What a week: a new Prime Minister and a new King. Last week, I warned of observations I was making on the Queen’s health, and wrote a brief breakdown of what would happen in the event of her passing. I won’t make a secret of the fact that I did have a feeling that this was to be imminent—perhaps it’s my nursing instinct kicking in—but even I was surprised at the speed of her deterioration. You can’t help wondering if a lot of other ‘bad’ news is being buried along with the late Queen Elizabeth II. With the mainstream media broadcasting royal events wall-to-wall, what news are we missing out on, news maybe that we should be paying attention to?
Am I being cynical in thinking that with the spotlight conveniently off the newly-crowned Prime Minister Liz Truss, there is much more going on in plain sight that we are not meant to know about? I am sure she is enjoying the media spotlight break to settle in. But, constitutionally, is she our Prime Minister? How can a Prime Minister whose Government has not been sworn in by the Privy Council witness and sign the Proclamation of Accession of a King? My wonderful colleague Alex Thomson tells me that there is no distinct oath for a prime minister and that Liz Truss was already a Privy Councillor ex officio as Foreign Secretary under Boris Johnson's premiership, but this remains an odd situation, to say the least.
This week, I will whizz around the news stories that I think may be of interest to you: Terra Carta, prescriptions, dentists, Dr Coffey's ABCD, the NHS, mental health, autism spectrum conditions, national government, a declaration of medical crisis, Jeremy Hunt’s patient safety news; and Fire, Fire!
But first, may I just draw readers' attention to the huge earthquakes that are occurring across the planet? I have been keeping an eye on seismic activity for a number of years. I highly recommend Dutchsinse on Youtube, who is extremely accurate in his information, calculations and predictions. Europe may be worth keeping a close eye on.
Terra Carta (ostensibly meaning either "earth charter" or "world roadmap" in what Alex tells me is ungrammatical cod Latin) was formed in 2021 by the then Prince of Wales, now King Charles III. Please watch UK Column News on Wednesday 14 September for my full report. Have you heard of it before now? I hadn’t, either. Look at who is involved. Look carefully.
Last week, I warned that behind the scenes the Government was busy considering raising prescription charges, with a possible rise in age exemption to 66 years, in line with the state pension. Every year, many claim for free prescriptions when they are not eligible, which is costing the NHS up to £256 million per annum. The National Health Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) and NHS England are launching a ‘check before you tick’ campaign, and are warning that those that are not eligible but are claiming will be hit by fines.
Dentistry on the National Health Service appears to be a thing of the past. While no-one was looking, it has vanished. There are thousands of staff vacancies at British dental practices, and not a lot of people lining up to fill them.
Shockingly, the British Dental Association survey results show that 44% of dentists are looking to increase their private work and 71% would not recommend a career as a dentist. Even more shocking is that a recent Freedom of Information response reveals that between March 2021 and March 2022, out of 24,272 dentists with NHS contracts in England, only 15% of them (4,000) are carrying out even just one course of NHS-funded treatment a month on average!
Dr Coffey’s ABCD of priorities
This is going to be the familiar mantra that we hear from our new cigar-smoking, tippling, self-declared overweight Health Secretary, Dr Thérèse Coffey—the same Dr Coffey who we thought graduated from Somerville College, Oxford. Ah, no. According to the most recent reports, she apparently got asked to leave (British gentlespeak for expulsion) before graduating, on ‘academic grounds’.
Qualifying eventually as a karaoke queen with a PhD in Chemistry from University College, London, she has now attained the dizzy heights of being appointed Secretary of State for Health. Do we trust a chemist to look after us? I don’t.
Dr Coffey’s plans—called the ABCD of priorities—are set to be rolled out after the country is taken out of mourning.
- A = Ambulances
- B = Backlog
- C = Care
- D = Doctors and Dentists.
Details known to the press thus far can be read here, or in this more specialist write-up which notes that my own profession, nursing, is signally missing from the priorities. Dr Coffey is expected to be joined at the hip to Liz Truss, who apparently needs her wing woman more than ever to protect her weakest flank.
The United Kingdom is a country in crisis: not only do we have a wet-behind-the-ears, World Economic Forum-following Prime Minister Liz Truss, but we also have a new monarch in King Charles III, who appears to have become (to borrow a phrase of boyhood ambition from our outgoing Prime Minister, Boris Johnson) world king. At least, that is how the World Economic Forum has long seen him. And all this in the space of 36 hours last week. How fortunate that Prince Harry was in the UK at such a sad time for the family; it seems only yesterday we were celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. You may be interested in the definition of the word ‘jubilee’.
With the country effectively experiencing a news lockdown, and mainstream media carpeting us with coverage of the Royal Family, and with World War 3 on the horizon, a cost of living crisis, an NHS in total collapse, a financial depression and perhaps a general strike and a winter of discontent ahead, I am wondering if this may trigger an emergency ("not another one", I hear you cry!) that could warrant the formation of a national government?
After all, that formation is how the British Establishment responded to similar line-ups of crisis between the Wars, and we were close to having one in the Seventies, too. A government of national unity would, moreover, be a step closer to a one-world government—which, we know, is the ultimate plan.
So what does a national government entail? The last time a National Government was formed was in 1931, precipitated by the Great Depression. The ageing, awkward, notably élitist King (noticing a pattern here?) George V was on the throne at the time, and was consulted by leaders of both the Conservative and Liberal Parties. Here we are again in 2022, and—as what our overlords have heralded as a dark winter approaches—some of us can well imagine an expedient whereby King Charles III, Prime Minister Liz Truss and Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer form an emergency ‘coalition’—in the interests of the country, of course.
National Energy Plan
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy works with the energy industry regulators, sector bodies and other stakeholders to improve and maintain the resilience of the energy infrastructure, networks and assets, to reduce vulnerabilities, and ensure an effective response to actual or potentially disruptive incidents. At least, that is their own blurb.
The minister just appointed to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is Jacob Rees-Mogg, who believes that energy firms should keep their profits and who has no concerns over potential earthquake threats caused by fracking. Interesting and potentially very dangerous times lie ahead. For those who don’t think the UK feels earthquakes, we do.
We must ensure that the monumental legacy of Ian R Crane, just honoured in Alternative View 12, continues. If you are not aware of Ian’s work to stop fracking, please do be sure to watch this short video and share it around.
National Health Service
The 100 Day Challenge is marching along; thus far, the authorities have about two weeks left in which to empty NHS hospitals of as many patients as possible. Launched on 1 July, it must have been conceived by insiders expecting a busy winter. Flu is marching back and will be standing alongside its close relative, Covid-19. Australia’s twindemic is on its way, as we reported back in July. Combined with a cold winter, maybe snow and ice (broken bones), twindemic and a low community immunity to influenza on top of an already immune compromised population, it’s the perfect storm for a National Hell Service.
Where are all these so-called ‘acute bed blockers’ being moved to? Care homes are closing and social care is all but non-existent, yet we are being told that the NHS is on schedule to achieve its targets prior to winter setting in. The new Covid-19 bivalent ‘vaccines’ from both Moderna and Pfizer are now being rolled out to our most vulnerable and elderly quietly, behind closed doors. We are also hearing reports from nursing staff of an increased number of sudden deaths in their patients/residents.
Even more concerningly, we are hearing of younger people being put on accelerated end-of-life care plans, often using intravenous Midazolam and morphine, with little or no involvement from family or the patients themselves. Be assured that you will be hearing more on this subject on UK Column in the very near future.
Cerebrovascular accident (CVA), known to many as a stroke, has been reported as a significant category of serious adverse reaction from the Covid-19 injection. As we know, there is a huge underreporting of MHRA Yellow Cards, so the 2,000 reports thus far received will likely reflect a reality in the tens of thousands of instances. The latest research suggests that getting a flu jab this year will cut your risk of suffering a stroke; however, getting a flu jab with a Covid-19 jab at the same time, as suggested by the NHS, would appear to me to be unadvisable—even if it is in separate arms.
Many anecdotal reports are coming in of how broken the NHS is, sent in by our very well-informed viewers and listeners nationwide, and all appear to be saying similar things: the NHS is dead. For many, just getting an appointment is a feat in itself; yet when you do get to a hospital or health centre, it is fraught with difficulties and illogical rules. The United Kingdom, as far as I am aware, has no pandemic restrictions in place; yet the NHS appears to believe it knows better. Herding patients around difficult one-way systems, wearing masks and observing social distancing is expected now in most hospitals and GP surgeries, yet Covid-19 cases are lessening.
Many are telling us that they feel unwelcome, ignored and fobbed off. Those that do get face-to-face appointments report empty waiting rooms, surgeries that resemble the Marie Celeste, and frosty receptionists who are too busy instructing patients to #BeKind to bother listening to their concerns over their access to any kind of healthcare. Hospitals no longer constitute a safe place for the sick; they feel rather like secure surveillance-driven institutions, more like prisons. More and more viewers are telling us that they don’t want to go to a hospital ever again, no matter how sick or injured they may be, with many opting for a more holistic approach.
I do hope Liz Truss is watering her money tree, considering she has been warned we are facing a £20 billion black hole in the NHS budget.
GP surgeries are warning us to expect a tsunami of demand, as patient contacts are expected to soar by 200%
Hands up if you have heard of Modality Partnership. No? I hadn’t, either. It turns out to be one of the largest GP providers in the UK. But what, I hear you ask, is a GP provider? That’s for another blog! Luckily for us, Modality—which works in tandem with the NHS—is run and founded by Vincent Sai, who reassures us that he can speak both English and Chinese. Is your practice one of their supersurgeries?
Another emergency is on the way, this time in mental health. That being said, haven’t we always had a mental health emergency on our hands? Demand always outstrips supply in such services. With more and more patients and fewer staff and voluntary organisations to cope, I foresee another tidal wave heading our way.
This, in my opinion, is no accident; this is (and will continue to be) a deliberate assault on our sanity. Build baсk better: destroy first, in this instance our mental health. The deliberate, planned attack on our minds has quite simply been staggering. Let’s just take a minute to remember the last three years—yes, it really is nearly three years since we heard those dread phrases, ‘Wuhan virus’ and ‘two weeks to flatten the curve’.
In that short span, we have been lied to, behaviourally modified, frightened, deceived, locked up, assaulted, had our liberty and our dignity removed for no reason. We have been denied our families, friends and colleagues—for what? We have been exposed to war, sorrow, death, fear, anxiety, stress, hardship and information cascades of never-ending emergencies. Our youngsters have been deprived of their most precious years while many of our elderly have had years stolen, and their lives have ended abruptly and alone.
It isn’t rocket science to be able to understand that not being able to pay your bills, wondering where the next meal for your kids is coming from, dreading Christmas, feeling isolated, scared, confused and conflicted will affect our general state of ‘wellbeing’ (a word that government can never define; it is not synonymous with welfare), and that people suffering mental health illness will surpass those with physical illnesses. And who is out there to help? Where is there to go?
Will we all simply be ‘medicated’ courtesy of Big Pharma and biosensors to alert those medicating us that we have been compliant? The Bank of England is warning of recession. How many will take their own lives in desperation? Will we ever know? Medically-assisted suicide is already the sixth commonest cause of death in Canada. Can the Office of National Statistics be trusted to give us honest and accurate data on suicide? I fear there is already a silent suicide pandemic going on around the world that few are taking notice of. Of course, we could just blame Covid-19 and Long Covid. Eye roll.
Awake, asleep, conscious or unconscious, it makes no odds. I don’t believe there is a single one of us who cannot say that at some point they have not felt frustrated, angry, lonely, confused or frightened by what we are witnessing around us at such speed. Are you reassured that our new Prince and Princess of Wales will be championing mental health?
We need to remember to be kind to ourselves as well as others, and consciously remember that we should be prepared for times ahead, not scared about them.
Autism spectrum conditions
As if it wasn’t bad enough already for those with mental health issues, the autistic community is being targeted from all sides, almost by stealth. On a personal level, my expert area is autism, and as a UK Government Advisor for the Department of Health and a member of the Autism Programme Board 2010–2015, I was never backward in coming forward when it came to challenging those in authority.
People with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have been neglected for as many years as I can remember. Many see a diagnosis as another label, whereas others—including myself—see it as an identity and a signal, a blessing. With the right support, autism presents an opportunity to harness the unique gifts that it brings. Despite Britain having an Autism Act 2009 and statutory guidance in place, the autistic community in our nation have never had an official department of their own and have always been lumped in with mental health or learning disability.
Autism is neither of these: it is a standalone neurodevelopmental difference that, if unsupported, can lead to co-existing co-morbid mental health conditions. Autism, despite what many think, is not a ‘learning disability’, although it can be—and often is—associated with one.
Waiting lists for autism spectrum assessments have always been long and unnecessarily so, for both children and adults. The lack of post-‘diagnostic’ support has been perennial, causing many to struggle with trying to understand how this label might manifest in their lives and how to access support or tailored reasonable adjustments when needed.
Now for the new developments.
The Human Connectome Project, funded by Imperial College, King's College (both London) and Oxford University (doesn’t that fill you with confidence?) aims to provide an unparalleled compilation of neural data, an interface to graphically navigate this data, and the opportunity to achieve never-before realised conclusions about the living human brain. Scientific progress is creating the first four-dimensional connectome (digital master view) of early life.
The goal is to create a dynamic map of human brain connectivity from 20 to 44 weeks after conception, which will link together imaging, clinical, behavioural, and genetic information. This unique setting, with imaging and collateral data in an expandable open-source informatics structure, will permit wide use by the scientific community, and allow them to undertake pioneer studies into normal and abnormal development by studying well-phenotyped and genotyped group of infants with specific genetic and environmental risks that could lead to Autistic Spectrum Disorder or cerebral palsy.
With their detailed connectome map of a normal brain, scientists will gain a better understanding of the roots of human neurological disorders, including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, and other baffling conditions that may arise from what they refer to as abnormal “wiring” during brain development (I would disagree with this).
This knowledge, they declare, should yield new and better ways to detect, treat, and, ultimately, prevent the brain disorders that currently disrupt and devastate so many lives. The experiment includes work on pregnant mothers and their unborn babies.
Detecting autism and other conditions early—then what? CRISPR Cas9 gene editing to remove the ‘faulty’ genes? Autism spectrum conditions are costly to the state; perhaps those in control think it would be easier to eliminate these ‘faulty’ genes right from the get-go?
During the plandemic, I was particularly concerned to see reports of those diagnosed on the spectrum as having Do Not Resuscitate (DNR/DNAR) orders placed on them. We began to see what I can only describe as an apparently deliberate culling of those in society not deemed worth saving or that cost a lot to support. Tinkering with genes spells danger in my book, and is ethically and morally completely wrong.
Will prenatal testing and screening for autism be the new ‘normal’? Will autism simply be a thing of the past?
Declaration of medical crisis
Medical doctors and scientists from all over the world declare that there is an international medical crisis due to the diseases and deaths correlated with the administration of products known as “Covid-19 vaccines”.
We are currently witnessing an excess in mortality in those countries where the majority of the population has received the so called “Covid-19 vaccines”. To date, this excess mortality has neither been sufficiently investigated nor studied by national and international health institutions.
The large number of sudden deaths in previously healthy young people who were inoculated with these “vaccines” is particularly worrying, as is the high incidence of miscarriages and perinatal deaths which have not been investigated.
A large number of adverse side effects, including hospitalisations, permanent disabilities and deaths related to the so-called “Covid-19 vaccines”, have been reported officially. The registered number has no precedent in world vaccination history.
Please click this link to read the full declaration and sign it if you agree.
As always, the ‘HARM’ agency (otherwise known as the MHRA) is still central on my radar. It appears that staff are leaving in their droves, and the organisation appears to be surviving in name only. There is more to come, so keep an eye on our home page in the very near future.
Let’s not forget that whilst the masses are concentrating on more royal issues, our elderly are getting boostered unnoticed. How many Yellow Cards will be reported by care home staff? Will we see an increase in the MHRA data, which is now only published once a month—or perhaps the data will vanish forever?
The September board meeting is, as far as I am aware, still scheduled for 20 September, when the UK should be out of a period of official mourning. Those wishing to attend can click here to register.
As the long winter pulls in, I am guessing many are considering how they are going to keep warm this winter. Log fires, I am sure, will be in abundance; anything to keep the thermostat down, or better still, off. With power cuts looming, there comes the added worry of how folk will light their homes when it gets dark. I am sure many of us are old enough to remember the power cuts in the 1970s and the rush on candles.
Candles and open flames spell danger; has anyone else wondered how this may play out, given that the Fire Brigades are threatening to strike this autumn? What Green Goddesses we had left from the Seventies (army-operated strike-breaking fire engines) have been sold off. Worryingly, now we have tower blocks in pretty much every city with faulty cladding. Is there anyone else thinking we may see an increase in fires this winter? Perhaps stock up on lanterns and torches, just in case. Check your smoke detector batteries too, just in case.
Jeremy Hunt's Patient Safety Watch
As our elderly—many helpless in care homes—are at the mercy of those caring for them, we see the new bivalent next generation Covid-19 jab rolled out. All eyes are on the Royal Family whilst many of our most vulnerable, quietly vanish, almost as though they never existed. There has still been no mention from former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who now chairs Parliament's health committee, of the concerns he aired to me personally in a video call regarding Covid-19 vaccination serious adverse reactions. His newsletter can be subscribed to here.
Here are his latest offerings in full, for those of you who would prefer not to sign up or who perhaps have already his latest book—luckily for all of us, he is donating copies of them to all NHS Trusts. What a relief to know he still has his healthy hand on the tiller of the NHS; appropriately, it is called Zero, which appears to represent the amount of ‘trust’ that any of us reading will have in him.
GOOD AFTERNOON and welcome back to my patient safety weekly update after a summer break which has hardly been uneventful for either the NHS or politics (although quieter for me than I was, er, hoping for). This week we take a look at what a new Prime Minister and Health Secretary will mean for health and care policy, NHS England’s new Patient Safety Incident Response Framework, the crisis in urgent and emergency care and next week’s Select Committee session following up on the Cumberlege review.
TIME FOR A COFFEY The big news this week is obviously the appointment of Therese Coffey as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and Deputy Prime Minister. She was the first appointment Liz Truss made to her Cabinet and significantly for the Dept of Health is the Prime Minister’s closest ally having run the Parliamentary stage of her leadership campaign. I have known Therese over many years. She is sensible, pragmatic and approachable so I think will go down well in the NHS. She also has a dry sense of humour and is dab hand at karaoke - I seem to remember venting my frustrations at the height of the junior doctors’ strike by singing Suspicious Minds at one of them which was probably more enjoyable for me than for those listening. Therese has already listed her priorities as ABCD – “ambulances, backlogs, care, doctors and dentists”. Anyway welcome Therese and I hope you enjoy the copy of a rather interesting book called Zero I will be hand delivering to DHSC this afternoon.
TO CUT OR NOT TO CUT the NHS budget to fund social care will be her first big decision. Liz Truss has made clear that more money needs to go to local councils for social care so I expect Therese has been briefed to try and find it through ‘efficiency savings’ in the NHS budget. She will find this incredibly hard because although there is inevitably waste in a budget of just under £200bn, the massive pressure on the frontline will make it very difficult to push through efficiency changes - and looming disputes on pay will create pressure in the opposite direction. Efficiency programmes also take time - the £20 bn ‘Nicholson challenge' was successful - but took five years. But here’s a starter for 10: 13,500 beds costing £400/day are currently occupied by people who could and should be in the social care system where the cost would be just £50-100/day. Sorting that quickly, though, will need some additional money from the Treasury to local authorities. ‘Chancellor I have the DPM on the line…’
URGENT AND EMERGENCY CARE The now former Health Secretary, Steve Barclay updated the House of Commons on the government’s response to the crisis in urgent and emergency care earlier this week. The government has provided an extra £150m to Trusts to help, agreed a £30m contact with St John Ambulance to provide surge capacity, recruited more 999 call handlers, mandated HEE to recruit 3,000 paramedic graduates a year and is trying out new measures to reduce delayed discharges. All sensible stuff and credit to Steve for getting it agreed before he left - but I don’t think anyone believes the problem will now be solved.
PSIRF OFF Sorry couldn’t resist. In an unheralded but important announcement NHS England published their Patient Safety Incident Response Framework last month. For those interested in patient safety it is well worth a read as it sets out how the NHS should respond to such incidents and tries to shift such responses towards understanding how something went wrong. I wrote two chapters in Zero about why the NHS tends not to be good at learning from mistakes: firstly because there is still too much blame culture and secondly because there are so many messages to hospitals from ‘on high’ that they really struggle to know what to prioritise. I hope this will address both of those issues so well done to Aidan Fowler and his team.
VALPROATE SESSION Next week the Select Committee is holding a one off evidence session on the implementation of Baroness Cumberlege’s First Do No Harm report. We’ll cover all aspects of this powerful but disturbing report including the continued use of sodium valproate in pregnancy and vaginal mesh as well as from campaigners who have experienced harm from hormone pregnancy tests. Julia herself will give evidence and we will also have one of the presumably new Health Ministers join us.
COVID LATEST. In our last email before the summer break we reported that 1 in 17 people had the virus. That figure is now 1 in 60 – so the picture has improvement remarkably over August. The dashboard data for the last 7 days is looking good too as cases have decreased by 20%, hospitalisations are down by 14% and deaths also down by 38%. Frontline NHS and care workers, immunosuppressed people, and people aged over 75 will be able to book a COVID booster from next week. The roll out started in care homes this week and should ensure a key boost in protection for the most vulnerable ahead of the winter.
THE INEVITABLE PLUG All NHS Trust Chief Executives and Medical Directors should have now received a copy of my book Zero over the summer in which I offered to visit any trust to do a seminar on patient safety. Please do get in contact if you would like me to visit. And if you have friends or colleagues who care about reducing avoidable harm and death why not get them to sign up to this email here? See you.