Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

* Welcome to Strength in Numbers *

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

Quote from Elie Wiesel

My Mother’s Story

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

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

Buy on  or Amazon Kindle

Book cover

Twitter icon-twitter  @joannaslater

Facebook  sm_facebook_16x16


Filed under: Uncategorized

Cannabis Trades Association

Use the link above to read more 

(To register use sponsor ID GB100057)

Organic CBD produced from the whole plant, not just the stalk. It complies with the EU laws in that there is less than 0.2% THC in the oil but this is the crucial ingredient for optimum results as all the many components in the oil work synergistically together to deliver the desired results.

CO2 Extracted Hemp Oil using only organic ingredients. There is no high heat processing that reduces the potency of the CBD. CO2 extraction also means there are no residual undesired chemicals left in the product such as ethanol.


Filed under: CBD

The Last Six Months

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

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

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

New Phototastic Collage 11

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Time to Remember

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


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CBD for Crohn’s Disease [Why it Works]

How CBD can Help Treat Crohn’s Disease

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical found in cannabis, and although it comes from the same plant as THC, it doesn’t contain any psychoactive effects, meaning it won’t get you “stoned.” CBD also has very mild side effects in comparison to almost all other medications, and it poses no risk of addiction. Thus, it is a great option for patients looking for pain relief – especially those who want to avoid opioids and their adverse effects.

Pharmaceutical medications can help in treating the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, but side effects (such as those mentioned above) can often do more harm than good. As research into cannabis intensifies, scientists are discovering how cannabinoids may be a much less risky way to treat Crohn’s disease.

CBD is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant. Our body consists of a number of cannabinoids that interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors which can be found in the intestines, brain, colon, and central nervous system. CBD acts a cannabinoid which binds itself to these special receptors in our body when we consume it. When this happens, the active CBD gives the receptors the ability to relieve nausea, pain and ill feelings. In essence, CBD helps to limit the pain and swelling associated with Crohn’s disease which ultimately makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight, eat, and live a comfortable life.

There was a great article published on GreenRushDaily which explains CBD and Crohn’s Disease in a very easy to understand way. The following was stated: “When CBD links up with your body’s cannabinoid receptors, it helps regulate pain and discomfort while helping to decrease inflammation and improve appetite. All of this combines to give Crohn’s patients an effective and safe form of treatment.”

The good news is that the body is already known to contain cannabinoid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract and immune cells in great quantities, and this provides significant benefits in terms of pain and inflammation reduction.

One of the most prevalent reasons that Crohn’s patients choose to use CBD, in fact, is because it contains amazing anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. It was found that CBD has the potential to stimulate the use of additional white blood cells which, in addition to helping fight against inflammation, helps to fight off illness and disease. Of course, this is ideal for Crohn’s patients.

Furthermore, a study published by the National Institute of Health discovered that CBD contains anti-bacterial effects, which is particularly beneficial to Crohn’s patients because gastrointestinal infections are common among people who suffer from chronic GI conditions.

Typically, if you are experiencing inflammation or pain that is chronic or long-lasting, your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is out of sync. The ECS resides in the brain and helps to regulate all internal systems of the body, including the gut. Simply put, the ECS is responsible for telling the body how much acid to have in the blood, what temperature to be, and even — you guessed it — how much pain to feel.

It’s also closely associated with your immune system, which makes CBD a great compound for treating autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Moreover, cannabis can help the body “figure out” how to work properly without giving negative side effects. In other words, CBD provides help from chemicals outside the brain, and also helps to pump up and revamp chemicals that are already in the brain that may need a “pick me up.”

By using CBD to treat Crohn’s disease, you are attacking the disease in all of the places that it is attacking the body – CBD reduces pain, protects the stomach, and decreases inflammation. Essentially, it’s an all-in-one medication that has a short (and even non-existent) list of side-effects.

MarijuanaBreak Staff / Updated on March 8, 2018

Filed under: CBD

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: CBD, Uncategorized, ,

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

0_Elderly-couple-looking-worried  2_Hand-Holding-Small-Marijuana-Leaf-with-Cannabis-Plants-in-Background

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more:



Filed under: CBD, Uncategorized, , , ,

CBD can help your wonderful pets be pain-free. Written by Lorraine Meredith


Poe my Labrador was really struggling this week. He has arthritis in his left hip and was finding it difficult to walk. I knew he was in pain and I increased his painkillers, it didn’t help. So after lots of research, I ordered him some CBD oil, I figured I had nothing to lose.

Within 24 hours he is like a different dog, no limping, jumping on the sofa and being his normal mischievous self. The difference is incredible, I am so happy that I put him on the CBD oil and hopefully, he will now be pain-free.


Filed under: CBD, , ,

Epileptic boy, 13, whose case led to the legalisation of medical cannabis in Britain gets his first legal dose in the UK after three-month ‘exile’ in Canada


  • Medical cannabis was made legal on the NHS  following NHS reforms last year
  • Billy Caldwell and his mother returned from three months in ‘exile’ in Canada 
  • They left the UK as they couldn’t find a doctor to prescribe medicinal cannabis
  • But yesterday they picked up cannabis from pharmacy after doctor prescribed it

A 13-year-old epileptic boy whose case led to the legalisation of medical cannabis in Britain has been given his first legal dose the country.

Billy Caldwell and his mother, Charlotte, from Castlederg, Co Tyrone, returned from three months in ‘exile’ in Canada yesterday.

They were forced to leave Britain in November because they were unable to find a doctor willing to prescribe medical cannabis  – despite it now being legal.

The pair landed at Heathrow Airport and pick up the cannabis from a pharmacy in Surrey after being prescribed it by a doctor who was told by the Department of Health it was okay to write a prescription for the medicine.

Since taking the medicine, Billy who suffers from severe epilepsy, has been almost fit-free. 

Click on the link to read more…

Question…..How many people that do not have an NHS prescription and even if they do finding it very hard to find a pharmacist who will stock it?

That’s why the next best option is to find the very best CBD oil sold legally that is proven to be organic, using the ‘whole plant’ and the CBD oil is CO2 extracted and has been tested by a third-party lab. 

Filed under: CBD, ,

Man, 29, with terminal brain tumour denied cannabis prescription that family claims is ‘his only hope’ in race to save him

George Gannon 


When George Gannon became aware of a spate of dog poisonings where he was living in Thailand, he couldn’t stand by and do nothing. The animal loving Briton and his Canadian girlfriend Natalie Hobbs gave the strays a home, by setting up a small make shift rescue centre in their yard with seven dogs. He also managed to re-home several puppies. It was likely because of his ‘big-hearted’ nature that friends and family – and i readers – dug deep and raised £25,000 for the popular entrepreneur when he was stranded in the Asian country after waking up unable to walk or talk last September.

Diagnosed with a brain tumor aged just 29, Thai doctors made him stable, but they couldn’t provide the treatment he needed so his family made a desperate plea for help as George had no medical insurance. A month later he was flown home, but after a second surgery to remove more of his tumour and 10 rounds of radiotherapy, medics have told his devastated loved ones that there is nothing more they can do. George was set to have pioneering immunotherapy – a treatment that boosts the body’s natural defences to fight cancer – but he had just one session in December when he began to deteriorate. His family were told his growths had doubled in size.

Read more:

Filed under: Cancer, CBD, , , ,

CBD Oil, What do you know?



Filed under: Cancer, CBD, Dementia, Disabilities, , , , , , , , , ,

My dad was a GP for 40 years. The NHS let him down when he needed it most…

Read the full article  By an Anonymous doctor 

As a doctor myself, I have rarely seen healthcare from the side of the patient. My trust in the system has disappeared

When my dad went into hospital I promised I would get him home. I wasn’t being honest. As a senior doctor in the NHS looking after seriously unwell patients, I know many octogenarians with his problems who are admitted to hospital don’t survive. As a GP for more than 40 years, he knew this too.

Dad fought through operations, infections, depression, pain and distress over months in hospital. Much of his struggle wasn’t against his underlying illness, but against the consequences of what I considered mistakes, oversights and failings in his care.

Most of the errors appeared to be avoidable. Two days after he was admitted, he became confused and drowsy, with laboured breathing. Mum was in tears. She had never seen him like this and knew something was wrong, but she couldn’t get anyone to take her concerns seriously. She spoke to nurses, junior doctors, the ward sister and the consultant overseeing Dad’s care. Each time she was told politely that she was wrong, that she was overreacting, that everything was fine. She wonders if it was because she is an elderly woman with no medical knowledge, who speaks English with an accent. By the time I arrived, it was obvious to me that he had sepsis. He was transferred to the intensive care unit moments later.

I lost count of everything that went wrong. Medications weren’t given when prescribed, specialists that he needed to see never showed up, and tests and procedures were delayed or cancelled. I kept a diary of those miserable months. It’s a novella. It’s too painful to read, a contemporaneous record of missed opportunities that, if avoided, might have made Dad’s final months less traumatic. (Click on the link to read more)



Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: Uncategorized

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

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

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

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

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

Please click on the link to sign:

This petition will be delivered to:


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized,

Inadequate staffing implicated in stillbirths and neonatal death. By Steve Ford, News Editor for Nursing Times

Staffing and workload issues have been identified as a major factor in stillbirths and neonatal deaths during labour, following a national review.

The MBRRACE-UK report looked at the quality of care for stillbirths and neonatal deaths of babies born at term who were alive at the onset of labour and not affected by a major congenital anomaly.

This type of death occurred in 225 pregnancies in the UK in 2015 and represents about 5% of perinatal deaths overall, noted the report authors from the University of Oxford.

Overall, they found that stillbirth and neonatal deaths have more than halved in the UK from 0.62 to 0.28 per 1,000 total births since 1993, representing a fall of around 220 intrapartum deaths per year.

However, despite the fall in the mortality rate, such deaths remain an important group for concern, highlighted the researchers.

They said this was not least because, in the vast majority, the mother was directly receiving maternity care when the baby died or when the event occurred that led to the baby’s death.

To investigate further, the analysis focused on 78 of the 2015 cases to identify potentially avoidable failures of care during labour, delivery and any resuscitation, that may have caused the death.

The care provided for the mothers and babies was reviewed in detail against national guidelines and standards by a panel of clinicians, including midwives, bereavement midwives and neonatal nurses.

Click on the link to read in full

Inadequate staffing implicated in stillbirths and neonatal death



Filed under: Hospital, NHS,

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

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

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Uncategorized

Amy’s Place: Inside The Women-Only Rehab Centre, One Year On

Something amazing has been set up in response to something that was really tragic.

Little over a year ago, Amy’s Place opened its doors to women overcoming alcohol or drug addiction.

The house, which was set up by The Amy Winehouse Foundation in the late singer’s name, helps women get their life back on track.

The women-only rehabilitation service is the first of its kind, offering a pioneering programme aimed specifically at the needs of female addicts.

For many young women with issues around addiction can also be connected to other “complex needs” such as “domestic, physical, psychological or sexual abuse; from eating disorders; from low self-esteem and poor body image”.

“The aim of Amy’s Place is to kind of bridge the gap between rehabilitation services and independent living,” Project Manager Hannah Chrystal told HuffPost UK.

Please click on the link to read more


Filed under: Disabilities, Mental Health, , , ,

Connor Sparrowhawk mother attacks ‘barbaric’ treatment by tribunal

Sara Ryan says she felt retraumatised after questioning by defence lawyer at Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service

The mother of a vulnerable teenager who suffered a seizure and drowned in a bath at an NHS care unit has called for an overhaul of medical tribunals, saying she felt “retraumatised” after participating in a two-week hearing into her son’s death.

Sara Ryan, whose son Connor Sparrowhawk died in 2013, demanded changes to the “barbaric” treatment of bereaved families at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).

“You’re a grieved mother, you’re stripped of any other identity and you’re fair game for any kicking that comes your way and it must happen all the time,” she said. “It’s a terrible treatment of families in this setting. There needs to be change.”


Click on the link to read more


Connor Sparrowhawk had an epileptic fit and drowned while taking an unsupervised bath in 2013. 

Filed under: Mental Health, Named & Shamed, ,

Robbie Powell post death falsifying medical records. Please read, thank you. Will Powell father of Robbie

Robbie Powell, aged 10, from Ystradgynlais, Powys, died at Swansea’s Morriston Hospital, of Addison’s disease in 1990.

Very serious allegations have been made since 1990 regarding the post death falsifying of Robbie’s medical records by both the Ystradgynlais Group Practice and Morriston Hospital. 

Some facts

Please click on the link to read       Robbie-Powell-150x150

Robbie Powell The Crown Prosecution Service



Filed under: Named & Shamed, NHS, NHS Blunders, , ,

Stephen Hawking blames Tory politicians for damaging NHS

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

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

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


Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized

Here is a story on how there is no help regarding Mental Health

Susan is in her thirties and has had mental health issues for many years because she has a slight physical disability. Because she cannot cope with her disability she has taken to drinking to numb the emotional pain, she still lives with her parents.

She is constantly depressed, has no quality of life and spends her days in her bedroom. The situation has got so bad that when she drinks she becomes like someone possessed. Her whole personality changes, she becomes violent and not in control of what she is doing.  The police have come to the house often as the neighbours cannot take the foul language, screaming and shouting through the night.

So, what happens? The police take her away to a cell to dry out overnight. She appears in front of the Judge in Court the next day. All the proof is there (as this has happened many many times before) that this girl needs 24-hour help and support away from home. But what does the judge do? Gives her 20 hours community service and sends her home yet again.

Her parents in their 70’s are at their wit’s end, it will not end well. Either Susan will try again to commit suicide or her mother and father will end up in hospital or worse. The authorities know this and do absolutely nothing.



Filed under: Disabilities, Mental Health, , ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Mental Health, Uncategorized,

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

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


MyNotes Medical

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

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

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

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

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

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


Available on Android

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Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Parents share heartbreaking final photo of Charlie Gard as they reveal doctors won’t let him die at home

The 10-month-old terminally ill boy’s life support machine will be switched off tomorrow after his parents lost a long-running legal battle to take him for experimental treatment in America

The heartbroken parents of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard have criticised doctors for refusing to let him go home to die.


Filed under: Disabilities, NHS,

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

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

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

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


Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, ,

GP statistics available to public through new data hub

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read


Filed under: GP's, NHS, Uncategorized,

NHS cyber-attack: hospital computer systems held to ransom across England

Many hospitals having to divert emergency patients, with doctors reporting messages demanding money

Hospitals across England have been hit by a large-scale cyber-attack, the NHS has confirmed, which has locked staff out of their computers and forced many trusts to divert emergency patients.

The IT systems of NHS sites across the country appear to have been simultaneously hit, with a pop-up message demanding a ransom in exchange for access to the PCs. NHS England has declared a major incident. NHS Digital said it was aware of the problem and would release more details soon.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, ,

Whistleblowers Speak Up… Speakers Corner, Hyde Park, 28th May, 1:00pm. All Whistleblowers and Concerned Public welcome

Join us 📣 whistleblowers at Hyde Park & hear our stories, all whistleblowers, and concerned public welcome! It’s time to Speak the Truth.  Zed Trafficker


Filed under: Whistleblowing,

NHS whistleblowers claim patients ‘are being woken up at 4.30am for a wash as hospital staff are too busy to do it during the day


  • Elderly patients are being left hungry at mealtimes, whistleblowers revealed
  • Other patients are moved to different wards during the middle of the night
  • Some are being washed at 4.30am because staff can’t do it during the day

Hospital patients are being woken at 4.30am to be washed because staff have no time to care for them during the day, NHS whistleblowers have revealed.

The elderly are left hungry at mealtimes as no one has time to help them eat, while others are moved to different wards in the middle of the night.

The reports were made to the Care Quality Commission confidential whistleblowing helpline. Charity Age UK called them ‘profoundly dispiriting’ and said they highlighted ‘basic’ failings in care.

In one hospital, newly-qualified junior doctors were doing ward rounds instead of consultants. At another, whistleblowers revealed there were only four nurses for a ward of 46 patients.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, Whistleblowing,

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read the full article



Elizabeth Dixon


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, ,

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

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

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

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

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


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

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized,

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

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

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

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

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

Please click on the link to help

15220228_1348163211900803_7365561612533976554_n Jeyda

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more


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

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, ,

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more

3ccd784800000578-0-miss_wyatt_travelled_to_a_private_hospital_in_puebla_two_hours_s-a-92_1486163541538  3ccd6e8700000578-0-after_the_operation_miss_wyatt_lost_all_her_hair_and_she_felt_as-a-93_1486163541539

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

Filed under: Uncategorized,

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

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

Click on the link to check your area


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized,

Love itself lives on even when the memories fail

Frances Freeman… This is me with my mother she is 94 – she is looked after at the Newquay Nursing home in Cornwall.
She has Vascular Dementia – it’s massively tough to live with she has no concept of time passing, she gets very angry with the world. However, this is a happy moment she was telling me that my Father has just been promoted (not true, he died more than 10 years ago)

Joanna Slater… I work with Frances and hear from her day to day how hard it has been to cope with her mother with Vascular Dementia. Frances is a wonderful daughter. When a loved one suffers from such a delibating disease where do you start and how do you keep the communication going. Frances keeps that communication going even when her mother talks of such things that is in her imagination. This photo shows the love that never ends no matter what. Bless you Frances and bless your darling mum xxxxx

Such a wonderful photo, Love itself lives on.


Filed under: Dementia,

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

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

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

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

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



Filed under: A&E, Uncategorized,

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more



GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul

Filed under: GP's, Uncategorized,

How can this be happening?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mental health symbol conceptual design isolated on white background


Filed under: Mental Health, Uncategorized, ,

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized,

On the 9th anniversary of my mother’s passing… By Joanna Slater

On the anniversary of my darling mother Kay’s passing 9 years ago today on the 8th January 2008

Not a day goes past without my mother in my thoughts. It’s been a long journey but I hope that by bringing awareness to others through my book, blog and Strength in Numbers group page her name will live on forever and hopefully can make a difference and bring an awareness to all those who have suffered.


Filed under: NHS, ,

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: Hospital, Uncategorized, ,

‘Humanitarian crisis’ in NHS hospitals, warns Red Cross

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Filed under: Uncategorized

Questions over efficiency of NHS referral management centres

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more



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

Barcode technology helping to improve patient safety

Barcodes are being used to trace NHS patients and their treatments, manage medical supplies and monitor the effectiveness of equipment.

The barcode technology used in major industries such as aerospace and retail is being introduced to the NHS in England to improve patient safety. Barcodes are being placed on breast implants, replacement hips, medication and surgical tools.

The £12 million Department of Health ‘Scan4Safety’ project is already helping staff to quickly and easily track each patient through their hospital journey. From the unique barcodes on wristbands patients receive when they enter hospital, to the barcodes used to record their medication and the equipment used in their treatment, each code can be scanned to show which member of staff administered each treatment, at what time and where.

By using barcodes, anything that might develop a fault years later, for example a screw used in a knee operation or breast implant, can be traced. The details, such as when it was used and the surgeon who carried out the procedure, can be found quickly and easily. This technology will also help to eliminate avoidable harm in hospitals, including errors such as patients being administered the wrong drugs and surgery being performed on the wrong part of the body.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more


Abbie and her father James, 55,

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Breast cancer drug rejected for NHS use on cost-benefit grounds

Charities angered by guidance on Kadcyla, which costs £90,000 per year per patient and gives extra nine months on average

A breast cancer drug that costs £90,000 a year per patient has been turned down for use by the NHS on financial grounds, triggering an outcry from patients groups who say it prolongs the lives of people seriously ill with the disease.

Kadcyla, made by Roche Pharmaceuticals, was rejected by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. It has the highest price tag ever for a cancer medicine and was turned down because its benefits did not justify its cost, Nice said.

Prof Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at Nice, said: “We know that people with cancer place great importance on drugs that can increase their life expectancy. For that reason we apply as much flexibility as we can when we look at new life-extending treatments.

Click on the link to read more

Click on the link to sign the petition Breast Cancer Now launches urgent petition following NICE decision to reject Kadcyla for routine use on the NHS


Filed under: Cancer, ,

Acutely ill children waiting nine hours for beds in intensive care. Some paediatric units now at 115% capacity, warns doctors’ body

Seriously ill children are waiting up to nine hours for an intensive care bed to become available, while others are being transported up to 120 miles from their homes to receive the medical treatment they urgently need, senior paediatricians have revealed.

In the last two weeks, at least 17 children with acute illnesses requiring intensive care have had to be transported out of their regions because of a lack of beds. Some paediatric intensive care units, treating the most seriously ill children, are working at 115% of their capacity, such is the level of demand and lack of resources, according to the Paediatric Intensive Care Society. As of Friday night, there were just four beds available in England and one in Belfast.

The revelations illustrate the stress being faced by the NHS this winter. New figures provided by the Labour party additionally show that, in October, only 67.3% of ambulances for the most seriously ill adults and children, who are not breathing or do not have a pulse, arrived on the scene within eight minutes of being called, against a target of 75%.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, ,

Wall of silence that shames the NHS: Grieving families who complain over blunders are ‘fobbed off’, damning report reveals

  • Some relatives are even left not knowing why their loved ones have died
  • Fobbed off with reports written by medics that absolve the NHS of blame
  • Hospitals cleared staff in 73% of cases where failures led to death or harm
  • Dame Julie Mellor made five recommendations to patient safety service

Grieving families face a wall of silence when they complain about NHS blunders, the health ombudsman warns today. Julie Mellor’s damning report reveals that some relatives are left not even knowing why a loved one has died. They are fobbed off with impenetrable reports that absolve the NHS of blame and are often written by the medics at fault.

‘Parents and families are being met with a wall of silence from the NHS when they seek answers as to why their loved one died or was harmed,’ said Dame Julie. ‘People want answers, to understand what happened and why, and to know that action is being taken to prevent the same thing happening again to others.’

But her report found that hospitals cleared staff in 73 per cent of 150 cases where failures had led to avoidable death or serious harm.

Dame Julie’s team said internal probes in English hospitals were not ‘consistent, reliable or transparent’. In half of internal investigations, the medics leading the review were not ‘independent of the events complained about’.

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders,

Disabled pensioner trapped in her home

Wheelchair user Doreen Graham, 85, hasn’t left her flat in Lambeth, South West London, because the housing association that owns the block she lives in hasn’t provided a ramp to allow her to navigate steps.

Her daughter Laura Graham who lives with her mum describes the steps at the entrance to the building as ‘their very own Everest’. After 5 live Investigates made contact with Metropolitan Housing Association they have vowed to make the case a priority.

This clip was originally taken from 5 live Investigates on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

 Click on the link to watch


Filed under: Disabilities, Elderly, ,

NHS bosses ‘trying to keep cuts secret’ an investigation has found

NHS chiefs are trying to keep plans to cut hospital services in England secret, an investigation has found.

Full details of 44 reviews of services around the country – which involve closing some A&Es or, in one case, a whole hospital – are yet to emerge. That is because NHS England told local managers to keep the plans “out of the public domain” and avoid requests for information, the King’s Fund suggested. Managers were even told how to reject freedom of information requests.

The King’s Fund report did not include any details of cuts, but from the leaks and plans that have been published so far a partial picture is emerging of what is involved.

This includes:

  • Plans in south west London to close one of five hospitals – St George’s, Kingston, Croydon, St Helier or Epsom
  • The North Tees proposal to centralise specialist services, including A&E, on two sites. It would lead to services being downgraded at one of the three major hospitals in the area
  • In Devon bosses are looking at whether to close some A&E, maternity and stroke services at hospitals across the county so they can be centralised at bigger sites
  • In Merseyside there has been talk of merging four hospitals – the Royal Liverpool, Broadgreen, Aintree and Liverpool Women’s – to plug a £1bn shortfall, according to leaked documents
  • Plans in Birmingham and Solihull involve reorganising maternity services with fears this could result in fewer units
  • Bosses at North Central London have talked about a consolidation of services on fewer sites, leading to fears that the Whittington Hospital could lose its A&E

During its research, the King’s Fund carried out interviews with staff involved in four of the reviews, known as sustainability and transformation plans (STPs). These were done on an anonymised basis.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, ,

Heartache as mother-of-three, 31, dies just weeks after being refused funding for a cancer drug because her disease wasn’t ‘exceptional enough’

  • Sarah Summers was diagnosed with breast cancer in May last year 
  • She underwent 18 weeks of chemotherapy and had began to recover 
  • However, in April doctors revealed it had returned and spread to her lungs
  • Experts advised her to seek funding for Kadcyla – a life-extending drug
  • But her local health board rejected her appeal and she died weeks later

A mother-of-three has died just weeks after being told her cancer wasn’t ‘exceptional enough’ for a life-prolonging drug.

Sarah Summers, 31, was diagnosed with breast cancer in May last year after finding a lump. She underwent 18 weeks of chemotherapy and had began to recover – but was told at the start of this year that she had a genetic mutation leaving her at high risk of further tumours.

In April, doctors confirmed the worst and revealed her cancer had returned and had even spread to her lungs. Experts advised her to seek funding for a drug called Kadcyla but her local health board rejected her appeal. Her health continued to deteriorate and she developed fluid on her lungs and pneumonia before losing her battle at the start of September.

Her husband Michael Poole, 31, from Treherbert in the Rhondda, said: ‘We were lost for words. Sarah’s oncologist herself could not understand how she was not judged to be clinically exceptional.

Click on the link to read more


Sarah Summers, 31, from Treherbert in the Rhondda, died just weeks after being denied funding for a life-saving breast cancer drug due to not being ‘exceptional enough’

Filed under: Cancer,

Exclusive: GP practices serving more than 5m patients could close in the next year

More than 5m patients in England could be forced to look for a new GP over the next year as surgery closures hit record levels, a poll suggests.

One in 10 GPs believe their practice is at risk of closure in the next 12 months because of underfunding, workload or recruitment problems, according to a GPonline opinion poll of 298 GPs.

Many more GPs are aware of struggling practices in their local area – 41% of respondents said they knew a neighbouring practice that was at risk of closure in the next year. GP leaders warned that NHS England must do more to deliver rapid bailout funding to prevent the collapse of practices across the country.

The closure of one in 10 of the 7,500-plus GP practices in England – which have an average list size of around 7,000 – could leave 5.25m patients looking for a new family doctor.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: GP's, ,

Policy changes to implement the NHS five year forward view: a progress report by The Kings Fund

Two years on from the publication of the NHS five year forward view, we assess how much progress has been made and what still needs to be done to align policies with the plan.

In October 2014, NHS England and other arms-length bodies published the NHS five year forward view (Forward View). The Forward View set out a vision of how NHS services need to change to meet the needs of the population. It argued that the NHS should place far greater emphasis on prevention, integration of services, and putting patients and communities in control of their health.

The Forward View differed from previous policy documents; instead of setting out a blueprint for the future, it outlined a number of care models that can be adapted to put in place services appropriate to the needs of local populations. The emphasis was on ‘diverse solutions and local leadership, in place of further structural distraction’ supported by ‘meaningful local flexibility in the way payment rules, regulatory requirements and other mechanisms are applied’ (p 4).

Click on the link to read the full report

Filed under: NHS, ,

Exclusive: Trust guilty of serious service failure over child’s death by Shaun Lintern written for HSJ

A litany of failings in the care and treatment of a four year old boy who died at a specialist children’s hospital were so severe they amounted to service failure, according to a new investigation.

The damning report, seen exclusively by HSJ, reveals a list of 22 failures by nurses and doctors at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and also casts doubt over the conclusions of an earlier independent review of the case which was commissioned by NHS England.

Sean Turner, who died in March 2012, was left so seriously dehydrated due to poor management of his condition by hospital staff that his parents described him as sucking moisture from wet wipes. He died from a bleed on the brain following major heart surgery following weeks of poor care. In one incident staff at the hospital gave him clot-busting treatment for three days instead of the recommended six hours and failed to stop his blood-thinning medication at the same time when they should have done.

Click on the link to read more


Sean Turner

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

Surgeons should ‘let patients choose’ to avoid litigation, new guidance states

Surgeons should stop being “paternalistic” towards patients and instead simply give them their options and “let them choose”, according to new guidance for medics.

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has warned that if NHS trusts do not make changes to the processes they use to gain consent before surgery, they risk facing a dramatic increase in the number of litigation payouts. In the wake of a landmark-ruling at the Supreme Court last year, which changed the rules of gaining patient consent, it has published new instructions for its 20,000 members.

Leslie Hamilton, a Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) council member, said the changes introduced by the case of Nadine Montgomery, who won a £5.25m payout in 2015, were a “real wake-up call”. He said: “It is really about focusing on the individual patient,” adding: “We now need to sit down and tell the patient all the other options and let the patient choose and not tell them.”

Ms Montgomery won the money from Lanarkshire Health Board in Scotland after accusing medics of failing to properly advise her of the risks of being a “diabetic of small stature” before she gave birth to son Samuel. He was born with serious disabilities as a result of complications during delivery in 1999 and she argued if she had been advised of the risk of shoulder dystocia – when a baby’s shoulders are too wide to pass through the pelvis – she would have had a caesarean.

NHS practice has traditionally been to leave it to doctors to decide what risks to communicate to patients – in what the RCS called a more “paternalistic approach”.

Click on the link to read more

Surgeons should take a less 'paternalistic' approach, the RCS has advised

Surgeons should take a less ‘paternalistic’ approach, the RCS has advised

Filed under: Hospital, NHS,

NHS whistleblower ‘facing sack’ goes on hunger strike

An NHS worker who says she faces being fired for whistleblowing is going on hunger strike outside the Department of Health.

Jade Taylor, 46, has set up camp in Whitehall with placards, bags, and bottles of water. She has vowed to stay as long as she could – until she gets a meeting with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Taylor, who leads a community team in a mental health trust, started speaking up about her concerns over patient and staff safety after the mistreatment of her parents at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Their deaths prompted her to complain about a ‘plethora of concerns’ in her own trust, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation, including allegations of bullying and the mistreatment of whistleblowers.

She started her hunger strike at 7pm on Monday before taking up her post in Whitehall yesterday.

Click on the link to read more

NHS whistleblower ‘facing sack’ goes on hunger strike

Senior mental health nurse Jade Taylor outside the Department for Health in London where she is on hunger strike, October 11 2016. See SWNS story SWWHISTLE: An NHS manager who says she faces the sack today (Wed) for whistleblowing has gone on hunger strike outside the Department of Health. Jade Taylor, a senior mental health nurse says she will be sacked today (Weds) for raising concerns about patient and staff safety is on hunger strike outside the Department of Health. Senior mental health nurse Jade Taylor, 46, claims her parents were mistreated during the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Jade Taylor is camping outside the Department of Health (Picture: SWNS)

Filed under: Whistleblowing,

A&E in Meltdown?

Watchdogs have concerns about safety at two thirds of England’s A&E departments, according to the latest Tonight programme.

Despite the best efforts of staff, the performance of A&Es is now as bad as it ever has been. And a report by the Care Quality Commission confirms that overcrowding is leaving patient safety compromised.

Reporter Fiona Foster interviews Dr Taj Hassan the President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine who tells the programme:

Our recent statistics show that anywhere from five hundred to a thousand patients per year are dying because unfortunately our departments are ever more crowded.“ – Dr Taj Hassan

Chris Hopson of NHS Providers runs the body that represents most of the hospital and ambulance chiefs around the country. He says:
We are running our hospitals at ninety five, ninety eighty, ninety nine percent capacity. So when you get a surge in demand that overloads the system. You have to be careful about saying that the NHS is suddenly going to fall off the edge of a cliff because it never does. What I think we tend to see is a long slow deterioration.”

The NHS is short of 2,000 emergency doctors, according to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. And experts estimate that up to a third of A&E patients could be better treated elsewhere.

Click on the link to read more

If you missed the tonight programme you can view on the itv hub (expires 12th Nov)


A&E patients lined up in a corridor waiting for treatment Credit: ITV / Tonight

Filed under: A&E, ,

How MyNotes Medical got started by Joanna Slater

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

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

Together we can make a difference

MnM concept image 1

Thank you so much, Joanna Slater

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

‘If you pay for a Mini you can’t expect a Ferrari’: Disgraced plastic surgeon told a mother-of-two it was HER fault after botching her £3,500 boob job

  • Alex Cater, 33, had surgery after 10st weight loss left her with sagging skin
  • Awoke from surgery in agony before her breasts started leaking puss 
  • Complained to surgeon Dr Amedeo Usai who asked ‘What did you expect from £3,500 surgery?’
  • He was struck off the medical register following a number of complaints

A mother of two who complained about her botched £3,500 boob job was horrified when her plastic surgeon told her -‘If you pay for a Mini you can’t expect a Ferrari.’

Alex Cater, 33, had gone under the knife after losing an incredible 10 stone having ballooned to a size 26 following the birth of her children Kayleigh, 13, and Cameron, 10. But instead of gaining her dream figure the surgery, carried out by shamed surgeon Amedeo Usai, went so badly wrong that her ‘butchered’ breasts were badly misshapen, painful and leaking puss. She eventually had to have the implants removed but said she still has both physical and mental scars that may never heal.

Dr Usai has now been struck off the medical register after a tribunal heard a series of complaints against him by patients.

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She said she knew something was wrong after waking up from surgery in agony. But surgeon Amedeo Usai, who has since been struck off the medical register, dismissed her concerns with his brash comments.

Filed under: Named & Shamed, , ,

Boss of scandal-hit hospital with 287 unexplained deaths apologises for suffering patients endured

Libby McManus has issued the apology after taking over from former hospital chief executive, Julie Lowe

The new boss of a scandal-hit hospital where there were 287 unexplained deaths has apologised for the harm and suffering patients endured. Libby McManus was drafted in to run the North Middlesex Hospital in North London after a damning Care Quality Commission investigation uncovered a series of damning failures.

Among them was the case of a patient – who was found dead and with rigor mortis after being left for four hours in A&E. Inspectors also found evidence of elderly people suffering abuse, neglect and lack of fluids on wards for care of the elderly

Julie Lowe, the former chief executive of the North Middlesex has been moved on and been secretly found a new NHS job. In a meeting with The Sunday People Libby McManus said: “I want to apologise to all those relatives and patients who have suffered in the past. “We are starting to do things differently now and we are confident that in time we can turn things round.”

Mrs McManus also promised to look at some of the mortality data for the hospital highlighted by Professor Brian Jarman whose work exposed the scandal at Stafford Hospital where there were up to 1200 avoidable deaths. He said the failings at the North Middlesex had all the hallmarks of the harm and suffering experienced by patients at the Midlands Hospital.

An investigation by the People has found the Edmonton based hospital in breach of nearly a dozen laws designed protect the public following the Stafford Hospital scandal.

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Libby McManus has taken over the Chief Executive role in the wake of the damning report

Filed under: Named & Shamed, NHS Blunders

They’re not bed blockers, just older people who want to get home

The NHS is faced with a rising tide of demand for care combined with a tight rein on both NHS and social care finances. The impact of these pressures is seen across the health and care system. It manifests itself obviously in delayed transfers out of hospitals.

Year on year these delays are rising, with more people staying in hospital when they don’t need to be there. It has an impact on the care of some of the frailest and most vulnerable people and is the subject of continued attention from the media, healthcare regulators and politicians. When media and commentators discuss this issue it’s only a matter of time before a certain horrible term is used – “bed blocker”.

The phrase “blocked bed” originated in the UK in the late 50s, driven by hospital clinicians’ concerns about a lack of beds. Its use grew between 1961 and 1967, when the elderly population increased by 14% while bed numbers remained static. In 1986 “bed blocking” made its first appearance in a British Medical Journal headline. Although it was not accepted as a medical term, by the 90s it was being widely used by health economists as a marker of inefficiency.

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Filed under: Elderly, , ,

Calls To Improve Diabetes Care As Amputations Hit Record High

Figures show some NHS trusts are 10 times likelier than others to resort to an amputation, even though 80% could be preventable.

The number of diabetes-related amputations in England has reached an all-time high of 20 a day, according to new analysis.

Diabetes UK says there is an alarming difference in quality of care seen across the country and while the best-performing areas have consistently reduced their amputation rates, the worst-performing areas have made no improvements. Experts estimate that up to 80% of diabetes-related amputations are preventable. Most are caused by foot ulcers, which are avoidable and easy to treat if detected early.

Using Public Health England figures, the charity discovered there are now 7,370 amputations a year – considerably more than the earlier figure of 7,042. Diabetes UK wants the Government and the NHS to improve diabetes foot care, especially in areas where amputation rates are stagnant or getting worse.

Data suggests some NHS trusts are 10 times more likely than others to resort to an amputation than others.

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NHS trusts in the red areas are up to 10 times likelier to resort to an amputation

Filed under: NHS, ,

New dementia training package for nursing staff by Steve Ford for Nursing Times

A free training package aimed at educating health and social care staff about dementia has been launched by Health Education England.

The training package  provides a basic introduction to dementia and how it affects people and their loved ones. It was launched today by Health Education England through a collaboration with the University of Bedfordshire, Oxford Brookes University, University of Northampton and University of West London.

The two-year project was commissioned by HEE’s Thames Valley branch, with the aim of improving professional knowledge, service delivery and provision for patients with dementia. Part of it included a review of existing dementia awareness training, with the findings then used to develop the subsequent training package.

Melsina Makaza, senior lecturer in mental health nursing and dementia lead at Bedfordshire, jointly led a pilot of the package involving 1,500 clinical and non-clinical staff from a variety of health and social settings in 2015. She said: “People often have this misconception that when someone gets dementia, that’s it, the person is gone. It’s sometimes seen as a death sentence. “But that’s not true,” she said. “The person is still there and we need to make sure health and social care professionals at every level know how best to help them in a person-centred way.”

Click on the link to read more

New dementia training package for nursing staff


Filed under: Dementia,

Terminally ill actor Brian Rix calls for assisted dying law change

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

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

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

Extract from Lord Rix’s letter

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

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

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

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

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Lord Rix opposed the Assisted Dying Bill in 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Drug shortages are ‘harming’ patients, say GPs

Patients are coming to harm due to drug shortages, GPs have warned, as a GPonline survey revealed four out of five GPs were pushed to prescribe second-choice medicines in the last year due to shortages.

In the GPonline survey of 441 GPs, 82% said drug shortages had forced them to prescribe a second-choice drug in the past 12 months. Just 12% said they had not, while 6% indicated they did not know. One in five (18%) of the GPs who had prescribed a second-choice drug said that patients had gone on to experience negative effects as a result, including harm or slower recovery. Another 43% said they were not aware of any adverse effects, and 39% said they did not know.

Many GP respondents expressed their frustration at the situation, which several reported had happened on a number of occasions. One said a patient had suffered because the medicine they needed was not manufactured for a time. Another said that, while no patients had experienced major effects, ‘some have complained of increased side effects’.

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Medicine pill capsules with medicine bottle on light background. Shallow Depth Of Field.

Filed under: GP's, ,

Big rise in patients falling victim to NHS surgical mistakes

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

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

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

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Filed under: Uncategorized

Whistleblowers being ‘blacklisted by NHS’ as staff records state they were ‘dismissed’ even after being cleared at tribunal

When Maha Yassaie began to suspect that a colleague was taking money from drug companies to prescribe a certain product and that a GP had obtained controlled drugs to attempt suicide she naturally raised the alarm. But after reporting these and other concerns about her colleagues the former chief pharmacist at Berkshire West Primary Care Trust was dismissed from her post. To her dismay Lady Yassaie was told by an internal inquiry that she was “too honest” to work for the NHS.

It should therefore have been a moment of vindication when she was awarded £375,000 compensation after the Department of Health was forced to admit to her that “the investigation and disciplinary processes… were, in some respects, flawed”.  Over the following four years, however, every one of Lady Yassaie’s attempts to find a new job met with failure, despite her experience and qualifications.

It was only when she obtained her staff record from the Department of Health that she discovered that officials had effectively blacklisted her in the eyes of prospective employers, by wrongly stating that she had been dismissed from her previous job.

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Jennie Fecitt was dismissed from her post as a senior nurse at a walk-in centre in 2010, after raising concerns about a nurse who had lied about his qualifications CREDIT: JON SUPER FOR THE TELEGRAPH

Filed under: Whistleblowing,

Cancer overtakes heart disease as No1 cause of death: Statins, healthier lifestyles and better treatment help cardiovascular deaths to plummet

  • Cancer overtakes cardiovascular disease as biggest killer for first time
  • People less likely to have heart issues and if they do more likely to survive
  • But cancer rates are gradually increasing as people live longer lives 

Cancer rates, meanwhile, are gradually increasing as people live longer and access to expensive new drugs are failing to keep up with demand. Researchers last night revealed that deaths from the disease had overtaken heart deaths among women in 2014 – the most recent data available – as it did for men in 2011. It means that for the first time cancer is the number one cause of death for the population as a whole.

Study leader Dr Nick Townsend said: ‘Fewer people are having a cardiovascular event and more are surviving them.  ‘We are seeing reductions in the causes of cardiovascular disease, with dramatic decreases in smoking rates in particular.’

There have also been big improvements in treatments, he said, with specialised heart units and use of stents in hospitals meaning people who do have heart attacks and strokes are more likely to survive. Dr Townsend, whose work is published in the European Heart Journal, said lifestyle factors – drinking, smoking, diet and exercise – have an impact on roughly 85 per cent of cases of cardiovascular disease. For cancer, lifestyle is responsible for between 40 and 50 per cent of cases, with the remainder caused by genetics and other factors.

This means that the improvements in lifestyle seen over the past 50 years in Britain have had a much bigger impact on heart disease than on cancer.

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Filed under: Cancer, ,

More than 50 allegations of ‘dirty practices’ against Nottinghamshire dentist

Former dentist Desmond D’Mello is facing more than 50 allegations of malpractice after causing the biggest NHS recall in history, it has been revealed.

The charges include not changing his gloves between patients and wiping his hands on his trousers; meanwhile his dental nurse also faces allegations including not changing her gloves after blowing her nose. More than 4,000 patients had blood tests to see if they had contracted any blood-borne viruses after it was revealed he had also flouted hygiene laws by failing to sterilise equipment.

Mr D’Mello was suspended in August 2014 after a whistleblower filmed him failing to change his gloves and not cleaning dental instruments between patients at his practice in Daybrook. The revelation led to the biggest recall in the history of the NHS, with 22,000 patients who had been treated by D’Mello over a career spanning 30 years offered blood tests to check for diseases such as hepatitis C.

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More than 50 allegations of dirty practices against Nottinghamshire dentist


Desmond D’Mello

Filed under: Named & Shamed, NHS, ,

ITV Tonight is making a programme about the financial abuse of the elderly

Can anyone help? Please email: or phone 0207 157 4365


Filed under: Elderly,

Thousands of cancer sufferers surviving decades after diagnosis. Macmillan researchers say

More than 170,000 people diagnosed in the 70s and 80s are still alive in what Macmillan researchers say is an ‘extraordinary’ number

People are twice as likely to live at least 10 years after being diagnosed with cancer than they were at the start of the 1970s, new research shows. More than 170,000 people in the UK who were diagnosed in the 1970s and 1980s are still alive – an “extraordinary” number, Macmillan Cancer Support said in its report Cancer: Then and Now.

The increase in long-term cancer survivors is due to more sophisticated treatment combined with an ageing population, the charity said, acknowledging that there was still a huge variation in survival rates according to cancer type. But it warned the consequences were increasing demand on the NHS, with more people living for longer, with long-term side-effects.

The Macmillan chief executive, Lynda Thomas, said: “More and more people are being diagnosed with cancer and, in general, having a more sophisticated life with their cancer than perhaps they would have done. What we are now seeing is that lot of people are coming in and out of treatment, so all of that does put pressure on the NHS.


The number of people living with cancer in the UK is set to grow from 2.5 million to 4 million by 2030. Photograph: Alamy

Filed under: Cancer,

Mother claims she has to restrain mentally-ill son, 24, with handcuffs due to ‘lack of support from NHS

A mother claims she has to put her mentally-ill son in handcuffs at home because of a lack of support from mental health services.

Joely Hignett alleges she has to physically restrain 24-year-old son Kyle Hignett – who has a borderline personality disorder and suffers from psychosis – to stop him from harming himself or others. The 44-year-old mother of two, from Warrington, Cheshire has released “distressing” footage of Kyle sobbing and screaming to raise awareness of his condition and said she feels “let down” by the mental health system.

She claims her son’s breakdown in the video, which has racked up more than 950,000 views and nearly 5,000 shares on Facebook, was caused by him being told by doctors he was soon to be discharged.

Ms Hignett, who is full-time carer to Kyle and 22-year-old daughter Tyler Hignett, who suffers from bipolar disorder, said: “I know my son is the most beautiful, kindest person in the world. “He is so respectful, he would never want to hurt anyone in the street. But when this thing takes over we have to put him in handcuffs to prevent him from killing himself or harming someone else. He gets in rages and feels extremely dangerous. “Luckily, thank God, he works with me. We just feel totally overwhelmed and scared, but no one seems to care.

“We feel the mental health system is letting my son down, his family down and everybody else down who suffers every day with mental health.

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Joely Hignett claims she has to physically restrain her 24-year-old son Kyle to stop him from harming himself or others

Filed under: Mental Health, ,

‘We were told not to pick a fight with the NHS’: Parents of three-year-old who died needlessly from sepsis were made to feel like the tragedy was ‘just bad luck’

  • Sam Morrish died at Torbay Hospital in South Devon in December 2010 
  • His parents took him to see health professionals four times in 36 hours
  • Initial investigation by health Ombudsman said death was avoidable
  • Parents called for a second investigation as questions were unanswered 
  • Second damning report ruled NHS organisations refused to accept blame 

The parents of a three-year-old boy who died needlessly of sepsis have told of how they were warned ‘not to pick a fight’ with the NHS. Sam Morrish succumbed to the illness in 2010 following a catalogue of failings by out-of-hours GPs, hospital doctors and NHS call centre staff.

A damning report into his death yesterday by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman accused the NHS of failing to investigate mistakes and refusing to accept blame. His parents, Scott and Sue Morrish, who live in Newton Abbot, Devon, spoke of how they were made to feel the tragedy was bad luck.

The little boy – described as a ‘force of nature’- died in December 2010 just 36 hours after they first sought medical help. Over that time they were sent away and dismissed by GPs, hospital doctors and call centres at NHS Direct, which has since become NHS 111. An initial report by the Ombudsman in 2014 concluded that his death was avoidable and he would have been saved had doctors picked up on early warning signs.

Click on the link to read more


Three-year-old Sam Morrish died from sepsis in 2010 after a catalogue of errors by various NHS bodies. A damning report into his death today accused the NHS of failing to properly investigate the tragedy


Filed under: NHS Blunders,

5 News investigation: Failures in mental health trusts exposed

Channel 5 reports on our failing mental health trusts.
Three in the country rated ‘inadequate for safety’. 



Filed under: Mental Health,

Doctors’ basic errors are killing 1,000 patients a month. Biggest ever study of errors in British hospitals finds one in ten patients affected

Almost 12,000 patients are dying needlessly in NHS hospitals every year because of basic errors by medical staff, according to the largest and most detailed study into hospital deaths ever performed in the UK.

The researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and colleagues found something went wrong with the care of 13 per cent of the patients who died in hospitals. An error only caused death in 5.2 per cent of these – equivalent to 11,859 preventable deaths in hospitals in England.

Helen Hogan, who led the study, said: “We found medical staff were not doing the basics well enough – monitoring blood pressure and kidney function, for example. They were also not assessing patients holistically early enough in their admission so they didn’t miss any underlying condition. And they were not checking side-effects… before prescribing drugs.”

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Kane Gorny’s mother Rita Cronin with her lawyer outside court PA

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

Pregnant mental health patient ‘pinned to floor’

A mental health trust has launched an investigation after a heavily pregnant patient was allegedly dragged from a seat and pinned to the floor by staff.

The woman was knocked face down to the floor by a male nurse in a psychiatric hospital, according to a witness. Three members of staff are said to have then held her down. The Central and North West London NHS trust said a member of staff had been removed from clinical duties while the incident was investigated.

The alleged incident occurred on the night of 10 July while a former adviser to the health secretary on patient safety was an inpatient at the unit. The former adviser, Alison Cameron, said that while the woman, who was eight and a half months pregnant, was being verbally aggressive she hadn’t made any physical threats.

“A male nurse came marching over from the treatment room to the dayroom,” said Ms Cameron.  “He was threatening the woman saying ‘If I hear your voice again, I will, I will…’ and without finishing his sentence, he physically manhandled the woman from her seat to the floor. Three other members of staff then pinned her down.” Ms Cameron, who has been a patient advocate for years, said the use of force was wholly unnecessary. “I know safe restraint, and this wasn’t it.”

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Filed under: Mental Health,

Government commits to high quality end of life care

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

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

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

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

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Filed under: Uncategorized

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Listen to parents of sick children rather than tests, NHS tells doctors

New recommendations say medical staff must listen to parents who report their child is deteriorating, even if tests show no cause for alarm.

Doctors and nurses must listen to parents who report that their sick child is getting worse and investigate their concerns, even if the usual tests suggest there is no cause for alarm, say new NHS recommendations. NHS Improvement, which has reviewed the care of children who deteriorate while in hospital, says parents at the bedside are well placed to see any change in their child, but are not always heard and can be afraid to speak up.

Too often parents worry “about ‘time-wasting’ with any repeated concerns” or that they won’t be listened to, but “it is imperative that parents feel welcome and encouraged to speak up”, said Dr Mike Durkin, the NHS national director of patient safety. Children can deteriorate very quickly and die if they do not get the right treatment fast. Sepsis – blood poisoning – sometimes caused by meningitis, kills babies and children if they do not rapidly get antibiotics.

According to NHS Improvement, research shows that more than a quarter of preventable deaths in children and adults happen because they are not properly monitored so a change in their condition is not noticed.

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Filed under: NHS Blunders, , , ,

Church Crookham baby death sparks national review into care for newborns

15 years since the tragic death of their newborn daughter, Anne and Graeme Dixon have welcomed an investigation into the care of babies who need extra support.

A health watchdog has released the results of a national review into the care of newborns who need extra support, sparked by a Church Crookem  couple who tragically lost their baby. Anne and Graeme Dixon’s daughter Elizabeth was born at Frimley Park Hospital in 2000 and was brain damaged after her high blood pressure was not treated for 15 days.

She was left disabled and needed a tracheostomy, or tube, to breathe, but suffocated and died at home days before her first birthday when it was not maintained during a home visit by an agency nurse who transpired to be newly-qualified.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) investigation found there is a significant risk to hundreds of babies and children because of inconsistent practice and a lack of clear guidance on treatment. The watchdog said it has uncovered concerns about the way the NHS identifies and manages clinical risk in unborn and newborn babies.

In the first report of its kind, it also raises fears that key information might not be shared between clinical teams and says there needs to be more consistent support for families with children requiring long term ventilation at home. Among its recommendations for improvement, the CQC says every unborn fetus should be assigned a unique identification number to ensure important information from a mother’s clinical notes is properly transferred to the baby’s records after birth.

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Church Crookham baby death sparks national review into care for newborns


Baby Elizabeth Dixon died in 2001

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

NHS plan to shut child heart surgery units causes outcry

NHS England defied as it seeks to boost surgeons’ skills with bigger pool of patients at fewer sites, shutting Royal Brompton, Leicester and Manchester units

Two large hospitals, the Royal Brompton in London and Glenfield hospital in Leicester, have defied plans from NHS England to close their heart surgery units for children. NHS England has tried to settle a bitter 15-year argument following the deaths of babies at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, whose heart surgeons were not as skilled as others elsewhere. The 2001 Kennedy review into the tragedy said some units had to close so that the remaining surgeons operated on enough tiny hearts to be as good as they could be at the complex procedures. But nobody can agree which units these should be.

The new review by NHS England says the units at Royal Brompton and Glenfield must child heart surgery. Both fought judicial reviews against earlier closure proposals and they appear prepared to do so again. The third hospital trust named was Central Manchester, which operates on children and adults born with heart defects.

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Filed under: Hospital,

Care quality set to worsen this year, warn finance directors

More than one in five finance directors in the NHS in England believes that the quality of patient services will worsen over the coming year, while one in three thinks the decline will continue the following year as well.

The findings come from the latest biannual NHS Financial Temperature Check survey of around 200 finance directors in England in May-June this year, and published by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), which represents finance staff working in the NHS

For the third consecutive year, the financial performance of the NHS worsened, with NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts reporting a deficit, and for the first time, CCGs also racking up an overspend in 2015-16. More than one in five finance directors (21% of CCG chief financial officer and 23% of trust finance directors) believes the quality of patient services will deteriorate this financial year, while one in three provider trusts anticipate quality will decline further next year.

The most vulnerable aspects of patient care include waiting times (76%), access to services (69%) and the breadth of services offered (61%).

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Filed under: Hospital,

Children’s hospital ‘let down by parents’

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

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

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

Click on the link to see the Good Morning Britain interview


Luke Jenkins died at Bristol Children’s Hospital

Filed under: NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yolanda and Steve Turner are awaiting Thursday’s review

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Midwife sacked over new Morecambe Bay death

A midwife who is being probed over the death of a baby eight years ago has been sacked following an investigation into a new fatality.

Lindsey Biggs is one of a band of midwives accused of colluding to cover up blunders which contributed to the deaths of 12 mothers and babies in the Morecambe Bay scandal. The group – who dubbed themselves “the musketeers” – have continued working at the NHS trust despite public outrage over the deaths, which occurred between 2004 and 2013.

Ms Biggs is currently under investigation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for alleged failings linked to the case of baby Joshua Titcombe, who died in 2008. She is due to appear in front of regulators this week over the case. But it has now emerged that she has been dismissed by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay trust over the death of another baby, just four months ago.

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Lindsey Biggs is accused of failings over the deaths of two babies

Filed under: Named & Shamed, NHS Blunders, , ,

NHS to withhold report on primary care support problems until 2017

NHS England will wait more than a year before it publishes its report of serious and significant events recorded for primary care support services since Capita took over.

Pulse has learned that NHS England intends to publish an annual round-up of the problems raised by practices, but the first publication – due July 2016 – will only cover issues reported by 31 March this year.

This will not include the details around the piles of uncollected patient notes and dwindling stocks of essential clinical supplies, which have happened since the new national system went live at the start of April. LMC leaders are also reporting that GPs have ‘given up’ on flagging concerns because they are fatigued with the number of problems they have to document.

GP leaders have labelled NHS England’s decision a ‘bloody disgrace’, adding that Capita is operating under different standards to practices that are required to regularly audit and learn from significant events.

Click on the link to read the full article


Filed under: GP's, , ,

Coroner puts hospital’s weekend staffing in spotlight after death of woman

A coroner will raise his concerns about weekend staffing levels at a hospital following the death of a grandmother-of-nine after a routine hernia operation.

Margaret Gleeson, 70, died on a Sunday just two days after being admitted to Wigan’s Royal Albert Edward Infirmary. An inquest into her death was told that weekend staffing was a concern with a consultant surgeon admitting he could not give the same attention to patients.

One on-call medical team was being asked to do the job of four teams with emergency admissions taking priority and leading to delayed and shorter medical reviews of elective cases, Bolton Coroner’s Court was told. Widow Mrs Gleeson, a stewardess at her local bridge club, was described by her family as “a fit and active woman” before she went into hospital on October 2 last year.

The surgery was initially thought to have been a success but Mrs Gleeson’s condition began to deteriorate the day following the operation and doctors found that tissue in the bowel had been torn – described as “a rare complication”. The court heard an ‘early warning score’ used by medics to establish the risk to a patient’s health had earlier been incorrectly recorded.

Coroner Simon Jones concluded that Mrs Gleeson, of Swinley, Wigan, died of cardiac arrest suffered when she was anaesthetised for surgery to repair damage from the initial operation.

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Margaret Gleeson died on a Sunday, two days after being admitted to the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

The NHS needs a strong dose of tech investment

This is why MyNotes Medical will be such an asset for patients and the health professionals by documenting everything and having all your notes in one place ‘ Your phone and tablet’ Joanna

The health service could do with an IT injection to help bring its 1950’s style processes into the 21st century.

The announcement of £4.2bn in funding to move the NHS towards a digital, “paper-free” future raises challenges and rekindles memories of past attempts. In fairness, the NHS gets less credit than it should for its progress with technology. GP surgeries are computerised, the health service has excellent technology for transferring data around the country, digital imaging and online referrals, and the largest secure email service in the world.

But, with the National Programme for IT still casting a long shadow, many processes are stuck in the 1950s. Letters are still sent between hospitals, GPs and social services. Many doctors still hand-write test requests; people move paper records from ward to clinic to operating theatre. Patients wait for doctors in beds and in clinics. Different organisations work in silos and, while some have improved their processes and IT, they don’t communicate electronically with each other. Imagining the future when you are stuck in the past is difficult and the NHS will need support.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS, ,

£177k forked out by NHS on New Cross whistleblower bill

An independent report on New Cross Hospital’s botched investigation into a whistleblower’s claims cost the NHS nearly £180,000, it can be revealed.

Investigative consultants Verita were called in to look at New Cross bosses’ handling of Sandra Haynes-Kirkbright’s allegations relating to an alleged cover up over mortality rates. A Freedom of Information request by the Express & Star reveals the firm was paid £134,879 for producing the report, with a further £42,688 spent on legal fees.

The total figure of £177,567 has been branded a ‘scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money’ by a prominent city councillor, while Walsall Manor Hospital whistleblower Dr David Drew said he was appalled that such vast sums had been ‘squandered’ rather than being spent on patient care.

Verita’s inquiry led to calls for the trust’s chief executive David Loughton to stand down over his treatment of Mrs Haynes-Kirkbright. It found that the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust’s investigation into claims of malpractice was ‘significantly flawed’ and criticised Mr Loughton for being ‘dismissive’ of the allegations.

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Sandra Haynes-Kirkbright

Filed under: NHS Blunders, Whistleblowing, ,

Hospital apologises to parents after damning report on handling of baby’s death

Bristol Children’s Hospital has issued an ‘unreserved’ apology to the parents of a baby who died in its care, after a report found staff had been ‘insensitive’ and had ‘failed to get a grip of the real issues’ following the death of Benjamin Condon.

In one incident, senior staff held a recorded meeting with Benjamin’s parents, and when Allyn and Jenny Condon left the room, the doctors admitted mistakes had been made in Benjamin’s care, and then tried to delete that part of the recording:  Eight week-old Benjamin Condon died of a lung infection while in Bristol Children’s Hospital. Doctors there had originally diagnosed him with a virus – thought to be part of a common cold. But he continued to deteriorate.

On 17 April 2015, nurses told Benjamin’s parents that they would start him on a course of antibiotics, but they were not administered. By the afternoon, he was diagnosed with sepsis and organ failure, and suffered a cardiac arrest. Antibiotics were finally given around 8pm, but he died slightly more than an hour later. His parents were not told about the secondary infection until seven weeks after his death.

A two-day inquest into his death begins tomorrow morning (Tuesday 21 June) at Avon Coroner’s Court, to determine exactly how he died.

Click on the link to read more


Benjamin Condon shortly before he died. Credit: Condon family

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

North Middlesex hospital A&E faces closure on safety grounds

Exclusive: Move would be first in NHS history, as internal documents seen by the Guardian show junior staff often left in charge of casualty unit.

An A&E unit has been threatened with closure on safety grounds for the first time in the NHS’s history, amid fears that its 500 patients a day are at what the medical regulator calls “serious risk” of suffering harm. The General Medical Council, which regulates doctors, and Health Education England, the NHS’s staffing agency, have both issued the unprecedented warnings to North Middlesex hospital over what one local MP described as “a catalogue of failings” in its emergency department.

Unpublished internal confidential NHS documents seen by the Guardian reveal widespread alarm in the NHS locally and nationally that some of the hospital’s A&E doctors lack the basic skills to do their jobs, and that young, inexperienced doctors have been asked to perform tasks they were not qualified to undertake.

There are also occasions on which, despite their lack of experience, “junior staff [are] being left in charge of the [emergency] department, highlighting a probable risk to patients”, a private meeting of NHS chiefs was told last month. There is also serious concern that just two of the 26 junior doctors in training in the A&E have ever worked in an emergency department before and that care in the unit overnight is described as “an area of significant risk” to patient safety.

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Ambulances outside A&E at North Middlesex hospital.

Filed under: Hospital, , ,

‘I survived sepsis – only for it to kill my son’: Mother whose baby boy died after medics missed killer illness discovers she had battled blood poisoning first

  • William Mead, one, died in 2014 after medics failed to spot signs of sepsis 
  • Inquiry after his death revealed a staggering 15 failures in his care
  • Melissa Mead has met with Jeremy Hunt to discuss a sepsis campaign
  • Was shocked to learn only months ago she too battled sepsis in 2011 

Melissa Mead finds it hard to recall the time when she knew nothing about sepsis or the devastating swiftness with which it can kill.

Since her baby son, William, died from it, aged one, in December 2014, following a catalogue of errors, misdiagnoses and missed opportunities by doctors and the NHS helpline, she’s become an expert on the subject, campaigning to raise awareness and ensure others don’t die needlessly. So consider her shock when she learned, only months ago, that she herself had almost died from the condition. Following surgery in 2011, she became critically ill with an infection.

The revelation that the infection was sepsis came during a session with the psychiatrist who has treated her for depression and post-traumatic shock since William died.

There are no words to explain how profoundly the trauma of losing William affected my mental health,’ she recalls. ‘I am still having intensive therapy, and during one session my psychiatrist asked me: “How does it make you feel to know you survived sepsis and William didn’t?” I was confused. I said: “What do you mean?”

‘He has access to my medical notes and he said: “When you were very ill in hospital five years ago, you had sepsis.” ‘I can’t really remember the rest of the conversation because I was so shocked. I asked him to explain and he told me the infection after my operation was sepsis. ‘I wonder now if I’d been aware of what it was and what to look out for, whether we’d have been more alert to the symptoms when William developed it. ‘We should have been told. If we had been, things could have been so different.’

Click on the link to read more

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Filed under: NHS Blunders,

Patients ‘will be put at risk and operations delayed’ as shortage of anaesthetists in the NHS is set to grow

  • In 2033 there may only be 8,000 anaesthetists instead of promised 11, 800
  • A shortage of anaesthetists could jeopardise the safety of patients
  • 74% of hospitals are forced to bring in locum anaesthetists from outside 

New research has shown that by 2033 we will not have enough anaesthetists in hospital to cater for rising patient demand. The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) has warned that while the NHS has promised there will be 11,800 anaesthetists by 2033, in reality there may only be 8,000  – 33 per cent less than anticipated.

Anaesthesia is just one area of medical care which suffers a shortfall in staff despite their work being vital to the smooth running of hospitals. Their roles include the preoperative preparation of surgical patients, pain relief in labour and obstetric anaesthesia and transport of acutely ill and injured patients. A shortage of anaesthetists could jeopardise the safety of patients.

According to the college’s latest census of the UK’s anaesthesia workforce, 74% of hospitals are forced to bring in locum anaesthetists from medical employment agencies – all of which adds to the NHS’s £3.7billion annual bill for temporary staff. Moreover more often than not staff anaesthetists are called on to perform other duties around hospitals in extra shifts to fill up the rota.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, ,

The dawn of a new era for cancer survival: Tailored treatment made ‘inoperable’ liver cancer vanish – giving new hope to patients

The dawn of a new era for cancer survival: Tailored treatment made ‘inoperable’ liver cancer vanish – giving new hope to patients

  • Molecular profiling helps doctors identify drugs to beat individual tumours
  • One patient was given new hope after inoperable liver cancer diagnosis
  • The approach has been hailed as the dawn of a new era for cancer survival

It was hailed as the dawn of a new era for cancer survival – ‘personalised medicine’ that helps doctors identify the drugs most likely to beat individual tumours. Now one of the first patients to benefit from such an approach, known as molecular profiling, has revealed how the breakthrough has given him new hope after he was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer.

The procedure, details of which were announced last week, allows doctors to analyse tumour samples to determine a unique set of biomarkers – a chemical ‘fingerprint’ of that cancer. Profiling of the tumour sample, taken during a standard biopsy, can provide information about the cancer after just one or two weeks of analysis.

This can then be used to precisely match the patient’s treatment to their particular cancer, allowing scientists to offer a bespoke treatment and reducing the use of drugs that often have brutal side effects and could be of little benefit.

Click on the link to read more

Molecular profiling gave new hope to retired company director Spartaco Dusi, 76, (pictured with his wife Giulana), after he was diagnosed with liver cancer in February at a hospital near his home in Sweden


Filed under: Cancer, , ,

Southern Health Trust made a statement to Sara Ryan and her family saying they were very sorry for Connor’s death.

They said it was their fault because they neglected him. We were relieved to read this but wonder why they took so long to say sorry properly. Connor’s family have had to wait 3 years for this and have had to go through hell.

We wonder why they did not talk about how badly the family have been treated by the Chief Executive, Katrina Percy, some of their staff and some of their board. We wonder how so many people who do their jobs badly still have them and get paid so much money.

Click on the link from People First England to read more

People First England


Connor Sparrowhawk

Filed under: Mental Health,

‘This isn’t acceptable’: outcry at state of NHS mental health care funding

Ministers given wake-up call after YouGov poll shows huge support for greater spending on mental health care

A cross-party inquiry by MPs into the funding of mental health services has received more than 95,000 personal submissions in an unprecedented display of anger over the state of the NHS.  One woman who submitted testimony linking the lack of support to suicide rates said the failure of the system to respond to people in trouble was often “what pushes you over the edge”. She wrote: “I’m scared my husband could become one of these statistics.”

A separate YouGov poll commissioned and crowdfunded by the campaigning organisation38 Degrees found that 74% of voters believe that funding for mental health should be greater or equal to funding for physical health. The amount actually spent on mental health by the NHS last year, despite government pledges to establish parity, was just 11.9% of overall NHS spending.

Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the public accounts committee holding the inquiry, said the scale of the response underlined the strength of feeling that mental health was being underfunded. “We shall question NHS England and the Department of Health on how they can meet the government’s pledges,” she said.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Mental Health, , ,

North Middlesex issued with warning over emergency department

A warning notice has been issued to North Middlesex University NHS Trust after an unannounced CQC inspection found ineffective treatment of patients in the emergency room.

The inspection, in April, found the department was lacking middle grade doctors and consultants and suffered delays in assessing patients and moving them to specialist wards. The trust has now been given until 26 August to make improvements.

Professor Edward Baker, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: “People going to the emergency department at the North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust are entitled to an service that is safe, effective and responsive.

“When we inspected we found that patients were not receiving the quality of care that they should have been. We have strongly encouraged the trust to engage with other organisations across the local health and social care system to resolve this challenging issue.”

Julie Lowe, the trust’s chief executive, said that there were currently only seven out of 15 emergency department consultants and seven out of 13 middle grade emergency doctors in place, leading to “unacceptably long” waiting times.

“We have undertaken extensive recruitment exercises and despite our best efforts have, so far, been unable to fill all the posts, although we have made good progress in recent weeks with the support of partners,” she said. “We are working hard with our health partners to resolve the issues and bring the service back to the standard both we and our patients expect us to achieve.”

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Filed under: A&E, , ,

Bowel cancer: Stents ‘may prevent need for colostomy bags’

Bowel cancer patients may avoid the need for colostomy bags if they are first treated by having an expandable tube inserted at the site of their blockage, cancer doctors have said.

The new approach, presented at the world’s biggest cancer conference, showed that the tube, or stent, cut the risk of complications from surgery.

Experts said colostomy bags, to collect faeces, often frightened patients. Globally, nearly 1.4 million cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed each year.

In the UK, more than a fifth of the cancers go undetected until the tumour blocks the intestines, leaving patients needing emergency surgery. This unplanned surgery has a much higher risk of complications compared with routine surgery. The patient is often in worse health, the swelling caused by the blockage can mean keyhole surgery is not possible so more invasive surgery is needed and there may not be a colorectal specialist surgeon on hand.

The death rate goes up from 2% for planned surgery to 12% in emergency bowel cancer surgery.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Cancer, ,

Priory Hospital in Ticehurst ‘neglected’ girl, 14, found hanged

The death of a 14-year-old girl may have been prevented if she had received proper care at a Sussex mental health hospital, according to an inquest jury.

Amy El-Keria was found hanged in her room at the Priory Hospital, Ticehurst, after tying a scarf around her neck. The inquest in Horsham heard staff were not trained in resuscitation and did not call 999 quickly enough.

The jury said Amy died of unintended consequences of a deliberate act, contributed to by neglect.  It said staffing levels were inadequate, and a lack of one-to-one time caused or contributed to the teenager’s death in November 2012 in a “significant” way.

Amy had a complex range of problems and mental health diagnoses, and died within three months of being moved to the Priory after being asked to leave her specialist boarding school in Berkshire.

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Amy El-Keria

Filed under: Mental Health,

Revealed: 30,000 patients left waiting in ambulances outside London A&Es last year

More than 30,000 patients suffered “appalling” delays stuck in ambulances outside London A&Es last year because of a lack of hospital beds, it can be revealed.

They were forced to wait at least 30 minutes — double the maximum time permitted under NHS rules — before crews were able to wheel them into the emergency department.

More than 3,000 were kept in ambulances for more than an hour. The total amount of time wasted during “delayed handovers” totalled 16,361 hours — the equivalent of almost two years. It is one of the reasons London Ambulance Service failed to hit the eight-minute response target for 999 calls every month last year, as crews and vehicles were unavailable for the next call.

Patient groups today warned that the total delay in patients receiving care was likely to have been far greater, as patients may have to wait an hour or more for an ambulance and then at least four hours in A&E.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: A&E, , ,

Hospitals hit by a 36% rise in heart failure cases: Number up by a third in a decade… because more people are surviving heart attacks

  • Record numbers of people are reporting to hospital with heart failure
  • Number of people diagnosed in England have increased by 9,000
  • Heart failure is where the heart struggles to pump blood around the body
  • It is often caused by a heart attack, when the heart muscles are damaged

Record numbers of people are reporting to hospital with heart failure, according to alarming NHS statistics. Hospitals have seen visits by patients with heart failure increase by more than a third in the last decade, the figures reveal. And the number of people diagnosed with the condition in England have increased by 9,000 in the last 12 months alone, according to GP lists.

Experts today warn that the unexpected growth in the problem demands radical new treatments. Heart failure is a debilitating and incurable condition, in which the heart struggles to pump blood properly around the body.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital,

Winterbourne View scandal families urge PM to shut ‘outdated care units’

Families of victims of the Winterbourne View scandal have written to the Prime Minister demanding he shuts outdated care home institutions.

In an open letter they express “anger” at the “painfully slow lack of change” five years after abuse at the former private hospital near Bristol was exposed in an undercover BBC Panorama documentary.

A recent report revealed that some 3,500 vulnerable people with learning disabilities are still languishing at inpatient units despite a Government pledge to close them in the wake of the Winterbourne View scandal.

Now five years after the documentary was broadcast, families of some of the victims are demanding action.

Click on the link to read the open letter

uk_news 6-1.jpg-pwrt3


Filed under: Disabilities, , ,

Horrifying Photos Show What Nursing Staff’s Alleged Neglect Did To Elderly Woman’s Body

Warning: Some of the following photos are disturbing

What this woman found out about the care her mom was receiving at a nursing home prompted her to take unusual action and may serve as a cautionary tale for anyone considering putting their parents or grandparents in such a facility.

Anahita Behrooz says she was with her mother nearly every day. She and her kids would take turns loving on her “mum” who “bed bound”. When her mother developed a uterine tract infection, she was sent to the hospital. But then national health doctors sent her to a nursing home. It proved to be a huge mistake.

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Horrifying Photos Show What Nursing Staff’s Alleged Neglect Did To Elderly Woman’s Body

Filed under: Care Homes, Elderly, , ,

Communication and the 6Cs: the patient experience … Author Christopher Barber for Nursing Times

One patient’s story highlights the importance of nurses and staff communicating effectively, and how poor communication can have a negative impact on patients.

In this article…

  • One patient’s experience of nursing care in a hospital setting
  • Examples of poor communication skills
  • What to be aware of when communicating with patients

5 talking points

1. How can communication affect the patient experience? 2. Can you think of a situation when better communication could have prevented a patient becoming frustrated, upset or receiving inappropriate care? 3. What should health professionals bear in mind when giving patients information about their condition or treatment? 4. How can you check whether patients have understood everything they have been told? 5. How can health professionals improve their communication skills?

Click on the link to read the article

Communication and the 6Cs The patient experience


Filed under: Hospital, ,

Decline in NHS quality’ reported – International Medical Press – 25 May 2016

Over the past year the quality of patient care has deteriorated in a number of areas, according to  a  report from The King’s Fund.

A new report from The King’s Fund has revealed that 65% of trust finance directors and 54% of Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) leads feel that patient care has declined in the past year.

Only 2% of trust finance directors and 12% of CCG finance leads said that patient care had improved in the past 12 months. Findings are based on a survey of 241 trust finance directors and 149 CCG finance leads. The think-tank says the latest findings are the ‘most worrying’ since it began monitoring this in 2012.

Click on the link to read more

Decline in NHS quality




Filed under: NHS, ,

NHS failing to learn lessons from complaints, says health ombudsman

A snapshot of complaints received by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) reveals a high number of complaints made to the NHS and consistent failure to learn from mistakes, the PHSO has said.

Of the 133 cases in the report, which were investigated between July and September last year, 93 were about the NHS. In another PHSO report last year, nearly 80% of complaints were about the NHS.

Julie Mellor, the PHSO, said: “The NHS provides excellent care for patients every day, which is why it is so important that when mistakes are made they are dealt with well.

“These cases bring home all the suffering patients and their families experience when things go wrong, particularly when complaints are not handled effectively at a local level. Families have been left without an explanation as to why their loved ones died, mistakes have not been admitted, which means that much needed service improvements are being delayed.”

In one incident in the report, Alder Hey Children’s FT was required to pay £1,000 compensation to the complainant after it took 29 months to diagnose her son with autism and dyslexia, meaning he missed out on early intervention and support.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS Blunders, , ,

Living with Dementia: Chris’s Story – To be aired on BBC 1 Thurs 2 Jun 2016

In a powerful, multi-textured documentary filmed over almost two years, one family living with dementia reveals what life is really like behind closed doors.

Using CCTV cameras, video diaries and a small,immersive film crew, the programme follows 55-year-old Chris Roberts from north Wales as he, his wife Jayne and his youngest daughter Kate come to terms with his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

From making the decision to choose his own care home to writing a living will, getting lost in his own house and not recognising his family, Chris chronicles his changing life as his independence slips away. Once a businessman and a keen biker, he now struggles to walk and talk – his life is beset by frustration, yet his remarkable insight allows us into his world.



Filed under: Dementia, ,

Exclusive: Charity nurses warn of ‘postcode lottery’ in specialist children’s care by Jo Stephenson for Nursing Times

Expert children’s nurses have highlighted wide variations in services and standards for children with complex health needs as the ground-breaking charity nursing scheme celebrates its 10th anniversary.

The WellChild Children’s Nurse Programme, which has been in existence for a decade as of last month, was set up to address gaps in care for children with multiple health needs.

Services provided by its nurses have made a dramatic difference to families including reducing distressing emergency hospital admissions and cutting lengthy stays in hospital.

However, nurses and managers involved in the scheme warn that many children with complex health conditions still face a “postcode lottery” when it comes to getting all-round support. Problems include reductions in children’s community nursing teams, huge variation in the types of services available and a lack of emotional support and training for parents caring for seriously ill children.

Click on the link to read more

Exclusive Charity nurses warn of ‘postcode lottery in specialist children’s care



Filed under: Hospital,

My Story With Addisons Disease – Justice for Robbie Powell! article by Malisha Fuller

Let’s see how many shares we can get for justice for this family and awareness.

Because of negligence by medical professionals, Robert Darren Powell [Robbie] died on April 17, 1990 at the young age of 10. Four months before his death, he suffered from all the classical symptoms of Addison’s disease or Adrenal Insufficiency. Robbie had suffered from an Addisonian crisis and almost died in December 1989 when he was admitted to hospital as a medical emergency.

The medical professionals suspected Addison’s disease and ordered the ACTH test but did not share this information with his parents who would have ensured the test was carried out. Instead, the physicians blamed Robbie’s symptoms on gastroenteritis, which was untenable in the absence of diarrhoea, the high potassium, low sodium and low blood sugar.

Robbie was seen by 5 different doctors, on 7 separate occasions, in the last 15 days of his life. He was seen by 3 doctors, 4 times, in his last 3 days. Although the young boy was obviously unwell not one physician performed blood tests or even checked his blood pressure during this period. The medical physicians failed Robbie by not referring the child to a specialist, as requested in the medical notes. They also failed to admit him to the hospital to evaluate his condition thoroughly until it was too late to save his life. An Addison’s patient does not produce sufficient amounts of the hormone cortisol so therefore needs daily steroids to maintain life. Infection, stress, injury and surgery for Addison’s sufferers require additional steroids.

Click on the link to read the whole story

My Story With Addisons Disease

Robbie Powell


Filed under: GP's, NHS Blunders, ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more

Filed under: Uncategorized

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

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

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

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

It also includes:

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

How it all started, my mothers story

MoS2 Template Master

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


Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: Uncategorized

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

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

Filed under: Uncategorized

Jeremy Hunt ‘not fit to wear’ an NHS badge, says consultant

Jeremy Hunt is “not fit to wear” an NHS badge because his “militant” politics are destroying the health service, an A&E consultant has claimed.

Dr Rob Galloway, who works at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, said he was “blood boiling angry” after reading a letter sent by the Health Secretary thanking health workers for keeping patients safe during the junior doctors’ strike last week.

In the letter, Mr Hunt said: “I would like to pay tribute to the NHS staff that have once again pulled out all the stops to keep services running effectively during industrial action.” He thanked the “dedicated” healthcare professionals who have “planned for weeks, worked long hours and pulled together to ensure services remained safe this week” and said they were a “credit to our world-class NHS”.

But the letter published by the Department of Health angered Dr Galloway who questioned how the Secretary of State could write such a “nauseating” note. “It’s an embarrassing and pathetic letter made worse by the fact there is a picture of you on it wearing an NHS badge,” Dr Galloway wrote in a Facebook post with a photograph of the letter.

“Any picture of you creates in me a Pavlovian response of upset. But this picture with an NHS badge on, has made my blood boil.”

Click on the link to read more


Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been heavily criticised

Filed under: NHS,

Mother gave birth in her bedroom after being ‘turned away’ from hospital

A FURIOUS mum is suing health chiefs over claims they turned her away from a maternity unit because “they needed the beds”

Kerry Symington was in labour and her waters had broken when midwives at Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital rejected her pleas to be allowed into the hospital’s labour suite. She went home in tears and immediately had her fourth child in her bedroom.

It was delivered by partner Andrew Cairns and paramedics, but she suffered massive complications. She haemorrhaged and lost so much blood she had to be placed on a long-term course of iron tablets afterwards.

The “traumatic” episode has now prompted Kerry to sue for damages. “I want to prevent this happening to other mums,” the 30-year-old said. “It is only a matter of time before someone dies.”

Click on the link to read more


Kerry Symington and daughter, Lacey

Filed under: Hospital, ,

My Child did exist

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


Filed under: Uncategorized

Girl, 14, died at Bristol Children’s Hospital after overstretched staff operated on her by torchlight

The family of 14-year-old girl who died during an over-stretched hospital night shift have called for more NHS staff to be on duty around-the-clock.

Emma Welch underwent an apparently successful operation to correct a curvature of her spine just days after undertaking a charity walk up Mount Snowdon. But the following night she suffered an internal bleed which triggered a fatal heart attack and she required emergency surgery.

However, just two of nine operating theatres at Bristol Children’s Hospital were open at the time because it was late at night – and they were both in use. There were not enough anaesthetists or emergency staff to open another theatre so medics had to operate on her by torchlight on a ward.

Doctors battled through the night to try and replace the blood she was rapidly losing but she tragically died at 3.42am on June 4.

Click on the link to read more


Emma on her ascent of Mount Snowdon

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

Medical students set to ‘abandon’ the NHS

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more

Medical students set to abandon the NHS


Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, ,

‘This shade is Complete Mental Breakdown’: YouTuber creates satirical make-up tutorial to candidly detail her struggle with the many symptoms of her depression

  • Amy Gelibter, 21, runs a funny, honest YouTube channel
  • In her latest make-up tutorial, she applies cosmetics while describing what depression feels like
  • She uses shades of foundation and lipstick she jokingly calls ‘You Don’t Need Medication’, ‘I’m Trapped Inside My Own Mind’ and ‘Just Smile More’
  • The Pennsylvania resident says she wants to tackle the stigmas surrounding mental illness to help depressed people feel less alone

A popular YouTuber’s latest beauty tutorial sees her applying foundation with a beauty blender, brushing on mascara, painting on liquid lipstick — and opening up about what depression feels like.

Amy Geliebter 21, is incredibly honest in the witty new video, which takes the form of a standard make-up tutorial but actually gets real about the causes and symptoms of depression while addressing the stigmas surrounding mental illness.

The Pennsylvania resident jokes about her struggle with depressive feelings, applying cosmetics in made-up shades that describe how she feels inside as well as how others expect her to behave.

Click on the link to read and watch the video


Opening up: The video aims to help remove the stigmas around mental illness

Filed under: Disabilities,

Southern Health chief executive to face MPs

The leader of an under-fire health trust criticised for the “preventable” death of an 18-year-old will be scrutinised by MPs.

Chief executive of the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Katrina Percy, will address MPs in a special meeting at Westminster on Tuesday. The trust was criticised for “longstanding risks to patients”.

In 2013 Connor Sparrowhawk drowned in a bath after suffering an epileptic fit in Oxford.  The chief executive will address MPs at a meeting of the Hampshire All-Party Parliamentary Group. Ms Percy has previously apologised for the issues that came to light following several inspections by government watchdogs.

After an inspection in January, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found there were “longstanding risks to patients” and investigations into deaths “were not good enough.” Scrutiny of the trust was sparked by the death of Connor Sparrowhawk at Slade House in Oxford in 2013.

Click on the link to read more


Connor Sparrowhawk, who died at Slade House, had epilepsy and experienced seizures

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

Senior nurses emphasise need to target ‘shocking’ staff retention rates – By Nicola Merrifield for Nursing Times

Successful strategies by employers to retain nurses are only found in “pockets” across the country and more work must be done to tackle sometimes “shocking” turnover rates, senior nurses have warned.
Redeploying staff between wards, unfixed rotas that are published last-minute and a perception of an increasing focus on targets over quality of care are among the problems of greatest concern.

Senior nurses and advisors pointed to poor roster management as one of the main issues when they spoke at Nursing Times’ Deputies Congress event last week.
Nicola Ranger, director of nursing at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, said it was often the newly qualified nurses who suffered the most from highly variable rotas and being moved between wards. At her own trust, she said around 400 nurses were lost each year, which she described as “shocking”.

Click on the link to read more

Senior nurses emphasise need to target


Filed under: Hospital,

9000 Gloucestershire patients caught in NHS no man’s land

Around 9000 people in Gloucestershire who are registered with Welsh GPs are still are still being treated unlawfully – according to a campaign group. It’s a claim disputed by NHS Wales.

Action4OurCare has been fighting for the rights of residents for three years, so they can gain access to treatment they are entitled to at English hospitals. One of the people caught up in this NHS no-mans land in Guy Rastell – like thousands of others he lives in England, but has no choice but to register with a Welsh GP: Now he’s received a letter from his consultant at Southmead Hospital saying that despite wanting to treat still him she could no longer do so, because “the Welsh NHS are not (and have not previously) funded any of his clinical visits”.

Click on the link to read more


I find that astonishing. I’ve always lived in England since 1947. I find it very strange that after 33 years of continuous attendance, somehow funding comes into it to stop my continuing care.  GUY RASTELL


Filed under: GP's,

Coroner gives cops deadline to finally interview staff at hospital over Seanpaul Carnahan death

Police have been given four weeks to interview witnesses over the death of a man in Belfast City Hospital three years ago.

Coroner Joe McCrisken told PSNI officers at a preliminary hearing into the death of Seanpaul Carnahan that he expected to see witness statements by May 13. Mr McCrisken, speaking at Laganside courts, said the situation had “gone on too long” and indicated a number of medical staff could be called to attend the inquest on September 26.

Mr Carnahan died aged 22 after being admitted to the hospital with a brain injury sustained during a suicide attempt. When admitted, the chef from the Beechmount area of west Belfast weighed 12 stone. When he died five months later in July 2013 he weighed five stone.

Official medical notes obtained by the family from the Belfast Trust – and seen by the Belfast Telegraph – show that during Seanpaul’s five months in hospital he was given a day’s worth of food in the space of two weeks. The lack of nutrition caused a serious condition known as refeeding syndrome, and in the last nine weeks of Seanpaul’s life he became more and more ill as his body attacked itself for food, before he eventually died. Last month this newspaper reported claims from his mother Tracy that police dragged their heels after her solicitor found the force had not formally interviewed any medical staff involved in Seanpaul’s care.

The solicitor and the family had been pushing for a corporate manslaughter or gross negligence charge to be brought against the Belfast Trust.

Click on the link to read more


Seanpaul Carnahan

Filed under: NHS Blunders,

Pre People’s Assembly Protest in London LIVE on 16.04.16

The Government and British Medical Association aren’t talking and the mainstream media isn’t reporting, but WatMed Media will be LIVE at the London People’s Assembly Protest on 16th April 2016.

Share now! & get your questions in for Peter Stefanovic & Dr Bob Gill!

Click on the link to watch

Filed under: NHS,

Millions Will Discover the TRUTH About Cancer — The Little-Known Best Ways to Prevent and Beat It You Aren’t Being Told About — Starting April 12. Don’t Be Left Out of This Life-Saving Event…

This looks interesting and starts 12th April 2016. Sign up now if this affects you or your loved ones

The powerful cancer documentary seen and shared by millions when it first aired (to limited release) in 2015 is about to be unveiled to the world on April 12. For FREE, in its entirety, to those who sign up below today. You’ll discover the most effective ways to prevent and beat cancer — from 131 of the world’s top experts — that you won’t hear about elsewhere. Enter your first name and best email address below right now, and you’ll be first in line to see the entire 9-part series — for free — beginning with Episode 1 on April 12th…

Click on the link to sign up

A Global Quest

Filed under: Cancer,

87 years old and unwashed for days, left alone and in the dark – this is Britain’s care crisis.

Edith James’ son was worried about the treatment she was receiving from her carers – so he let Dispatches secretly film for three days.

Filed under: Elderly,

NHS complaints watchdog deputy quits over sexual harassment cover-up

Mick Martin assisted the chair of a Derbyshire NHS trust in covering up his conduct towards an HR director

The deputy chief of the NHS complaints watchdog has resigned over his involvement in covering up the sexual harassment of a director at an NHS trust.  Mick Martin, the deputy Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), had already taken a leave of absence after being criticised by an employment tribunal, which led to an £832,711 compensation payment earlier this year.

The board of the PHSO has also launched an investigation into the organisation’s decision to appoint Mr Martin, and the actions taken by the ombudsman herself, Dame Julie Mellor, in relation to him.  It is the latest blow for the troubled complaints watchdog, which in the past two years has been criticised by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt over its handling of the case of a three-year-old who died in NHS care, by the National Audit Office over its governance, and by the Health Select Committee over its performance in assisting patients with their complaints.

In a recent survey only 11 per cent of staff at the PHSO said they had confidence in the leadership, and Dame Julie has faced a call to resign from the editor of the respected Health Service Journal.

Click on the link to read more


Mick Martin

Filed under: Named & Shamed,

Government urged to close junior doctors whistleblowing loophole 5 APRIL, 2016 BY SHAUN LINTERN – FOR HSA

The government should act to close a loophole in whistleblowing protection after a court ruled Health Education England’s relationship with junior doctors was outside the scope of employment law, HSJ has been told.

Legal experts said junior doctors continue to have whistleblowing protection from the actions of their employing trusts and this could include any subsequent action taken by HEE if it was based on information supplied by trust employees such as clinical supervisors.

The case of junior doctor Chris Day, who claims he was unfairly dismissed by Lewisham and Greenwich Trust for alleged whistleblowing in 2014, has caused widespread concern among trainees after an employment tribunal barred him from including HEE in his claim. An appeal ruling last month said Parliament had deliberately excluded junior doctors’ relationship with HEE from protection under employment law, adding that Dr Day was not an employee or worker of HEE.

Employment lawyers have told HSJ this does leave junior doctors at risk from detrimental treatment by HEE. Peter Daly, a solicitor at Bindmans law firm, said: “An employer is restricted from imposing a detriment on a whistleblower, but as HEE is not an employer there is no such restriction on HEE.

“This is a substantial gap in the protection for junior doctor whistleblowers. It is at odds with the government’s stated aim of protecting NHS whistleblowers, for example in the review by Sir Robert Francis QC. An amendment to the current legislation to address this situation would not be complex and might be achieved relatively quickly.”

He added that junior doctors could in theory judicially review a decision by HEE but this was likely to be “extremely expensive and realistically out of the financial reach of an individual doctor”.

Click on the link to read more

Government urged to close junior doctors whistleblowing loophole


Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

Datix appoints James Titcombe OBE as Patient Safety Specialist

Datix has appointed James Titcombe OBE in an advisory capacity as Patient Safety Specialist. James will work alongside the Datix senior management team on the development of the company’s pioneering software platform to help protect patients from harm in the UK and around the world. Formerly a project manager in the nuclear industry, James underwent a career change to become actively involved in patient safety following the tragic loss of his baby son Joshua, in 2008. Most recently, he has been working for the industry regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as National Advisor on Patient Safety, Culture & Quality.

Delighted to welcome James to the team, Jonathan Hazan, Director of Datix said, “James is widely respected in the patient safety community in the UK and I am delighted to have him join our team. His enthusiasm is contagious and his commitment to improving patient safety is inspirational. James will be a real asset to Datix as we work on introducing new products to improve the quality of health and social care, improve patient outcomes and protect patients from harm.”

Click on the link to read more


James Titcombe OBE

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Junior doctors’ row: The dispute explained

Ministers and junior doctors are locked in an increasingly fraught dispute in England. But what exactly is this row about?

What has caused the dispute?

Junior doctors’ leaders are objecting to the prospect of a new contract in England. The government has described the current arrangements as “outdated” and “unfair”, pointing out they were introduced in the 1990s. Ministers drew up plans to change the contract in 2012, but talks broke down in 2014.

They restarted at the end of last year at the conciliation service Acas but a deal could not be reached and so ministers announced in February they would be imposing the contract from this summer. There are two legal challenges to that imposition which are now being planned, one by the British Medical Association and another by campaign group Just Health.

Click on link to read more


Filed under: Hospital,

Mum with breast cancer urges women to trust their instincts – Doctors told her not to worry

Kirsten Chisholm with Ashley


JUST eight short months ago, she couldn’t have been happier as she became a mum for the second time.

But by the end of last year, Kirsten Chisholm’s mood had turned after she discovered a lump on her breast. It was painless and doctors told her not to worry – but as a trained medic herself, the 28-year-old nurse knew deep down that something was wrong. Given that breast cancer is uncommon in her age group, she had to wait almost three months to see a specialist.

That meant it was March before she was given the devastating diagnosis, not only confirming her worst fears but revealing that the disease had already spread to her lymph nodes. Kirsten, who works at the Sick Kids, is now preparing to undergo a mastectomy and faces gruelling treatment.

And today she warned other young women who recognise her story to follow their instinct if they feel something isn’t right

Click on the link to read more

Filed under: Cancer, ,

Second NHS whistleblower tsar departs as Office of National Guardian sinks further into ‘crisis’

David Bell’s shock move back to his old NHS job follows the resignation of his boss, Dame Eileen Sills, before she even started work

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s vow to protect medics who expose patient safety fears has hit a fresh setback. The UK’s new deputy NHS whistleblowing tsar has left after less than six weeks in the role.

David Bell’s abrupt move back to his old NHS job follows the resignation of his boss, Dame Eileen Sills. Campaigners say the latest exit is a sign that the new Office of the National Guardian – due to open last Friday – is in a “crisis” that means patients “will suffer”. It was to be a centre-piece of Mr Hunt’s pledge to protect whistleblowers following the Stafford Hospital scandal.

Dr Minh Alexander, who was forced to quit after she exposed suicides and abuse at a mental health trust in Cambridgeshire, said of Mr Bell’s departure: “This shows the Office of the National Guardian is in crisis. “I am not surprised – the design of the office has been flawed. What is needed is a truly independent body. “It is patients who will suffer if the Government continues to insist upon flawed half measures.”

Click on the link to read more


Deputy National Guardian David Bell has exited his position

Filed under: Whistleblowing,

NHS whistle-blower told she was ‘too honest’ to work for the health service

An NHS whistle-blower who raised concerns about patient safety was told she was “too honest” to work for the organisation, The Telegraph can disclose.

Maha Yassaie, chief pharmacist at the now defunct Berkshire West Primary Care Trust, was told by a human resources consultant that her “values” made it difficult to work for the health service.

The investigator, Kelvin Cheatle, who was brought in from a private law firm to examine bullying claims and has carried out several similar inquiries for other NHS trusts, told the whistle-blower during a meeting: “If I had your values I would find it very difficult to work in the NHS”, according to a transcript of the conversation. The independence of the consultant who made the comments has also been called into question since the conclusion of his investigation, when it emerged that he appeared to coach witnesses during the inquiry.

Mrs Yassaie was subsequently sacked from the Trust. However, following an employment tribunal in 2014, the whistle-blower was awarded £375,000 by the NHS, and the Department of Health was forced to admit that “the investigation and disciplinary processes… were, in some respects, flawed”.

The disclosures about the investigation into Mrs Yassaie after she raised concerns will fuel fears that NHS whistle-blowers are not treated fairly.

Click on the link to read more


Maha Yassaie at her home in Buckinghamshire

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

NHS has 70,000 fewer staff after new headcount

Official numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives were inflated, latest figures show

The NHS, already struggling to meet rising demand with a chronic lack of staff, has 70,000 fewer personnel working for it than ministers have previously believed, new official figures show. Its own data collection experts have found that the official head count of the number of people staffing frontline services, which was only produced in December, inflated its workforce.

At the time, a total of 1,083,545 health professionals were said to be working in the 228 NHS trusts and 209 GP-led local clinical commissioning groups across England. But the NHS’s Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) now says that the true number was 1,014,218. That means the NHS had 69,317 fewer staff last September than the 1.1 million that ministers identified in December, including just over 15,000 fewer nurses, midwives and health visitors and 3,000 fewer doctors.

“These figures reveal that the staffing crisis in the NHS is actually far worse than we had feared,” said Heidi Alexander, Labour’s shadow health secretary. “Patients will rightly be concerned that there are 18,000 fewer doctors and nurses working in the NHS than ministers had thought only four months ago.”

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Terminally ill patient tells ITV News: I want to die at home – hospitals don’t care as much

As an audit found “unacceptable” variation in some aspects of end of life care in England, one terminally ill patient told ITV News that it is better for dying patients to be cared for at home or in hospices.

Kathleen Wickremer was diagnosed with cancer three years ago which has spread to her lungs and is now terminal. She cares deeply about being at home with her family for her final weeks, and says the prospect of dying in hospital makes her feel very sad.

Click on the link to watch her interview with ITV


Filed under: Hospital,

Mother whose son killed himself ‘let down’ by mental heath services

A mother whose son plunged to his death from a bridge hours after threatening to do so says he was let down by mental health services.

Tyler Smith died after suffering horrendous injuries following the 100ft fall from Stockport Viaduct. Deborah Cooper, 47, said her son had made multiple threats to jump from the viaduct to police and mental health staff hours earlier – and had tried to kill himself four times in 48 hours.

Tyler, 19, was discharged from Stepping Hill hospital by Pennine Care staff six hours before the fall after being admitted following a prescription drug overdose. He had earlier tried to strangle himself in a police cell when he was detained for stealing paracetamol after escaping from hospital. After returning to Stepping Hill, medics discharged Tyler with a prescription for three-days worth of medication. This was despite numerous suicide attempts in the previous two days and threats he would jump from the viaduct.

He downed the pills and fell from the viaduct hours later on October 9, 2014. Tyler died of his injuries a week later at Wythenshawe hospital.  His death was ruled accidental after a coroner was told by a police officer he slipped from the bridge.

Mrs Cooper accused police of failing to tell mental health staff Tyler had tried to kill himself when he was detained – and slammed officers for arresting him in the first place. She said he should have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act as he was considered ‘high risk’.

Click on the link to read more


Tyler Smith

Filed under: Mental Health,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or Dropbox


Max Schiller

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Nursing training places shortfall revealed in report “sneaked out” before Parliament’s Easter break

Thanks to the release of a Migration Advisory Committee report, it’s been uncovered that a tenth of the essential nursing training spots have been commissioned

A report which critics claim has been “sneaked out” on the day Parliament broke up for Easter revealed the Government has only commissioned a tenth of the nurse training places said to be needed. The Migration Advisory Committee report said that Health Education England had recommended an extra 3,000 places in 2016/17. But because of cuts which were made in the spending review, it said it had only commissioned 331 places.

Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders said: “This report, sneaked out on the last day before Easter, is further proof that the Tories are failing NHS nurses and failing patients .”

Last year it was revealed that the NHS had lost 1,200 senior nurses since Tories came to power – and fears were voiced that it could have serious impact on patient safety. Community matrons – who organise care outside hospital – dropped from 1,536 to 1,214. The total number of NHS matrons in England has fallen from 6,338 to 5,133. And, as the NHS tried to save £22billion, hospitals have slashed senior nursing posts or failed to replace those who are retiring.

The Mirror 23:01, 26 MAR 2016 By Keir Mudie


Filed under: Hospital, ,

The number of ‘serious untoward incidents’ in the Welsh NHS has doubled in four years

The figures have renewed calls for the Welsh Government to hold an independent ‘Keogh-style’ inquiry into standards of care

The number of incidents in NHS hospitals which resulted in severe harm or avoidable deaths to patients has more than doubled in the past four years, it has been revealed. New figures show that 945 so-called ‘serious untoward incidents’ (SUI) were reported in 2014-15 compared to 414 in 2011-12 – a rise of 128.3%. But the Welsh Government said the number of incidents had increased because it asked the Welsh NHS to widen its scope to include infections and high-grade pressure ulcers.

The Welsh Conservatives, who uncovered the figures, have renewed calls for the Welsh Government to hold an independent “Keogh-style” inquiry into standards of care. Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM said: “These figures highlight a growing number of shocking failings in care in the Labour-run Welsh NHS.

“Incidents such as these where patients could come to serious harm or death are avoidable and should never happen. “The fact that they are rising and have increased threefold in some health boards in recent years is very concerning and provides further evidence of the impact of Labour’s record-breaking cuts on the NHS budget in Wales. “One avoidable death is one too many and the alarming rate at which these incidents are being reported to the Health Minister suggests that there are problems which need to be urgently addressed.”

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

NHS junior doctors who turn whistleblowers risk ‘career suicide’ reveals a doctor who did it

Dr Chris Day raised concerns about what he believed was poor care but soon discovered that his commitment was unwelcome

Junior doctors risk losing their jobs if they raise concerns about poor care, according to one young medic. Chris Day, 31, said he was removed from consultant training in 2014 after alerting bosses to dangerously low staffing levels on his intensive care unit.

Dr Day, who worked at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in South East London, said: “They took away my training number and without that you are out. No reason was given and I had no way of appealing.” He tried to take his case to a tribunal, but last week an appeal ruled junior doctors’ contracts are not protected under whistleblowing rules. Dr Day, now working as a locum, is seeking legal advice.
He said: “It’s saying if you are one of 54,000 junior doctors and blow the whistle, you have no protection.”

Click on the link to read more


Dr Chris Day who turned whistleblower found out that it wasn’t appreciated

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

Francis adviser to lead inquiry into ‘heart breaking’ baby death – BY SHAUN LINTERN

An adviser to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry will lead an investigation into the death and treatment of a baby girl whose case exposed a “regulatory gap” in the NHS.

Professor Peter Hutton, a senior consultant anaesthetist from the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and a former chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, will conduct the inquiry into the death and treatment of baby Elizabeth Dixon. She was born prematurely at Frimley Park Hospital in 2000 and was left with permanent brain damage after hospital staff failed to monitor or treat her high blood pressure. Less than a year later she died of suffocation when a newly qualified nurse failed to keep her breathing tube clear.

The cause of her brain damage only emerged in 2013 and her parents have a dossier of evidence suggesting their daughter’s poor care was covered up by senior clinicians in a number of organisations. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt ordered an inquiry in September last year after Nursing Times’ sister titleHealth Service Journal highlighted the reluctance of national bodies, including NHS England and the health service ombudsman, to take on the case.

Click on the link to read more from The Nursing Times

An adviser to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry will lead an investigation into the death and treatment of a baby girl


Elizabeth Dixon

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

NHS Scotland whistleblowing line gets extra year – BBC News

A confidential whistleblowing line for NHS staff in Scotland has been extended for a year.

The Alert Line is designed to provide independent support for anyone wanting to raise concerns about practices within the health service. The Scottish government will also introduce a new Whistleblowing Officer to scrutinise the handling of cases.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said she wanted staff to be able to “speak up without fear”. Ms Robison added: “I have always been clear that health boards must ensure that it is safe and acceptable for staff to speak up about any concerns they may have, particularly in relation to patient safety.

“We will continue to work with the NHS across Scotland to ensure an open and transparent reporting culture where all staff have the confidence to speak up.”

The National Confidential Alert Line will be extended for one year from 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2017.

The phoneline, 0800 008 6112, will pass any concerns raised by employees on to the employer or the relevant regulatory organisation for investigation.


Filed under: Whistleblowing,

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