Forced into Private Health

by craig on June 3, 2013 2:51 pm in Uncategorized

I remain absolutely stunned, and completely confused, by the apparently appalling quality of NHS Healthcare in Thanet, from my own experience.

I still haven’t seen that cardiologist.

Meantime, about six weeks ago, my left heel became very sore and tender, painful to walk upon. A couple of days later the pain had gone. A couple of days more, and it came back. It remained intermittent for about a month. Then two weeks ago, it became more or less permanent, and then when I went on Saturday to speak at the Bradley Manning demo at the US Embassy, I found that after 200 of the 300 metres to the railway station I was in so much pain I just had to sit on the pavement until the pain died down a bit. I missed my train. I eventually got to the demo after it had pretty well finished, looking rather like Quasimodo and in a lot of pain. I spoke anyway, but there are rather more ummms and aaahs than usual because the pain made it hard to concentrate.

I finally decided this wasn’t going away, and went to see the GP today – it is very close, but again I couldn’t walk there. He gave me a chit to take to the QEQM Hospital for an X-Ray. I went and had the X-Ray immediately. So far, very efficient and full marks to the NHS.

But I was then told that it will take between ten and 14 days for the X Ray result to be given to my GP; I should call then and make an appointment to see him again.

This is absolutely beyond my understanding. I have had the odd x-ray in my life, and the results have always been instantaneous, with a doctor telling me what happens next within an hour or two. I recall on occasion being handed the x-rays to hand carry to my GP.

In the meantime, I cannot walk. Am I meant simply to lie around on my arse until someone can bother to do something with the x-rays, which already have their physical existence? To my shame, I found myself asking my GP to refer me to a private hospital so I can pay someone to not just take x-rays, but look at them.

I just do not remember the NHS as being this awful. Have I gone crazy, is the NHS in a state of utter dereliction, or in moving to Thanet have I just come last in the postcode lottery? Any views from within the NHS would be especially welcome.

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  1. Carlos Johnson

    3 Jun, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    Don’t you wish you had employer-based insurance in the U.S., a system under which many tens of millions do not have such silly waiting periods?

  2. mike cobley

    3 Jun, 2013 - 3:05 pm

    “Don’t you wish you had employer-based insurance in the U.S., a system under which many tens of millions do not have such silly waiting periods?”

    And what use would that be to self-employed writers?

    Craig, I moved from Glasgow to Irvine a few years ago, and while there is decent GP and local hospital coverage I did have cause to go and get my wrist X-rayed a few months ago and had the same experience, that I would have to contact my GP about 10 days later to find out the results. I think this is the result of the amalgamation of radiology departments so that instead of each hospital/clinic having an x-ray department now there is one x-ray centre serving several hospitals in a larger area. Its possible that although yr x-ray was taken on that day, it then went into a queue for development or whatever. Yes, it is shameful but then the advisors from KPMG and McKinsey who advised Blair/Brown (and are now whispering in Cameron’s lughole) dont give a damn about easing the suffering of the little people.

  3. I fell foul of the 14 day wait for the X-Rays to reach my GP just recently. What was worse was that I went to the GP before that, on an unrelated manner, and they thought they’d check on the hospital system. They found that the X-Rays were there, but that the doctor didn’t have access to them. It took another 5 days for the hospital to release the X-Rays showing that there was no issue.

  4. I had back problems after a minor car accident and went to hospital the next day.

    They had me x-rayed and told the outcome within a few hours.

    But that was under NHS Scotland.

  5. This is normal. The only way to get immediate results from an X-Ray is to take yourself off to A&E.

  6. Judging by the recent NHS TV series it really is being inundated with older patients, as well as those suffering from a myriad of diseases and conditions directly related to modern lifestyles and the quality of food in supermarkets.

  7. Going to A&E sounds like the best bet if it’s actually hurting.

    A few decades ago I went to an A&E over an upset stomach. ‘Sit over there’, they said. I joined a group of waiters.

    After 40 minutes of waiting, I threw up. Then they moved fast! An injection in the rear end later, I was all right. I’m thankful that we have an NHS, even an imperfect one.

  8. No personal experience or knowledge of the system (or lack of it) now operating in the South East but am reliably informed by my son – also living in Kent – that Thanet is rated by Kentish residents as the worst ever.

    It seems that you may be a victim of both a postcode lottery and the so-called reforms of what used to be an excellent health service.

    It is shameful.

  9. NHS is overall beleaguered by political and legal demands. Some pockets manage to hold up ok and others are denigrated and disrupted into morbid chaos. Ive encountered medieval type wards of dying moaning untended patients understaffed by callously head/heartfucked nurses. I met a man who was riddled with chronic cancer being made to wait daily in a waiting room for a CT scan because the scan staff had taken exception to his frustrated complaints. My chronically ill relative went before him, i sympathised with his story while waiting but in my own daze did not help him.

    I had possibly the same acute pain heel years ago, it was an autoimmune symptom of inflamation of the connecting tendon. It went away after some months never to return to the heel, but moves around the other joints in my body, usually less painfuly than the heel. Prescription strength Voltarol (sodium diclofenac) is personally very effective for it, and personally shows no discernable side effects.

    My local surgery turns off its repeat prescription answerphone when the surgery doors close, including the half day on Wednesday.

  10. Declan McDonough

    3 Jun, 2013 - 3:51 pm

    I think NHS cutbacks are to make things like this the norm. This will drive more people to private healthcare, making it easier for the eventual total dismantlement of the NHS.

  11. Was it not Enoch Powell, who advocated delivering speeches on a full bladder?

    Clearly pain aids the ‘immediacy’ of public speaking, as the clip above shows.

  12. Search for Plantar Fasciitis (sp?) and see if the symptoms match yours.

  13. Forced into private health, indeed. With open borders, fluid migration, constant political pressure on reducing taxes, is it any wonder that service quality plummets and private service providers step up to supply those with money? I’d expect more of this to happen before the system finally breaks. At the end of the day, somebody has to pay the bills. Who should that be?

  14. Flaming June

    3 Jun, 2013 - 4:30 pm

    Come on people. Just 12 views of that video of Craig speaking since I posted it at 2.24 pm on the previous thread.

    Bad luck Craig on your experiences of local NHS hospitals.

    The plan for the NHS since Thatcher in the 80s via Enthoven of the Rand destabilize, demoralize, destroy. This is what I said on your Thatcher thread in April.

    ‘She got this character over from the Rand Coporation in America to set the NHS privatisation project in motion, ie a private health insurance model. Cameron and Clegg are now completing it.

    Affordable health care and consumer choice: An interview with Professor Alain Enthoven’

    The link I gave no longer works. Strange that!

  15. Flaming

    Well, 172 people have watched it so far from this page. I have often noted Youtube’s counters are somewhat strange. Perhaps they don’t count embedded views like this one, only visits from the Youtube site?

  16. This lot of fucking carpetbaggers are out to destroy whatever B-liar could not. I was nearly killed by the incompetent fuckwits in the hospital I admitted to, was few weeks back, and my death murder would have been just another statistic. The fucking greedy bastards in the City and elsewhere, having exhausted their gambling kicks in the stock markets are now out to steal the rug from under our butts, and NHS is a nice little (huge in fact) earner to be taken over.

    Want an appointment with your GP how is about waiting a fortnight?

    Want an operation that will not leave you an invalid, or kill you, how is about going to the next reliable hospital in the next Major city?

    These current wnakers (our dear leaders) are keeping the Trident, but destroying every service that we the people are reliant on, and the stenographers in the medjia are too busy kowtowing to their proprietors and their sponsors to raise even the slightest of the relative facts.

  17. You need to take something for the pain. If it is a soft-tissue injury it will take a long while. That’s not what you want to hear I know. I got one (knee) about eighteen months ago and it would not get better. Only when I went into hospital for my heart bypass where they kept me in for a month did it start to heal. It’s all right now. The trouble with all leg injuries is that the legs are weight-bearing limbs so they take a lot of strain. Rest is probably what you will be advised. Until you get a proper diagnosis take it easy. Elevate your leg.

    Disclaimer: this is not medical advice from a medical practitioner. But you could use the relaxation-time to work out how you can relieve Gulnara of a few of her millions.

  18. Craig: Kempe’s advice at 3.15 sounds good and practical. Get yourself down to A and E.

  19. I am sure it is kindly meant, but you haven’t seen Margate A&E (I presume).

  20. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    3 Jun, 2013 - 5:22 pm

    Craig; John made the same connection I did. My knee flares up (inflammation) from time to time and I’ve found the best remedy is homemade.

    Garlic….. I know, (cough, cough) garlic; fresh garlic which I am fortunate enough to love. It must be as live as possible, but it must be live for the most part.

    It’s one the best anti-inflmmatorys/antibiotics. Mince it fine;add to salad, or whatever cooked food or sauce you wish. Just don’t completely cook through for max results.

  21. Flaming June

    3 Jun, 2013 - 5:22 pm

    Good recommendation there John for rest if possible. Some painkillers are not advised for patients with cardiac problems, ie Ibuprofen and Diclofenac (Nirofen and Voltarol)

    For a change I had a rest today after walking the dog and mowing the grass. I listened to the excellent SSO playing Rachmaninov whilst sitting in the lovely sunshine and reading the LRB. It has good pieces by Patrick Cockburn on Syria and Runciman on Moore’s biography of Thatcher amongst other articles. I usually read the LRB online but subscribed recently. They have an offer on.

    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3
    Denis Kozhukin (piano),
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,
    Donald Runnicles (conductor).

    Golijov: Last Round
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,
    Joshua Weilerstein (conductor).

    The SSO are playing Britten live this evening.

  22. “Perhaps they don’t count embedded views like this one, only visits from the Youtube site?”

    Ive read it explained that Youtube delays the view counter by days or even weeks to combat spam promotion.

  23. The NHS is being deliberately but slowly broken by politicians in the pay of those who will benefit from the privatisation of health care.

    Problems with the NHS are publicised; reforms are called for; reforms are made, involving more marketisation and privatisation of functions; the reforms cause more problems; and the cycle repeats.

  24. Flaming June

    3 Jun, 2013 - 6:42 pm

    Obama’s War on Whistle Blowers – The Trial of Bradley Manning
    by Dylan Murphy / June 3rd, 2013

    If you had free reign over classified networks… and you saw incredible things, awful things… things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC… what would you do?”

    God knows what happens now. Hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms… I want people to see the truth… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.

    — Quotes from an online chat attributed to Bradley Manning

  25. Flaming June

    3 Jun, 2013 - 6:46 pm

    Jan 05, 2012

    Medical bills cause 62 percent of bankruptcies
    by Joan McCarter

    Medical Bankruptcy

    A study released Thursday [pdf] by the American Journal of Medicine finds a huge increase—nearly 20 percent—in medical bankruptcies between 2001 and 2007. Sixty-two percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were tied to medical expenses. Three-quarters of those who filed for bankruptcies in 2007 had health insurance.
    Using a conservative definition, 62.1% of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92% of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5000, or 10% of pretax family income. The rest met criteria for medical bankruptcy because they had lost significant income due to illness or mortgaged a home to pay medical bills. Most medical debtors were well educated, owned homes, and had middle-class occupations. Three quarters had health insurance. Using identical definitions in 2001 and 2007, the share of bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 49.6%. In logistic regression analysis controlling for demographic factors, the odds that a bankruptcy had a medical cause was 2.38-fold higher in 2007 than in 2001. […]


  26. Craig, I saw an earlier youtube of your speech and posted a transcript of it in a comment yesterday:

    (Also in that same thread, don’t know if saw this or if you’d be interested in 1771 diary entry but hoped you would:

    (And I wondered if Nuremberg is supposed to mean anything to anyone anymore – and how?

    Anyway, fyi, and best wishes for your health

  27. Sounds like plantar fasciitis, Quite common, will get better but maybe not for a good few weeks. There, solved it for you, no need for an X-ray. :)

  28. technicolour

    3 Jun, 2013 - 7:08 pm

    Run it down, make people hate it – follow the money. MPs and peers interests in private health companies here:

  29. Sorry, forgot my fee – 200 guineas. Thanks

  30. Craig, you should see a good podiatrist (posh word for a chiropodist), one who knows about biomechanics- if you know any sporty types locally ask them who they’d go to for their sports injuries. Most pods don’t know about biomech, but the ones who do, know a lot. As others have said, plantar fasciitis (fash-ee-eye-tis) is the commonest cause of heel pain, but there are other causes, so its best to get a hands-on diagnosis, it requires a bit of poking and prodding which can’t yet be done online!

  31. Youtube = Google = NSA = Mossad = Evil

    You do realise by having youtube video links, everyone landing on your homepage pulls content from them, receives cookies and leaves a record (IP address, browser identifier and version, plugins installed, features enabled, referer link etc.) on their servers of when and who visits here.

    No sooner than the last blog post containing a youtube video gets bumped off the front page, a new one appears, there are three at present, presenting a unique combination that alone identifies (to them) hits resulting from visitors to this site. A record stored, kept forever which combined with ISP records identifies every one of us now or in the future.

    Better just having a link to the video than embedding it from a privacy p-o-v.

    That is why I prefer the video transcripts; google and youtube =



    Then there are very many websites and blogs, including many supposedly ‘alternative’ that are hosted in address space belonging to google, or pull content from or leave calling cards with google, and requirements for library code hosted by google servers.

    A many tentacled octopus which, for the good of the web, we have to find ways to do without.

    Sorry to hear you’re ill and/or in pain, there’s a lot of it about.

  32. greenmachine

    3 Jun, 2013 - 7:52 pm

    The posters who point to the delibrate privatisation of NHS services are absolutely correct. The norm in next 2 yrs will be Craig’s experience in Thanet. A friend is very senior in NHS and told me some time ago that the report in Feb on Mid-staffs should have been about inadequate, dangerously low staffing levels across the NHS BUT will be about the disgraceful nurses and their lack of care – boy was he spot -on! Must sign -off and get my wife her dinner; she has just come in from work as NHS nurse shoud have finished her shift at 4pm but so many acutes she had to stay til 7.15pm! Common pattern in recent months. Shameful, back-handed privatisation to benefit the few yet again – when will we learn that the politicos are not to be trusted with anything?

  33. technicolour

    3 Jun, 2013 - 8:07 pm

    “the report in Feb on Mid-staffs should have been about inadequate, dangerously low staffing levels across the NHS BUT will be about the disgraceful nurses and their lack of care”

    thanks Greenmachine – and to your wife.

  34. I spent 4 hours talking to an ambulance paramedic crew recently about the state of the NHS. They were a team that had been borrowed from another town due to a staffing crisis and were needed out on the streets (that’s why our town had most urgently borrowed them). But they were hanging out in a corridor talking to me about the state of the NHS. Reason? They bring in people who are supposedly in need of urgent medical attention (the person I’d come in with certainly was) and then they can’t leave until the hospital checks that person in and takes a report from said paramedics. Hospital couldn’t manage it. Paramedics stayed in corridor, stressing and obsessing – and waiting.

  35. as NHS nurse shoud have finished her shift

    If she is anything like the four nurses who affected my quality of life for the better in the worst possible juncture of my illness, my heartfelt thanks to her, and tell her, we the patients appreciate her and the other nurses, and we discern the leaches and hyaenas that are bent on stealing yet another public asset; the NHS.

  36. I would like to comment on this but I know from previous experience that I will be told that I am part of some hidden, sinister agenda to privatise the NHS, or that I am a paid shill for a medical company.

    So I won’t bother.

  37. Flaming June

    3 Jun, 2013 - 9:25 pm

    Me In Us Thanks for the transcript and for the link to the video on the UN condemns Uk thread. I put up the same link yesterday on the Suppressed by the BBC thread without seeing your earlier link.

  38. Craig – really good speech and sorry to hear your news.

    Get well soon!

  39. Plantar Fasciitis sprang to mind for me too. Try stretching your achilles tendon (place your foot flat on the ground and lean as far forward as you can with your knee straight). If that relieves it, then that’s what it is.

  40. NHS experience

    3 Jun, 2013 - 10:12 pm

    Went to see the GP and was sent off for an X Ray, but instead of being sent to the hospital I was sent to a private clinic. The private clinic had an old fashioned X ray machine, which had broken down. A few days later it was working and I had the X ray done, but it never turned up at the GP’s. Fortunately, when I saw an NHS consultant he was able to arrange for the hospital to take an x ray and within 30 min it was done and I had received the consultant about that x ray. I could not but conclude that the GP practice had become something of a business, whereas at the hospital there was still a focus on treatment.

  41. Techno @9:04 pm.

    Yup, I’ve had that treatment. After saying I work in conservation and expressing sceptical views about man-made climate change, I was informed by commenter “Komodo” that my real job is to “greenwash” for big oil and multinational corporations! They always imagine the worst of motives in their opponents.

  42. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jun, 2013 - 10:33 pm

    @ Technicolour and Giles:

    You’re lucky that they didn’t call you Zionist trolls, taking the Israeli shekel.

    Or perhaps I wasn’t paying attention and they have.


    La vita è bella, life is good! (ask to be paid in Shekels)

  43. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    3 Jun, 2013 - 10:35 pm

    @ Technicolour:

    actually I would like to read what you have to say.

  44. @Greenmachine and others on NHS privatisation

    Mps with links to private healthcare companies:

    Peers with links to private healthcare companies:

  45. I think you mean Techno! Technicolour is one of those for whom to complain about a delayed operation or poor treatment by staff is to support the breaking up of the NHS and wholesale flogging to Tory billionaires in the Cayman Islands!!!

  46. They’re a bunch of quacks. It’s deceitful of them even to call themselves ‘doctors’, because hardly any of them are qualified to that level. They get away with it because ‘doctor’ is an unprotected term. Scratch about and you will find that everything from local hospital prescribing policy and policy on using this or that equipment, to the way GPs’ surgeries are managed, is determined by pharmaceutical companies (e.g. Bayer, Glaxo SmithKline) and equipment suppliers.

    Most other countries don’t have waiting lists. You get an appointment when it’s decided you need something. Most people in Britain are indoctrinated to thinking that waiting lists are natural. It’s an amazingly deferential system.

    Medics also routinely say people can jump NHS queues by e.g. seeing the same medic privately who will then refer them back to the NHS. In any other country, almost everyone would recognise that for what it is: BRIBERY.

    Craig – I don’t know what’s wrong with your heel, but have you got swelling? (Or oedema, to call it by the name given to it by those great Latin scholars who fucked about at medical school with stethoscopes around their necks, when they weren’t doing stuff like injecting their veins with pure ethanol.)

    If so, try dandelion tea. (Not joking.)

  47. And dentists! Don’t get me started! One of those crooks told my wife, an NHS patient, the other day, that she could only get what she really needed by going private. Guess what, that’s against NHS rules for them to say that. They have to tell you what you need, in writing, and you are entitled to get it all on the NHS, for a maximum price. Work such as root canal work counts as band 2. Maximum charge, £49. No matter whether you need it on 1 tooth or 10. Bridges and orthdontal work take you into band 3.

    Repeat: 10 teeth requiring root canal work, maximum price, £49.

    How many of the swine ever tell anyone that?

    Fucking money-grabbing liars, the lot of them.

  48. Isn’t France supposed to have a great public health system? It should be easy to dash over there from Kent.

  49. @Lysias

    After 23 years in France I’m fed up telling people that this just isn’t true; so this is one comment that I can make without prefacing it with, “I can’t pretend to know much about …” etc.

    I could go into so much detail … so many cock-ups … so much poor medical training … but one example should suffice; a husband diagnosed (by GP and specialist without ordering any x-rays or other technical diagnostic supports) with asthma at the age of 70 when he had no history of the illness. He was sent home with prescriptions for Ventolin.

    He had a stage IV cancer.

  50. My close relative – 3 uncharacteristic visits to GP in 1.5 years for an odd pain in the hip -sent home with a never “worry each” each time. Finally a chiropracter had a go at it and made it unbearable > A&E.. x-ray.. biopsy.. stage 3 Cancer.

  51. Best and cheapest place for dental work is Hungary. It was cheaper for me to have spent a few days in the beautiful city of Pesc then visit a UK dentist for similar treatment.

  52. Craig,

    Your foot problem could just be gout, which is caused by a build up of urea. Ensure you drink sufficient water, such that your urine never gets strong and is pretty clear. Do lots of exercise – I know this is very difficult when you can’t walk – but you might be able to ride a push bike. Lose half a stone in weight. Cut down on rich foods that cause it – do a google search. Alcohol, seems reasonably O.K., but not if it comes as wine, port or heavy beer. Decent filtered lager might even clear it up, if you dance around a lot.

    It can come on very quickly, but it is often possible to get rid of it quickly by lots of exercise and lots of water.

    I get it occasionally, usually around Christmas, or when I forget to drink at least 2 or 3 pints of water and my pee gets too strong – or I put on too much weight.

    Your doctor can prescribe drugs for gout, but you are probably already on enough of those – and some of them may have brought it on, if that is what it is.


  53. John Robertson

    4 Jun, 2013 - 2:01 am

    Something in the UK water?? While on a holiday to the UK (mainly Scotland) a few years back, I experienced similar heel pain Craig.A visit to a Podiatrist for treatment when I returned to Oz fixed the problem. Mainly having the tootsies taped rather firmly did the job and kept it at bay.The pain was not at all funny
    and you have my sympathy, get well quickly. Better still come and live down here, the politicians haven’t wrecked our health system….yet, but they are working on it.

  54. @Flaming June — ships passing in the night, I didn’t see your link either ‘:-)

    It also here:


  55. I am very suspicious person. Unfortunately, experience has given me very good reason to be.

    On reading it would take 10-14 days for your GP to get the X-ray, the suspicion that the NHS is deliberately being made inefficient (hence sowing the seeds of it’s own deconstruction – to be sold off to private companies of course!) came instantly to mind.

    Sorry that you’ve experiencing various bouts of health problems. I really hope you get better soon. Don’t worry, I’m sure everyone fully understands you have to do what you think is best for your health.

  56. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    4 Jun, 2013 - 6:31 am

    @ Giles :

    Yes, of course I meant Techno and not Technicolour. Thanks!

  57. Horace Swanson

    4 Jun, 2013 - 6:34 am

    French dentist sent me to hospital for an x-ray just the other day. Ten minute wait in reception, give my details, go downstairs, five minute wait, x-ray, five minute wait, large brown envelope to take away and give to the dentist.

  58. Horace Swanson

    4 Jun, 2013 - 6:36 am


    What about embedded video from other sites – dailymotion etc?

  59. Exploring Euthanasia – Government Destruction Of The NHS

  60. I was in Ramsgate a few weeks ago, and Boots in Queen St (or is it King St, somewhere around there, anyway) may have good foot supports that you can put inside your shoes. I’ve used them sometimes.

    The view of the harbour and walking on top of the cliff or the harbour wall might also be therapeutic for, um, some part or another, says this ignorant non-medic.

  61. Yup, I’ve had that treatment. After saying I work in conservation and expressing sceptical views about man-made climate change, I was informed by commenter “Komodo” that my real job is to “greenwash” for big oil and multinational corporations! They always imagine the worst of motives in their opponents.

    And “they”‘re right most of the time.

  62. Craig, you need to immediately stop all milk products, especially cheese and yoghurt which are fermented. Take the minimum amount of milk in your tea, etc.

    You have a build up of toxins in your body which needs to stop and then eliminate. Stop all fermented and sour foods, e.g. vinegars, wine, citrus fruits, even sour apples and grapes, etc. All of the above will only enhance your pain.

    I would be surprised if your digestive system is not affected — in fact it is probably the root cause, generating an accumulation of toxins in your body which in turn are attacking you from inside.

    Sip plenty of warm water THROUGHOUT the day — minimum of 2 or 3 litres. This will aid flushing out the toxins.

    Swimming is a great exercise — low impact — and will help burn away the toxins and increase your metabolism and balance your digestion and whole body.

    More later, but it seems you need to listen to your body first before listening to your unhealthy doctors — they are only going to give you more chemicals for the ailing body part. They even forget you are a collection of body parts, i.e. a WHOLE human being. Think holistic.

  63. Agree with Tony it could be gout but disagree that alcohol is ok. Its fermented, highly acidic and so not ok. First sensible post i’ve seen from him though.

  64. Hi Craig, my son recently had plantar fasciitis, which does eventually go of its own accord. But we went to Boots and asked the pharmacist’s advice and he sold me some gel pads which you put in your shoe (for both feet even though the pain is only in one). I think they were made by Scholl and cost about £24 – but they worked!! My son was able to walk without pain, and in doing so, stopped him from walking awkwardly and causing more pain. It’s got to be worth a try!

  65. “Britain’s Accident and Emergency services reach breaking point”

  66. Flaming June

    4 Jun, 2013 - 12:24 pm

    Some of the anti NHS comments are probably constructive.

    The machine will be ready to stick the poison in especially a blog as active and as important as Craig’s. Any successes? Any demonstrations of compassion or care well beyond duty like the nurse who comes home three hours late?

    My experience as a NHS worker and latterly as a patient in the local general hospital is the complete opposite to some here. I saw the dedication, the compassion and care and the willingness to go the extra mile at close hand especially when there was an emergency for a sick child or adult admitted to A&E.

    I read this morning that Wetherspoons have been given permission to open a dining pub at a junction of the M40. YCNMIU.

    JD Wetherspoon to open first motorway pub on M40

    I wrote to a relative who lives in the area saying that I hoped Wycombe General Hospital and other hospitals along the route were geared up for an increase in emergency admissions from the probable accidents ensuing, as well as the other emergency services. The relative said that I was behind the times as the A&E was closed at Wycombe and patients now go to Stoke Mandeville. That is 30 mins distant by road for residents of a town with a population of 120,000+.

    Services at Stoke Mandeville are failing.

    Fight for the NHS. ‘Don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ as the song says.

    Remember the plan is to Destabilize, Demoralize, Disintegrate.

  67. Flaming June

    4 Jun, 2013 - 12:26 pm

    It’s been good to see the trolls expressing commiserations to Craig for his pain and ailment and for their support for Bradley Manning. NOT.

  68. Diclofenac warning – read the side effects blurb, it is in rare cases associated with heart failure. If I were Craig I would stay away.

  69. The only painkiller that doesn’t affect my heart (angina or arrhythmia) is Solpadeine. It makes my head woozy, and I don’t like that, but at least it seems to leave my heart alone.

  70. So the statists and lib-lefties, the Camerloonatics and Europhiles, intent on trashing England’s Christian moral tradition and her heritage of art, music, science, literature and law, the creation of generations of dead white males, while celebrating the wonders of the new and better, multiculti, multi-racial, PC Cool Britannia, the national health service, now find that this colossus of post-modern enlightenment is a bureaucratic basket case of waste, incompetence, and the cause of endless suffering.

    It would be funny if it were not a catastrophe.

  71. Ha! The link to the report on the absurd celebration of the National Health Service should have been this.

  72. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    4 Jun, 2013 - 4:47 pm

    @ Mary/April Showers/Flaming June :

    “It’s been good to see the trolls expressing commiserations to Craig…”

    The last time I did so you were quick to accuse me of hypocrisy, you….


    La vita è bella, life is good!

  73. @ Horace Swanson (4 Jun, 2013 – 6:36 am)

    I don’t know anything about that site you mentioned. None are the in same league as google/youtube, which entered the discussion, for the sheer volume of the data they harvest and its potential to mine and infer from that data, much about us, from their own sites but also unwittingly (to users) of many other sites where something or another rings google’s doorbell. It is staggering monopoly which has insinuated itself into almost every corner of the web in an opaque manner, a monopoly which must be countered not least for its deep ties with the US secret state agencies. The privacy implications are too ugly to behold.

  74. @Flaming June – if you think you’ve spotted any “anti-NHS” posts here, you ought to adjust your attitude, fast.

    The main point of view that has the potential to get to the heart of the matter is the point of view of patients and their families, not the point of view of staff.

    Staff’s point of view is welcome only if it gets to grip with the real conflict here, which is between patients and medical bosses of various kinds, whose job is basically for Big Pharma (not forgetting medical equipment suppliers – ever wondered why pregnant women are told to have multiple scans?)

    There must be loads of issues on which staff can spill the beans and gang up with patients. Go for it.

    Any identification by staff of their oen interests with their bosses interests must be ruthlessly denounced as the idiocy that it is. Frankly you might as well be a Pinkerton. The hell with ‘professionalism’ of all descriptions. It craps on you, and it craps on the rest of us. If you believe in that rubbish, you’re letting yourself be conned.

    I doubt you’ll get what I’m saying. Staff are encouraged to view patients as a fucking nuisance. Yes, yes, I know there’s a “care” thing, and a “go the extra mile” thing. It’s schizoid. A lot of culture is. Surface contradicts what’s underneath. Get it?

    A child in my family was taken to A&E, and was made to wait 2 hours in a room away from the main room, while 4 staff stood playing with a computer, not even looking at her.

    The so-called “doctor” came along just before it was time for the child to go, and had problems speaking English comprehensibly (and if anyone calls me a racist for saying that, they can shut up – it’s a real problem), and her sole (very well-paid) contribution was to read a few points off a card.

    They also handed the parents a card which had an advert for a solicitor on the back of it. A bit of probing unearthed the fact that the solicitor had agreed not to take any cases against the hospital, and to inform the hospital managers when anyone started sounding off about the standard of care they received there or asking for legal advice about pursuing anything in relation to the hospital.

    Oh and they sold bottled water in the waiting-room. People wait for bloody hours on end, and the great altruistic hospital managers won’t even let them have a fucking drink of water unless they hand over money.

    Of course the sale of water was all dressed up as ‘helping charity’.

    All the nurses who can’t stomach this kind of stuff, leave. Their managers want people who can’t stomach it to leave. Same with school-teachers. Same with police officers.

    When the stitches were taken out, the nurse just moaned the whole time, because the patient was from a different area of the country. She had no care whatsoever for how the child might be feeling.

    If you want to help make things better, one thing I’d like to hear the inside track on is how patients get transferred back and forth between hospitals, in order that waiting-list times can be artificially reduced. Another is how they ask for dates between which you won’t be able to have an operation, and then they give you an appointment for a day between those dates, again so as to pretend waiting times are shorter than they are. Sometimes, like a lot of scams, this probably happens without the patient even knowing anything about it.

  75. Horace Swanson

    4 Jun, 2013 - 7:40 pm


    Yes, I get your point, I was just wondering if people posting videos of Craig, for example, would do better to post them elsewhere than on Youtube

  76. @Flaming June – just to clarify: CanSpeccy does seem to be anti-NHS, but he posted after you, not before.

  77. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    4 Jun, 2013 - 8:44 pm

    @ N_ :

    “@Flaming June – if you think you’ve spotted any “anti-NHS” posts here, you ought to adjust your attitude, fast.”

    Don’t hold your breath.

    More seriously, though : you seem (to quote, or perhaps mis-quote someone whose name escapes me momentarily)to be saying that every profession is a conspiraacy against the laity?

  78. Flaming June
    4 Jun, 2013 – 12:26 pm
    “It’s been good to see the trolls expressing commiserations to Craig for his pain and ailment….”

    Mary, i like to see things as they are, not as what they could or should be. Habbakuk is right, the last time he did comment on Craig’s wellness you did make some remark. Your own commiseration was several posts deep after your having remarked on other o/t subjects. Which is fine but what do you propose to gain from raking it up?

  79. Gps will ‘soon’ have access to the xrays themselves so they can look at them and take any necessary action while awaiting a formal rediologist report. Now how ‘soon’ this might happen is anyones’s guess…

  80. Flaming June

    5 Jun, 2013 - 8:01 am

    Villager I do not have to justify myself. The RI is a hypocrite, acknowledges that he is a troll by replying to that post, continues to name me specifically and takes pot shots. I have a list as long as my arm of unpleasant names that I have been called. He did not come to this blog with fellow feeling. He came to disrupt and divert and seems to be succeeding when he is engaged in conversations.

    N_ You seem to be very embittered about the NHS. Everyone speaks as they find of course. There were several comments that indicated non support of the NHS. Go private. Go to France.

    There is great urgency which most people reject. When OUR NHS is dismantled then there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth -Old Testament style. When a family member needs urgent surgery or there is a stroke it is possible there will be no bed and indeed no hospital.

    Already the politicos have reduced bed numbers by 30% in the last two decades. So one learns that people with acute mental illness are being sent long distances to private clinics when in fact they should be near their friends and loved ones.

    You will hear the mantra (repeated again on World at One yesterday by Dr Dan Poulter, Health Minister) of the aim to treat more people in their homes with an ‘integrated social and health care system’. The fact is that district nurses have lost 40% of their number in recent years. Social services are under pressure, some of the service partly privatised.

    All of this is being accompanied by the current propaganda which portrays the NHS as dangerous. The increase in the number of patients lying in A&E for more than 4 hours has risen from 5% to 5.9%.

    Who is going to become a doctor or nurse in the current climate now?

    I will value and love the NHS to my dying day.8

    PS Any comments of support for Bradley Manning from the trolls as I also enquired?

  81. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    5 Jun, 2013 - 10:16 am

    A very revealing post from April Showers at 08h01 this morning.

    Let us look at a couple of her complaints:

    1/. “The RI is a hypocrite, acknowledges that he is a troll by replying to that post,…”

    Puzzling logic here : if I reply to a post which calls me a troll, that makes me a troll. So, if I called April Showers an obsessive and she replied (eg to deny it), that would ‘prove’ that she is indeed an obssesive?

    2/. “..and takes pot shots.”

    That is an idiosyncratic description. See also point 4 below.

    3/. “He did not come to this blog with fellow feeling.”

    Firstly, you do not know why I came to this blog. Secondly, I had not realised that ‘fellow feeling’ was an entry requirement for any blog. When you think about it, if everyone started off with the same opinions and premisses, what would be the point of the blog other than to just assure contributors that everyone else thought in the same way?

    4/. “He came to disrupt and divert and seems to be succeeding when he is engaged in conversations”

    Perhaps the most revealing sentence of all, coming as it does after another contributor was kind enough to address some complimentary words to me. The sentence seems to exude a sense of disappointment that I should contribute to this blog in any other way than by ‘taking potshots’. And a sense of “damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t”, in that if I take ‘potshots’ I’m a troll whose aim is to disrupt and divert and it I engage in discussion I succeed in diverting and disrupting. Not very consistent, surely?


    La vita è bella, life is good! (beware of false prophets)

  82. Flaming June

    5 Jun, 2013 - 6:26 pm

    What our Presidents tell our Young People
    Anti-Empire Report

    by William Blum / June 5th, 2013

    ‘In this season of college graduations, let us pause to remember the stirring words of America’s beloved scholar, George W. Bush, speaking in Florida in 2007 at the commencement exercises of Miami Dade College: “In Havana and other Cuban cities, there are people just like you who are attending school, and dreaming of a better life. Unfortunately those dreams are stifled by a cruel dictatorship that denies all freedom in the name of a dark and discredited ideology.”1

    How I wish I had been in the audience. I would have stood up and shouted: “In Cuba all education is completely free. But most of the young people sitting here today will be chained to a large, crippling debt for much of the rest of their life!”

    As the security guards came for me I’d yell: “And no one in Cuba is forced to join the military to qualify for college financial aid, like Bradley Manning was forced!”

    As they grabbed me I’d manage to add: “And Congress has even passed a law prohibiting students from declaring bankruptcy to get rid of their debt!”

    And as I was being dragged away, with an arm around my neck, I’d squeeze out my last words: “Do you know that $36 billion in student debt belongs to Americans who are 60 or older? … (choke, gasp) … and that students have committed suicide because of their debt?”

    I don’t know if Professor Bush would have found any words within his intellect to respond with, but the last words I’d hear from the students, as the handcuffs were being tightened, would be: “If you don’t like it here, why dontya move to Cuba?”

    Bad enough they have to pay highway-robbery tuition, but they wind up brainwashed anyhow.

    Let us now turn to the current president. Here he is at the May 19 graduation ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Martin Luther King’s alma mater:

    I know that when I am on my deathbed someday, I will not be thinking about any particular legislation I passed; I will not be thinking about a policy I promoted; I will not be thinking about the speech I gave, I will not be thinking the Nobel Prize I received. I will be thinking about that walk I took with my daughters. I’ll be thinking about a lazy afternoon with my wife. I’ll be thinking about sitting around the dinner table and seeing them happy and healthy and knowing that they were loved. And I’ll be thinking about whether I did right by all of them.

    And I, like Woody Allen’s Zelig, would have shown up at this graduation as well, and I would have shouted out: “What about the family sitting happy and healthy around the dinner table in Pakistan or Afghanistan, and a missile – your missile – comes screaming through the roof, reducing the precious family to bones and blood and dust. What about the nice happy and healthy families in Yemen and Iraq and Somalia, Pakistan and Libya whom you’ve droned and missled to death? Why haven’t you returned the Nobel Prize? In case you’ve forgotten, it was a PEACE prize!”

    Oh, that taser does hurt! Please contribute to my bail fund.’

    This is the first part of William Blum’s latest Anti-Empire Report. He continues with sections on Pipelineistan and the sanctions on Iran.


  83. Flaming June

    5 Jun, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    Sarah Montague, one of the presenters on the flagship BBC Radio 4 Today programme, and who tends to deal with the interviews and debates on the topic of health on the programme, is chairing this 3 day conference for the NHS Confederation and will be paid.

    She should not be taking this work which creates a conflict of interest which she should declare. She cannot maintain impartiality when working on Today.
    5 – 7 June 2013
    Liverpool ACC

    Conference welcome

    5 June, 12:30 – 12:40 | Main stage

    Michael O’Higgins
    Chairman – NHS Confederation
    Sarah Montague
    Journalist and broadcaster – BBC Radio 4 Today programme

    NHS Confederation Chairman Michael O’Higgins will welcome delegates, followed by BBC journalist Sarah Montague, who will chair the conference.

  84. Leonard Young

    6 Jun, 2013 - 2:06 am

    It’s all about systems. Boring maybe to discuss, but utterly wasteful. How can it possibly take more than a few hours to take a photograph (x-ray) then look at it and then make a simple phone call? The answer is simple: at each stage of any contemporary organisation there are layers upon layers of defensive protocols. Each layer is headed by a suit or jobs-worth who has to proceed with corporate caution, following all the “procedures”, filling in the forms, entering details on the database, writing emails, sending memos. The whole system is worse than triplicate carbon copies under colonial India in the 1920s.

    It is too much for a doctor to simply look at a photograph of a heal then send a quick text or make a 1 minute phone call. And of course, built into all these systems are DELIBERATE delays in order to create excuses for inherent inefficiency. The referral system has at its heart a palpable and hugely cumbersome bureaucracy that is specifically designed to delay meeting patients head on. Behind this is an enormous backlog of patients who are relied upon to be obediently compliant in conforming to unacceptable delays about which THEY are made to feel guilty, not NHS staff. I’ve no doubt Craig, that you were made to feel guilty for even questioning why your results were not forthcoming.

    It is terribly sad that the private option is more efficient and I wish it were not so. Perhaps behind much of this is an increasingly litigation-crazed public who force the NHS into defensive and therefore slow mechanisms for even the most simple diagnosis or treatment.

    We need to abandon the centralised, inefficient hospitals and re-instate practical and self contained small health care centres which do not involve ludicrous delays for a simple x ray and outcome. There is no doubt that if you are over 60 years old, you are largely on your own unless you are a dire emergency.

    And all the seeds were sown by New Labour, and continue under the Tories. By the way Craig, I doubt very much whether you will see better treatment in Scotland, independent or not.

  85. Flaming June

    6 Jun, 2013 - 3:31 pm

    At the regional district hospital where I worked, digitised diagnostic scanning was introduced several years ago. A patient attending A&E or the Fracture Clinic would have the X ray taken in Radiology (or a CT or MRI scan), and then return to the department where the doctor could view the images and take the appropriate action. A typed report from the radiologists would follow in due course. The system is called PACS.

    If Craig had plantar fasciitis an X ray would not be needed. It can be diagnosed easily by examination and taking a history etc.

  86. ‘And of course, built into all these systems are DELIBERATE delays in order to create excuses for inherent inefficiency. The referral system has at its heart a palpable and hugely cumbersome bureaucracy that is specifically designed to delay meeting patients head on.’

    Spot on there Leonard. Occupational health at my workplace diagnosed a frozen shoulder 10 weeks ago during a ‘workstation asessment’. After 3 GP visits, and a pointless but painful cortisone injection, I’ve received confirmation of an appointment for an ultrasound scan at the local hospital at the end of this month. I ‘m advised the results won’t arrive with my GP for another 14 days, and only thereafter will effective treatment (the standard ones are either surgery, or manipulation under anaesthetic)be authorised- but if I’m unlucky I’ll be referred over for a more expensive MRI scan, which will add further to the delay.

    The NHS may thus eventually get round to treating me properly (optimistically)around 4 months after the condition was reliably diagnosed by a paramedic attached to my employer. I’m lucky this condition isn’t ‘life threatening’.

    My brother had the same condition a couple of years back- and was given the same runaround by the same NHS Trust.

  87. Definitely sounds like plantar fasciitis. You’ll probably get a requisition for orthotics, and possibly a prescription for anti-inflammatories/anti-inflammatory skin cream. Meanwhile, start rolling your foot on a tennis ball to stretch out the tendons. Also flex your heel several times before you get out of bed in the morning. I would suggest laser pain treatment for soft tissue injuries, but don’t know if you have it there. Sorry to take so long to respond, but even those of us with internet doctorin’ degrees are busy folks! 😉

  88. Another suggestion for you, Craig:

    My fee schedule is: free!

  89. One more technique to consider for your possible soft tissue injury:

    I’m betting that the X-ray will show nothing. You’re welcome.

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