Jeremy Hunt seems to be positioning himself as the strongman of the NHS. With escalating rhetoric and the use of threats he wishes to portray himself as a ferocious patient advocate standing up against a callous and uncaring medical profession. But, unless I'm much mistaken, much of what he is demanding already exists.
The UK is shockingly behind other developed countries in terms of children's health outcomes, with five more children dying per day than in Sweden. So many health issues facing our children are preventable - yet the Government has just cut £200 million from public health spending and with it many of the resources we need to educate children about their health.
A truly seven day NHS is something we should aspire towards. I don't disagree with that. But as with everything else, it is the timescale and funding which is wholly unrealistic and will inevitably lead to harm to patients. Can he not remember the waiting time breaches of last winter? Is he ignoring the GP practices closing across the country? This is not doctors wanting a lifestyle choice. Our first role is to act in our patients best interests, as an advocate for them. Why does Mr Hunt refuse to listen to the profession, both at national and grass roots level? Why is he hell bent on chasing headlines and not on improving care and patient safety?
Public awareness is still far too low, but the symptoms - which include diarrhoea, muscle pain, mottled or discoloured skin, itching, difficulty passing urine, chills and shivering, fever, and fast breathing - can be spotted by friends and family, or even the patient themselves. Until we all start to suspect sepsis, and say sepsis, the outlook won't get better.
I recently organised a series of events at Wayra, Telefonica's digital accelerator, on what compelling solutions the UK's entrepreneurial community ha...
Dear George, I've had a chance to digest your new budget and it seems clear to me that you are the one politician who is in sympathy with me and my issues. I too have bitter enemies who I wish to undermine and destroy by any means necessary, regardless of the impact on anyone else. So here are my problems, George, maybe you can help me.
Hay fever is rife at the moment and my GP surgery had an influx of sufferers this last week. We expect to see people when the pollen count is high, but this, combined with the unusually hot weather, is putting considerable pressure on Britain's healthcare services.
Technology continues to disrupt the world we live in. Newspapers are digital. Cars are electric. Amazon and iTunes are the department and music stores of today. Visiting travel agents has been replaced by e-tickets and online check-in and whistling for a taxi by the push of a button with the likes of Uber.
Today we saw no pledge from Government to address the gap in social care funding. We have long been calling on the Government to invest in the social care system as a whole in order to plug the £4.6billion black hole as identified by the LGA and ADASS. However, the issue seems to have disappeared off the political agenda, whilst the system moves closer to breaking point.
On the election of the Conservative Government in 2015 the Chancellor announced plans for further cuts to public expenditure. Yes, there would be cuts of £200million to the Department of Health budget but he assured us these cuts were to 'non-NHS spending'.
Looking at the results of our recent survey of London GPs, I can honestly say that I am frightened for the future of general practice in London. We are sitting on top of a three-year timebomb. By July 2018 London could lose as many as ten percent of its GP practices. For patients that is an unsustainable rate of loss.
As the Budget approaches we await the details of deep cuts in welfare spending, but the fact that they are coming is beyond doubt. Every sinew is being strained in the cause of deficit reduction. Or is it? Largely absent from public debate to date is the more than £100billion that goes each year into tax reliefs - lower taxes for particular groups or activities.
The "one-size fits all" world of Mr Hunt's metropolitan life, with seven-day access to a GP or nurse you've never met, to treat the minor self-limiting illness that has been irritating you since that morning, will not help these patients. They need to see professionals who are experienced, highly skilled, with the time and resources to care for them.
The relationship between the UK and Sierra Leone is both historic and complex. It stretches back centuries - encompassing colonialism, and UK intervention in the civil war. Today the ties between the two countries remain strong - and not always in the ways most visible on the surface.
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.