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Diseases from the history books are back.
Cases of rickets are up four-fold in the last 15 years, as children and pregnant women are not getting enough vitamin D, while TB rates are soaring (though it was almost wiped out in the 1970s).
( The Big Issue, 27.12.2012 )

Patients’ Lives May Not Be Safe.
As winter tightens its grip, tens of thousands of patients are waiting in ambulance queues or being kept on trolleys because there aren’t enough hospital beds.

Some have to be ‘warehoused’ in corridors or side rooms for up to 12 hours before being taken to a ward, it’s reported.
Department of Health statistics show that in the past 12 months almost 126,000 patients have waited for between four and 12 hours to be transferred to a ward after being seen by a doctor in A&E.
The annual figures are up by a fifth on the same period in the previous year.
More than 35,000 ambulances have been forced to wait a minimum of half an hour outside a hospital in the past six weeks alone.
This compares to around 24,000 for broadly that period the year before.
Many patients are elderly and frail and besides being in desperate need of medical attention have to suffer the indignity of lying on a trolley for ages in full public view.
Yet when you consider what could happen to them when they’re finally placed on a ward, you might be tempted to say these are the lucky ones.
Last week the Worcestershire Acute NHS Hospitals Trust had to pay out more than £400,000 in compensation to the families of 38 patients who suffered what their lawyer called an “appalling” catalogue of neglect.
Wretched old folk had to beg nurses for water or were left hungry when meal trays were dumped too far from their reach.
Buzzers were ignored and patients were not taken to the toilet but left to lie in their own faeces.
One elderly patient – who was not identified at the request of his relatives – died of starvation.
That’s right, In 21st century Britain, a man supposedly in the care of the NHS officially starved to death.
Another patient, 86-year-old Patricia Bridle – ironically, a former NHS nurse – was not washed for 11 weeks, her son claimed.
She later died following a seizure.
Peter Bridle said towards the end his mother didn’t want him to visit her because she was “embarrassed and humiliated to be lying in her own filth”.
On the same day the outcome of a legal “class action” against this hospital trust was reported, statistics revealed senior NHS managers including finance directors and human resources officers were now paid an average of £74,654 a year – a rise of £1,459 on the average figure last September.
The Coalition claims the NHS is safe in its hands.
Patients’ lives may not be safe.
But paper shufflers’ jobs are, that’s for sure.
( Charlie Catchpole, 30.12.2012 )

It Is Time For An Inquiry.
I take no pleasure in being right, but as the scale of this scandal has become clear to me, I have learned to look out for the words ‘antidepressant’ or ‘being treated for depression’ in almost any case of suicide and violent, bizarre behaviour.
And I generally find it
The science behind these pills is extremely dubious.
Their risks are only just beginning to emerge.
It is time for an inquiry.
( Peter Hitchens )

Hearing Loss Happens To Everyone As A Natural Part Of Ageing.
42% of Britons aged 50 and above experience hearing loss to some degree, with this figure rising to nearly three-quarters for the over-70s.
One person in seven in the UK has problems with hearing and struggles for up to 15 years before seeking help.
It affects the hair cells in the inner ear, which transmit signals to the brain via nerves.
Everyone is born with 16,000 of these but they die as we age, and by 65 we have lost about 40%.
The deafness is caused by the degeneration of the microscopic hairs in the ear, which pick up sound waves, along with the cells in the inner ear.
The effects of the condition can be exacerbated by long-term exposure to loud noises.

Legs Amputated Needlessly.
Thousands of patients are needlessly having legs amputated because doctors are failing to spot poor circulation early enough.
A damning 16-page report, sent to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt by MPs, slams the NHS for viewing amputations as a treatment option – rather than a worst case scenario.
Of 11,000 amputations each year for patients with vascular disease and diabetes, 5,000 are unnecessary due to a postcode lottery which meant they were not treated early enough.
The illness – which blocks arteries and veins – affects more than four million people and causes 40% of all deaths.
It can lead to heart disease, heart attacks and strokes and can be caused by high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.
The number of diabetics is set to hit 4.4 million by 2020 due to obesity.
( Andrew Gregory, 15.12.2012 )

Low Magnesium Levels In Soft Water May Cause Heart Disease.
The case for adding magnesium to soft-water supplies extends much further than preventing alcoholic liver disease.
A series of studies in the Sixties in South Africa and England proved conclusively that the low magnesium levels in soft water doubled the risk of heart disease.
It may be of interest that magnesium injections have a dramatic therapeutic effect on heart attacks, angina, heart failure and non-haemorrhagic strokes.
( Dr S E Browne )

Cannabis Makes You Stupid – Official.
I know this already, from the feeble arguments and moronic insults that I get from the dope lobby when I argue for harsher, more effective laws against this dangerous, unpredictable poison.
But now you and your children don’t need to take my word for it.
Science has at last caught up with the blazingly obvious.
Smoking cannabis in your teens permanently reduces your IQ – official.
A highly reputable study traced a sample of more than 1,000 people from birth for 38 years.
They controlled for all the other variables.
Marijuana was the consistent factor in the lives of those whose IQ shrank and stayed shrunk for ever.
The more they smoked, the worse it was.
But when a reputable, thorough and respected scientific survey shows a measurable danger to the brain from a drug that is widely used by the elite classes and their children, nothing happens.
Worse, our society continues to weaken the already feeble laws against it, with police officers instructed to issue meaningless ‘cannabis warnings’ to those caught with it.
( Peter Hitchens )

Needless Leg Amputations.
The disclosure that there have been 5,000 needless leg amputations means thousands of lives have been ruined.
The amputation of limbs, which could have been reprieved by earlier and better medical diagnoses, is absolutely tragic.

Doctors save countless lives every day and restore to health seriously ill people, working what are close to miracles.
So the needless severing of legs is harder to take when those limbs could have been saved.

Whatever needs to be done to put this right should be done immediately, because the emotional as well as physical blow is awful.
( Daily Mirror, 15.12.2012 )

Angels Watching Over Me.
It’s easy to be cynical and say we pay our taxes for a health service, but I’ve been in the hands of amazing people.
If there’s better treatment, I would love to see it.
These people are real heroes.
I’ve had angels watching over me, but it’s not all there just for me – these people save lives every day of the week, they make the difference between life and death.
Do we treat them well enough?
From personal experience, probably not.
Do we take them for granted?
The NHS is an amazing organisation.
( Steve Perryman )

You’d Be Far Better Off Taking A Brisk Walk.
A scandal can exist for ages before anyone notices.
Here is one such.
Ten years from now we will look back in shame and regret at the way the drug companies bamboozled us into swallowing dangerous, useless ‘antidepressant’ pills.
You’d be far better off taking a brisk walk.
The moment of truth must come soon, though most of Britain’s complacent, sheep-like media will be among the last to spot it.
I would have thought it was blaring, front-page, top-of-the-bulletin news that Glaxo-SmithKline, one of our biggest companies, has just been fined £2billion (yes, you heard that right, £2billion) in the US for – among other things – bribing doctors and encouraging the prescription of unsuitable drugs to children.
Its drug Paxil, sold here as Seroxat, was promoted as suitable for teenagers and children, even though trials had shown it was not.
Doctors were sent on free trips where they were treated to snorkelling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, balloon rides and spa treatments (and cash payments), to persuade them to prescribe these drugs, or to reward them for doing so.
It is well known now among doctors that other drug companies have suppressed unwelcome test results on modern antidepressants.
These results show they are largely useless for their stated purpose.
Even worse than this is the growing suggestion that, far from making theirs users happy, these pills can increase suicide thoughts in their minds, perhaps with tragic results.
( Peter Hitchens, 08.07.2012 )

Labour Should Be Screaming From The Rooftops.
Whiston was one of the 149 hospitals Labour either built or gave the go-ahead to during its 13 years in power.
It trebled spending on an NHS which had been allowed to fester at the bottom of successive Tory government priorities for two decades.
What a testament to Labour’s founding principles that massive reinvestment programme was.
With Jeremy Hunt now Health Secretary, a man who has called for the NHS to be carved-up and hived off to profit-making businessmen, Labour should be screaming its record from the rooftops, and warning how easily it can be laid to waste.
( Brian Reade )

Mental Well-Being Increases As We Get Older.
It’s obvious that people’s physical quality of life deteriorates as they age but what is interesting is that their mental well-being doesn’t – it increases.
We suggest that this could be due to better coping abilities, an interpretation supported by previous research showing older people tend to have internal mechanisms to deal better with hardship or negative circumstances than those who are younger.
It could also be due to a lowering of expectations from life, with older people less likely to put pressure on themselves in the personal and professional spheres.
( Dr Saverio, joint study leader, University of Warwick )

Taking Painkillers Increases The Risk Of Hearing Loss.
Women who regularly take Ibuprofen and Paracetamol are more likely to go deaf, say researchers.
The non-prescription painkillers are widely available at supermarkets and are taken by millions every day to ease headaches and inflammation.
But a study of more than 62,000 women found taking the drugs just twice a week increases the risk of hearing loss by up to 13 per cent.
Using Ibuprofen six times a week makes women up to 24% more likely to develop some degree of hearing problem compared with those who do not use the medication.
Those using paracetamol up to five times a week increase the risk of hearing loss by 21%.
The same effect was not seen for women who regularly take aspirin.
Researchers who carried out the US study say they do not yet know why there is a link, or whether the damage caused is permanent.
The same team carried out similar research two years ago and found that men were also at risk of hearing loss from taking the drugs.
( Jo Macfarlane )

Why Are We Giving Dangerous Drugs To Children?
In the old days, unscrupulous students used to take dangerous, illegal amphetamines to help get them through tough exam revision.
Now they use Ritalin (methylphenidate hydrochloride), the legally prescribed and very potent pill which is increasingly given to children, some of them very young.
Would doctors or parents give amphetamines to small boys and girls?
Of course not.
Why then do they give them a drug that has such similar effects?
( Peter Hitchens, 11.11.2012 )

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