the link to read the full Nursing Times article…  patient-care-information


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Questions over efficiency of NHS referral management centres

NHS bodies are paying millions of pounds to private firms that stop patients being referred to hospital by their GP, an investigation has found.

NHS bodies are paying millions of pounds to private firms that stop patients being referred to hospital by their GP, an investigation has found. Controversial referral management centres are used by some clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to scrutinise patient referrals to hospitals by family doctors.

 Supporters say they can cut down on inappropriate referrals, saving the NHS money, but critics argue that adding an extra layer of scrutiny can risk delaying diagnosis for the patient. There is also a question mark over how effective such schemes are.

In a new investigation, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) sent freedom of information requests to all 211 CCGs in England. Of 184 that responded, 72 (39%) said they currently commissioned some form of referral management scheme to help manage outpatient demand at their local hospitals.

Almost a third (32%) of the schemes are provided by private companies, while a further 29% are provided in house and 11% by local NHS trusts. Some 69% of CCGs with schemes gave details of operating costs. These CCGs combined have spent at least £57m on schemes since April 2013.

Most CCGs were unable to provide evidence showing the scheme saved money. Only 14% could show that the scheme had saved more cash than it had cost to operate, while 12% showed that their schemes had not saved money overall.

Meanwhile, 74% of CCGs (53 groups) failed to supply figures to show whether any money had been saved, the BMJ reported.

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: GP's, NHS, Uncategorized, ,

Dad DIES 10 months after Job Centre bosses told his doctor not to write any more sick notes

The DWP wrote to James Harrison’s doctor behind his back and declared him fit for work 10 months before he died

A seriously ill dad died just 10 months after Department for Work and Pensions bosses advised his GP not to write any more sick notes for him. James Harrison had been declared “fit for work” and should not get medical certificates, the letter said.

But 10 months after the DWP contacted his doctor without telling him, James was dead at 55, the Daily Record reported.

His daughter Abbie, 23, said: “It’s a disgrace that managers at the Job Centre, who know nothing about medicine, should interfere in any way in the relationship between a doctor and a patient.

“They have no place at all telling a doctor what they should or shouldn’t give a patient. It has nothing to do with them. “When the Job Centre starts to get involved in telling doctors about the health of their patients, that’s a really slippery slope.”

Click on the link to read more


Abbie and her father James, 55,

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How MyNotes Medical got started by Joanna Slater

Well 3 and a half years later I’m very near with the help of co-founder Brad Meyer, but we need your help to use and test the app. Even if you have an iphone still sigh up and get on the list so we can inform you when we do launch iPhone. Click on the link to sign up

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Document all your health issues for you and your loved ones. MyNotes Medical download today


We are currently looking for people only with “Android mobile devices” (phone or tablet) to use and test our app so MyNotes Medical will be the number one health documentation app available.

Click on this link  and please fill out the form to become one of testers and information how to download.                       Phase 2 iOS (iphone) will come at a later date.

In exchange for your early feedback we will give you free access to all upgrades for life to the first 100 people which will make you one of our founder members.

The MyNotes Medical program has been designed to help people protect and care for themselves, their loved ones and their patients (if they are carers or health practitioners.

Users of the app can do this by keeping and sharing accurate and accessible records of a person’s condition and treatment at the tap of a finger.


Recording robust written, audio and visual notes with the MyNotes Medical app enables patients to be more “informed, involved and engaged in getting better”.

The rich, chronological event log of text, audio, video and photo notes is automatically built and secured in a searchable format by the MyNotes Medical app.

Users of the MyNotes Medical app can easily add their personal information and details of treatment, medications and appointments


MyNotes Medical users can easily refer to and share all of these details – including an accurate record of what was said, by whom and when – as treatment progresses.


Between visits to the doctor or consultant, MyNotes Medical allows patients and carers to review and share recordings of the consultation/diagnosis with friends and family and to research vetted sites about related healthcare issues.

Together we can make a difference

MnM concept image 1

Thank you so much, Joanna Slater

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Terminally ill actor Brian Rix calls for assisted dying law change

Terminally ill actor and disability campaigner Brian Rix, 92, has said the law on assisted dying needs changing.

Mencap president Lord Rix urged the speaker of the House of Lords to push through legislation allowing those in his situation to be assisted to die. He had previously opposed an assisted dying law, but said his illness has left him “like a beached whale” and in constant discomfort. “My position has changed,” he wrote to Baroness D’Souza.

Stage and TV actor Lord Rix, who specialised in post-war “Whitehall farce” comedies, is receiving 24-hour care in a retirement home.

Extract from Lord Rix’s letter

“My position has changed. As a dying man, who has been dying now for several weeks, I am only too conscious that the laws of this country make it impossible for people like me to be helped on their way, even though the family is supportive of this position and everything that needs to be done has been dealt with.

“Unhappily, my body seems to be constructed in such a way that it keeps me alive in great discomfort when all I want is to be allowed to slip into a sleep, peacefully, legally and without any threat to the medical or nursing profession.

“I am sure there are many others like me who having finished with life wish their life to finish.

“Only with a legal euthanasia Bill on the statute books will the many people who find themselves in the same situation as me be able to slip away peacefully in their sleep instead of dreading the night.”

Click on the link to read more


Lord Rix opposed the Assisted Dying Bill in 2006

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Big rise in patients falling victim to NHS surgical mistakes

Health campaigners have blamed inadequate staffing and pressure in the NHS for a rise in the number of hospital attendances caused by “mistakes” during medical care.

Between 2005 and 2015, the number of attendances by patients caused by an “unintentional cut, puncture, perforation or haemorrhage during surgical and medical care” rose from 2,193 to 6,082. Peter Walsh, of the charity Action Against Medical Accidents, said that more complex procedures and better reporting of incidents could also partly explain the rise. “I suspect inadequate staffing and increased pressure at work are also factors,” he told the Daily Mail.

Mr Walsh said some surgeons were concerned that their training was not as thorough as it once was. He added: “Of course it is a known risk of surgery that these things happen, but that doesn’t make it OK and much of the time they are really bad errors that are perfectly avoidable. “One of the most common mistakes we hear of during laparoscopic surgery is perforation of the bowel. This is very, very serious and can be fatal if not repaired very quickly.” He also said the the increase was worrying and called for an investigation into its cause.

Click on the link to read more



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Government commits to high quality end of life care

Plans to ensure high quality, compassionate care for everyone at the end of life have been announced by Health Minister Ben Gummer.

The government has made 6 commitments to the public to end variation in end of life care across the health system by 2020. These are:

  • honest discussions between care professionals and dying people
  • dying people making informed choices about their care
  • personalised care plans for all
  • the discussion of personalised care plans with care professionals
  • the involvement of family and carers in dying people’s care
  • a main contact so dying people know who to contact at any time of day

The commitments are in response to an independent review of end of life care.

Click on the link to read more


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GP care plans to prevent hospital admissions not effective, warns CQC

The avoiding unplanned admissions enhanced service has not been effective, according to a report from the CQC.

GP care plans for older patients have ‘varied levels of detail’ and are not seen as an ‘effective document in the wider health and social care system’, a new report into health and care integration for elderly patients said. ‘The Building bridges, breaking barriers’ report looked at existing integration across health and social care and the impact this has on older people, and also noted that there was ‘very little evidence that GPs were sharing care plans with other providers’.

GPs interviewed as part of the research said the ‘resources they had available to respond to their patients’ health issues were insufficient and felt that they did not have enough time to implement tools and undertake care planning in a way that would be meaningful for all of their patients’, the report said. The report also gathered information from GPs about their views on standardised assessment tools and how they used them

‘Many GPs reported using the most commonly used standardised assessment tools. However, even among GPs who used these, some had reservations about doing so because they did not know whether they had been formally validated or accredited,’ said the report.

Click on the link to read more


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Children’s hospital ‘let down by parents’

Following the Independent Review of Children’s Cardiac Services in Bristol, NHS England pledged to ensure that “a consistent level of care is available for every patient in every part of the country”.

Good Morning Britain…”We’re joined by Faye Valentine, whose son Luke passed away following a heart procedure, and Rachel Pacua, whose son Jack has been left with permanent brain damage after open heart surgery, both at Bristol Hospital.

We’ve been fighting for four years” – both mothers are demanding justice after the hospital admitted the failing was the fault of the staff, but only in private.

Click on the link to see the Good Morning Britain interview


Luke Jenkins died at Bristol Children’s Hospital

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Children let down by Bristol hospital’s ‘poor care’

Families at Bristol Children’s Hospital were let down by over-stretched staff and poor communication, according to an independent review of its cardiac service published today (Thursday 30 June).

It also found hospital management had been unnecessarily defensive in response to criticism, which had created an atmosphere of distrust between families and the hospital. The Bristol Review, commissioned by NHS England, was prompted by the unexplained deaths of ten children between 2012 and 2014. All of them had recently had cardiac surgery at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

The review found there had been an over-reliance on agency nursing staff, who lacked the skills to deal with such seriously ill children. Time was in short supply too; on occasion nurses were so rushed that parents had to remind them to serve their children meals.

Taking evidence from over 200 families, the review found that prior to a Care Quality Commission inspection in 2012, senior managers had no idea there were serious problems in the cardiac service.

Click on the link to read more


Report author Eleanor Grey QC and consultant adviser Sir Ian Kennedy.

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Family who lost son speak of ‘toxic culture’ at Bristol Children’s Hospital

Bosses at Bristol Children’s Hospital presided over a “toxic culture” in which risks were taken with children’s lives, according to the parents of a young boy who died following heart surgery.

Yolanda Turner accused the board of the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust of overseeing poor standards in care on Ward 32 – a specialist cardiac unit – at Bristol Children’s Hospital. Her son Sean died aged four in March 2012 from a brain haemorrhage after previously suffering a cardiac arrest while on the ward following complex heart surgery.

Mrs Turner, from Warminster, Wiltshire criticised the trust ahead of the publication of the independent inquiry into cardiac services at the children’s hospital. “We hope that the Bristol Review will enable the trust board to be held to account for their failures to provide a service that fell well below acceptable standards,” she said.

“They were basically putting staff in a position of risk and safety and taking risks with children’s lives. The trust board will have to be held to account for that. “We’ve said all along this board has a very toxic culture and they are not open and honest with families and that all needs to change. “We are hoping that major changes will come about from the Review which will make that hospital a much safer place. “The whole purpose of our public fight and our campaign has been to ensure that changes are made and that no other child has suffer what Sean went through.

“It is important for us to be believed because we felt very much that we weren’t believed and people had that opinion that you lost a child so you are bitter and you want to blame somebody but that really hasn’t been the case at all. “We were frightened about what happened to Sean and we were afraid for other children that were using the unit and our fears have been proven because other children have now followed.”

Click on the link to read more

Steve and Yolanda Turner, the parents of Sean Turner, arrive at Flax Bourton Coroners Court, near Bristol. 13th January 2014. See SWNS story SWHEART; An inquest has started today into the death of a four-year-old boy who was being cared for at Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital. Spider-Man fan Sean Turner passed away on March 15, 2012, after a heart operation. Before the procedure the popular lad had excitedly told his friends doctors were going to “mend his heart”. For Sean’s parents, Yolanda and Steve, the agony does not ease but they are hoping the evidence heard at Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court will provide them with some answers about what, if anything, went wrong in the case of their beloved son. Sean was born with his heart on the right side of his body and blocked arteries between his heart and lungs.

Yolanda and Steve Turner are awaiting Thursday’s review

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Daughter launches app after seeing mother’s struggle – but now she needs your help

PATIENTS will be able to track their health and medical notes through an innovative program currently vying for start-up money.

The app, MyNotes Medical, has been designed to help patients keep track of meetings with their doctor, symptoms and other appointments.

Borehamwood resident Joanna Slater co-founded the app after seeing her mother struggle to keep up with the notes and day-to-day occurrences of her own treatment before her death in 2008. Ms Slater said: “My mother went into hospital in 2007 for a hip surgery and things were hard to keep track of so I started taking notes. She died in hospital six months later.”

“It’s hard to remember everything and it was then that I realised the importance of taking notes.” She said many patients struggled to keep track of their handwritten notes or could forget when a meeting occurred – something which she hoped MyNotes Medical would help to avoid.

Working with business partner Brad Meyer, Ms Slater said the team was almost finished with the first prototype of the app.

Click on the link to read more

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Junior doctors dispute: BMA and government reach deal. 18 May 2016

Acas released a statement following ten days of ‘intensive talks’ to seek to resolve the long running junior doctors’ dispute Credit: Reuters

The government and the British Medical Association (BMA) have reached a deal in resolving the dispute over new junior doctors’ contracts, following 10 days of talks at the conciliation service Acas.

The deal is subject to BMA junior doctor members approving the new contract in a vote. Under the deal, doctors will be paid a normal rate for Saturdays and Sundays between the hours of 9am and 9pm.

It also includes:

  • A basic pay rise of between 10% and 11%
  • Any shifts which start at or after 8pm and lasts longer than eight hours, and which finishes at or by 10am the following day, will result in an enhanced 37% pay rate for all the hours worked.
  • Doctors will receive a percentage of their salary for working more than six weekends a year – this will range from 3% for working one weekend in 7, and up to 10% if working one weekend in two.

If approved, Acas expect the new deal to be finalised in the next two weeks, with elements of the new contract coming into force from August. All junior doctors will then move onto the new terms between October and August 2017.

No further industrial action will be called while the vote is underway. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and the BMA have both welcomed the deal.

Click on the link to read more


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How it all started, my mothers story

MoS2 Template Master

Joanna Slater chronicles her mother Kay’s agonising six-month decline after a routine hip op – at the hands of an NHS where  many have simply forgotten how to care…


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A good death should be doctors and patients’ last life goal

My aim as a doctor is to heal the sick but when I am unable, to prevent suffering by Rohin Francis Junior doctor

I treat some of the sickest patients admitted to hospital and making decisions about resuscitation is a routine part of my job. In addition to being a doctor, I am also younger brother to Neil, who has severe learning disabilities.

Communication is key in all aspects of healthcare, but particularly in end-of-life decisions. As doctors we are encouraged and obliged to discuss resuscitation with patients and, if appropriate, their families. In the vast majority of cases, a simple, honest conversation ensures that all parties are in agreement. As a more junior doctor, I shied away from bringing up what I considered a morbid subject. Why upset the jovial 85 year-old I’ve just admitted with talk of death? But now I realise that explaining the best and worse case scenarios is the right approach.

Click on the link to read more



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This is what the health professionals are saying about MyNotes Medical from Elissa Bradshaw – Clinical Nurse Specialist St Marks Hospital

“In the context of the current healthcare setting we are all required to be partners in patient care. Mynotes medical offers the opportunity for a streamlined cohesive approach to patient centred, and personalised care. As healthcare professionals we have a responsibility to support and advocate patient choice. This unique tool will enhance the patient experience and facilitate us in offering the best care that we can” Elissa Bradshaw, Clinical Nurse Specialist St Marks Hospital

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My Child did exist

Shared via Will Powell… No bereaved parent should be made to feel this way but sadly there are some people who just don’t understand.


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Medical students set to ‘abandon’ the NHS

The junior doctors’ dispute may lead to the ‘loss of a generation of doctors’ in England as medical students consider alternative options, a survey suggests.

The survey, conducted by the British Medical Association (BMA), reports that as many as 82% of students said they would be ‘less likely’ than before to make their medical career in England.

A total of 1,197 students participated in the survey. Overall, 94% stated that their enthusiasm for working in the NHS waned due to the dispute and some 34.3% stated they would now be ‘less likely’ to continue their career in medicine.

Click on the link to read more

Medical students set to abandon the NHS


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Press release – NHS Improvement intends to take further action at Southern Health

NHS Improvement announces its intention to take further regulatory action at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Improvement has informed Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust that it intends to take further regulatory action at the trust to ensure urgent patient safety improvements are made, following a warning notice being issued by Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The trust was issued with a warning notice by the CQC which highlighted a number of improvements that needed to be made following an inspection. The CQC’s announcement is available here.

NHS Improvement intends to put an additional condition in the trust’s licence to provide NHS services, which would allow it to make management changes at the trust if progress isn’t made on fixing the concerns raised. The warning notice issued by the CQC identifies issues with how the trust monitors and improves the safety of its services, and how it assesses and manages any risks to its patients.

Click on the link to read more



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Funding research into and supporting those affected by genetic heart conditions in children

My cousins grandson Max 10 years old, died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). My cousins son David has started an awareness campaign to this invisible disease. Please listen to her son David (Max’s father’s) interview on BBC London and help and support. Thank you, Joanna  

Max’s Foundation was set up in memory of Max Schiller

A happy 10-year-old boy, who very suddenly and tragically passed away in January 2015 from an undetected heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

The family of Max’s purpose is to help fund research both into the detection of genetic heart conditions such as HCM in children and the management of these conditions. They are also aiming to help to provide support for these children and their families

Please click on the link to hear the interview from BBC London’s Eddie Nestor with David Schiller Scroll to 1.48 seconds

Or Dropbox


Max Schiller

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Jedi, the diabetes-sniffing dog, saves sleeping 7-year-old’s life in middle of night

WATCH: Meet Jedi, the dog that watches over type-1 diabetic child every night while his family sleeps.

A diabetic alert dog named Jedi may have saved the life of a sleeping seven-year-old boy after the black Labrador alerted its owners that the child’s blood sugar levels dropped to dangerously low levels in the middle of the night.

Luke Nuttall was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was two-years-old, and his blood sugar levels need to be monitored around the clock. To help keep tabs on Luke’s levels, the Nuttall family acquired a dog trained to monitor blood sugar through smell.

Click on the link to read and watch the video

Jedi, the diabetes-sniffing dog, saves sleeping 7-year-old’s life in middle of night


“This is a picture of Jedi saving his boy,” Dorrie Nuttall wrote on Facebook.

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Stricken A&E patients told ‘go home unless you’re dying’ as hospital is hit by seven-hour delays

North Middlesex Hospital put a message over a Tannoy advising people to go home unless they had a life-threatening illness

Stricken NHS patients were left waiting for up to SEVEN HOURS on hospital trolleys leaving medics with no option but to say: “Go home if you’re not dying.” In a disturbing new low for our over-stretched health service, the Sunday People can reveal a hospital put a message over a Tannoy advising people to go home.

Patients were told: “We would ask anyone who doesn’t have a life-threatening illness to go home and come back in the morning.” The extraordinary situation unfolded at the North Middlesex Hospital in Edmonton, north London on Friday night.

Tonight a spokesman for the hospital confirmed they had to issue the mayday alert because 450 casualties arrived during one shift. One eyewitness who saw the chaos unfold said he witnessed more than 100 people in the waiting room. He said at one point there were a dozen patients on trolleys lining the wall along the department because all cubicles full.

Many had been waiting on trolleys for several hours. At 11pm a message went on the tannoy saying that the wait to see a doctor was eight hours for adults and six hours in children’s A&E, leading to disbelief among those there.

Click on the link to read more


Go home: There were seven-hour delays in the A&E department at North Middlesex Hospital

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Faye’s story – This is in memory of 2-year-old Faye- Meningitis Now

Many of you will have seen and signed the online petition calling for the Meningitis B vaccine to be given to all children, not just newborn babies.

This is in memory of 2-year-old Faye

Below, Faye’s mum Jenny tells her story and why she is campaigning for change.

“This is a photo of Faye, 2-years-old, who sadly lost her life to this dreadful disease. We campaign for change in her memory.” “Faye was taken to A&E with a rash on her forehead. She was then transferred by South Bank Retrieval Service to Evelina Children’s Hospital, where her heart stopped in the ambulance. They revived her and spent hours working on stabilising her.” “We were given a one per cent survival chance but she proved them wrong and carried on fighting.” “After a few days she seemed to have turned a corner, but the sepsis started to affect her more and the decision of limb removal was made. The extent of removal was massive, full leg amputation and one arm and plastic surgery.” “She was getting tired, her little body consumed by meningitis and sepsis (blood poisoning). We had to make the decision, a massive operation and she may die or we let her go peacefully on her own accord.” “We decided the latter and then watched our little girl slip away. At 9pm on February 14th she finally fell asleep forever. All this in only 11 days.”

“This is the link to the government petition calling for the Meningitis B vaccine to be given to ALL children, not just newborn babies –

“All children are at risk from this terrible infection, yet the Government plan to only vaccinate 2 to 5-month-olds. There needs to be a rollout programme to vaccinate all children, at least up to age 11. Meningococcal infections can be very serious, causing meningitis, septicaemia and death.” “In a few days we have seen this rise from a few hundred signatures to over 13,000 due to furious social media campaigns and also contacting some media.”

“Anything you can do to promote and support this cause is very welcome.”

Jenny, Faye’s mum


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Any families in East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire who put up cameras to monitor their loved ones in care homes. The BBC would like to hear from you

I have just been approached by The BBC Look North, Any families in East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire who put up cameras to monitor their loved ones. The BBC Look North and today are covering a story about whether CCTV cameras should be installed in care homes to monitor staff and residents

The BBC would like to hear from you, please pass on and email me asap at thanks


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PRESS RELEASE: Three Patient Safety campaigners Will Powell, Delilah Hesling and Jade Taylor, brought together through tragic circumstances which span 26 years met with the Secretary of State for Health, Mr Jeremy Hunt on 3rd February 2016

The purpose of the meeting was to express their concerns about the inept NHS complaint procedures and the appalling way in which whistle-blowers are treated.

Will Powell’s deceased son’s case identified the absence of legal Duty of Candour in healthcare back in 1996. Robbie’s case went to the High Court, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in May 2000: “Whilst it is arguable that doctors had a duty not to falsify medical records under the common law (Sir Donaldson MR’s “duty of candour”), before Powell v Boladz there was no binding decision of the courts as to the existence of such a duty. As the law stands now, however, doctors have no duty to give parents of a child who died as a result of their negligence a truthful account of the circumstances of the death, nor even to refrain from deliberately falsifying records.”
As a consequence of Robbie’s case and the efforts of the Powells’ campaign, to change this perverse law, there was a legal Duty of Candour introduced in November 2014.

In 2006 Jade Taylor’s late step father became caught up in the Mid Staffordshire NHS Disaster where an estimated 400-1200 people died unnecessarily. Following this Jade’s late mother was then admitted to Stafford Hospital’s A&E and Emergency Assessment Unit, in early 2008, where she received an appalling lack of care and treatment with nurses falsifying A&E waiting time breaches to meet hospital targets. As an NHS Manager Jade also has experience of raising patient safety concerns, which were later founded, and was a contributor to Sir Robert Francis’s Freedom to Speak-up Review.

Also in 2006 Delilah Hesling became an NHS whistle-blower and started to unravel abuse within Brighton NHS. As with many whistle-blowers Delilah attempted to raise these serious issues through the appropriate official channels but was blatantly ignored and punished for doing so. However, following the NHS exposure by Panorama, which involved brave Nurse Margaret Heywood, Delilah became the country’s very first Patient Safety Ombudsman and whistleblowing guardian as referred to by Sir Robert Francis QC in his recent Freedom to Speak-up Review.

The meeting with the Secretary of State for Health was not looking at the personal cases of the three campaigners. This is a meeting at which the campaigners represented the voices of all patients, families and NHS whistle-blowers. Solutions were discussed to address current issues that are still continuing to show failings and/or corrupt practices within all parts of the current NHS systems. They also raised with Mr Hunt the absence of accountability within the NHS. The three say they did not hold back their criticisms of the NHS as the days of covering up errors, fatalities and the vilifying of whistle-blowers must be brought to an end.

Click on the link below to read the minutes of the meeting with Jeremy Hunt

Private meeting with the Secretary of State for Health

Will Powell                                Delilah Hesling

Will Powell  Delilah

Jade Taylor


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As the Zika virus is branded a global health emergency…are YOU at risk of the infection that can shrink babies’ brains?

  • The Zika virus, which shrinks babies’ heads, was first reported in Brazil just eight months ago
  • It has since spread to 23 other countries, including Mexico and Barbados
  • Predictions suggest 4 million people could be affected by the end of 2016

An incurable virus that shrinks babies’ brains sounds like the stuff of nightmares. And there is no denying the headlines about the zika virus have made alarming reading over the past week, with one expert from the World Health Organisation (WHO) describing its spread as ‘explosive’ — yesterday the organisation declared the virus a global health emergency.

Zika, which was identified in Africa in the Forties, was first reported in Brazil just eight months ago, but it has already now spread to 23 other countries in the region, including Mexico and Barbados, with predictions that the numbers affected could rise to four million by the end of the year.  Meanwhile, 31 Americans, four Canadians and three Britons have tested positive for zika — all were infected while travelling. However, a study published in The Lancet suggests around a third of the 9.9 million foreign tourists who visited risk areas in Brazil in a year, returned to Europe.

Here we look at why Zika has suddenly become a major health concern and what you need to know to protect yourself.

Click on the link to watch the video and read are you at risk?


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MyNotes Medical

Just to let you all know that we are starting the build on the MyNotes Medical app Phase 1, I will keep you all updated, Joanna

1. welcome

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NHS moves to stop bereaved families blocking donation of relatives’ organs

If someone wishes to become an organ donor then their family should respect their wishes. Totally disrespectful of their dying wishes and totally selfish in not wanting to help save the life of another. It’s the kindest thing anyone can do. Joanna

Families have vetoed the donation of organs from hundreds of registered donors in the last five years, new figures show

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) data suggests relatives blocked transplants in 547 – or one in seven – cases since 2010.  The body said it would no longer seek a family’s formal consent in order to reduce the number of “overrides”, according to the BBC. The bereaved will be given a leaflet which explains consent remains with the deceased, although they can still block donation by providing reasons in writing.

NHSBT estimated the blocked donors would have provided organs for 1,200 of the 6,578 patients on the waiting list for a transplant, while not asking relatives could result in the number donors rising by 9%.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHSBT, told the broadcaster: “We are taking a tougher approach – but also a more honest approach.

“My nurses are speaking for the person who has died. People who join the register want and expect to become organ donors. We do not want to let them down. “We have every sympathy for families – and of course we do not want to make their grief worse. We think this will make what is a hugely distressing day easier for them, by reducing the burden on them. “The principle that the individual affected is the one who consents applies throughout medicine, and it is not different because someone has died.”

The Guardian – Press Association



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NHS ‘Must Keep Pace’ With Allergy Epidemic

One of the world’s top allergy experts says many health professionals are inadequately trained to deal with the crisis.

Nathalie Dyson-Coope’s four-year-old son, Callum, has 12 severe food allergies – six of them are potentially fatal. His sensitivities to foods, including peanuts, milk, eggs and tomatoes, began when he was a baby with reactions varying from painful rashes to life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Ms Dyson-Coope said she had trouble getting some GPs to understand Callum’s reactions, which often involved excruciating, bleeding eczema. “You would pick him up in the morning… and it would look like a murder had been committed in his moses basket. It was absolutely horrific. “It didn’t matter how many times we went to the doctors, they would say ‘oh it’s just baby eczema’ or ‘it’s just colic’ or ‘it’s just a bit of reflux – they’ll get over it’.”

A sharp increase in allergy sufferers over the past 20 years has made allergic disease the most common chronic disorder in childhood, matched only the obesity crisis. Some 50% of children now have an allergy, with some reactions potentially fatal, but scientists still do not know why. One of the world’s top allergy experts told Sky News cases are not being identified early enough because many health care professionals are inadequately trained to deal with the growing epidemic.

Click on the link to read more and watch video’s


4 year old Callum

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All Your Stories, Strength in Numbers. Well it’s been emotional few week of watching my dear dad be neglected time after time since making a complaint at his care home – By Lisa Smith

Dad was severely overdosed on pregablin he was prescribed 50mg within a week it was increased to 450mg which resulted in him having a fall on the 29.10.2015, he never received any medical attention until on the 31.10.15, he was found unresponsive in his room with a suspected bleed on the brain.

Lucky it was but we found out he was severely overdosed, but now there is no evidence to who did this on medical records and care plans. Since putting the complaint in this neglect has got worst.  Apparently after four years he as become aggressive and needs 1.1 care 24 7 and 2.1 personal care bathing , despite him able to dress and undress himself has no incontinence problems and can even shave him self , he has no mobility problems and goes out on a regular basis.

Please click on the link “All Your Stories – Strength In Numbers to read more

2 (2) 2 (1) 3

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Does the flu jab actually work? The vaccination costs the NHS £100 million, but last year it was worryingly ineffective. Now take-up’s falling

  • Figures show the number of people being vaccinated against it is low
  • Rates in October were an ‘alarming’ 6 per cent lower than last year
  • Problem has been particularly acute among ‘at-risk’ groups
  • For some, the question is not the jab’s effectiveness, but its safety

Should you or shouldn’t you? It’s the big question surrounding this year’s flu jab as Britons wrangle with concerns about the vaccine’s effectiveness. As the influenza season takes hold, official figures show the number of people being vaccinated against it is low. Last month, the Royal College of General Practitioners warned that vaccination rates in October were an ‘alarming’ 6 per cent lower compared with the same time last year.

The problem has been particularly acute among ‘at-risk’ groups, which include the over-65s, pregnant women and those with serious long-term health conditions, such as heart, lung or kidney disease (who are all offered the jabs free on the NHS). Frontline NHS staff – those in direct contact with patients – were also failing, in large numbers, to get the jab.

The latest figures show that in November the numbers rose, and were even slightly up on those from the same time in 2014 – though officials at Public Health England are warning that ‘there is no place for complacency’ about the statistics. Indeed. Clearly public confidence in the jab has been affected by the fact that last year’s vaccine didn’t work very well – scientists had identified the wrong strain of flu to target and, as a result, the jab worked in a mere 3 per cent of cases, it was initially thought.

This figure has recently been revised up to 34 per cent, but is still much lower than usual. And the inefficiency of the jab has been blamed by Patient Concern for the fact that last year, England and Wales had the highest winter death toll in a decade and a half.

Click on the link to read more


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In Memory of my Father “Eddie” 20 years ago today a birthday surprise

20 years ago today my mum, me and my sisters Camille and Vanessa gave our dad a birthday surprise lunch for his 79th birthday. We had no idea that 20 days later on the 22nd December he would pass away. Love you dad, always in our hearts xxxxxx

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NHS neonatal intensive care units ‘stretched to breaking point’

Sick and premature baby charity Bliss says shortage of staff affects two thirds of units, and most work beyond safe capacity

Two thirds of NHS neonatal intensive care units do not have enough nurses and doctors, and a similar number are consistently working at higher than safe capacity, a charity has warned. A growing shortage of specialist nurses and doctors has left neonatal services “stretched to breaking point”, putting the safety of vulnerable babies at risk according to the report from the sick and premature baby charity Bliss.

It argues that without urgent action from the government and NHS England, the gap between the standards expected and the care provided will widen. “The government set out a comprehensive vision for neonatal care in 2009, with the publication of the toolkit for high quality neonatal services,” said Caroline Davey, chief executive of Bliss.  “Six years on and we are falling further behind on critical measures of quality and safety, and the shortfall in funding means units are simply unable to meet these standards.”

Click on the link to read more


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Statins add a mere three days to life

STATINS, the controversial heart drugs, add only three days to a patient’s life, research reveals.

The study contradicts the widely held view that they save lives and last night health experts demanded a radical overhaul in the use of the drugs – which have been linked with severe and debilitating side-effects such as diabetes, muscle pain and cataracts – claiming the research reveals patients have been “misled” over “exaggerated” benefits.

The British Medical Journal, which published the findings, called for a review of prescribing guidelines for statins which are routinely given to up to 12 million patients. Professor Jesper Hallas led the research, which assessed 11 major studies on statins, including patients at lower and high risk of heart disease. It followed patients for up to six years. The research compared patients who took the drugs with those who unknowingly took a placebo. It concluded: “Statin treatment results in a surprisingly small average gain in overall survival within the trials’ running time.”

Statins increased life expectancy by just three days for those people who did not already have a diagnosis of existing heart disease or associated symptoms. Patients who had already suffered a heart attack, stroke or associated symptoms increased their longevity by four days by taking statins.

Click on the link to read more



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Incredible animation shows EXACTLY how a woman’s body adjusts to give birth – as experts reveal just how much it hurts

  • Everyone knows that childbirth hurts, but how bad will the pain get? 
  • What happens in the delivery room – and what pain relief is available?
  • Here leading experts reveal the truth – and it may not be as bad as you fear 

It is the most natural thing in the world – a mother giving birth to her child. Millions of women across the world deliver their babies into the world each year, soon forgetting the agonising pain as soon as their tiny bundle of joy is placed in their arms. Babies can enter the world one of two ways, via a vaginal birth or Caesarean section.  In the case of a vaginal birth, a woman’s body adapts stretching and expanding where necessary to allow the baby to arrive safely into the world.

Now, a video animation reveals exactly how a woman’s body adjusts during childbirth.  Regular contractions signal the start of the process, occurring as the cervix dilates to accommodate birth.

Click on the link to read and watch the video


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Mother who released this desperately poignant picture of daughter who hospital insisted was stillborn launches drive for coroners to probe every full-term baby’s death in… Clara’s law

  • A study showed Britain has the highest stillbirth rate among 35 rich nations
  • Some 3,300 babies are stillborn each year, 1,000 of which are full term
  • Parents believe hospitals can falsify records to avoid damaging inquests 
  • Caroline Tully, whose daughter Clara was still born wants inquests for all 

Babies are dying needlessly in labour because stillbirths are not being properly investigated, campaigners claim. And hospitals are failing to learn vital lessons from the ‘catastrophic’ deaths, say experts.

Britain has the third highest rate of stillbirth among 35 rich nations, according to a study in The Lancet, with around 3,300 a year. Some 1,000 are at full term. Currently hospitals investigate stillbirths themselves – even if the baby dies just minutes before delivery. But parents say they can falsely record babies as stillborn to avoid potentially damaging inquests. Bereaved parents, legal experts and MPs last night said stillbirths occurring at delivery had to be reported to a coroner if future deaths were to be avoided.

Caroline Tully, who fought for an inquest after being told her daughter Clara was stillborn, said: ‘It doesn’t seem right that a full-term baby can be alive one minute, then die in labour, and there’s no external investigation.’ She wants a ‘Clara’s Law’ to make it a legal requirement for all deaths of full-term babies in labour to be reported to the coroner.

Click on the link to read more


Clara Tully-Hardman - daughter of Caroline Tully who was still born after a blunder at Warwickshire hospital. ***INTERNET IMAGE TAKEN FROM***

Caroline Tully fought for an inquest for her daughter, Clara, pictured, who was stillborn


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Can You Help?

I found this page while looking on internet for help.
My dad is dying he has been in hospital for several weeks 1st they said kidney failure then too much potassium he had to have his blood filtered and cleaned(very poorly ICU 4days) on the mend then breathing became bad so they said its his lungs..then we were told he has heart failure. My dad then got so much better 3 days was great and thought he was coming home. Over night he went so bad again. Consultants told my mum there is nothing they can do but make him comfortable. They said not to give dialysis as he may have heart attack. I am seeing the consultant Monday for the 1st time and would really appreciate if anyone can help me with what questions I should ask. I am going to demand dialysis I cannot allow my dad to just rot and die without trying treatment. I would rather him die trying than to die with no hope. If he has a heart attack while having dialysis then at least its quicker than what he is going through now. People with some knowledge of my situation may be able to give advise to bombard consultant and back him in a corner so he cant wriggle out of agreeing to dialysis for my dad. Im not ready to lose my dad yet not without a fight.

Kindest regards

Karen Read

Please comment


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UK NHS cancer patients denied drugs due to inflated prices – say experts

Research reveals how drug firms are charging health service such high prices, some treatments can no longer be offered

Cancer patients are being denied drugs on the NHS that could lengthen their lives because of unnecessarily exorbitant prices, say experts. The drugs are cheap to make, and are available to patients in some other countries at much lower prices, according to new research.

Patients in the UK have been told the NHS will not pay for two such drugs because they are not cost-effective and they have been dropped from the list reimbursed by the government’s special cancer drugs fund.

The price of lapatinib (brand name Tyverb), for breast cancer, was set at $36,000 (£24,000) per patient per year in the UK but costs $17,724 in Thailand. Dasatinib (Sprycel), for leukaemia, was priced at $33,739 in the UK but at $15,423 in Brazil.

The researchers also ask why the UK is not succeeding in obtaining better discounts from drugs the NHS does use. Even some other high-income countries manage to barter the manufacturers down to lower prices than in the UK.

Imatinib (Gleevec) – for leukaemia and some other cancers – costs $31,867 in the UK but $28,675 in France and just $8,370 in Russia. Sorafenib (Nexavar), for liver cancer, costs $57,232 in the UK but $49,715 in Spain and $44,543 in France.

Click on the link to read more


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‘Attacks’ lead father to quit maternity review

A grieving father resigns from the NHS review into maternity care over the failure to take into account the views of parents whose babies have been harmed or died

A grieving father who exposed a baby deaths scandal at an NHS hospital has resigned from a national review of maternity care after claiming he came under attack from midwives. James Titcombe has left the NHS review because he felt that the views of parents whose babies had been harmed or died on maternity wards were being ignored.

The review, which is looking at standards of maternity care across the country, was set up after a damning inquiry into a series of deaths at Furness General Hospital, part of the Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust, between 2004 and 2013.

Mr Titcombe’s son, Joshua, died in 2008, at nine days old, from a serious infection which midwives repeatedly failed to spot and treat. His observation chart went missing and was never found. A coroner later accused midwives of “colluding” in a cover-up.

Click on the link to read more


James and Hoa Titcombe attend the inquest into the death of their baby son Joshua Titcombe who bled to death nine days after his birth in October 2008.

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MPs vote no on assisted dying – So what are the arguments for and against? Two experts in medical ethics sum up some of the arguments

After a heartfelt and passionate debate in the House of Commons, MPs have voted 330 to 118 to reject the Assisted Dying Bill. As many as 85 MPs spoke, sharing personal stories and compelling arguments both for and against the bill, which proposed that a terminally ill person should be able to request assistance to end their own life.

The bill specified that for a person’s request to be granted, they must be terminally ill and “reasonably expected” to die within six months. Their decision would have had to be “voluntary, clear, settled and informed”, put forward in a written declaration signed by two doctors, and approved by a High Court judge. Only after a cooling off period of 14 days would a lethal drug have been prescribed.

Here, two experts in medical ethics sum up some of the arguments for and against the bill.

Click on the link to read more

Protesters outside the Houses of Parliament in London as MPs debate and vote on the Assisted Dying Bill.

Protesters outside the Houses of Parliament in London as MPs debate and vote on the Assisted Dying Bill.

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MPs have rejected plans for a right to die in England and Wales in their first vote on the issue in almost 20 years.

In a free vote in the Commons, 118 MPs were in favour and 330 against plans to allow terminally ill adults to end their lives with medical supervision.

In a passionate debate, some argued the plans allowed a “dignified and peaceful death” while others said they were “totally unacceptable”.

Pro-assisted dying campaigners said the result showed MPs were out of touch.

Under the proposals, people with fewer than six months to live could have been prescribed a lethal dose of drugs, which they had to be able to take themselves. Two doctors and a High Court judge would have needed to approve each case. Dr Peter Saunders, campaign director of Care Not Killing, welcomed the rejection of the legislation, saying the current law existed to protect those who were sick, elderly, depressed or disabled. He said: “It protects those who have no voice against exploitation and coercion, it acts as a powerful deterrent to would-be abusers and does not need changing.”

But Sarah Wootton, the chief executive of Dignity in Dying, said it was an “outrage” that MPs had gone against the views of the majority of the public who supported the bill. She added that “dying people deserve better”.

Click on the link to read more


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My Mothers Story – Written as it happened from her admission to hospital until her death 6 months later still in hospital, plus 50 more stories emailed to me

The Last Six Months is a moving story about my mother Kay 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, and sadly she died while still in the hospital. My notes have become an up-to-date diary during this terrible and tragic course of events, it has also allowed me to remember the many wonderful conversations, the laughter, the tears, the anxieties, and the closeness we had. I hope from reading my mother’s story, and from my readers who have kindly contributed their own stories of loved ones they should never be yesterday’s news, it’s so important that these stories are shown and not forgotten.

Read more


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Sepsis – signs and symptoms of the killer disease you probably haven’t heard of

Not heard of sepsis? You’re not alone.

According to a poll by the UK Sepsis Trust, 40% of the public said they’d heard the word – but of those, only 40% knew it was a medical condition. It’s one we should all be aware of, however. According to the NHS, it’s estimated that more than 100,000 people are admitted to hospital with sepsis every year, and around 37,000 people will die as a result of the condition.

On Tuesday’s Good Morning Britain, W1A actor Jason Watkins – who is supporting the UK Sepsis Trust’s new pocket guide for parents about the infection – opened up about the loss of his two-year-old daughter Maude to the condition on New Year’s Day 2011.

“Every 3.5 seconds someone around the world dies of this condition,” he said. Explaining why more people aren’t aware of sepsis, he added: “It’s complicated by other symptoms. In our case, it was simply flu.”

What is sepsis?

Click on the link to read more


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‘How Do Thank Somebody For A Kidney?’

Figures show the number of organ donors has fallen for the first time in 11 years – despite more than 5,000 people being on the NHS waiting list for a transplant.

In the last year there were 4,655 transplants in the UK – a 5% decrease on the year before. That means 224 fewer people received a transplant. With the drop in the number of organ donors, health experts are calling for a change in attitude and are urging families to discuss the issue so they know their relatives’ wishes.

It is rare for an organ donor and the recipient to meet, but when Terry Clarke, 69, received a kidney from Bob Wiggins two years ago he had to say thank you in person. Terry, who is now able to spend more time with his family, believes it can be so different for others.

“I think it’s unique. You don’t expect someone to give you a kidney, even someone from your own family. I wouldn’t ask them to give a kidney. You just wait and hope, accept life as it is and suddenly someone comes along and gives you a kidney,e told Sky News. “Suddenly someone comes along and gives you a kidney. I’ve met him, he’s not a bad fella is he? He’s change my life enormously. How do thank somebody who gives you a kidney?”

Click on the link to read more and see the video



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HIV patient tells of fears of disclosure after details leak

A man says he fears having to tell friends and family he is HIV positive after he was among 780 patients whose details were leaked by a health clinic.

The 56 Dean Street clinic, in London, accidentally sent out names and email addresses in an online newsletter. James, from London, told BBC News: “I am not ready to disclose my HIV status to my wider friends or family. I fear now that I have no choice.” He added he felt scared his details would end up being spread online.

Patients were supposed to be blind-copied into the newsletter, but instead details were sent as a group email to other people who have attended HIV clinics at Dean Street in Soho. People who had opted in for the clinic’s OptionE service were able to see the names and email addresses of other patients.

Click on the link to read more


The clinic is part of Europe’s biggest sexual health service


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Lord Carey: Euthanasia for terminally ill is ‘profoundly Christian’

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has attacked the idea that bearing excruciating pain while terminally ill is a “noble thing”, in a message of support for the Assisted Dying Bill.

In a video for campaign group Dignity in Dying Lord Carey insisted it was “profoundly Christian” to allow people to end their lives if they wished to do so, The Daily Telegraph reported. The House of Commons is to debate the Assisted Dying Bill next month. Under the proposals, lethal drugs could be given to patients with less than six months to live if this was their “clear and settled intention” and two doctors agreed.

Click on the link to read more


Former Archbishop of Canterbury issues message of support for the Assisted Dying Bill

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Elderly left freezing and crying in agony for up to seven hours in the middle of the night after watchdog shuts failing care home over safety concerns

  • The Old Village School Nursing Home in Bedfordshire was closed by CQC 
  • 57 residents had to be moved to nearby care homes in ambulances
  • Some left in wheelchairs while others became dehydrated during move
  • Magistrates approved closure at 5pm and said they must be out by 12am 

Distressed elderly residents were forced out of their failing care home in the middle of the night when it was shut over safety fears.

Some were dehydrated and crying in agony as they waited outside up to seven hours for belongings to be stuffed in bin bags and ambulances to arrive. The Old Village School Nursing Home in Bedfordshire was closed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on Friday night after inspectors uncovered appalling neglect that put residents in immediate danger. But the watchdog only obtained a closure order from magistrates at 5pm that evening and the home had to be evacuated by midnight. The 57 residents – including younger adults with brain injuries – were moved to nearby care homes in ambulances.

Anne Jeffreys, 87, was still in hospital last night after suffering heart problems during the move.  Her nephew Greg Jeffreys, 59, of Bedford, said: ‘When I visited the home what I witnessed were scenes of absolute carnage. They got the court order to evacuate by midnight and the situation rapidly descended. It was like something out of a Third World country.’

Mr Jeffreys, chief executive of an audio equipment supply firm, said: ‘The street outside was full of very ill, highly distressed residents who were left to sit in their wheelchairs for hours with no bed pans. There were residents and their relatives crying in the street.  ‘In my aunt’s case, her catheter bag needed changing and she was screaming in agony while one carer tried to rush her out during the evacuation. By that point her heartbeat became irregular and we feared she might die. She has been severely traumatised and damaged by the whole experience. ‘I cannot understand how, for the sake of maybe one or two hours, they had to stage a full-scale Third World evacuation.’

Click on the link to read more


Distressed elderly residents were forced out of The Old Village School Nursing Home in Bedfordshire when it was shut over safety fears.

Filed under: Care Homes, Elderly, Uncategorized, ,

The system rules ok.

This is so important to read


system errorBureaucratic systems are like the worst kind of artificial intelligence.

They are programmed to protect themselves and have no empathy or humanity as a counter balance.  Why would they – they are simply self-serving machines.

You could take almost any organisation, but for argument let us take the health service.  The system is dysfunctional.  Good in many respects and sometimes excellent, it is incapable of critical analysis, so any error or mismanagement is just perpetuated by the system.

There could be a number of triggers for change, but the system has them all covered.

Internal:  When members of staff speak out about unsafe practices they become whistle blowers and the system knows just how to contain this attack.  First discredit the individual in order to discredit the message.  Conduct a witch hunt to unearth false evidence and drive the person to resignation through stress related illness.  Enemy of the system…

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Have an Appy Patient Experience

Click on to  to support MyNotes Medical

MNM - Copy

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Plea for organ donors after number of transplant operations falls for first time in more than a decade

  • Transplants fell 5% from 4,655 in 2013 to 4,431 in 2014 
  • 40% of possible transplants don’t happen because it hasn’t been discussed
  • 1,092 made possible by living donors who gave kidney or part of their liver

The number of organ transplants in Britain dropped last year for the first time in more than a decade. Transplants fell from 4,655 in 2013 to 4,431 in 2014, a fall of 5 per cent, and the first drop in 11 years, NHS figures show. The latest statistics show 1,092 were made possible by living donors who gave a kidney or part of their liver. The remaining 3,339 patients benefited from organs donated after death.  Some 40 per cent of possible transplants do not take place because too few people discuss with their families the donation of their organs after they die. As a result, relatives refuse to give consent following their death, NHS bosses say.

Experts want the rules changed so people must opt out of the donor register instead of opting in – an option being adopted in Wales this year. The British Heart Foundation says the whole nation should follow suit.

Click on the link to read more


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Diabetes amputations hit record 135 a week

Charity urges people to tweet Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt using #135shoes to highlight fact feet particularly at risk from diabetes-related amputations

The number of amputations carried out due to diabetes has reached an all-time high of 135 a week, a charity has warned, as it urged the Government to do more to ensure those with the condition are given the care and attention they need. Diabetes UK said that despite a big focus on preventing these amputations, the rate is rising due to the huge increase in the number of people developing the condition, which is often linked to being overweight.

The charity wants people to tweet Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt about the issue, using the hashtag #135shoes to highlight the fact that the feet are particularly at risk. It has calculated the figure using new Public Health England data, which show the annual number of diabetes-related amputations in England is now more than 7,000 compared to the previous 6,677, equating to seven more amputations each week. The charity added that up to 80 per cent of these amputations can be avoided if people with diabetes were given the necessary care.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause neuropathy and poor circulation, meaning that sufferers are 15 times more likely to have a limb amputated than those without the condition.

Click on the link to read more


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“Extraordinary” lapses in checks on locum NHS doctors exposed

A man from Georgia treated more than 3,000 patients, after falsely claiming he was registered to practice as a medic – then stealing the identity of a fellow doctor, when he was found out

A “fake doctor” was able to treat more than 3,000 patients thanks to “extraordinary” lapses in checks on locum medics working in the NHS, an investigation reveals. The man from a former Soviet republic first practised here for more than two years despite the fact he was not qualified to do so.

When the Georgian, who had some medical training, but was not allowed to work unsupervised, was struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC), he stole the identity of a real medic, and obtained work at another NHS trust.

Click on the link to read more


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For London’s Wheelchair Users, Every Day Is A Tube Strike

Same Difference

Dear friends not in wheelchairs, before you get upset about London’s Tube strike, please consider this from Leonard Cheshire Disability.

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Exposure: NHS Out Of Hours Undercover. Put this date in your diaries

Put this date in your diaries  Wed 22 Jul 2015 10.40pm – 11.40pm on ITV

Exposure: NHS Out Of Hours Undercover

Exposure goes undercover in a privately-run NHS out-of-hours centre and finds doctors not fully trained, targets being manipulated, and patients being asked to assess their own symptoms because the unit is too busy. According to the last GP-patient survey, almost half the public have no idea how to contact out-of-hours services, and last year the Royal College of General Practitioners said doctors were being undermined by ‘a chaotic and underfunded system’.

Covert footage filmed at a centre run by the UK’s biggest private provider of out-of-hours care shows chronic understaffing and medicine cabinets empty of vital drugs. Staff say recent changes aimed at hitting financial targets have affected the service they provide to patients. And experts who view the footage with reporter Mark Austin give a damning assessment of what they see, saying the practices on show could pose a risk to patients’ health.

Prof Susan Mason, one of the country’s top experts in emergency care, says: “I would have concerns that patient care is not at the heart of what they’re doing… I don’t think this is really in line with the true values of the NHS.” Dr Peter Holden, the British Medical Association’s special advisor on urgent and unscheduled care, says: “I have to say, if I worked a shift in this [unit], it would only be a single shift  and I’d be blowing whistles… I’d be telling them what I thought.”

The producer-director of this programme is Richard Butchins, and the executive producer is David Henshaw, for Hardcash.


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Terminally ill benefit claimants asked when they expect to die, MP says

Terminally ill welfare claimants are being asked by benefit assessors when precisely they are expected to die, according to evidence seen by Frank Field, the newly elected chairman of the work and pensions select committee.

Field has written to the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, asking for an explanation. He told the Guardian: “There is absolutely no need for this level of intrusive and painful questioning by DWP officials. If I have had two such cases in my conituency in recent weeks; I dread to think how often this is happening around the country.”

The Labour MP for Birkenhead said one of the complaints had come to him from a vicar on behalf of his sister.


Click on the link to read more


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I am passionate and committed to helping people. Please help me to help you

Dear All,

I am committed to the cause of improving patient care and believe that MyNotes Medical will safeguard against medical mistakes and will prevent so much suffering, anguish and heartache on the part of patients, their carers and families. It will also unquestionable save many, many lives.

I am on a quest to launch MyNotes Medical and passionate to help everyone become more engaged in their medical care and be more effective in helping their loved ones.

Please help me. Thank you,  Joanna


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Live in Scotland and “never” been in the news regarding the health care for themselves of a loved one?

A Scottish Sunday paper wants to hear your story if it’s about lack of communication, medical negligence etc.

Email me



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Please show me that you really care

Do you want to make people’s lives better?

Do you want to make your children’s and your parents lives better?

Are you concerned with the amount of medical mistakes in the news?

Are you a thinker or a doer?

Do you really care? 

Click on the link and show me that you really care


Filed under: A&E, Cancer, Care Homes, Dementia, Disabilities, Elderly, GP's, Hospital, Mental Health, Named & Shamed, NHS, NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, Whistleblowing, , ,

Clampdown on lawyers overcharging NHS in clinical negligence cases

Government plans to save NHS £80m a year by capping legal fees that in some cases run as high as 10 times the amount paid in compensation to clients.

In one case, a source at the Department of Health said a lawyer pocketed £175,000 while the patient received just £11,800 in damages. In another, the legal bill was more than £80,000 while the patient only received £1,000, although the legal bill was later reduced to less than £5,000 by the courts after a successful challenge by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA).

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, , ,

How Will MyNotes Medical work for you? Watch our walk-through slides

We have had a fantastic response regarding MyNotes Medical, but people are still unsure how MyNotes Medical works.

Here is a short slide presentation walkthrough how the programme will work. We NEED your support to help us to help you. Please pledge your support on our link  Thank you, Together We Can Make A Difference Joanna 


Filed under: A&E, Cancer, Care Homes, Dementia, Disabilities, Elderly, GP's, Hospital, Mental Health, Named & Shamed, NHS, NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, Whistleblowing, ,

Here is a clever medical parody on the topic of “Sepsis” aimed at spreading Sepsis awareness and promoting best practice.

From Karen Armstrong. I lost my mum to sepsis over 3yrs ago and I thought this was a great way of getting it out there.

Not many people know of sepsis. I thought maybe with this song people would remember what to look for. We’ve been through hell because of this disease so if this can save another family going through what we’ve gone through great raising awareness some people still don’t know what sepsis is and Drs nurses aren’t diagnosing sepsis.

Patients aren’t getting access to treatment sepsis six that saves lives. Staff failing to measure urine outputs in many cases, not having lactate levels tested. Testing the level of lactate its a chemical produced when cells are starved of oxygen and IV fluids to protect organs and raise dangerous low blood pressure. Antibiotics should be administered to clear any underlying infection.

Please watch this very unique video as more people need to be aware of sepsis



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Thank you for your support but I still need your help

I am so very happy with the amount of positive comments people have given MyNotes Medical when we launched our campaign yesterday, but to make this happen “I NEED YOUR HELP”.

Please sponsor MyNotes Medical as this vital to help safeguard against any medical errors, and we need MyNotes Medical launched within 3 months. However small your donation, this will commit you to being one of the very people that helped protect people’s lives from the “very real” threat of medical mistakes.

Written for patients by patients

So please go onto and make a pledge.

Together we can make a difference.

Thank you, Joanna


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Max passed away suddenly age just 10 from an undiagnosed heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Our family are devastated, but we would like to help this charity raise funds to help raise awareness of HCM and to promote screening for such conditions.
Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor us and donations will be quickly processed and passed to CRY. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity’s behalf where the donor is eligible for this. We really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.
Join the Cry Heart of London Bridges Walk on 28th June 2015
Please click on the link  Max Schiller  for more information
Thanks Dave, Shira and Molly

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Shhh, the secret is happening on 22nd June – All will be revealed soon

The launch to help patients in organising their health issues and concerns will be shown on Monday 22nd June.

The full name will be revealed with the link. Watch this space, Joanna


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Urgent message – Any bereaved parents from Kingston upon Hull or the surrounding East Riding towns and villages, who did not have their baby’s ashes returned to them

I would like to request that any bereaved parents from Kingston upon Hull or the surrounding East Riding towns and villages, who did not have their baby’s ashes returned to them to please contact me Tina Trowhill.

We now know that Ashes were collected after every cremation that took place. I am currently trying to get the council in Kingston upon Hull to agree to a local inquiry regarding the non-return of baby’s ashes after cremation. I am trying to gather statistics of how many parents were affected by not having their baby’s ashes returned to them. I can also offer confidential advice and support on obtaining information regarding finding out the location of their baby’s ashes and help parents obtain any and all paper work they are entitled to.

My son was cremated in 1994 and I was told there would be no ashes remaining. In 2014 I found out that there were ashes and the crematorium staff strew them. The council tell me that they have ALWAYS collected ashes from babies cremations.

I can be contacted on  All correspondence will remain strictly confidential.

With kind regards

Tina Trowhill.


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100 year old best friends

Just lovely,  please watch

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I’d consider assisted suicide if I become a burden to my loved ones, says Professor Stephen Hawking

Would you consider assisted suicide if you had a terminal illness and in pain if it was legal in the UK?

Please fill out our one question survey


  • The award-winning physicist revealed he would consider assisted suicide
  • The 73-year-old’s form of motor neurone disease has slowly paralysed him
  • He told Dara O’Briain it would be done if he was a burden to his loved ones
  • But he added there needed to be safeguards established to prevent abuse

Professor Stephen Hawking says he would consider assisted suicide if he felt he had become a burden to his loved ones.

The award-winning theoretical physicist, who is paralysed as a result of motor neurone disease, is an ardent supporter of a person’s right to die. Professor Hawking, 73, admitted he would consider taking the step himself if he was in great pain. He said refusing terminally ill people the right to die was ‘the ultimate indignity’.

In an interview with comedian Dara O’Briain, he said: ‘I would consider assisted suicide only if I were in great pain or felt I had nothing to contribute, but was just a burden to those around me.’  However, the Cambridge scientist insisted he had no plans to slow down yet, adding: ‘I am damned if I’m going to die before I have unravelled more of the universe.’ Prof Hawking suffers from a rare, slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease that has gradually paralysed him over the decades.

Click on the link to read more

1B00D9B8000005DC-0-image-a-39_1433297302015 Stephen Hawking


Father-of-three decided to die at a assisted suicide clinic


Jeffrey Spector 54-year-old father-of-three with cancer killed himself at a Swiss assisted suicide clinic against the wishes of his wife and children because he believed his death would be in their ‘best interests’.

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Family calls for review of NHS funding after girl denied kidney treatment

A 12-year-old girl who has been denied potentially life saving drug treatment, has prompted calls for a complete overhaul of NHS drug funding policy.

Abi Longfellow’s kidney disease is too rare to be treated with standard drug funding, but is not rare enough to qualify as an exceptional case and the funding that would bring. Abi spends 10 hours a day undergoing medical treatment and her parents say they just want her to lead a normal life and believe with the drug that would be a possibility.

ITV News Correspondent Damon Green went to meet Abi and her family in Wakefield. Click on the link.


Abi spends 10 hours a day undergoing medical treatment Credit: ITV News

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

This computer knows how much pain a child is in by reading facial expressions

How much pain is your child really in?

Researchers have developed a piece of software that can accurately read kids’ expressions to measure how much pain they are in. The technology could be used to monitor pain and make sure that the right level of painkillers are given to patients so that they recover more quickly. The software analysed the pain-linked facial expressions of children aged between 5 and 17 – all of whom had undergone an appendix removal procedure.

Based on that analysis each patient was given a pain level score. The current best technique for measuring pain involves simply asking the patient to rate their pain on a scale of zero to 10.  “But in paediatrics there is a limited population of kids who can answer that question in a meaningful way. Younger children can have difficulty – a two-year-old hasn’t developed the cognitive and conceptual abilities to think in those terms,” said lead researcher Jeannie Huang from the UC San Diego School of Medicine. This means that doctors sometimes have to rely on assessments made by nurses or parents – but it can be incredibly difficult to gauge pain in others, particularly children. Also, pain checks tend to be scheduled at specific times so may not coincide with when the pain is at its worst. Accurately gauging and controlling pain is important because studies have shown that the under-treatment of pain is linked to bad surgical outcomes.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Uncategorized

‘Underlying problem with death certification’ – Should 10,000 more deaths be examined every year?

Dr. Suzy Lishman, president of the Royal College of Pathologists, talks to Going Underground host Afshin Rattansi about problems in death

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Private healthcare companies accused of using tax relief to undercut the NHS

Private healthcare companies have been accused of getting unfair tax relief when competing with the NHS to provide treatments such as chemotherapy for patients at home. NHS Trusts are increasingly trying to treat patients in their own homes, rather than making them travel to hospitals. The service is often provided by private companies working under contract to the NHS, rather than directly by NHS nurses and carers. The government argues that private firms may be able to do this cheaper than the NHS. But it has now emerged that the competition appears skewed because, while private firms can recover the 20 per cent VAT they incur on purchasing drugs, the NHS cannot. That means the private provider’s service can appear many thousands of pounds cheaper than NHS provision when bidding for contracts.

The accusations will give fresh fuel to critics who claim there is an inherent bias in government policy towards favouring privatisation of large swathes of the health service. The difference VAT makes can be substantial, as a document on Bupa’s website entitled “Economic Attractiveness: home chemotherapy” illustrates. This shows Bupa saves £244 for each infusion of Herceptin due to its “nil” VAT status. As the Bupa document says, after other overheads, “for a cohort of 50 patients an annual saving of £187,000 can be made”.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Shhh, the secret is almost out. We are nearly there

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 will be shown within the next month. It’s been a very exciting time and I will be sharing it with you all very soon.  Joanna



Filed under: Uncategorized,

What are the parties promising on health and social care?

As we approach the 2015 general election, the NHS is one of the most important issues facing Britain. The Kings Fund link below looks at some of the biggest questions in health and social care and sets out the policies and pledges made by the main parties in England.

  • Will the NHS get the money it needs?
  • Will it be easier to get a GP appointment?
  • Will health and social care become more joined up?
  • How will mental health care be improved?
  • Will the NHS face more reorganisation?
  • What are the parties going to do about public health?

In compiling the website The Kings Fund have taken information from the parties’ manifestos and drawn on recent policy announcements, as captured on the Election tracker.

Please click on the link

Conservatives_Logo_large      labour_logo_978f06f1f9d4f89562361b39d97f6c56  Parties-Logos


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , , ,

Eloise Parry: Interpol issues ‘killer toxic diet pills’ global warning after British woman’s death

A global warning about the dangers of ‘diet pills’ that claimed the life of a tragic British woman has been issued by Interpol.

The international police agency put out the alert to forces in 190 countries after the death of 21-year-old Shrewsbury woman Eloise Parry. The agency has raised the alarm over the toxic pesticide dinitrophenol which is also thought to have left a Frenchman critically ill. Miss Parry, 21, of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, died at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital last month after taking tablets she bought online. Police believe they included a quantity of the substance, known as DNP.

A study last year warned the drug, sometimes used as a weight-loss or bodybuilding aid, could be linked to five more deaths in the UK between 2007 and 2013 and could cause breathing difficulties, fast heart rates, fever, nausea and vomiting.

Click on the link to read more


Eloise Parry

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Women in the UK ‘more than twice as likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth as many European countries

Women in the UK are more than twice as likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth as those in Poland, Austria or Belarus, according to research.

Britain failed to rank in the top 20 places to be a mother for the third consecutive year, coming 24th globally. Experts said the poor rating was partially due to higher infant and mother mortality rates than in other parts of Europe. The UK was ranked 30th out of 179 countries on maternal health, with women facing a one in 6,900 lifetime risk of maternal death. This was far greater than Poland (19,800), Austria (19,200) and Belarus (45,200) as well as many other Eastern European countries. In the US, there is a one in 1,800 lifetime risk of maternal death – the worst performance of any developed country in the world.

High risk pregnancies in the UK are thought to be linked to obesity, IVF, social deprivation, multiple pregnancies as well as increased maternal age and poorer access to health care, especially in some ethnic minority communities and among asylum seekers.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, Uncategorized, ,

The illness so rare it has no name. Eight-year-old Dominic Blower is one of 6,000 children born every year with an undiagnosed genetic condition, classified as SWAN

Dominic Blower has inquisitive brown eyes, an unruly mop of dark curls and a mega-watt smile. Watching him as he scolds his puppy for chasing the family’s chickens around their St Albans garden, it is heartbreaking to hear that by the age of five he had already spent more than half of his short life in hospital.

He had endured several major operations. Muscle biopsies had left long snaking scars on his legs. Severe bouts of pneumonia had left his lungs as fragile as tissue paper. During one episode, he developed acute respiratory distress syndrome – which stiffens the lungs, preventing them from working. He spent three days on a ventilator, and his mother, Renata, was told to prepare for the worst. ‘‘I had to call in my other children – Elliot, then six, and Lilia, four – so they could say goodbye,’’ says Renata, 39, a former NHS liaison officer. ‘‘How on earth do you explain that to a small child?’’  Her partner Roger Clifton, a company secretary, 50, recalls her ‘‘screaming’’ when she was told Dominic’s chances of surviving were very slim. What is the affliction that has blighted eight-year-old Dominic’s life and the lives of his parents and siblings? We simply don’t know.

Click on the link to read more


Renata Blower with her three children – Eliot, 12, Dominic 8 and Lilia 10 . Dominic has SWAN – an undiagnosed children’s syndrome. For more information, visit SWAN UK

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, ,

Thousands of lives at risk as hospitals ignore simple tests for blood poisoning

  •  Experts have warned hospitals not using standard treatment for sepsis  
  • Blood poisoning affects more than 100,000 Britons a year and kills 37,000
  • 10% of patients at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary ward given correct treatment 
  •  Sepsis Six involves blood tests to check for infection and monitoring urine

Patients’ lives are at risk from blood poisoning because hospitals are not implementing a standard treatment that can double their chances of survival, experts have warned. Sepsis, previously known as septicaemia, affects more than 100,000 Britons a year and kills 37,000 – more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined. Now a snapshot NHS study reveals that on one surgical ward at a leading teaching hospital, 90 per cent of patients failed to get the correct treatment, involving a simple set of lifesaving measures known as Sepsis Six.

Click on the link to read more


Mother-of-two Anna Tilley survived after spending four days in intensive care with blood poisoning, pictured with her son Harry 

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , , ,

“Our baby was a hero” – parents speak one year on from their baby´s death

For Jess Evans and Mike Houlston from Cardiff, the birth of twin boys Teddy and Noah on 22 April 2014 was one of both heartbreak and hope. Teddy was born with a rare yet fatal condition – anencephaly – but his parents were determined his short life would not be in vain. Once the diagnosis was confirmed during pregnancy, the parents discussed and wanted, if possible, for his organs to be donated. The family managed to spend precious time with him before he passed away and Teddy became the youngest organ donor in the UK. In the last 10 years, 39 babies younger than 2 years old have become organ donors helping to save the lives of strangers.

As his twin Noah celebrates his first birthday the family are using the anniversary to mark the occasion when his brother Teddy became a hero. His kidneys were transplanted to help save the life of another person.

Click on the link to read more


Sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell your relatives that you want to donate. Visit the Registration form or call 0300 123 23 23.

Filed under: Uncategorized,

102 year old Dancer Sees Herself on Film for the First Time. “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”

I just had to post this film. It shows Alice Barker 102 years in her youth.

 This is why it’s so important to look beyond the aging years and know that in the minds of our elders they had a life, they are still young, just trapped in an aging body. Joanna 


David Shuff owns a therapy dog, which is how he met Alice Barker, age 102. Barker had been a well-known and successful dancer in the her day, and performed with some of the biggest names of stage and screen. I guess, however, she was just one of those people who didn’t like to see herself on screen. I can sympathize (because unlike Barker, I’m painful to watch). In the intervening decades, the physical recordings and other memorabilia of her time on stage was lost, including the films.

In addition to owning a therapy dog, David Shuff works with Mark Cantor for Jazz on Film, and together they tracked down footage of Barker. This is the first time she’s ever seen it. Shuff also noted that although he wishes so much of the video wasn’t him talking, it took a while to get Barker warmed up and talking about her memories, particularly when she wanted to just watch.

Alice Barker was a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930s and 40s. She danced at clubs such as The Apollo, Cotton Club, and Zanzibar Club, with legends including Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

Please click on the link to watch Alice Barker dancing, she was beautiful and still is.

Filed under: Elderly, Uncategorized, ,

Need your help. Has anyone lost parents to nursing home or hospital on LCP?

Has anyone lost parents to nursing home or hospital on LCP? please email in confidence Thank you


Filed under: Care Homes, Elderly, Hospital, Uncategorized,

Why 60 is the new middle age: Our longer, healthier lives means we aren’t classed as elderly until at least 70

Retirement may be beckoning and your knees may be creaking. But if you are 60, you are merely middle-aged. Scientists say that as we live longer, we need to rethink what we classify as being old. They say that rather saying old age starts at a fixed age such as 60 or 65, we must factor in how much longer we have to live. They suggest that we don’t think of ourselves as being old until we are within 10 to 15 years of the average life expectancy for our countrymen and women.

The average life expectancy for women in the UK is 82.8 years, meaning British females needn’t consider themselves old until they are 72 or 73. Similarly, with male life expectancy at 79 years, men don’t become old until they are close to 70.  And if old age starts later, by definition, middle-age does too.

Click on the link to read more  (Now that’s good news)


Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Our account of the appalling lack of duty of care and the terrible death of our mother on unauthorised LCP, who died on 14 June 2013. By sisters Rosalind Brewer and Marilyn Ealy

All your stories, Strength in Numbers. Please read this in-depth shocking account written to the hospital complaining of the course of events which led to Rosalind Brewer and Marilyn Ealy’s mother’s death.

Dear Sir/Madam

We’re writing to you to make a complaint about the lack of care, attention, compassion, and appalling communications received from the staff at Frimley Park Hospital to both our Mother and ourselves, and the circumstances that led to our Mother’s recent death.

Before our Mother Mrs Gerda Ealy (who was 88) was admitted into Frimley Park Hospital, and before the media announced the abuse of the Liverpool Care Pathway, we already feared the outcome of our Mother’s admission into hospital. We also expressed our concerns to the ambulance drivers and staff at A&E.

Our Mother was not terminally ill, but was elderly and as a result of this we feel it underlines the fact that she was targeted by putting her on LCP in order to hasten her death.

Please continue to read by clicking on the PDF below. It will surely shock you. The family want justice.



Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, , , ,

Now a breath test to stop stomach cancer: Screening spots chemical signals that are linked to development of tumours

Tests spot chemical signals in exhaled air linked to tumour development. About 7,000 people develop stomach cancer in the UK each year

A simple breath test that could help detect the early stages of stomach cancer has been developed by scientists. The screening system spots chemical signals in exhaled air that are linked to tumour development. By looking for distinctive ‘breath prints’, researchers were also able to distinguish between patients at high and low risk of developing the disease.

Click on the link to read more


Breathe: The tscreening system spots chemical signals in exhaled air that are linked to tumour development

Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized

‘Desperate’ Tory plot to organise own letter from doctors exposed in bombshell leaked email

Jeremy Hunt has been left red-faced after the leaked email was posted on social media by top health commentator Roy Lilley

Jeremy Hunt has been left red-faced tonight as a bombshell leaked email exposes a “desperate” Tory plot to organise their own letter from doctors. It comes just days after more than 100 leading doctors signed a letter accusing the Tory-led coalition of endangering the NHS in England. They described how the health service is “withering away”, and warned that patients would be faced with higher costs but lower standards due to the growing involvement of private firms in the NHS.

Tonight the leaked email was published on social media by top health commentator Roy Lilley who tweeted: “Tories canvassing for a ‘support the NHS’ letter from doctors – the games continue!”

Click on the link to read more


Post tweeked from Roy Lilley

My post on the 8th April re the letter signed from 100 doctors

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , , , ,

Hospital in Ashya King case reveals ‘outpouring of hatred’ directed at staff

Would you take your very ill child out of hospital against the doctor’s advice?

Please fill in our one question survey by clicking on the link


Medics tell BBC documentary of overwhelming volume of vitriolic messages received – and defend their approach to the five-year-old’s treatment

Staff at the hospital where five-year-old Ashya King was treated for brain cancer before he was taken abroad by his parents have spoken about the “outpouring of hatred” they received – but said they would act in the same way if the situation arose again. Medical staff at Southampton general hospital told a BBC documentary how the torrent of abuse effectively shut down the hospital’s switchboard after it “became a story of a hospital [that] was chasing down a family”. One doctor said he received hate mail from someone telling him they wished his own children would get cancer and die.

The hospital came under the glare of the world’s media last August after Ashya’s parents took him abroad for treatment, against the advice of the NHS specialists who had been caring for him in Southampton.

Click on the link to read more


Ashya – The Untold Story will be broadcast on BBC1 at 7.30pm on Friday 10 April

Filed under: Cancer, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Here’s Britain’s political leaders giving a boy-band performance it will make you smile

Ever wondered what it’d be like if David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage teamed up in a One Direction-esque boy band?

Neither have we, but that’s the terrifying reality that we’re provided with in a new video.

In the clip, which was created by Sky News, the four political heavyweights can be seen lip-syncing to classic 90’s ballad ‘I Swear’ by All-4-One.

Click on the link to watch the video, it will make you smile


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, ,

Policy guide: Where the parties stand – Health and Care

This is a guide to political parties’ positions on key issues and will be updated as each manifesto is launched.

This issue includes NHS funding, GP access and social care, particularly of older people.

Click on the link to read!issue=health!party=!nation=uk


Filed under: Elderly, GP's, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Nine in 10 GPs say no to seven day opening

Almost all GPs do not want their own practice to open seven days a week, a poll of 15,000 doctors has found.

Plans for 7 day access to GPs are the key Conservative manifesto health pledge, along with improved hospital services at weekends. But the British Medical Association (BMA) survey found that 94 per cent of family doctors do not want their own surgery to offer seven day opening. The reluctance came despite the fact half of those polled thought practices should offer more extended hours to their patients. Under the Tory pledge, all patients would be able to access a GP seven days a week for routine appointments, seven days a week, by 2020.

Under the plan, groups of GP surgeries will be encouraged to band together in order to share the workload at evenings and weekends, so that not every practice has to open. One in five doctors polled said they were willing provide some extended hours by working in networks. However, the flat rejection of the idea of their own surgery opening seven days suggests major battles ahead.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: GP's, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

End-of-life care for terminally ill ‘needs major overhaul’

The UK’s care system for dying patients with terminal illnesses is lacking and needs a major overhaul, says a damning new report.

According to London School of Economics researchers, more than 100,000 people a year who would benefit from palliative care are not getting it. Patients are being left without sufficient pain relief and respite. NHS England said it was committed to ensuring terminally-ill patients got the support and services they needed.

The report found inequalities in access to good care, with certain groups of patients more likely to miss out. With an ageing population and demand for care increasing, the problem looked set to worsen, it warned.

Those who currently miss out include:

  • the “oldest old” (aged 85 and over)
  • people living alone
  • people living in deprived areas
  • black, Asian and ethnic minority groups

Most palliative care goes to cancer patients, even though the diseases account for less than a third of deaths. Only a fifth of new referrals to specialist end-of-life services are for people with non-cancer diagnoses.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Elderly, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Who Cares: the play that puts the NHS under the knife

This play should be very interesting to watch! 

How do you make a play about something as vast as the NHS and its 1.6 million workers? As playwright Michael Wynne explains, you need to speak to nurses, executives and whistleblowers – and drink a lot of tea

In the summer of 2012, a close relative of Michael Wynne’s was rushed into intensive care. Shortly afterwards, the playwright found himself watching the surreally brilliant moment in Danny Boyle’s Olympics opening ceremony, in which swing-dancing medics and pyjama-wearing children celebrated the achievements of the NHS. He shakes his head at the memory. “I just burst out crying when I saw that. Partly, it was what was going on with my family, but it was also this huge emotional connection. Then I wondered: what is it about the NHS?”

Wynne’s relative recovered (“he had amazing care”), but the seed was planted. What would it be like to write a play examining the NHS’s inner workings, not a doctors-and-nurses drama, but something that delved into the big questions: how it functions, who pays for it, how has it changed, can it survive? Few issues loom so large, particularly in election season, or fire such debate. Some believe the NHS is unsustainable, while others won’t hear a bad word said against it. Free-marketeers argue that private healthcare will improve outcomes, while others believe former health secretary Andrew Lansley should be strung up for instigating the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, a costly restructuring whose benefits are still unclear. “Everyone has a view,” says Wynne. “It’s one of the last black-and-white political subjects.”

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

New breed of superbugs which are resistant to antibiotics could kill 80,000 Britons in one outbreak as scientists warn even catching flu could have ‘serious’ impact

A new generation of superbugs resistant to antibiotics could kill up to 80,000 Britons in a single outbreak, government research predicts.

In the next 20 years, surgery could become too risky because of an increased risk of infection, while catching flu could have a ‘serious’ impact on individuals. Figures issued by the Cabinet Office warn that previously effective drugs will become useless in the face of resistant bugs, causing a surge in the number of sufferers of illnesses such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.

For the first time the annual National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies, which assesses the challenges posed by terrorism, natural disasters, disease and industrial strife, has included the dangers of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The report says: ‘Without effective antibiotics, even minor surgery and routine operations could become high-risk procedures, leading to increased duration of illness and ultimately premature mortality. ‘Much of modern medicine, for example organ transplantation, bowel surgery and some cancer treatments, may become unsafe due to the risk of infection. ‘In addition, influenza pandemics would become more serious without effective treatments.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Hayley Okines, who bravely fought premature ageing disease progeria, dies aged 17

So sad, such a brave and beautiful young soul. My thoughts and prayers go to her family. Fly with all the other angels Hayley, RIP. Joanna 


A brave teenager who defied one of the world’s rarest genetic conditions has passed away at the age of 17.

Hayley Okines , who suffered with premature ageing disease progeria, was told she would not live past the age of 13. But she pushed on with life courageously and at the age of 14 published her autobiography, called Old Before my Time. However, despite pioneering drug treatment in the US that gave her a new lease of life, she was unable to conquer the disease.

Her mother Kerry Okines posted on Facebook tonight: “My baby girl has gone somewhere better. She took her last breath in my arms at 9.39pm x.”

Click on the link to read more about this remarkable young girl


Hayley Okines

Filed under: Disabilities, Uncategorized, , ,

Five prescriptions to transform the NHS

The future of the NHS remains a key issue in the run-up to the general election.

As part of its Healthy Visions series, Radio 4 invited five leading practitioners and thinkers to share their prescriptions for the future of healthcare. How does our approach need to change, if the National Health Service is to cope with future demand?

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized

‘Embrace the disability’ 4 parents share the pain and joy of raising a child with autism

On World Autism Awareness Week these four devoted parents speak about the challenges and rewards they face on a daily basis

Two weeks ago, the story of Odin Cumus’s birthday triggered a huge and heart-warming response worldwide. It also generated crucial awareness around the challenges someone with autism faces. In particular, the story struck a chord with many parents raising children with autism, who are familiar with the misunderstanding and exclusion autistic people and their families experience.

With World Autism Awareness Week this week, four parents have written about the highs, lows trials and rewards of bringing up a child on the autistic spectrum. By doing so, they have provided an emotional and much-needed insight in to what is often described as an invisible disability.

Please click on the link to read their stories

Please watch Sarah Alderson’s video creating awareness for Autism

Filed under: Disabilities, Uncategorized, ,

Why are some doctors STILL so rude to patients’ loved ones? After two very different encounters at the same hospital, this lament that’ll strike a chord with many

  • Sarah Foot says a consultant talked down at her and her sick husband
  • Her ‘hostile body language’ was ‘telling me to shut up and know my place’
  • Says that like all relatives, what she needed was kindness and support

Here’s the scene: My husband Tony is desperately ill and I’m sitting by his hospital bed. He’s been sick for weeks and at one stage I was told he was expected to die. He’s now out of a coma and no longer, thank God, one of the ten sickest people in the vast teaching hospital. But still no one knows what’s wrong with him. He’s been moved from the intensive care unit into a small room when suddenly a consultant descends.

She crashes through the door, followed by half a dozen of her juniors, who crowd round the bed and wait for her to speak. No one’s in any doubt who’s in charge. She talks not at us, but down to us, like some reincarnation of the monstrous Sir Lancelot Spratt (played by James Robertson Justice) from the Doctor In The House films. Except this isn’t funny. Tony has been in hospital for more than a month, but how or why he got ill so suddenly no one really knows.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, Uncategorized, , , ,

Do you like my blog Strength in Numbers? Please email me your comments

If you like my blog, please email me at so I can post. You can stay anonymous if you wish

Thank you, Joanna



Filed under: Uncategorized,

Meningitis B vaccine deal agreed – Jeremy Hunt

All UK babies will soon have access to a vaccine against meningitis B, after a deal with drug manufacturers, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced.

The agreement with GlaxoSmithKline will mean the vaccine can be introduced on the NHS “this year”, Mr Hunt said. Government advisers said in 2014 that every child over two months old should be given the vaccine, but negotiations over costs have delayed this process. Mr Hunt said it was important to get value for money. Campaigners had warned the delays put children’s lives at risk.

The drug will now be added to the national childhood immunisation scheme, meaning babies will receive the first vaccine at two months old, followed by two further doses. Scotland’s health secretary, Shona Robison, said the vaccine would be provided to all infants in Scotland “as quickly as possible” following the deal – which was also made on behalf of the devolved government.

Click on the link to read and watch the video’s


Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

World first as surgeons spot a brain tumour – with a ‘bleeping pen’: Laser helps surgeons tell the difference between healthy and cancerous tissue

Surgeons often describe the tricky operation to remove a brain tumour as ‘trying to pluck a spider out of jelly’. Take out too little and the cancerous ‘legs’ remain and regrow – but take out too much and there is a risk of cutting away healthy tissue and leaving the patient disabled.

Now a British hospital is trialling a laser that bleeps like a parking sensor on a car when the scalpel gets to the edge of the cancerous areas, letting surgeons know their margins for error. In a world first, neurosurgeons at London’s Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have started using the pen-like probe, called the Core, which shines a near-infrared light on to a tumour and scans for subtle differences between healthy and cancerous tissue.  The device can read the differences in less than a second, and gives a warning sound if the surgeon is close to healthy tissue. About 16,000 Britons are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year, and more children and adults under 40 die from the condition than from any other cancer. There are more than 120 types.

Click on the link to read more

MoS2 Template Master

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , , , ,

Could the statutory duty of candour backfire? By Will Powell

I was very interested to read an article recently published by the British Medical Association [“BMA”] with the heading: “Statutory duty of candour could backfire”.  It never ceases to amaze me that any individual doctor let alone an organisation associated with the medical profession could claim publicly that being open and honest about medical mistakes could in any way be detrimental to patient safety. This is the very culture, in my view, that made the need for the introduction of a ‘legal’ duty of candour absolutely necessary – honesty should be the foundation for all doctor patient relationships!

Although rarely accepted and denied by the government the absence of a duty of candour was first exposed in the High Court in Cardiff in 1996. It was highlighted by the case of our son Robbie Powell who died in April 1990. Doctors responsible for Robbie’s death had been untruthful about the circumstances of Robbie’s negligent death, falsified the child’s medical records and post death caused psychological damage to my wife and me by exacerbating our grief as a consequence of their dishonesty. The UK Courts ruled that because doctors had no post death ‘legal’ duty to be honest to parents, in such circumstances, the case was struck-out.

Click on the link to read more


Will Powell

Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , , ,

My name is Bernard Benton and I need the right to live, I need treatment

Toni Curry is fighting for the right for her father to live.

I have had to ask my poor dad the hardest question in my entire life today , and that was whether or not he chooses to be treated or allowed to die naturally without any treatment at all, in preperation for judgement day tomorrow at the surgery, so that I can fully express his current wishes as a consequence of Billingham district nursing team and Stockton PCT wanting a clear cut beurogratic case.

My dad is called bernard benton and he is bed bound with multiple co morbidities. He is 87 yrs old and is cared for at home by myself Toni Curry his daughter.

Due to dads illnesses the gp back in January 2015 thought it would be of no benefit to dad to send him back into hospital for treatment. I reserved the right to disagree at any point as it all depended on dads views at the end of the day. The division would have to lie with him to refuse any treatment. As with all elderly people when suffering an infection, they then can become confused and disorientated with fluctuating capacity. This is no different for my father.

Please click on the link below to read the rest of my fathers story

My dad is called bernard benton and he is bed bound with multiple co morbidities


This was my dads reply , and I fully support him on this.

Love and respect you dad xxxxxxxxxxx

Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

I loved being a midwife but bullying, stress and fear made me resign

Please read this very moving account from a midwife who has now resigned, Joanna


I am tired of the paperwork, the audits, the inspections and the nights on the sofa sobbing after another dreadful shift

I am a midwife with eight years experience and I love my job. I practise in a large, bustling unit where the sounds of the doorbell, fridge alarms, emergency bells and birthing women create a glorious symphony. Eight years on I still get a frisson of excitement when I go on shift and see a full board and a busy delivery ward. But I practise in a unit where women’s needs and autonomy are quashed under reams of risk assessments, individual needs forms, care plans, catheter forms, cannula forms, ankle measurements and tick boxes on what leaflet was given to each woman and when. I work in an environment where my dedicated, courageous colleagues who want the best birth for every woman they care for now work from a place of fear – and that is a great tragedy. I am supposed to be the guardian of normal birth.

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, ,

Penrose inquiry: David Cameron apologises over infected blood

Prime Minister David Cameron has apologised on behalf of the British government to victims of the contaminated blood scandal.

It came after a Scottish inquiry described the saga as “the stuff of nightmares”. Thousands of people were infected with Hepatitis C and HIV through NHS blood products in the 1970s and 80s. But the inquiry concluded few matters could have been done differently. And it made only a single recommendation – that anyone in Scotland who had a blood transfusion before 1991 should be tested for Hepatitis C if they have not already done so.

There was an angry response to the report from victims and relatives who had gathered at the National Museum in Edinburgh to see its publication after a six year wait, with shouts of “whitewash” after its conclusions were read out. The contaminated blood scandal has been described as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS, and was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people, many of whom had been haemophiliac patients.

Click on the link to read and watch the video’s of today’s announcement

You can read the Penrose Inquiry Final Report by clicking on the PDF here.. Penrose inquiry Final report



Lord Penrose’s inquiry took six years to complete it’s report

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , , , , ,

Award Winning Poet – Adam Bojelian. February 2000 – March 2015. Fly high with all the other Angels Adam. RIP

I was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Adam Bojelian.  Such a talented, strong, courageous, and selfless young man.

Adam’s blog is on my links section under Disabilities… Writing by blinking – In The Blink Of An Eye.

This link below is from an article published in The Daily Mail 20th December 2012 about Adam’s life

YouTube – Published on 14 Jan 2015. Words and music by Adam Bojelian aka AdsthePoet

Adam requested his family set up the page below in his memory for . Please donate

Filed under: Disabilities, Uncategorized, ,

Cancer survival rates 10 years behind Europe: British figures still well below other countries despite billions being spent to improve situation over the last 15 years

Cancer survival rates in Britain lag more than ten years behind those in many other European countries, experts warn. Even for breast cancer – one of the most treatable forms of the disease – the figures are still well below those reached by France, Sweden and Italy in the late 1990s. For lung cancer, the rates are so far behind that patients in Britain are now half as likely to survive as those living in Austria.  Macmillan Cancer Support has described the situation as ‘shameful’ and warns too many patients are dying needlessly here when they would survive had they been treated elsewhere in Europe. And despite billions being spent to improve cancer survival rates over the last 15 years – £640million invested by Labour in the early 2000s and £750million by the Tories – Britain does not appear to have gained any ground.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Cancer, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, ,

Powerful and shocking but eloquently spoken by Nick Pidgeon explaining in great detail what really happens to Whistleblowers lives.

This video explains the scandal of the treatment of whistleblowers in modern Britain. Speak up about abuse, fraud or unnecessary deaths and you could be treated like a dissident in a totalitarian country. The video uses many examples to illustrate how whistleblowers are subjected to an ordeal similar to dissidents in North Korea, Zimbabwe, or China. Lies and misinformation are spread to destroy reputations. Whistleblowers

Filed under: Uncategorized, Whistleblowing,

Brain tumour boy Ashya King is free of cancer, parents say

Wonderful news. My highest admiration goes out to Ashya’s parents that had the faith and courage to defy doctors here in the UK. Joanna


The parents of five-year-old Ashya King, who were jailed after taking him abroad for brain tumour treatment, say their son is now free of cancer

Ashya King is free of cancer after he was given treatment not available for him on the NHS, his parents have claimed. The five-year-old’s family have told of his “miracle” recovery, as the centre where he was treated declared him cancer-free, The Sun reported. Ashya’s mother Naghmeh, who alongside her husband Brett sparked an international manhunt last summer by removing the little boy from hospital in Southampton without medical consent, described the news as incredible.

“If we had left Ashya with the NHS in Britain, he would not be with us today. He was too weak and would not have survived,” she told the paper. Ashya was finally allowed to undergo treatment at the Proton Therapy Centre (PTC) in Prague for brain cancer after a long legal battle fought by his parents.

Click on the link to read more


Ashya King with his mother Naghmeh in October 2014 after his proton therapy treatment

Filed under: Cancer, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , , ,

Is this a miracle cancer vaccine? Scientists hail breakthrough treatment as a ‘game changer’

Scientists are having extraordinary success treating cancer with new vaccines they believe could be a ‘game-changer’ in the battle against the disease.

They have worked out how to teach the body’s immune system to identify cancer cells, allowing patients to be primed to destroy cancer. In one case an American woman given just weeks to live was cleared of advanced blood cancer. She is still alive three years later, and her doctor says she is not a one-off.  British researchers are now working on a related approach. Both methods involve taking T-cells, which fight infection, and giving them the ability to recognise a special tag on the surface of cancer cells, called the WT1 protein. The research is being carried out on patients with leukaemia. But the scientists hope their vaccines will eventually be used to fight many types of cancer, including that of breast, bowel and prostate – whose cells tend to have WT1 on their surfaces.

Click on the link to read more

MoS2 Template Master

Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized, , ,

The biggest disaster in the NHS’s history: 2,000 died after 34,000 were given HIV or hepatitis C through infected blood…but it took 30 years for an apology

7,500 people, many haemophiliacs, given contaminated blood

  • Diseases came from high risk donors including prostitutes and prisoners 
  • Many victims needed liver transplants and dialysis
  • People inadvertently infected partners and children with diseases 
  • Follows publication of 1,800-page, six-year report into scandal  

The Government will apologise this week for what has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the National Health Service – the infection of thousands of patients with deadly diseases through use of contaminated blood products.

Following the personal intervention of David Cameron, there will be a formal statement of regret given to the House of Commons, similar to those acknowledging the official failures of Bloody Sunday and the Hillsborough football disaster. This will come after the publication on Wednesday of the 1,800-page Penrose Inquiry, a six-year report into a scandal that has led to more than 2,000 British deaths. About 7,500 people, many of them haemophiliacs, are known to have contracted HIV and hepatitis C after being given imported blood products taken from high-risk donors such as prostitutes and prisoners in the 1970s and 1980s.

Click on the link to read more


Long fight: Members of the Haemophilia Society delegation delivered a petition to David Cameron, along with lilies to represent people that have died as a result of being given infected blood

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , , , , ,

Is the NHS getting safer? This is one of a series of overviews, looking at key areas of quality: safety, waiting times, mental health, person-centred care and international comparisons. The Health Foundation, Authors John Illingworth

This overview considers how the NHS has performed over the current parliament in relation to patient safety. We look at data relating to reported incidents and harm, episodes of care free of certain types of harm, and patient and staff perceptions of safety.

  •  Harm caused by health care affects every health system in the world; the NHS is no exception. Research from the UK suggests that around 8-12% of admissions to hospitals will involve an adverse event, resulting in harm to the patient. Between half and one third of these adverse events are thought to be preventable. Similar figures are reported in international studies.
  • The NHS has made great progress in tackling some specific causes of harm in hospitals. The number of people developing infections such as MRSA as a result of their care has remained low during this parliament. The proportion of patients receiving care that is free of four common adverse events, including pressure ulcers, has increased from 91% in July 2012 to 94% in February 2015.
  • Staff reporting of hospital safety incidents continues to improve. There has been a sustained increase in the reporting of incidents during this parliament, while the percentage of staff saying they have witnessed an incident has remained roughly the same. This suggests that the proportion of hospital incidents going unreported has declined.
  • Some warning signs are emerging among the NHS workforce. During this parliament, the percentage of staff who say there is a blame culture in their organisation has risen, as has the percentage of staff who have reported feeling unwell because of work-related stress. Around 40% of patients feel there aren’t always enough nurses on duty to care for them.
  • We don’t know how safe health care services are outside of hospital. There is little published evidence from which to draw conclusions about levels of harm in primary and community care. Less than 1% of all reported incidents are in primary care, despite 90% of all patient contact taking place there, suggesting significant underreporting of harm in this care setting.

Click the PDF below to download the overview 

Swimming Against The Tide Briefing The Health Foundation



Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , , , ,

Doctor struck off register following fatal prescription error

I cannot understand with all the history of this doctor, and the errors that had happened, not alone being suspended from a hospital in 2010, he still was able to get through the system and work! It’s beggars belief  that this has happened, and will it happen again? Joanna


A DOCTOR who mistakenly prescribed a fatal dose of medication to a pensioner has been struck off. Dr Prashen Pillay, pictured below will be permanently removed from the General Medical Council register following a hearing this week. A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel upheld several charges against Dr Pillay which involved incidents in Sussex and other parts of the country between 2010 and 2014. Joan Dixon died of poisoning after Dr Pillay wrote milligrams instead of micrograms on her prescription while she was being treated at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.

Mrs Dixon, 77, of High Street, Findon, near Worthing, had mental health problems and was sectioned in 2010. She fell and broke her hip in the Orchard ward of the Harold Kidd Unit in Chichester in September that year. She was treated in Ashling ward of St Richard’s Hospital where she was found to have an irregular heartbeat, a swollen calf and bladder problems. Dr Pillay was supposed to prescribe 250 micrograms of digoxin, a drug which regulates the heart, but wrote milligrams instead.

Click on the link to read more


Dr Prashen Pillay

Filed under: NHS Blunders, Uncategorized

People with muscular dystrophy abandoned by NHS, says charity

People with muscular dystrophy are being driven to depression and suicidal thoughts by a lack of support from the NHS, with some doctors advising patients to Google the condition on diagnosis, a charity has found.

There are more than 60 types of muscle-wasting conditions affecting about 70,000 people in the UK and Muscular Dystrophy UK says that their rare nature mean that those affected are often left abandoned and isolated with nowhere to turn. It surveyed 700 people with such conditions and found that more than half experienced feelings of depression, a fifth had suicidal thoughts and one in four were forced to wait more than three years for their diagnosis after first raising concerns with a health professional.

Click on the link to read more


There are more than 60 genetic muscle-wasting conditions. The charity Muscular Dystrophy UK says the NHS is not giving patients enough support to cope with what is often a difficult diagnosis. Photograph: Mopic / Alamy/Alamy

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , , , ,

Is it dementia or just normal ageing? New test will help doctors identify if you are at risk of memory problems

A new scoring test to determine who is most at risk of developing memory problems will help doctors spot the signs of dementia, scientists said today.

The new tool is aimed at dementia of the debilitating condition, which currently affects more than 47 million people across the world. By 2030, the World Health Organisation predicts that number will spiral to 75 million. But researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota hope their research will help identify those most at risk, to help doctors intervene with potentially preventative treatments.  Study author Ronald Petersen, from the Clinic’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre, said: ‘Our goal is to identify people who are at the highest risk for dementia as early as possible.

‘Early detection of individuals at high risk of developing memory and thinking problems that we call mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is crucial because people with MCI are at a greater risk of developing dementia. ‘This allows for a wider window of opportunity to initiate preventative measures.’

Click on the link to read, and take the memory test


While forgetting what you went upstairs for is and taking a few minutes to recall where you parked your car is no cause for concern, if you can’t remember your grandchild’s name but can recall childhood memories, you should visit your GP, experts say



Filed under: Dementia, Elderly, Uncategorized, , ,


The trust in charge of the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven has declared a major incident.

The News & Star has learned that staff were called to a meeting at 3pm yesterday. There they were told that the hospital is now at “escalation number five”, which is an internal major incident. A spokeswoman for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust told the News & Star that the declaration is across the trust, but the Carlisle hospital is more acutely affected. We understand that the hospital simply ran out of beds yesterday afternoon, and had no option but to declare an emergency and call for help from its partner agencies.

NHS England has said it will not be commenting.

A full statement from the trust and NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group is expected later.

  • Have you been affected? Call 01228 612653 or email


Filed under: A&E, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, ,

Patients who criticised their GP surgery online get ‘threatening’ letters from the practice telling them to find a new doctor

A group of patients who criticised their local GP surgery on Facebook have been told to consider finding a new doctor in an attempt to stifle negative feedback online. Staff at the Trent Meadows Medical Practice near Burton, Staffordshire, had been monitoring social media comments and culprits have since been sent ‘threatening’ letters.

Sylvia Blackshaw, 35, had written that on three occasions she waited for 90 minutes for an appointment for her newborn baby. But she was later accused of abusive behaviour by the surgery who branded it ‘inappropriate patient behaviour’ and warned her that she should consider finding an ‘alternative practice’.

Mrs Blackshaw had said ‘OMG. Demand a recount!’ in a comment on a glowing report for the surgery from health watchdog the Care Quality Commission on her local paper’s Facebook page.

A fortnight later a letter sent to her home from the surgery said: ‘We have a zero tolerance for inappropriate patient behaviour which is either face to face, over the telephone or on social media networks and do not accept this from our patients.’

Click on the link to read more


Row: Jenny Wheeldon, left, and Sylvia Blackshaw, right with son Jake, have been told to consider finding a new GP after their surgery saw their criticism online. Warning: This letter below from GP partner Judith Crosse has also been sent to other critics


Filed under: GP's, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Unfilled posts threaten patient care

A shortage of junior doctors and consultants at an ‘inadequate’ mental health trust must be tackled urgently, says the BMA.  Unsafe staffing levels were first revealed at NSFT (Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust) in a damning report by the health regulator, the CQC (Care Quality Commission), published last month. At that time, the trust said vacancy rates in clinical services were below 10 per cent.

However, a BMA freedom of information request to the trust has revealed the medical vacancy rate, as of February, stands at 14.4 per cent — equating to a shortage of more than 31 doctors. BMA Eastern regional consultant committee chair Rob Harwood said the findings highlighted the need for proper investment in health services and needed to be addressed ‘urgently’. Dr Harwood said: ‘We perhaps ought not to be surprised that a trust recently placed in special measures by the CQC needs more doctors, based on its own figures. ‘Mental health services need appropriate resources to allow them to care properly for their patients.’

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Health regulator has failed and is not fit for purpose, says CQC chairman

The regulator, which is responsible for ensuring high standards of care are upheld across the country’s hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes, has been accused of not acting quickly enough or thoroughly investigating scandals relating to Mid Stafford Hospital and Winterbourne View care home. The British Medical Association added that it had “no confidence” in the regulator last June after allegations of a cover-up over inspections at a children’s hospital in Cumbria.

Click on the link to read more



David Prio, former chairman at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Filed under: Care Homes, GP's, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

‘Daddy, What’s Down Syndrome?’ Explaining My Son’s Diagnosis to His Sister by David Perry

My daughter is five and she likes to ask questions. Some are awesome: “Why can’t you see black holes?” “Why is sugar sweet?” “Can I be the first girl president?” “If I do this, will it explode?” (Answers: physics of light; chemistry of food; yes you can; and “Stop shaking that bottle right now!”). Other questions are more complicated: “How do babies get inside mommies’ tummies?” and “Will you and mommy die?” We try to answer all questions honestly, but also appropriately for her age.

A few weeks ago, though, Ellie asked me the one question I’ve been preparing for since before she was born, but was still not ready to answer: “Daddy, what is Down syndrome?”

Click on the link to read more


Nico (who has Down syndrome) with his little sister Ellie. Photo: Courtesy of David Perry

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Barts NHS Trust in special measures after deaths of newborn and mother (Whipps Cross Hospital)

The country’s biggest NHS Trust has been placed in special measures, in the wake of a damning inspection report that catalogued unsafe care caused by staff shortages and a bullying culture at one of its main hospitals.

Whipps Cross Hospital, part of the Barts Health NHS Trust, was branded inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in a report which uncovered 208 serious incidents last year alone – including the deaths of two unborn babies, a new mother and a newborn baby. The Trust, which serves 2.5 million in east London and Essex, has been plagued by financial problems since it was formed by the merger of three London Trusts in 2012. It is also projecting a deficit of £93m this year. Two years ago, managers decided to cut hundreds of nursing posts to help balance the books, after a slowdown in national NHS funding combined with crippling repayments on a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal forced the Trust into the red. In total, 220 nursing posts were lost at Whipps Cross, and hundreds of other  staff had their pay and responsibilities downgraded.

As a result, inspectors said yesterday, the hospital did not have enough staff to ensure safe care.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, , , ,

MPs call for better training to improve nurses’ end of life care skills, By Nicola Merrifield, Nursing Times

Nurses and other clinicians must receive tailored training to address the lack of confidence and skills they have in raising end of life issues with patients, a report by the Commons’ health select committee has said.

The MPs’ inquiry into end of life care found variation in the quality and practice of care given to people approaching the end of life – defined by the committee as those who appear likely to die within the next 12 months – within both hospital and community settings.

End of life care is unlikely to improve unless staff feel able to identify people who are close to dying and start conversations with them about where and how they would like to be cared for, said the MPs in their report.

Evidence submitted to the committee by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman stated that half of all its complaints around this type of care featured poor communication – including between clinicians and patients or the family, within clinical teams and between hospitals and community services.

Click on the link to read more

MPs call for better training to improve nurses’ end of life care skills


Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Dementia Documentry. Please watch Norman McNamara’s account on what its like to live with dementia

Diagnosed with Dementia aged just 50 yrs old, now 56 and still fighting it. Please watch his story and how he is helping others.

Filed under: Dementia, Uncategorized,

NHS sell-out: Tories sign largest privatisation deal in history worth £780MILLION

The sales to a total of 11 private firms, some with dubious records, are intended to help hospitals tackle the backlog of patients waiting for surgery and tests.

Jeremy Hunt’s claims that the NHS is not for sale lay in tatters last night after he signed the largest privatisation deal in history. The Health Secretary, who has repeatedly denied health services are being siphoned off to private firms under this Government, faced furious reactions as the £780 million deal was revealed.

The sales to a total of 11 private firms, some with dubious records, are intended to help hospitals tackle the backlog of patients waiting for surgery and tests. Heart, joint and a variety of operations will be carried out, as well as scans, X-rays and other diagnostic tests. Under the deal struck by the NHS Supply Chain, many services will be provided in mobile units, rather than hospitals.

The news was met by anger, not least because three of the 11 profit-driven firms have previously been slammed for providing poor quality of care.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Alzheimer’s breakthrough: ultrasound successfully treats disease in mice

Scientists believe they may have found a new weapon in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease – not in the form of a drug but in focused beams of ultrasound. While the approach has only been tested in mice, researchers said on Wednesday it proved surprisingly good at clearing tangles of plaques linked to Alzheimer’s in the animals’ brains and improving their memory, as measured by tests such as navigating a maze. In the past, high-energy ultrasound has been combined with injected microbubbles, which vibrate in response to sound waves, to get drugs across the so-called blood brain barrier. But the new research, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, is the first demonstration that ultrasound alone might have a beneficial effect on the memory-robbing condition.

Click on the link to read more

Alzheimer's disease brain scan

Filed under: Dementia, Uncategorized, ,

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