Thursday, March 31, 2011

Forests and NHS: Yew-turns or Change by Stealth

As we read more about Yew-turns on the Forest that we loved we should be careful about what we read about the NHS.

By Margaret Davis
Thursday, 31 March 2011

Sales of a 15 per cent portion of English public forests will go ahead within the next four years, raising an expected £100m, the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, said yesterday.
She expressed concern that terms governing the sale do not allow enough protection for access and public benefits, but told the Commons Environment Select Committee that the sales would go ahead within the spending review, which runs to 2015.
Mrs Spelman also defended a consultation on plans to sell the rest of the public forests, which sparked fierce opposition and was dropped last month. "I simply thought it was right to give the public the chance to be consulted about the future of the forest estate," she told MPs.
Shortly before the consultation was dropped, the previously announced sales of 15 per cent of public forests were suspended over concerns about protecting the benefits they provide. An independent panel has been set up to examine the future of England's forests.
By Emily Beament, PA
Thursday, 17 February 2011

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman told MPs "I am sorry, we got this one wrong" as she abandoned plans to offload England's public forest estate to companies, communities and charities.
The Commons was told she was halting the public consultation into the future of the 258,000-hectare estate, just 24 hours after David Cameron admitted he was unhappy with the plans at Prime Minister's Questions.

31 Mar 2011
Is the Prime Minister for turning? When it comes to the NHS reforms, he just might be, if the Times' page three lead (paywall) is to be believed. In a story headed ‘Cameron puts brake on NHS reforms’, it reports that Downing Street want to make the 2013 handover of commissioning responsibility a ‘goal rather than a deadline’.
The embattled Mr Lansley, however, is definitely not for turning, with a ‘Department of Health source’ telling the paper: ‘A clear timetable for implementation has been set out in the bill and we intend to stick to it.’ Watch this space closely.
The Daily Mail reports a Bowel cancer UK survey which found that two-thirds of men and almost half of women could not name a symptom of the disease.
Click here to find out more!
The NHS Confederation report on the NHS reforms – covered by Pulse here – is also in the Guardian, under the headline ‘Health chiefs plead for rethink over NHS shakeup’.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

translation trial

“Behaviour is not – and cannot be – a disease, except in psychiatry. Controlling behaviour, with or without a person's consent is not
– and cannot be – a treatment, except in psychiatry.
And faking illness is not – and cannot be – an illness, except in psychiatry.”

Thomas Szasz[1] 2001

I once had this boy Tommy who developed a limp on his right foot. This prevented him from participating in sporting activities at school, much to the school’s annoyance. It upset their rules. He then refused school, complaining of severe pain in both legs. He was admitted by my consultant for observation. I was at the time Senior Registrar. He was about eleven. His mother suffered from Multiple Sclerosis and it was not difficult to see that the limping was from observing his mother’s gradual deterioration. She was by then in a wheelchair and yet still pleasant and cheerful. Tommy was a very well brought up boy. I felt at the time he was expressing his fear that he would one day be like mum and if he presented his symptoms early we might be able to do something. Others felt it was more a kind of sympathy pain given mum was now unable to walk. He was in fact a very good table tennis player and represented his school until recently (hence the school’s annoyance). One day I was having a game with him after lunch and noticed that he was limping on the wrong foot. So before my next serve, I said to him: Tommy, wrong foot. He saluted me and said thanks and went back to limping on his right foot again.
It was an encounter that I remember with some fondness for how I dealt with it and how he took it. From then on we had a great therapeutic alliance and he eventually made good “recovery” and is now a swimming instructor at a local public pool. His mother has since passed away. Whenever I see him at the pool he would start limping for old time’s sake.

1. Dou really want me to believe that my child will fake illness, and lie and do all those things? It is up to you of course, but if you watch House, M.D., do you remember the episode where the mother said she had no secret from her daughter? It turned out she was not even her mother.
2. Even some doctors and psychiatrists are not very good in sorting out the fakes, so do not be too hard on yourself. There is also the consolation that your child is only faking illness and not really suffering from any formal psychiatric disorder, and therefore can be helped without medication.
3. Some children may be on medication unnecessarily if the doctors cannot tell the fakes.