Our thoughts and love must first go to those affected in the disastrous earthquake that hit southern Turkiye and northern Syria on 6 February 2023. Thousands of lives were lost in the initial earthquake, with thousands of lives still at risk due to the freezing conditions and destruction of vital infrastructure.
Whilst immediate efforts have been focused on search and rescue, survivors are miraculously still being pulled from the rubble. With health services globally already overwhelmed, providing medical care in the areas affected is proving almost impossible. Ensuring continuous access to basic health services is also critical to mitigate the risk of disease. According to UNICEF, the risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, and dysentery, will be significantly increased.
Waterborne diseases pose another deadly threat to children and families affected. In Syria, a cholera outbreak declared on 10 September 2022 quickly spread across the country, with children especially vulnerable.
Damage to water systems, treatment and distribution facilities, wells, reservoirs and tanks make access to clean water impossible. The risk of contamination can cause outbreaks of hepatitis A, typhoid and polio.
At the time of writing, the death toll has surpassed 25,000 and experts are estimating that figure to double. As the world watches in horror, the realisation dawns on many of us that when disasters such as these happen, there is no immediate aid or help. Communities often find themselves abandoned and alone. Millions are now homeless and there are projections and predictions for more earthquakes to come.
Now onto more local news. Let’s see what’s been happening in the UK.
More hubs are on the way. UK Column News has been reporting on hubs for more than a year. Cancer hubs, gambling hubs, birthing hubs, urgent care hubs and now surgical hubs. A hub, by the way, is defined by Wordnik as ‘a centre of activity or interest; a focal point’.
The NHS proudly announces that ‘hundreds of thousands’ more patients will benefit from NHS treatment by next year, thanks to dozens of new surgical spaces being created. 37 new surgical hubs will be provided. I can’t help but wonder if many of these will be ‘portakabins’ in carparks, as featured on UK Column News. In line with the drive for 15-minute cities, our high streets are also set to change. No more retail stores or nail salons; just hubs—medical hubs.
New operating theatres will be dedicated to elective (planned) surgery, leaving hospitals to deal with emergency care and emergency surgery. The hubs will not be a 24-hour service but a day service, and patients will be expected to return home on the same day. All tests and operations will take place under one roof reducing pressures seen in hospitals from Covid and Flu.
The Targeted Investment Fund (TIF) announced in September 2021 by NHS England that there would be £700 million in national funding, to support schemes that promote ‘recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic’. 600 new beds, dozens of elective theatres and 90 more critical care beds across the country will be funded.
As mentioned in a press release in August 2022:
They will focus mainly on providing high volume low complexity surgery, as previously recommended by the Royal College of Surgeons of England, with particular emphasis on ophthalmology, general surgery, trauma and orthopaedics (including spinal surgery), gynaecology, ear nose and throat, and urology. Located on existing hospital sites, surgical hubs bring together skills and expertise of staff under one roof – reducing waiting times for some of the most common procedures such as cataract surgeries and hip replacements. These operations can be performed quickly and effectively in one place. Improving quality and efficiency will mean patients have shorter waits for surgery, will be more likely to go home on the same day, and will be less likely to need additional treatment after surgery.
End-of-life breakthrough as legal case could mean hospitals have to inform families
The Express covered a story about Tony Stowell, a man who is suing a nursing home which he has claimed put his mother on an end-of-life care protocol without her consent or knowledge. This is groundbreaking litigation and, if successful, could pave the way for thousands of other cases. UK Column is hearing from many who are finding themselves in the same position. Even though Tony’s mum had dementia and lacked mental capacity, the family had to be informed.
As mentioned in the Express article:
Fadi Farhat, a human rights lawyer from Gulbenkian Andonian solicitors who is leading the case, says he has been contacted by many families who say end of life decisions were made without their consent or consultation.
Farhat mentions that:
Under the law there is a presumption to save or prolong life. If a decision is made to put someone on end of life care or issue a DNR they have to consult with the patient or family members.
He concludes by saying:
The case of Antonia Stowell is definitely part of a wider national problem and we have been contacted by scores of families about loved ones being put on end of life care or given DNR orders from different parts of the country.
NHS England wrote off £4.2 million ‘overpayment’ to GPs for childhood immunisations
We are told, on a daily basis, that the NHS is bereft of funds. We are repeatedly told of the wastages in the NHS. Frequently, we are told the coffers are empty, yet a £4.2 million overpayment made by NHS England to GP practices who didn’t meet vaccination ‘targets’ will be written off.
Pulse reports that NHS England, in its annual report, discovered that ‘practices were struggling to hit targets for reasons out of their control.’ Some ‘contractors’ struggled in relation to routine childhood vaccination and immunisation, which resulted in the overpayment.
It was noted that increased vaccine hesitancy (people not coming forward when invited or those declining to accept) could not be predicted, and were therefore out of the practice’s control. Most concerning were reasons such as ‘opportunistic’ vaccinations, when children were present in the practice for another reason, which had reduced during ‘lockup’.
NHS England employ a ‘Branding Agency’ to help cultivate a ‘new personality’
No costings have been revealed as the NHS will attempt to ‘cultivate the right personality’ and to ‘rebuild lost trust’ in the health service. According to the Mail, MPs and campaigners are in uproar and accusing the NHS of ‘frittering away cash’ instead of focusing on improving access to doctors.
With over 7 million on the NHS waiting list and millions of pounds wasted on ‘branding agents’, ‘woke job descriptions’, ‘unnecessary testing of healthy people’ and ‘dodgy contracts’, it is easy to understand why confidence and trust in the NHS is plummeting. Many argue that the money could be far better spent on patients. The British Social Attitudes survey shows that only 36% of respondents said they were satisfied with the NHS. With approval ratings at its lowest since 1997, is there any wonder?
86 million Covid–19 vaccination appointments booked through NHS Online in first two years
NHS England manages the National Booking Service, which was launched in January 2021. Bookings for vaccination could be made online and by using the 119 phone line. By the time you read this, bookings will have closed and anyone who wanted a jab will be too late. Keen to applaud themselves, the NHS boast that the vaccination ‘service’ has been a huge success. I know many who would vehemently disagree.
Restoring sight using wireless power transfers for implantable medical devices
Of the 43 million blind people in the world, most are born with normal vision and sadly go blind during their life through an illness or accident. In the majority of cases, whilst the brain can still interpret electrical signals, the connection between the brain and eye are either damaged or lost entirely.
All that is set to change, thanks to PhD researcher Tom van Nunen, who has designed a wireless energy transfer system in order to connect safely to an implant. The NESTOR project aims to create a visual prosthesis and a brain implant, using wireless data transfer via electrodes, and is currently under development. Whilst it is thought that a wireless connection will be more comfortable, there are concerns over its safety for the user. We appear to be being hurled into the age of miniaturisation.
The NESTOR project is funded by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Their goal is to develop a ‘neuroprosthesis that interfaces with the brain’, allowing a degree of vision where there is serious damage to the eye or the optic nerve. You will be reassured to know that NESTOR receives strong support from Blackrock Microsystems, ATLAS neuroengineering and many others.
AstraZeneca heads for Dublin, but not to make Guinness
This is a big story; however, not many are paying attention to it. Jeremy Hunt is very disappointed that the UK has lost out this time on the construction of a £320 million AstraZeneca factory. The company chose the low-tax Republic of Ireland instead. Originally, there was a plan to build a plant in Cheshire near to an existing site, but unattractive tax rates prompted the switch to Dublin. Perhaps the UK cannot live up to its big claims of being a global super power in life sciences. Is this the canary in the coalmine, showing us that not all is as well as we are led to believe?
Although the application is yet to be approved, it is expected that AstraZeneca will soon be setting up a $360 million manufacturing home in a Dublin suburb. Five stories tall, with over 111,000 square feet of capacity, it will include a chemical materials storage facility and a large laboratory, planned to span four floors.
Creating over 100 new highly skilled jobs for scientists and engineers, the new build is to start construction this April, with an expected operational date in early 2026. An AstraZeneca spokesperson told Endpoints News:
The new plant will allow for late-stage development and early commercial supply, adopting state-of-the-art process technology and digital innovation that is designed to meet the needs of the Company’s new medicines pipeline with speed and agility.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot aiming to launch 15 new drugs by 2030
Whatever happened to the AstraZeneca Covid–19 vaccination launched in the UK and heralded as a ‘game-changer’? Appearing out of nowhere, it appears to have slipped off all of our radars and back into the shadows, almost without anyone noticing, except Pascal Soriot CEO, who admits that Covid–19 product sales have significantly declined.
UK Column regularly keeps in touch with many who, as a result of taking the AstraZeneca injection, are either vaccine-injured or have died. That doesn’t appear to worry Sir Pascal, who appears to be spinning many plates, all at once. Whilst enjoying the company of King Charles and Terra Carta, he is also busy cooking up 15 new pharmaceutical recipes to serve to us all by 2030.
As reported in Endpoints News, AstraZeneca has ambitious new plans, and Soriot is not wasting a second. A total of 30 phase III trial initiations have been planned in 2023 (hardly surprising, given the incentives such as the 100 Day Mission). AstraZeneca’s sales were an eye watering $44.3 billion last year, despite the disastrous Covid sales which fell more than 50% in 2022. The FDA removed AstraZeneca’s antibody combination Evusheld last month because it was found to be ineffective on the vast majority of ‘variants’.
Mental Health illness in NHS staff costing £460 million a year
Strikes, resignations and sickness are all contributing to the huge deficit of staff working within our NHS. Mental health sick pay has doubled from £279 million to £468 million. Reports of doctors suffering with mental health conditions are soaring; anecdotally, we believe the numbers are much higher than being reported. As conditions within the NHS deteriorate at an alarming rate, more strikes are planned by nurses and paramedics.
Just to make matters worse, junior doctors are threatening to strike in March. It is clear to see, the NHS is not fit for purpose:
The data shared with the Independent by GoodShape, an employee well-being and performance analysis company, shows the number of staff sick days increased in 2022 to 12 million from 7.21 million in 2019. That is despite the overall number of people working in the NHS increasing from 1.2 to 1.3 million.
Six figure salaries paid to NHS managers
There are now 36,664 senior bureaucrats employed by the NHS. This is an increase from 33,118 in December 2019. As waiting lists grow, MPs are questioning why. Sir John Redwood, a senior Conservative MP, has already asked the government how many of those managers are earning over £100,000. According to the Mail, the CEO of NHS England, Amanda Pritchard, earns up to e£260,000, an increase of £60,000 from that of her successor.
Pfizer switchs focus to Antimicrobial Resistance
UK Column has been reporting on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) for over a year. The World Health Organisation have declared that AMR is one of the top global public health threats facing humanity. An issue requiring urgent attention from the world, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials, is being blamed.
Actually, there has been little or no new antibiotic research since the 1970s. In last week’s blog, I wrote that a new super-strength experimental antibiotic is on its way, courtesy of GlaxoSmithKline.
Now, it seems Pfizer is scaling down its attention on Covid–19 and focusing on AMR. With the NHS in a state of collapse, Pfizer is racing to our assistance to break the cycle of ill health that apparently holds back the economy. Little consideration is being given to the millions who have suffered serious adverse reactions—or worse, died—as a result of taking their experimental ‘vaccine’.
Susan Rienow was appointed UK Managing Director and Country Manager for Pfizer. Employed by Pfizer for 20 years, she supported the UK Vaccines Taskforce and UK Health Security Agency during the 2021–2022 Autumn/Winter booster campaign. She launched the paediatric formulation of the Covid–19 vaccine. She has also worked in collaboration with the UK Government and other UK stakeholders on AMR.
We have a once in a generation opportunity coming out of the pandemic to try to break the cycle of ill health that holds back the economy, the NHS and the health of the population. The key to that is prevention, we don’t have enough hospital beds for all the patients who need them.
Pfizer’s public profile was raised when it introduced Viagra, an erectile dysfunction pill. It is also infamous in failing to buy AstraZeneca in 2014 for £69 billion. Pfizer chose not to take government support but to make a profit on its Covid–19 vaccine, whilst AstraZeneca partnered with Oxford University and agreed to only cover costs for the duration of the pandemic. Pfizer has made huge profits and received $75 billion in vaccine sales and a further $18.9 billion from Paxlovid, its Covid–19 antiviral pill.
It was only last month that Pfizer’s Chief Executive Officer, Albert Bourla, was challenged and questioned by new media reporters when he was spotted walking in Davos. Since then, social media has been buzzing with the ironic tagline #ThanksPfizer. But Susan Rienow has a cunning plan to combat AMR, which includes a convenient new funding method with the UK Government whereby Pfizer is paid an annual subscription for antibiotics as opposed to volume used.
Concerned that the UK is falling down industry league tables despite having set out a vision to become a life sciences global superpower, Dame Kate Bingham and GlaxoSmithKline CEO Emma Walmsley share her concerns. So the question remains, does the UK have the ability to remain a dominant force in research and pharma? The jury is currently out.
Birds are still in ‘lockup’ following avian flu—mutations in mammals
Just in case anyone has forgotten, we are still in the middle of a global avian flu outbreak. Thus far over 208 million birds worldwide have died from H5N1, or have been culled. Great Britain is in an avian influenza ‘prevention’ zone (AIPZ), which means that bird owners must follow strict biosecurity rules to stop bird flu from spreading. In England and Wales, all birds are to be housed indoors.
The scientist heading the fight against Avian flu, Professor Ian Brown, head of virology at the Animal and Plant Health Agency, has called for a vaccine to be developed at pace. This, he suggests, would bolster human defences against H5N1. Are we to be surprised that another jab is being considered?
As ‘scientists’ get concerned that a ‘mutation’ is causing a ‘spillover event’, I write that, with tongue in cheek, The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reported in December that it had been told by the Apha that some otters and foxes had tested positive for avian flu. They were thought to have eaten infected birds infected with the ‘virus’. In October 2022, a Spanish mink farm raised alarms when mink were found to be infected with H5N1.
It is being reported that the mutation in mink made it easier for the virus to affect mammals. Virologist Tom Peacock from Imperial College London has been quick to warn us that there is a clear mechanism for an H5 pandemic to start. You wait decades for one pandemic; then, all of a sudden, another could be just around the corner. Perhaps this is a suitable time to remind readers of Bill Gates and the ‘Catastrophic Contagion’.
NHS Staff with long Covid risk losing their job as support is cut off
As many as 10,000 NHS workers with long Covid, currently off sick, now face losing their jobs as Ministers cut off their support. Normal sick pay rules had been suspended for all frontline staff under a Covid Special Pay Scheme, but who knew one of those existed? However, it was short-lived, and from September 2022 the rules were reverted back to standard sick pay rules. With over 130,000 NHS vacancies, another exodus of trained staff due to sickness will only exacerbate the already serious situation.
We do still have choice
Whilst much of the news in the mainstream media is full of tragedy, disasters, poverty, sickness and war, many of us are now, finally, witnessing others starting to see all we have been warning of. But are you fed up with trying to seed information to people you care about, only to have them turn away, disinterested? Perhaps you are living with someone who has the polar opposite opinion to yourself. Division and discontent drives fear and anxiety.
Whilst the news, in the main, is mostly doom and gloom, in real life there is a lot we can do that will shift that negativity away. I would like to offer some suggestions that will give us some new alternatives—other avenues we hadn’t investigated further or maybe because we just didn’t know they existed.
Many people think all of our choices have been removed, and many others think choice is a thing of the past. Yet we do still have the right to choose, and no one can take that away. For choices that appear to have disappeared, let’s try to replace them. But how?
Do you remember the Chronicles of Narnia—The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis? It tells of four children who found a wardrobe with a door at the back that took them to a totally new kingdom, one they never even knew existed. I bet there are a few of you wishing you could find a secret door that will take you out of the current chaos surrounding us. Wish no more; it is possible.
The hypothetical door in my wardrobe led me to a whole new world. No lions, ice queens or mythical creatures, but herbs—in abundance! A beautiful green, aromatic and rich environment with many amazing healing properties, too many to list. Not only was there a plethora of botanical beauty, but in attendance were those who tended to them and knew how to use them, to keep others well, and how to use them to heal and cure the sick.
The herbal angels are called Medical Herbal Practitioners (MHPs). I will be exploring much more of this beautiful world. If you would like to join me as I learn, please keep an eye on the UK Column website over the next few days.
Currently, in the United Kingdom, the allopathic ‘health’ system is called the National Health Service (NHS). The majority of the population will automatically seek advice or help from an allopathic doctor working within the NHS. The NHS is the first and only option to many of us, until now. As the NHS collapses in front of our eyes, many do not feel safe within it and would prefer to avoid it. Perhaps we should all be making ‘Living Wills’ or, as the NHS calls them, an Advanced Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT).
Parents should be aware that once they consult a doctor within the NHS, if a diagnosis is made, that child appears to become the sole responsibility of the physician in charge. If a parent challenges the system, protocol or medication régime or even questions the professionals, they are often regarded as ‘troublemakers’, ‘pushy parents’ or even ‘abusive parents’.
I had the privilege of interviewing Tracey, mum to eight-year-old Ethan, who tragically passed away in January 2022. The interview with Tracey will shortly be up on the UK Column website and will be available to subscribers first. Please share it, if you are a parent, as it could be the most important interview you will have ever watched. The choices are there; you just need to know where to look.
As always, don’t be scared, be prepared. Every dot needs joining, but don’t rely on anyone other than yourself to join those dots. Find your own truth, do your own research and question everything.
Until next week,
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18