So next time your train is late, overcrowded and, despite paying the highest fares in Europe, you don't have a seat, remember that this is a direct result of privatisation where shareholder profit is far more important than you as the paying customer. And then ask yourself, is this what you want for your health? Because, unless we challenge NHS cuts and privatisation, that is exactly what we will get.
"The future health of millions of children, the sustainability of the NHS, and the economic prosperity of Britain all now depend on a radical upgrade in prevention and public health". It's a statement clear in its message and blunt in its truth.
Late last year, I noticed some post-menopausal spotting. What a joke: a period at my age. Mildly curious, I went to the NHS website, which featured a middle-aged frump, hands covering her face in anguish.
Dear Mr Hunt, thank you so much for your kind speech detailing the new deal for GPs that you announced today. We have been waiting with baited breath to see what you would come up with. Well, you didn't disappoint. You fulfilled all the expectations of vague headline filling promises - 5000 more GPs, 5000 other clinicians. I notice you sneaked Physician Assistants into that last bit with Pharmacists and Nurses, gently implying that they are a proper job with a role in the UK healthcare system. Nicely done. You kept a lid on the time-scale - clever. I'm sure we will have 5000 more GPs over the next 50 years, but it's minor detail.
Medical consequences of obesity, accumulating gradually, mostly over the age of 40, affect every organ system of the body, precipitating and aggravating chronic illnesses (the most devastating being diabetes), CHD and several major cancers. More importantly for obese people, it leads to physical disabilities - breathlessness, asthma, fatigue, arthritis, back pain. Once obese, people commonly experience feelings of shame, self-reproach and inadequacy. Thus depression and anxiety compound the ill.
This kind of language, pillorying the very people working hard to maintain a safe service, is bad enough when it appears in a shoddy piece of journalism, but should simply be beneath a secretary of state. I know I am not the only one who reacted in this way. A great many midwives and people working in and around our profession have been in touch to express similar thoughts.
"I never gave anybody hell! I just told the truth and they thought it was hell" ― Harry S. Truman As more and more people discover the truth on ...
We need to look outside the box if we are to tackle the problems facing the NHS and the health issues we face more widely today as a society. It is for that reason that the Health Select Committee needs an open and independently-minded Chair who can put aside the dogma that has held back the health agenda in this country, and seek innovative solutions.
Earlier this month, with the stroke of a pen, the Chancellor reduced the Department for Health's annual budget by some £200 million. These cuts were explained simply as "non NHS savings" - a point which may be technically correct, but neatly articulates the Government's position that where the money comes from is more important that what it actually does.
There is thus a lot to do if we are to put mental health on a par with physical health. It will take some fundamental changes to the way resources are allocated and used in the NHS and public services more broadly. But by using and building on the evidence of what is needed and what works, we can use scarce resources more effectively to enhance the nation's mental health and to improve the lives of people with mental health problems.
Recent reports have revealed that intake of new blood donors in Britain is down by a massive 40%. While news outlets speculate that a year's deferral for people with new tattoos and piercings is to blame, I'd contest that a bigger reason for the shortfall is the yearly ban on blood donation for men who have sex with men (MSM).
I often maintain, that the greatest long-term threat to our National Health Service comes not from the usual range of suspects people would immediately think of, but from diabetes and obesity...
Despite all their endless rhetoric about "saving" the NHS during the general election last month, Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems are now preparing to throw this cherished institution to the chomping wolves of avaricious American corporations. Nye Bevan, the founding father of the NHS, must be turning in his grave.
It has not yet been a month since the General Election and only a week has passed since the Queen's speech. Yet the reality of things to come under a Conservative majority government is already clear and it's the future of our NHS that concerns me the most.
I might be able to walk down the aisle with my partner should I so wish, or start a family thanks to equal adoption laws, but give blood? Well, no, my blood simply isn't welcome at my local drop-in service, thank you very much. However, it is very much needed. My crime? Being gay.
In 2012 Parliament enshrined in law the principle of parity of esteem between mental and physical health. This means that people must have the same access to NICE-recommended treatments whether their health problem is mental or physical. We are nowhere near that position now.