Thank you to all who sent emails

To all of you who answered my plea on

and sent an email to your MP and/or Simon Stevens – thank you. Judging by my website stats. there were a lot of you.

Image result for cartoon image MPsHow it works

Nothing much will happen immediately, but these emails will have been noted. When the inevitable money-wasting Election is called after Brexit, the campaign officials will be rifling through the file marked ‘constituents’ concerns’ and if enough emails have reached the constituency office marked ‘cancer’,

improving cancer care will be seen as a vote-catcher! It will be top of candidates’ lists, and we might get some more funding.  

N.B.  If you can, get friends to send an email – this is playing the numbers game!  Everyone else is doing it (pro/anti fracking, pro/anti development, opening closing the local cinema, etc) so we might as well. After all, we have altruistic motives.


I’ve always admired the American Momma.  She can be a formidable campaigning force, and this is one of the tricks she would employ. If something isn’t getting enough attention, Momma doesn’t accept this – she comes out guns blazing and does something.  Doesn’t wait for someone else to show the way !

Good day for burying bad news

Those who wondered why the latest survey on our cancer care statistics was announced on a Friday (the day MPs travel to their constituencies so aren’t looking out for news), might remember it was in Sept. 2001 when a Labour aid  advised the Government to “use the attack on the World Trade Center” to distract attention from “bad” news stories.

Jo Moore, who worked for Stephen Byers, the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, was widely condemned for showing spin at its worst, when her news management memo was leaked.

Miss Moore’s memo, written on September 11, when millions of people were transfixed by the terrible television images of the terrorist attack, said: “It is now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury. Councillors expenses?”

Since then, Friday is seen as the day to issue news that you would rather didn’t get publicity. Hence issuing the Cancer Shame statistics story on a Friday in September.  Sneaky.

More to come

This weekend there were stories about billions being released to pay for new hospitals.  Lovely – except Adam Kay, ‘the well-known ex-doctor who wrote the million-seller ‘This is Going to Hurt‘ (a very funny but accurate picture of today’s NHS), says “I would urge politicians to spend time on the front line, with no cameras, to get a better understanding….”  This came after TV footage of the angry father confronting Boris at Whipps Cross Hospital, and Boris tried to deny the Press were present – all caught on camera!

Boris has now come out saying the Government is “investing an extra £1.8 billion” upgrading hospitals.  But Kay doesn’t think much of this.  We all know this is less than the NHS was receiving before, and just a cosmetic apology, The Sunday Times quotes Kay “The NHS requires about 3% – 4% more every year in real terms just to tread water.  Over the past eight years or so the NHS has only received 1% a year.”

Is this going to be a Winter of Discontent?

This week I saw the NHS at its best and worst.  Suspecting a TIA, I played safe and dialled 111.  I’d had these before and nothing much happens, but believe my self-diagnosis needs a check-up.  111 called an Ambulance, with a brilliant paramedic Nicky.  Who did lots of tests, and more importantly, reassured my family.

What she did should have been sufficient, but she had to follow protocol and take me to A & E;  where I ended up in a draughty corridor.  90 frozen minutes later I called HELP, someone came and switched on Halogen lights.  Blissful warmth flooded over me.  But the system only has one switch, so the whole yards-long corridor was also basking in Mediterranean warmth.  I spent waiting time reflecting on how much better equipped was the last A & E I graced with my presence, in Klagenfurt, an Austrian town of 100,000 people. Its common-sense approach to care and hygiene knocks spots off NHS.

Eventually, I see a Doctor, whose sister has had Polio, so she knew all the symptoms that were due to that – and what wasn’t.  I didn’t have to waste time but we got straight to the heart of my problem.  Which wasn’t very bad, and I was cleared to go home.  By this time I was hungry, so was given a menu to choose something;  not very reassuring, because the heading said ‘Carillion’ – and I know they had gone bust.

I chose cheese and biscuits, which arrived with no knife to spread the butter.  Which meant A & E frantically searching for something to spread this with!

You Gotta laugh!