person: shshshsh .... shshshsh ... shush!
laughter is the best medicine ... :-)
You do remember 'Paddy', the brother of my Irish friend, don't you?
Happy Sunday ... :-)
"Doctors have been asked to trace all babies in Britain who have been injected in the past month with the meningitis C vaccine which was recalled on Wednesday after it emerged that it may be contaminated with a microbe that can cause potentially fatal blood poisoning.
The Department of Health also announced it is also going to test unused batches of the vaccine sent from Italy and stored in GP surgeries in the UK to see whether any of them are contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, the same type of microbe responsible for the hospital-acquired infection MRSA.
The health department said it does not yet know how many of the 17,000 doses of meningitis C vaccine sent to GPs on 22 January and 20 February – but recalled on Wednesday night – have been used as part of the national childhood vaccination programme. However, it is likely to be in the hundreds or possibly thousands.
"We can, and are going to, track the vaccine to individual GP surgeries. GPs can then contact the patients who have had the injection. Although, as we've said, this is as a precautionary measure and we are not aware of any problems in the UK," a spokeswoman for the health department said."Some of the readers in the article in the link left comments saying that this type of bacteria is found in it's billions on our skins anyway .. well, parents don't know that! and they don't know what this bacteria will do when injected inside the bodies of their young babies either and so, parents will be scared by this incident!
“Trust your hunches.... Hunches are usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.”
Toxic alert over child vaccine ( Article originally released by the independant 25/02/2009 was revised and re-published dated 26/02/2009 .. even the title has now changed. Original article was not much bigger than the extracts below .. my opinion is based on the original article :-))
"Thousands of babies may have been injected with a vaccine contaminated with a potentially lethal blood-poisoning bacterium as health officials prepared to withdraw 20,000 doses of the meningitis C vaccine from GP clinics around Britain ...
More than 60,000 doses of the vaccine which is offered to all four-month-old babies could be contaminated with the hospital-acquired infection – the Staphylococus bacterium – but 20,000 of these had already been issued to vaccination clinics before officials became aware of the problem ...
The Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said last night that, despite the recall, there was no evidence of any risk to children from the vaccine but she could not say how many babies could have already been injected with the shipped vaccine. "The recall is purely a precautionary measure. There is no reason for UK children to be at any risk from this product. All vaccines supplied to the UK had passed the test required for it's use," she said. "
This above is one of the reasons why many parents decide not to go for vaccination. It's a mixed message; the vaccine has been withdrawn because it is contaminated with ' hospital-acquired infection bacteria' no less but was given to loads of 4 months old babies already! .. Then, in the same article you get a completely opposite message that those same vaccines 'Passed the test required for it's use'! How can any parent 'trust' this logic less and very flawed information?
With such contradictions, parents will rightly question; why was the vaccine withdrawn nationwide? ... Just in case? But parents don't swallow this 'just in case' scenarios well .. It's the life of their children at stake here, as a responsible parent you don't jeopardise that for 'just in case' scenarios! If you are a parent worried about vaccines in general, you then ask yourself: Was that vaccine tested for the lethal Staphylococus bacterium as part of that test mentioned above? .. If it wasn't, was the lethal bacteria part of the ingredients of the vaccine, an intended component? The answer to both questions seem to be no! Then you think, how can any contamination be declared safe or not posing any risk then? ... Then be withdrawn from use?!
You see, this article does not answer key questions that will go through any parent's mind when they read about this vaccine .. more so, it leaves the way open for parents to answer those questions themselves resulting in parents making the wrong decision or falling victims to programmes like that LBC one against the MMR vaccine hosted by Jenni Bennett! If allowed again, I can imagine similar ignorant presenters now hosting programmes using this very article as proof of why 'they' think people should not vaccinate .. a 'didn't I tell you so?' programme again hosted by a non medically qualified presenters wanting to promote their own ideology .. which can be very harmful!
If that vaccine is really safe because I don't know if it is now, then this article treats parents as if they were stupid .. and they are not!
And that's why many parents refuse to vaccinate their children! I personally would have been petrified if one my children was given a dose of this 'contaminated' vaccine, I probably would have refused to vaccinate altogether afterwards 'just in case' other vaccines were contaminated in one way or the other too... scary stuff!
If indeed this vaccine does not pose 'any' risk but was withdrawn 'just in case', then leaving matters like this above to be interpreted by journalists who are not medically qualified is dangerous and can result in a nationwide scare with dire results! In these cases, there should be official Dept of Health releases to the media telling them exactly what to write in their report when something like this happens so as to avoid scaring the public into not vaccinating their children.
“This indeed is a safe refuge, it is the refuge supreme. It is the refuge whereby one is freed from 'all' suffering.” :-)
I sometimes write what can be termed as 'short stories' and 'poetry', nothing much for I have never had any specialised training in writing. I just jot down feelings, ideas and things that come to my head at any given time. I mostly write those down in Arabic because I can express myself more in my mother tongue .. better vocabulary too, I think. Did I ever tell you? I once got a national 1st prize for this my primitive writing in Egypt centuries ago when I was 16 years old. I have never stopped since although, at times, I stopped writing, sometimes for years, but I have always went back .. and yes, I am the type that keeps a daily diary .. but sometimes I don't make entries for months .. I always go back to it though .. and write a summary of what was missed. Only disorganised as I am, I have never kept proper logs of everything I wrote and IMO, some were quite reasonable, sometimes very funny to read :-)
This one I wrote around two months following MTAS 2007. It was a true picture of how I really felt then. Not the strong woman who went for the fight as my contributions on Remedy UK and elsewhere including here depicted but a really vulnerable person who wanted the whole think to end 'for her' one way or the other, so see, I didn't really cope with MTAS as good as I made everyone believe ... at times I was desperate.
I have recently been having the same feelings sometimes but, while some may think that I maybe giving up, the reality is .. I am not ... I can not afford to. Actually, I think contraray to this, I think that by sometimes showing the human side inside you that this helps you gain momentum .. strength to continue and to cope with whatever adverse event you may meet in your life .. and we all have some of those. Most, if not all of those few who read the rubbish I write here know me since MTAS 2007, two years ago now so, you probably know lots about me already, about my fears as well as times when I am happy ... I am not the type that can hide or wants to hide emotions .. we all have some inside and so, why not add some more? BTW, I am an only child spoilt rotten in childhood but not since so, sometimes you will see what you medics may describe as 'an only child syndrome' ... ignore .. my children always do ... the 'condition' never lasts for very long anyway ... a day or two at the most .. :-)
I have a few more stories and a few more poems that I can still either find jogged down in a scrap book lying around the house somewhere or that I can remember myself. Some are based on real events in my life and some are totally fictional. However, I think that any fiction is always the result of real emotions felt at a given time.
I have decided to share some of these with you. I will always leave a note at the bottom to give an approximate time of when I wrote the particular piece I am posting. Those are not intended to any any literature value whatsoever and are very limited in content most if not all of the time but, hey .. it is what I in my own very limited way felt at one time or another of my life ... I will just sometimes post one of those in between other posts as and when I feel I have a need to post them .. I have no idea how many will I post, one, two? A few? lots? who knows ... :-)
.. and this is one of my favourite songs by the beautiful Nina Simone .. enjoy :-)
" I obviously have a bias; I strongly believe that the NHS, which has stood the test of time for 60 years old now, is one of the best healthcare systems around the globe."
In an Aljazeera programme called 'Frost over the world' (The English version of the Arabic channel), Sir David Frost met with our Health Minister Professor Lord Ara Darzi ( Watch from 7.30 minutes till the end :-)
Lord Darzi showed strong commitment and appreciation of the NHS as per the quote above and this:
"We created the National Health Service post second world war, in 1948, and it's become part of our social fabric. One of the most important values and principales of the NHS is to have care available to you irrespective of your ability to pay and I think that ethos is becoming much more relevant 60 years later and the American policy makers are thinking in those terms and certainly many developing countries in the Middle East and the Far East are looking at these models very carefully"
The rest of the interview was centered on how to reform other health systems around the globe, whether in developed or underdeveloped countries .. second time his opinion is sought on this! Strong vibes here that boss maybe going global soon, the notion of discussing other heath reform on a global level is becoming a habit while interviewing our 'surgeon', eh? .. and why not? .. he has the drive and the expertise and ... he can do it! ..
Only problem is, of course, is how to reform our own system as well as keep a clinical and academic presence in Britain and still run around the world reforming other health systems?! Here .. and there .. and there .. and there ...
But that's the 'challenge' isn't it?! .. and boss thrives on a challenge .. so, it's just a matter of wait and see ... and watch ..
"I think most health care systems could provide a universal cover at a very cheap cost mostly around primary and community services and we know the evidence is there. The biggest impact you can have on the health of the nation is in areas of Public Health and Primary and Community services"
"All quotes are from the programme"
" I love colour", said the salamander"
The results of the job allocations for next year's F1 doctors have just come out for a new medical school. This is it's second graduating batch and those graduating are medics who decided not to intercalate a BSc or mature students who had a BSc then followed the 5 year medical degree for mature students as this school does not do the 4 year course. There were also some of those who intercalated a BSc. A first is awarded 5 points and the award decreases according to the grade obtained.
A few months ago, all those medics were divided into quartiles based on their academic achievements and of course, they 'thought' this is how they will be allocated their first jobs; according to merit. But, oh, no! They had to fill the application form to apply for the jobs and, surprise, surprise .. there were 5 'white box' questions on that form.
Now that the results of that are out, the medics are absolutely shocked to find that loads of those who were in the top quartile were left aside while many of the bottom quartile medics were allocated the best jobs; their first choice! Those with excellent record of achievement got their 10th choice and below! That you were a top achiever throughout your time at med school did not matter, nor that you had a 1st in your degree or even higher qualification, a live long record of being tops .. etc .. etc!
I know one of those medics and I have known them for years now, nothing special at all, not even as a human being .. actually more of a trouble maker too .. they got their first choice job! .. Thank you little MTAS!
Does anybody have any idea why those medics were put into quartiles according to their ability to start with?! Why award points for degrees according to merit just to discard all achievement at the end in favour of a few silly and ficticious 'white box' senarios?!
What is the meaning of merit nowadays?!
What were these 'quartiles' for?! If selection was 'not' going to be on merit?!
Big MTAS has now been camouflaged folks .. It has now re appeared as little MTASs ensuring injustice at a local level ... rather than nationally as was with hurricane MTAS 2007
Since hurricane MTAS 2007 was declared 'an unprecedented disaster in the history of British medicine.' Why then have all these little MTAS's reappeared with their ugly heads?! Of course, all graduates are guaranteed jobs as F1s but what next? How will little MTAS affect a doctor's career in future years? .. will it be; have you been shunned by little MTAS at F1? ... then no place in specialty training for you, a young aspiring to excellence and with potential to lead and innovate doctor with 1sts, prizes, even a PhD and proven flying colours doctor?! .. Then you think, who will do all the innovation in the future? .. Who will 'aspire to excellence'? .. who will lead British medicine into the 21st century? definitely not the ones who were in the bottom quartile but were favoured by little MTAS because they attended courses on how to fill the stupid white boxes?!.. Leaders without merit?! Give me examples from history!
Where is the 'logic' in that then?!
What are these white boxes for?! Could this be one of the reasons ... even ... 'the' reason? Could another reason be that you have to speak 'buzz word' NHS bureau before you you are allowed to enter the system? Enable .. empower .. envelope .. jargon, jargon? If indeed this is one reason for the 'white boxes', then I don't understand .. if the NHS is opening up, then surely .. bureaucracy should also be minimised to facilitate positive change? Change of idiology can't happen without a change of culture, right?!
What 'buzz words' are those that are Mutilating Medical Careers?! .. making or breaking careers and livelihoods?!
What are those white boxes for?
It is not easy being an MTAS parent going through selection for specialty training for the second time ... so, I sincerely hope I am wrong in thinking about the motives for these white boxes .... But no one is explaining what are they for? .. Why not select 'fairly' on merit?!
Show me evidence that 'white boxes' and not merit produces the best doctors, the best innovators, best leaders .. excellence! ..
I bet no one can .. because it is IMPOSSIBLE!
Medics are no longer motivated to achieve their best! What for, they say .. if at the end, your placement as per merit will be ignored? Why bother?! .. If it is a 'tombola' at the end and not 'may the best wo/man win' as it should be if we apply 'reason'?!
What are we teaching those youngsters?!
As for 'cracking the nut' .. or .. application to specialty training ... My daughter has heard nothing yet .... I know of some who have ... no comment ... but ...
Let's hope ...
Artists can colour the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who aren't artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we're stupid.
... Higher ... Higher ... H I G H E R !
... Higher ... Higher ... H I G H E R !.
- OUUUCH! ... Ay .. Ay .. AAAAY!
- Oh .. Excuse me! ... Are you hurt?!
- What do you mean am I hurt?! ... 'you' hurt 'Me'?! ! .. I am God!
- The LORD?! .. Oh my God! .. I am ever so sorry!
- What do you mean you're sorry?! ... Never mind! .. What are you doing here anyway?! .. I don't remember calling for you!
- I ... I was ... I was 'aspiring' O lord ...
- Aspiring?! .. A S P I RING?! ... You idiot! Don't you know when to stop that 'A s p i ring' of yours when you must?!
- Well, no O Lord .. you .. yo didn't tell us if we should ... or how ...
-Didn't I! ... mmmmm ... We have to sort that out then ... but you ... What to do now?!
- Maybe I should ... go back? ...
- Ya .. course .. thing is, all the angels are busy! .. mmmm
- The angels are busy?! Oh! ... what then O Lord? ..
- Let me think! ... thing is, I finish my shift very soon! ... Ah .. maybe you should just keep aspiring till you get to the next level ..
- N ... n .. next level? ... W .. what next level O Lord?
- The big one .. where the one in charge is .. He's 'The' one who lays all the rules of aspirations ... and ..keeps the book too ...
- Ooooh! .. maybe I should go now then, thank you O Lord, thank you, thank you ...
- You can't go of your own will .. I have to authorise it .. there ... off you go ... Aspire!
- Aspire?! yeah? .. I will .. I will ... goodbye o'Lord... for now .. (smile) ... " Higher ... Higher ...
H I G H E R ... "
- Oh look at her! .. The stupid fool! ...Good riddens you idiot .. and .. when you find that next level, come show me the way ....
- What was that?!
- Nothing, it's that idiot .. she's just fallen and broke her neck ...
- Did she die?
- Yes .. but ... who are you?
- The one on the second level ... leave her to me ...
- Come on woman .. rise ..
- Huh? ...
- Rise .. up .. stand up and give me your hand ...
- Where am I?
- You are here .. with me?
- Are you my god?
- Yes ...
- This is the second level? Am I in heaven .. or hell?
- You're in between ... We'll decide where you should be when your time comes ... but you're not alone ...
- Not alone? ... but where is everybody ...
- They're here .. being judged .. but you can't see them ..
- No .. I can't .. why not?
- Because you're not meant to be here ... you will see when it is your time to see ... when it is your judgement time .....
- So, what now? ..
- I haven't got a clue .. let me think ..
- If I can't see .. and I am not going to be judged ... what will become of me? .. can I go back where I came from?
- It's not as easy as you think .. aspirations go up ... never down ... Downward 'aspirations'?! ... silly woman!
- I can't stay here and I can't go back?! Oh my god! .. What will become of me now? ..
- Let me see ...
- I am going to send you on a mission ... Go down my stairs ..
- Where to? ...
- Where you came from ...
- But I thought you said ...
- Yes, you can't go back .. and you're not going back .. Go down .. until you can go no more ..then I will tell you your fate ...
- Well, here I am, I went back all they way and .. I am home!
- No, you are not .. you are still on my stairs but you can no longer see them, nor can you tell if you are going up or down ... walk woman ... you will see those around you ... and they will see you .. .. BUT .. you are not with them .. or with me .. or yourself .. you are floating .. and your mission is .. decide where you want to be ... Then aspire .. again ... only this time ... you will not get lost ... your mission is ... go find yourself ... and remember .. when you return, there'll be no going back .. no more stairs going up or down ...
- But I am on the stairs now .. and I must .. Oh god .. I must dance ... and aspire ... which way are those stairs going?! .. up? .. or down? .. up? .. down? ... up? ... Oh god! .. they are flat! .. It's a flat staircase!
- those who see my wisdom will see the direction ...
... dance woman .. dance! .... and ... while you aspire .. do no hurt .. and .. do no harm ...
- (Dancing) ... yes , yes ... no hurt .. no harm .. no hurt .. no harm .. no ...
... Higher ... Higher ... Higher ...
"I enjoy making a contribution. I don’t wake up in the morning and say ‘I’m a minister’..."
". . . I’m still a surgeon at heart.”
"I came to realise some years ago that with policy, you can have a much bigger impact"
.. he did say he does't do p'waa .. right?
With best intentions ... as always :-)
“Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.”
Chezsam's gets a mention in 'Pulse' on 16 Feb .. written by Steve Nowottny, the article is about a 'The Times' recent interview with Professor Lord Ara Darzi.
" Chez Sam's – tagline ‘supporting junior doctors’ – has a more considered response."
My 'tagline' says 'supporting NHS reform' too as well as my 'why I am here' description at the side of the blog and that has been the case for a few months now ... but that did not get a mention in the Pulse article. This makes me wonder why did I get a mention in that 'specialised' site at all since I state every where on this blog that I am no medic but a patient and a parent .. someone expressing my own opinion on medical training, health and health reform and policy etc .. someone entitled to form and speak my own opinion .. I hope!
Steve Nowottny does not also explain what 'considered response' was that? Since the post he linked to was not about the Starbucks 'thingy' discussed in his article! I don't therefore know why he linked to that particular post and not any other or why link to me at all ... but since he mentions me anyway, I suppose I should give my opinion on that Starbucks 'thingy' ...
For the sake of responsible journalism, I like to suggest to Mr Nowottny to give this interview 'entitled 'Lord Darzi wants NHS ‘experience’ to improve' to 'any' person/s to read, including ordinary people, patients, man in the street, even tourists and passers by .. then ask them, what did Lord Darzi mean when he spoke about Starbucks? .. I think it is worth the effort myself to do that simple research and get some 'valid' answers. I am sure this exercise will make him view that interview for what it really is. Of course, Lord Darzi did explain what he meant in that interview. As per even just the title of the article, he wants an 'improved patient experience', quality! Care results similar to that provided by a quality coffee house, such as Starbucks .. rather than the basic, sometimes shoddy service provided by a 'Mandy' cafe with it's 'one size fits all' churn and burn water boiler poured over 'supermarket basics' non branded coffee granules! .. Lord Darzi was calling for QUALITY for patients! How can that be turned into a crime?!! ... I have no idea why his remark is being taken out of context or why he is being deliberately misinterpreted?! However, given previous examples of other 'stuff' .. I wonder no more ... I personally can NOT see what all the current 'froth' is all about?! I thought it was a brilliant interview myself ... A call for quality 'everything' .. as usual.
IMO, as well as all those who support Lord Darzi's work, including hospital doctors, staff, GPs; all those who were part of his 2000 clinician strong team while working on his review, even HM the Queen .. who declared Darzi's review is to become law, it is very evident that the minister, who also happens to be the only doctor in office as well as a world renown surgeon, academic, innovator and professor of medicine, is working very hard at preserving and improving the NHS for it's patients as well as it's staff ... Everybody can see that but for 'some' members of one certain group.
Lord Darzi was entrusted to review health and health provision, first in London, then England wide. Being only used to excellence, he took the unprecedented step to tour the country for one whole year gathering evidence and listening to what patients and staff have to say before compiling an excellent and very comprehensive report. Please tell me which other politician ever did that? .. He then produced an excellent report that would save the NHS from collapse , as predicted by many a respected analyst, professors (Like the oncologist mentioned on Hard Talk and others.) He, as he said in one of his lectures now removed from public view by the site, , believes the NHS is part of the British 'culture' and he is therefore working as hard as he could to preserve same. He also produced a constitution to protect not only the patients but also all of the NHS staff. Again, an unprecedented event in the history of the NHS! In this clip, looking extremely exhausted presumably from all the touring, he tells the staff present:
" First of all, it is not my review, it is your review. The whole purpose of that review is essentially to re-engage the staff in describing what do we mean by care and quality of care as we move into the next decade. If you want to change the future, design what you want to do, then you have to engage. If you don't, someone else will."
How clear was that?! Why did 'some' not engage with him? .. i don't know ... it is their business. However, I also am entitled to my opinion and I do not think this non engagement was wise.
As for my support for junior doctors, I am, as everyone knows, an MTAS parent and have been involved with the MTAS and MMC issue since the very beginning. I am also a strong supporter of Remedy UK and have paticipated in their forum since it's inception. I consider them to be the true voice of not only those young doctors who were unjustly caught then spat out by MTAS, but for all the juniors in general. Honourable young doctors aiming to support fellow young doctors. Of course Remedy UK straight away as soon as the review was out, declared it's support for Professor Lord Darzi's work re junior doctors which formed part of his review. That was after the good Lord decided to take on the extremely complex problem of the juniors training as left by the MTAS/MMC mess on his shoulders .. as if the mammoth task of reviewing the health of a whole country was not enough hard work for him! .. another unprecedented event and an honourable stand to say the least!
As a patient, I, like everybody else, do want and expect quality if ever I needed care. As a hard working mother who's eggs are in the one basket; the NHS, I am now a strong supporter of the Current NHS reforms led by Professor Lord Ara Darzi. Precisely for the same reason, supporting the juniors in training, either as future hospital consultants or GPs, as well as supporting those who recently qualified as GPs only to be thrown to the skip because of lack of partnerships and/or opportunity. Those who end up driving taxis for a living while everybody turns a blind eye to their dilemma ... except Lord Darzi whose centers will provide the only hope for them!
I have asked before and now ask again .. please, for those who think I am wrong in supporting Lord Darzi, please give me reason and I will stop supporting him. But, despite repeating same on many occasions, I was given no 'valid' reason to stop my support for this minister! .. I am not the type who just follows the crowd but forms opinion based on evidence and then sticks to that. That's how and why I am now a strong supporter of Lord Darzi and his reform ... not only from the perspective of a patient who wants quality when I need NHS care but because I firmly believe that he is currently the juniors ONLY hope.
This also caught my eys .. from the Lord Darzi interview with the times:
"He still sees patients and conducts research at St Mary’s Hospital, London, two days a week, but does he enjoy being a minister? “I don’t do power,” he said, adding that he prefers a plain black case to his official red box. “I enjoy making a contribution. I don’t wake up in the morning and say ‘I’m a minister’ . . . I’m still a surgeon at heart.”
'He' does not 'want' to do 'power'! ... inspite of the obvious! ... Modest man ... respect .. many lessons to be learned here ...
and .. what's a 'red box' ? :-)
And I do hope that my own children are striving to become as excellent on the professional as well as the personal level as Professor Lord Ara Darzi .. That's what I taught them and that is how I would then consider that I have done a good job myself .. which is what I always aspired to do .. and still aspire to do ...
Maybe you should link to this post Mr Nowottny rather than the other not so relevant one ... and maybe you can please have a go at convincing me with reasons why, in your view, I should not support Professor Lord Ara Darzi ... and allow for an honest debate ...
Please Mr Nowottny, consider this above a kind request which I hope you will not just brush aside. You can then link to any of my posts whenever relevant to the content of your articles if you so wish. Till then, I do not wish you to link to an irrelevant post from my blog in your articles as I can not figure out your reason for doing so ... Please remove that link mentioned above.
Regards .. :-)
“Hope is not a dream but a way of making dreams become reality.”