Support needed and requested

The Past, Present and Future, etc series of posts needs your active support.

Years ago ~ ten years ago or so ~ … will the internet change things …?

I need wide support. It is not good enough to be nice.

The Past, Present and Future, etc series will include Depleted Uranium   babies. You have to be more than be nice. I’m more than nice.


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Past, Present and Future, etc # living document revision

A living document which will have many revisions and is expected to grow very large. To consider the London explosions of 7 July 2005, the official response – particularly the actions of Ian Blair, the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes, the relationship to the wider war on terror and both Iraq wars instigated by the Bushes – Gog and Magog, role of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, etc.

Continue ReadingPast, Present and Future, etc # living document revision

NHS news review

There seeems to be very little NHS news today. The news is instead dominated by the results of yesterday’s local and devolved assemblies elections and the vote on adopting the alternative vote voting system. I can’t say that I’m not pleased that the Liberal-Democrats did very poorly.

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

Four in ten people cannot afford the dentist – Telegraph

Increased NHS charges and the rising cost of living have forced almost 40pc of people to skip routine visits to the dentist, according to new research.

Higher dental costs have meant that one in five people now pay for this treatment on credit card, potentially incurring interest charges – according to research from insurers Simplyhealth.

But avoiding check ups can prove to be a false economy. The British Dental Association (BDA) said those who cancel appointments and defer treatments often wind up needing emergency treatment which can result in bigger bill – particularly as they may then end up paying for private treatment.

The “free” NHS does not extend to dental charges. In England most adults can expect to pay up to £17 for treatments such as scaling and polishing; £47 for procedures such as fillings or extractions and £204 for crowns, bridges and dentures.

Those who don’t have access to an NHS dentist face even steeper charges, and with latest figures suggesting that one in seven NHS dentist’s lists is now closed to adults – and a further one in 10 refusing children – it is not hard to see why many people have little option but to pay expensive private dental fees.

Fat cats fail to convince over NHS / Britain / Home – Morning Star

Health activists accuse privateers of creating ‘PR puff’ over break-up

Campaigners accused private health companies today of creating “PR puff” to downplay plans to break up the NHS.

An alliance of five leading private health firms dubbed H5 accused unions of “scaremongering” over the shake-up of the NHS under the Health and Social Care Bill, which they stand to rake in massive profits from.

H5 chief executive Matt James said: “Unions have whipped up accusations of privatisation but that is not going to happen. I cannot see the amount of NHS work the private sector does increasing by that much.”

But he neglected to mention the full scale of increasing privatisation in the NHS already taking place, with Cambridgeshire’s Hinchingbrooke Hospital being the first NHS hospital set to be run by a private health firm, Circle.

The future of St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust in Liverpool was also questioned after Health Minister Simon Burns failed to confirm whether the hospital rejected a government-proposed option for it to be privately managed.

POORLY children in North East Lincolnshire will suffer the most if a heart surgery unit at Leeds Royal Infirmary is forced to close as part of an NHS review, according to health bosses.

POORLY children in North East Lincolnshire will suffer the most if a heart surgery unit at Leeds Royal Infirmary is forced to close as part of an NHS review, according to health bosses.

If the unit closes, children will be forced to travel to Newcastle for treatment – putting local youngsters at the biggest disadvantage because of poor transport links.

Council health bosses claim consultants at the hospital have said the distance children are forced to travel for treatment is crucial and lives could be lost of the closure goes ahead.

It comes as staff at the unit revealed that 11 per cent of all the patients they treat come from the DN postcode area – which covers Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Barton, Barrow, Scunthorpe, Gainsborough and Doncaster.

As reported, the unit is being threatened with closure because of controversial NHS reforms, which will see the number of specialist heart units for children cut from 11 to six or seven.

A petition set up to demonstrate support for the Leeds unit currently has 31,000 signatures.


27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.

I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.

Please be assured that this blog is a non-commercial blog (weblog) which does not feature advertising and has not ever produced any income.


Continue ReadingNHS news review

Review of fasthostingdirect ‘No limits’ web hosting package by a customer

the WebI’ve just been advised that the old On a quiet day I can hear her breathing blog is to be discontinued at the end of the month. There are many unique, very angry posts there. If you’re a real big fan, mirror it before the end of the month. It was a free service with quite a few disadvantages like a limit of – I think that it was – 640k to each post and my blog getting deleted in December 2006 [8/5/11 edit: 2008]. That was never explained and I suspect that I must have seriously upset someone or other.

I’ve been hosted by since January on their ‘No Limits’ package.

The advantages of this package are that it’s ridiculously cheap at £20 for 2 years hosting, unlimited bandwidth, seems fairly quick and with a good terms of service. The terms of service are attractive to me because they don’t prohibit abusive and insulting content as most ISPs do. I also pay an extra seven or eight pounds a year to hide my details in DNS lookups.

The disadvantages of this package are that WordPress features are not properly implemented and poor support.

I’ve had problems with WordPress’s RSS support and the timed publishing of articles. While these are known historical WordPress bugs, fasthostingdirect should have them working out of the box. They will be not working on all fasthostingdirect’s WordPress clients not just me.

I only have email support on the No Limits package which takes a good few hours to be answered. I’ve found that it’s not real support – I was referred to a not particularly relevant or helpful webpage when I contacted them on the timed publishing of WordPress articles. Like I mentioned earlier, this issue is likely to affect all fasthostingdirect’s WordPress clients. It should be resolved by them.

1 July 2013 update: Support is very poor. Although advertised as 24/7 it is email support only usually taking at least 8 hours to get a reply. My latest support request took 35 hours. I had resolved the issue myself by then and the advice from support which was received eventually was absolutely useless.

It’s very cheap and you don’t get what you don’t pay for. I’ll be looking for a provider with better, more responsive support if I have the money come renewal time. That’s assuming that I have something to say.

Continue ReadingReview of fasthostingdirect ‘No limits’ web hosting package by a customer

NHS news review

The main issue in today’s NHS news is that Con-Dem ‘reforms’ are driving GPs away from being GPs. There’s one article that I couldn’t understand that may be of interest to NHS insiders, GPs, etc: PCTs withhold GP consortia funding | GP online. The Guardian also has an article speculating that Lansley may be going.

There are local elections and a vote on adopting the Alternative Voting system in UK today. Don’t forget to vote if you intend to.

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

Pulse – NHS reforms push third of GPs to head for exit

Exclusive: More than a third of GPs are planning to quit general practice in the next five years, with morale in the profession nose-diving in the wake of the Government’s NHS reforms, a Pulse survey has revealed.

The first part of Pulse’s State of the Profession Survey, published this week, paints an alarming picture of GPs’ working lives, suggesting they are being forced to work longer hours, are spending less time with patients and are struggling to meet expectations as a result. Almost half of the 576 GPs who responded to the poll reported they were suffering from stress.

But it is the fallout from the Government’s far-reaching NHS reforms that appears to have pushed the number of GPs looking to quit to the highest level for more than a decade, with 71% claiming morale had fallen as a direct result of the health bill and only 9% saying it had risen. Just 18% said they believe general practice is currently moving in the right direction.

The survey found 35% of GPs plan to leave the profession in the next five years – a sharp

increase from the findings of similar BMA surveys in recent years.

In 2001, the BMA warned that 25% of GPs hoped to leave within five years, while its survey of GP morale in 2007 found that 23% either hoped to retire or leave the profession within five years.

Cost-effective prescribing by GPs has cut NHS costs | GP online

GPC prescribing subcommittee chairman Dr Bill Beeby said the figures released last week suggested many GPs had already achieved large savings, but further savings may be harder to come by.

Overall numbers of prescriptions dispensed in the community in 2010 rose to 926,658 across England, up 5% from 885,999 in 2009. The net ingredient cost rose to £8,834,380, a rise of 3% from £8,539,421 in 2009.

But as the number of prescriptions showed a greater rise than the cost, the net ingredient cost per prescription fell to £9.53, down from £9.64 in 2009.

‘This reflects well on the prescribing behaviours of GPs, as they heed the need to contain costs by responsible choices of medication,’ Dr Beeby said.

The Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) agenda may have meant GPs were already using more cost-effective treatment options, he said. ‘The new QIPP-related indicators for prescribing in the QOF are intended to have the same effect, though these figures may indicate that many have done the work and future savings may be smaller,’ he added.

BBC News – Don’t be a ‘slave to competition’, NHS told

The government must not become a “slave to competition” over the NHS, the ex-head of the health regulator says.

Anna Walker said competition had an important role to play in making the health service more efficient.

But Ms Walker, now head of the Office of Rail Regulation, said ministers had to learn from other sectors – and limit the scope of private involvement.

It came as private health firms hit out at what they said was scaremongering about the changes in England.

Under plans put forward by the coalition government, the NHS is to be opened up further to competition from private sector firms.

This has prompted unions to suggest the health service is at risk of being privatised.

Pulse – Labour pledges to strip financial responsibility from GPs

Exclusive: GPs would not be given real budgets to commission care under a Labour government, and the opposition is ready to systematically dismantle the coalition’s Health and Social Care Bill if it returns to power, the shadow health secretary has revealed.

In an exclusive interview with Pulse, John Healey said he fundamentally disagreed with the closer alignment of clinical and financial responsibility, and pledged to reverse plans to hand GPs real commissioning budgets. He also said he would oppose the abolition of PCTs and put the brakes on health secretary Andrew Lansley’s expansion of the NHS market.

The shadow health secretary said Labour would strip Monitor of its new expanded duty to enforce competition, and continue his predecessor Andy Burnham’s policy of making the NHS the ‘preferred provider’.

His stance on commissioning comes despite the previous Labour administration’s move to offer some GPs real budgets under practice-based commissioning.

Mr Healey said this policy would not be pursued in the future, claiming real budgets would jeopardise the doctor-patient relationship by creating insurmountable conflicts of interest.

Health watchdog reveals serious concerns about Medway NHS Trust finances

A HEALTH watchdog has said it has serious concerns about Medway NHS Trust’s finances.

The independent regulator Monitor said it found the trust, which runs Medway Maritime Hospital, was in “significant breach” of the terms relating to its foundation trust status.

It threatened formal intervention unless its board took immediate action and could show it was taking control.

The trust said it was “disappointed” with the findings, but had been hit with unexpected expenditure against a commitment to cost-saving.

Trust spokesman Kelly Trinder said: “Like all hospital trusts, Medway faces a challenging economic climate.

“In 2010/11 Medway set itself an ambitious target of making £15 million savings in its running costs.

“It successfully achieved £13.6 million of these but the shortfall, coupled with significant one-off losses such as cancelled operations due to the heavy snow in December, meant that it failed to meet all its financial targets.”

Monitor, which has the power to remove all directors and put in temporary replacements, said its inspection had resulted in concerns being raised about board-level scrutiny, financial planning and performance.

Continue ReadingNHS news review