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Private Eye

September 9, 2018

Medicine Balls, Private Eye Issue 1475, 27July 2018
Filed under: Private Eye — Dr. Phil @ 9:56 am

Oh GOSH

In this new era of candour and transparency in the NHS, how hard is it for the media to expose poor practice? Very, if you’re taking on a national treasure. On April 18, 2018 tucked away at 10.40 pm, ITV Exposure screened ‘Great Ormond Street: the Child First and Always?’, a documentary collaboration with the Bureau for Investigative Journalism.  It revealed that consultants in GOSH’s Department of Gastroenterology had been misdiagnosing and overtreating young patients with Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease (EGID). Children had been prescribed powerful immunosuppressant drugs and/or put on highly restrictive diets too quickly and left on them for too long. This was well known within ‘gastro circles’ for years and was documented in a Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) review in 2015. So why did it take nearly three years to surface?

When hospitals realise they have a problem, they can invite a Royal College in for ‘independent expert opinion’ safe in the knowledge that the Trust senior management ‘owns’ the report and can ether refuse to disclose it or heavily redact it. Reputation management still trumps transparency in the NHS. When the RCPCH returned to GOSH in 2017 to check for improvements,

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Medicine Balls, Private Eye Issue 1474, 13 July 2018
Filed under: Private Eye — Dr. Phil @ 9:54 am

Happy Birthday NHS?

 The NHS was 70 on July 5, with just five years to wait before all the introspection, celebration and politicisation is repeated for what remains of it at 75. The UK will forever be remembered as the first country to introduce universal healthcare and the last to fund it adequately. The NHS is constantly playing funding catch-up with Europe but nothing can reverse the damage done by decades of parsimony. If we had committed the same percentage of our GDP as Germany to health since 2000, we would have put £260 billion more into the NHS. Germany too sometimes struggles with demand, but not in crumbling estates using outdated equipment and technology, with queues extending down the corridors, patchy access to GPs and millions on the waiting list for hospital treatment. This isn’t about how we pay for healthcare, simply that we don’t pay enough.

Jeremy Hunt hopes that an NHS App will revolutionise the service and end the ‘8am phone scramble for GP appointments’ but it won’t end the desperate shortage of GPs, and the tech-savvy patients will simply jump the queue. In its 70 years, the average annual funding increase over that time has been

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Medicine Balls, Private Eye Issue 1473, 29June 2018
Filed under: Private Eye — Dr. Phil @ 9:52 am

The Gosport Scandal – another cover-up, another failure of consultant-led care 

At Gosport hospital from 1989-2000, Dr Jane Barton was deviating so widely from the accepted clinical guidelines for prescribing opiate drugs via syringe drivers, that it could be spotted from space. The situation may not have been helped by the use of easily confused syringe drivers, one of which discharged its contents over an hour, the other over 24 hours. Many countries replaced such drivers long before the NHS, which still operates on the CATNAP principle (Cheapest Available Technology Narrowly Avoiding Prosecution). The Gosport inquiry found that hundreds of patients admitted for respite care and rehabilitation, who should never have come anywhere near a diamorphine driver, died shortly after this ‘treatment’ was commenced (often combined with the sedative midazolam). Some of the nurses charged with starting the drivers tried to speak up and were silenced, others accepted that was just how things were done in Gosport. As at Bristol, the institutional blindness to poor practice was known by many people over many years at many levels of the NHS, from the consultants who supervised Dr Barton and reviewed her drug charts, to the managers who failed to act on

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August 27, 2018

Why go into politics at the age of 56? and other questions…
Filed under: #VoteDrPhil,Private Eye — Dr. Phil @ 4:10 pm

On August 21, I was sacked as a BBC presenter for tweeting I intended to stand against my local MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, at the next election. Here are the answers to all the questions I’ve been asked since by incredulous journalists, friends, family members, NHS colleagues, patients and potential constituents.

Why on earth would you want to go into politics at the age of 56?

I have had a very lucky, varied and interesting life, and have no great desire to spoil it by a descent into politics when I could be walking the dogs. As others have observed, politics is often just show business for needy narcissists, when it should be a means to change the world for the better. However, I’m so alarmed at the rapid rise to power of my local MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and where he may be leading us with his brutal Brexit and endorsements of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump, that I feel compelled to speak up and challenge him. You don’t have to read any further.

For over 30 years, I’ve tried to improve peoples’ lives as a doctor, health writer, journalist, broadcaster, campaigner and comedian. And good politics – the

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August 22, 2018

PRESS RELEASE FROM DR PHIL HAMMOND AFTER HIS DISMISSAL FROM THE BBC
Filed under: #VoteDrPhil,Private Eye — Dr. Phil @ 9:17 am

Dr Phil Hammond is very sad and a little puzzled to have been dismissed by the BBC from his Saturday morning show on BBC Radio Bristol, which he had greatly enjoyed doing for 12 years without any complaints of political bias.

The dismissal came after Dr Hammond tweeted on August 21 that he had been endorsed by the National Health Action Party as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate at the next general election for his home constituency of North East Somerset (sitting MP Jacob Rees-Mogg). Dr Hammond added that he was a believer in progressive alliances and would stand aside if a stronger candidate declared. He was sacked the same day.

Dr Hammond had previously announced his intention to stand on BBC 1 (Sunday Live, July 29) with no comeback, and had told the head of BBC Radio Bristol, Jess Rudkin, of his intention. He was advised that it should not be a problem but that he would have to stand down during purdah. Because the date of the next election is very hard to predict, Dr Hammond decided to declare his intent early to be completely open and transparent.

Dr Hammond has worked in the NHS for

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