Monday 26 September 2011

Sweet Falls The Rain

Dark clouds may hide the sun,
Cold winds bite at my flesh
Yet I am not afraid.

Sweet falls the rain
Cleansing my soul,
Heaven at my fingertips.

Anna :o]

With thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales for the inspiration.

Friday 23 September 2011

HSCB - "My friend from America"

I love writing to people all over the world. Love to know what makes them tick, understand the differences and appreciate the similarities. I have American friends and I asked my dear friend ‘Eddie’ if he would consider writing a guest post on the blog re the differences of healthcare in The United States. He declined but gave me permission to publish excerpts from his letters. They are as follows (unedited apart from the first paragraph):

” When I think of America there are 3 things that immediately come to mind: Unaffordable health insurance (I have none)….

"About the health care issue, I'm sorry but I try to avoid blogs and it's not that I don't trust you, far from it; I just quite simply don't have the time. Also I don't have that much to tell really but feel free to use what ever I might come up with, perhaps under the heading "My friend from America" because I do look at you as my friend. One thing I can relate is that I had surgery for two hernia's about ten years ago and when it was over I owed $5000. I paid them what I could afford every month but that wasn't good enough so they put a collection agency on me who threatened to ruin my credit if I didn't pay up. I told them to go ahead and I also told them that you can't get blood out of a turnip. I finally paid them off, it took me five years.

"I didn't realize that your NHS was in jeopardy, and you should fight it because believe me you don't want the alternative. And let me guess it's your conservatives who are pushing to get rid of it?

"There are two main reasons why we have no nationalized health care in the states, lobbyists and the Republican Party. There are many different kinds of lobbyists in Washington, the gun industry has them, the pharmaceutical industry has them and the health care industry also. They are in Washington to fight for their respective clients interests and that entails blocking legislation that may be detrimental to said client. Last year Obama tried to over haul our health system but ran into such rabid opposition that the resulting bill ended up hurting the very people it was intended to help, i.e. poor people. Now I think I told you that I am a life long democrat (liberal) and would never under any circumstances vote for a republican (conservative). In my opinion the democrats are the good guys (or at least the lesser of two evils, politicians in general seem to be a rather unsavory bunch). It's democrats that have pushed legislation that actually help the average person and the poor, social security (which the conservatives are still trying to take away) unemployment insurance etc. The republicans have aligned themselves with white evangelicals and whenever they want to stir up their base they do what they always do, use fear. They started running ads during the health care debate that said Obama was trying to take away their health care and give it to the poor and also that Obama was a socialist (a very dirty word here). There was a public outcry against Obama i.e. the tea party (have you heard of these idiots?) and Obama was forced to back down. I would really like to ask these so called "Christians" what they think Jesus would say about all this. Do they think he would be against legislation that would help millions of poor people? I think not but the real motive for these people is money, they're afraid their taxes would go up. Christians in the U.S. are worried about your soul, because it's relatively cost effective to do so, but they don't give a damn about your health.”

My grandchildren might be writing something similar to the above in years to come when the NHS (as we know it) is dead and gone.   The NHS is already partially privatized (PFIs) and will be more so soon.  You, the tax payer will continue to contribute towards the NHS - but it will no longer be yours.

When you need a hip or knee replacement or whatever – you won’t get it. Do you get it? If you can afford private health care/insurance you just might be okay, that is if you mention the chest infection you had fifteen years ago – sure sign of COPD – for if you don’t you won’t be covered.

Private insurance companies want to make money from you – not pay for care.

Adopt a Lord (pretty damn soon) and stop the Health and Social Care Bill. Do it – or regret it (at painful) leisure.

Anna :o]

Sunday 18 September 2011


'The Snake Charmer'  Henri Rousseau, 1907

Ah this Eden,
This dark Eden,
The very garden
Where I beguile
Those that slither
Belly down.

Transfixed are you,
My haunting melodies
And excite your mind. 
You let me in. 
Dark thoughts accessible
I know
The very inch of you,
Know your mark
And sweet eyed
I bend you to my will.

Slither my friend,
Slither to me. 
My guise is that of
Melodious charm,
You see not
My evil treachery.  
Slither to me my friend,
Slither to me.

Anna :o]

With thanks to Tess at Mapie Tales for the inspiration

Saturday 17 September 2011

HSCB - Do the majority of 'health professionals' really give a damn?

The good Witch Doctors post 'Waiting patiently for The Academy' sent my little grey cells into overdrive.  (This doesn’t happen often!)

WDs post begins thus:

“The Guardian refers to an open letter sent by a group of doctors to all the Presidents of the Medical Royal Colleges asking them to speak for the medical establishment and demand that the Health and Social Care Bill, that has currently completed its trip through the House of Commons, is withdrawn by the government.”

WD mentions that despite much searching she could not find any comment or link leading to information re The Health and Social Care Bill on The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges home page.  (If I was a doctor worried about the HSCB I would have little faith in this academy).

You may wonder what set my little grey cells into overdrive …. I will tell you later.

The letter referred to is here and mentions that a RCGP survey of over a 1000 GPs was highly critical of the government lack of assurance to the medical profession that there would be no privatisation.  Dr Clare Gerada stated:

‘GPs don’t think this bill is going to create a patient-led NHS, they don’t think it’s going to increase autonomy, they don’t think it’s going to improve patient care and they don’t think it’s going to reduce health inequalities.’

I think the GPs who responded to this poll are certainly correct but, are the opinions of 1000 GPs truly representative of over 42000 family doctors?  I do not know how many GPs were asked to take part in the survey – but would the remainder have reached the same conclusion?

There is only one link to the HSCB on the RCGP home page and indeed it is not mentioned at all in the September edition of RCGP News.  Mmmm…. If I was a GP concerned about the HSCB I would worry about this.

The letter also mentions:

‘An online BMJ poll of over 1000 doctors showed that 93% wanted the bill to be withdrawn and a smaller online poll by GP magazine showed that 94% thought the bill should be scrapped. The Government’s former Director for heart disease and stroke, Sir Roger Boyle, also spoke out against the bill. He pulled no punches when he stated that: 'It is horrific that the NHS's future is threatened'

Do you think it fair to suggest that the majority of those who responded to the Yes/No/Unsure poll would be those who have genuine concerns re the HSCB?  What do the rest think?

What set my little grey cells into overdrive?  It was the combination of the Witch Doctors post and this article I had read previously in Pulse.  The article mentions the possibly of a ballot on industrial action over pension reforms and the governments intention of bringing forward its plans to increase the retirement age to 67.

The BMA is calling in lawyers to give advice on industrial actions. Dr Andrew Dearden, BMA pensions chair describing the new pension plans a ‘straightforward tax on healthworkers.’

Dr Hamish Meldrum, union chief and council chair of the BMA has set up a dedicated Pensions Campaign Group and is discussing legal issues and industrial action etc.

Why did this article and the Witch Doctors post send my little grey cells into overdrive?

It appears to my little grey cells that the medical profession is really worked up about future pension changes and there is much anger and the possibility of industrial action.

If the majority of the medical profession were really concerned regarding the ramifications of HSCB would they not have become angry and worked up about this too?  Would they not have threatened industrial action?

Would the fact that they have not, strongly suggest that the good doctors who blog are indeed (and unfortunately) members of a minority of the medical profession who oppose the bill, the remainder being pro the bill or at the very least indifferent to it?

Dave might have been correct when he stated the health professionals back the bill for perhaps in the most part they do?

I hope I’m bloody wrong!

What say you?

Anna :o]

PS Nurses are no better either.

Thursday 15 September 2011

Night Brings No Comfort

Does not swiftly pass me by
As quickly in rem sleep
(Or otherwise)
I do not slumber;
I lie awake
And remember you
By your awful number
Six, six, six –
My very devil
In the black of night.

I drink
Countless cups of coffee
In respectful toast of you
And smoke cigarettes
In fear of you
As you infiltrate
The very being of me.
I see you
For what you are
And see me
For what indeed I am.

The very sham of me,
The awful pretence
Of whom I want to be,
The one who copes
With a fragmented mind
Where black thoughts
Have much too easy access.

Full moon
Or otherwise
You create
The monsters in my mind,
The kind that illuminate the me
I do not want to see.

Dawn delivers
Me restless from the night.
I shall never be free of me.
I am what I am
And will always be..

Anna :o]

With thanks to the good folks at Poetry Jam and  dVerse Poets for the inspiration.

Thursday 8 September 2011


Like some
Old vehicle mired in mud
We stand
Wallowing waist high
In old spent emotions,
Can't let go, can't move on,
We share
The mistaken senseless notion
That if we try hard enough
Love expired can be recaptured. 

By our new beginning
We will rise
Above the quagmire
Of extinguished love,
Distinguished by our fight
For rejoined hearts,
Set apart from mere mortals
We shall take on angelic form,
Love excelling.

Yet angels
Cannot enter here
Where two lives self destruct
In faint hope of loves resurrection,
Tensions released
We should drown
Like some tragic dying swan,
Yet we will not relent,
Will not let go, will not move on.

Anna: o]

With thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales for the inspiration.

Monday 5 September 2011

Is The NHS Doomed?

Collecting together the main sections of the Sunday newspapers to take into work last night I was struck by The Observers headline "Lib Dem peer plunges NHS reforms into fresh turmoil" and read with joy that Baroness Shirley Williams is expressing new doubts – although appearing pacified by changes to the bill over summer – having re-examined the proposals.

The article also mentions emails released yesterday following a freedom of information request by Spinwatch detailing exchanges between senior health officials and private companies regarding the handing over of between 10-20 hospitals to international companies.  One message from McKinsey to a senior DoH official reads 'international hospital provider groups' would want certain conditions taking over the hospitals, such as 'a free hand on staff management' – adding that the NHS would be allowed to keep real estate and pensions.  How kind.  

"Let me make clear: there will be no privatisation," now sounds a bit hollow David.

Please read 'German Company involved in talks to take over NHS hospitals.'

I fear that Shirley Williams is possibly quite alone as this article states:

 "Sources close to Clegg said the leadership had already "used up a lot of political capital" by halting and then recasting the bill earlier this year."We expect MPs to vote with the government. Otherwise we won't last very long [in power].""

The response I received from my latest email to my (Labour) MP wasn't very encouraging at all, purely focusing on the revised Clause 1 of the bill still proposing to weaken the responsibility of the Secretary of State to provide and secure NHS services.

No specific questions posed were answered nor did MP X state that he/she planned to vote against the bill.

This is not really a very well constructed post folks (as I should be in bed) and in reality it is all over the place, but I guess what I am trying to say is "I think the NHS is doomed."

Sad, very sad.

Anna :o[