In order to have a socially progressive society, we need to empower women to take charge of their own health through education and open discussion. Throwaway remarks devaluing women's health issues should be snuffed out straight away since this is a dangerous game for politicians.
This series of articles will appear weekly and present my recommended Seven Survival Steps for black and ethnic minority staff working in the NHS, but may be a useful read to anyone with an interest in the NHS. The articles are excerpts from a forthcoming handbook, and provide highlights.
After waging war on doctors and nurses over their working hours, it seems that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has now turned his attention towards public health services designed to prevent weight-related health problems.
We have a health service built on providing even the most vulnerable a chance to receive holistic care and attention. On that lonely night in Cyprus the Crisis Team fulfilled that wonderful and simple ethos created many years ago.
I was politically ambivalent about the general election. Like a lot of NHS staff, I was torn between knowing that things were bad in the health service, especially in general practice, but equally knowing that a change of government would inevitably mean some sort of re-branding, reorganisation and changes of priorities. I knew an NHS on its knees already wouldn't cope with that. When the result came in, it was going to be more of the same. No massive changes, just slogging on trying to get the government to listen. I was totally wrong.
If you are from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background, and work in the NHS in the UK, you will already know that survival can be the name of the game. As well as doing the day job, whether you are a consultant, a hospital porter, a chief executive, a nurse or an administrator there are factors you are far more likely to have to negotiate than your white colleagues.
Over the 40 years that I have been a doctor I have noticed that 'textbook' presentations of disease are becoming rarer. For example we have all come across stories of the healthiest of people succumbing to heart attacks whilst on the squash court. The same applies to cancer.
While Cameron may pacify us that there will be no switch to an insurance-based model (although he wants to "turn the NHS into a fantastic business"), ...
When most people think about nurses, it's usually hospitals that spring to mind. Occasionally some people might identify with their local GP practice nurse or district nurse, but suffice to say that nursing is very much seen within the confines of the NHS. Yet what about social care?
What do the next five years hold for the NHS? The pre-election jamboree is quickly evaporating. The promise of billions more in funding now feels like a distant sound-bite. The Daily Telegraph recently set the tone with a front page headline in which Jeremy Hunt declared that the NHS now has enough money and will have to make do. However, all the talk on funding in the election debates completely missed the point.
Around 7,500 nurses from the EU registered to work in the UK last year. This is an increase on the previous year, which was an increase on the year before that. Overseas nurses have played a vital role in the NHS since its inception, and will continue to do so, but clearly when trusts are relying more and more on this form of recruitment something is going wrong.
Jeremy talks a lot about seven day working in his speech. He seems to think that this is a new concept that nobody has thought about. He must be strolling around feeling rather proud of himself. Well I have news for you Mr Hunt... we already work weekends.
Myself and my small, close-knit ring of friends devoured the likes of Bliss, Sugar and J-17 for all our boy/girl insights and on occasion the more risky mag Look to study up on the Position of the Fortnight. Heady days indeed.
The current row about doctors working 24/7 is a smaller fray than other matters. My medic friends might slap me with a surgical glove for saying that,...
How much funding do you think charitable hospices get from the NHS and local authorities? It often surprises people to know that hospices for adults receive on average only around a third of their income from statutory sources, while children's hospices receive on average 17%.
When I was a fresh faced junior doctor at Whipps Cross Hospital, I remember waking up at 5 am after 4 hours sleep on weekend mornings to get the patient list ready so I could guide the Consultant who would arrive at dawn for our weekend ward round.