Saturday, 24 November 2012

Hospital Campaigners in Libel Action Threat

The Western Mail reports that the 'Save Withybush Action Team' ( SWAT ) had received a solicitor's letter, dated November 8th referring to a campaign leaflet and web publications which allegedly defamed three named Hywell Dda  Health Board bosses. The group's Chairman and Obstetrician sent a reply stating that they were happy to refrain from using the three names on any future publications, BUT... "We will continue to tell the truth about health service provision in our area and will not allow our Freedom of Speech to be undermined." Now there's a man I could business with - bully for you, old boy !!

However, I confess to feeling somewhat aggreived, as I have named lying directors of at least three health boards and their solicitors, Morgan Cole ( who just happen to be acting for the Welsh goverment and ALL of their subordinate orginisations, including NHS Wales, Health Boards and Local Authorities ).  So, why haven't the buggers tthreatened to sue me, for all my damning letters, magazine articles,  and everything I've written in this truthful Blog ???  The answer is simple; SWAT and our Two Flew Over have only written the truth.

I have even begged Morgan and Cole to sue me , on behalf of any of the Health Boards, about the people I have named and their fraudulent actions, but in the 15 + years during which I have been a Better Health Service campaigner, not one threatening letter have I received, much less been summonsed to answer an action of Defamation by Slander or Libel.  You have only to read some ( if not all ) of my posts and you will see that I have exposed many deceptions, misrepresentations, bogus consultations, lies, and outright fraud with complete impunity.  Where's the justice in this absence of action and why am I being deliberately discriminated against in this outrageous manner ?

Why, even my detailed exposure of the fraudulent sale of Sully Hospital buildings plus 147 acres of land and seafront was covered up by a 'circling of the waggons'. I had the Trust dead-to-rights on the crooked wheeling and dealing that went on over the sale that went for the cheapest bid offered.  For years I exposed the truth, from the Trust's own documents - and proved beyond any reasonable doubt that 104 potential buyers were deliberately NOT offered the same terms as the eventual 'Preferred Bidder'.  No one disputed my facts - not even the Auditor General or the First Minister himself - and their solicitors contrived to withhold the Final Contract of sale that would prove to be the ultimate proof that the Trust lied and offered preferential terms to the other signatory of the contract.  Yet, incredibly, the bastards all got away with it because Morgan and Cole falsely declared that a copy of the Final Contract "could not be found".  Most galling, I'm sure you will agree -  and I still have every printed word of the truth in correspondence supplied by the Trust under the Freedom of Information Act - an absolutely useless piece of legislation that , as with the Auditor General, serves only to protect the government and all of its' undemocratic, clandestine organisations from any challenge that seeks to show them seriously at fault in any of their dealings with public funds.

So, Mr Chris Overton, Sir, please continue to campaign as strongly as you like because the Health Board and the government's crooked solicitors, will do ANYTHING to conceal the facts and certainly won't risk a public expose in the courts by suing you !  Millions of pounds of public money - OUR money - is being mispent or misused every day and there isn't a damn thing either you or I can do about it !   R.W.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Health Board in Very Poorly State ???

"Somebody get a grip on the truth, Please'

It has always been crystal clear that NHS Wales and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board think that all citizens of Wales are morons.  I've lost count of the number of times we have had our collective intelligence insulted on health budgets and ( alleged ) deficits.

Two Days ago, David Sissling, Director General, Chief Executive Officer NHS Wales announced that "all health Boards in Wales would meet their targets by the end of the year." Today, we are told that by April 2013 the Cardiff and Vale Health board will be at a deficit of £69m or - according to Hugh Vaughan Thomas, Auditor General - as high as £131m.

How can this possibly be, with the health board supposedly having saved over £220m this year already ?

Isn't it about time that the people in Wales were told the exact figures for the budget at the start of 2010, 2011 and 2012, followed by a breakdown of exactly how much higher the spending will be ( was ) at the end of these years ? You won't need to be a chartered accountant to work out that we are being panicked by fright management, through the use of figures that are pure B.S. ( Business Statistics - what else ? ).  Having been a keen follower of the various spurious reports - about how we need to keep cutting services in Cardiff & the Vale ( and the rest of Wales, of course )- it is easy to see that running at an ever-increasing defecit is impossible ( even if you are dull enough to believe NHS/Government rhetoric.)

Also, what do the Needs Assessments of each of these years reveal that the annual budget should be, please ?  Please believe that these figures ( from previously published budget figures ) will show just how incapable the Health Boards or NHS Wales are of telling us the truth.  Why, if we are to believe these carpetbaggers, we'll soon be arriving at a state where it will be claimed that NHS Wales can only deal with 1000 patients a month (at a cost well below the wage bill for the mandarins of the NHS and their subordinate health board officials ).

It's extremely worrying to see that democracy in Wales died 11 years ago, and that we are entering the Stalinist stage of I.V.S' declaration that "People are the problem - so, no  people no problem." ( please insert 'patients for 'people' ).  In simple terms, the budget is worked out by using the health budget funds to boost other funds, and keep the fat-cats even fatter.

It doesn't matter a damn what services are needed to keep us all in a reasonable state of good health and well-being, it only matters that we ( the poor, apathetic or dumb, public/patients ) are expected to pay for the incompetence of the bureaucrats, who couldn't manage an ice cream van and make it break even. R.W.

N.B. I.V.S. is short for Iosef Visarrianovich Stalin

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

"Did we really do that to our A and & E services ?"

Following on from my post 'Emergency - What Emergency', where I patiently explained why the NHS Wales' decision to close 7 more Accident and Emergency units was totally beyond any reasonable, acceptable logic, I now learn that there has been a 300% rise in waiting times in some areas with a total ( UK wide ) of 500,000 patients having been forced to wait 30 minutes on trolleys before admission to A&E. Add to that the knock-on effect of ambulances being immobilised because they are unable to get their patients delivered and accepted - as the emergencies they were supposed to be - and you get a pretty horrific picture of what will happen to our emergency services in future.
Whilst being stuck at A&E units, ambulances are unable to answer other emergency calls, making the 'pain to assessment' time even longer than before. The ambulance service is often criticised for failing to respond to calls quickly enough and, once they collect their patient, it takes even longer to get them treated because of the gridlock at A&E.  Make no mistake about it - this sometimes fatal delay is due entirely to the Local health Boards cutting services in line with NHS/Government's insistence on meeting ridiculous budgets.  With no budget figures being announced year on year, it is impossible to say whether hospitals will have sufficient resources to meet the existing requirement of need, never mind the ever-growing need as the population has expanded over the past decade

Effectively, this 'cost-cutting-by-imposed-lower-annual-budgets' has already made our health services unable to meet the health needs in our communities, whilst being constantly criticised for failing to meet targets that have never been agreed and, consequently are impossible to meet in the first place. So what does this mean in practice ?  It means that the patient is being cut to fit the service, instead of the service being adequate to meet current and future need.  Even more shocking is the fact that no Needs Assessment or epidemiology study has been conducted in over a decade.

So, David Sissling's statement that "All health boards and hospitals should be operating within their budgets by the end of the current year" will mean that a huge number of us will not get the treatment we need or deserve. I wouldn't be surprised if the NHS will eventually say that " This service ( whichever ) will only be able to deal with X number of patients this year ( X being well below the amount of need ). It's galling to realise that these over-paid, incompetent 'fat-cats' are takingn salaries of around £200,000 a year, whilst they are deliberately denying us life-saving health services.  The Minister, Leslie Griffiths, Dr Shortland, Tony Jewell ( incarnate ), Joanna Jordan, the Local Health Boards, and the entire Welsh Government should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for lying to us about service cuts that will inevitably lead to a greater number of patient deaths, before they reach hospital. Make no mistake about this situation, patients are already receiving inadequate treatment whilst in hospital, as less staff are urged to do more work in processing patients quicker in order to discharge them.

Why then is 'the tail wagging the dog' by allowing these so-called Public Servants to fail in their duty to us as our elected representatives ??????  I could offer my opinions, but I'd rather hear yours, please.  R. W.

P.S. Our Dear Lady, Leslie Griffiths is now more concerned about providing welsh-speaking staff to wlesh-speaking patients.  If that isn't getting your priorities screwed up, I don't know what is ! 

Friday, 16 November 2012

Knocking at Heaven's Door - 05.04.2011

The headline in The Independent 4/04 following the undercover BBC Panorama Report on Winterbourne View 'care' home read; "The care home that could have been mistaken for Abu Ghraib".
Finally it seems the Elephant has burst out of the Room with members of the staff working there having been arrested . Now Wayne and Alli and Charlotte and Graham have finally realised that there is such a thing as accountability even for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged of us. It is not good enough for the profession to dismiss this case as, 'a few bad apples' as cameras proved this to be otherwise when even the managers stood by and watched - all caught on camera like the scene from a horror movie. Appoo - a senior nurse with 35 years'  experience stood by and watched a young woman Simone with the mental age of five been hit by her 'carers' as he smiled! I wanted to cry and had to force myself to look.
the whistle had been blown by a senior nurse Terry Bryan complained to the manager of the home who did not reply so then to Care Quality Commission neither did they reply.It was up to a reporter from BBc to uncover this shocking & degrading behaviour by staff or it would be still going on as it is endemic within the present  culture of the NHS. metal health professional all the way from top to bottom where bullying of patients as well as some staff who do not 'conform' is commonplace.As  the Panorama showed such remarks as - "Don't push it or I'll push your head down the toilet." an everyday reality.
In my experience service users give up complaining as even those organisations meant to give us a voice are also complicit. If one complains - as I was by a senior manager at Whitchurch Hospital we are dismissed with such remarks as, "it was your state of mind that you perceived things as you did" - that final put down: case closed.But not at Winterbourne thankfully.
As the philosopher Edmund Burke has said,"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
The case rests here I think.

Breastfeeding - it's only natural!

You may have your own opinions on breastfeeding, as I have mine.

Many new mothers' decide to try to breastfeed, equally, many decide to formula feed from day one. The evidence is clear that breastfeeding is by far the best choice for an infant, however, the support for breastfeeding mothers is sadly lacking in today's NHS.

A recent article on the BBC News site by UNICEF suggested that the NHS could save up to £40m by encouraging mothers to breastfeed. ( which is an enormous amount of money.

'The charity says a moderate increase would reduce the number of women who get breast cancer and also cut gastroenteritis and respiratory problems in babies.'

Amazing isn't it?

There are a number of charities in the UK which support breastfeeding, and are on hand to help mothers should they need help with latch, confidence, knowledge etc. These include La Leche League, NCT and many Flying Start initiatives. Having using the La Leche League myself when trying to get a diagnosis of tongue tie for my son, I am confident they are helping many mothers across the UK to continue breastfeeding.

My Health Visitor, on the other hand, is sadly misinformed.

My son, Samuel, has been slow to gain weight. The immediate response from my Health Visitor is to switch him to formula. There was no support offered other than to offer him a different source of milk and that would, miraculously, solve our problem.

Luckily, I did not follow her 'advice' and sought further medical help.

Samuel has now been diagnosed with a milk protein intolerance, which means I have had to cut dairy out of my diet. Had I switched to formula he would have lost weight and been much more poorly, much more quickly. Mum knows best right? Sadly, medical professionals will not accept that mum knows best and still insist on doing these things 'by the book' until we go round in circles, waste countless weeks, and eventually end up at the very point mum suggested. More wasted money...

Some things you may not know about breastfeeding:

  • More recently, breast milk has been found to kill cancer cells ( - they don't call it 'liquid gold' for nothing.
  • Breast milk can be bought from milk banks to be given to premature babies. The milk has essential immune cells to help babies ward off infection (
  • Breast milk is tailored to your individual baby's needs (
So next time you see a breastfeeding mum out and about, congratulate her on being so fantastic!

On that note I mus go and feed my son. More soon!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Health Minister Shoots Herself in the other Foot

'Health Board at Centre of row over NHS report'.

It seems like only a month ago that Leslie Griffiths shot herself in the foot over the contrived Marcus Longley report that nearly told the truth, and now - before the wound has healed - she's blasted the other foot when The National Clinical Forum, that she set up, failed to follow orders.
The report was requested to support the changes proposed for North Wales, currently under consultation ( contrived, of course ), yet some honest pillock on the NCF ventured to tell the truth by saying that the changes were 'unsustainable'.  Fortunately this contravention of the Minister's instructions was quickly spotted by the Welsh Conservatives. UNfortunately - following a brief exchange of e-mails between the Chair of the NCF and the Minister's office - the report was hastily retracted and altered to support the proposals, causing further accusations of collusion and downright contrived alterations, to be hurled across the floor of the Sennydd.  In a glaring piece of understatement, the Shadow Health Minister, Darren Millar, said, "These revelations will further undermine the low level of public confidence which exists in the reconfiguration process in the Welsh NHS ( surely not - how do you undermine 'rock bottom' - RW ).  Rubbing salt in the wound, Mr Millar added, "The National Clinical Forum is supposed to offer independent advice to health boards on service reorganisation in their areas.  The Whole thing Stinks !"  Even the pantomime King of ministers, Carwyn Jones couldn't be heard above the hoots of laughter, as he told AMs" ministers had not been involved in changes to the report", adding that there had "been no interference of any kind" by the Welsh Government and that the government "had complete confidence" in the NCF (to do as they were told in future - RW ).  A bit later, the Betsy Cadwalader Chief Executive lamely added that "The NCF was asked to "clarify" specific proposals", and the forum's Chairman said "Amendments were needed to remove any "ambiguity" from the report. ( Yeah Right, and I'm the Queen of the Fairies - RW ).

Well, if that isn't enough to send readers into paroxysms of hysterical laughter - nothing will !   R.W.

Friday, 9 November 2012

'Sexy' Newspaper Stories - ( no, it's mental health ! )

The Echo is a mediocre newspaper at best.  Few of the really experienced 'hacks' are left, and a good editor - like a good woman - is hard to find.  Today the front page highlights the potential ( i.e. (99% certain ) loss of 160 jobs at the company I used to know as Fram Filters. This is the tragic result of our failure to recognise the importance of the rapid decline in manufacturing jobs, and my heart goes out to the poor souls who will have to find new jobs in today's stagnant market. But, let me get to the main point of this post.

Yesterday, we had the front page screamimg " 'Disgrace' - Dad's anger as UHW denies hydrotherapy treatment to his son with Dystonic Cerebral Palsy ." Without doubt, another tragedy, especially when the Echo reporter reveals that this therapeutic facility is only available to private patients.  Is this
UHW or Holby City ?

For me the piece de resistance is the truly tragic story in tonight's edition 'MEN'S Suicide Shock'. And what priority does our popular 'rag' give this story ????? Answer - Page 25, four small columns at the top of the page.  The Samaritans delivered the news to their conference that the numbers of middle-aged men taking their own lives is on the increase.  As a result, they are the the most at-risk group and up to three times more likely than women to commit suicide. In 2010, 225 men took their own lives in Wales, compared to 63 women and, for the UK as a whole men in the age groups 35-44 and 45-5 were more than doublefor those aged 15-24.  Although focus has been primarily on mental health, they believed social factors - including the recession - had a big impact on these rates. Men strongly think that they they should be able to cope, whatever the crisis.  Instead of visiting their G.P., they tend to 'self-medicate', using drink and drugs where the connection between these two social remedies and suicide is very strong.

Being typically incapable of giving any detail, Minister Lesalie Griffiths said "much work has been done in Wales to prevent suicide", adding rhetorically " As the effects of the economic downturn continue, it is crucial we remain alert to the effect this has on mental health". ( Yeah Right - and is she kidding when she says 'remain alert' ?  When did this start, considering the indifference shown to the Bridgend suicides ? ...R.W. )

Thursday, 8 November 2012

"More than ever, it is vital to invest in Mental Health" - Ed Milliband

As part of the Sunday Express's Crusade for Better Mental Health, Labour leader ED
d Milliband has called for the constitution of the NHS to be rewritten so that Mental Health is treated as seriously as Physical Health.  he said that the last Labour government had failed to realise the scale of the challenge and that Patients should now be given new rights to "Talking Therapies".  He went on to say, "It is very troubling that, for the first time in a decade we have seen a cut in total mental health, a reduction of  £150m including costs and outreach services.  The current constitution gives patients the rights to drugs and medical treatments for mental health problems but it does not give them the right to therapies We should create a new right to psychological therapies that help people recover from conditions like anxiety and depression.

He added that " We have already put the nation's mental health and wellbeing at the very heart of our policy.  That is why for the first time we have required the NHS to give equal status to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of both physical and mental illness - something made law this year.

Ted Jeory, Whitehall Editor said that he was present when Ed Milliband gave a groundbreaking speech to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He committed to put attitudes to mental health on a par to physical health.  In his speech, he pledged to help break one of Britain's biggest taboos, the stigma still attached to mental health. " I want to get to a point where it is not "brave" to talk openly about mental illness but where it is a case of 'so what' ", he said.  In doind so, he joined Nick Clegg to make this issue a political priority. ***

In the meantime, the poor service users go on hoping for these bold words to be turned into action and, as usual, they remain pessimissitic about their menatl illness being used as other than a  political football.  All we can do is pray for leadership into positive change and improvements to our 'Cinderella' service.     R. W.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Emergency - What Emergency ????

Accident and Emergency Departments are defined as being the Front Door to the NHS - easily accessible, always open, where you won't be turned away.  Now - as I see it - there appear to be many facets to the current argument that we have too many A & E Departments and they are 'not providing the best possible care to all patients all of the time.'  Seriously - what service does ??? The ambulance, Fire Services, public services ( buses, rubbish collections, roads in good repair and, of course, the police are constantly been scrutinised ), with every failed target being given the maximum publicity.  Consequently, if it's not possible to provide a good service to all of the people, all of the time - what's the point in using it as an excuse to close seven A & E Departments in South Wales, leaving only inaccessible, centralised services ( miles from the point of need ) ?????  Clearly, there is no logic to the NHS' argument because fewer, hard-to-reach A&E depatments couldn't possibly provide the best possible care to ALL of the patients ALL of the time.  So why say it, and then act as if it's the most obvious solution to 'whatever the problem is that they're trying to address' ?????  Their arguments simply are not credible, yet here we are being told that they cannot recruit enough doctors and nurses to staff all of the A&E services, as though Recruitment Services had suddenly become useless, or, no qualified medical person wants to work in Wales because the conditions have become so intolerable, under an NHS that sees only reducing services as cutting cost.

I mean to say - let's be serious for a moment.  For decades these A&E departments have functioned adequately or there would have been a public outcry long ago - right ? So that being the case, why have the NHS premeditadely reduced resourses to these units at a time when the population - and, therefore the need - have been ( and are ) growing exponentially. It just doesn't make any sense at all - except as a cost-cutting procedure.  Now, of course, there IS a public outcry - to keep these A&E units open - that is falling on the government's / NHS' deaf ears.

So, if there are really some problems e.g. trivial injuries or ailments that could easily await the GP, long waits, because A&E does not have a dedicated medical team, and those that are there are constantly being called to other hospital duties, then let's face these head-on by triageing patients at the ever-open-door, and having dedicated A&E teams in place permanently.  I cannot help repeating myself by saying that the continued incompetence of NHS and Local Health Board officials is an impediment to progress that must be eliminated - permanently !
Enough said ! If you have any thoughts, please let me know........... R.W.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Q: "When is a Contract NOT a Contract ?"

A:  "When it's signed by NHS Wales"

You have only to read about the recent 'negotiations' between the Government/NHS and the BMA Wales ( representing all GPs in Wales ), to realise that the suggested changes - made for the Minister, Leslie Griffiths - exceed the terms of the existing agreed contract.  These changes, want more hours, a greater workload that would have the GPs ticking boxes relating to whether they have met the targets of performance for these patients who are chronically ill. eg, Blood Pressure, Diabetes and "Are they still breathing  etc".  The BMA argue that taking on board these new changes would inevitably detract from the time they are able to spend with the majority of their patients and, inevitably the health of these patients. Of course, adding a few hours to their working day, ensuring appointments are given within a reasonable time, and opening for short periods at the weekend, may not seem much to the government/NHS, but the GPs see them as getting them to do much more work for very little extra money - regional variations applicable, naturalich, mein herren.

Some reckless GPs have even dared to point out that these changes would require an entirely new contract put to them, via the BMA, for consideration and acceptance.  Simply put " if you want us to do more work, we must be compensated by proportionately higher salaries. After all....." they would argue, "you agreed the ruddy contract in the first place therefore stick to it !"
Such logical reasoning means nothing, however, to the dictatorial Mrs Griffiths, who tells the BMA that - "if you do not agree to my terms, I will impose them on you anyway". Atta girl, Les, that's telling 'em, innit - the tail wags (W.A.G.s - get it ? ) the dog.......... and who told you we lived in a democracy anyway - eh ?????  As a result, the BMA and their GPs will, of course, put their collective 'tail' between their legs and agree, albeit reluctantly ( Yeah Right, of course they will ).

Hopefully, the dear Lady will be told to 'urinate up a rope' or - at the very least - to go back and read up on what constitutes a Contract ( Ho Ho ! ).  Personally speaking, I cannot see any resolution to this rather obvious problem as a contract is a contract, binding both sides to the terms contained therein.  Even though the Minister will dig her 3 inch heels into the BMAs lawn ( as it were ), she cannot possibly win the ensuing battle, because she is being totally unreasonable and ( apparently ) has lost sight of the purpose of the Health Service as defined by dear old Nye Bevan.  Hopefully the First Minister will have a word in her shell-like ear and remind her that she is a functionary, meaning that she should leave her prissy ego at home ! I'm fantasising, of course, but someone with some common sense must intervene in order to end this ridiculous impasse.   R.W.