At this moment in time UK officers have to contend with the fact that the edifice of British policing is rapidly crumbling, eroded by both cutbacks and politically expedient bile... The death of Neil Doyle will place a further dent in police morale yet of course it is still 'business as usual' as far as devastated but committed Merseyside police officers are concerned.
From Stockton South, to Rochester and Strood, voters across the political spectrum are united in the belief that it's wrong for the NHS to be part of an American trade deal. It's time for the Prime Minister to listen. Britain won't be fooled by vague assurances over the NHS. The only way to ensure our NHS is protected from this trade deal is to remove it from these talks entirely. It's time for the Prime Minister to show some backbone. Cameron must use his veto and exempt the NHS from this deal.
Life is beautiful, and so during this festive period, I'm going to be eating, drinking, spending time with loved ones, planning more protests ... and hoping that Santa comes down the chimney with plenty of menorahs and sacks of bulls**t.
The £700million 'winter crisis funding" the Government is throwing at the problem is too little, too late. It is intended to avert political embarrassment in the run up to the election. Sadly it's unlikely to have much impact on the conditions for patients or staff in our A&Es this winter.
Since GP annual appraisals were slowly encroaching into every other area of my professional life, even to the Kafkaesque lev
There is still time for all the parties to invest in original thinking and creative advice at a more upstream level. But not much.
If you are feeling overwhelmed this holiday season, you are in good company. Having recently survived the Thanksgiving rush in the US, I am now running around London feeling the heat all over again. Several acquaintances and friends are feeling the tension, too.
This is the reality of a lack of funding for mental health. The over-burdened services, pared down to the bone. There are no beds left, there is little access to counselling, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy... All I have to offer is a listening ear. That, and a tissue.
Labour is still suffering the hangover of the Blair/Mandelson/Brown years, and those voices must be silenced outright over the next 6 months for the sake of the PLP as they seem to be PR and electoral cyanide.
I know you don't have unlimited resources. I know I'm only one of several million people in the UK who needs help for depression. But what am I supposed to do? What are any of us supposed to do who can't afford to pay for therapy?
Like conflict, austerity leaves people scarred, changing them forever, and disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable. It is ultimately self defeating. Most tellingly, it is the poorest who suffer most under austerity, as in war, whilst the richest always profit...
payers, government, council and local community will strain every sinew to see that a more suitable alternative is provided. Can GPs please get back to fitting suits and let others go back to supplying socks, shirts and bread?
We are donating £1 for every job we complete between now and the fundraising deadline on 10 January and, to put that in perspective, we normally do 1,500 jobs a week during December and early January. I've also made a couple of personal donations too.
There are 10 appointments left for today. There are 10,000 patients. My three colleagues are here all day, but one can't help with the home visits. They have a meeting about commissioning services in the local area. A brilliant idea from the government. But there is no time or money allocated for them to attend this meeting. So that means there are just three of us. At 8.10 there are 20 patients waiting for me to ring them back. At 8.30 there are 53.
Reducing social inequality makes far more sense socially, economically, and - if you must - morally as well. Regrettably, too few people in power seem willing to make the case for a more equal society. They would rather continue to demonise the apparently 'poor lifestyle choices' of the most socially excluded.
In return for so little power we elect a small group of people who often have no expertise in government to run a country. In no other field of endeavour would we allow someone with no experience to take control of something so important.