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Author Archives: Terri Eynon

North West Leicestershire is about to publish its Local Plan. An inch thick, this pedestrian document tells us that this Council will co-ordinate a wide range of other organisations to ensure infrastructure is provided at the right time and in the right place to absorb the impact of new housing developments and provide for the health needs of people moving into the area. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. At a recent Policy Development Group, a cross-party committee of elected Members pursued the fate of £1.3M of developer contributions for health that remained unspent, some of it […]
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On this morning’s BBC Radio Leicester (21/6/16) David Monteith, Dean of Leicester Cathedral referred to the “worrying gap” in mental health services in the city, saying that while they are not headline news in elections, people with severe and enduring mental health problems continue to fall through the cracks. People and places like the Cathedral do try to pick up the slack, but lack an “accurate map of service provision” and need services in the community that they can work alongside. As the Dean points out, mental illness is ‘illness’ like any other. Despite all the government promises that we […]
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The “inverse care law” is the principle that the availability of good medical or social care tends to vary inversely with the need of the population served. Proposed by a GP, Julian Tudor Hart in 1971, it is a pun on the “inverse-square law” a concept from physics. This is hardly a new idea. It was published by another doctor, St Luke, 2000 years ago. In a conversation with Zacheus the taxman, Jesus concludes a story with the pithy comment, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even […]
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I went to an LCC event on resilience. The Council are encouraging people to create Resilience Plans for emergency situations like when it snows and no-one can get in and out of your street for days on end. Makes sense. We talked in groups about who is most vulnerable in these situations. Naturally I thought about the frail, multi-morbid elderly living alone. What happens if the District Nurse you rely on for your insulin injection can’t get to you? Or if the carer who gets you up and toilets you can’t get through the snow? I did ask if the […]
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“Have you noticed doctor? She can’t see you.” The care home staff, had described Marjorie as “Not herself”. Her chest was clear, her urine was clear. She was chatting quite normally to the daughter sitting on her right. But her other daughter had spotted a subtle change. Sitting on her left, it was as if her mother couldn’t acknowledge her. I checked out the daughter’s assessment and had to agree. When I moved to the left, as far as her mother was concerned, I didn’t exist either. As a socialist GP and Councillor, I know how her daughter feels. Or […]
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At Leicestershire Full Council meeting, Labour Councillors asked the Lead Member for Health to give a position statement on the planned cuts to the local government Public Health budget. Leicestershire’s Public Health department has already responded to local government budget reductions by commissioning more efficient services. It was difficult for Leicestershire’s Lead Member for Health to give a detailed response. Even though these cuts are to take place in the current year, the Government still hasn’t made up its mind. Chief executive of the Association of Directors of Public Health Nicola Close said on the 15th July, “Most local authorities are […]
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Experience of the Better Care Fund in Leicestershire The strategic goals cannot be faulted. The challenge that achieving them will pose to our health and social care economy cannot be underestimated. Evidence The evidence suggests that integrating across the health and social care economy can improve quality of life, reduce length of stay in hospital and reduce readmissions to hospital. There is no robust evidence to support the political imperative that Better Care can and must reduce hospital admissions. There is a naïve assumption that rising health care costs due to long term medical conditions are “preventable”. The sad facts of demographic […]
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In a recent online blog, respected NHS manager Roy Lilley suggested there are some simple questions to ask ourselves. “Will we have more older people to look after? Yes. More. Are the structures we have in place robust enough to cope with more? No. Would it make sense to have one agency handling this gigantic challenge? Yes. It’s time for a rethink. If we are really talking designing services around the needs of the user then it’s time for a Silver Service; dedicated and developed around the needs of the frail elderly. Bespoke services supplied, end-2-end, by a single agency. […]
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