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Author Archives: Shibley Rahman

Culture can be elusive, “because much of it is anchored in unspoken behaviors, mindsets, and social patterns.” My reaction when somebody makes a “pledge” is to wonder whether anything will in reality actually change? For example, the former Prime Minister David Cameron MP promised a ‘cure for dementia’ by 2025. That’s only another seven years to go. Actions speak louder than words? We now know that there’s also probably more to ‘dementia friendly communities’ than an enhanced customer experience for people with dementia or their care partners. If you say that “actions speak louder than words”, you mean that people’s […]
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I have often wondered, during all the discussion of whether one’s local hospital should be shut down, whether hospitals are safe places for patients to be in. Let me rephrase that. Are they safer places to be in, rather than your own home? I tend to think, surely, that clinicians can’t think hospitals are particularly safe places to be in, otherwise they wouldn’t be in such a rush to have them ‘flow’ in and out? But there are of course economic considerations, for example the cost of a hospital bed being more than the cost of a bed at the […]
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For all I know, the Social Democratic Party (“SDP”), which was founded on 26 March 1981, never actually formally died. The SDP was founded on 26 March 1981 by four senior Labour Party ‘moderates’, dubbed the ‘Gang of Four’. The four left the Labour Party as a result of the January 1981 Wembley conference which committed the party to unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from the European Economic Community. They also believed that Labour had become too left-wing, and had been infiltrated at constituency party level by Trotskyist factions whose views and behaviour they considered to be at odds with […]
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In one of many recent TV interviews, Alastair Campbell claimed that he didn’t know the current scene well enough to nominate the next Labour leader. The problem is that Alastair Campbell has been touring the TV studios like an arsonist, determined to pour petrol on the flames of an already badly out of control fire. The irony is that Campbell often argues on not confusing tactics with strategy. The putsch is high on tactics: e.g. “The staggered series of resignations, leaks, letters, and carefully calibrated statements, ensured that there was such a crescendo of chaos and condemnation that any other […]
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It is hard to know where to begin with this. There has never been an end-point to the criticism of ‘poor leadership’ from Corbyn in the same way that the Iraqi or Syrian conflicts have never been completely finalised, or there has never been a stop to free movement of people to the UK from EU or otherwise. The day lurched from farce to tragedy pretty quickly, with Andy Marr introducing Hilary Benn as  “Hilary Benn was only sacked overnight,… and he joins me now.” You could have understood why Tom Watson might have preferred to stay at Glastonbury Tor […]
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I actually had no intention of doing any of this. To explain, I am the primary carer for a close relative of mine in hospital. This week, I had to get a close relative in as an emergency to a large local NHS teaching hospital here in London. I came across islets of great care. All the nurses were working around the clock. The clinicians looking after my relative indeed showed the 6Cs you’d wish for. The porters who wheeled my relative to investigations were very pleasant when I happened to be there; not stand-offish and very human. This teaching […]
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The main job just completed of the Junior Doctors Committee was to achieve a deal that could be put to a vote of BMA members. And that has been achieved. The terms of the ACAS brokered settlement are here. I did employment law as a special elective as part of my pre-solicitor training, whilst also regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. In addition to the intense emotions of the employer and employee, which have run high during this protracted dispute, there is a legal job to be done which is to ensure that there is an agreement which can be […]
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I am very excited actually. Why? Today’s the day it’s likely one of my Twitter followers becomes Labour’s new mayor. Time to draw a line under Boris Johnson’s suffocating air quality, and the perennial roadworks on the embankment meaning it takes me hours to trek across SE1. I am loath to use the word ‘radical’ in relation to something about Sadiq Khan, in case it looks as if I’ve taken a leaf out of Zac Goldsmith’s dogwhistle divisive offensive rulebook. But Sadiq Khan has a chance to help as London’s new mayor (and the result has not been announced yet […]
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From what I know about genuine co-production, I do strongly support co-production. I know from experience as a physician and, more importantly, as a patient with various long term conditions, knowing about the beliefs, concerns and expectations of citizens vastly improves care and support, however so defined. In my other life, in a forced choice between capitalism and socialism, I am a socialist. I don’t as such believe in the faith of ‘kinder capitalism’, though I can see that some capitalism is blatantly immoral. Market failures loom large on many people’s minds, however. It’s not good enough to embrace socialism […]
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It’s been argued that ‘both sides clearly want to avert a strike – so let’s get back around the table‘. The junior doctors are very demoralised about having to go on strike, but feel that they have been driven to it due to circumstances. I don’t think at all it can be assumed that the Government wishes to avert a strike. In public, it will need to say that a strike, particularly an ‘all out one’ is a threat to patient safety. But being objective for a moment – you could legitimately calculate a number of lost bed days on […]
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I actually feel as if I know Danny Finkelstein from his Spotify choices – not giving anything away but we share a mutual ‘like’ of a ukelele song about cleaning windows. Also, I do sometimes wonder how our Man in Pinner can get away with stripy shirts and spotty tie combos on Newsnight. It was with some incredulity that I witnessed an exchange on Twitter. But to be honest, I am often in awkward public Twitter exchanges, and invariably they appear much worse to the outsider than they actually are. Prof Liz Lightstone is well respected. That goes without saying. […]
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Let’s face it. Nobody looks great when doorstepped by LBC, when you then have to make sure you’re wearing your best cycle helmet in #wereinthistogether leafy Notting Hill to go to work – with a LBC reporting with you in the street. But the leadership style of Jeremy Hunt is particularly ineffective. Broadly speaking, as Peter Drucker puts it, “leadership is doing things right.” On the other hand, he has somehow managed to galvanise a near 100% turnout of tens of thousands of Doctors in a strike ballot. Only in North Korea would you get response rates as fantastic as […]
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