In the Army, when things are about to go very, very wrong, this is known
as a G.M.F.U
For civilians, that’s translates to a Grand Military F…. Up,
With apologies to readers for ‘military’ language, the NHS is about to celebrate its 70th Birthday and I can see a GMFU looming across health and social care..
This birthday is the cue for politicians to get brownie points and announce more funding. It gets their name in the papers, and if voters actually take them to task about unfilled promises – well, that’s what their staff are there for – to deflect criticism.
Mrs. May has announced “£20 billion” is supposedly floating around – but analysts are questioning how is this to be funded, where will it come from, what is it for ? But wait. There is no definite announcement about which departments will benefit (although no doubt money has already been allocated to fund the new ‘addiction’ disease). Funds will be massaged over from accounts, then the elastic will ping them back again. We won’t actually see any genuine dosh to fill the sparse purse. It will just be a case of those who shout loudest and play the political game will get the funding, leaving cancer survivors with less.
Creative Accounting reigns and the gurus running this are paid mega bucks to massage the figures. Takes skill to do this. The fact that eventually Granny is going to get worse care from somewhere doesn’t concern them. Their job is to make the Government look good.
This only means we are going to have to shout LOUDER for what we need.
But does anyone listen to Patients?
The doctor sneered at the Patient trying to explain why they thought something might be worth a try. “Don’t you realise, it took me six years in Medical School to get where I am today?”
“So you had one hour’s lecture on my condition. I have lived with it for ten years, and had to learn to survive”.
Cancer is no longer a priority at the Dept. Health, which means that the headlines announcing urgent treatment, ‘no decision about me without me’ (remember that? ), and promises of being seen ‘ within X days’, have conveniently been forgotten.
So those of us who are worried about getting cancer, or having a recurrence, could usefully think if the following bullet points are worth following to improve our chances:
- Keep a healthy weight for our height – and remember if we have osteoporosis we may have lost height
- Be active – where possible, think of housework and gardening as keeping you healthy. Do as much exercise as you can (150 minutes a week is minimum recommendation). What about getting a bicycle or tricycle to help?
- Eat at least five portions of Veg and Fruit a day – more if you feel like it.
- Cut out fast food, ready-meals and processed, cured or smoked meats
- Cut down on alcohol (it’s proven to be linked to certain cancers)
- Cut out sweet drinks – substitute with water
- Cut down on red meat – scientists recommend no more than three portions a week
- Latest from doctors – avoid supplements. Mine tell me if I am eating the right types of fruit and veg. I will get all I need naturally
- And of course DON’T smoke! Or spend too much time in the sun.
To keep things in perspective, Prof. Linda Bauld, of Cancer Research UK says “we already know the key to cutting cancer risk is through our way of life. Not smoking, keeping a healthy weight. reducing cancer risk further ….all helps
A bacon butty or glass of wine every so often isn’t anything to worry about. It’s the things you do every day that matter most”.
Remember, if you aren’t getting the care you should
- Your GP has probably been told to cut down on referrals to save money
- It’s up to you to create a stink if you want good care. Keep the Cynical Commissioning Group’s number (a.k.a. known as CCG) on speed dial, and get on to them the moment you are refused an appointment, or fobbed off, or cancelled. If we don’t make a fuss, the latest thinking means this will save the NHS money as appointment times extnd, or are ‘forgotten’. Write to your MP, particularly if they are Labour, Liberal etc. Cynical but true.
- Many of us will find drugs we get on prescription are no longer free. In some cases this is going to cause hardship – even £5 is a large % of income when living on benefits. Local CCGs are cutting down,, and NHS England has abdicated responsibility. Probably best idea is to get your MP to fight for you.
But why, when we are probably at our lowest ebb, do we have to ‘fight’ for the type of care that the rest of the world takes for granted?