Welcome to another week of news that cannot be fitted into the main UK Column News. Sadly, I cannot cover even a small proportion of the health news, coming out so fast as it is. What follows is just the tip of a very sizeable iceberg.
An update on Unvaccinated, the BBC hatchet job
I have tweeted Professor Hannah Fry directly with a link to the UK Column interview of Professor Norman Fenton. We have invited her to respond; thus far, she has not replied. We are sad that we have not even had the acknowledgement of a reply, given that the Professor is so confident in the data she has been reporting. We are delighted to be in contact with one of the participants of the documentary, and plan to report more on this in the future. Meanwhile, we believe Professor Fry is ensconced in the USA filming her next fakeumentary.
Unvaccinated has revealed far more than I believe was the intention of the BBC. What we are seeing is bigger than the vaccine hesitancy that was the ostensible production focus of the programme. I am observing a general mistrust of science, academics, doctors, nurses and government. More and more openly voice their apprehensions about the NHS and the medical professionals within it. Many have said—and I include myself here—that those of us not wishing to use the NHS should carry a disclaimer and perhaps wear a bracelet to indicate that we do not consent to NHS treatment.
In the UK, we have no choice anyway—in the case of an emergency, there is nowhere else to go, and we have been told formally that we can never opt out of the NHS while living in Britain—but of course that is the intention. Was the birth of the NHS always just a way to seduce us into thinking we have the best health system in the world, when in fact it was never designed for our wellbeing in the first place? If the NHS was such a good model, why has no other country adopted it?
Here in the UK, we are seeing signs of restrictions already. Mask requirements for hospitals and health centres, with social distancing, are also already in place. This is curious and somewhat comical, given that we are being told that cases of Covid are on the wane. The NHS continues to be overwhelmed and the ambulance service inundated. As most of my countrymen focus on the Commonwealth Games and the Tory leadership contest, I am keeping my eyes on other things, including the forthcoming autumn vaccination drive for an expected ‘twindemic’ of flu and Covid, as we are already hearing of from Australia (see below).
Although the weather is about to turn colder, I am expecting the situation to turn hot, both literally and metaphorically. As autumn draws in, so do the threats of power cuts, food shortages, health crisis, cost of living crisis, and a goods distribution nightmare. Prepare, in the words our overlords have been known to utter lately, for a ‘dark winter’. This short window of sham ‘freedom’ that we have all been enjoying recently is about to come to an end.
Mental illness is skyrocketing. We all know why. The effects and consequences of lockdowns, lost business, lost jobs, stress, grief and fear have all played their part; but where are the mental health wards? We know the system was broken before the pandemic, with many patients being sent to out-of-county beds hundreds of miles from home away from their families and friends, in arrangements that sometimes drag on for years.
Currently, patients experiencing a mental health crisis (including suicidal patients and those hearing voices) and in desperation going to Accident and Emergency are having to wait three weeks for a bed. A government inspection has found that patients were having to remain in a side room with no natural light, TV or radio for an average of 52 hours, and a maximum of two to three weeks, before being moved somewhere more suitable. In my own county of Cornwall, 865 patients waited up to two days for a bed over a two-day period. The NHS is in total collapse.
In the domain of mental health services for minors, we are told that 4,500 people have joined the NHS Children’s mental health team in England, 40% more than before Covid. These new recruits include ‘psychological practitioners’ specifically to help teenagers (13- to 17-year-olds) with severe mental health illness. The ‘practitioners’ will offer assessments, coping strategies, and support in the community.
Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner apprenticeships are open to anyone. The training programme is 45 days within one academic year, with the time split between the university participating and direct learning days in the workplace. It is advertised as a fantastic opportunity for those without an Honours degree who are passionate about improving the lives of people with common mental health difficulties, have life experience, and are looking to contribute to the local community. (Can anyone detect a faint whiff of virtue signalling in this vacuous job description?)
More and more in British society, I am noticing less-qualified personnel being charged with performing more complex tasks. We can see this in nursing, with Health Care Assistants; in the constabularies, with Police Community Support Officers taking over more work from sworn constables; in dentistry, with dental practitioners standing in more frequently for dentists; and in treatment, with ‘noctors’ (note that the ‘n’ stands for not; not for nurse) doing doctors’ work. Who is charged with taking responsibility for us?
Tavistock splits up
The NHS is shutting down the Tavistock transgender clinic, the only clinic in the country that would agree to perform chemical castration in some cases, after a case review found it was ‘not safe’ for children. The work performed by Tavistock, which has a long pedigree, will not disappear entirely, though. It is thought that referrals will be sent to regional centres for a more holistic approach.
Antimicrobial resistance: Antibiotics, antivirals, antiparasitics
The World Health Organisation has deemed antimicrobial resistance one of the top ten threats facing humanity. Former Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, is the UK Envoy for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). AMR is a hot topic and one we should not allow to fall off our radars. It will have implications for all of us. The SPARS Pandemic 2025–2028 was a futuristic scenario of a pandemic caused by a coronavirus, conducted by Johns Hopkins University, and the scenario planners warned of severe antibiotic shortages.
UK Column has been warning of continuing shortages of medicines—including special mention of the uncertain future of antibiotics—for over a year. Antimicrobials are a family of pharmaceuticals including antibiotics, antivirals, and antiparasitics (such as Ivermectin). There has been virtually no research into new antibiotics and we continue to rely on those that we have become familiar with and have learned to trust. We are all only too familiar with the Ivermectin availability scandal.
The big question is: why would belt-and-braces medicines with pretty good efficacy and safety records be phased out, considering that safety record is exactly the opposite of what the MHRA is currently dishing out to us? How many of us have heard of penicillin, amoxycillin, doxycycline? Most of us have, but that is set to change. Get used to the term ‘antimicrobial resistance’ instead, which is what occurs when bacteria, fungus, viruses and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
So if traditional antiparasitics and antibiotics are to vanish, what happens to the antiviral family of medicines? Antivirals differ fundamentally from antibiotics, which destroy the pathogen in its tracks. Antivirals target a specific virus and inhibit its development. Example of antivirals include those prescribed against HIV and Herpes zoster. Like antibiotics, antivirals have been around since the 1950s and 1960s, but their use was really to come to the fore in the 1980s. Now, in 2022, antivirals have been remodelled and the new concepts are being rolled out globally. Covid-19 has seen a rapid and worrying rise in usage of Remdesivir, Paxlovid and Molnupiravir, with many injuries and deaths attributed to them.
Viruses are changing. ‘Super-variants’ are here to stay, but they won’t respond to traditional antimicrobials, and we will need a whole new genre of pharmaceuticals. The toolbox will include CRISPR Cas9, otherwise known as gene editing. Think of it as a microscopic pair of scissors which can snip away at your DNA. There are many ethical concerns over this ‘science’. This is a huge story to keep an eye on. We are at the critical stage, and the situation is not set to improve. Those with osteoporosis, Parkinson’s and dementia may be particularly heavily impacted.
NHS and social care are beyond repair
The NHS is broken, all but destroyed. All we have left is a skeleton of its former self, and even that is crumbling. Staff shortages caused by a haemorrhage of resignations during Brexit and Covid, combined with a high sickness absence rate, are making the NHS a downright unsafe place to be.
While the NHS Confederation urges an immediate pay rise for social care workers, it fails to realise that the infrastructure is too broken to repair. With the closures of many care homes and an exodus of care workers leaving the profession, the unpalatable truth is that we have no social care for those that need it. Often, the pressures of caring fall on the family (as a forthcoming UK Column interviewee from London will testify), but for those without that support, what is to be done?
The 100 Day Challenge issued on 4 July, to discharge patients as quickly as possible, is concerning, given that care homes cannot just sprout from the soil to deal with the surge of demand. Does this mean the 100 Day Challenge is unachievable, or is there something more sinister at play? Do you feel safe putting your life in the hands of the NHS?
Covid-19 vaccination drive and Evusheld
Great news: the summer wave of Covid appears to be over. Only one in twenty are now said to have the virus, although I am not sure how anyone could know that, given that mass testing is no longer required. It would be interesting to know the difference between a summer coronavirus (of the common cold family) and Covid-19. I can recall many summers experiencing a ‘summer flu’. This is, according to data (of which most is flawed), the first time that infections have dipped since the start of June; sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 are the Omicron culprits.
It is therefore hard to comprehend why there should be a need for the heralded big vaccination drive this autumn for both Covid-19 and Flu. Yet Pfizer and Moderna have tweaked their respective shots to accommodate the current situation, and are eager to get it from lab to arm.
AstraZeneca, on the other hand, would prefer you didn’t get Covid-19 at all. ‘Fortuitously’ for all of us, they have a prophylactic injection lined up. Behold AstraZeneca's Evusheld, said to stop the ‘virus’ mutating. It is an investigational medicine, which means it is still being studied. There is limited information known about the safety and effectiveness of using Evusheld for pre-exposure prevention of Covid-19 (prophylaxis). It is allowed to be used in adolescents of 12 years and older, and adults.
Evusheld will also be administered to people who have suffered a serious adverse reaction to a Covid-19 vaccine or one of its ingredients.
It has been authorised by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorisation (EMA) and by the MHRA under its equivalent, although—considering we are no longer in a state of emergency—I am failing to understand the logic behind this. I would expect the autumnal refrains as to who must be given these injections to include the most vulnerable in society, those who are immunocompromised and those who have cancer, to ‘keep them safe’.
Evusheld is a monoclonal antibody containing Tixagevimab and Cilgavimab. It will be given in a course of two consecutive injections. Those accepting it will be told that due to the existence of different variants, they will need reinjecting every six months.
It's great to know that AstraZeneca is enjoying huge sales growth of more than 20% this year and that doctors are highly eager to prescribe Evusheld and make it available to the great unjabbed and those deemed vulnerable.
So, given Covid cases are dwindling, why all the fuss? Or are we supposed to be expecting something else? I suspect we have more fear and propaganda to come.
Professor of life discovers the cold
Haven’t had a good night’s sleep? Woken up feeling grotty? Coming down with a sore throat? Can we place our faith in the ‘science’ or the ‘scientist’ who reports this new discovery, that sounds remarkably like a ‘cold’?
Remember Professor Tim Spector? He has been highlighted before on UK Column News. For those that are hearing of him for the first time, Professor Spector is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College, London. Even more concerning is that he is Director of Twins UK, a registry based at St Thomas’ Hospital. This twins registry is one of the richest collections of genotypic and phenotypic information on twins worldwide. Experiments with twins are not new.
Professor Spector appears to have his hands on a lot of unique data. The ZOE Project is the largest in-depth nutrition study there is, and the world’s largest study of Covid. Zoe happens to be the Greek word for ‘life’, by the way.
Professor Spector insists that if you are experiencing any symptom and have no explanation for it, you must assume it's Covid-19. Do you trust him?
Many suffering with ‘long Covid’ are being warned against going abroad in search of ‘blood-washing treatments’. Cyprus, Germany and Switzerland are the destinations proving most popular for those looking for a ‘blood filtering system’ and ‘anti-clotting therapy’. This is a familiar treatment choice that I am also hearing from vaccine injury victims who are finding this helpful in managing their symptoms.
In the 1970s and 1980s, 2,400 people died and 30,000 became severely ill as a result of contracting HIV or Hepatitis C after receiving contaminated blood and blood products. An Infected Blood Inquiry on the matter was launched in 2020. Last week, Sir Brian Langstaff, the chairman of the inquiry, recommended that the level of interim compensation for each victim should be £100,000 at a minimum.
This sum currently has the status of guidance, and thus far the Government has not made an announcement on compensation. If the guidance is followed, the estimated cost would be £400 million for the 4,000 survivors, and any compensation to the orphans of parents lost to the scandal would not be covered.
Worryingly, the Blood Transfusion Service is not screening vaccinated people when they offer themselves as donors, and there are many concerns from experts as to the consequences. Is a horrendous episode of recent history about to repeat itself?
Spike protein from Covid-19 causes heart damage
Does anyone else share my scepticism about this revelation? Of course, it couldn’t possibly be the spike protein generation as a result of mRNA that could be causing the problem? Science at its worst? When in doubt, blame Covid-19; it categorically could not be attributed to the ‘vaccine’ (gene technology).
As cases of myocarditis, heart damage and clots continue to be reported via the Yellow Card scheme after injections, it is plain that the professionals responsible are either lacking in intelligence or deliberately ignoring the data, which is real, albeit scant. How convenient. I wonder how many of those with heart damage have had the injections.
Interestingly, Sky's coverage of this ends with the quotation:
But the researchers caution that the mechanisms they detected for how the virus causes damage may not be the entire picture and that there are more questions to be answered.
I agree, there are far more questions to be answered including the effects of the injection which should stopped immediately and addressed with urgency.
Not another jab?
Does the common cold require a vaccine? As if we haven’t got enough jabs to look forward to, here comes another! Scientists are close to rolling out a ‘universal vaccine’ that will tackle Covid-19 and the common cold. It appears that our immune systems have been all been bypassed and can no longer deal with something as simple as a common cold. Why should the common cold suddenly become so dangerous?
The Francis Crick Institute in London has announced the discovery of a ‘pan-coronavirus’ jab. Institute staff admit that this in itself is a huge challenge; however, I would question whether such a ‘challenge’ ever warranted being met. A common cold keeps the immune system busy and reinforces our antibodies; why would anyone want to destroy healthy immune systems, or at best bypass them? Crick's response, as I understand it, would be that it is possible to be infected multiple times with different variants and that a universal vaccine would trigger antibodies that can recognise multiple coronaviruses, stopping them from replicating. I would respectfully challenge the perceived need for this.
Another public counter closed for good
This time, it is Companies House that is to shut its doors forever. Since the Covid-19 lockdown, it appears there is another ‘transformation’ taking place, literally behind closed doors.
Plans are now underway to digitalise Britain's company registration system, supposedly removing the need for any walk-in service.
Free childcare for military families
Service families with children aged between 4 and 11 will benefit from ‘wraparound’ childcare. More than 20,000 service children will be eligible for 20 hours per week of free childcare before and after school, during term time.
This provision is estimated to save serving personnel around £3,000 per child per year. The scheme, which was initially piloted in 2020, was said to have benefited 1,900 children and has now been expanded.
The Ministry of Defence has also introduced flexible working arrangements and have expanded its offerings to cohabiting couples by helping them get onto the housing ladder.
Why would we need a defibrillator in every English state school? Are we to expect a rise in cardiac arrests in schools?
Supporting the campaign for defibrillators in schools, Jamie Carragher, a Liverpool footballer, teamed up with Mark King, who created the Oliver King Foundation in 2011 when his son suffered a cardiac arrest in a swimming race. Had there been a defibrillator at his school, it is thought his life could have been saved.
Several studies have been conducted which appear to show that cardiac arrests in schools count for a tiny percentage of incidents. Indeed, it appears that most of the recorded victims of cardiac arrest at a school have been either staff or visitors not employed by the school.
This prompts the question: why now? Are we to expect to see a rise in Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) in schools? With the increasing numbers of vaccine-induced myocarditis, we must ask ourselves whether the timing of this government initiative is connected to the Covid-19 vaccine.
‘Extremism’ in schools
The Home Office (Britain's interior ministry) has confirmed the appointment of Robin Simcox, who has been Interim Commissioner for Countering Extremism since 2021.
What is ‘extremism’? Are those who speak the truth and have a different view to the Government narrative considered extremists? Is this an WHO policy? And is Mr Simcox watching us?
The Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE) is formally a non-statutory expert committee of the Home Office which operates independently and advises the Government and external partners on new policies to deal with these threats.
In his commissariat acceptance statement, Simcox said (emphasis in final sentence added):
Our remit at the Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE) is simple: support society in fighting all forms of extremism.
In its short history, the CCE has made a good start. But I also know that there is much more to do.
The first order of business when I was appointed Commissioner on an interim basis was to provide the Home Secretary with a vision and a structure for the CCE’s next phase of operations, building upon the work done by my predecessor, Sara Khan.
This next phase must be built upon maximising the CCE’s ability to advise and scrutinise the government’s approach to countering extremism. The CCE must do so while helping lead the conversation on contentious topics—whether that is terrorism, freedom of speech, or integration and cohesion—both inside and outside of government.
Prison schools—the ‘right thing to do’
In case it slipped by without anyone noticing, I note that the UK’s ‘secure school’ concept was launched last week. The first is to be completed in the Medway local authority area in Kent by 2024.
Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab MP, said:
This secure school is a first. It’s effectively a school with prison walls around it that will give the stubborn hard core of young offenders, who need to be in custody, the tailored curriculum and mental health support they need to turn away from crime and get into training and work.
It’s the right thing to do for them and the public, driving down reoffending, and making our streets safer.
The design of the new school is based on international, peer-reviewed research which shows that smaller settings, high-quality education and healthcare provision, and a specialised workforce of teachers and youth workers are vital to successfully rehabilitating young people in custody.
The old prison-style features at Medway have been stripped out and the finished site will look like a residential school rather than a custodial facility, within secure prison walls.
It will house 49 children when full, and will include state-of-the-art, bar-less windows as well as the latest secure in-room technology which will allow children to continue homework and projects in their rooms, organise their routines and contact their families in a safe and secure way.
Construction work will continue until autumn 2023 when the site will be handed over to specialist education provider and operator Oasis Restore, with the first pupils expected to arrive in 2024.
MHRA misses performance targets
The MHRA—or, if you recombine its acronym, HARM—has missed multiple performance targets for the 2021–2022 financial year due to resource constraints. Brexit, of course, is being blamed. ‘Grandfathering’ is the term that has become standard for the ongoing conversion of all EU marketing authorisations to British authorisations, a much-vaunted policy which quite clearly has failed spectacularly in practice. The MHRA is keen to say that it is clearing the authorisations backlog. Its Chief Finance Officer, Jon Fundy, interestingly left his post in May 2022.
The agency proclaims:
The MHRA is looking to its new organisational structure to improve performance against other targets, such as the 80-day goal of assessing applications to market new active substances 97% of the time.
To update readers on a previous MHRA issue, as of the time of writing, there have been no replies to my questions posed as a public participant in the April and June MHRA board meetings. My complaints go unanswered. I have now sent an e-mail to CEO Dame June Raine, giving her until 5 pm on 1 August to provide me with answers. I have informed her that if I don’t hear back from her, I will take it that she has no answers and that we should not take MHRA advice but that of our own experts.
I am not holding my breath.
Women having to go private to get HRT
Women are flocking to private practitioners to get help with their menopausal symptoms. The main reason for doing this is general dissatisfaction with the NHS and ever-growing waiting lists.
A second monkey pox death has been announced in Spain. According to reports, there have been 120 hospitalisations in Spain of patients with monkey pox. The latest victim was said to have underlying health conditions. I would like to know what proportion of monkeypox victims are vaccinated.
John O'Looney's latest
The independent Milton Keynes undertaker whom we have previously interviewed has now voiced extremely grave concerns about baby deaths.
The twindemic rages on in Australia, with reported cases of Covid-19 and flu on the rise. There is a big drive in the country to push the flu jab. Watch Australia; what happens there will happen here.
As the rest of the world wrestles with rising Covid cases, health systems in meltdown and the war in Ukraine rages on, I am keeping my eyes on China. A million people in a suburb of Wuhan are under strict lockdown measures. China follows a zero Covid strategy that includes very strict isolation rules, local lockdowns and mass testing. Whilst this has been reported as resulting in far fewer deaths, there is growing opposition to the measures, and tensions are reported as rising.
Thousands of container ships and tankers remain log jammed off the Chinese coast. This is having a severe impact on the supply chain, and explains much of why we are seeing shortages globally.
DNA: the genetic panopticon
We are all suspects in a DNA line-up, waiting to be matched.
For those who have forgotten what a panopticon is, the concept goes back to the ideas of Jeremy Bentham. It is a type of prison that keeps the inmates under control at the cheapest cost to the state. It was envisaged as, and was actually built in several countries as, a circular structure with as tower in the middle to house the watchmen in the hub—the prison officers and warders. The inmates are unable to see them, but more importantly, the design allows them to see all prisoners at a glance. In the 1790s, Bentham wrote:
It is obvious that [...] the more constantly the persons to be inspected are under the eyes of the persons who should inspect them, the more perfectly will the purpose X of the establishment have been attained. Ideal perfection [...] would require that each person should actually be in that predicament, during every instant of time.
This being impossible, the next thing to be wished for is that, at every instant, seeing reason to believe as much, and not being able to satisfy himself to the contrary, he should conceive himself to be so [...]
The essence of it consists, then, in the centrality of the inspector's situation, combined with the well-known and most effectual contrivances for seeing without being seen.
How does that utilitarian ukase translate into what we are seeing today?
There has been no secret made over recent years of the fact that our overlords' intention was to watch each and every one of us, but not through AI or CCTV. This was to be surveillance of our bodies, our brains, thoughts, emotions, behaviour and risk to disease and sickness. The Genetic Panopticon is not a new concept; it has been talked of for many years. In 2022, we find ourselves in the midst of a real-time data harvest, the like of which we have never witnessed before. Billions globally have been surrendering their genetic data to their governments willingly and voluntarily, but are they aware of the hidden agenda that lurks beneath?
A nasopharyngeal swab for your safety appears so innocent. However, DNA data and technology innovations in the hands of our governments translates into a surveillance state. Of course, we will be told this is in our best interests, that there is a need to guard against threats, pandemics, civil unrest and terrorism. Whatever clichés are trotted out, soon your government will know everything about you and there will be no way back. There will be nowhere to hide.
We have been warning on UK Column News of potential water shortages looming in the near future. As infrastructure advisors call for a national hosepipe ban and compulsory water metering, England has recorded its driest July in 111 years. The National Infrastructure Committee (NIC) is warning that consumers could face bottled water queues from the back of lorries if consumption is not managed now.
Clearly, the water industry is one that has been neglected for decades. Privatisation of the water industry has led to a collapse of the most important resource in the world. It should be remembered that whilst consumers will be limited, it is the fault of the water industry as a whole that, according to a report from the Consumer Council for Water, we lose three billion litres of water (660 million gallons) a day to leakage from British pipes.
Keep a close eye on the water industry. New innovations and plans to recycle waste water are coming to a location near you. As you would expect, Bill Gates has got his fingers in that pie, too—with the toilet that needs no sewers.
Articles of interest
The Health and Care Act 2022 – Challenges and priorities for embedding research in the NHS (The Lancet)
BBC – When film and TV got the future spot-on (BBC Bitesize), an interesting trip back in time to see how accurate their predictions of what see today are.
Excerpts from Jeremy Hunt's newsletter
The last few items in this blog are very lightly-edited excerpts from the newsletter of House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee chairman Jeremy Hunt.
Infected blood scandal
Hunt has given evidence to the public inquiry that Theresa May and he announced in July 2017, which is looking at the horrific circumstances in which thousands of people (mainly haemophiliacs) were given infected blood in the 1970s and 1980s—which meant they contracted HIV and Hepatitis C. Hunt told the inquiry there was an institutional closing of ranks and a failure of democracy, because although it now seems clear that a deliberate decision was taken to play Russian roulette with people’s lives, the establishment covered it up for decades. You can watch most of it here and read the full transcript here.
Hunt notes that this was personal for him, because when he was a backbench newly-elected MP, a constituent named Mike Dorricott came to see him as one of those infected. Although Hunt did eventually persuade Theresa May to set up a public inquiry when he much later became Health Secretary, this did not come about before Mike died. Thousands of others are in the same boat, with justice coming much, much too late. As the inquiry's lead QC (legal counsel) pointed out, there are overlaps with the issues raised in Hunt’s book Zero. Hunt writes that he will be particularly interested in what the inquiry has to say on reforming the system so that we don’t see the widespread institutional closing of ranks mentioned above.
Workforce crisis and patient safety
Earlier this week, the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select Committee published its stinging report on NHS and social care workforce, describing it as the “greatest workforce crisis” in the institution's history. Committee chairman Jeremy Hunt was on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme here (07:13 am, i.e. 1 hour and 13 minutes into the broadcast), LBC here and Sky News here talking about the report. It criticises the Government’s refusal to publish meaningful workforce planning and calls for an increase in the number of medical school places from around 9,500 per year to 14,500 per year.
To help in the immediate instance, it also recommended the introduction of a “green list” of countries with reputable medical training and education whose doctors are given an automatic right to practice here in the UK. On social care, it calls for an externally-validated care certificate which is transferable between social care providers, as well as between social care and the NHS.
There is a whole host of other recommendations besides, and the Government now has two months to respond. The big question is whether either Prime Ministerial candidate will engage enough with NHS issues to do so. So far, we have heard much more on the NHS from Rishi Sunak, whom Hunt is supporting, than from Liz Truss. Hunt voices a concern that without the NHS and Social Care Levy (which Truss would scrap), we will find it difficult to get the resources going into the system that we need. Jane Dacre’s independent panel, commissioned by the Select Committee to Ofsted-rate the Government on its workforce promises, has unsurprisingly given them an ‘inadequate’, so there is something for our next PM to cut his or her teeth on.
Autism and learning disability
The Government has responded to another Select Committee report, this one on the treatment of people with autism and/or learning disabilities. They accept most of its recommendations, at least in part, and will be using their reforms to the Mental Health Act to implement them. It was a more thoughtful response than we normally get—but they do reject the Trieste model, which prescribes that there should be no long-term admission of non-dangerous patients. Hunt has noted that his question would be: if you are rejecting a radical option that has worked, why are you confident that a ‘one more heave’ approach will work this time, when it has failed so many times before (including when he was Health Secretary)?
ITV horror report
It makes uncomfortable watching, but I urge everyone who wants to know how the NHS is currently coping to watch Paul Brand’s hard-hitting report, available here. It shows patients waiting on trolleys in corridors for days, and brings home the human cost of the crisis in the ambulance service. You can also read Polly Toynbee’s polemic on the NHS here. Hunt writes that he does not always agree with that writer, but does salute her for raising the alarm on this issue.
Social care trailblazer
Oxfordshire has joined five other local authorities in introducing trials of the new social care charging reform that will see the lifetime cap of £86,000 introduced. These local authorities will help inform others when the reforms are rolled out more broadly next year. Something at least is moving in social care—but caps aren’t going to do it on their own, Hunt notes.
Covid cases continue to creep upwards, with the ONS reporting that one in seventeen people in England in the week ending 13 July had the virus. The dashboard data for the last seven days is looking better, though cases have decreased by 35% and hospitalisations are down by 16%. So whisper it quietly, but we may have passed the peak.