Tag Archives | Health

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Real politics prefers a health service Status Quo…

The media hype on our latest could-do-better Health Service report Systems not Structures:  Changing Health and Social Care, was more positive than I expected.  BBC wheeled out the usual pundits.  John Compton welcomed the report saying it was good to say things over and over again until the public finally heard the message.   Dr more…

Does the Executive have the will to make the tough decisions and face the consequences of real Health reform?

So after last year’s Donaldson report (saying clinicians should drive reforms and politicians take a back seat), we have this year’s Bengoa Report (commissioned by Simon Hamilton) along with the suggestion that the new SF Health Minister will do exactly that? The report’s ten-year time span and lack of specific actions (costs would be both too more…

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[FILM] GrassRoots: The Cannabis Revolution…

Cannabis is a divisive topic wherever you live. I live in Norwich, in the east of England, yet I am as attached to the issue as someone with a severe chronic illness in Brighton, or London, or Belfast is. This is because I have made a feature length documentary about this very issue. To expand: more…

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An insider’s view of the latest problems with the Belfast Ambulance service

With the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) in the news once again, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some insight into the ongoing internal problems within the service. This time the spotlight has been shone on staffing shortages after it was revealed that 25 shifts lay vacant last Saturday night, the equivalent of more…

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Gay blood ban to be shifted in line with the UK…

Here’s one of the first political benefits of shifting serious ministerial offices, Michelle O’Neill announces that Northern Ireland will move towards the one year deferral system common across the UK…  Ms O’Neill said on Thursday that she would lift the ban in favour of a ‘”one-year deferral system” as is the case in the rest more…

Why mental health needs public champions not just information…

Siobhan O’Neill is a health psychologist and professor of mental health sciences at Ulster University. She is currently leading several studies on mental health and suicide in Northern Ireland. It seems that we can’t move nowadays with mental health awareness; the latest being Princes Harry and William, and Princess Katherine, all throwing their weight behind more…

We need leadership and action on health – whoever’s in charge

Michael Moore from MacMillan Cancer Support writes for us about the importance of healthcare in the next Assembly A new Assembly mandate brings uncertainty around some key issues in Northern Ireland. But one thing is clear – the quality of care for people living with cancer and other long term conditions must not be determined more…

“fair minded and informed observer could not conclude there was a real risk of apparent bias…”

Hey ho, so the former Minister for Health Edwin Poots has won his appeal on the so-called ‘Gay Blood’ issue… There is no basis for the conclusion that the Minister’s decision in this case was predetermined by his Christian beliefs and there is ample evidence to indicate that the Minister approached the decision-making by evaluating the more…

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What can the next NI Assembly do for people living with cancer?

Michael Moore is Policy Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support In a matter of weeks, the Assembly election outcome will be known and elected MLAs will be contemplating their priorities for the next five years. The numbers, needs and experiences of people affected by cancer in Northern Ireland make a powerful case for cancer care remaining more…

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Simon Hamilton takes aim at smoking in cars with children

BANNING SMOKING IN CARS: Simon Hamilton has proposed an amendment to the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) bill which will aim to ban smoking in cars with children. This proposal has been in effective since 1st October in England. I am not totally sure what the penalties will be if you’re caught, but some analysis from when more…

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There seemed to be a Purple glow over the city

Guest Blogger Ann Allan talks about the Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month event at Stormont on Monday November 2nd As a blogger I’m always on the look out for a subject for my next blog. In my case it is usually something witty (hopefully) and the word ‘me’ or ‘I’ comes up quite a lot. As more…

Lovely Annette is gone. The ethical dilemmas of end of life care…

Lovely Annette is gone.   She worked for me 23 years  and over that time not once did I have cause to admonish her.  To my shame she had a few occasions on which to admonish me.    She became the unofficial staff spokesperson willing to raise issues yet keen to seek compromise and almost always did.   more…

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Cartoon – Unionist power play…

In the fallout from the murder of Kevin McGuigan and the decision of Nesbitt to play the strong man the DUP have had to tilt the unionist axis back towards Dundela Avenue, deploying the “in-out” routine as part of he “no business as usual” policy. All this means the health minister has been kept away more…

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How feasible is a 7 day NHS?

So, Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary for England and Wales, wants consultants to work a 7-day week, and is prepared to impose this. Simon Hamilton, the local Health Minister, agrees. This demand is based on there being 6,000 extra and unnecessary deaths (in England and Wales) when patients are admitted at the weekends. This assertion is questionable. more…

Life, death and heartbeats…

The diagnosis of death is mostly straightforward; the medical practitioner looks for somatic, cardio-respiratory and neurological features. Clearly, someone with rigor mortis is dead. Someone with no spontaneous breathing, no heartbeat and no pulse, and whose pupils are fixed and dilated presents the classical features of death. This is usually enough to diagnose most cases more…

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The Duties of a Doctor. Morality and conscientious objection…

Medical practitioners who wish to practice medicine in the UK must by law be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). If you do not practice, you are not required to register. The GMC is a regulatory body which publishes guidance on the ‘Duties of a Doctor’. Much of this is about registration, and practice more…

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