Section: Health

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Fawlty valves and bacterial infections

Jim Funnell

A year on from MP Anthony Mangnall’s Brixham meeting: no-one’s laughing at the farce of our water supply. Last April I attended the first of MP Anthony Mangnall’s public meetings with South West Water. They were eventually held right across the constituency, and were much publicised by the MP as an opportunity to ‘hold South […]

The doctor won’t see you now

Anthea Simmons

“It’s a scandal worse than the Post Office Horizon debacle,” says the retired consultant radiologist who contacted me, urging West Country Voices to look into the use of Physician Associates in the NHS. Plenty of us think we know what’s going on in the NHS. We’ve seen the charts detailing the systematic underfunding. We’ve read […]

Sick note Britain: really, Prime Minister?

Emma Monk

In mid-April 2024, the Prime Minister got himself a juicy front cover on the Daily Express: PM tells sick Note Britain: Get a grip and get a job. He then put out a thread on X (formerly Twitter) claiming “We now spend £69bn on benefits for people of working age with a disability or health […]

Remodelling primary care: an uphill struggle

Sophie Olszowski

In the bleak landscape of today’s NHS, a ground-breaking service in a Somerset GP practice is seeing patient and staff satisfaction running at unprecedented highs while reducing pressure on local hospitals. Why, then, is it closing at the end of May, after only four months, and what does the future hold? The GP Urgent Assessment […]

Repainting a house that’s on fire: an open letter to Rishi Sunak

Iratus Ursus Major

Mr Rishi Sunak, Good afternoon. As I brace myself for my own experiences with the NHS later this afternoon, I couldn’t help but mull over the implications of your latest proposal regarding mental health and fit notes. This latest proposal of yours seems to have spectacularly missed the mark, which to be fair, is how […]

Calling for 20mph in BCP! LOVE 20

Adam Osman

We delivered our 20 hearts to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) on April 14 2024, to call for an all-at-once rollout of a 20mph speed limit. BCP council is proposing some limited extensions to 20mph areas, like the one currently out for consultation in the Boscombe area. We’re in an environmental emergency and a […]

Don’t let TV soaps make Covid reality a casualty

Jane Stevenson

A recent episode of the hospital drama Casualty misrepresented the very serious risks that Covid still poses. Jane Stevenson wrote to the BBC to explain just how wrong they’d got it. On Saturday 9 March, an episode of Casualty was broadcast, “Trauma”, which created a lot of upset. After reading a robust Twitter/X post by […]

Physician associates – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor Re: Physician Associates I am writing to give my perspective on the role of physician associates( PAs).  I am a recently retired Consultant Physician who was  involved in the initiation of a PA programme in Devon over 10 years ago. Workforce planning in the NHS is notoriously difficult and an issue that central […]

Without migrants, we wouldn’t have the NHS

Jon Danzig

Our NHS would collapse without migrants. Almost 20 per cent of the staff in NHS England are from overseas. Out of 1.5 million NHS staff in England, around 265,000 reported a non-British nationality as of June 2023. That’s 45,000 more than the previous year. What’s more, since Brexit, data indicates that the proportion of EU citizens working for the […]

Johnson’s Covid Inquiry evidence: what to look out for

Dr Dan Goyal

Before Johnson gives his evidence we should consider a few things: 1. Just how bad was the UK pandemic response?2. How much could Johnson have affected this?3. What was Johnson’s intent?4. Was there any overt maleficence? 1. How did the UK perform?Badly. For many in the wider public, it will be quite obvious that the UK did very badly indeed. […]

Save Seaton Hospital!

Editor-in-chief

Why this petition matters The petition was started by Seaton resident, Martin Shaw, who explains why it’s needed: The Seaton area community paid half of the cost of building the Hospital in the 1980s. The NHS agreed to own and run it with NHS services for the local community. In 1991, a new wing was […]

LOVE 20 road safety campaign begins in Winton

Cycling Rebellion

Local activists from Cycling Rebellion have launched the LOVE 20 campaign at Winton Banks in Bournemouth, calling for a 20mph speed limit on Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) roads where citizens live, work, shop and play. Heart shaped spoof 20 miles per hour (mph) speed limit signs were displayed along the road, chalk art brought […]

The problem with the NHS? Capacity!

Dr Dan Goyal

The problem with the NHS is very simple: there isn’t enough capacity. There aren’t enough GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, physios, OTs, lab techs, radiographers, etc. We currently have less hospital bed capacity than Mexico. We have the second lowest in Europe.  On all metrics, the UK is way behind comparative nations and no where near […]

What the change to cancer targets means

Dr Dan Goyal

The change to cancer targets is a big deal! The issue is the 28-day to diagnosis versus the 2-week wait target. That is, if your GP suspects cancer, from the point of referral, 75 per cent of patients should be diagnosed or given the all clear in 28 days. Currently, if your GP suspects cancer […]

Saving the UK’s social contract – starting with the NHS

Mark E Thomas

Even on the 75th anniversary of its foundation, the NHS came under assault from the far-right. This article tackles the claims of its detractors and shows how a team of volunteers has taken the argument to Parliament to defend the NHS – and the UK economy. The assault on the NHS When the NHS was […]

The Covid inquiry raises bigger questions about criminality

Dr Dan Goyal

Monday was another damning day for the government at the Covid Inquiry. It is becoming clearer what the recommendations from the Inquiry are likely to be… But there is also a bigger question raised about criminality… TUC union, the BMA, the Health Foundation, and The British Red Cross gave evidence. Many of the government defence […]

NHS ‘pen-pushers’ are doing a great job

Emma Monk

In the week when the NHS celebrated its 75th birthday, there was an article in The Telegraph  headlined ‘NHS to slash bureaucracy by recruiting doctors and nurses over pen-pushers’. This, of course, led to all the usual clichés about the NHS being full of managers. I thought I’d take a look at what the evidence […]

Has the NHS been value for money?

Dr Dan Goyal

No doubt we are at a tipping point for the future of healthcare in the UK You will hear a lot of misinformation, disinformation, and barefaced lies over the next 18 months – a £200bn/yr industry is on the table. So here are the facts… Has the NHS been value for money?  Here is the […]

Is it really true that no healthy under 50s died from Covid-19 in Israel?

Emma Monk

At the end of May 2023, I came across multiple, well-known, anti-vaccine Twitter accounts claiming that new Israeli data showed that there had been “No Known Covid Deaths in Healthy People Under 50.” We know from ONS data that in England and Wales there were 4976 deaths involving Covid-19 in the under-50s since 2020, so […]