Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

First patients diagnosed through genome sequencing, the milestones announced today

Patients in the NHS are now receiving personalised care based on their DNA code. Two families have been diagnosed with rare conditions as part of a project at Newcastle Hospitals and University that used an analysis of their genomes – the complete set of people’s genes – to properly understand the health issues they are experiencing. They will now receive effective, personalised treatment, as well as helping prevent future generations who share their DNA from suffering a life of uncertainty about similar symptoms.

One hundred thousand genomes will be sequenced across the country, making the UK the world-leader in collecting and decoding human genomes to help scientists and doctors understand rare disease and design personalised treatments.

Click on the link to read more, and how this will help



Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Jeremy Hunt under fire for failure to publish critical NHS report

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been accused of undermining his own plan for a “transparency revolution” in the NHS by refusing to publish a report said to be critical of the Government’s handling of the health service.

The report by Conservative peer Stuart Rose was submitted to the Government in December and was due to be made public before the general election in May. However, the Department of Health said publication has been delayed because the Rose review’s remit had been expanded and “further work is required”. The findings of another NHS report also needed to be taken into account, it added.

In a letter to Mr Hunt that has been seen by The Independent, Labour’s shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said this reason was not credible and noted that the chair of the Health Select Committee, Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, was also concerned. Mr Burnham said the delay undermined Mr Hunt’s stated aim to “hard-wire transparency into the health and care system”, to prevent whistleblowers being victimised.

Click on the link to read more


The report by Conservative peer Stuart Rose was submitted to the Government in December and was due to be made public before the general election in May

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, Whistleblowing, ,

Getting your message across

Dear Friends, there are lots of ways to get your message across and all for free.

Have you thought of writing a book on your story, your experiences?

Writing is very cathartic, it releases emotional tension especially after an overwhelming experience. You don’t need to pay for a publisher, as you can self publish for free. It’s very easy to do and there are tutorials to help you. 

I use Purchasing is on a one per print basis, so you can pay for one book or more. Once published, you automatically go onto Lulu’s web store so others can view and purchase your book. Or if you like you can keep it private, just for your eyes only. You get free template designs for your book cover, and templates to get you started. Once published Lulu also link you onto Amazon for free if you wish, to give you more exposure. You can also publish on Amazon kindle, and I repeat it’s all free.

There are great tutorials on both sites, and you can also do some research on YouTube, a great free learning tool.

You can get your story published in the media. I used Talk to the Press and my mother’s story was published in the Mail on Sunday

Do you have your own facebook page or group page?
Do you have a twitter account?

Do you have a blog? Go to wordpress to get started all for free.

I hope that the above has given you some ideas, and the only thing that it costs is time. Good luck, Joanna.


Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Hospital crisis hit 900 operations in West of England. Nearly half of those – 436 at Gloucestershire’s two main hospitals

More than 900 patients in the West of England had surgery cancelled for non-medical reasons at the start of 2015.

Nearly half of those – 436 – were due to be seen at Gloucestershire’s two main hospitals during a fortnight of intense pressure on the NHS. “Major incidents” were declared at a number of UK hospitals as medical staff struggled to cope with patient numbers. The Great Western Hospital in Swindon had the next highest total with 141 elective operations cancelled. Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust – which released its figures following a Freedom of Information request – said the pressure was due to high demand on it’s services, an increase in frail and elderly patients and a shortage of beds. A statement from the trust said that operations called off on the day – a “national standard” for measuring cancellations – brought the number down to 43. The figure of 436 includes operations cancelled before and on the day for “non-medical” reasons. The trust said the data was “complex” and “should be considered in that context.”

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

The longest wait: The parents that have to live without their children

Ink barely dry on but I can’t help thinking of other families seeking truth like that of baby Lizzie Dixon. Tweeted by ShaunLintern

 No parent should ever go though & see the life taken away from their children that should have lived a normal and happy life, Joanna

Please click on the link, a story about Lizzie Dixon that I published 17th September 2014

Click to access private-eye.pdf


Lizzie Dixon.


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

Ex-NHS boss Farrar avoids Morecambe Bay question

Former NHS Confederation Chief Executive Mike Farrar is confronted by Channel 4 News over a “dysfunctional” maternity unit, which led to the unnecessary deaths of 11 babies and one mother.

Click on the link to watch and read


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

Nuneaton couple share their tragic story to raise awareness

The family are raising money for the Meningitis Research Foundation. Anyone who would like to donate should visit

LOSING a child is devastating for any parent but for Matt and Paula Hall their loss is even more heartbreaking. Today the couple from Crow Hill in Nuneaton will be preparing to say their final goodbyes to their beloved daughter, and told the News about the tragic circumstances which lead to 23-month-old Georgie’s death. Despite dealing with unimaginable grief, they were keen to share their story to help raise awareness and funds to help other families effected by meningitis. Mr Hall, who works for sports brand Adidas, explained that Georgie was a ‘miracle’ baby, after having to undergo IVF treatment and then his wife suffered complications during pregnancy.

“Georgie was a miracle baby in the first place after Paula had a heart problem while she was pregnant,” he explained. “Paula was in intensive care for weeks and we were faced with termination, which makes it even harder.” They cherished their daughter, taking her on a family holiday to Australia in January, and were looking forward to watching her grow – until tragedy struck.

Click on the link to read more


23-month-old Georgie Hall

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Morecambe Bay Investigation Report published

My heart and prayers go out to the parents and families of all the babies and the mother that died unnecessary due to the shocking errors made. Joanna

Independent investigation into maternity and neonatal services in Morecambe Bay makes far-reaching recommendations to prevent future unnecessary deaths.

The report makes 44 recommendations for the Trust and wider NHS, aimed at ensuring the failings are properly recognised and acted upon.

Announcing the report’s findings, Investigation Chairman Dr Bill Kirkup said:

All health care – everywhere – includes the possibility of error. The great majority of NHS staff know this and work hard to avoid it. They should not be blamed or criticised when errors occur despite their efforts.

But in return, all of us who work for the NHS owe the public a duty to be open and honest when things go wrong, most of all to those affected, and to learn from what has happened. This is the contract that was broken in Morecambe Bay.

The investigation report details 20 instances of significant failures of care in the FGH maternity unit which may have contributed to the deaths of 3 mothers and 16 babies. Different clinical care in these cases would have been expected to prevent the death of 1 mother and 11 babies. This is almost 4 times the frequency of such occurrences at the Trust’s other main maternity unit, at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

The report says the maternity department at FGH was dysfunctional with serious problems in 5 main areas:

Click on the Press Release link to read more

Click on the link to read the Morecambe Bay Investigation Report

The Report of the Morecambe Bay Investigation


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

Lamb proposes single department for health and social care By David Williams LGC

In a wide ranging pre-election interview with LGC’s sister title Health Service Journal, the Liberal Democrat minister said the government should lead by example by integrating budgets at a national level through the the creation of a “new department for health and care” immediately after the election. This would mean the Department for Communities & Local Government loses responsibility over care funding, which would be handed to a new incarnation of the Department of Health.

“Can anyone argue against it?” Mr Lamb asked. Restating his view that health and social care budgets should be fully merged locally by 2018, Mr Lamb said: “To match that nationally you’ve got to have a department for health and care. “It’s ridiculous that we have funding for the health and care system flowing through two different government departments and endless negotiations between two. It has to be one department.”

Click on the link to read more

Lamb proposes single department for health and social care


Norman Lamb suggests a ‘new department for health and care’ should be established immediately after the election

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, ,

600 patients die of hunger and thirst every year: Hospital staff refuse to help, say families

Almost 600 patients are dying in hospitals each year because of hunger and thirst, figures show. Bereaved relatives have told how their loved ones were ‘forgotten to death’ by staff who refused to help them eat or drink. Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that 7,949 deaths have been attributed to hunger and thirst in the past decade.  In recent years, however, numbers have fallen – suggesting the standards of nursing care are showing signs of improvement.

The figures show that in NHS and private hospitals in 2013, dehydration was recorded as an underlying cause of death or a contributory factor in 574 deaths. In 2008 the total was 942. In 2013 a further 336 deaths were logged with malnutrition being an underlying cause or contributory factor. The two figures cannot be added together to give a total because some patients would have been recorded in both categories. Another 88 deaths in care homes in 2013 were attributed to dehydration and 33 to malnutrition, according to the figures which were obtained by Channel 4 News. The family of a retired engineer who died of acute dehydration have told how staff dumped drinks by his bed without bothering to help him reach them.

Click on the link to read more


‘Forgotten to death’: Almost 600 patients are dying in hospitals each year because of hunger and thirst, figures show, with bereaved relatives saying staff refused to help them eat or drink. (Stock image)

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

Are you living with a silent hell?

I know people close to me like this. They look great on the outside, but inside they are living with a constant hell. Pain, Stress, Bereavement etc. People do not understand that by putting on some make up everything is OK. Well it’s not… Joanna

Are you living with a silent hell? Please comment on our private survey. Please click on the link


Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Abuse on a grand scale: Jimmy Savile raped and sexually assaulted victims aged 5 to 75 at 41 NHS hospitals, including 60 at Stoke Mandeville, during a 24 year reign of abuse

It sickens me that a man using his celebrity status was allowed to cover-up his prolific paedophile abuse.  Hospital staff dismissed allegations as they thought he was an ‘asset’ for the hospital. Shame on them all. Joanna

Jimmy Savile was allowed unfettered access to the NHS where he raped and sexually assaulted patients in 41 hospitals during a 24 year reign of abuse, a bombshell report has revealed this morning. The paedophile DJ attacked 60 NHS patients at Stoke Mandeville Hospital alone, where he was given his own private bedroom and 24 hour access to all wards. It is also likely that he had sex with bodies in the Buckinghamshire hospital’s mortuary and is believed to have stolen a glass eye from one body and had it made into a medallion he wore round his neck.

One member of staff who was complained about Savile’s abuse was ‘severely reprimanded’ by her bosses and the complaint was dropped, the report said. The disgraced celebrity, who is now thought to be Britain’s most prolific paedophile abuser, assaulted victims as young as eight years old who were being cared for by the NHS. But despite at least 10 complaints being made nothing was done by senior managers to stop him.

Click on the link to read more

The Secretary of State for Health asked former barrister Kate Lampard to produce a ‘lessons learned’ report, drawing on the findings from all published investigations and emerging themes. The report includes 14 recommendations for the NHS, the Department of Health and wider government.

Click on the link to download the Independent report from The Department of Health. KL_lessons_learned_report_FINAL  Jimmy Savile NHS investigations: Lessons learned  


Fame: Savile raised millions for the Stoke Mandeville, which led to him being seen as an ‘asset’, 

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Third of NHS staff do not feel secure about raising care concerns, By Will Hazell Nursing Times

Nearly one third of NHS employees do not agree that they would feel secure raising concerns about unsafe clinical practice, according to the 2014 NHS staff survey.

The survey results, published 24th February 2015, paint a picture of increasing pressure on those who work within the health service. Of the survey’s 29 “key findings”, 15 have deteriorated since last year, 11 have improved, one has remained the same, and two cannot be compared due to changes in the questions. Sixty-four per cent of staff surveyed said if a friend or relative needed treatment they would be happy with the standard of care provided by their organisation, a slight decrease on the 65% recorded in 2013.

Picker Institute Europe, which carried out the survey, said the fall was “concerning” because the measure is strongly related to patient experiences of care. Fifty-six per cent of staff said they would recommend their organisation as a place to work, down from 58% in 2013. There was a marked decrease in the number of staff satisfied with their level of pay, from 38% in 2013 to 33% this year, representing the first drop in pay satisfaction since 2011. Only 29% felt there are enough staff for them to do their jobs properly, down one percentage point on the previous year.

Click on the link to read more

Third of NHS staff do not feel secure about raising care concerns

Click on the link to see full survey from Picker Institute Europe


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

Failure to train enough nurses proves very costly for NHS

Information obtained by the Royal College of Nursing in the East of England shows a 69pc rise in agency nursing expenditure across the region by £20m and a 26pc growth in the number of nurse vacancies across the region. The data shows that many hospitals are struggling to recruit permanent staff and are having to spend increasing amounts of money on temporary staff to look after patients and increasingly looking overseas to recruit nurses. Acute hospitals were asked under the Freedom of Information Act for registered nurse vacancies, nurse agency spend and overseas recruitment during 2014.

RCN director for the eastern region, Karen Webb, said: “The cost of central government’s failure to plan properly for the NHS’s workforce needs is proving cripplingly expensive.  “Through no fault of their own, NHS trusts in our region are scouring the globe looking for nurses and, in the meantime, having to make do with the sticking plaster approach of using expensive agency nurses. “It’s not good for patient care and it is the most inefficient and most expensive way to try and staff wards.”

Click on the link to read more


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

Anguish as Coventry grandfather is denied Parkinson’s ‘wonder-drug’ on NHS

A Coventry grandfather has been denied access to a so-called wonder drug that could help reverse the effects of years of damage that Parkinson’s Disease has ravaged on his body. Edward Reilly, known to his friends as Eamonn, was diagnosed with the progressive disease 16 years ago. He has now been told the NHS will not pay for him to at least try the breakthrough drug Duodopa which could ease his symptoms. Duodopa – which is only prescribed as a ‘last resort’ treatment option where other medications have failed – is said to help control involuntary movements, night-time symptoms and help curtail ‘off’ periods. But last year NHS England announced the drug would not be routinely available on the NHS, meaning doctors have to make long and bureaucratic applications on a case-by-case basis.

Click on the link to read more


Have you been denied a drug from the NHS that would help you? This is a one question Patient-Centric Survey to this news article: Please click on the link below, and help us with your comments. Thank you, Joanna


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

Calls for compulsory heart screening for young people

Campaigners are lobbying for compulsory heart screening for all 14 to 35-year-olds to help prevent sudden cardiac deaths in the UK. Every week 12 young people die from sudden cardiac death, but there is still no routine system of NHS heart screenings for young people.

Reporter Dianne Oxberry spoke to 22-year-old Chris Smith from Preston who had no idea he had a serious heart condition until he attended a screening event with his mother six years ago.

Click on the link to read more and watch the video


Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

3,000 heart attack and stroke victims suffer delays after falling ill at weekends

3,000 heart attack and stroke victims a year are suffering delays being admitted to hospitals after falling ill at weekends, because NHS services are not working round the clock, a new report suggests. Senior doctors last night warned that patients are dying needlessly because of poor access to GPs and out-of-hours services failing to detect emergency cases which should be sent to hospital. New analysis of national NHS data shows a steep drop in the number of cases being admitted to hospital as an emergency at weekends, and a still sharper fall in the number who were sent there by GPs.

The figures suggest that each year, 3,144 patients suffering from heart attacks and strokes end up suffering a delay of at least 24 hours being admitted to hospital, because their case was not identified as an emergency.

Click on the link to read more


NHS lets down patients with appalling standards at weekends, says top doctor

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

More than 1,000 doctors convicted of crimes from child porn to sexual assault are STILL practising – because banning them could breach their human rights

A growing number of doctors are continuing to practise despite being convicted of serious crimes such as child porn and sexual assault, it can be revealed today. Figures show that more than 1,000 medics have been allowed to keep their jobs after being found guilty of offences – a 10 per cent rise in two years. Other crimes include cruelty to children, domestic violence, drug-trafficking, possessing dangerous weapons and prostitution offences. It is believed many offenders could be treating children.

Campaigners have reacted angrily to the figures, accusing medical chiefs of not doing enough to protect patients.  But bosses at the General Medical Council, which released the data, say it is not always possible to automatically ban convicted doctors because it may breach their human rights.

Please click on the link to read this shocking article, Named and Shamed

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Not struck off: Dr Ashley Sibery (left) has been suspended after being convicted of injecting his wife with heroin, but could in theory return to work when the ban expires. Meanwhile, Dr Hassan Abdulla (middle) has been allowed to carry on working as a psychiatrist despite being convicted of illegally circumcising 41 boys in a ‘non-sterile’ unit. He has been barred from carrying out circumcisions for two years. Dr Nicholas Spicer (right) escaped being struck off in 2010 even though he was described by the General Medical Council as a ‘deviant’ for downloading child-sex stories

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

Listen! I’ll make you hear the whole world anew: The joy of the piano. The sound of footsteps. Even the hum of the fridge. How one woman’s inspiring story will make YOU appreciate the sounds you take for granted

She has a condition that left her deaf and now is robbing her of her sight. Yesterday, in our first extract from her new book, Jo Milne told of the wonderful moment in 2014 she heard a human voice for the first time at 39. Here, in the final instalment, she recalls how she became a worldwide sensation, how she discovered music — and how she also changed the life of a man who years before had been so cruel to her…

Click on the link to read Jo Milne’s wonderful inspirational story


Falling in love: Jo reacts as she hears for the first time when her cochlear implants are successfully turned on

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Please read this shocking account of what is happening to this lady. She is being starved against her will

I have published a new story on All Your Stories – Strength in Numbers

“My mother is a strong Catholic, is capable of eating, and said has expressed her desire to live, and that the forced palliative care is against her faith. Pinetum Nursing home has been removing food and drinks from my mother in order to stop her from recovering. This is a gross abuse of a patient that they are supposed to be trying to help get better” Dr Mark Jones

Please read Dr Mark Jones statement on the treatment his mother is receiving in a care home. She is being starved against her will. There is no medical reason for them removing sustenance from her other than to accelerate her death.

Mark wants want results and action. “If asked of me, I have all of the evidence needed in order to substantiate these claims in the form of witnesses as well as photographs/videos. The disregard that these establishments are showing for their patients are cruel and must be stopped”

Click on the pdf link to read…  Dr Mark Jones statement


Filed under: Care Homes, Uncategorized, , ,

NHS patients ‘ignored and sidelined’, says report by The Patients Association

Click on the link   Why our NHS should listen and be human  to download The Patients Association report

The Patients Association report identified a number of failings in how the health system interacts with patients

Patients feel “ignored and sidelined” by the NHS and too many vulnerable people experience unacceptable standards of care within the health system, according to a report commissioned by the Patients Association. The report, called “Why our NHS should listen and be human”, lambasted the lack of compassion and information many patients experienced when dealing with health professionals.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “Too often patients and their families are treated without compassion, are uninformed about treatment and next steps and feel ignored and side-lined when they raise concerns or complaints.  “The NHS is failing many of the most vulnerable members of society and patients and the public have told us about inconsistencies in the provision of care, poor standards of care and compassion, and a lack of openness and transparency in communication between healthcare staff, patients and their families,” she added. The report found that patients were scared to report problems because of “fear of recriminations,” despite the fact that the majority of people who raise concerns are motivated by a desire to improve conditions for other patients, not to get staff in trouble. It is especially important for patients to be kept informed about how their treatment will progress, but many felt that they were either left in the dark or not listened to.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , , ,

Robots taking over the NHS – Over 80 robots are used in hospitals across Scotland

Machines are taking over the Scottish NHS, according to new figures on the number of robots being used in hospitals. At least 84 robots are now in service in hospitals across Scotland, completing tasks ranging from dispensing drugs to ferrying linen. One health board said that despite installation and maintenance costs, the robots had helped deliver savings of more than £750,000. And while human jobs have been lost, managers insist staff were deployed to areas where a human touch was still appreciated.

NHS Forth Valley is leading the way with a grand total of 40 robots introduced since 2010. Management have spent at least £130,000 on 13 automated guidance vehicles (AGVs) – robots that move waste and linen and transfer food trolleys to wards.

Click on the link to read more


Over 80 robots, many like these, are now in use in hospitals across Scotland

Filed under: Hospital, Uncategorized, , ,

Please Save Marcus: Family and friends in emotional protest outside Croydon University Hospital

MORE than a hundred people protested outside Croydon University Hospital this evening angered at its “refusal” to treat young dad Marcus Campbell. A line of police officers blocked the main entrance to the building as the emotional crowd, including the critically ill 22-year-old’s family, chanted “Justice for Marcus”. The demonstration was organised, mostly though social media, after the family were told, against their wishes, the hospital would not resuscitate Marcus if his heart stopped. The former Stanley Technical High School pupil, who lives in Thornton Heath, is in a critical condition after developing a rare inflammation of his brain stem.
His family claim they were told he was “dying” and there was nothing more that could be done for him, leading them to accuse the hospital of “giving up”.  However, Croydon Health Services, the trust which runs the hospital, announced this evening that it has asked for an “urgent second opinion”, which be completed by an independent expert “later this week”.

Click on the link to read more


SERIOUSLY ILL: Marcus Campbell

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Jeremy Hunt: message to NHS staff about whistleblowing

The Secretary of State for Health talks about NHS culture change and whistleblowing.

Two years ago, Sir Robert Francis published his public inquiry report on the failures of care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. His findings shook the NHS to its core, and I made it my priority as Health Secretary to work hand-in-glove with all of you to ensure that such an unspeakable tragedy could never occur in our NHS again. As a result of your energy, passion and commitment, the NHS is turning a corner.

Today I am publishing a report entitled Culture Change in the NHS  which outlines the work that has been done to implement Sir Robert’s recommendations over the last couple of years.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Watch the Video’s ‘Climate of fear’: NHS staff scared of exposing danger to patients, whistleblowers tell RT


NHS whistleblowers take their protest to Westminster

An inquiry that found many NHS staff do not raise concerns about patient safety because they fear being ignored or bullied did not go far enough, whistle-blowing health professionals told RT. The Freedom to Speak Up Review found a “climate of fear” permeates the NHS in England, with whistleblowers subject to “shocking” treatment when they attempt to speak out. Sir Robert Francis QC, who led the inquiry, made a series of recommendations in his report including the appointment of “guardians” in each hospital to support staff who want to raise concerns. However, two former whistleblowers who spoke to RT, said the report fell short of tackling the real problems facing staff who speak out.

A group of former NHS staff protesting against the service’s “horrific” treatment of whistleblowers on Wednesday claimed the report did not go far enough to stop further incidents happening.

Click on the link to read more

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Peter Carter to step down as RCN chief executive

Dr Peter Carter, the RCN’s chief executive and general secretary, will step down from the role as soon as a successor is found. Dr Carter has been in the post for the past eight years, and has presided over issues such as the NHS reorganisation in 2012, and the recent pay dispute over the government’s refusal to award nurses a consolidated one per cent pay rise.

Dr Carter said: ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the RCN. It is just over eight years since I joined the college and it has been a wonderful time in my career. The challenges when I joined the RCN were significant and with the support of the RCN council and my colleagues we have taken forward the work of the RCN on behalf of our members.

Click on the link to read more

Peter 10

The RCN has announced Peter Carter’s departure

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Birmingham council accused of using ‘eBay-style’ auctions to decide on elderly care

Social services chiefs have been accused of removing the ‘humanity’ from the care home system by using an eBay-style auction to find places for the elderly. Care providers submitting the lowest price package ‘won’ the right to look after those needing help in more than nine out of ten cases. In the past, those requiring residential care would be referred by a social worker and taken to visit homes in their area until a suitable one was found.


Care home bosses claim nine out of ten residents are handed to the lowest bidder under new online service

Click on link to read more

Filed under: Care Homes, Uncategorized, ,

Heartache of cancer girl who accepts she’ll never experience true love before she dies

Oh so sad and what a beautiful girl. I hope she gets bag loads of cards for Valentines Day, and hopefully there will be a knight in shining armour with a heart as big as hers, Joanna

Angelic in a beautiful, ­flowing white wedding dress, Kathryn Cartwright blinked back her tears and smiled for her adoring mum. It should have been a moment to be cherished, a bride-to-be excitedly preparing for her big day. But 24-year-old Kathryn will never marry, nor even know what it feels like to be in love . The bittersweet moment was just another tick on her bucket list – something she wanted to experience before her life ebbs away. For cancer has cruelly robbed Kathryn of the chance of finding true happiness. Unsure she’d even live to see her 24th birthday last month, she knows for sure her chances of finding Mr Right have faded away.

Please click on the link to read

– If you would like to send Kathryn a card, we will forward it to her. Please send to Features, The Sunday People, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP.


Time runing out: Kathryn posed in a wedding dress as part of her bucket list

Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized, , ,

“My beloved Daughter by Ash Raye”

On the 1st February I posted a truly heartbreaking account with such a shocking video of Kayleigh  “My beloved Daughter by Ash Raye”

I am posting an article published in The Peterbough Telegraph today regarding Ash and Steve’s daughter Kayleigh and I have their permission to post the letter they received which apologies for gaps in Kayleigh’s medical records, lack of regular weighing and recording of fluid intake and output. It also apologises for failing to ensure a call bell was within easy reach of Kayleigh and agreed that a “do not attempt resuscitation” form had been incorrectly completed.”  


Peterborough City Hospital apology following death of 23-year-old woman

The family of a young woman who died at the age of 23 has received an apology from Peterborough City Hospital bosses after complaints about her care.  Kayleigh Compton died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, where she was sent after being admitted to Peterborough City Hospital in February 2013. She had suffered severe weight loss, which lead to medical complications and admissions to a number of hospitals on a number of occasions. She died on February 20 having collapsed six days previously.

Click on the link to read more


Response re Compton case

Filed under: NHS Blunders, Uncategorized,

Mass Protest to take place at Westminster London, 10am on 11th April 2015 regarding CSA / Child Sex Abuse

There is a Mass Protest to take place at Westminster on 11th April 2015 regarding CSA / Child Sex Abuse…I am hoping the Organisers will let all of us NHS and Carehome sufferers of Abuse join in…Any NHS or Carehome Complainant or Whistleblower will know exactly what ‘abuse’ I am talking about…We get abused by all the Gov Quango’s such as the NMC, GMC, CQC, PHSO et al…And when we take our concerns of criminal activity, that has taken place in a Hospital or Carehome, to the Police many of us are just fobbed off…Our family members were abused and now we have become the abused too… Toms Anguish

10am Outside Westminster the onto Trafalgar Square for 11am

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Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Locum doctor: Why shouldn’t I sell my labour to the highest bidder? – By Jim Higginson

I am a locum tenens: a place-holder. I get calls and emails – scores every day – telling me that places are vacant in local emergency departments. And so, when I choose, I climb into the skin of an emergency medicine middle grade. That is, for a few days a month, I work in A&E. This skin isn’t my skin. I wear it because I get paid – well – to do so.

The recent news highlighting the rising national locum bill concentrates on the expense of locum consultants. In fact, most of the expenditure is on juniors and those, like me, of mid-level experience. I am not an emergency medicine trainee, and have never had formal A&E training: I’m training in  oral and maxillofacial surgery (maxfacs).

Click on the link to read more


Why shouldn’t a doctor, cowed and exhausted by a system designed to undermine and disempower, consider selling their labour to the highest bidder? Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

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Breakthrough cancer treatment ‘only offered to private patients’

A breakthrough cancer treatment is being denied to NHS patients while those paying privately can receive the procedure, it has been claimed. London’s University College Hospital is reportedly blocking patients funded from the public purse from using its £2 million gamma knife machine. Patients’ with medical insurance or private funding are however able to access the cutting edge treatment at the hospital.

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A doctor talks to a patient on a gamma knife machine Photo: Alamy 

Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized, , ,

Hospital blunder sees £7m payout for 8 year old with cerebral palsy

She has severe learning difficulties, speech impairment, epileptic seizures and severe visual impairment but could have lived a normal life if not for the medical errors. Just heartbreaking, Joanna

The eight-year-old was born at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester in 2006. She cannot be identified for legal reasons. Her family won the payout from the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which admitted liability at a hearing at London’s High Court. The court heard medics and midwives failed to spot warning signs the baby was being deprived of oxygen while her mother was in the late stages of labour. The family said: ‘Looking after a child with complex disabilities is an incredibly tough 24/7 job that affects the whole family, including siblings, and so our daughter’s annual periodical payments will help pay for the carers she will require for the rest of her life.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS Blunders, Uncategorized

Why hospital is no place for the unwell – By Michael Deacon

My week on the wards was a soul-crushing experience

For a man of 34, this is no doubt unusual, but until last month, I’d never spent the night in hospital.

Three weeks ago, however, that changed. And since then, I’ve been thinking things over. Previously, I’d assumed the reason I’d never spent the night in hospital was because I’d never been ill. Now I’m wondering whether the reason I’d never been ill was because I’d never spent the night in hospital.

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, ,

NHS complaints investigations inadequate, says review

More than 40% of NHS investigations into patient complaints are not good enough, according to a review by the office of the health service ombudsman.

In a review of 150 cases into allegations of avoidable harm or death, it found failings in the handling of 61 complaints by NHS trusts in England. The review looked at the quality of the investigations and the evidence relied on, as well as statements and records. The government said it was working to create a “more open NHS culture”. Ombudsman Dame Julie Mellor will appear next week before the public administration select committee – which is looking into the issue of NHS complaints and clinical failure.

Her office has been accused of failing patients.

Click on the link to read more 7th Feb

 Also Report from November 2014


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

Investigating how paedophile doctor went undetected – Do you have any information on Dr Bradbury?

Anyone with information that could help is asked to contact Verita, at or 020 7494 5670.

Following Bradbury’s conviction in December 2014, the Cambridge University Hospital (CUH) Trust has commissioned an independent investigation into the internal processes of the paediatric oncology unit where he worked. Bradbury pleaded guilty to 25 offences, including voyeurism and sexual assault, against boys in his care. In a letter to parents and guardians of children affected by Bradbury, CUH chief executive, Dr Keith McNeil, urged people with any information to help with the investigation Dr McNeil said: “The purpose of this independent investigation is to establish how Dr Bradbury was able to carry out his activities, how his offending behaviour went undetected and what lessons there are to be learnt for this service, the Trust and the wider NHS.

“I am writing to make you aware of this investigation, and invite you to contribute. “I should emphasise that the independent investigation, which is being undertaken by a company called Verita, is looking at our internal governance in the hospital and not at the clinical care of individual patients. “Verita would like to hear from any patients, their family or carers who may have mentioned a concern about Dr Bradbury to a member of staff, or were dissuaded from doing so, at any point during their treatment here. “I would like to reassure you that any contact with Verita would be confidential.”

by Josh Thomas Haverhill Echo


Dr Myles Bradbury leaving Cambridge Crown Court.

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NHS reorganisation was disastrous, says King’s Fund

Are you a GP or a patient in England? How do you view the changes made in 2013? You can share your experiences by emailing If you are happy to speak further to a BBC journalist, please include a contact telephone number.

The evaluation by the King’s Fund think tank says the coalition government’s changes had wasted three years, failed patients, caused financial distress and left a strategic vacuum. But it also says Labour is “crying wolf” over its privatisation claims. The government said the report showed its plans for the future were right. The behind-the-scenes changes may not have been immediately apparent to patients in GP surgeries. But they were described by NHS leaders as “so big you could see them from space”. The changes, which came into force in 2013, abolished large numbers of NHS organisations.

Click on the link to read more from the BBC

  • Click on the link below to download the Kings Fund Report published 6th February 2015 – The NHS under the coalition government      




Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, ,

GPs to conduct nationality checks in all new patients under health tourism crackdown

Exclusive: GP practices with high populations of EU migrants will be asked to check whether patients are eligible for free NHS care under Government pilots due to launch later this year, Pulse has learnt.

The pilots will be rolled out in 10 areas, and will involve GP practices asking all new patients if they have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles them to access primary care and certain secondary care treatment without an upfront charge. Practices will also be asked to collect information on so-called S1 forms from UK state pensioners resident elsewhere in EEA. Under the EHIC pilots, no patient will be charged for accessing primary care. However, the DH said they were designed to test the feasibility of practices routinely asking patients for documents to enable the NHS to recover the costs of primary care from their home countries. The pilots come as the Department of Health prepares to launch a consultation on new ways of recovering the costs of primary care from overseas residents. But a spokesperson refused to confirm if this would include any upfront patient charges for primary care.

Click on the link to read more


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

One In Two People Will Develop Cancer In Their Life, Warns Charity

One in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives, new figures suggest. A forecast from Cancer Research UK predicts that the UK could face a “crisis” if the NHS does not plan ahead. The news coincides with World Cancer Day, which aims to take a positive and proactive approach to the fight against cancer.

The new figure, which replaces the previous of one in three, is the most accurate forecast to date from the charity and is published in the British Journal of Cancer. Cancer Research UK said it highlights the urgent need to bolster public health and NHS cancer services so they can cope with a growing and ageing population and the looming demands for better diagnostics, treatments and earlier diagnosis. Prevention must also play a role in the effort required to reduce the impact of the disease in coming decades, as there will “never be one single magic bullet” to cure all cancers.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized, ,

Death rate third higher than average, ONS figures reveal – By John Bingham – The Telegraph

Office for National Statistics suggests flu virus and cold snap could be to blame for increased death rate in England and Wales of 28,800 in fortnight to January 23

The death rate in England and Wales is around a third higher than normal for this time of year, official figures show. Some 28,800 deaths were registered in the fortnight ending January 23, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is 32 per cent higher than the average for that period over the previous five years (21,859). The ONS suggested that the flu virus and the cold snap could be to blame for the increased death rate.

The latest analysis by Public Health England (PHE) found that deaths among people aged over 65 have been higher than expected for six weeks, even taking the time of year into account.


The ONS suggested the flu virus and cold snap could be to blame for increased death rates Photo: ALAMY

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Poem: To Love a Diabetic – By Katherine Marple

Such a moving poem which also makes one realise what a debilitating disease Diabetes is.  Joanna   

Please click on the link to read

To Love a Diabetic


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Getting nurses back on the ward

As staffing ‘crisis’ in NHS deepens Blackpool hospital reveals how it is aiming to get some old hands back in the wards

The boss of Blackpool Victoria Hospital today reassured nurses that action is being taken to improve working conditions as the health trust attempts to persuade those who have left the profession to return. Gary Doherty said Blackpool, like other hospital trusts, had faced challenges to recruit staff during a difficult winter. There is a national shortage of nurses. One leading Lancashire health boss told The Gazette the situation was so severe nurses were now being signed up by hospitals before they had completed their training in a bid to get in first on recruits.

Health chiefs in North Wales have recently announced they are recruiting more than 70 Spanish nurses, amid a staffing crisis gripping the country’s health system.

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Karen Smith who works on the ITU Department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Surgeon’s blunders to ‘cost NHS millions’

COMPENSATION claims running into millions of pounds are being drawn up by victims of disgraced hospital surgeon Roger Bainton.

Lawyers have taken on the cases of more than 100 of the consultant’s patients for a group legal action against the NHS. They believe individual settlements will range from a few thousand pounds to six-figure sums for those patients who have needed multiple operations or missed time off work following botched operations on their faces. The doctor has been suspended from the Royal Stoke University Hospital for two years – with the NHS trust already paying out around £500,000 to cover the cost of him staying at home, using extra staff to cover his absence, and reviewing his work.

Click on the link to read more


BLUNDERS: Roger Bainton

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

Age UK – We want you to add your voice to our new panel and make your views count

The Your Voice Engagement Panel is a new Age UK project and we want to give you the opportunity to volunteer to trial the panel with us.
We will ask you to share your views with us via approximately three different surveys over a period of about six months – starting in early 2015. You are free to leave the panel at any point – we just ask that you let us know. Each short survey will focus on key issues important to older people and to Age UK. After each survey we will share some of the key findings with you in a short written report.

If you are interested in joining our panel then click here:


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To save the NHS, copy Tesco – Five ways the Health Service needs to modernise, stat

The NHS is in the eye of a perfect storm. Huge, unpredicted demand, flat-line funding, staff and skills shortages, and – with an election just months away – no clear idea what happens next. In the circumstances I can understand NHS bosses looking to save money. But last week they did something incredibly stupid. Without much fuss, a £100 million investment in nursing technology promised by David Cameron has been cut by £35 million. This is the last thing we can afford to scrimp on. Look at the world outside the NHS: managing information and analysing data is now the cornerstone of most businesses. Many of us take it for granted that we can bank online, book a holiday online and buy our groceries online. Yet large parts of the NHS are still in the age of pen and paper, costing the frontline a fortune in lost efficiency. The nurse technology fund was destined to help end an NHS lunacy where district nurses, visiting carers and others – currently equipped with steam-driven computing systems that don’t talk to the patient’s GP practice – share vital patient data on one system, without forms, faxes, or files of paperwork.

This is the sort of technology British Gas, BT and Virgin broadband engineers use to efficiently schedule and monitor customer visits. Mini-cabs use it to see where their next job is coming from. In health, it would mean monitoring care schedules and outcomes on tablets or smartphones.

Click on the link to read more


Large parts of the NHS are still working in the era of the gas-lamp Photo: ALAMY

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Terminally ill doctor Kate Granger’s ‘my name is’ campaign wins support

A campaign by a terminally ill doctor to encourage healthcare staff to introduce themselves to patients is being supported by more than 90 NHS organisations.

Dr Granger started her campaign to improve the patient experience in hospital, shortly after she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer three years ago. The doctor who informed her that her cancer had spread did not introduce himself to her and did not look her in the eye. She was also dismayed by other staff who failed to introduce themselves when caring for her. She subsequently set up #hellomynameis on Twitter. Her campaign reminds staff to go back to basics, build trust and make a vital human connection with patients by – at the very least – giving their names.

Click on the link to read more


Dr Kate Granger was disappointed by the lack of respect she was shown as a patient

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Moving exhibition shows what it is to care with Marie Curie – A new photographic exhibition by Patrick Olner

They are there to help and support during the darkest days of people’s lives, bringing gentle comfort and some order to the process of dealing with terminal cancer. Marie Curie provides care and support for more than 40,000 terminally ill people and their families in the UK each year. From the simplest of gestures like the holding of a hand, making a cup of tea, to the nursing of those whose lives are ending, legions of volunteers and nurses go the extra mile so every day. Now their work and care has been documented in a project which is about to form an exhibition in the Pierhead in Cardiff.

Freelance photographer Patrick Olner from Porth in Rhondda Cynon Taf spent just over a year recording the support offered by the charity’s volunteers in south, west and north Wales. His black and white photos capture everything from the tender arms around a patient, the nurses heading out to people’s homes, to the fundraisers who try to boost the charity’s income.

Click on the link to read and view photo’s


Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized, , ,

My beloved Daughter by Ash Raye

My heartfelt sympathies go to Kay’s parents Ash Raye and Steve Compton. No parent should have to see the suffering of their child through the very hands that are supposed to care and heal. Joanna
This video footage was taken after my daughter was supposed to be cared for on A10 ward, Peterborough City Hospital……She suffered 3 weeks of neglect from staff , the worst being 13/14 February 2013……Where apparently she was found on the floor in her side-room trying to retrieve her mobile phone!!!off the floor!!! she was admitted to hospital as she was unable to eat/drink and was vomiting and had lost weight and was unable to weight bare! And with failing eyesight!!!She was put back to bed and then went over 6 hours un-checked in a side-room. When she was finally checked she was criticle 7/15 GSC……… Then there is a delay and or help…………90 minutes later she arrives to Intentsive care with blood on her mouth and wet pjs….And not one member of staff on A10 contacted me??? When I arrived she was in a coma and never recovered??? Staff failed to monitor her and weigh her she lost 1/half stone over 11 days, on this ward and yet not one member of staff noticed???Certain, Nurses were horrible to her, She sent distressing text messages out to family members!!!And was often cold and tearful with her duvet chucked on the floor and a certain nurse denying her a blanket!!! And telling her to ring the call bell again if still cold???
We have received some apologies for the poor care!!!
And also I believe this to-be Wilful Neglect…. These Nurses/Health Care Assistants had a “Duty of care” towards my Daughter and showed little Care/Respect/Compassion and I want Action taken on them!!!


Filed under: NHS Blunders, Uncategorized

‘Do Not Resuscitate’ stroke victim is moved from hospital where doctors had ‘given up’ on him and successfully operated on at another unit after Mail on Sunday highlighted his plight

Thank goodness for the quick thinking of this mans family and The Royal Brompton in saving his life who otherwise would have died at the Basildon Hospital. Joanna

A father who doctors ‘gave up’ on following a stroke is now recovering after The Mail on Sunday highlighted his plight. Doctors applied four times to place a ‘do not resuscitate’ order on the medical notes of Paul Scoble, 48, after he suffered the devastating stroke last August. It meant they would not have tried to restart his heart if he had gone into cardiac arrest, and would have left him to die.  He was immobile, breathing through a ventilator and largely unable to communicate. Doctors at Basildon Hospital in Essex told Mr Scoble’s children, Danielle and Leon, to prepare for the worst and asked them to ‘seriously consider’ what their father’s life would be like if he did survive, the siblings said. Besides suffering the stroke, Mr Scoble also had two leaky heart valves. The doctors resisted the idea of carrying out an operation to mend them and said the chances of him surviving it were slim. But Danielle and Leon refused to listen and contacted bosses at other hospitals to ask if they would operate.

After The Mail on Sunday highlighted their plight in November, medics at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London agreed to operate and he was transferred there. Now, Mr Scoble, who runs a family import business with Danielle and Leon, is off a ventilator, eating and talking.

Click on the link to read more


Lucky: Paul Scoble’s daughter Danielle (both pictured) refused to give up after doctors applied four times to place a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ order on his medical notes

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, Uncategorized

Super A&E con exposed: NHS chief promised new £90m unit in Northumbria won’t lead to other hospitals being downgraded… but three nearby facilities will now stop taking ‘blue light’ cases

A new £90 million emergency-only hospital hailed as ‘a glimpse of the future’ by the most senior doctor in the NHS will lead to three other A&E units being effectively downgraded, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. After NHS England medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh visited the site of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital last February, he praised it as an example for others to follow. Local NHS bosses say it ‘aligns’ with Sir Bruce’s controversial plan to develop a two-tier emergency network across England – a move critics claim will jeopardise A&Es, meaning longer journeys for patients.

When unveiling his national plan in November 2013, Sir Bruce said it was ‘complete nonsense’ to suggest some A&Es would be downgraded as a result of the drive to develop larger specialist units.  But the opening in June of a new 210-bed facility in Cramlington, ten miles north of Newcastle, will trigger the loss of ‘blue-light’ emergency services at three district general hospitals elsewhere in Northumberland. Officials insist Hexham, Wansbeck and North Tyneside hospitals will maintain ‘walk-in A&E services’. Yet the three units will only be staffed and equipped to cope with incidents typically dealt with by lower-ranking urgent care centres, according to a leading doctor.

Click on the link to read more


Local NHS bosses have accused Sir Bruce of trying to create a ‘two tier’ emergency response system which critics say will mean longer journeys for patients

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

Hospital trusts accused of ‘hoarding’ more than £130m instead of spending cash on patient care

Five NHS trusts in the Midlands have come under fire for “hoarding” cash in banks instead of spending it on patient care, after it emerged bosses were sitting on more than £134 million of unspent income.

While neighbouring trusts struggle to make ends meet, The Royal Wolverhampton Trust, Dudley Group of Hospitals, Walsall Healthcare Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust and West Midlands Ambulance Service all operated on a surplus last year, with millions more kept in the bank, according to figures uncovered by Midlands-based daily paper the Express & Star. South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson accused health chiefs of hoarding money which could be invested in patient care.

Click on the link to read more



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Check Yourself, Don’t Wreck Yourself! Cancer Awareness Campaign Video

Heather Walters is a superstar! Whilst battling breast cancer she wanted to make as many people as possible aware of the importance of checking yourself for lumps and bumps. Rather than wait until chemo had finished she wading right on in there and started putting together the elements needed to create an awareness video! That’s where I came in handy! Heather’s friend Sam Harding had re-written the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and she asked me to sing it, which I did with joy.
Then, with the help of The Unlimited Dance Company we created a dance flash mob style in Barnstaple High Street!
We’re hoping Miss Swift doesn’t mind us nicking her song…we did ask her ‘people’ but got no reply… but it’s for such an amazing cause that we hope she doesn’t mind too much!

Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized, ,

6 Things to Never Say to a Bereaved Parent – BY ANGELA MILLER

We never really know what the right words to say to a bereaved parent. I hope this will give you some guidance. Shared from Yolanda Turner who lost her son Sean aged 4 years old

If you’re a bereaved parent, you can probably count on at least five hands the number of phrases you wish people would never, ever say to you.  If only there was a way for the world to learn how to speak compassionately to the brokenhearted.  What many people believe is a comforting statement, most often is not.  It usually feels more like a slap in the face or a swift punch in the gut.  Or like an uncontrollable need to vomit.  Or all three at once.  There seems to be a large gap between intention and what’s actually being communicated to those of us who are hurting.

Click on the link to read


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Over 25,000 views on Strength in Numbers – Please email me with your story, your campaign, your website – Joanna

Wow, thank you to all that have viewed Strength in Numbers. Over 25,000 and rising.

If you have a story to tell, a campaign, a website, please email me at and I will publish, you never know who is reading and how it can help them. Thank you once again, Strength in Numbers, Joanna x


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Woman pulls out surgical staples HERSELF after growing fed up with waiting times

A DESPERATE transplant patient pulled out her own surgical staples while watching a video tutorial on her iPad – after growing fed up at NHS waiting times

The patient performed her own DIY surgery after her exasperation left her “no other choice”. The woman, who has asked not be named, was told by surgeons she needed her surgical staples removed by last Sunday after a successful pancreas transplant the preceding week.  However, staff at Caversham Practice in Kentish Town, north London, said they were unable to perform the five-minute procedure until next month, the woman claimed. She also said her surgeon had been in contact to specifically ask for her to be granted an appointment. The procedure, which should only be performed by a trained medical professional, was scheduled at her local doctors’ practice for February 4.

Click on link to read more


The Caversham Practice in Kentish Town, north London which promised a wait of SIX days

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death – I want to have control of my life – by Virginia Ironside

My mother had always made me promise I would make sure that, if she was terminally ill, she would be snuffed out “like a candle”. She didn’t want to remain guttering till the end. But even in the good old days, when doctors were far more free with the morphine jabs, it was still difficult to get her wishes fulfilled. After another setback in her treatment – my mother had cancer and was talking gibberish most of the time, except when she had a blood transfusion when she’d beg me to get the doctors to end it all – the doctor in charge called me into his consulting room. “Nothing to worry about!” he said breezily. “We’ll have her up and going to the opera and playing tennis in no time at all!”

As any idea of exercise was anathema to my mother, who had twice tried to commit suicide during the previous few years, and since going to the opera was her idea of hell, I broke down. “She doesn’t want to live!” I said. It was to no avail. It was an agonising week later, that a nurse took me aside. “Your mother has no hope,” she said bluntly. “I’m a Roman Catholic, but I beg you to ask the doctors to do something. She is in terrific pain, physical and mental.”

Click on the link to read more–i-want-to-have-control-of-my-life-10012124.html


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Francis NHS whistleblower report: a new beginning? – by David Drew – NHS whistleblower

New Review is a frank admission that all is not well in the NHS and that substandard care is still common place

Last June, six senior NHS professionals, including myself, met Jeremy Hunt to relate our personal histories and petition him for a public inquiry into whistleblower victimisation. We had all suffered extreme retaliation after raising serious concerns about patient care. Five of us had been dismissed. A week later Jeremy Hunt, health secretary, commissioned Sir Robert Francis to conduct a review  into creating an open and honest reporting culture in the NHS. For Francis this is unfinished business from his earlier inquiries at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, as he told us with some passion at our first meeting. At Mid Staffs he found it necessary to have clandestine meetings with staff after guaranteeing their anonymity. “People were just scared,” he told us.

The scope of the review was unsatisfactory. Historic cases would not be reopened or adjudicated. The review team was small and the timescale too short, we thought, to cope with the submissions we anticipated. We may have been naïve but decided to trust Francis that this could at least be a step to a full public inquiry. He reassured us that this had definitely not been ruled out.

Click on the link to read more

Dr David Drew

David Drew: Author of Little Stories of Life and Death @NHSwhistleblowr


Robert Francis: ‘We now have unanimity among those who are leaders that supressing whistleblowers is absolutely wrong.’

Filed under: Uncategorized, Whistleblowing, , , ,

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt urged to launch inquiry as tribunal rejects Croydon Health Services NHS Trust’s appeal over unfair sacking of whisteblower Kevin Beatt

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been urged to launch an independent inquiry into Croydon University Hospital over its treatment of a whisteblower doctor. The call came as it emerged board members at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, were under investigation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) over the 2012 sacking of consultant cardiologist Kevin Beatt. Croydon Employment Tribunal ruled in November that the trust had sacked Dr Beatt amid a calculated attempt to destroy his reputation after he raised concerns about patient safety, workplace bullying and inadequate equipment.

Click on the link to read

CR73853-10-kevin-beatt-01 (2).jpg-pwrt2

Filed under: Uncategorized, Whistleblowing,

Woman, 42, found hanged in hospital A&E department

A woman has been found hanged in a hospital A&E department. The body of the 42-year-old was discovered in a side room at the Royal Blackburn Hospital in Lancashire shortly before 1am yesterday. The shocking discovery is being investigated by police. A file has been prepared for the coroner’s office. East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT), which runs the hospital, declined to say whether the woman- from Burnley – was considered a suicide risk when she arrived at the department, or whether she had any known psychiatric problems. Dr Ian Stanley, acting medical director at ELHT, said: “Our sympathies are with the patient’s family at this difficult time. “This tragic incident is presently the subject of an initial police investigation and the trust will make no further comment at this time.”

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: A&E, Uncategorized, , ,

Planned strike action by health workers suspended after talks breakthrough

Planned strikes by health workers in a dispute over pay have been suspended after a breakthrough in talks. Members of Unison, the GMB and Unite were due to walk out in England and Northern Ireland on Thursday, and again next month, in protest at the government’s refusal to accept a recommended 1% wage rise for all NHS staff. Extensive talks between union leaders and officials at the Department of Health led to fresh proposals, which will now be put to workers. The offer is believed to include a consolidated 1% payment for staff up to senior level and an additional £200 consolidated payment for lower-paid staff. The first point on the pay scale will be abolished and the second raised to £15,100.

Click on the link to read more

Health workers strike

NHS health workers on an official picket line at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital last year. More action was planned for this week. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

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Patient’s shocking death alone in a public toilet made me question end-of-life care – by Andrew Buckley – A doctor working in a NHS hospital

“Cardiac arrest, public toilets” proclaimed the tinny speaker in the intensive care pager. Clutching the grab bag and defibrillator I headed toward the scene, considering what we were likely to find. There’s an unwritten rule of cardiac arrest: if it’s in a public place, it’s always a syncopal episode, a faint.

A number of responders had arrived before me at the cramped and panicked toilet area and started the well-trodden resuscitation path, delivering CPR to an elderly man we’ll call John. John had not fainted. Evidence of rigor mortis, the stiffening that sets in when the muscles stop receiving oxygen, was already manifest, and his face showed the calm, waxen permanence of death we hospital doctors become so familiar with.

The defibrillator, a machine that allows for rapid assessment of the heart, confirmed the complete absence of electrical activity. A search through his personal effects while chest compressions were ongoing revealed an elegantly handwritten note, written without fear or prejudice, with admirable perspicacity and with a strong undertone of defiance.

Please click on the link to read more



The letter we found in his pocket while trying to save his life began: “Dear the doctors and nurses of [our hospital]” and went on to neatly summarise a predicament affecting so many in society. Photograph: Alamy

Filed under: Hospital, Uncategorized, , ,

Elderly man ‘held prisoner’ in care home

An elderly man suffering from dementia was treated like a “prisoner” after social workers dispatched him to a nursing home against his and his family’s wishes without going through proper legal processes, a formal investigation has found. Staff at Cambridgeshire County Council decided behind closed doors to declare the man, named only as N, unfit to decide his own care after his wife contacted them simply inquiring about the possibility of him going to a day centre for an extra day a week. The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) found that social workers failed to carry out proper assessments of his mental capacity or best interests or meet basic legal requirements for depriving him of his liberty.

A report details how he was sent to a home an hour’s bus journey away from his wife, who repeatedly objected to the placement backed up by other family members. He was locked in to stop him wandering off and his wife, daughter and brother were all separately warned that police would be called if they tried to take him home.

Click on the link to read more


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

Support group established to help NHS staff who are being “bullied and abused” – By Jo Stephenson – Nursing Times

The Betrayed By Her Trust group was formed by the friends and family former of former mental health nurse Ingra Kirkland who claim her life was “ruined” by unfounded allegations and “bullying” that led to her leaving her job at Worcestershire Health and Social Care Trust. Led by Ms Kirkland’s husband Nigel Gilbert, the group has been fighting to clear her name for more than two years.

Mr Gilbert told Nursing Times the campaigners had now decided to form a new organisation after hearing about other cases “of nurses ruined by the abuse and bullying of managers or other senior staff”.  The wider group – called Betrayed By Their Trust – is set to launch formally next month [February] but is already looking into five cases involving nursing staff who were employed in the Worcestershire area.

“We want to create an organisation to give mutual support to NHS staff and their families who are victims of abuse and bullying,” said Mr Gilbert. “We also want to help them to achieve some kind of justice or recognition of what has been done to them.”

Click on the link to read more

Support group established to help NHS staff who are being bullied


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Ambulance boss says ‘plan ahead’ if you need medical help during strike on Thursday

Ambulance chiefs today warned Londoners that a NHS pay strike on Thursday will be “much more disruptive” than before – with thousands of people not getting emergency help. Car crash victims, people with broken bones, pregnant women in labour and pensioners who have fallen and cannot get up will not get a response if their condition is not life-threatening. This goes well beyond restrictions introduced during previous walkouts as the latest dispute is scheduled to last for 24 hours – six times longer than before. The action, due to start at midnight on Wednesday, will place the London Ambulance Service (LAS) under unprecedented pressure, with soldiers and police driving ambulances and nurses and doctors volunteering as stand-in paramedics. Its effects are expected to continue well into Friday.

Click on the link to read more



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Thirty mums and babies died at failing hospital: Damning report to show scale of neglect at Morecambe Bay was much worse than first feared

Up to 30 babies and mothers died at a scandal-hit hospital because of failings by midwives and doctors, a damning report is expected to reveal. The independent inquiry into baby deaths within University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust will show that the scale of the scandal was much worse than previously feared. It had been thought that 16 babies and two mothers had died as a result of shambolic care over nearly ten years at a maternity ward within Furness General Hospital in Cumbria.  But after highlighting concerns in around 50 cases, investigators are expected to conclude that neglect contributed to even more deaths. Health officials have tried to cover up their failure to properly investigate poor patient care on the unit. Despite multiple warnings about failings between 2001 and 2012, the Care Quality Commission gave the hospital a clean bill of health in 2010.

Click on the link to read more




Tragic: Concerns were first raised in September 2008 when Joshua Titcombe, who was nine days old, died from an infection that should have been treated with antibiotics

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Third of acute trusts do not display named clinicians above patient beds – By Sophie Barnes – Nursing Times

Over a third of trusts are not displaying a named clinician above patient beds despite health secretary Jeremy Hunt introducing the policy 18 months ago.

Freedom of information requests were sent to every NHS acute trust by consultancy and technology firm Hotboard, which shared the responses with Nursing Times’ sister title HSJ. Out of 108 respondents 39 (36%) were not displaying the name of the clinician and nurse responsible for each patient’s care above their bed. The request asked each trust: “How many of your hospitals and clinics display the name of the clinician and nurse responsible for each patient’s care above their bed?”

Click on the link below

Third of acute trusts do not display named clinicians above patient beds


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NHS ‘most important issue’ suggests BBC/Populus poll

The NHS came ahead of the economy, immigration, welfare and jobs. Of 4,209 adults asked, 74% ranked it “very important” while 93% found it either “very” or “fairly important”. The findings of the poll, which was carried out between between 14 and 18 January 2015, comes 101 days before the general election on 7 May. It asked people to rank, by order of importance, the issues that they felt should be covered by the news. When the “very important” and “fairly important” rankings are combined the order of the issues changes, most notably with immigration dropping four places to seventh most important issue.

Click on the link to read more and see the poll


NHS in England bosses have called for an extra £8bn a year above inflation by 2020

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We DID neglect dying mother, hospital admits: Woman, 45, whose picture on floor in agony shocked Britain was ignored by medics as she begged for pain relief

This distressing last photograph of a dying mother of four crawling on a hospital floor in agony shocked the nation. Margaret Lamberty’s family complained she was ignored by medics and left to die in a side ward. Despite their pleas for an apology, the Royal Stoke University Hospital refused to admit any wrongdoing in the run-up to the 45-year-old’s death. Almost a year on, however, a damning report has confirmed that the family’s complaints were justified – and the hospital has been forced to say sorry.

The independent report revealed that Mrs Lamberty was indeed repeatedly overlooked by medics who were ‘too busy’ to treat her. It found she died as a result of a treatable blood clot in her bowel that was missed due to ‘substandard management’, including a lack of record-taking. The results are vindication for Mrs Lamberty’s family who, following her death on April 30 last year, said: ‘Mum was failed by the doctors and the nurses. We are determined to get justice.’

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, , ,

New £10m plan to lure GPs out of retirement

GPs will be encouraged to delay or come back from retirement, under a new £10m scheme attempting to boost the numbers of family doctors. NHS officials said doctors will be offered more flexible ways of working to encourage them back into general practice. In the last three years, the number of unfilled GP posts has quadrupled, to almost 8 per cent. Doctors have raised fears that more than 500 practices could be forced to close soon because almost all of their doctors are over the age of 60, when the average GP retires at 59. The looming crisis could leave more than 1 million patients in the lurch, medics have claimed. NHS England will today announce new schemes, to encourage those considering retirement, and those who have already left general practice, to think again, and look at options to work on a part-time basis.

Click on the link to read more


GPs will be encouraged to delay retirement Photo: Alamy 

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Me and my granddaughter. This is why I want change in the NHS by Joanna Slater

I never post anything about my private life, but I had to share these selfie’s pictured with me and my granddaughter Sophie 17 months old.

I want an NHS back to when I was Sophie’s age at 17 months old. An NHS that our mothers and fathers were proud and confident to be part of. An NHS that we had faith in the hands that were healing us. An NHS having compassion and empathy with young and old. An NHS with no cover ups, no politics, and an NHS that we know our loved ones will be cared and supported for in their later years.

We have so many wonderful doctors and nurses that are under so much pressure due to staff shortages etc. This is not a reflection on them.

All the stories posted from the news media and personal experiences here on Strength in Numbers are because these stories should never be yesterday’s news as it’s so easy to forget. Strength in Numbers fighting for the NHS we once believed in. Joanna

sophie 1  Sophie 2

Me and my granddaughter Sophie. Joanna Slater


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NHS turns to Poland and Australia for paramedics in desperate staff shortage

More than half of NHS ambulance services have begun trying to recruit paramedics from abroad amid a desperate national shortage of trained staff.  NHS turns to Poland and Australia for paramedics in desperate staff shortage – Telegraph New figures show NHS trusts are turning to Poland, Australia and Ireland in a bid to plug vacancy rates which are now as high as one in four in many parts of the country. In total, six of England’s 10 ambulance trusts say they are now making plans to recruit from abroad, or have recently hired foreign paramedics. The growing crisis comes as the Health Secretary and unions prepare to enter last ditch talks in a bid to avert a 12 hour strike by paramedics and hospital staff planned for Thursday, in a dispute over pay. If the strike goes ahead, GPs and hospital staff will be drafted in an attempt to fill the gaps. NHS trusts have long gone abroad in search of nurses to fill staffing shortages, with the number soaring in recent years.

Click on the link to read more



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Brilliant Quote


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Furious patient walks onto BBC radio show still wearing HOSPITAL GOWN to vent anger over cancelled operation

A furious hospital patient has walked onto a BBC radio show still wearing her Hospital Gown to vent anger over cancelled operation. Taxi driver Iona Hevican was dressed and ready to have a hysterectomy at Royal Cornwall Hospital when the surgeon told her that there was no bed available for her. As a result the surgery was cancelled.

Iona, from Newquay, Cornwall, was so angry she stormed into her local BBC radio station in Truro and voiced her fury. She claimed that her surgeon told her to complain over what had happened. Ms Hevican, who is in her 50s, said she had changed into a blue gown and had put on surgical stockings and name tags and was prepared for the major surgery – and she was first on the list. But she said her surgeon then came in and told her the surgery was being cancelled because of a shortage of beds. She said: “The surgeon told me to complain.

Click on the link to read more


Cancelled: Iona walked straight from the hospital to the radio station

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‘Death test’ could predict chance of dying within 30 days

Health experts say a new test will prevent futile and expensive medical treatments which prolong suffering

 A test to determine if elderly patients will die within 30 days of being admitted to hospital has been developed by doctors to give them the chance to go home or say goodbye to loved ones. Health experts say the checklist will prevent futile and expensive medical treatments which merely prolong suffering. The screening test looks at 29 indicators of health, including age, frailty, illness, mental impairment, previous emergency admissions and heart rate and produces a percentage chance of death within one month and 12 weeks. Researchers say the aim of Critera for Screening and Triaging to Appropriate aLternative care, or CriSTAL for short, is to kick-start frank discussions about end of life care, and minimise the risk of invasive ineffective treatment.

“Delaying unavoidable death contributes to unsustainable and escalating healthcare costs, despite aggressive and expensive interventions,” said lead author Dr Magnolia Cardona-Morrel, a researcher at the University of New South Wales.

Click on the link to read more


A death test which predicts if elderly people will die within 30 days could allow them to go home and say goodbye to family members Photo: Alamy


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Coroner hits out over care of Russells Hall patient who suffered ‘unnecessary pain’

My comment… How many more times will we read ” Following the inquest, Beverley Parkes, Mrs Jones’ sister, said “We just hope that lessons have been learned ” But Lessons are never learned!!! this keeps on happening. Joanna

Black Country coroner Zafar Siddique said staff at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley could have done more to ease the suffering of Medina Jones, who had been diagnosed with the rare condition calciphylaxis, which affects patients with kidney disease and results in chronic non-healing wounds. An inquest at Smethwick Council House heard a series of concerns raised by Anna Diamond, the lawyer representing Mrs Jones’ family, that her wounds had not been dressed properly, while a tissue viability nurse had not been involved early enough in her care. Tissue viability is a specialism in wound prevention and management. Other issues included the fact she was moved between wards and there appeared to be a lack of communication between departments.

Click on the link to read more


Senior Black Country coroner Zafar Siddique

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Not all prostate cancer is the same…promising research – From Daniel Sencier’s blog

There’s slow-growth prostate cancer, then there’s a deadlier form that spreads to other parts of the body and requires aggressive treatment.
Edmonton researchers are developing a test that for the first time can differentiate between the two types.
“It allows us to customize and treat the patients far more effectively,” Rocco Rossi, CEO of Prostate Cancer Canada, said Tuesday.

Click on the link to read more


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Location, location, location vital in choosing consultant position – By Mike Broad

Location is the leading consideration for specialist registrars when considering a consultant post, according to the latest census of physicians in the UK. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) research suggests STs value where they work over all other factors when considering a consultant post, most wanting to stay close to where they have been training. Location trumps the opportunity for part time working, on call responsibilities and the amount of generalist or specialist work undertaken. The annual census, which measures the number of consultants in all medical specialties, shows strong geographical variations when it comes to recruiting to posts. For example, the North West and Yorkshire & Humber regions saw the greatest difficulty in recruiting to posts – whereas London and the Thames Valley regions saw the greatest number of appointments made, due to having a higher number of training posts.

Click on the link to read more


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A mother’s plea to the NHS

With the NHS having suspended its procedure for approving vital treatments, sufferers of rare diseases have been left in limbo. Katy Brown tells her family’s story.

Let me introduce you to Sam. He is our six year old son and for the past two months we have been fighting to keep him smiling. More precisely, we have been fighting for the drug that he had been trialling for almost three years to be funded by the NHS. You see Sam has something called an ultra rare disease. That means that there are less than 500 sufferers in the country. Actually there are just 78 sufferers of Morquio Syndrome in England. Just 78.

How a disease with 20,000 sufferers is funded, researched, prioritised and understood is very, very different to one where there are just 78 people affected. Let me paint you a picture of Morquio. An adult the same size as a three year old. Organs squashed into a very small space. Severe physical disability. Hearing problems, sight problems, heart problems, lung problems. Life expectancy on average of 25. No treatment.

Please click on the link to read more


19 November 2014……. Sam Brown, 6, with parents Katy and Simon from Otley. Sam has Morquio syndrome. He is being treated with drugs thanks to a trial in Manchester which have significantly improved his condition but cash for this will run out next month and the NHS is unlikely to pick up the tab.TJ100584h Picture by Tony Johnson

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All Your Stories – Strength in Numbers

I have published a new story on the All Your Stories – Strength in Numbers page

Tina’s father died as a result of the hospital failing him his insulin for 16 days. He was admitted into hospital with a swollen arm, high blood pressure and slurred speech. The hospital ignored everything and concentrated on his swollen arm. Please click on the link to read Tina’s story


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Complaints and Raising Concerns – House of Commons Health Committee – Fourth Report of Session 2014–15

The Health Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of the Department of Health and its associated bodies.

Click on the link to read

Click to access 350.pdf


Filed under: NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, , , ,

CQC could become enforcer of ‘zero harm’ rules – BY SHAUN LINTERN – HSJ

Please support this bill by using the ‪#‎ZeroHarm‬ on twitter

A proposed new law on patient safety would open the door to tougher regulation of health and care providers by the Care Quality Commission, legal experts have told HSJ.
The Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Bill is a private members bill put forward by Stafford Conservative MP Jeremy Lefroy in response to the poor care at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust. It has moved closer to becoming law after being passed in the Commons last month.

The bill, sometimes referred to as the “zero harm bill”, imposes a duty on the health secretary to introduce regulations “to secure that services provided in the carrying on of regulated activities cause no avoidable harm”. This harm could be caused directly or indirectly, but excludes harm that cannot be “reasonably avoided”.

Providers would need to take steps to ensure they did not cause avoidable harm to patients.

Click on the link to read more

CQC could become enforcer of ‘zero harm’ rules


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Treatment of NHS whistleblowers is ‘a stain on its reputation’

The treatment of whistleblowers by the NHS is “a stain on its reputation” which has destroyed livelihoods and caused “inexcusable pain” to health professionals, MPs have warned. The Commons Health Select Committee said repeated failures to listen to staff who warned of risks to patients is jeopardising safety and deterring others from blowing the whistle. Its inquiry into complaints and raising concern said every NHS whistleblower who is vindicated should be given an apology, and “practical redress” – such as a new job, or financial compensation for the damage to their career. The damning conclusions come as a separate review of whistleblowing considers more than 17,000 submissions about the treatment meted out to those who have tried to raise the alarm on poor care.

Click on the link to read more


Dr Sarah Wollaston, the MP for Totnes, said that she believed that Downing Street had shelved the idea of open primaries over fears that they may favour “outspoken” candidates. Photo: Jay Williams 

Filed under: Uncategorized, Whistleblowing, ,

Woman who took an overdose ’was ignored by NHS’

Joanna Lynch had begged for help from Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust’s out-of-hours mental health helpline, Hospital at Home, in the weeks leading up to her death from an overdose, an inquest heard. But her desperate pleas to be admitted to hospital and threats to take her own life were not acted upon by staff. On July 4, 2014, after becoming concerned because they had not heard from her since the previous day, her parents called police who managed to get into her flat and found Miss Lynch dead. The 30-year-old had taken an overdose of prescription medication.

At the inquest at Portsmouth Guildhall Dr Ian McCafferty, a locum consultant psychiatrist from the trust, read out details of two calls made to Hospital at Home in the hours before her death in which Miss Lynch told a care worker ‘she couldn’t take it any more’ and she ‘might’ take an overdose. He said the notes read that the call was ended by the care worker who told her she should prepare for bed.

Click on the link to read more



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Such a shock to hear of Anne Kirkbride’s passing. Forever in the nations hearts. RIP

Anne Kirkbride, Coronation Street’s Deirdre Barlow, dies aged 60

Co-star William Roache, who played her husband Ken Barlow for many years, said she would be “greatly missed”.  Roache said: “I feel Anne’s loss so personally having worked closely with her for over 40 years. She was such a loving and vibrant person. You always knew she was there because her laugh was never far away. “She was an impeccable performer with superb comedy timing and an immense gift for really heightened drama. We had some rows over the years as Ken and Deirdre and it was wonderful to play those scenes opposite her.

Click on the link to read and watch some of her best performances




Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized, , ,

NHS In Crisis – The Live Debate – Tonight 19th Jan – Channel 5 – 10pm. Don’t Miss it

As the NHS struggles to deal with its worst winter crisis in years, A&E departments are turning away the sick, doctors and nurses are stretched to breaking point, and no one seems to have a remedy.
In a live debate exploring whether the health system is fit for purpose, we’ll hear from patients with horror stories, the doctors, nurses and paramedics struggling to cope, and the politicians.

Dr Phil Hammond – Doctor, Private Eye’s MD, presenter & comic. Touring with Games to play with your doctor,  New book, What Doctors really think

Dr Ellie Cannon – Author of Keep Calm, The New Mum’s Manual, GP for The Mail on Sunday and Woman magazine. Doctor on Sky News Sunrise

Dr Ranj Singh – NHS & media doctor – ITV This Morning, BBC Watchdog, CBeebies Get Well Soon, Channel 5 News


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Nick Clegg calls for zero suicides across the NHS – Press Release

The Deputy Prime Minister hosts a major Mental Health Conference today to discuss the future of mental health services in England.

On Monday 19 January the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will host a major Mental Health Conference, bringing together leading clinicians, policy makers and campaign groups to discuss the future of mental health services in England.

Click on the link to read press release


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NHS is failing patients, cancer charities warn after life-saving drugs are dropped

An alliance of cancer charities has condemned the system for allocating life-saving drugs in the NHS as a failure after the decision to pull the plug on funding for 25 separate treatments. In a letter to The Telegraph, the heads of 15 cancer charities described the announcement last week as a “knee-jerk” reaction to save money, which would leave thousands of sufferers facing uncertainty – and do nothing to solve the problem of funding new treatments. But they disclose that talks are getting under way between the Government, the pharmaceutical industry and charities to design a new system to help the NHS cope with demand.

An estimated 8,000 cancer patients a year could have their lives cut short following the decision to scale back funding from April. It came after the Cancer Drugs Fund, set up by the Coalition in 2011 following a Conservative election manifesto pledge that treatments should no longer be denied on grounds of cost, announced it is on course to overspend its £280 million budget.

Click on the link to read more


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‘Nurse failed to call doctors as our girl died’

A nurse watched as a little girl lay dying instead of calling nearby doctors to attend to her urgently despite “clear indications” her condition was deteriorating , it has been claimed. In an apparently misguided attempt to comfort her the nurse lay 16-month-old Isabella Janew on her side and, according to her parents, stroked her hair rather than immediately alerting doctors who were doing their rounds on the same ward at the time. The disturbing account comes amid a catalogue of alleged failings by staff during the toddler’s final days at the troubled Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, revealed today ahead of an inquest into her death which open tomorrow [MON].
Isabella’s death raises fresh concerns over the standards of care at the hospital in Bristol, which is currently under investigation by the NHS Isabella was born in May 2013 with serious heart problems requiring a valve replacement and underwent an operation at the hospital. But shortly afterwards she suffered two cardiac arrests and catastrophic haemorrhaging.

Click on the link to read more of this shocking story


 Isabella Janew died of a cardiac arrest

Filed under: NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, ,

Britain’s A&E units sent into meltdown as NHS 111 helpline sends 6,000 extra callers a week

The NHS 111 phone helpline has plunged accident and emergency units into chaos by sending 6,000 extra callers a WEEK for walk-in hospital treatment. The number of people who were ­advised to go to A&E in the 2013-14 ­financial year was 526,500, the Government revealed. But in eight months to November last year – before this winter’s crisis – the figure had ballooned to 515,500, an ­average extra 6,000 a week. The 111 ­helpline replaced the popular NHS Direct in 2010 and in its first eight months only 7,400 people were told to go to A&E, writes Nigel Nelson in the Sunday People. Doctors blame unqualified 111 call handlers for tipping A&Es into ­meltdown. NHS Direct call lines had been manned by medically qualified staff. Earlier this month every NHS trust in England failed to meet its emergency care targets. In the lead-up to Christmas, more than 400,000 ­patients had to wait longer than the target four hours to be seen.

Click on the link to read more


Chaotic: Doctors say call handlers are not qualified to decide whether people require A&E treatment

Filed under: A&E, Uncategorized, ,

27% lack confidence in local NHS services this winter – Ipsos MORI Political Monitor January 2015

Under-funding given the most blame for NHS problems

A quarter of Britons (27%) lack confidence that they would receive high quality NHS care in their local area this winter, Ipsos MORI’s January Political Monitor reveals. One in five (20%) say they are not very confident in their local NHS services this winter, with seven percent not confident at all. Just over seven in ten (72%) say they are confident in receiving good quality care from their local NHS this winter (19% very confident, 53% fairly confident).

Click on the link to read


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NHS patients left shivering in bed for almost a WEEK after hospital heating system breaks down

Patients in a hospital surgical were left shivering in their beds for nearly a week after the heating system broke down. The lack of hot water also meant the showers were unusable – so staff had to boil kettles when anyone needed a wash. And temporary heaters brought in to warm up the ward caused a power cut and had to be removed, reports the Daily Record. Staff on Ward three at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow had to resort to piling extra blankets on patients.

A woman who was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday said: “I asked the nurse about the heating and she said it was broken and they were waiting on a new part. “That was on my first day there and it wasn’t fixed by the time I left.  “The other patients and I had to stay in bed all day with two or three blankets over us just to keep warm. “I even saw one woman with gloves, a scarf and her housecoat on in bed during the night.

Click on the link to read more


Chills: Outside Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital, Phil Dye/ Daily Record

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A shocking story eloquently given by Christina Taylor at made at the Scottish Labour Party Conference in Perth 2014 about the care and cover up her mother had.

And Christina is still fighting for the truth

Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, Uncategorized, , ,

Whistleblowing paramedic who criticised two hospitals for being ‘unsafe’ after patients were routinely treated in corridor is banned from work

A whisleblowing paramedic who spoke out about the chaos his local A&E departments has been banned from both hospitals. Stuart Gardner, of West Midlands Ambulance Service, was reprimanded after saying under-pressure emergency units were ‘not safe’.  He has since been told he is not welcome at hospitals in Worcester and Redditch. The comments were made by the paramedic of 26 years during an interview with the BBC. During it, he described how even before the winter pressures, patients were routinely treated in corridors at the Worcester Royal Hospital.

In fact, the practice was so commonplace that ‘there were labels along the corridor of the emergency department so staff could find the patients’. ‘Last Friday, there were 18 trolleys with sick patients,’ he said.  ‘There were ECGs being done, stitches, cannulas (a medical tube inserted into the body with a needle) – staff were doing everything in the corridor.  ‘I’ve never seen anything like it – and I do not believe it’s safe. it’s not good for the patients and their care is being jeapordised.’ Since then, however, Mr Gardner claims he was told he was ‘not welcome’ at either the Worcester hospital or the Redditch Alexandra Hospital.

Click on the link to read more


Banned: Stuart Gardner, of West Midlands Ambulance Service, was reprimanded after saying under-pressure emergency units were ‘not safe’

Filed under: Uncategorized, Whistleblowing, ,

NICE outlines draft guidance for safe nurse staffing in A&E – Press Release

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued a draft guideline to advise NHS A&E departments on how to ensure there are safe levels of nursing staff.

The number of people attending A&E departments has increased steadily since 2002/03². The guidance will help hospitals to plan safe staffing for nursing and best meet demand for their A&E services.

Click on the link to read



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A Legal Duty of Candour and how it has been resisted for almost two decades by Will Powell

Responding to critics of the Duty of Candour and alleged detriment to the NHS

It is interesting to look back at a Guardian article published on the 8th April 2014 with the headline “Why the new duty of candour could be detrimental to the NHS”. Will Powell

Click on the link to read Will’s article


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Sister says working A&E night shift is ‘more stressful than war zone – By Jo Stephenson – Nursing Times

The sister at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, who previously nursed soldiers on the frontline during the 2003 Iraq invasion, said she had to make decisions “that put patients at risk and put staff under extreme pressure”. She described how a pregnant woman miscarried on the floor of a triage area in view of strangers and how she was forced to leave an unconscious patient in the care of junior staff and “hope to God he didn’t aspirate, have a massive bleed or fit”. “I spent weeks in and out of the trenches being shelled, nursing soldiers under trolleys as the warning sirens went off,” she wrote in an account of her experiences. “I know what stress is.

Click on the link to read more …  Working in A&E


Filed under: A&E, Uncategorized, ,

Average life expectancy heading for 100

Living beyond 100 will become the norm for children born within the next generation, official projections show. According to estimates published by the Office for National Statistics the average life expectancy for newborn girls in the UK is on course to reach just under 97 years and four months within just over two decades. Baby boys born in 2037 will expect to live until 94 years and four months on average – with many living much longer.

The projections, contained in a new report analysing the make-up of the British population, means that typical life expectancies would have increased by around a decade since the 1980s. It is also now predicted that average life female expectancy will reach the once unimaginable milestone of 100 in 2057.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Elderly, Uncategorized, , ,

Click on the link to track how your hospital is doing near you

The additional pressures of cold weather, norovirus and flu have an impact on all A&E departments across the UK. This tracker allows you to find out how the NHS is doing where you live.

Click on the link to track how your hospital is doing near you

Fresh from the release of the quarterly statistics on Tuesday, there is more bad news about the performance of the NHS in England. The first week of the New Year saw the numbers being seen in four hours drop to 86.7% – a new record low for a single week.It means the last four weeks have been the four worst on record. Attendances are rising, but that does not tell the full story. When you look at other indicators, such as the number of ambulances being delayed, operations being cancelled and delays in discharging patients, the rises being seen are much, much worse. It lends weight to the argument that the NHS has reached a tipping point. What exactly is happening elsewhere in the UK is much harder to tell. There is not the wealth of statistics available, as there is for England, and what is published lags a few months behind. But it is fair to say the pressures are being felt everywhere.  By Nick Triggle, Health correspondent, BBC News


Filed under: Hospital, Uncategorized, , , ,

50 die under secret 999 policy

 More than 50 patients have died after an NHS trust introduced a secret policy to downgrade 999 calls and not to send ambulances to terminally ill patients. Managers at East of England ambulance trust were accused of “the most cruel form of rationing imaginable” after admitting that 8,000 patients had been affected by the changes.

An internal NHS report discloses that 57 patients died after their calls were downgraded following a decision not to send ambulances to the terminally ill and to those who had given instructions not to resuscitate. It meant that, instead of receiving a response from paramedics in eight minutes, people reporting life-threatening illnesses were given a call back up to 20 minutes later, or had to wait up to an hour for an ambulance.

Click on link to read more


Filed under: A&E, Care Homes, Elderly, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

NHS crisis: Patient wakes up in hospital CUPBOARD as desperate medics struggle for space

A horrified hospital patient woke up to find he had been moved from his ward to a packed stock cupboard, as desperate medics struggled for space. Dad-of-two Michael Steel, 63, told how he was left in there for three days, surrounded by supplies, while being treated for an inflamed liver. He said he could not sleep as he kept being disturbed and was wheeled in and out while staff tried to reach drugs from a fridge in the 12ft by 10ft room.

Michael said: “One of the doctors came in and said ‘what on earth are you doing in here?’.” He blamed Government cuts for putting staff under pressure and said he hoped leaders would be “shamed” into tackling the NHS crisis engulfing the health service. He added: “It shows how much the NHS is struggling. One nurse told me it was absolute chaos.”

Click on link to read more


Ward you believe it? Michael Steel’s stay in a hospital cupboard

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Older women ‘dying earlier due to cuts’: Leaked email reveals officials’ fear after life expectancy started ‘going backwards’

Health officials are investigating a sudden fall in life expectancy amongst the elderly which is particularly stark in women. There is concern it has been triggered by declining hospital care, a lack of GP appointments and cuts to home-help. The alarm was raised by public health bosses in the North West who noted that that life expectancy aged 85 was ‘going backwards’.  And the trend was particularly pronounced for elderly women where, in one local authority, it had dropped from living a further 6.8 years aged 85 in 2011 to just 6.5 years. Public Health England – the Government agency responsible for preventing early death – confirmed the fall in women’s life expectancy had occurred across the country and it was carrying out further analysis to establish the reasons.But senior doctors and MPs are worried it is the beginning of a long-term trend brought about by cuts to the NHS and social care.

The email which triggered the investigation – leaked to Health Service Journal – was sent by Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health in Blackburn with Darwen council, to Public Health England at the end of last month.

Click on link to read more


Filed under: Elderly, Uncategorized,

Lord Saatchi: Cuts to cancer drug funding will cause ‘great anxiety’ for thousands

Thousands of Britons with cancer will be plunged into “great anxiety” because of cuts to crucial drug treatments announced on Monday, Lord (Maurice) Saatchi has warned. The Conservative peer and advertising mogul told The Telegraph his life has been “immersed” with cancer recently with loved ones battling the same disease that took his wife as he criticised the scaling back of NHS funding. It comes as charities and industry experts warned that NHS England’s expected decision to stop funding a series of cancer drugs was “short-sighted” and would endanger lives.

A review by the Cancer Drugs Fund, introduced in 2011 after the Conservatives pledged cancer patients would no longer be denied drugs on grounds of cost, is published today. As many as half of the 25 drugs under review – which are used in 42 treatments – could have funding pulled according to industry sources.

Please click on the link to read


Maurice Saatchi with his wife Josephine Hart, who died from cancer, in 2005  Photo: Richard Young/Rex 

Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized

Charity’s first aid campaign – Celebrities play several choking hazards who are fed up with babies choking on them

The Norfolk-based actor is joined by David Walliams, David Mitchell and Johnny Vegas in voicing a group of characters based on choking hazards in an animated advert for the St John Ambulance, which teaches parents how to save a choking baby’s life. The charity’s first aid campaign comes as it is revealed that three-quarters of parents in Norwich (73pc) do not know the correct technique for saving their baby from choking, despite it being a major fear for 49pc. The celebrities play several choking hazards who are fed up with babies choking on them.

The advert will be shown on television over the next three months and St John Ambulance is asking people to share the film with their friends and family, online, so that as many people as possible can learn to save a life.

Click on the link to read



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Diary of a death without dignity – My mothers “Last Six Months” in Hospital by Joanna Slater

January 8th 2008 was the date that my mother passed away in hospital after being in hospital for 6 months. It was 7 years ago, and I still remember as if it were yesterday.

I first started to write these notes purely as a reminder of all the things that happened to my mother throughout the first few weeks when she arrived in hospital for her hip operation.

Each day before I started work I would enter onto my computer all my notes from the previous day. I never thought that I would still be writing six months later. My notes had become an up-to-date diary of my mother and how her condition deteriorated during this terrible, and tragic course of events. It has also allowed me to capture all the memories of our time together, the laughs, the tears, the precious words spoken, and I captured it all.

I published my mother’s notes onto my blog, and then extracts of my mother’s story was published in the Mail on Sunday in June 2011.

I had no idea what would have happened next. I had over one thousand hits on my blog and emails of hundreds of people telling me of their own tragic stories. I knew then that writing my notes was for a reason.

I then self published a book with the full story of my mother’s “Last Six Months” in hospital, including 50 more story’s of the very kind people that had written to me.

Here is the link to the Mail on Sunday in which extracts of my mothers story was shown



Kay, my very elegant mother

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

This idiotic debate on the NHS will get us nowhere says Nigel Burke

Many shocking NHS scandals have seen daylight lately yet nothing has really stuck. The health service enjoys one of those Teflon reputations – just like a non–stick frying pan everything is shiny until you get one big dent then dirt sticks to that and soon you’ve got a revolting crusty pot. That is about to happen to the NHS. Patients, I read, are being ferried to A&E in fire engines. It’s truth–time for the National Health Service.

Britain must finally admit that the mounting list of bad news is a pattern that means something, not just a series of unfortunate events. That will make us sad and angry because we are still proud that with the NHS our great postwar generation abolished the question: “Can we afford the doctor?” We need to grieve, then move on and find a way to organise a health service like other European countries do, without getting stuck on a mad, fundamentalist debate about privatisation.

Click on the link to read more of Nigel Burke’s article


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Operator’s NHS deal ‘unsustainable’ – The first private healthcare operator to run an NHS hospital trust is to pull out

The first private healthcare operator to run an NHS hospital trust is to pull out of the deal, claiming it is “no longer sustainable” due to funding cuts and pressure on its casualty department. Circle Holdings said the level of cash it had pumped in to prop up Hinchingbrooke healthcare trust in Cambridgeshire was about to reach £5 million, meaning it would have the right to terminate the franchise. It pointed to “significant changes in the operational landscape for NHS hospitals” since the contract was first procured in 2009. Circle said there had been unprecedented increases in accident and emergency attendances, a lack of care places for patients awaiting discharge and that funding had been cut by 10.1% this financial year.

The company said these conditions had “significantly worsened in recent weeks”. It has already pumped £4.84 million into the trust and would be “highly likely” to have to make further support payments that would breach the £5 million cap, it said.

Click on the link to read more


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First new antibiotic in 30 years discovered in major breakthrough

The first new antibiotic to be discovered in nearly 30 years has been hailed as a ‘paradigm shift’ in the fight against the growing resistance to drugs. Teixobactin has been found to treat many common bacterial infections such as tuberculosis, septicaemia and C. diff, and could be available within five years. But more importantly it could pave the way for a new generation of antibiotics because of the way it was discovered. Scientists have always believed that the soil was teeming with new and potent antibiotics because bacteria have developed novel ways to fight off other microbes. But 99 per cent of microbes will not grow in laboratory conditions leaving researchers frustrated that they could not get to the life-saving natural drugs.

Now a team from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, have discovered a way of using an electronic chip to grow the microbes in the soil and then isolate their antibiotic chemical compounds

Click on the link to read more

antibiotics_2997553b Teixobactin has been found to treat many common bacterial infections such as tuberculosis

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Mac on… the worst A&E crisis in ten years -By MAC For The Daily Mail

“You’ve been in A&E all this time? I’m sorry, Neville I thought you’d left me


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Former nurse dies after extreme ambulance and A&E delays – Daughter says she would rather end life than grow old in the UK.

The daughter of a pensioner who died of pneumonia just days after being left for hours lying in agony on a cold floor because no ambulances were available to help has decried the state of the NHS, saying she would rather end life than grow old in the UK.

Helen Forde watched as her 92-year-old mother, Bridget Forde, drifted in and out of consciousness after suffering a fall and breaking her hip last month. Despite serious heart problems and being in severe pain, it took four 999 calls and a wait of more than five hours before an ambulance arrived. Her nearly-blind daughter, who was “unable to see if she’d turned blue”, said she was repeatedly told no help was available.

When paramedics eventually arrived at her home in Birchwood Avenue, Muswell Hill, they were said to be shocked at her condition. Mrs Forde was taken to the Whittington Hospital in Archway where she waited another 14 hours in A&E for a bed. What turned out to be a minor bone fracture ended with her dying of pneumonia six days later (on December 8) – something her daughter is convinced is the result of the slow ambulance response time and an NHS “in crisis”. She said: “The last memory I have of my mother is her lying on that floor in agony. It’s something I can’t forgive nor forget.

Click on the link to read more


Helen Forde holding a photo of her mother Bridget Forde

Filed under: A&E, Elderly, Uncategorized, , , ,

Dublin – Hospital crisis is killing our patients, says A&E boss

Dr Aidan Gleeson is head of the Emergency Department in Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital – which is currently under siege from serious overcrowding. He said that patients left on trolleys suffer increased risk of harm or death. “You have patients with heart attacks who are diagnosed late. Patients with pneumonia and sepsis may not be getting the resuscitation and antibiotics quickly enough because they cannot get the doctor to examine them. These are the realities,” he said. “We have a national crisis in our Emergency Departments for years, where plenty of people are being hurt or dying as a result. Yet it is not receiving the same attention as something like Ebola – even though the chances of anyone dying of it in Ireland are extremely slim.”

Click on the link to read and see video


Sheila Malone (86) was forced to wait in a chair for 16 hours in the Beaumont emergency department last month after presenting with severe chest pains and vomiting.

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Midwife Olabisi Ajala at Northwick Park Hospital is struck off for misconduct

The Nursing and Midwifery Council booted Olabisi Ajala out of her profession after they ruled her conduct had resulted in an impairment in her fitness to practise. The panel heard she demanded she take a break when a patient required an emergency and refused to attend to an expectant mum in the delivery suite in December 2011. She finally agreed after a senior colleague stepped and when the father asked her to weigh the baby and she replied: ‘Is that part of my job?’ and shouted at him: ‘I do not like the way you are speaking to me in front of my colleagues.’

The father said she acted so aggressively he felt unable to leave his baby in Ajala’s care, the panel heard. Her colleague described her as coming across as ‘abrupt’ and ‘challenging,’ after which he led her away. Later that afternoon Ajala pressed an emergency buzzer after the baby of an expectant mother’s heart rate suddenly decreased but when a doctor said the required an emergency C-section she demanded she take a break.

Click on the link to read more


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Why your doctor doesn’t always tell you the truth – Dr Phil Hammond

One reason you trust doctors is because you think we tell you the truth.

But medicine has historically been about disguising, sanitising and spinning the truth. Gently coercing you into the treatment we think is best. All for your own good. We assume you don’t want the whole truth because it isn’t compatible with trust. Generally, it’s not considered sensible to tell you how much we doctors drink, how inexperienced we are or how physically attractive or repugnant we find you. And especially not what your front bottom looks like after childbirth.

When I first walked onto an NHS ward in 1984, many patients were not even told if they had a serious diagnosis such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or dementia. We assumed you weren’t able to contribute, didn’t want to know or that telling you might just make you more anxious and unable to cope. And doctors didn’t have to waste emotion and energy on those difficult conversations about death and disability. But not knowing your diagnosis meant that you couldn’t possibly participate in important decisions about your care, involve your loved ones or plan properly for the future. We pretended to do the worrying for you, and left you to figure it out for yourself.

Click on the link to read more


We assume you don’t want the whole truth because it isn’t compatible with trust’ Photo: Alamy

Filed under: GP's, Hospital, Uncategorized,

NHS waiting times: Which of the 15 promises have been broken under the Coalition?

Over the weekend Labour’s shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, claimed that the Coalition has breached the rights of British patients under the NHS constitution. Many people will be surprised to hear they even have these rights. Since when? What force do they have? And, as the Service posts the worst A&E waiting time figures in a decade, what actually are they? Well, the situation is not as straightforward as it seems. The NHS constitution, written in 2009, has no legal force in itself – it just describes the rights which the NHS is already bound to uphold by British and European law, including the right to access care for free and the right to have your complaints properly investigated.

One of these patient rights is to be treated in a timely fashion, as defined by the Department of Health in the NHS handbook, available to the public and all members of staff in the NHS.  This DoH defintion has three elements. The first is the time it takes to get a non-urgent appointment with a specialist (target 18 weeks). The second is the length of time it takes to see a cancer specialist after an urgent referral from your GP (target two weeks). The third element is a raft of 13 non-binding “pledges” which the NHS aims to fulfil in a certain percentage of cases.

Together, the two basic rights and 13 “pledges” form a list of 15 promises that define what people should expect from “their NHS”, and provide a crucial measure of whether the government is fulfilling its own stated goals.

With that in mind, how many of them –according to NHS England data – are actually being upheld under the Coalition?

Click on the link to read   tic 1  Redcross

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt defends A&E waiting times – video. The Guardian.  Click on the link




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It has taken me a long time to be able to post this photo of my mother – Joanna Slater

With reference to the article I posted today re Pensioner was found dehydrated and desperately groping for food 

It has taken me a long time to be able to post this photo of my mother, but after seeing the article it would have been wrong not to show it, its one of many that I have not shown, and I still feel very hard to do so. Taken November 2007.

(Extract taken from my book) I had just arrived at the hospital after work. My mother was cold and her food was left cold.

Mum’s moaning and crying that she wants to go to the toilet and shouting “Call the police, call the police, get me out of here!” She’s cold and her back is hurting her as she’s so bent over. I ran out in tears shouting for the nurse to help then I ran back into mum’s room. Mum was so distressed, she held on to me saying get me out of here. I put her dressing gown round her before comforting and cuddling her and rubbing her back.

The nurse came into mum’s room and said she needed to hoist mum up with the hammock to get her back onto the bed but could only do that when one becomes available. I said how the hell could she be left like this. I kept on going outside mum’s room to find out when the nurses would be coming in to see to mum. Half an hour later they came in to put mum back on the bed and clean her. 

You can imagine how I reacted to the staff etc.  Did i complain? of course I did, did it help? No

A different photo of my mother as in the top of the page.

Mobile phone photos025

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NHS set for a bumpy start to 2015

Reports over the weekend suggested that Labour is set to make the health service a key election battleground should come as no surprise – nor should the timing. Figures will be published this week that are expected to show performance in A&E units in England has dropped to its worst level since the four-hour waiting time target was introduced a decade ago. The data released on Tuesday will measure the October to December quarter, but from the weekly statistics covering all but the last two weeks of the period we already know that performance has been consistently below the target level. Even a remarkable turnaround over the festive period would be unlikely to save the government’s blushes. Labour is bound to jump on the figures as a sign that the NHS is suffering under the coalition, which will no doubt prompt ministers to compare performance with Labour-controlled Wales where waiting times are even worse.

Click on the link to read more


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What I learned as a cancer patient will make me a better doctor

All cancer doctors deal with harrowing stories. Like many, I had coped during my six years as a consultant oncologist at the Christie, by adopting a firm belief that it could never happen to me. Unsurprising then, my sense of shock when, just over a year ago, I left my busy gastric cancer clinic to receive the results of my own biopsy, taken from a breast lump the week before. If I am totally honest I knew what was coming. The mammograms and ultrasound scan had left me with little doubt, but I had clung to the slim hope it was just a big scare.

Despite years of training in clinical communication skills, I now know how it is that patients only recall the first sentence when bad news is broken. “I have the results of your biopsy and I am afraid it is not good news”, is what I heard my surgeon say. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The rest of the consultation passed in a blur. In that moment it felt like my whole identity had been turned on its head. I was no longer a cancer doctor, I was a cancer patient with all the fears and questions that anyone faced with that diagnosis experiences: how will I cope? Who will look after the children? What will happen with work? Will my husband manage? Will I die?

ReceptionA friendly word from the receptionist, or the secretary you call to check on a lost appointement can make all the difference to someone with cancer. Photograph: Alamy

Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized, , ,

Pensioner was found dehydrated and desperately groping for food because nurses didn’t realise she was almost totally blind

This article makes me feel sick to the stomach, also the photo of Margaret slumped over the table reminds me of the photo I took of my mother in hospital. Joanna

A retired teacher was found dehydrated and groping for food in hospital because nurses failed to realise she was virtually blind, her horrified daughter has said. Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, has apologised for ‘fundamental failings’ in its care of 82-year-old Margaret Jones after she was admitted following a fall in June.  Staff were told the pensioner’s eyes could only pick out light and dark after suffering almost total blindness triggered by arteriosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries which restricts blood flow. But when her daughter Rosalind Waite-Jones re-visited her on June 27 – just ten days after she was admitted – she discovered her mother dishevelled, dehydrated and covered in food. It was the result of Mrs Jones desperately groping for items she could not see.

Click on the link to read more



Desperation: The pensioner, who can only see shades of light and dark, with her head in her hands

Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, Uncategorized

NHS is facing £1.1billion in clinical negligence claims every year

The amount spent on clinical negligence claims has increased more than a third under the Coalition, with £1 in every £100 of the £95billion annual NHS budget used to compensate for mistakes last year. The £1.1billion figure was in data released by the Department of Health, which revealed the sum was paid out by the NHS Litigation Authority last year in claims equal to more than £15 for everyone in Britain. That compares to £863million in 2010/11, a jump of 38 per cent in the past four years. The number of litigation claims made every year has almost doubled under the Coalition. The scale of claims currently being made is unprecedented, with 11,945 cases reported by NHS trusts over the last financial year compared to 6,562 in 2009-10. As a result, the NHS has had to increase the amount it retains to deal with claims from £8.7billion in 2010 to £15.6billion in 2013-14

Click on the link to read more


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Important – Please Fill in Survey – I Need Your Help – Joanna Slater “Strength in Numbers”

Dear Friends,   Please fill in Survey    Personal details not necessary

As some of you may well know I have been working on a project with my friend Brad Meyer to help you all with your health issues.

“Having felt overwhelmed by our lack of understanding and certainty about the health care given to some of our loved ones”, we have come up with an idea on how technology can help us regain some sense of control when managing health issues.

You can help us make sure we are on the right track by filling in this survey,  Here is the link  In return, we will keep you updated on our efforts if you wish.

Thank you all for your help and support. Together lets make 2015 a year that will be a major leap into organising all our health care issues. Lets make it happen “Strength in Numbers”

Kind Regards Joanna Slater and Brad Meyer

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Labour attacked on performance of Welsh NHS as new report compares our service with England’s

A study comparing NHS performance in Wales and England shows that Labour in Cardiff have failed to tackle serious problems, opposition parties have claimed. The research by the non-partisan House of Commons Library compares how the two health services perform in key areas such as hospital and ambulance performance and waiting times. It found that the proportion of A&E patients spending four or more hours in emergency facilities is higher in Wales than in England, ambulance response times were worse in Wales and statistics suggested there were more people on waiting lists.

Click on the link to read


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The perils of crushing all dissent in the NHS – DAILY MAIL COMMENT – Whistleblowers

In the wake of the Francis report into lethal NHS cover-ups at Mid Staffs – where hundreds of patients died in appalling conditions unnecessarily – the Government promised to protect whistleblowers who expose incompetence and wrongdoing and end the insidious culture of gagging orders. However, the disgraceful treatment of cancer specialist Joseph Meirion Thomas – threatened with the sack for writing articles in this newspaper, and ordered not to make any further comment without the consent of his bosses – gives the lie to this commitment. Mr Thomas did not, as some doctors have alleged, behave ‘outrageously’ or bring the health service into disrepute.

Rather, his observations that health tourism is putting tremendous strain on the NHS and that the preponderance of female doctors could become a problem, because after expensive training they tend to leave to have children, often only returning to part-time posts, are simple common sense. And that the health establishment should go into apoplexy over his comments that GPs are increasingly unavailable to their patients, forcing them to visit chaotic A&E departments instead, speaks volumes about the arrogance and contempt for free expression that characterises the upper echelons of the medical profession. For daring to speak inconvenient truths, Mr Thomas has been demonised by an NHS determined to silence all dissent.

Click on the link to read more


The treatment of cancer specialist Joseph Meirion Thomas, pictured, is absolutely disgraceful

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25 Years on… Robbie Powell

25 years on… We have to admire the strength Will Powell and his family have to bring those who falsified medical documents on the death of their son Robbie who was only 10 years old to bring them to justice. 25 Long Years Will and his family have been suffering pain and torment, whilst these doctors have been living for 25 years with no remorse.

Please click on the link to read to shocking events and cover up’s that led to Robbie Powell’s death by Will Powell

Robbie Powell 25 years on



Filed under: NHS Blunders, Uncategorized

An alternative guide to the new NHS in England – The Kings Fund

During its lifetime our health system has undergone profound change, with the recent Health and Social Care Act introducing the most wide-ranging reforms since the NHS was founded in 1948

In the wake of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, introduced by Andrew Lansley, there was a lot of confusion about the new structure – and funding systems – within the NHS.

This video, produced by the King’s Fund think tank, gives an idea of what the reforms were originally meant to achieve, and of the situation that has resulted.

Click on the link to watch the video


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Jim Carrey’s Secret of Life – Inspiring Message

Dear All,

I had to kick off 2015 with this very powerful inspiring message from Jim Carrey.


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Parents’ anguish after daughter’s body is left on mortuary table for 13 days

BEREAVED parents of a teenage girl say hospital blunders have added to their grief.

Georgina Weaver, 19, died at East Surrey Hospital last August after suffering prolonged severe headaches, blurred vision and unsteadiness. But her mum and dad’s grief and anxiety over the cause of their daughter’s death was compounded when they learned she had lain in the hospital mortuary for almost a fortnight. And, it later emerged, the delay meant a satisfactory post-mortem examination could not be carried out, meaning invaluable lessons may have been lost. Miss Weaver was a former pupil at Warlingham School and studying animal care at college. She was admitted to hospital in October and then December 2012, both times with blinding headaches and vomiting, before being admitted a third time last August. Within two days she was put on a life support machine, but died two days later.

 Her mother Angie, of Limpsfield Road, Warlingham, said they then endured a 13-day delay before receiving the death certificate, despite repeated requests to the hospital for it. She added: “While we were in the hospital’s bereavement office about a week after Georgina’s death we learned that she was still in the mortuary, and the post-mortem had not been carried out. Due to her being left for nearly two weeks in the mortuary her brain had gone too soft so they couldn’t get the results they had hoped for.”

Click on the link to read more


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Tiny microscope can take agonising wait out of cancer tests

Time can be crucial when diagnosing illness. And with conditions such as cancer, the current method of testing samples of tissue for disease – a biopsy – can be a slow process, with an anxious wait for results. The procedure can cause discomfort and pain. Furthermore, it often has to be repeated, as the sampling is not always accurate. Now, scientists have developed the world’s smallest microscope – the size of a pin – which is inserted into the body, allowing doctors to ‘see’ cancer and make an instant, precise diagnosis, saving the patient from the need for a biopsy. It is already being used for pancreatic cancer, a disease with a poor prognosis as it’s often detected late, and scientists are now looking at using it for colon, bladder, oesophageal and lung cancer.

Please click on the link to read more


Filed under: Cancer, Uncategorized, , ,

Desperate plea to save the life of little girl whose time is running out – Can you Help?

A desperate mother is making a final plea for a bone marrow donor for her young daughter before she faces a potentially fatal operation.

Emma Whittaker, six, suffers from Fanconi Anaemia, a blood disorder that can lead to bone marrow failure and cancer, and affects just three in a million people in the UK. Her mum Rachelle Emberton, 42, has been trying to find a match for her for more than two years. Emma’s brother James, four, was diagnosed with the same condition, but while a perfect match was found for him from the bone marrow register straight away, poor Emma is reliant on her father Malcolm Whittaker, 56, who has offered his bone marrow but is only a 6/10 match. She stands a 20 per cent chance of dying if the make-or-break transplant does not succeed. Doctors first scheduled the op for October 2014 but as Emma’s health was relatively good at the time, it was postponed to next March in the hope of finding a better match.

Click on the link to read more


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Owners of ‘shocking’ care homes will be prosecuted, health minister pledges

Owners of nursing homes which offer ‘shocking’ standards of care will be prosecuted, a Liberal Democrat health minister has pledged. Norman Lamb said the Government is introducing ‘fundamental standards’ in April next year to ensure there is ‘no hiding place’ for care home which mentally and physically abuse residents. He highlighted Merok Park home in Banstead, Surrey, which was closed earlier this month after inspectors found distressed residents ‘crying out for help’ and branded the place ‘dangerous’. In chaotic scenes, pensioners were carried out in the freezing night to waiting ambulances after they were deemed ‘at significant risk of harm’.

Click on the link to read more


Gladys Wright’s son captured her abuse on CCTV. Daniel Baynes was jailed for four months after he was caught abusing the 79-year-old dementia sufferer

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Important – Please Fill in Survey – I Need Your Help – Joanna Slater “Strength in Numbers”

Dear Friends,   Please fill in Survey  Personal details not necessary

As some of you may well know I have been working on a project with my friend Brad Meyer to help you all with your health issues.

“Having felt overwhelmed by our lack of understanding and certainty about the health care given to some of our loved ones”, we have come up with an idea on how technology can help us regain some sense of control when managing health issues.

You can help us make sure we are on the right track by filling in this survey,  Here is the link  In return, we will keep you updated on our efforts if you wish.

Thank you all for your help and support. Together lets make 2015 a year that will be a major leap into organising all our health care issues. Lets make it happen “Strength in Numbers”

Kind Regards Joanna Slater and Brad Meyer



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The rise of the £300,000 NHS fatcats

Investigation discloses doubling in number of NHS managers being paid equivalent of at least £300,000 a year, with some on as much as £620,000 annually

The number of NHS managers being paid the equivalent of more than £300,000 a year has doubled in just 12 months, it can be disclosed. In some cases, cash-strapped health trusts are hiring temporary executives for hundreds of thousands of pounds, an investigation by The Telegraph has found. Patients’ groups said the “exorbitant” rates could not be justified, and nursing leaders said the sums were a “kick in the teeth” for junior staff who were refused a one per cent pay rise. NHS board reports indicate that during 2013-14, 44 “interim” executives were employed on rates of £1,000 a day — the equivalent of £228,000 a year — compared with 24 the year before.

Click on the link to read more


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The second fattest country in Europe: NHS chief declares war on waistlines as it’s revealed Britain is only behind Hungary in league table

Britain needs to ‘get back in shape’ if a public health catastrophe is to be avoided, the head of the NHS warns today. Simon Stevens is to launch a national anti-obesity drive in the new year – as a report finds Britain is now the second fattest country in Europe. In a clarion call to those recovering from the excesses of Christmas Day, Mr Stevens will ask GPs to identify tens of thousands of fat patients to be put on anti-diabetes programmes and offered lifestyle advice. The NHS England chief executive will say that losing just 5 to 7 per cent of weight can cut the chance of developing diabetes by almost 60 per cent, according to research. The warning comes as a study of 30 European nations found that only Hungary has fatter adults than Britain.

Click on the link to read more


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Patients with cancer and heart disease will suffer ‘needless deaths’ under NHS plans

Patients with cancer, heart disease and other major conditions will suffer harm and needless deaths under new NHS funding proposals, hundreds of hospital specialists have warned. More than 300 consultants have written an open letter to the head of the health service pleading for the reversal of plans which they say will mean swingeing restrictions on care. Under the NHS funding proposals, hospitals which provide specialist care to increasing numbers of patients will be reimbursed just half the cost of every extra case. The formula is part of attempts to divert more funds into out-of hospital care, and long-term prevention of disease. But hospital consultants say the 50 per cent funding rate for extra cases will cause devastation, given that the numbers of patients will inevitably rise with Britain’s ageing population.

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Yorkshire Ambulance Service whistle-blowers urged to highlight ‘dangerous incidents’

Paramedics and members of the public are being encouraged to report ‘dangerous incidents’ involving ambulance delays on a new whistle-blowing website. Trade union Unite has set up the new website, saying it has been prompted to do so because of ‘growing concerns around possible life-threatening issues at Yorkshire Ambulance Service’. A spokesman for the union said it has already been ‘inundated’ with concerns from patients and the public about Yorkshire Ambulance Service. It said worries include emergency care assistants being sent out to emergencies without a qualified paramedic.

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Please click on the link to download the form



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Dr Scrooge meets the GP ghosts of past, present and future

In a twist on the Charles Dickens classic, one GP looks at how general practice has changed over the years and what it faces in the future

Click on the link to read

A Christmas carol

What lies in store for general practice and the NHS? Photograph: John Bramley

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

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

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Accident and emergency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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6 year old Jack Adcock: Medics charged with manslaughter

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

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The NHS Frontline – The Reality of Mental Health Services

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

Click on the link to read


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Four in five new NHS nurses are from overseas

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

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Dying is part of living – by Andrea Sutcliffe

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

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

Click on the link to read

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Help Hannah get a new heart and join the donor register

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

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

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

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

You can access the full Sunday Times piece from  Sharmila Chowdhury’s website and of course see how they got that U turn from the Department of Health.


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

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

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Mum called NHS 111 helpline 23 times before death

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

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

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

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

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


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