Basil Fawlty?

Time to Fact Check Dispel Rumors Find Truth Clock 3d Illustration

We planned to fact-check Mr Nigel Pascoe QC’s Stage 1 report, having found a glaring error. However, it has become more important to fact-check the process for Stage 2, which is fast becoming Fawlty-esque. So, we will update the story with news links; correct the error in the Stage 1 report; and finally fact-check the procedures for Stage 2.

‘Nursing Times’CNO replaced as senior responsible officer in Southern Health inquiry

Another courageous report on Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May – now standing down as Senior Responsible Officer (“SRO”) for Stage 2. Did thIs follow the robust criticism in the ‘Nursing Times’ first report? Surely not!  Free access to the Nursing Times here→

‘Daily Echo’ – ‘Bereaved families ‘lost trust’ in NHS

Valerie Walsh – a Southern Heath employee compares her treatment for mental health with her stay in an acute hosital. Her Tweets from 17 September to 3 October 2020 are telling. We met Val in 2016, just after she resigned from Southern Health to protect health – yet she still had the dedication to rejoin. Read more here→ and here→.

Pascoe Stage 1 Report – Fact Check – The Triangle of Care

On p.175 of the Report, Southern Heatlh NHS Foundation Trust claims:

“Triangle of Care, a national initiative, launched in 2010 by the Carers Trust for mental health and inpatient services was re-launched in Adult Mental Health services (2018).”

This is wrong: CRASH questioned the Trust’s use of the Triangle of Care logo in November 2019. On 17 November 2019, a senior official from Carers’ Trust replied:

“I have looked into the issue you raised and I can confirm that Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust have applied to become a member of the Triangle of Care community.  They are currently undertaking level 1 which is focused on inpatient services. They have until mid-July  2020 to complete this phase which will then be reviewed by a team who have gone through the process and are outside of the South West to ensure independence.  The review team will include a carer. If they are successful they can go to level 2 which focuses on community and crisis services.

“I have also been in touch with the Trust and asked them to take out the two stars from the Triangle of Care logo which they have done. They have apologised and assured me this was a genuine mistake by the person who put it on the website because they had insufficient knowledge of the scheme.”

So the Trust told the Panel that the scheme had been re-launched in 2018 but one year later the Trust had not been approved; was misusing the logo; and had up to another 6 months to complete the approval process. I believe that the ‘re-‘ in ‘re-launch’ is misleading per se

It is interesting to note the Trust’s excuse that it was a, “Genuine mistake.” In November 2019, Mr Pascoe’s Stage 1 Report was still in draft form. There cannot be two, “Genuine mistakes” so Trust Board Members could have rectified this ‘mistake’. 

Stage 2 – Fact Check  

It is evident that even the procedures for Stage 2 have not been fact-checked. For example:

1. When a potential witness asked the new SRO Aidan Fowler for a copy of the Mental Health Act 2005, which was quoted in the papers, he supplied a link to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The Mental Health Act 2005 does not exist. Might this error result from his ‘trade’ – a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon? At least, if stress from this process causes anyone to suffer severe haemorrhoids and constipation, perhaps he can help!  

2. In ‘The Daily Echo’ on 12 February, Medical Director Dr Karl Marlowe is quoted: 

“We encourage anybody who wants to share their experience to contact the Panel directly.”

Funny that – the deadline was 10a.m. on 11 February!

3.  Originally, those meeting the 11 February deadline were to be informed on 12 February if the Panel required a full written with statement and evidence. Then, witnesses would have until 17 February (two working) days to submit it. However, on 12 February, we learned that the deadline had been extended until 4pm on 22 February!

Great, you might think! However, how many potential witnesses didn’t register originally knowing believing they would have only two working days to submit full statements and evidence. The fragrant Ruth ‘Stay Home This Easter’ May was aware of concerns about unrealistic timescales months ago.

4. There is a mystery over the status of the new SRO, Aidan Fowler, too. Whilst using NHS notepaper for this purpose: 

“Since March 2020 he has been on secondment to the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty” [source: gov.uk]

Of course, Professor Whitty is currently committed to COVID-19, aided by his three Deputy Chief Medical Officers, two of whom we have seen at Number 10 Briefings – the ever-impressive Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, along with Dr Jenny Harries. Whilst Aidan Fowler, who clearly is engaged in Covid work too – even writing articles for the press and being named on Professor Whitty’s profile.

nhs-england-for-website

Who should be more concerned?

The public for the risk of distracting a Deputy CMO from Covid or the bereaved families for the risk of Covid distracting the SRO?

More on Mr Basil Aidan Fowler to come.

  

Lockdown Well-Being

YogaImage via Unsplash

Guest Post By: Stephanie Haywood – My Life Boost

How to Stay Healthy During the COVID-19

While you’re doing your part to stay inside and limit social contact during the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t take long for cabin fever to start setting in. Starting a home workout regimen is one of the best ways to give your day structure and stay fit and healthy. You can also meet your health goals by cooking delicious meals at home and making time for self-care. Read on to learn about some helpful resources.

Appealing young lady in light blue outfit sitting in tragic postureMaking and Using a Home Workout Space

Even though you’re at home, there are still tons of workout possibilities. Whatever your choice of workouts, make sure to build out your home gym according to your needs.

Further useful guidance at:

 

 

  1. The Best Home Gym Accessories
  2. 6 Warmup Exercises to Help Boost Your Workout
  3. The High-Intensity Cardio Workout You Can Do in Your Living Room
  4. Planning Your At-Home Dumbbell Weight Training Program
  5. 8 Cool Down Exercises That Can Make Your Workout More Effective

Practicing Self-Care at Home

Along with establishing a fitness routine, self-care is essential during the pandemic. Look to eat nutritious meals and find new ways to relax. Further useful guidance at:

  1. A Short Self-Care Yoga Practice for Busy Days
  2. 3 Reasons Why Cooking Can Be a Form of Self-Care
  3. 7 No-Fuss, Self-Care Foods You Can Make to Cozy Up
  4. The Best Meal Delivery Services
  5. House Cleansing: A Checklist for Clearing Bad Energy from Your Home
  6. 15 DIY Self-Care Ideas Using Essential Oils
  7. How to Make Your Bubble Bath the Most Relaxing
  8. 7 Foods That Help Fight Depression and Anxiety

Yoga Silhouette Background

Even when your yoga studio or gym is closed and you can’t do your normal routines out in the community, you can still prioritize your health and wellness at home. By setting yourself up for home fitness and carving out time for self-care, you can make it through COVID-19 in better spirits and stay healthy.

 

Stephanie Haywood – My Life Boost

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: How to safely return to exercise after COVID-19

Problems can appear when people push too hard on a body that’s trying to recover from illness: it warrants extra caution so that patients don’t hurt themselves as they’re eager to resume a healthy, active lifestyle. If in doubt please seek medical advice.

Doctors have warned that, even after a mild case of coronavirus, many COVID-19 survivors trying to get back to their exercise routine will discover a body that’s changed long after their initial symptoms have come and gone. Read more here→

Substantial Meal?

 

scotch-egg-runny-yolk-cut-half-wooden-board-52568825

Three month’s since our last post – so much has been happening at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust that the moment we were ready to write a new one, something else cropped up. So, for a change, we’re going to poke some fun at the government.

This week alone, we’ve heard lots of stories about, “Substantial meals.”

Environment Secretary George Eustice said a Scotch egg, “Would probably count.”

Yesterday, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove said:

“As far as I am concerned it’s probably a starter, but the broader, more serious point we need to establish is there are reasonable rules which are there to keep us all safe.

“It’s a definition in law that has existed for years now, if I wanted to take my 16-year-old son or 17-year-old daughter out to the pub, I can buy them an alcoholic drink provided it’s with a substantial meal. “Well it’s [a substantial meal] been defined in law for years now. The law was passed long before I became an MP.”

“My own preference when it comes to a substantial meal might be more than a scotch egg, but that’s because I am a hearty trencherman, “The serious point is the pubs have known for years now what a substantial meal is… I think you are being unfair on the hospitality sector.”

Mr Gove was right to say that a substantial meal had been defined in law before he became an MP in 2005. I wonder why the government’s legal army didn’t brief Ministers properly. Perhaps Sir Humphrey Appleton QC thinks he’s too important to read the Law Society Gazette, which ran an article on the subject as recently as 13 October 2020! 

The definition is to be found, not in formal legislation, but in common law.

The story behind Timmis v Millman (1965) 109 SJ 31 goes that two men were in a hotel bar at 11.30pm consuming alcohol outside permitted hours (but within the supper hour extension of the time). Lord Chief Justice, Lord Parker found that the sandwiches the pair were eating:

“Were so substantial, and assisted by the pickles and beetroot so as to justify that it was a table meal and not a mere snack from the bar”.

This followed the case of Soloman v Green (1955) 119 JP 289, where sandwiches and sausages on sticks were found to amount to a meal.

Read more on the website of Trinity Chambers, where specialist barrister Charles Holland, who first tweeted about on the subject, is a tenant:

So it seems that a Scotch egg alone is NOT a substantive meal but it might be if accompanied by a decent sandwich and a few extras.

ploughman's lunch on a white plate, top view

 

This is what we call a substantial meal!

Toast, cheddar cheese, apple, scotch eggs, sliced head cheese, tomatoes, spinach, hot mustard, pickled onion – a traditional ploughman’s lunch.

 

I’m not sure if this is any clearer but this is the law unless/until another case comes to Court – if anyone is foolish enough to incur substantial legal expenses! Of course, there could be many fools in Government – and they’d be using our money not their own!

Girl with bunny ears with ostrich egg on a colored background.

 

And finally, although we don’t want to make a meal of it (sorry), is a Scotch egg made from an Ostrich egg¹ a substantial meal?

 

 

 

Dido1 001

 

Or the egg of the Dodo bird?²

 

Private Eye

 

Footnotes:

¹ Ostrich eggs are the largest of all eggs – on average they are 15.9 in. long, 5.1 in. wide, and weigh 3.1 lb, over 20 times the weight of a chicken’s egg

² The size and shape of Dodo eggs are unknown.

Covid Companions

Cute Labrador dog with stethoscope as veterinarian on light blue backgroundWhere have the last two months gone since our previous post?

Covid-19 has exposed an enormous gap between (on the one hand) the medical expertise, competence and empathy of doctors, nurses and other staff ‘on the front line’ and (on the other hand), the shortage of leadership skills within the NHS. So, let’s look at three heart warming stories involving our furry friends.

Medical Detection Dogs

covid_dog_norman_350px

 

Jasper

One of six dogs who could lead the way for dogs to be used to identify travellers entering the country infected with Covid-19 the virus or to be deployed in other public spaces.

© Medical Detection Dogs

 

A UK trial has begun to see if specialist medical sniffer dogs can detect coronavirus in humans. The dogs are trained already by the charity Medical Detection Dogs to detect odours of certain cancers, malaria and Parkinson’s disease. Read more→

These diseases have their own unique odour: the charity believes medical detection dogs can be trained to detect COVID-19 too and that this could be an important part of the efforts to overcome this epidemic. Read more→

A dog’s incredible sense of smell is thanks to the complex structure of its nose, which contains over 300 million scent receptors, compared to 5 million in a human. Thus, they have an incredible ability to detect odours, and are the best biosensors known to man, which, combined with dogs’ ability to learn makes them perfect for detection dog.

Many of us will have encountered sniffer dogs at airports, where they are commonly used to detect explosives, drugs and agricultural products with high levels of accuracy.

With £500,000 of government funding, the first phase of the trial is being led by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, along with the charity and Durham University.

To donate and help the charity continue its life-saving work click here→. To assist as a volunteer, including fundraising, puppy socialising and fostering, click here→.

Llama with Envy-inducing Eyelashes[Original Source: New York Times 06.05.20]

Who would have thought that a llama called Winter with, “Envy-inducing eyelashes” could be important in the fight against Covid-19?

Llama Winter

Winter

Living on a farm run by Ghent University, Winter participated in virus studies involving SARS & MERS. Her antibodies staved off those viruses so scientists from The University of Texas, The National Institutes of Health and Ghent University’s Vlaams Institute for Biotechnology postulated that the same antibodies could also neutralize the virus that caused Covid-19. They were right, and published results on 5 May 2020 in the journal Cell.

© Tim Coppens

 

The researchers are hopeful the antibody can eventually be used as a prophylactic, by injecting someone, such as a health care worker who is not yet infected, to protect them from the virus. While the treatment’s protection would be immediate, its effects wouldn’t be permanent, lasting only a month or two without additional injections.

This approach is at least several months away, but the researchers are moving toward clinical trials. Additional studies may also be needed to verify the safety of injecting a llama’s antibodies into humans.

Vets & nurses needed for NHS hospital wards” [Original Source: Vet Times 03.04.20]

In April, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust reached out to animal health colleagues for assistance with clinical care for critical care 3045267_vetwithdog_324492and acute medical patients.

The role (described as a ‘bedside support worker’) includes tasks such as monitoring temperature, pulse and respiration; blood pressure and oxygen saturation; as well as venepuncture and venous cannulation, “If trained and assessed as competent to do so”.

 

Health Service Journal also reported that Torbay and S. Devon Foundation Trust had recruited 150 vets and veterinary nurses to enrol as, “Respiratory assistants” to act as the “eyes and ears” of the ICU medics. A trust spokeswoman said that veterinary staff have valuable skills to support our staff caring for patients with respiratory problems.”

Vet Times reported that, within 48 hours, 4,000 vets, veterinary nurses and students had signed up and that Dr Jo Hillard, who developed the idea, was in contact with about 50 Trusts – including in London, Wales, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham and Norfolk.

An Acute Manager commented on HSJ’s article:

“It’s all hands to the pumps. If all staff are working flat out and need help I think asking people with medical and surgical training is a good idea (probably safer too).”

Elsewhere, a retired Consultant Anaesthetist wrote:

“Humans often successfully help others in an emergency, so the idea that having a formal education in a field closely related to the emergency might impair the chance of success seems bizarre” and more contentiously, “If a human is in the throes of a medical emergency, many vets might do a better job than many medical doctors, depending on the type of problem [paraphrased].”

14319741_s¹ News sources:

There have been many occasions when compelling, and often bizarre stories have arisen during the pandemic.

 

 

Handling the pandemic has been characterised throughout by delays, wilful ignorance, dumbness, statistical gymnastics, cronyism and contradictions by government and NHS leaders. For this reason, almost as soon as we identify an interesting subject, contradictory information has appeared with indecent haste.

For this reason, CRASH recommends the following information sources for regular updates on Covid-19.

The New York Times: normally available on subscription, NYT is providing free access to global news and guidance on coronavirus. It issues a daily update by email with the latest developments and expert advice about prevention and treatment. Register here→.

Cell Press: anopen access‘ platform for communicating life and physical science to the global research community and beyond, with a Coronavirus Resource Hub here→.

Vet Times: largely for the veterinary profession, it is a partly an open access platform with a Coronavirus hub here→, which contains other public interest articles too. 

Health Service Journal: always a ‘must read’ for professionals, leaders and anyone with an interest in health and social care, access to coronavirus-related articles is free here for registered users. Normally HSJ is available on subscription only, although registered users can access five free articles per month. 

Meanwhile, we continue to monitor Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Covid-19

airplane taking off icon

 

Although this blog relates to mental health, Coronavirus (Covid-19) affects us all.

Whilst we profess no medical expertise, there is a wealth of information available. Therefore, we quote reliable sources in an attempt to clarify certain issues. This World Health Organisation chart compares the symptoms of Coronavirus, Cold & Flu.

89791403_10157190557311593_4340322756236148736_nNB: symptoms vary between individuals, so the WHO’s ‘rough guide’ is no substitute for a full examination and diagnosis by a medical professional.

Realities

  1.  Don’t be confused by use of ‘coronavirus’ and ‘COVID-19’. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
  2. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, although it can be more severe for others.
  3. Wash your hands frequently; regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Read more ‘common sense’ precautions here.

Two people bowing and greeting each other before business meeting4. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.

5. With advisories about personal contact, is the Thai Wai not the most civilised greeting?

 

Myths

  1. Antibiotics work against viruses. NO – they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. They should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
  2.  COVID-19 is more deadly than SARS. NOSARS was more deadly but much less infectious. There have been no outbreaks of SARS in the world since 2003.
  3. I must wear a facemask. NO if you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill, you are wasting a mask. Disposable face masks can only be used once.
  4. It is simple to use a facemask. NO there are recognised protocols for when to use a facemask; how to put on, use, take off and dispose of masks. Click here for details.

There are more myth-busters here→.

“Don’t panic” [Corporal Jones, Dad’s Army]

We now turn to consequences, which bring out the worst in human behaviour.

blue-3

 

At a supermarket yesterday, we thought W.W. III had started!  And there is no logic to the items being stock-piled. Vast empty shelves for loo-rolls (despite diarrhoea being only a rare symptom) but plentiful tissues (critical to safeguarding others from getting sick) .

 

 

20314344 - dog with a bag of cold water on his head

 

Golden Labrador pups must be having a world of fun in some households until they get sick. (Other brands are available!) 

 

 

“The pits of the world! Vultures! Trash!” [John Mcenroe]

We have seen women flighting over loo-rolls in a Sydney supermarket but here are two true stories of people in UK, who really are ‘reaching for the bottom’ [pun intended].

Smiling male doctor and nurse with guns isolated on white

One of our nieces is a senior hospital nurse: visitors/patients are stealing full hand-gel dispensers .

She talks of having an armed-guard when next receiving a delivery.

 

 

Very_Angry_Emoji

Our supermarket has two boxes for customers to gift items to foodbanks and vulnerable people generally. A kind-hearted person left some loo-rolls – only for another customer to nick them!

 

 

Girl Plumb Dirty Toilet

 

NO WORDS – and no punishment – she’d nick the loo-rolls!

 

 

 

¹ There has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong.