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Category: NHS

Labour’s Last Chance?

The Labour leadership contest, whose result is announced today, is of far more importance than many Labour supporters and MPs may realise.  Not only is it a huge opportunity for Labour to demonstrate that it is relevant to the UK electorate and has a clear message of what it stands for but it is also the last chance Labour may have of proving itself capable and/or deserving of remaining a major political presence.

Recent events involving the party and contest suggest that it doesn’t have a Scooby Doo about the importance of the contest for the future of the party.

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Sir David Nicholson – A Failure Of Leadership

Today’s admission by NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson that there is a culture of denial in the NHS does not come as a surprise.  In my experience it has been this way since at least 1997.  Nicholson’s evidence to the Commons Public Administration Committee confirmed what I believed then, still believe now and also provided a withering condemnation of his own conduct and leadership.

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Unison Spreading Fear Through Propaganda

It should come as no surprise as we head towards a General Election that Unison comes along with a piece of pathetic fear spreading propaganda as a pro-Labour campaign.  Before I respond to this piece of garbage with some clear and simple home truths, let me make my stance clear.

Your average leftie may well start to rant about me being anti-union.  That is complete and utter garbage.  I speak as a former workplace union rep.  I am not anti-union nor am I anti management.  I am anti poor peformance, anti-stupidity and anti-impracticality.  Wherever it may come from, whether it is workers or management.  My response to an article by Harry Phibbs is one such example.  Some good ideas, some others not practical (in my view).

In my experience neither side holds the monopoly on best practice.  Neither holds the monopoly on half-wittedness.  And the local authorities I’ve seen have plenty of areas where things can be massively improved.  Note how I say improved and not cut.  Service provision can be improved by thorough assessment, review and retargeting.  Waste should be cut.  It’s not rocket science, it’s best value.  I speak from personal experience here.  Real world experience from both sides of the equation.

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Pain In Childbirth ‘a good thing’?

Reading an article on the BBC website yesterday I found myself wondering just what Dr Denis Walsh, associate professor in midwifery at Nottingham University is taking.

The pain of childbirth may have benefits on which women who opt for painkilling epidurals miss out, a senior male midwife has said.

Dr Denis Walsh, associate professor in midwifery at Nottingham University, said pain was a “rite of passage” which often helped regulate childbirth.

He said it helped strengthen a mother’s bond with her baby, and prepared her for the responsibility of motherhood.

Dr Walsh is male.  So has no real concept of the pain of childbirth.  The biology is a bit different, I can’t see anywhere where the child would gestate or emerge.  Not without irretrievably splitting something.

I asked a few women who have had children for their thoughts on Dr Walsh’s opinions.  None of the responses I received were particularly complimentary.  Can’t say I blame them.  When I had my shoulder smashed the only things that kept me sane even though they didn’t kill all of the pain and it was excruciatingly painful were painkillers.

One friend spake forth in no uncertain terms.  What she said left my eyes watering…

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