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From Stephen Watkins, retired Director of Public Health, Stockport. Based on 119 deaths in a patient-facing workforce of about 800,000, the Health Service Journal (HSJ) suggests that death rates in NHS staff are no higher than in the general population. It is important to remember the difference between mortality rate (deaths per 100,000 people at risk) and fatality rate (proportion of deaths in those actually infected). It is not possible to draw an accurate conclusion without age-specific mortality rates (not fatality rates) for the general population and for NHS patient facing staff. The crude mortality rate for NHS staff based […]
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In every population every individual is ageing. To say that we have an ageing population means that the average age of the population is rising or that the proportion of the population above a specified age is increasing. This might be because people are living longer. It might be because fewer people are dying young so that more people live to be old, but when they do become old they don’t live any longer than old people always have. Or it might be because the average age of death hasn’t changed but the number of young people being born or migrating […]
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THE CASE FOR A SECOND CHAMBER WHICH WOULD ADD SOMETHING TO PARLIAMENT AND PROMOTE EMPOWERMENT THE PROBLEM The House of Lords is a large unelected body commanding little legitimacy. THE CONVENTIONAL SOLUTIONS Make it a smaller elected body. OR Abolish it WHY NOT THE CONVENTIONAL SOLUTIONS? Either of them would ensure that Parliament consisted exclusively of full time politicians owing their place to party political processes. This is hardly empowering.  This is not the mood of our times. THE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION A Second Chamber which consists entirely of people who are NOT FULL TIME POLITICIANS. That doesn’t mean that they […]
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An MPU-Unite Statement SUMMARY What follows is an analysis of why we feel ‘DevoManc’ is the wrong solution to the correct question – how can we integrate health and social care locally under a national framework which would preserve the ‘risk-sharing’ that is essential in a national service? It is apparent that this agreement was made in a hurry that by-passed any wider democratic input or consideration.  There are also unanswered questions:  What happens to Manchester’s services if the budget proves inadequate?  Who funds any gaps and what is the mechanism for further funding?  Does an agreement such as this […]
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The author is a member of BMA Council, a former (1987-97) President of the Medical Practitioners’ Union, a former (1992-8) Chair of the BMA Public Health Committee, a former (1987-90) Chair of the Greater Manchester Socialist Health Association, Director of Public Health for Stockport, UNITE’s Spokesperson for Doctors Employed in Local Government and author of “Medicine and Labour – the Politics of a Profession”. The evidence is entirely personal and not connected with any of the organisations and offices above, which are quoted for personal descriptive purposes only. 1948-1974 the NHS cleared the slums, cleaned the air, eradicated polio and […]
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In 1989 seven people gathered in Manchester Town Hall to found the Transport and Health Study Group. Dr. Stephen Morton, who called the meeting, became Chairman. At the time the perception of transport professionals and public health professionals alike was that injuries resulting from crashes were the main health consequence of transport. The seven founders of the Transport and Health Study Group thought the relationship went much further. Dr. Morton had called the meeting because he perceived that the out of town shopping centres created by a car-oriented spatial planning system increased health inequalities by depriving people without cars of access […]
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 Is  It Right That Information About Me Which Is Not Completely Anonymous Should Be Used Without My Explicit Consent? If there is a genuine risk of you being identified, of course they shouldn’t. But many forms of research need to count people with particular conditions and the sample needs to be representative of the whole population so they would be distorted if individuals had to consent. What is at issue is information where it would take a great deal of effort to link to an individual. For example to study whether proximity to a main road causes asthma you would […]
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The Transport and Health Study Group is the principal public health organisation in the transport field, certainly in the UK and probably in Europe. We were deeply concerned at the Advertising Standards Association ruling banning a cycling advertisement in which the rider was not wearing a cycle helmet. In our view it is far from clear that cycle helmets ought to be promoted as actively as such a ruling would imply. There is significant professional and scientific controversy on this subject, so much so that the Journal of Transport and Health (a scientific journal which we sponsor for publication by […]
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Legal status of Public Health Section 1 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 reads as follows Secretary of State’s duty to promote comprehensive health service (1)The Secretary of State must continue the promotion in England of a comprehensive health service designed to secure improvement— (a) in the physical and mental health of the people of England, and (b) in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental illness. (2)For that purpose, the Secretary of State must exercise the functions conferred by this Act so as to secure that services are provided in accordance with this Act. (3)The […]
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A BILL TO RE-ESTABLISH THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE ACCORDING TO ITS FOUNDING PRINCIPLES AND MAKE VARIOUS PROVISIONS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE QUALITY OF HEALTH CARE EXPLANATORY BRIEF SUMMARY The NHS was a set of institutions through which the UK would pursue the health of the people as a social goal by deploying a committed body of health professionals and health workers to the service of socially owned organisations democratically accountable to the people. Health would be improved by addressing the determinants of health and also by providing health care free at the time of use, […]
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