Safety at four in five hospital trusts in England is not good enough, inspectors say.
Staffing and overcrowding are major concerns – and they warned that patients are at risk as hospitals faced unprecedented pressures.
The Care Quality Commission review also highlighted delays getting tests and treatments and poor care of life-threatening conditions such as sepsis.
Ministers said the findings should be used to root out poor practices.
But inspectors warned some of the problems were beyond the control of hospitals because of rising demands being placed on them.
10 charts that show why the NHS is in trouble
The review of all 136 hospital trusts in the country found 11% were rated as inadequate on safety and 70% required improvement.
Among the problems highlighted were:
- Bed occupancy rates routinely above recommended levels
- Poor care given to patients with life-threatening conditions such as sepsis and kidney injuries
- Too many long waits for operations, such as knee and hip replacements
- Too few nurses in medical and elderly care wards, midwives in maternity units and doctors in A&Es
- Temporary escalation wards – set up during busy periods – predominantly staffed by agency workers who were not familiar with the hospital practices
- Poor control of infections because of insufficient hand hygiene and patients with infections not being isolated properly
- Problems with medicines management, including out-of-date drugs, and maintenance of equipment
- Tests being delayed because of poor information-sharing and record-keeping
Hospital chief inspector Prof Sir Mike Richards said safety remained a “real concern” with many trusts failing to learn when things go wrong.
But he also said he had some sympathy for hospitals given the rising demands being placed on them.
“The scale of the challenge that hospitals are now facing is unprecedented – rising demand coupled with economic pressures are creating difficult-to-manage situations that are putting patient care at risk.
“What is clear is that while staff continue to work hard to deliver good care, the model of care that once worked well cannot continue to meet the needs of today’s population.”
He also highlighted strengths, saying staff were good at providing care with compassion and leadership remained strong in many places.
When these factors were taken into account, it meant a third of trusts could be rated as good or outstanding overall.
The CQC also inspected 18 specialist hospital trusts, including sites dedicated to cancer and heart treatment. They tended to fare better.
The report marks the culmination of three years of new tougher inspections brought in after the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal.
You’ve heard it many times before from your doctor: If you’re taking antibiotics, don’t stop taking them until the pill vial is empty, even if you feel better.
The rationale behind this commandment has always been that stopping treatment too soon would fuel the development of antibiotic resistance — the ability of bugs to evade these drugs. Information campaigns aimed at getting the public to take antibiotics properly have been driving home this message for decades.
But the warning, a growing number of experts say, is misguided and may actually be exacerbating antibiotic resistance.
The reasoning is simple: Exposure to antibiotics is what drives bacteria to develop resistance. Taking drugs when you aren’t sick anymore simply gives the hordes of bacteria in and on your body more incentive to evolve to evade the drugs, so the next time you have an infection, they may not work.
The traditional reasoning from doctors “never made any sense. It doesn’t make any sense today,” Dr Louis Rice, chairman of the department of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, told STAT.
Some colleagues credit Rice with being the first person to declare the emperor was wearing no clothes, and it is true that he challenged the dogma in lectures at major meetings of infectious diseases physicians and researchers in 2007 and 2008. A number of researchers now share his skepticism of health guidance that has been previously universally accepted.
The question of whether this advice is still appropriate will be raised at a World Health Organization meeting next month in Geneva. A report prepared for that meeting — the agency’s expert committee on the selection and use of essential medicine — already notes that the recommendation isn’t backed by science.
In many cases “an argument can be made for stopping a course of antibiotics immediately after a bacterial infection has been ruled out … or when the signs and symptoms of a mild infection have disappeared,” suggests the report, which analyzed information campaigns designed to get the public on board with efforts to fight antibiotic resistance.
No one is doubting the lifesaving importance of antibiotics. They kill bacteria. But the more the bugs are exposed to the drugs, the more survival tricks the bacteria acquire. And the more resistant the bacteria become, the harder they are to treat.
The concern is that the growing number of bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics will lead to more incurable infections that will threaten medicine’s ability to conduct routine procedures like hip replacements or open heart surgery without endangering lives.
So how did this faulty paradigm become entrenched in medical practice? The answer lies back in the 1940s, the dawn of antibiotic use.
At the time, resistance wasn’t a concern. After the first antibiotic, penicillin, was discovered, more and more gushed out of the pharmaceutical product pipeline.
Doctors were focused only on figuring out how to use the drugs effectively to save lives. An ethos emerged: Treat patients until they get better, and then for a little bit longer to be on the safe side. Around the same time, research on how to cure tuberculosis suggested that under-dosing patients was dangerous — the infection would come back.
The idea that stopping antibiotic treatment too quickly after symptoms went away might fuel resistance took hold.
“The problem is once it gets baked into culture, it’s really hard to excise it,” said Dr Brad Spellberg, who is also an advocate for changing this advice. Spellberg is an infectious diseases specialist and chief medical officer at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center in Los Angeles.
We think of medicine as a science, guided by mountains of research. But doctors sometimes prescribe antibiotics more based on their experience and intuition than anything else. There are treatment guidelines for different infections, but some provide scant advice on how long to continue treatment, Rice acknowledged. And response to treatment will differ from patient to patient, depending on, among other things, how old they are, how strong their immune systems are, or how well they metabolize drugs.
There’s little incentive for pharmaceutical companies to conduct expensive studies aimed at finding the shortest duration of treatment for various conditions. But in the years since Rice first raised his concerns, the National Institutes of Health has been funding such research and almost invariably the ensuing studies have found that many infections can be cured more quickly than had been thought. Treatments that were once two weeks have been cut to one, 10 days have been reduced to seven and so on.
There have been occasional exceptions. Just before Christmas , scientists at the University of Pittsburgh reported that 10 days of treatment for otitis media — middle ear infections — was better than five days for children under 2 years of age.
It was a surprise, said Spellberg, who noted that studies looking at the same condition in children 2 and older show the shorter treatment works.
More of this work is needed, Rice said. “I’m not here saying that every infection can be treated for two days or three days. I’m just saying: Let’s figure it out.”
In the meantime, doctors and public health agencies are in a quandary. How do you put the new thinking into practice? And how do you advise the public? Doctors know full well some portion of people unilaterally decide to stop taking their antibiotics because they feel better. But that approach is not safe in all circumstances — for instance tuberculosis or bone infections. And it’s not an approach many physicians feel comfortable endorsing.
27 Jan 2017 — Some of you will have seen this petition featured on BBC breakfast and heard me on BBC5 live this morning.
Every single one of your signatures helped make this happen. Each of you helped bring this to the attention of the media so we can ask publicly for change. Without your support I would never have had the opportunity, or the courage, to bring this to the BBC. I am a small voice, but together we have been heard.
This does not end here for me – I will continue to work with Zoë and the charity Saying Goodbye to help action change and get the recognition our children deserve with an optional certificate and record for all loss, no matter the gestation. This will not only acknowledge the existence of children like Rowan but enable mothers and fathers to access better support such as bereavement leave from work. Hugely important in the healing process.
Whilst it’s unlikely birth certification will be reduced in the near future from 24 weeks, this petition and your support has had a positive impact and WILL help action change.
The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment
I hope you will join me, both in congratulating Sarah Henderson on the success her courageous campaign, so far, and in counting to support parents who are asking for their children to be recognised, by law, and by society.
For information, and support, please visit the Saying Goodbye website.
With best wishes, I promise my own support for Sarah, and the team.
Rowan, my daughter, was stillborn at 23 weeks and 4 days (6 months). I was in labour for 7 hours before she arrived naturally but she is legally described as a miscarriage and will never have a birth certificate.
This ruling needs to be overhauled allowing these children’s births to be registered.
All babies should be recognised and child loss at any stage is no less traumatic.
Due to babies now being viable before 24 weeks I would like the term stillbirth to be used from 20 weeks and birth certificates issued.
I lost Rowan in April 2015 and it’s so important to me that she should have a birth certificate so she is registered as a member of our family for future generations. That her branch is marked on our family tree.
The Health-Care survivor’s Comment
It is my honour to bring you Sarah’s heart-rending story, and to invite you to join her courageous campaign.
For information, and support, please visit the Saying Goodbye website.
With modern lifestyles, people are exposed to multiple carcinogenic agents on a daily basis. It is hence no wonder that cancer rates are soaring. To keep far away from this terrifying disease, below is a list of cancer foods that cannot be ignored.
These berries include currants, cherries, cranberries, hawthorn berries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. As powerful antioxidants, flavonoids can be more potent than traditional antioxidants like vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, selenium and zinc. And antioxidants are well-known to be crucial in the prevention of cancer. So pop a berry or two daily as a snack, rather than the nutrition-less sweets, for optimal cancer protection
Curry is one of the delicious foods that protect against cancer, if it contains turmeric. This is because turmeric contains the phytonutrient, curcumin, which has been found to be anti-inflammatory and cancer-inhibiting.
These vegetables include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cress, horseradish, kohlrabi, mustard, radish and turnip. They are beneficial because they contain the phytonutrient, glucosinolates, which has been found to detoxify certain carcinogens and help lower cancer risk, especially colon cancer.
Garlic contains about 200 biologically active compounds, such as sulfur containing amino-acids, glutathione and cysteine, that have powerful protective functions against cancer formation, growth and metastasis. For the best effect, garlic should be eaten freshly chopped and raw. But if the smell and taste of raw garlic is really intolerable, it could be lightly stir-fried with vegetables, or boiled in soups.
Mushrooms aren’t only tasty to eat, they can also protect one from cancer. At least some mushrooms can. Like the reishi (Ganoderma), shiitake and maitake, which the Chinese and Japanese have been using for ages to boost immunity, protect against as well as treat cancer.
Various species of probiotics (eg. Bifidobacterium lactis) present in yoghurt have been found to improve immunity and detoxify many carcinogens, including hormones, meat carcinogens and environmental toxins.
Many people formed their impression of spinach from watching the cartoon Popeye as a kid. But is this green food as wonderful as it is portrayed to be?
Long reputed for increasing power and energy, spinach is also an anti-cancer food because of its richness in chlorophyll and carotene. Besides protecting one from cancer, it is also rich in iron, folic acid, vitamins and minerals, as well as the antioxidant co-enzyme Q10 (which has anti-ageing properties).
If there’s only one green vegetable to be eaten, then it must be spinach.
Fibre in plant foods are important not only for healthy bowels, they are also important for preventing colorectal cancer. Fiber facilitates the movement of food through the digestive tract, so there is less time for any carcinogens in one’s food to be absorbed, and less carcinogens are produced by the “rotting” food in the gut as it passes through.
Whole grains (e.g. unpolished rice), beans, seeds, lentils and vegetables make rich sources of fiber, so be sure to include them in the daily meals.
Propolis is a substance produced by bees to protect themselves and their hives against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Rich in bioflavonoids, vitamins and amino acids, it has been found to be immunity-enhancing and cancer-preventing.
The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment
Curcumin is a diarylheptanoid. It is the principal curcuminoid of the popular South Asian spice turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family. Turmeric’s other two curcuminoids are desmethoxycurcumin and bis-desmethoxycurcumin.
In October 2010, working with Indena S.p.A., the worldwide experts in botanical extract technology, Good Health Naturally, introduced CurcuminX4000, which includes an answer to better Curcumin absorption – phytosome technology.
The precise value of whole-grains is a matter of considerable debate, and controversy. While many people still hail them as superfoods, there is growing evidence, and continuing research, which shows that whole-grain foods are a major source of inflammation, which in turn, underlies many acute illnesses, and chronic conditions. I invite you to consider this apparent contradiction, and to do your own research, before you decide what you think about the question of whole-grain foods.
Most of you will not be surprised to know that, by instinct, and thanks to good teaching, I usually choose to write, and to spell, in British English. For those of you who enjoy writing, and especially for those who are avid readers. I have a two-part question.
When I write an article, which includes a quotation from an American source, should I ‘standardise’ the American spelling, to match British spelling, or leave the quotation unchanged? Secondly, regardless of which you believe to be correct, I would also like to ask, which do you prefer — to ‘standardise’, or not to ‘standardize’, that is the question…
Thank you for taking the time to think about this with me. I look forward to learning from you all, and to implementing the writing style, which is recommended, provided that there is a clear ‘favourite’, or ‘favorite’.
Please reply by leaving a comment on this post — Thank You!
She was intimidated by her Doctor, her friends and family. This is a guest column from a mother of three.
I want to ask you all a question. I’ve almost written out a long comment on Dr. Tenpenny’s wall a few times, but simply couldn’t bring myself to push the intimidating ENTER button after filling in a few paragraphs. And I really just thought my question would get lost in the fray. And, well, not to be the dreaded longwinded commenter, I felt I had a little more to say than was worth challenging the spatial acceptance of the comment frame.
I am a mother of 3. I have two twin daughters who are both now age five, and a son who is age nine. I vaccinated my nine year old without hesitation and without really questioning much. I realize that by saying that, I become the antithesis to the cause that you all support. So let me make it worse: My daughters are also vaccinated similarly.
I needed to disclose that, because without doing so, this entire essay really makes no sense. When you read the above statements, it would seem to reason that I’m a pro-vaxxer. I’ve never considered myself a “pro-vaxxer,” but that’s mostly because I’ve never really thought about it. I’ve never really seen the need for a label. I don’t think I should wear a dog-tag defining my point of view on a matter.
But this is where the tale turns to the strange. I am not a pro-vaxxer, instead, I am an “anti-vaxxer.” As stated before, my son was vaccinated without question, without thought, as a process of the system. Much like a child’s toy moves down the assembly line, so did my son’s infancy. Get car seat, get crib, vaccinate, breast feed, vaccinate more, put on classical music near crib. It was the process. It wasn’t an involved science.
However, when it came to my twin daughters five years ago, much in the world had changed. The anti-vaccination movement was feet to the ground and the voices were too loud to ignore. So I began my journey of research and reading. I was pregnant at the time I began doing research. My immediate take on the situation was that the line between vaccination and non-vaccination was brutally contested, almost a state of war. Sentiments on both sides were hostile (so it seemed). I found myself empathetic to the plight of the anti-vaccination supporters. I found them reasonable. I never saw them as slaves to pseudoscience. I have a history of spite towards pharmaceutical companies and the anti-vaccination movement fell squarely in that comfort zone for me.
My “research” went on a bit too long, however, for most people’s comforts. My Doctor threatened to cut off services to me and my family if I didn’t get the girls fully vaccinated within a matter of weeks. My family was barely speaking to me. My friends, I’m sure, were laughing at me when they weren’t busy dodging my communications. My life had changed, all in the matter of a few months of “past due vaccinations.” I wasn’t, however, anti-vaccination. I was more “this seems like too many vaccinations all at once.” I wasn’t someone who posted anti-vaccination news on my Facebook all day, in fact, the main reason most people knew was because I panicked over the Doctor’s threat to remove services. Word spread from there. And it was not good.
Eventually I succumbed to the threat of losing my Doctor and complied with the standard recommended vaccinations. Months later, my sister said to me, “see, they got those evil vaccines, and they weren’t even injured, can you believe it?” My response was, “no, I can’t believe it, how would I know if they were or weren’t?” My point in saying that is that I have often found that side-effects can be subtle, but deadly, when it comes to Pharmaceutical meds. Why would this case be any different?
Now I am sure everyone here is judging me harshly, thinking I allowed intimidation to force my hand and compromise my children’s health. That’s not really the whole story, I did the research, and I succumbed to the decision I felt best suited our family, but the fact that I was harassed and threatened probably did influence things. I was really scared I’d lose my Pediatrician, not just because I’d have to find a new one (I didn’t care), but because I felt it came with a sort of humiliation. I felt it painted me as a failed parent.
In the end, all my children were vaccinated to the fullest potential of the vaccine schedule, but I am not less embarrassed over the matter. I’m considered an anti-vaxxer just based on my initial skepticism. I remain the butt of jokes. I am consistently painted as a believer in pseudoscience.
If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t vaccinate. But more to the point of this: I just want to say I understand what you all go through. I wouldn’t have known had I not gone through it myself. It disgusts me that even considering anti-vaccination is treated so criminally. And to me, intimidating people who merely consider the other side gives the greatest evidence of misconduct. Because if your case is so strong, you shouldn’t care.
So my question is, am I an anti-vaxxer just because I “considered” the idea of non-vaccination? I’ve learned to care less and less about it every day that passes. But I still question so much.
Thanks to Dr Sherri Tenpenny, for alerting me to this article.
The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment
True science is a process of asking and answering questions, and of developing and testing hypotheses. No-one should ever be intimidated, or discouraged, in any way, from questioning science, whether in medicine, or in any other field.
Developed by Gerson chefs, the new Gerson Therapy Cookbook is the most comprehensive and accurate cooking guide in Gerson Institute history – it’s like having a Gerson chef in your kitchen!
On the Gerson Therapy, food is medicine. Each bite brings healing closer, but we know it can be a challenge to adjust to this new diet and leave favourite foods behind. That’s why we thoughtfully crafted each recipe with love and care to make sure your Gerson Therapy meals taste good and feel good. With this cookbook, patients become empowered with the knowledge and principles of cooking the Gerson way so they can create variety with their own personalised recipes.
If You Know Anyone Considering A Flu Shot This Year, Show Them This
The verdict is out on flu shots. Many medical experts now agree it is more important to protect yourself and your family from the flu vaccine than the flu itself.
Every year the pharmaceutical industry, medical experts and the mainstream media work hard to convince us to get vaccinated against the flu.
But we’re not being told the whole story.
What we don’t hear, are cases about the adverse reactions or about the toxic chemicals being injected into us.
11 Reasons Why Flu Shots Are More Dangerous Than The Flu Itself
1. The Flu Shot Actually Makes You Sick To Begin With
Have you ever noticed how vaccinated children get sick almost immediately following a vaccination? This is because the flu virus is introduced into their bodies. So rather than immunise, the flu shot actually only sensitises the body against the virus. And the fact that it causes individuals to get ill following a shot indicates immuno-suppression (i.e. lowering of the immunity).
2. Flu Vaccines Contain Other Dangerous Ingredients Such As Mercury
The pharmaceutical industry, medical experts and the mainstream media are candid in telling us that flu vaccines contain strains of the flu virus. What they are less likely to reveal though is the long list of other ingredients that come with the vaccine. It is now a known fact that flu vaccines contain mercury, a heavy metal known to be hazardous for human health. Mercury toxicity can cause depression, memory loss, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory problems, ADD, oral health problems, digestive imbalances and other serious health issues.
3. The Flu Shot Can Cause Alzheimer’s Disease
Evidence now suggests that flu vaccines can cause Alzheimer’s disease. Research conducted by Dr. Hugh Fudenberg, a leading immunogeneticist, shows that those who consistently get the flu vaccine increase their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 10 fold. He believes this is due to the toxic combination of aluminum and mercury in the vaccine. Additionally, introducing the flu virus to an elderly person (who with age will naturally have a weaker immune system) will only increase the chances of that individual becoming susceptible to more serious illness.
4. The Very People Pushing Flu Vaccinations Are Making Billions Of Dollars Each Year
In August 1999, the Committee on Government Reform initiated an investigation into Federal vaccine policy. This investigation focused on possible conflicts of interest on the part of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The investigation concluded that many individuals serving on two key advisory committees had financial ties to the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture vaccines. Often, these individuals were granted waivers to fully participate in the discussions that led to recommendations on vaccine licensing and adding vaccines to the Childhood Immunization Schedule. This in itself creates serious doubt as to how effective flu vaccines really are.
5. Lack Of Real Evidence That Young Children Even Benefit From Flu Shots
51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6 to 23 months established no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo. Additionally, flu shots only protect against certain strains of the virus meaning that you can still easily get the flu if you come into contact with a different strain of virus.
6. Makes You More Susceptible To Pneumonia And Other Contagious Diseases
For someone with an already suppressed immune system, injecting strains of the flu virus can have devastating consequences. If your body is already working to fight off a virus or simply operating with low immunity, a vaccine injection could put your body in serious danger of contracting influenza with stronger symptoms, or even worse pneumonia and other contagious diseases.
7. Vascular Disorders
Medical research shows flu shots are associated with an increased risk of vascular inflammation. Symptoms include fever, jaw pain, muscle aches, pain and stiffness in the neck, upper arms, shoulder and hips and headache.
8. Children Under The Age Of 1 Are At Risk
Children under 1 years of age are highly vulnerable to a neurotoxic breach of the delicate nerve centre surrounding the brain and central nervous system. The first round of the flu vaccine is administered at age 6 months. A child under the age of 1 lacks sufficient protection to guard against premature damage to the blood barrier in the brain.
9. Increased Risk Of Narcolepsy
There have been dozens of reported cases of children in 12 different countries who have developed narcolepsy (a chronic sleep disorder) after receiving the flu vaccine. The study, which took place between October 2009 and the December 2011, compared 3.3 million vaccinated Swedes with 2.5 million who were not vaccinated. The risk was found to be highest among the youngest people who took the vaccines. For those under the age of 21, the risk of contracting narcolepsy was three times higher.
10. Weakens Immunological Responses
There have been literally thousands of medical journal articles published that show injecting vaccines can lead to harmful immunological responses and a host of other infections. Moreover, weak immunological responses only decrease a person’s ability to fight the diseases that the vaccine was supposed to protect against in the first place.
11. Serious Neurological Disorders
Evidence now suggests that ingredients in flu vaccinations can actually cause serious neurological disorders. In 1976 a significant number of those who received the flu vaccine acquired Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), a disorder characterised by permanent nerve damage and even paralysis. Flu vaccines can contain many harmful materials including detergent, mercury, formaldehyde, and strains of live flu virus.
With thanks to, Michelle Toole: Researcher.
The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment
As always, I invite you to read the full article, but in this case, you may be particularly interested in reading the Sources for this article.
Rice is the staple of a variety of cuisines around the world. Yet diets that restrict carbohydrates (Atkins) advise against rice, while other diets praise rice as the perfect carbohydrate for energy. A recent study presented at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has revealed that a certain heating and cooking method for rice can cut the number of calories our bodies absorb by 50 to 60 percent.
“Because obesity is a growing health problem, especially in many developing countries, we wanted to find food-based solutions,” Sudhair A. James, from the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka, said in a statement. “We discovered that increasing rice-resistant starch (RS) concentrations was a novel way to approach the problem. If the best rice variety is processed, it might reduce the calories by about 50 to 60 percent.”
James and his colleagues developed a new cooking method that increases the RS content of rice by experimenting with 38 different types of rice native to Sri Lanka. The method called for adding a half cup of uncooked rice to boiling water with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Researchers let the rice simmer for 40 minutes, but confirmed that boiling for 20 to 25 minutes would also work. The last step of the process involved refrigerating the rice for 12 hours.
The RS content of traditional, non-fortified rice increased 10-fold using this new method. The research team explained that during their cooking process the oil alters the starch by making it resistant to the action of digestive enzymes. Cooling the rice for 12 hours was essential to lowering the number of calories that are absorbed by the body, and reheating the rice before eating had no effect on its RS content. James plans on conducting further testing on human subjects to determine if different types of rice and cooking oil have the same effect.
“After your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, any leftover fuel gets converted into a polysaccharide carbohydrate called glycogen,” James added. “Your liver and muscles store glycogen for energy and quickly turn it back into glucose as needed. The issue is that the excess glucose that doesn’t get converted to glycogen ends up turning into fat, which can lead to excessive weight or obesity.”