The Anonymous Widower

Twice-Yearly Jab Could Replace Statins For Millions

This is an article in today’s Times.

As I have four B12 injections year, that would fit well with my health care.

November 25, 2019 Posted by | Health | | 3 Comments

The NHS And Prices For US Drugs

On the BBC’s Wake Up To Money this morning, an NHS expert; Helen Buckingham, from the Nuffield Trust, talked about the NHS and the prices for drugs, developed and produced in the United States. These are points Helen made.

  • Various people in the US, would like the UK to pay the US price.
  • The UK price is determined because the NHS is a bit customer and tends to buy centrally.
  • In the US, it is illegal for hospitals and health organisations to deal as a group.
  • Countries like Australia get their drugs at a good price from the United States under the recent trade deal.

Obviously, this is how I read, what Helen said, so if you’re really interested listen to the podcast.

November 25, 2019 Posted by | Health | , | 2 Comments

A Solution To Hospital Car Parking Charges

If I need to go to my preferred hospital of University College Hospital, I walk round the corner from my house and get a number 30 bus, which stops outside the hospital.

If I want to go to the Royal London Hospital, I take the Overground four stops to Whitechapel.

I live in Dalston, which is reasonably close to Central London and I chose to live here, as I don’t drive.

Some other cities have good hospital access on public transport.

  • Addenbroke’s Hospital in Cambridge has a fast guided busy to the City Centre and the North of the City. It also has it’s own bus station and may even get a railway station.
  • The Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham has a tram stop with direct step-free access to the hospital. The tram system also has seven large Park-and-Ride sites.
  • James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough has its own railway station.

But how many hospitals and that includes many new ones have terrible public transport links?

Consider two elderly sisters; Elsie and Doris, perhaps living on opposite sides of the country.

Suppose one sister has a bad fall and ends up in the local hospital.

  • The train system in the UK is improving and I’ve regularly met fellow train passengers well into their eighties travelling for four or five hours by train, to visit friends and relatives or have a holiday.
  • Crossing London can be a problem for some, but my London-savvy eighty-five year old friend does it regularly.

It’s just the last link to the hospital, that can be a problem.

Norwich And Norfolk Hospital

The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital is a large teaching hospital, that was built in 2001 on the Western outskirts of the City.

It replaced a City Centre hospital.

There is a bus from the station, but finding details of the schedule is difficult, as the bus company’s web site, is more about selling you deals, that telling you how often the buses run.

I suppose the only way to find out is to go to Norwich station and do some bus spotting.

This Google Map shows the location of the hospital close to the University of East Anglia and the world-famous John Innes Institute.

I’ve only ever been to the area by car and I do wonder what students without transport think about getting to the University of East Anglia.

It certainly, isn’t the sort of place, I’d have wanted to go to University. During our time at Liverpool, C and myself were always popping down Brownlow Hill to the City Centre.

In somewhere like Germany or Switzerland, there would be a tram from the train station.

A London Example Of Improvement

If I wanted to go to Barnet Hospital, I would take the Underground to High Barnet station and then get a bus. But the Underground and bus interchange at High Barnet is not easy, especially on a wet day.

But it does appear that there is a better route, which involves catching a 384 bus from Cockfosters station.

  • The bus provides a feeder service direct to the hospital.
  • Cockfosters station will be step-free in a few years.
  • The bus stops at both Barnet Hospital and the A & E unit.

It’s certainly a lot better than when I lived in the area as a child.

Why Can’t All Hospitals Have Decent Public Transport?

Hospitals are important to so many people and although not every hospital can have a transport network as good as Addenbrooke’s, the Queen’s Medial Centre or University College Hospital, getting to some hospitals is a major logistics nightmare.

  • Hospitals serving a large rural area, must be at the heart of the bus network.
  • There should be a frequent bus or tram service to the city or town centre and the main railway station.
  • There should be much better information.
  • Hospitals could follow Nottingham’s and Cambridge’s .examples, where the hospital is on the city’s Park-and-Ride network.

How many hospitals in the UK meet this standard?

Conclusion

I believe that if decent public transport is provided to a hospital, that many patients, staff and visitors will use it, as they seem to do in Cambridge, London and Nottingham.

  • In some places there is no easy way to get to the hospital and driving is the only way.
  • Car parking is expensive to provide.
  • Some hospitals have no space for car parking to be increased or added.
  • How many are late for their appointments because the parking is full or they can’t find a space?
  • Making car parking free will only make the problem worse, as everybody will drive.

Perhaps we should rate hospitals on the quality of the public transport, just as they are rated on care.

 

November 24, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport | , | 2 Comments

Home-Made Cabbage Soups Could Help Combat Malaria

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in The Times.

The article comes from this page on the Imperial College web site, which is entitled Scientists And Schoolkids Find Family Soups Have Antimalarial Properties.

This is the introduction.

London schoolchildren have found that some of their families’ soup recipes have antimalarial properties, with the help of Imperial scientists.

Researchers from Imperial College London helped the schoolchildren test their family soup broths for activity against the malaria parasite.

There is also this quote from one of the researchers; Professor Jake Baum.

We may have to look beyond the chemistry shelf for new drugs, and natural remedies shouldn’t be off our watch list, as artemisinin shows.

I also wonder, if natural remedies of this type, which are generally administered by a trusted relative or friend, come with a degree of care and concern, that is often lacking in healthcare.

We should also remember, that aspirin is not a modern drug, but was known to the ancient Egyptians.

 

November 19, 2019 Posted by | Food, Health | , , | 1 Comment

Soaring Demand For SUVs Exacerbates Climate Crisis

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in today’s copy of The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The increasing demand for sports utility vehicles is eliminating the emissions savings made by those who have switched to electric cars, the global energy watchdog has warned.

According to the International Energy Agency, SUVs now account for forty percent of new car sales worldwide.

In some ways, I regard having my stroke as being one of the best things that ever happened to me.

  • It was serious, but modern clot-busting drugs, left most of my brain intact.
  • My eyesight was damaged, so that I am unable to drive, but I do occasionally ride a bicycle away from roads.
  • Cars are now no part of my life and in the ten years, that I haven’t driven, I’ve only needed one on perhaps two or three times.
  • My bank account is healthier.
  • I can afford to take a black cab, as many times as I need.

You have to remember though, that my excess of survival genes; Devonian, Huguenot and Jewish, honed by living in Liverpool and Suffolk, always mean that I am up to the toughest challenge.

We all need to adjust our lifestyle to the modern world.

A Few Related Thoughts

In National Trust Looks At Car Ban In Lake District, I looked at the car problems of the Lake District.

SUVs and their owners are surely drawn to the wilder areas of the UK.

So perhaps, we should create SUV-free areas, except for residents who need one?

Extinction Rebellion want everybody to use electric cars. What would happen if kids refused to go in any car that wasn’t zero carbon?

If I put myself at say sixteen, with my father in his fifties in the present day, I would try to convince him to have an electric car. Knowing my father, he would have probably bought one on my pestering.

But can I convince my son to buy one?

No!

November 14, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Home Kits Signal End Of Cervical Smear Test

This is a headline on the front page of today’s copy of The Times.

Being male and living alone, I wouldn’t know what a woman thinks!

But there must surely be some women, who would think this is at least an improvement.

Health services across the world will also be able to save money, as the procedure must be more efficient and need less staff, who can probably be redeployed, where they are needed.

November 5, 2019 Posted by | Health | , | 2 Comments

Asthma Carbon Footprint ‘As Big As Eating Meat’

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Many people with asthma could cut their carbon footprint and help save the environment by switching to “greener” medications, UK researchers say.

I know more than a bit about metered dose inhalers.

I backed an inhaler, which is marketed under the name of Respimat, as when I saw the technology of the company, my physics knowledge told me that they had something.

The device was purely mechanical, with no batteries, electrical supply, gases or noxious chemicals. It effectively used the principle of an old-fashioned air pistol, that fired drugs instead of pellets.

I still have the prototype in my garage.

It was a bit of a roller-coaster of an investment, but I made a good return in the end, when we sold the device to Bohringer Ingelheim.

I was saying what Cambridge University are now saying, nearly twenty years ago!

 

October 30, 2019 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

NHS Chief Wants Homeopathy To Lose Official Stamp Of Approval

This is the title of an article in today’s copy of the Times.

About time too!

If people want to use quackery, they should pay for it themselves! And not expect taxpayers to pick up the pieces!

October 28, 2019 Posted by | Health | | 5 Comments

Blood Pressure Pills ‘Work Better At Bedtime’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first paragraph.

To get the best out of your daily blood pressure medication, take it just before you go to bed, say researchers.

The study was at the University of Vigo in Spain and could be very significant.

As I am on pills for high blood pressure, after discussing it with a friend, who is a senior cardiologist, I decided to give it a go.

I started on Wednesday night, so it is only a few days and it would be wrong to draw any serious conclusions.

But I can already draw one simple one. It is much easier to take the drugs at night, just because you’ve always got a drink handy. Even, if it’s just cold tea in the bottom of a mug or the last dregs of beer in the bottom of a glass.

In the morning, I now get out of bed, brush my teeth, scratch my beard, do a few simple warm up exercises, take my blood pressure and put the kettle on.

Life is simpler!

I also seem to be sleeping better!

It’s too early to come to any conclusions, but everybody on pills for high blood pressure, should read the BBC article and talk to their doctor.

 

October 27, 2019 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

Smart Lavatories Could Spot Tumours Before They Form

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on page 14 of today’s copy of The Times.

With bowel cancer being a big killer, I can understand how it might work there, but how will it spot brain tumours.

Perhaps all those school bullies, who put unfortunates’ heads down the toilet and pulled the chain, had it roight?

October 21, 2019 Posted by | Health | , | 2 Comments