Thursday, 30 April 2009

We have a winner!

I have just seen my first person wearing a face mask, and no they weren't surgeons. Do I win a prize?

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Swine Flu

Thought I would throw in my twopence worth. Why is there such a carry on about swine flu when outside of Mexico people who do have it have a minor illness rather than full blown flu? I am not at work today but I know that there has been a big rise in admissions with respiratory problems already. The scaremongering has started - read any tabloid newspaper. There have been epidemics before in UK within living memory, foot and mouth disease and of course the Aberdeen Typhoid outbreak all of which we coped with.

Just read that there has been a death in USA, don't know if it has been confirmed as swine flu yet.
Can I give a bit of advice to anyone who wants to listen? Watch this and remember that public health is in the hands of the public - hands which should be washed. How many times have you been on a bus or in a public place and someone has sneezed or coughed everywhere? When I was a boy in 50's and 60's there were notices everywhere stating that coughs and sneezes spread diseases, we knew what to do. Now people just sneeze, sometimes I get the feeling that some people want to see how far it will spread and how many others they can contaminate. So, is there a case for criminalising sneezing? Will coughing attract a jail sentence? If the situation gets worse and people are catching flu, how long before someone sneezing or coughing in public without using a handkerchief will run the risk of summary justice from bystanders?
OK, a bit of fanciful thinking but.........
Just wait until someone sneezes down the back of your neck.

On a personal note, please stay away from your local A&E department, if you have flu you will only contaminate more people - including me. Contact NHS 24 or NHS Direct or your own GP.
Back at work later this week, will try to remember to write and tell you if the workload was increased because of this pandemic.

Late update.
Appears that the death in the USA was caused by swine flu and according to the news children in Paignton are being given Tamiflu as one of their friends caught the bug while on holiday in Mexico.
As far as I can tell we still don't have anyone seriously ill and it still seems to be associated with holidaymakers who were in Mexico.
News at 6 showed the first victim of the disease - he looked remarkably fit and well.

Saturday, 25 April 2009


I have a question for you, a bit of an ethical dilemma. I patient came in the other day with a fairly nasty limb injury. Nothing unusual in that you think, but he was dressed in work overalls and was dirty from working. OK, that is what you would expect, but when he was asked what his occupation was he stated he was unemployed. Now, my question is this, can I report him? I really want to, he is sponging off the state and getting money for working and it pisses me off that I am paying taxes which will get even larger to subsidise this thief. And he is a thief because he is stealing from you and me and every other taxpayer. However, according to the rules I have to treat him the same as everyone else, not judge him and certainly not report him.

I was watching the programme "The Hospital" the other night and it was about obesity and the treatment of obesity. It showed a couple who were to put it politely, huge. She was on the list for a gastric band and her partner who was even larger, was not. What got to me was that both of them were on Disability Living Allowance as they were too fat to work. Now this couple were able to walk the streets and go to McDonald's and even have a sex life as they had a child. So how are they disabled? Yet again I am being forced to pay for people who don't contribute and expect everything handed to them.

Monday, 20 April 2009


I have been missing for a while as I have had no internet access - my computer broke and I had to get a new one and then I struggled to set up my internet.

Margaret Haywood is a nurse who did undercover filming for television and has now been struck off by the NMC for breaching patient confidentiality. This means that all health care professionals are at risk of being struck off if they tell the public what is happening - management really don't want you to know how bad your local hospital is. This includes bloggers, so I have been unable to write much recently as (apart from no internet) I have been unable to find things which were anonymous enough to not be recognisable.
The RCN is fighting for her and there is an online petition to help her available here please sign it, every little helps.
Unfortunately Margaret was always going to be struck off, this is not new and I have blogged before about how shabbily Graham Pink was treated 20 years ago and nothing has changed.