Section: Health

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Long Covid – don’t look away. We all need to know

Michael Osborne

When I got Long Covid in March 2020. I was 38 and healthy. If you are anything like I was then, it is hard to understand how bad Long Covid is. I think that we all have an instinct to just… look away. But, please, it is important that you look. My own low-points: early […]

Who’s going to look after Granny? The crisis in social care

Anna Andrews
profile of older woman, cold and alone

I’m sorry to distract you from the kerfuffle over Downing St Christmas parties, and who paid for the redecoration of Boris Johnson’s flat etc, but there is something else which should concern us all. There is a massive crisis in social care in this country. We should all be aware of the possible implications for […]

“Treating taxpayers like an ATM machine”

Anthea Bareham
Meme of an ATM reads HMRX Self-servatives

Most people seem to think that Dido Harding’s test and trace programme (NHST&T but nothing to do with the NHS) is a disaster. I won’t go into the reasons why; you can read some of it in the House of Commons committee report. Instead, let’s just look at the costs. The government allocated a budget […]

Covid-19, Omicron and the anti-vax/misinformation agenda

Emma Monk
Cognitive dissonance

Emma Monk takes a look at the ease with which Covid misinformation is created and spread and at the cognitive dissonance on display. Within days of scientists discovering a new Covid-19 variant, now called ‘Omicron’, the usual anti-science/anti-vax culprits were trying to find ways to cast doubt over it on social media. I made a […]

Social care: another Conservative manifesto pledge broken

Sadie Parker

Social care may well prove to be Alexander Boris de Pfeffel’s Johnson’s Waterloo, and deservedly so. Out of the blue, less than a week before parliament was to vote on the matter, Number 10 tabled a new proposal (New Clause 49 to the Health and Care Bill) on the social care cap. It significantly watered […]

The NHS: where does all the money go?

Sally Miller

As NHS watchers are only too aware, there’s constant wrangling over NHS finances: it’s a bottomless pit; it’s mismanaged; it’s a huge amount; it’s not enough; will never be enough….Where to start with all of this? Let’s take a look… Does the UK spend on healthcare match that of comparable countries? Well, no. Neither as […]

Cancer patients have suffered enough

Dr Dianne Dowling

During a BBC interview on 1 October 2021, Boris Johnson added insult to injury by using the phrase: “Never mind life expectancy or cancer outcomes – look at wage growth.” Clearly, the only metric he was interested in was economic. This is deeply offensive to cancer patients and their families, and shows a total lack […]

Covid-19: 2 months since ‘Freedom Day’, but where are we now?

Emma Monk

Just over two months since ‘Freedom Day’ and in many places it feels like Covid-19 is a distant memory. Masks have been abandoned, schools are ‘back to normal’, people are crowding back on tubes; meanwhile you still can’t go into a vet’s consulting room with your pet. So where exactly are we with regards to […]

Japan’s prime minister resigned over 17,000 Covid deaths. Deaths in the UK now stand at 135,000. Will Johnson resign? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor-in-chief, Nearly a fortnight ago the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, resigned after taking personal responsibility for nearly 17,000 deaths from Covid-19. This, in a country of some 126 million people which has recently hosted the Olympic Games. Many in Japan thought the games should be delayed again, but they compromised by not allowing spectators […]

The £20 UC cut: the final straw?

Valerie Huggins

At the beginning of August, the headline in the Guardian stated “Johnson faces rebellion over ‘intolerable’ hunger and poverty in home counties”. Steve Baker, MP for Wycombe in Buckinghamshire (and lead Brexiter) was apparently shocked by the crisis in food insecurity after a study by Sheffield University researchers revealed that his constituency is one of […]

Marcus Fysh talking (potentially dangerous) codswallop. Part 1

Anthea Simmons

MP for Yeovil Marcus Fysh has miraculously become a medic – and an epidemiologist and virologist to boot. Perhaps he’s piloting a new government strategy aimed at filling the shortages in experienced staff across a whole range of sectors whereby an individual has only to express a nodding acquaintance with a subject or a function […]

Covid-19 vaccinations for 12-15 yr olds: a detailed look at the JCVI decision

Emma Monk

After weeks of speculation on whether or not children aged 12-15 would be offered a Covid-19 vaccination, the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI) finally released their report on 3 September. As is often the case, the findings widely reported in the press didn’t fully reflect what the report actually said, and this has […]

The Brexit-exacerbated blood bottle shortage: why your doctor may not be able to offer you the blood test you need. UPDATED

Anthea Simmons

About a fortnight ago we saw medics and commentators expressing concerns over shortages of blood bottles. Research indicated that this was a worldwide phenomenon created by the massive hike in demand as a consequence of the pandemic. Now it appears that Brexit is exacerbating an already difficult situation with supply chains interrupted by border issues […]

The Möbius strip of government Covid-19 guidelines

Jane Stevenson

The south west now has some of the highest Covid-19 prevalence rates in the country. We run a small manufacturing business in Cornwall, and I am updating our business Covid-19 protocols so have the unenviable job of trawling through the government guidelines. It’s been like circulating on a Möbius strip. First up, when to isolate. […]

Mental health provision : a heart-rending story

Chris Morrison
girl alone, depressed

There is a lot to unpack in this story. We had just finished watching dramatic scenes on @TheBlock 2017 (#renovators highly recommend!), getting all tucked up into bed, when I heard a young woman crying outside our window. Living in a town centre, this sort of thing was not unusual. She was on a video […]

The rough stuff!

Jon Vernon
Rider's view from a mountain bike on Dartmoor

I realised a few weeks back that I’ve been riding bikes off-road, in one form or another, for well over four decades. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of a friend’s older brother rescuing rusty bikes from skips and the local scrapyard, and repurposing them as cow-horn-barred “tracker” bikes which we’d spend the summer […]