Tag Archives: Patient

Patients DO know best

Now doctors agree

Pulse is THE magazine that goes out to GPs.  A recent issue had a fascinating article about letting patients refer themselves to Physiotherapy.

English: NHS logo


The article came up with the conclusion that doing this had “slashed care costs by almost a third compared with referral through a GP, a study by one NHS primary care service has found”.

Apparently the sensible folk in Barnsley introduced a self- Continue reading

NHS thinks we are stupid

Fuss about patients going to A & E –

NHS says we should be seeing GP

BUT Patients Association says most patients are ‘right to go to A&E’

The Fraser Centre, Milngavie (Glasgow) where t...

Ninian Reid

saying “New research published by the College of Emergency Medicine (CEM) has revealed that just 15% of attendees at Emergency Departments could have been seen by a GP in the community without the need for Emergency Department assessment”.

In other words, they know better than the Dept. Health, NHS Continue reading

Does NHS treat pain?

Or does any treatment have to have a ‘tick box’?

“I don’t want to make a fuss”.

How often do we hear this – as fellow patients?  And how often do you think NHS staff actually listen to what is being said – and act on this?

Not often in my experience, and I am sure others.

One awful experience

Osteoporosis affects thousands of us, but turning up in A & E doubled up with spinal pain, you would think I was speaking a foreign language (perhaps I was to those who didn’t have a good command of English).

One would have expected to be given an X-ray at the very least, to discover what had gone wrong.

Silly me – this is the new modern NHS, pledged to respect my dignity; or perhaps slide me over into another treatment stream so that A & E could tick the box that said I had been seen within four hours, then wash their hands of me.

image of pills and thermometerResult:

I was sent home with three large boxes of a drug that I should never be prescribed, and a recommendation that I would be seen by a Consultant.  I threw away the dangerous tablets, and three weeks later am still waiting to get a referral to a Consultant.

What happened?

I am not very good at handling pain, so phoned a private Consultant.  His secretary obviously could hear I was in pain, and made me an appointment to see her boss that afternoon.  Am now being treated for three Wedge Fractures of my spine, and having Hydrotherapy twice a week.  Apparently I had somehow collected three wedge fractures in my spine.  However, private treatment sorted things out, and am now walking fairly upright, and consumption of Pain Killers has almost stopped.

But what happens if your Bank Manager can’t let you have any more dosh?

A friend, in the same situation, but hers had lasted for several weeks, was fed up with “pass the parcel’ treatment in hospital clinics.  When the umpteenth doctor whom she saw spent more time tapping his keyboard than listening to her, she marched off to the hospital’s PALS.

They have improved enormously in the past year (lots of complaints to deal with, I suppose).  A PALS staff member took her complaint, told her to wait, then marched off to the Consultants’ clinic.  She came back with a Consultant in tow.  My friend was fast-tracked through all the administration, boxes were ignored, and she is now being treated.  And out of pain.

So try this next time – it might work, until the NHS finds too many of us are copying this system, and devises another way to block us getting treatment (it costs money, which the NHS says it has to save).

NHS Change Day

Next March there is yet another PR exercise, designed to make us love our caring NHS.  The idea is that everyone working for the NHS pledges to make small changes to help improve our care.  So let me suggest

1.  When we are desperate for a glass of water, FETCH it yourself to us.  How long will it take?

2.  Forget about those stupid pain league tables – ” on a scale of 1 – 10, how bad is the Pain?”  Last time i ground out between gritted teeth “10”, nurse just ticked the box and went on to the next question.  What a pointless waste of patient’s time, and unproductive.


Quick guide to Interpreting NHS jargon

Useful phrases in Lansley-speak


LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13:  Secretary of Stat...

He’s just been asked a question by a nurse




The revered Minister of State for Health, Andrew Lansley (this is him), seems a likely candidate for a bed in his ‘new’ reformed NHS, as he comes out with his pat phrases glossing over NHS shortcomings.

To prevent you going bonkers too when trying to understand what medics are spouting, here is my handy guide to what I think he actually means when he comes out with gobbledegook.

The British Medical Association and the Plain English Campaign have criticised the NHS’s use of words such as ‘service users’ and ‘clients’ to describe patients.  They said gobbledygook phrases were causing confusion for staff and patients alike.

I agree.  Nothing enraged me more whilst being treated for cancer than each time I was called a ‘customer’.  A customer is someone who goes into a shop and decides to buy something – not a patient who has woken up one day and found they have cancer.  But officials can’t understand that, unlike shops’ customers, I did not choose to pick cancer off the shelf.

Do you need an Interpreter?

No, I have finally realised they aren’t mistaking me for an immigrant.  They are being polite as they realise it is sometimes difficult to understand what medics say.

Interpreting Lansley-speak

You have to understand he is following the phrases his computer is programmed supply phrases when writing his  speeches.

One of his favourites is 5000 fewer managers, 4000 more doctors: (and similar misleading phrases). By the time you manage to Google this to try and confirm where he gets his figures from, ask a Dept. Health Press Officer (where do they pick them from?)  or contact your MP, the translation will be lost in mists of time (with any luck for LaLa).

But despair not – this and similar phrases are just plucked out of thin air to sound good in TV sound bites.

Baffled by opposition (stock reply when your MP manages to ask a sensible question…) translation:
I have not been listening to any other views but mine for the last 18 months

Care provided by the NHS will remain free at the point of use:
That’s provided you can work your way through the minefield and actually find someone to deliver this before you are carted off to the old people’s home and won’t need it any more.

Alternatively, for those of you whose nerve has crumbled and you bought health insurance, of course your care is free (to the NHS) because the insurance company will pay

Cutting management costs:
When you phone your hospital for an appointment, most will offer an option to ‘press button No. X for private appointments’.  With any luck you will get so fed up with waiting for the call centre to answer that you will press this option – thereby cutting NHS costs

Doctors tell me they want these reforms:   Translation: I once met a doctor who told me he supported part of my Bill

Evidence shows:  translation: Er – I’m making this up.  Please don’t ask where I got my evidence because you will be fobbed off by different departments until you give up.

Hand more control to patients:
Well, we can’t manage this so with any luck we are hoping you will all go privately and sort out your own care.

Health and social care integration:
(misleading phrase)  cutting budgets for both health and social care

No decision about me without me:
this misleading phrase was set to be Lansley’s signature cry – but rebounded.  Means you do have a choice :  either stay in system and wait – or go privately

No top-down re-organisation:
We can’t ask senior management because they have all taken redundancy and negotiated higher pay packets working for the new quangos we are setting up.

Biggest re-organisation since 1948    With any luck no-one is around from that time, so doesn’t remember the days when Matron managed the hospitals more efficiently

Ploughed back into patient care:
In the Dept. Health we are becoming experts at robbing Peter to pay Paul.. We can constantly play the game of announcing ‘new funding…..’ and with any luck we won’t be around once they have worked out what we are cutting to pay for this.

Liberate NHS from bureaucracy:
get rid of layers of Administration such as PCTs, and replace with two layers for every one we close down

Let’s take the politics out of this
The opposition are getting too near the nitty-gritty

The bill enjoys the support of all the clinical professions:  there are fairies living in the Dept. Health’s massively expensive collection of plants in their indoor garden

Those who are against the bill just don’t understand it:
1) everyone is out of step but Lansley
2) almost nobody understands the Bill, especially MPs, but luckily the Coalition has more MPs than the opposition, and the Whips make sure they vote the way Lansley wants them to vote.  Who mentioned Democracy?

doctors/clinicians are already (…):
We have bribed some medics near retirement with lovely Quango posts to get them to carry this out

Patients will be involved                                                                                                                                                                                    We 1) We just make sure we don’t ask any of them in the first place;  then by the time they find out we have closed the Enquiry down and no-one is around to answer questions.                                                                                                                               2) Copy the Future Fandango (Forum) format.  Announce patients are going to be involved, then make sure there is no contact address so we don’t have to answer questions asking who are patient reps. 

If all else fails, LaLa can copy his revered Boss and only invite those backing him to tea at Downing Street – or Richmond Towers.


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Silver lining to A & E crisis

Long waits are back again




East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Once again, Patients are being left stranded on trolleys in A & E for hours.

Nurses report patients having treatment in corridors, due in part to the loss of hospital beds.


The Royal College of Nursing says feedback from more than 1,200 staff paints a “worrying picture”, with patients regularly being kept  in ambulances or held in a queue.


The union warned the NHS risked going backwards unless ministers got a grip.

Of the 1,246 nurses and healthcare assistants who replied to an RCN survey, a fifth said providing care in corridors had become a daily occurrence.

Half said they had encountered patients facing long waits on trolleys – with some aware of people being left for 24 hours without a bed.


LaLa says it’s OK

However, the government has said there were enough beds for this not to be happening.  So that’s OK then.   And doesn’t seem to agree with the RCN who say that it was putting patients at risk by potentially leaving them without access to essential equipment such as oxygen supplies and heart monitoring equipment as well as compromising their privacy and dignity.


One patient’s experience


However, there is a silver lining.  And it happened to me.


A couple of months ago a wonderful group of people in John D. Wood Estate agents called an Ambulance for me.  One of my drugs apparently played up (as they do);  I felt desperately ill as I was cycling past, and managed to crawl into their office on Chelsea Green.

The Ambulance crew were there within a few minutes, and took me into the van.  I was strapped onto monitors galore, with wires decorating me everywhere.  Chris and his colleague reassured me, and carried out inumerable tests.  I eventually came out of my semi-coma, and discovered we were parked up on a quiet side street, with me feeling better by the minute.

After what seemed like a long time, Chris announced they were going to take me to A & E for them to monitor and check me over.

By this time I was feeling very much better.  Well enough to realise that if I were taken to my local A & E I would be stuck in a cold corridor for ages, with no-one coming near me, and nothing much being done – staff had better things to do than talk to patients, so you are left not knowing what is going on:  this is stressful in itself.

So Chris and I struck a bargain.

  • He said he would do what I wanted:  take me home.
  • If in return I would give him the name of my GP’s surgery, and promise that I would let my doctor come round and check me up later that afternoon.
  • Chris gave me a sheaf of paperwork to hand to my doctor so that they could see what had been done for me.

The crew took me home;  saw me into, made sure I had water etc. by my bedside, and I snoozed away.  Later on that afternoon the doctor phoned to tell me that the surgery was far too busy, and – didn’t even ask if I needed anything, but it was made clear that they weren’t going to  make a house call.

And this was the only facet of this ‘new’ treatment that wasn’t any good.  I had several questions to ask, and wanted reassurance that I was now on the mend, but my GP was dumping me.

Way forward

But if they get GPs sorted out, treating patients in the ambulance then delivering them home could be the way forward for some of us for certain conditions.

Is there any chance of the RCN, NHS, RCGPs and Patients’ Association looking at this type of service to see if it might work, save the NHS money and save patients having long, cold waits in A & E?  Or am I asking for the moon?

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Look your doctor in the eye!





I had an appointment with someone who treats the Royal family;  it was a delightful experience.

Treated with the utmost courtesy;   the Consultant got up when I came into the room, and during the whole consultation I was looking at them full-face – not a computer screen in the way.

What a difference from the computer whizz kids constantly tapping their keyboards.   A recent survey in Pulse (the doctors’ magazine) complained that consultations had become more complicated and intense over the last five years.

  • only 55 per cent of any consultation was spent “speaking to patients” and “addressing their concerns”
  • one third was spent on paperwork and data input.
  • 38 per cent felt they could not give patients enough eye-contact because they had to spend so much time entering information on to computers to meet Government targets. Much of the information that doctors must input relates to bonus payments for the performance-based aspect of their contract i.e. the dreaded QOFs.

So instead of making life easier for doctors and giving us more ‘quality time’ during appointments, the NHS wastes time by changing the rules.

GPs are now compensated for the different conditions they treat, rather than giving every practice an overall payment according to how many patients are on the books.  Hence the amount of time GPs  spend in-putting data onto screens, so they can claim the maximum fees from the PCT, rather than observing us and answering our needs.

Vanessa Bourne, Head of Special Projects at the Patients Association says,  “GPs are the gatekeepers to all other healthcare. Patients must be able to trust that an accurate diagnosis is being made. At the very least that means having a proper look at the patient”.

So what actually happens?


  •  half of GPs said that their Primary Care Trust (who pay for GP care) did not support them in “offering high-quality patient care”
  • 27 per cent said PCTs were “actively obstructive”.

One wonders if they worry more that forms are filled in, rather than patients are getting proper care.

Average consultation lasts 11 minutes – although GPs say they need around 14 minutes to give us adequate time.  However, under a new payment contract introduced in 2003 (when QOFs reared their ugly head), doctors are working seven hours less per week. The harshest critics have said that if doctors worked longer, they could spend more time giving personal care.

“If PCTs are to blame for the wrong priorities in a consultation, then patients risk being shortchanged twice over – once by their GP and again by the PCT. For over a quarter of GPs to feel that their PCT is being “actively obstructive” tells patients that urgent action is needed,” according to the Patients’ Association.

Demand to see a Consultant

The Clinic system as offered by the NHS would only be tolerated by us.  I can’t see other nationalities meekly waiting to see a Consultant, then allowing the staff to shuffle them off to see another doctor

  • whom they have never met
  • who only has ten minutes in which to get a grip on their case
  • who in that ten minutes won’t have time to read their notes and familiarise themselves with your case
  • is expected to give a balanced judgement about your treatment for the next few months, when they may never have seen you before

What can you do?

Needless to say I don’t get marks for popularity;  when called through during a Clinic to see an unknown doctor, I politely tell the Receptionist “I am here to see Mr. XXX” .  She usually tries to push me through anyway, but I say sweetly that I will wait.  And sit back.  They will try and pay me out by making me wait at least an hour, but I reckon if I am going to see a Consultant and have the appointment paid for by my NHS contribution, I have to put myself out to a reasonable amount.  But to see a stranger, who has no idea of my medical history, is not fair on me as a patient.

Best of luck.  Doctors are supposed to be asking for more time with patients – so supposedly they will support your action.  And even if they don’t, you are seeing someone who knows some of your medical history – is not coming to it cold.

To see the original Pulse Magazine article and download the full survey results, please visit:

To see more about the Patients’ Association, or to sign up for their excellent newsletter, http://www.patients-association.org.uk/Join-Us.



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Hospital Waiting time extends

Forget pain relief – just pop pills


I am in pain – one of my drugs is playing up – and that makes me very stroppy.

Still can’t understand why local  hospital won’t give me an early appointment for the  procedure that relieves the pain.

Instead, this hospital now follows the Communist way of working;  phone for an appointment, and there is now a new recorded announcement that says:

  • For X-rays press 1


  • For today’s appointments press 3,  etc. etc.


Under the Communists

Reminds me of what Ceasescu’s lot did to the peasants in Romania.  There was definitely a very separate private health  sector.  To access this the Nomenclatura pressed the key and got straight through to the paying section for Government funded private care;  plebs waited their turn – and waited and waited.

In this day and age, with fibre optic wires dancing all over the place making communication easier, I can’t understand why the NHS can’t sort themselves out and keep me quiet.

As NHSManager’s Roy Lilley says

“Once upon a time, if I wanted to go on holiday, I would go to the high street, park the car and sit with a youngster called Amanda, who would wax lyrical about a place she’d never been and flog me two grand’s worth of holiday in a hotel that wasn’t built.

It wasn’t long ago that if I wanted to borrow some money I’d have to crawl across the Bank manager’s floor and beg.  In return for the surety of my house, first born and the dog he might lend me a few quid.

I remember the time when, to insure my car, I’d have to find an insurance broker, fill out a book of forms and wait to see if he could ‘place my business’.

Today, I go on line look up a resort, poke around YouTube, look for video, comments, opinions and find my own holiday.  To borrow money I speak to a bloke in Mumbai who drops a loan direct into my bank account.  For insurance I go onto a cost-comparison website and get fixed up in minutes.

There is no part of my life that isn’t made easier and cheaper by technology.  My shopping is picked, packed and delivered, the result of a mouse click.  Tickets need no box-office, books need no bookshop and even the shirts that come from the ether, fit.

I am not unusual, I’m sure you do it, too.  So, how it can be that the NHS cannot use simple technology to enhance people’s lives and recovery without it costing an arm and a leg?

Since Florence was a lad in short trousers the DH has been palavering around with something called the ‘whole system demonstrator’.  In plain English; nearly 6,000 patients and service users have been involved in what is thought to be largest randomised trial of telehealth technologies in the world.

The upshot is (and you might need to sit down with a strong cuppabuilders for this), it emerged at a King’s Fund telehealth conference, using the cost per quality adjusted life year as the baseline calculation and adding in direct costs, it cost in the region of £80,000 per patient.

Eighty grand!  It would be cheaper to put the patient in the Savoy Hotel and ask the district nurse to pop-in three times a day.  NICE – the ‘we-are-not-the-rationing-watchdog’ – use £20k-£30k as their yardstick for a QALY.

The invisible minister, Paul Burstow, said in a speech in March: “The widespread adoption of telehealth and telecare…could save the NHS up to £1.2 billion over five years.”  I have news for him; it’s more likely to cost £1.2bn.

In December the DH published some early trial findings that claimed emergency admissions had been reduced by 20%.  However, the Nuffield’s Jennifer Dixon, who has been looking at the findings, said they were “very disappointing results”.  If a 20% fall is disappointing I’m pleased I don’t have the job of cheering her up.

The problem with all this is the DH won’t release the whole data.  Now it’s all been made even worse by a US analysis that claims Telemed ‘kills the elderly’.  And this one saying it cuts costs by 90%.  This is an industry in disarray.

If expensive boxes of kit have been bought at the wrong price, plugged into expensive broadband in people’s homes and expensive people have been sent to show them how to work it and more expensive kit has been put into GP surgeries where expensive nurses have had to have a look-see, in between the day job, then I guess it will have been expensive.  Duplicate that in a dozen, perhaps 30 surgeries, then you are looking at ‘very expensive’.

On the other hand; if you use tablet apps, G3, linked to regional call centres where incoming data is automatically dropped into an algorithm that throws up an alert for outliers so that a telehealth assistant can initiate the ‘how are you today’ call – then we might be talking ‘save money’.

If a third of outpatient follow-ups and most medicine reviews could be done on the phone we are talking about saving a shed-load of money and the end of a hellava-lot of inconvenience for the patient.  In the US telecare is all-but routine.

There is something very strange about this trial, or the data, or how it’s been done.  Holidays, banks, insurance, shopping, tickets, books and shirts tell Roy his is right.  But it seems the Geeks that set up the NHS IT system live on a different Planet to the rest of us.

And you still have the Nurses at Chelsea and Westminster who don’t read notes – written on computer or with the Consultant’s best fountain pen.

Who gives NHS staff permission to call us by our first names?

Cameron highlights


bad treatment for elderly



But it’s not only the elderly who are subjected to rudeness and bad treatment by some NHS staff.  The NHS needs to put itself into a patient’s shoes, and work out what is best for THEM – NOT the hospital.

And remember that the NHS is funded by the patient – NOT out of a bottomless purse.  So make sure the patient gets value for money.

Somehow, treating patients with dignity and courtesy seems to have two meanings:

1.  Staff meaning might be :  “you are ONLY a patient”, and may give no thought to what patients are actually feeling.

2.  Official attitude might be:  we say we care for out patients (to stop them complaining).

This was amply demonstrated in the TV Junior Doctors programme, when ‘caring’ doctor Lucy was shown spending a great deal of time looking after one elderly patient, and even asking about her arrangements for when she got home.  Those who care for elderly relatives who were in the same ward know full well that the reality can be very different – when cameras aren’t around to record what actually can happen.

The same hospital has a £600 banner waving above its Atrium, proclaiming that it won a PEAT Award for ‘Dignity’  i.e. treating patients with courtesy.

What’s a PEAT Award?  Er – something awarded by the hospital to itself.

So you guess that dignity and courtesy can be lacking.

Name calling

I went to see Mrs. M in hospital – a very old friend and employee.  Asking a nurse where I could find her, and was there anything I could do to help, the nurse said it would be helpful if I could remember to shout.  Shout?  Her hearing was razor-sharp.

Talking to her (in a normal voice) she said that she didn’t answer if they called her Joan.  Only if they addressed her as Mrs. M.

One feisty old lady’s solution to bad manners;  a pity nurses don’t ask patients how they want to be called as a courtesy.

Good things

Having a Colonoscopy probably isn’t high on most patients wish list, but this hospital has a department run by Sue, where the staff are unfailingly polite.  They work in a cramped corridor (called a ‘ward’), yet Sue’s staff are the type of nurses you just have to hug – they are so helpful and courteous.  So if Sue can give dignity, kindness and courtesy to patients on her ward – why not others?


The Receptionists who snarl “what’s your date of birth?”  (what’s dignified about that?) try to tell you that this is the way their IT system works.  Obviously this has been set up by someone with not an ounce of courtesy in their veins.

So what happens in the private sector?  They know that to ask this question in front of a packed waiting room is a security risk;  in fact Scotland Yard frowns on the practice, and says no-one should give out personal information in front of strangers.  So in the private sector, if a Receptionist has to ask for a DOB, they push paper and pen across the desk and politely ask if you will write this down.

I now ask for pen and paper every time an NHS receptionist asks for this – and surprise, surprise – they are perfectly happy to comply, making me think that they must have been warned to do it this way, but have ‘forgotten’ until a patient reminds them.


Watching patients arrive at A & E, it is obvious that some are in pain.  They may not be very polite;  understandable when every step is painful, yet one frequently hears receptionists snap “I don’t have to listen to your rudeness”.

It’s NOT being rude, and they should realise that the person shouting at them would probably be horrified if they knew how they were behaving.  But when you can’t think for pain, your manners go out the window. The receptionist is NOT in pain and they should be trained that part of their job is to make allowances.

Being drunk is NOT an excuse for bad manners, and if a receptionist snaps at an abusive drunk they should be applauded.  But training should tell them the difference.

Another local hospital has some horrors as Outpatient Receptionists.  Check in, and although they know the Consultant hasn’t even come down from the operating threatre, they say nuffin.  After an hour or so, you meekly ask if someone has forgotten you exist?  Visible sneers, and you are told Consultant is still upstairs/is running an hour late, etc.

Another hospital has installed an expensive LED screen to alert patients.  Only problem is, Receptionists can’t be bothered to up-date it.

Perhaps best system would be for Patients to ask when checking in, “how late is so-and-so running?”  Last time I did this Receptionist was very happy to tell me “he’s running an hour late”.  So I told her I would be back in one hour, and went off to see a friend.

Lost notes

For patients to be told that a Clinic has lost their notes can be devastating.  You have been waiting for months to see the Consultant, and then realise you are expected to make another appointment weeks down the line.

Last time this happened to Bettina, she said “I smiled sweetly and said I quite understood this must be a problem for them, but I would wait whilst they looked for the notes.  My appointment had been for 3 pm – the notes were ‘found’ at 4.55.  But at least I got information I needed on that day and didn’t have to wait weeks for another appointment”.

Another friend had the same thing happen to her.  Her consultant said she would see her, they talked, and consultant said she would email the test results when they turned up.  Results turned up in her inbox two days later;  on the same day that a letter arrived from the hospital saying ‘as you didn’t turn up for your appointment you are off the list.  If you wish to re-book you will have to get a referral from your GP’.  That is really polite!


Figures get bandied about regarding the cost of the NHS computer system (did I hear £60 billion?).  What seems extraordinary is that in a system where various hospitals can belong to the same trust, they can’t work out a way of checking if a patient has already got an appointment booked when they confirm a date.

Imperial NHS Trust ‘owns’ several hospitals.  Patients can be booked into one for an appointment, but need to have another appointment – so you can guess what happens.  The two appointments can invariably be scheduled for same day with not enough time for a patient to travel between hospitals – especially if their first appointment is running late.

It would be courteous and helpful if

  • Every appointment letter gave out a dedicated number so a patient could phone straight through to change times/dates, rather than the general number which can see patients waiting up to 30 minutes to be answered.
  • If an appointment is running late, Receptionists did everything possible either to ‘insert’ a patient in next, or to help the patient by phoning through to the next clinic, explain what is happening, and work out with that receptionist if the doctor can see them later.

 What to do

LISTEN to patients.  The NHS is a National Health SERVICE, and as such is there to serve contributors i.e. the general public.

And imagine every patient is a friend of your mother/father.  Treat them the same.

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Cancer patients should be careful on the golf course

Watch this video and beware!

Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus Flickr


Author of several books, including “Laugh ’til it Heals“, Christine K. Clifford doesn’t believe in showing a gloomy face.

As far as she is concerned, laughing at cancer is the way to go – and her ‘take’ on situations that face us is often hilarious.

During cancer treatment she had the opportunity of watching several of her golfing heroes play, including Jack Nicklaus, with embarrassing consequences.. .


The video below explains what happened, and why we should be careful if we end up on a windy golf course – particularly one where the eyes of the golfing world are focussed:


Andrew Lansley Rap – or you can watch him on hospital TV

Listen to the Rap –

Warning – use ear defenders

and keep a teenager in the room to translate.

But it gets funnier and more understandable as you go along.


If this wasn’t bad enough, wait until you see this……

The NHS has a new weapon

They want to send you home quicker, and save money.

So Andrew Lansley’s face will stare down at hospital patients from their bedside TVs – and if you don’t like it you pay £5 to register and turn him off!

Trying to contact the providers, Hospedia, to ask why?  They were strangely silent.

So not only are you to be chased from your bed by Lansley’s glare – if you don’t like it you  pay the NHS to turn him off.  So it’s a win-win situation for hospitals.

What the papers say

Should you have the misfortune to be hospitalised you will now be greeted by a never-ending video of Andrew Lansley. The Health Secretary’s face appears on bedside screens on a permanent North Korea-style loop, welcoming patients to hospital and asking them to thank NHS staff for looking after them.

To turn Lansley off, patients must register under a pay-as-you-go system which sees them charged £5 a day to access television, email and phone services. Those who do not register are continuously greeted by the Health Secretary saying:

Hello, I’m Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary.

 I just want to take a few moments to say that your care while you’re here in hospital really matters to me. I hope it’s as good quality care as we can possibly make it and I do hope you’ll join me in thanking all the staff who are looking after you while you’re here.

Give me the Rap any day.

The Independent reported that “In some wards with multiple beds, the screens have the effect of a television showroom, with dozens of Lansleys staring down on the ill.” One man who visited an elderly relative said: “It was eerie. Everywhere you looked there was Andrew Lansley. My mother-in-law had to keep topping up the machine just to escape him.”

Lansley appeared on Today to defend himself, saying he wanted patients to have “as comfortable and as high quality a stay as possible” (a pledge that sits uncomfortably with Lansley TV) and to ensure that they thanked NHS staff. But shouldn’t praise be voluntary? And what of those patients who suffer inadequate care?

Somehow I don’t think  Secretary of State TV is going to rival Strictly Come Dancing.  But anyone who can work out how to turn off Lansley, without costing a fiver, deserves a medal.  Lansley himself didn’t know how when interviewed on Today.

Stop Press

Natalie Howells, Marketing Communications Manager of Hospedia emails me to say:
“Patients can switch off the informational video in one of 2 ways. Firstly, registration costs patients nothing and provides them access to free radio services. Secondly, each bedside system has an off switch on the front of the screen, which can be used to switch the bedside screen off”.

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