Thursday, March 31, 2011

All Together for the NHS

Demos tomorrow, Friday 1 April, in many constituencies throughout the UK.

Details here at FalseEconomy.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Giv - with Soy Bean Extract

I asked Morais what is Soy Bean Extract and, of course, he replied "Stupid - cooking oil!" Obvious, huh? I would add to this soy sauce etc etc.

We all know that soya beans are packed with protein and good for you ... but did you know this about soya bean soap?

"Soy bean extract is well-known for its benefit to make skin bright and smooth. With classic perfume for an elegant personality."

Morais noted that Give with Soy Bean Extract also contains coconut oil and palm oil - it should be triply good for frying my eggs!

As Giv with Pearl Extract and Giv with Curcuma didn't quite "do it" for me, I'm giving the latest variety a trial-run.

I'm a bit disappointed that Giv Soya and Giv Curcuma use the same model on their packaging - which does she use?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Reconfiguring Hospital Services - Lessons from South East London

The King's Fund, a UK "watchdog" NGO, specialisng in health service consultancy and often used by the last government to adjudicate in health service "reforms" (i.e. closing hospital services etc), has recently published the above report. The report focuses on the current government's proposals to shake-up (again) the structure of the UK's National Health Service established by the Labour Party's governments of recent years.The main focus of the report is government plans to make economies of scale through the "rationalisation" of District General Hospitals and the restructuring of the entire health service bureaucracy through the Health and Social Services Bill currently before Parliament. However, it makes note of the government's plans for the role of General Practioners (family doctors). I quote ... all square brackets are mine.

"The coalition government’s decision to transfer commissioning responsibility from PCTs [Primary Care Trusts] to smaller GP consortia will further weaken commissioning levers to effect service improvement across trust boundaries in emergency and network services. GP consortia will have even less expertise and commissioning experience than PCTs; information asymmetries will be even more pronounced; and understanding of how to shape the‘quasi-market’ will be even less developed. Since GP consortia will be much smaller than PCT joint commissioning groups, and SHAs [Strategic Health Authorties - an even larger bureaucratic unit within the NHS] are to be scrapped, it is unlikely that GP consortia will be successful in driving major service improvement in emergency and network services."

"Recent successes in stroke and trauma services highlight the potential of strong commissioning to markedly improve patient outcomes in ways that are cost-effective, especially in emergency and network services. This raises the important question of whether strategic planning of non-elective and emergency services to deliver best practice
care for all patients is to take place in future. If so, who will be responsible for making it happen? Since, for the reasons given above, GP consortia are unlikely to be able to fulfil this role, the new NHS Commissioning Board will need to be given the statutory powers and the capability to perform it effectively; and its powers will need to extend to
all hospital providers, not just financially challenged trusts. If the NHS Commissioning Board is not given appropriate powers, then the system will gravitate closer to a pure ‘market forces’ model – with the adverse consequences noted above."

It seems the GPs are not to receive extra compensation for their new responsibilities ... especially given the criticism and "flak" they have received about their salary levels over the last few years. Indeed, the current government is proposing to raise their statutory retirement age from 65 to 68 years!

Three score and ten - now I have two years to live!

Coals to Newcastle

Since the beginning of February I have been coordinating the start-up of the educational component of the Indian Pan-African e-Network in São Tomé e Príncipe. A very worthwhile initiative involving all members of the African Union and also including tele-medicine whereby African medical personnel can consult with and receive training from their Indian colleagues. A shining example of how the South can cooperate with the South! Examples such as this are, as yet, few and far between ... but I am sure they will grow.

As part of the agreement between the AU and India, each African country receives an Indian technician - we received ours, Deepak, on Tuesday and I met him on Wednesday. Seemingly a really nice guy - so much so that I invited him to lunch on Saturday knowing that our country is not famous for its hospitality!

On Wednesday night he phoned me ... "How do I cook rice?" !!!!

South - South Culinary Cooperation!

Monday, March 14, 2011


... or "Mr Morais' Patent Dermatologicgal Lotion". This product claims to clear up a whole range of skin problems - heat and sweat rashes, acne, spots and a whole lot more as well as promising, like my favourite soap products Giv, Lux and Santex, general cleansing properties that will leave your skin ... well, just SO.

Now this blog, since its beginning, has been a vehement opponent of quack medicine. Since, on Day 1 of Kezia's treatment, her consultant warned us of the dangers of of the quackery regarding leukaemia treatment out here on the Internet, I have become aware of the amount of quackery bullshit out there regarding any complaint you can think of.

However, "Mr Morais' Patent Dermatologicgal Lotion" is different and I have personal faith in it (especially since I saw the immdediate effect of Daly's Skin Shimmer last week). Mr Morais, the lotion's inventor, is a personal friend of mine and is someone in whom I have total confidence and I believe vice versa. Last week he confided in me the lotion's secret ingredient ...

Duck Dung!

Quack Quack ... contact me if you're interested!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Daly Skin Shimmer

Following on from my previous posts (here and here and here) on soap advertisements, I now discover Tess Daly Beauty's Daly Skin Shimmer. Giv soap's publicity writer cannot come anywhere near this copy:

"When I want to pull out all the stops, this is the product I reach for, it really is over the top glamour and sex appeal at its best! The body oil gives an unbelievable sheen and the soft glitter particles leave a high shimmer glow that's addictive!"

My boss' ex-spouse (in the UK) sent him a few tubes in an effort to seduce him into a second honeymoon in the Canaries! He hasn't fallen for it but we applied some to our colleague Americo who was unable to wash it off and went home fearful of how his wife would react!

Moreover, it's on sale in Marks and Spencers!

Update: We gather it works ... but not quite in the way Americo expected! When he got home last night it certainly raised passions ... "Where the hell have you been?" etc etc!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ravens II - Abstract Art

From boingboing:

"A study reported on in Psychology Today set out to determine whether people could distinguish abstract art from paintings done by monkeys (as well as children and other animals, like elephants). Turns out, most people can usually tell the stuff done by artists from the stuff done by your five-year-old."

Interesting ... I would like to ask readers to decide which is Kezia Gasscoigne's and which is Don van Vliet's depictions of Ravens.

Friday, March 4, 2011

GIV - with Curcuma

I previously posted about Giv soap with Pearl Extract promising me Refreshing Beauty and Lux with Youthful Essence - neither seemed to work. So now I am trying Giv with Toning Curcuma "with an energizing perfume for an energetic personality". Let's see if this one works!

GPs aren't happy either

"Nearly two-thirds of GPs believe their lives will be worse off and their jobs under threat because of the Government’s plans for GP commissioning, according to Pulse analysis of a major BMA poll."

Hmm ... as I thought. The Pulse article is here.

British Medical Association press release here. Full poll results here.

Except they aren't -because you have to be a registered member of the BMA i.e. a registered doctor - shoot yourself in the foot!. Fuck you BMA! You want public sympathy? Then help Joe and Jane Public out!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I thought reconfiguration is something I do to my computer - you know like moving from Windows to Linux. But it also happens in other areas of life. I guess you could call the current events in the Middle East and North Africa a "reconfiguration".

Now it applies to the NHS ... from the BBC:

"Changing hospitals - and in some cases closing parts of them - is the elephant in the room no-one dares talk about.

It is just too controversial. Hospitals are the visible face of the NHS and unsurprisingly people feel great affection for them. So when a particular unit is under threat they start to protest.

This has left many [politicians I guess] worried about putting the case for change - hence the ambiguous phrase the NHS uses to describe the process, reconfiguration."

The King's Fund, a health care think tank, that previously supported the previous government's shake-ups in the Greater Manchester area, is now warning against the current government's plans for the NHS with the intent of giving them more control/power of commissioning and reducing the role of hospitals in NHS decision-making. See the report.

The new NHS chief, Sir David Nicholson, (the new bogey man?) has warned

"Private sector take-overs, mergers and more community-based care may be needed to ensure all hospitals survive the shake-up of the NHS, the head of the health service says.

Sir David Nicholson told the BBC the combination of reforms and squeeze on spending meant some hospitals would find the future "difficult".

He said he did not expect any hospitals in England to close completely.

But said some would needed to adapt and change to remain competitive."

This begs the question of whether he will he be paying GPs more for their new responsibilities?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shirley Nolan

Shirley Nolan was the mother of Anthony Nolan, and founder of the Anthony Nolan Trust, the UK's foremost non-government bone marrow donor registry. Anthony died from Wiskott Aldridge Syndrome in 1979 through lack of a donor and Shirley died in 2002 after coming down with Parkinson's Disease.

See this link.

Teenage and Young Adult cancer treatment consultation

The UK Department of Health is conducting the following until 11 April:

Draft teenagers and young adults cancer measures for the Manual for cancer Services: a consultation