Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 - a year no patient of NHS Wales will ever forgive

The Unwinnable Health Checkers Game

The last day of the year , when we all look to the New Year to be better than the last, offering - perhaps - better economic growth and a Health Service that does what it was intended to do - Provide a service of Health and Social Care at the point of need.  Whereas there is a slight chance of some economic growth - albeit through hyped-up property values, bringing higher interest rates and more bad banking practises - the chance of us having an adequate health service during 2014 is non-existent.

The Western Mail spread, entitled "A Year of Pressure on Health Services" sees our government ducking-out of any responsibility for the cost-cutting that sees less services available and accessible to us than two decades ago. However this wonderfully flattering article serves to remind us that the fault for this is the entire population of Wales and their unhealthy lifestyles. Indeed, our failure to give some of our children MMR vaccine apparently created 1000 or more cases of Measles that were being recklessly spread throughout a tiny part of Wales, yet - somehow - tied up enormous NHS resources, as though we were the cause of Typhoid and Tuberculosis which also re-entered our country via illegal and uncontrolled immigration.  Here, of course, the government doesn't attempt to quantify the cost of caring for the health of these immigrants who created grid-lock at our GP services and already inundated hospital A and E departments.

All the disasters are listed, including the deaths of more than 152 patients awaiting Cardiac surgery  -highlighted along with other failures - all declared by the Royal College of Surgeons to have been "avoidable" - yet our Incompetent Minister pathetically attempts to justify his refusal to allow an enquiry into these very serious matters. An enquiry is mandatory, especially when you read articles such as "The NHS kills more people than Shipman!", and "The University Hospital of Wales is "Unsafe" by every organisation and patient group that are qualified to judge such matters.

It is a matter of National Disgrace that our health service has been run in such a neglectful manner, as exemplified by the cancellation of operations, the increase in waiting times to more than nine months for patients to be seen at hospital.  The Staffordshire Trust was rightly pilloried for their appalling record, so why not the University Hospital of Wales, for pity's sake ? The only reason that our government is able to ignore such blatant incompetence is due to Devolution.  Since Health was devolved, inexperienced politicians and incompetent, over-paid managers tore our health services apart as casually as tearing bits off a giant chapatti at a feast.

Even after all this destruction, the Assembly member's Health and Social Care Committee write a letter of concern to the Health Minister, which he will study and respond to 'in the New Year' with as much determination as he did all other critical reports he, and his predecessors have received, telling the government that "You've got it all wrong !".  The repeated response is "We know Best" to which we all say "Like hell you do", only to be ignored yet again.

A culture of fear pervades all front-line staff, who are too afraid to criticise the NHS, as reported by the Care Quality Commission.  What is referred to by the Daily Telegraph as "A Chillingly defensive culture" where even the most outspoken Consultants were too frightened to speak out for fear of losing their jobs, is deeply imbedded in all hospitals and clinics. Consequently, it is hardly surprising that staff morale and patient care deteriorate, with the growing numbers of deaths ( due to neglect ) increasing at an alarming rate every week.

With the Minister 'Praying for Silence' it seems churlish to add that the NHS has been forced to pay out £117m in 2013, for its 'avoidable mistakes.  This is a final condemnation of the manner in which our health services are planned, implemented and run.

So much for the accuracy of reporting in the Western Mail and the South Wales Echo, who behave as lackeys, paid to print the deliberate misinformation given to them by the LHB and NHS Wales. Meanwhile, I await the first New Year's article blaming the public ( once again ) for placing an "unprecedented demand" on the NHS over the Christmas and New Year festivities.    R.W.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Could there be a cure for Cancer??

Like a large proportion of society, I have a FaceBook account.

As Robin and I like to look into Health stories, and find out every possible detail, I have various health related pages on my newsfeed, including some that look into the stories we aren't supposed to know about, or see, in today's society.

Today, I stumbled upon an article which greatly disturbed me, and it simply said 'what if I were to tell you that a cure for Cancer has existed for over 40 years, but Cancer is worth $150 million, and so it hasn't been released?'


8,000,000 people die from Cancer every year. 100,000 people a day are diagnosed with Cancer. 1/3 of those will die within 5 years of diagnosis.


For money.

That fact makes me sick to my stomach. To think some corporation (and it has to be a worldwide knowledge so that nobody let's slip) has a cure for cancer, and is just sitting on it because of their own greed.

I would post the link to the hour long documentary for you all to watch, but curiously, the webpage it was on no longer exists. If this wasn't the truth, why has the evidence been removed?? Literally in the space of 15 or so minutes, gone.

I do not remember the names of the gentlemen speaking on the documentary, all were Professors of various American Universities, or Scientists or even ex salesmen for pharmaceutical companies. All highly qualified people, knowledgeable and without bias.

The documentary stated that Carnegie, along with two other highly successful, and wealthy gentlemen, bought out medical schools and directed the teachings towards medicines and such like, rather than natural remedies, homeopathy etc. The doctors and nurses we have today have received years of training in surgical and medicinal 'cures' but what do we know about the drugs we use on a, sometimes daily, basis?

We know that Cancer treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy, are carcinogens in themselves. We know that chemotherapy doesn't just target the cancer cells but also healthy cells, hence hair loss, sickness, and 'chemo brain' as it is termed (memory loss).

The doctors in the documentary tell us that chemotherapy is only successful in around 5% of patients and each weekly/monthly dose of tablets costs from $3,000 - $7,000. Obviously it is far bigger business in America, where people have to pay for their healthcare, whereas in the UK it is just a post code lottery.

We know that chemotherapy drugs have to be incinerated after use, and all medical staff are taught to handle them with the greatest care. Any gloves that have touched the treatments have to be burnt also and are so toxic, they they don't always lose toxicity just from incineration alone. THIS is what we are allowing them to pump into our loved ones to make them 'better'.

The part that upsets me most though, the children. How can these corporate fat cats sleep at night, knowing there are thousands of children dying from cancer, just so that they can earn a buck? Surely they could be earning their money honestly, finding cures and making people better. Where the hell are their morals? Their conscience?

I haven't been able to stop thinking about this since I saw it earlier. All these unnecessary deaths. It breaks my heart.

I can't write anymore, it's too horrible.

Mentally Ill Face Stigma - situation normal !

Together for Mental Health Strategy

Our Welsh Government have just given their report on this previously unheard of strategy. which claims that discrimination in general seems to be decreasing (how so ?).  They go on to say that more than 50% of the Welsh public are not willing to have someone with a mental health problem care for their children.  Also, that such a person should not be allowed to hold office ( How do they know how many there are at present, and how will they find out if anyone wishes to represent a constituency has ( or is now ) ever suffered a mental health problem ?  Should we begin a national witch-hunt to weed out all of these unsavoury, untrustworthy, and possibly dangerous characters by creating a CRB-type check for anyone who wants to care for children or wants to stand for their community ? The above questions show stigma of the worst kind, which is prevalent amongst most of the population.

When this topic has been raised before, I suggested that we should make all those is the 'mentally ill' generality wear yellow stars, so that they may be easily identified and avoided at all costs.
The report / paper goes on to confirm that most parents and people in employment feel that stigma and discrimination of the mentally ill is increasing. Most patients know already that even mentioning the word 'depression' kills off any chance of employment with most corporate entities. However, if you're homosexual or of a non-Christian faith  (in traditional dress ), speak broken English or even Welsh, you'll be hired immediately as a demonstration of the national policy of 'Equality'.

Therefore Equality isn't really equality at all because the mentally ill are not included and may be stigmatised with impunity.  In spite of this, our incompetent government announces that planning  a second phase of this battle will take place next year under the ridiculous title - 'Time to Change Wales', which looks to tackle stigma.  The rest of the report brings bile up to my throat as it is full of the type of rubbish and rhetoric shown in all government attempts to show "commitment to ending this" ( yeah right ).  Any patient who laps up this type of empty promise, should contact the Time to Change Wales programme manager, Anthony Metcalfe .

Frankly, you'd be better off  claiming to be a short, black, bald-headed, short-sighted, homosexual
scientologist, with Polish Muslim parents who don't speak a word of English, but manage to make a good living from their poppy fields ! You cannot legislate against Stigma any more than you can eliminate prejudice or religious dogma.     R.  W.

N.B.  Fellow Patients - watch out how some doctors and nurses react when your categorised as being a sufferer of a mental health problem.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A New Mental Health Unit ?

Mental Health Unit Work Going Well

My poor old ticker missed a beat when I saw this item in the Echo, last week. After all, it isn't often that mental health gets a boost I thought.  Unfortunately, reading on dashed my hopes that - perhaps - the promised new unit at Llandough was underway. As readers will recall, the new hospital ( to replace the Victorian asylum at Whitchurch ) should have been three years into the promised four year commissioning time.  Sadly, not a brick has been laid.

The new unit is a £16.4m mental health unit near Bridgend, where groundwork is well underway for the low-secure unit at Glanrhyd hospital.  The steelwork should be completed before Christmas, after which work on the floors may begin . Eventually the unit will have 28 en-suite bedrooms, replacing the out-of-date at Glanrhyd and Cefn Coed hospitals. [ Oh no !  not two hospitals into not one again - how many beds will be lost this time ? ]. There goes the ball-game again - another cost-cutting ploy!

The new home will be for patient detained under the Mental Health Act for a range of challenging  behaviours including self-neglect, self-harm and aggression. It will also provide patients who may have previously had to receive their care in England, with the care and support they need closer to home.

Acting clinical Director for Mental Health, Gill Thornton said "The unit will provide modern fit-for-purpose ( ? )facilities for patients to recover and regain the independence to live at home" ( yawn ). This unit will be open in December 2014.

How they've got the nerve to call this a low-secure unit, beats me !  However, pity the poor patients stuck in Whitchurch hospital for another four years - Such are the NHS promises.      R.  W.

Another child is failed by inadequate Mental Health Services

Moving Tribute to 'My Boy Derek'

The fact that suicide rates are increasing is lamentable, and ( in my opinion ) totally due to the vastly reduced mental health services - the Cinderella Service. - but the suicide of a 1..4 year old boy is beyond a tragedy.  Derek Brundrett was found in the grounds of his school in Pembrokeshire.

His distraught father could only write, "To my boy Derek,  Sorry for for being there for you. Should have tried harder, you will always be in my thoughts every minute of every day as you have been since you were born."

He also appeared to blame bullying for Derek's death, writing in a separate message, "Bullies, I am coming for you.  Now my life is not worth living.

The headteacher trotted out the usual banal ..platitude, "He was a likeable and popular student with a group of close friends."

How many deaths of children and adolescents do we have to suffer before anything is done  by our pathetic government to help them ?  If we can't protect our children............ ?      R.  W.

Operations to be delayed - AGAIN !

Health Board set to delay ops to cope with winter surge

Hywel Dda health board has set out its' proposals for dealing with expected activity during winter.  As one of the five worst performing health boards in Wales, they join their fellow boards in exercising maximum managerial incompetence in  predicting a log jam of patients that will have been created entirely on their own, supported by the Minister, of course.

All Health Boards expect to be at maximum capacity, despite us all being half-way through winter already. Most health pundits - especially Dr Richard Lewis of BMA Wales - express some surprise, a they see NHS in Wales at capacity on a daily basis.  So there we have it - the Minister and all health boards are gearing up for dealing with the predicted 'unprecedented demand' - via GPs referrals and other 999 calls to our few A&E departments - yet the BMA indicate the situation couldn't get worse than on a 'normal' day !

Hywel Dda are mentioned for bravely stating that they will be delaying some elective orthopaedic operations. With thousands of operations already having been delayed, it seems that the other health Boards will carry on with delaying operations as they have been all year. Needless to say the usual suspects to be blamed will be the patients ( who, apparently cancel most of their ops themselves ? ), and our already 'flogged to death' ambulance service, who will have even longer journeys to A&E thanks to the changes underway ( yet still not approved ? ).

At this time, we have heard that Minister Drakeford "profoundly regrets" the recent avoidable deaths of eight liver operations.  This creation of an even higher level of regret, still does not dissuade the Minister from having the mandatory external investigation, even though these fatalities add to the tragic total of 152 avoidable cardiac deaths, as reported by the Royal College of surgeons.  His pathetic excuse is that their own 'established monitoring systems' exposed the failure of a liver consultant. Odd, then, that the same monitoring system (LoL) failed to notice the cardiac failures ., whilst the death toll was mounting, higher and higher.

As I have reported previously, Health is devolved, with no more controls or checks by Parliament, except the overall budget. Obviously, this is a consequence of the regrettable devolution process that has so patently failed to deliver any service improvements or economic gains for Wales.  If only we could go back in time to stop this stupid mistake !   R.  W.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Drakeford Puts his Foot Down !

The Laddy's not for turning - Wales Report - Huw Edwards

Huw Edwards is - without doubt - the best Anchor Man and Presenter in the business - bar none !

Mark Drakeford is - without doubt - as useless as udders on a bull, following the same inflexible path of destruction of NHS Wales as his predecessors. Huw Edwards usually reduces interviewees to their DNA, but the entire show appeared to be a medium for the Health Minister to look almost knowledgeable about health matters and also a bit intelligent.

Marcus Longley threw in a few brilliant observations, such as, "The NHS is not coping with emergency cases, and "people have been lulled into a false sense of security, believing they will get  good treatment" ( which, of course is like shooting craps and hoping for a 7 ). He also added that "NHS money is not being spent to best effect " [ No - REALLY ? ]. Huw then asked Drakeford why the NHS in Wales was performing so badly, according to many newspaper reports and most of public opinion.

Undeterred ( and with a face straighter than studio wall ) he said, "Wales' performance is the same as England, in fact, identical". He then claimed "that their were no cuts made in Wales and that 43% of the Welsh budget was spent on the NHS".  Huw Edwards managed not to burst into laughter and aske "Why then has the Kings Fund ( completely independent ) reported that Wales has suffered 8% cuts for each of the past three years, and the Conservatives showed that £800m of cuts had been made over the same period. ?" Incredibly, the Minister claimed that their had 8% growth in the NHS".

After a pause to allow Huw to regain his seat, he asked the MInister "Why then are their nothing bur reports of Failure in the NHS ?" Drakeford countered with, "there are more pressures not failures.." and went on to meekly report that "Nurses have been given another £10m for next year" [ BIG blinking DEAL - RW ].

Huw then moved onto more fertile ground, asking about the awful delays at A&E departments, where some people were waiting in ambulances for 12 hours. Ignoring the disaster that is UHW, which is now closed to passers by who want to rest, Drakeford trotted out the usual pathetic excuse that "Last winter A&E suffered "Unprecedented pressures from patients, which was ( of course ) the cause of the long waits" ( yeah right ) . Not satisfied with that insult, he went on to say, "...that too many people turned up to Morriston Hospital A&E that didn't need treatment".

The next question was "What about the lack of beds to put A&E admissions into hospital ?" [ over 800 cut - RW ]. Drakeford parried with "People should be moved out of hospital beds, more people are receiving residential care, preferring to stay in their homes". ( no mention of all the residential homes that had been closed by local authorities, of course ).

Huw responded "..but aren't you just shifting one problem to another area, and delaying matters" ( by not being busy fabricating reasons why he intends to completely ignore public opinion ).

The Minister then leant forward saying, "When a matter is put to me, I consider it and then make a decision...."  He added that, "...once I make my decision there is no changing it. People from Llanelli have tried to raise the matter with me but I have told them that I am only willing to discuss the implementation of the change. I am satisfied that the changes are necessary ".

Death rates were the next topic, with Huw saying "How is that 11 out of 17 Welsh hospitals had higher death rates that anywhere else in the UK  ( over 100 deaths ), as reported independently and confirmed by Ann Clwydd. ?" The Minister said that he didn't agree with much that was in her report. He claimed that the NHS Wales was performing well with "Huge patient successes". He chose to finish by saying, "The average A&E waiting time was 6 minutes" ( apparently causing a lot of choking noises in the studio ).

As I have already stated in earlier posts, there seems to be a huge chasm between Drakeford's assertions and the truth - suprise suprise !    R.  W.

N.B.  Regretfully. the topic of the damning report be the Royal College of Surgeons that UHW was 'dangerous' and that there had been 152 avoidable deaths of cardia patients waiting for surgery'.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Marcus Longley shows his contempt for the truth.

"Mental Health is no longer the Cinderella Service" - ( The professor Hypes himself up to a point where 'Nutty' becomes a more appropriate description of his opinions. )

 - Go tell it to Debbie and Anthony Jones of Ely, and their teenage daughter Chloe, Marcus ! - (see Echo article "Daughter's treatment has torn us apart"

Having been appointed as a Director of the Universally Inept Health Board ( Cardiff and Vale Chapter ), this learned Professor chooses to make his mark in the 'Monumentally Stupid Statements" category with his unbelievable declaration, as above.

Chloe is one of 27 children who have been placed outside of Wales for mental health treatment.  She is currently being treated at Huntercombe Hospital, Maidenhead, in their high dependency unit. This is because her nearest treatment centre - TyLlidiard, Bridgend - was unable to cope with her. [ Unable to cope with a 16 year old mentally ill child ???? I do not believe it ! ]  And - What of the other 26 children ? What excuse has been proffered for them being moved ?

Maidenhead is 125 miles away and the Jones' do not own or run a motor car, so they have to rely on the help of friends, making their visits too infrequent in an all too tragic situation, not of their making.  In fact Chloe was given initial treatment at Ty Llydiard but then had to spend 9 weeks at Huntercombe Hosand .  Afterwards, Chloe was  back at her home for her 16th birthday. However, she was once again admitted to Ty Lydiard, prior to the staff there sending her on to Huntercombe, away from her family again.

Debbie and Anthony Jones do not get help with any travel or subsistence costs, which makes their visits to their daughter fewer and far between. Unlike Ty Lydiard, Huntercome does not provide any facilities for parents to stay with their children.  The Jones' have to find the money to stay in nearby hotels to be near their sick child.

Incredibly, Dr Paul Davies of Cwm Taf Health Board says, "There are not enough young people in Wales suffering with specific mental health issues to require ( justify ) a local specialist unit".  NHS Wales is quiet in response with Minister, mark Drakeford offering sympathy, adding that "This situation is rare".  How comforting are these words for the Jones' in their hour of great need ?

Unsurprisingly, no information is available on the other 26 children that are forced to seek treatment out of Wales.  This information needs to be made public so that the extent of the negligence in failing to treat these children may be fully investigated and corrected.  Previously, my colleagues and I have been informed that as many as 40 older patients have been sent 'out of area' for treatment - simply because, the Welsh NHS has decimated our mental health services without any thought for their relatives.

So-called 'experts' like Marcus Longley have been paid to hype up mental services to a point where their remarks have been  so misleading and irresponsible that patients ( and their families ) demand more transparency and openness from our incompetent government and their lackeys.  All the hype surrounding changes to the health services that ( supposedly ) will improve patient satisfaction have now been shown to be myth - a cruel joke on all those families who will suffer avoidable deaths because treatment for their illnesses is no longer accessible to them or their loved ones.   R.  W.

Ministry of Fear Strikes Again

'Bankruptcy' Fear for NHS

This article is so stupid, I rank it in the top 10 of the most stupid I have ever had the misfortune to read.

Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, Chair of the Bevan Commission ( a group of international experts who give advice to the Health Minister ) claims that the financial pressures facing the NHS are the "worst in history".  Well, at least he has a 'Sir' before his name, which must make him important to some people.

Patients of the NHS are not so stupid - contrary to popular government opinion - and they know all-too-well that the financial pressures are created internally by producing unexplained figures of over budget health services.  Of course, we are never informed which of these services are causing the problem but - again - this really is irrelevant.  The most important fact known to patients is that all of their health services have been cut by centralisation, rationalisation, and a perverse belief that these changes are - somehow - going to provide us with a service "Fit for Purpose" ( whatever the hell that means.). Nothing could be further from the truth, as all patients know that their services are more inaccessible than ever, with little likelihood of getting any treatment for common ailments and little hope for the elderly and the chronically ill, under this new regime of fear.

To get back to the stupid title of this article, it is impossible for a publicly funded service to become insolvent or bankrupt.  They are not commercial entities and are not measured by such notions of 'Profit or Loss'.  Consequently, to even claim that 'near bankruptcy' is possible is highly irresponsible and deliberately misleading.  For ten or more years our government has progressively and systematically reduced; community hospitals, District hospital departments, Mental Health facilities, with over 800 beds being cut in recent years in order to save money.  Why? we are not told, nor are we permitted access to any of the financial information of; health boards, hospitals, specialities, or the need to cut any of these services.  Instead, we are insulted with statements like the above and so-called 'facts' such as "Cardiff and Vale Health Board has to lose £57.5m this coming year.  Again - no 'Why' or 'how'.

The only information you are given is, that IT IS ALL OUR FAULT !  Not a word about irresponsible banking, poor governance, incompetent management, or such things as spending fortunes on furniture for A.M.s, and a forest of potted plants ( to name but two items). Sadly, Orwell's 1984 is upon us with no democracy whatsoever, no freedom of expression, and the Thought Police taking the form of  intrusive acts of; phone hacking', interception of all electronic communications and, not forgetting the CCTV that records our every urban movement, wherever we care to go !      R.  W.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Ambulance Times Contradiction.

Drakeford's Foot in Mouth attack

2weeks ago, our dear old Minister of health reported how pleased he was that 98% of ambulance times were being met at the 65% target.

Now - TODAY - we get the F.o.I figures on ambulance times, throughout the UK, showing that Wales has the WORST times of all.  Once again. there appears a huge chasm between the Minister's version of events and the TRUTH.

Perhaps the old boy is misinformed and can't be bothered to check the information he is given, OR, he is a consummate LIAR.

My conclusion that he has shot himself in the foot, again, and - as Churchill said - "Made a "slight terminological inaccuracy". ( Hoots of derisive laughter ! ).    R.  W.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Minister Refuses Review - again !

 NHS Review call rejected by Minister - 27.11.2013

I find it hard to believe that such a silly, deaf and arrogant man, as Professor Mark Drakeford, is still able to hold down his job as Minister for Health.

He rejects the deafening calls for a review into all the accusations of 'Dangerous Hospital', The Royal College of Surgeons Report that (amongst other bad news ) reported that 152 avoidable deaths of Cardiac Patients on the surgical waiting list.  In addition, Senior Doctors, the Head of Junior Doctors, Health Inspectorate Wales, the Royal College of Nursing, the British Medical Association, and countless other health experts from as far away as Wellington New Zealand, have condemned the University Hospital of Wales as being so dangerous, they would not like their relatives treated there.

Wales NHS and our incompetent government have allowed the closure of more essential health services than are left standing, since the assembly was formed.

Everyone ( and his dog ) knows that the reason is to cut costs, and NOT Salami as one stupid UHB board member claimed.  Even after years of public outcry and representations in all forms, the Minister is allowed to 'Carry on Regardless' like the other mindless characters in 'Carry On' films.

It is reasonable to suggest that the unworkable dog's breakfast that NHS Wales has been allowed to become, is more than a match for the deaths and misconduct at Mid-Staffordshire hospital.  The only difference is that the NHS in Wales is Devolved, so our incompetent government can do as they like, without batting an eyelid over the deaths they have caused and will cause in future.  With a majority in the Bandstand, they ignore public and professional opinion with impunity, choosing to preserve the myth that everything is under control.

I sincerely can't wait for the day when NHS Wales is charged with Corporate Manslaughter, and the silly MInister is made to serve a lengthy term in jail !      R. W.