Sunday, 29 December 2013

ORMUS scam again

A week or so ago I posted on a newish scam where plain silica is being sold as ORME, the elixir of life. The synthetic process for this is quite simple. The modern day alchemist takes a quantity of Dead Sea salt, which is 20% silica. This is not soluble in water but can be dissolved in alakali. The alchemist dissolves his salt in Sodium Hydroxide, otherwise known as caustic soda. Neutralising the pH of this solution, by the addition of acid, will cause the silica to precipitate out as a white gel. This gel is what is sold as ORME, having magically acquired gold in the process, and in a "high spin state" too.
Now any GCSE chemistry student knows about titration. Ensuring that the amount of acid is exactly right to neutralise the alkali without leaving a surplus of either the acid or the alkali.
But lets remember that the people making this stuff are not exactly Nobel prize winning scientists. They're odd little gnomes who believe in transmutation and other pseudoscience, who've made the stuff in their kitchen, as if they were making fudge. The likelihood that these loons are going to be able even to understand, let alone perform, proper titration is pretty unlikely.
So if you buy ORME from one of these airheads bear in mind that it could well still be contaminated with Caustic Soda, or battery acid, neither of which you really want to be gambling with ingesting.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013


Happy Yuletide.

Nothing new

There's a line in the film "Blazing Saddles" from the superb, but sadly late Slim Pickens. The line is "What'll that asshole think of next"

The line sums up our less than illustrious health minister Jeremy Hunt. So what has he thought of as his next big idea?
Well apparently he has decided that every hospital patient should have a doctor who is ultimately responsible for all aspects of that patient's care. Someone with whom the buck stops. And that doctor's name would be displayed at the top of the patient's bed.
What a fab idea! Why has no-one thought of this before? Oh wait! Correct me if I'm wrong but hasn't the NHS already been doing that since 1948? I think what he's talking about is known as a "Consultant"

What a completely utterly ignorant useless fucking twat!!!!!!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Thursday, 19 December 2013


"Marriage is like an earthquake. It starts with the earth moving, and it ends with you losing your house."


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Tick boxes

If you look at the posts on this blog you will see that over the past year or so DZ has not paid as much attention to his blog as in the past. This is because he has been distracted. DZ has had yet another marriage fail and is beginning to think he is the common denominator.
From past experience he is not desperate to plunge again into the deep end. However he would make an exception in certain circumstances. Consider the following questions.

1. Are you female?
2. Are you between 40 & 55 with a bit of a thing for older men?
3. Are you size 10 to 16?
4. Do you consider yourself attractive?
5. Are you highly intelligent & well educated?
6. Are you a person of high integrity?
7. Are you vastly independently wealthy?
8. Do you have the sexual leanings of a bonobo?

If, and only if, you can answer yes to all these questions, then click on "view my complete profile" and you will find an email link. I will be glad to hear from you.

ORMUS scam

One characteristic feature of the scams I have featured here before is the sheer implausibility of the claims for the scam products being advertised. Weight loss products promising you will lose a stone a week for example. The sheer absurdity of the claims made should alert anyone.
On this basis the product known as ORME, Orbitally Rearranged Monatomic Elements, or "white gold" stands out head & shoulders above all competitors for the magnitude, number, and utter absurdity of it's claims. If you follow the link read slowly to ensure your brain doesn't explode!
Like many CAM treatments it's proponents claim great antiquity for it, but in fact it was supposedly discovered only in 1975 by a poorly educated cotton farmer from Arizona.
Reading the claims for it's supposed physical, chemical and medicinal properties leaves one in a state of escalating astonishment and disbelief. That anyone should come out with such a catalogue of absurd pseudoscience makes one despair for humanity. For example. The creation of atoms of gold requires such mind blowing pressures and temperatures that it is believed that every atom of gold in the universe was created at the heart of a collapsing star in the last 15 minutes of it's life. Proponents of ORME, like modern day alchemists, will have you believe that it can be created in your kitchen with a few simple chemical reactions.

ORME can be bought either as a powder, or a gel. So if you were stupid enough to buy some of this what exactly would you be getting for your money? Firstly, unsurprisingly, there's not actually any gold in it. What you are buying is Silica, or silicon dioxide. The stuff inside those annoying little packets of dessicant so often encountered. It's also used as cat litter. And in disposable nappies.
So how come so many people out there are trying to sell this stuff pretty much as the elixir of life? Well, silica costs about £9 per kilo. Packaged as ORME it can sell for £5 per gram! A nice little earner. All you need to get rich is a few labels and a total lack of integrity.
Does it actually have any effects on your health? Well apparently the Arizona cotton farmer has now had six coronary artery bypass procedures, and is not at all well. Hasn't done him much good has it?

A miracle!!!!!!!!!!

With perfect timing a recent study from the states indicates that virgin birth is surprisingly common. Relying on self reporting 1 in 200 pregnant young American girls claims never to have had sex. According to the researchers these women "shared some common characteristics".
Yeah!.....Like they're all liars!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Infection control?

It has been reported that female muslim staff are to be allowed to opt out of the "bare below the elbows" rule in case the sight of their bare arms induces uncontrollable lust in us men.

Oh god! that's just toooooo sexy, ooooooooooh!
(and she's wearing a watch!!!!!!)

 It's a rule not well supported by evidence in the first place, like pretty much everything that comes out of the mouths of the infection control nazis. 
There is a precedent in that the rule was initially applied to paramedics and then they were allowed out of it because of the weather they have to contend with. Fair enough, not everyone works in a nice warm hospital. 
But to give an opt out on religious grounds is appalling.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

The other side

Ever since the scandal at Stafford Hospital was revealed the media have presented us with a steady stream of reports about how supposedly awful the NHS is. The impression conveyed is that the whole of the NHS is in meltdown. We never get stories about the vast majority of happy punters, going through a system that, in my experience, functions pretty well most of the time, usually in spite of the best efforts of those in charge to fuck things up. In a setup as big as the NHS there are bound to be occasions when things go wrong, but politicians and the media refuse to accept the simple statistical fact that half of all hospitals, GP surgeries etc will be below average in anything you care to measure.

The NHS is constantly compared with health systems in other countries, and the comparison is invariably unfavorable. I have no doubt that you could take the health system of any developed nation at random and present it in as bad, if not worse light, if you simply cherry picked for the grim stuff as they do with the NHS. I've presented one or two stories here featuring quite unbelievably poor care from other countries, and here is another, where a dead patient lay undiscovered in a hospital for two weeks. I was once involved in a case where a stiff (member of staff) was discovered in an unexpected place in a hospital, but it had only been there a few hours. One wonders if, in the case from America, did anyone notice the smell?

It seems the grass is not always greener.

Thursday, 28 November 2013


Like all specialists, surgeons occasionally have days when they have to do things that they might find distasteful, unpleasant, dirty & smelly. But I doubt any surgeon has ever encountered anything on quite this scale.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Gaviiformes Rex

Happy Birthday Prince Charles.
I was going to write an article laying out the extraordinary breadth and depth of this man's utter ignorance, but someone else has done a far better job than I could.
DZ is a confirmed republican, and believes the very concept of hereditary monarchy to be an absurd anachronism. However the longer Queen Elizabeth II remains on the throne the longer she keeps this idiot off it. So I would like to wish her many happy healthy years to come.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Missed it!

Bugger! September 30 was apparently "International Blasphemy Day", and I missed it.

Genital mutilation

Circumcision without a medical indication on a person unable to provide informed consent conflicts with basic principles of medical ethics.” and “to be in conflict with the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, articles 12, and 24 (3) which say that children should have the right to express their own views and must be protected from traditional rituals that may be harmful to their health.”

Monday, 23 September 2013

Monday, 16 September 2013

Academia: The Violent Land of Giant Egos

Most hospital doctors, of all grades, will be familiar with the division of hospital medicine between the academic side, of teaching and research, and the non academic side, also known as "working for a living". Throughout my career I was often struck by the schism between the two, and the disdain expressed by both sides for the other. I was always a worker, slogging away on a daily basis, with no interest personally in research, or any time to do it. I always felt I should have a degree of respect and admiration for those working in the teaching hospitals, who I expected would be more talented, skilled and brighter than me. So whenever I met some of these people I was always a little disappointed to find that they didn't quite live up to my expectations.
Today, in two totally different areas I have found the problem with academia, both in medicine, and more generally, expressed succinctly and simply.
Firstly I read a resignation letter from a PhD student expressing his disappointment with his experience.
"I’ve lost faith in today’s academia as being something that brings a positive benefit to the world/societies we live in. Rather, I’m starting to think of it as a big money vacuum that takes in grants and spits out nebulous results, fueled by people whose main concerns are not to advance knowledge and to effect positive change, though they may talk of such things, but to build their CVs and to propel/maintain their careers."
Within just 20 minutes I read this, almost identical lament from "The Medical Registrar" on facebook: 
"And the whole point of publications (apart from enlightening the world about the thing you've discovered with slightly dubious scientific methods and downright fraudulent statistics which doesn't really mean anything and needs more research) is to put them on your CV to get points..."
I've often commented here on the worthlessness of some of the publications that have come to my attention. 
Perhaps it's time we stopped according the concept of publications and research such deference. When doctors who want to work are sidetracked into doing research they're not interested in, that they do badly and indifferently, what is being achieved? 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Mystery object

We haven't had a mystery object for a very long time. Any guesses what this is?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Ambitrim scam

Here we go with yet another scam. Another product promising impossible levels of weight loss, in this case 18Kg in 4 weeks. Oh please!!! The link takes you to what purports to be an on line magazine called "Women's Health six" and in keeping with the image of a magazine there are 10 links at the top to take you to different sections of the magazine, such as fitness, health, beauty etc. But every single one takes you to the same page, where they try to sell you highly priced tablets claiming all sorts of pseudoscientific "fat busting" nonsense. As is usual there is a second tablet you have to buy to ensure efficacy, this one a laxative.
This ad however may well be falling foul of the law. Nowhere in the terms and conditions does it mention what funds will be taken out of your account in the long term. Naughty.

Don't find out the hard way. Steer well clear.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Cut off

DZ has a confession. He owns a touring caravan. He is one of those at the front of every queue of slow moving traffic, with even the farmer on his tractor fuming behind him.
I recently went on a little holiday, simply following my nose with my home in tow and found myself on a very small caravan site somewhere in England. Despite it being the height of the holiday season there was no-one else there. We were all alone.

 In more ways than one. As we tried the various marvels of modern science we found firstly that there was no phone signal, at all. Nor could we get internet. Then we found we could not get any TV, or even radio reception. We were utterly cut off and alone. I didn't know you could find such places in the UK. It was nice being able, for the first time in years, to remove my tinfoil hat.

And when it got dark, it got really dark, no light pollution at all. Shame it was cloudy. Not going to say where it was. Keeping it to myself.

Monday, 12 August 2013


The GMC is getting it's knives out. They are talking about effectively striking off 8,500 doctors, none of whom appear to have actually done anything wrong. Nice to know they are using their authority in such an impartial and compassionate manner.

Well well

Ooooooooooooooh, surprise!  Not!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013


Isn't it nice to see this twat given a well deserved kick up the jacksie.

 A man who knows nothing about health, nothing about the law, nothing it appears even about the limits of his own authority. Seriously Mr (suit full of bugger all) Cameron what were you smoking when you appointed such an ignorant fool to the post of health secretary. Were you having a laugh, or are you in the pay of "big homeopathy". GET RID!!!


Via another blogger I have had my attention drawn to the following article about higher education in California. I'm reproducing it here as it is an exact mirror image of what is happening to higher education in the UK. Read & weep.

"In their Fall 2012 article in Dissent, Aaron Bady and Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal reveal what higher education used to mean and how it was systematically destroyed. Bady and Konczal transport us to 1950s-’60s California, where bipartisan support for a University of California system built the state into a land of prosperity and innovation, a burgeoning middle class sent its children to college for free, and progressive Republicans happily funded education to support inclusion and social mobility for California’s next generation. In 1960, the Donahoe Act, or the Master Plan for Higher Education, represented California’s commitment to educate anyone who wanted to be educated. Despite the concurrent trends of racism, sexism, and American imperialism that pervaded that era, California’s higher education system was a golden example of what America could achieve.
So what happened? Where did it go? In 1966, Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California and began dismantling the promising work of the past 20 years. Previously, admission had been free, except for a few relatively small fees, but the Reagan government lifted regulations on how much schools could charge in fees, allowing costs to skyrocket. Also, incentives were created for colleges to accept out-of-state students, who would pay higher fees. Both of these strategies shifted the financial responsibility for higher education onto students rather than the state. The process of culturally redefining higher education as not a right, or a public good, but an investment, subject to the whims of the marketplace and corporate capitalism, had begun."

Monday, 29 July 2013

A dumbdown too far

Other bloggers, as well as DZ, have been commenting for some time on the obsession government and management seem to have for reducing costs by having care delivered by less & less qualified people. NHS Direct was a prime example, getting nurses to do the work of doctors on the cheap. Undeterred by the disasters that NHS Direct was responsible for, the powers that be felt they could have the phone advice system run even more cheaply by employing people with no medical qualifications at all.
That they thought they could get away with this shows just how little regard they have for the public's intelligence. People weren't fooled for long. They knew full well that the quality of advice they would get from a 17 year old school leaver with no qualifications was such that they may as well ask the old lady next door, or the Daily Mail, or the cat.

  It now looks as if the 111 phoneline is doomed before it even got off the ground. It will not be missed. Perhaps this is a step back towards true professionalism.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


The newspapers are notorious for their abysmal reporting of medical matters, and the daily mail in particular is well known for it's failure to get anything right or in perspective. But the other papers are guilty too, as this article in the Independent today illustrates.
Quoting a Dr Cahill at Harvard it appears that skipping breakfast is potentially lethal. But one of the statements attributed to Dr Cahill caught my attention. "When your body is fasting it goes into a protective drive.................raising levels of insulin."
Now the first part of that statement is just pseudo scientific nonsense of the type used by quacks. The second part however is contrary to everything I was ever taught going right back to my days as a medical student. I'm pretty sure that if, in my final exam, I'd stated that insulin release increases  in response to starvation I'd have got a well deserved fail.
So has Dr Cahill been totally misquoted by the Indy or is he someone so ignorant of physiology that he should be sent back to resit his finals? Either way I think this is yet another newspaper health article that we can safely ignore.

Sunday, 21 July 2013


Conspiracy theories were once the bizarre lunatic ramblings of a very few isolated loons. Today, thanks to the internet these people can communicate with each other and so publicise their paranoia so that all of us probably know one or two people who strongly believe implausible notions. I'm not going to go into a list of conspiracy theories  here but you will all be familiar with what I'm talking about.
Recently I came across a new one. I was at a party and heard someone holding forth some of the well established nonsense about "Big Pharma" There was the usual stuff. The pharmaceutical companies are paying doctors to prescribe their drugs, cancer cures are known but hidden so that cancer can be kept going as a cash cow, and then came an assertion, stated with absolute conviction that caused even cynical old DZ jaw to drop to it's anatomical limit. As proof that cancer cures are known but suppressed he said "Have you ever noticed that rich people don't get cancer." Fortunately the young lady he was boring came back with the perfect response. "Really, what about Steve Jobs"

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


Is it just me or does anyone else have the same impression of the BMA

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


In my last little post I refer to the apparent popularity of my blog in Germany as shown in my stats package. However there are inconsistencies that lead me to believe these thousands of hits are what are known as referrer spam. I am at a loss as to why anyone would want to do this as the object of the exercise is to improve the site rating on google search. There'd be no point in my doing that, as I do not monetise my site, and ads never appear, even in the comments. So who is it? And why? It doesn't bother me enough to do anything about it.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Saturday, 1 June 2013


I've commented before on the Mohamed cartoons, published in the Danish Jylands Post. No-one can forget the absurd and childishly petulant reaction to these cartoons in the islamic world. What many do forget is that, initially some of the world's most prominent democratic governments, including the UK, tried to suppress these cartoons despite the fact that such freedom of expression is enshrined in law, in article 10 of the human rights act (UK) or the first amendment to the constitution (USA).

Inevitably the Streisand effect came into play and the cartoons became widely available on the internet. Including here, and here.

Another example of this is here. The Catholic religion too has shown similar behaviour, with similar consequences.

Unable to learn from these examples, the Jewish religion has now shown itself unable to accept that they too can be the subject of valid criticism. DZ has made his view on the purposeless mutilation of unconsenting and defenceless babies previously.
This is the cartoon criticising the practice of circumcision, that has them up in arms, demanding that it should be removed from all media.  
They are, as is usual in these cases claiming that the publication is offensive, and constitutes hate speech. I don't think it does, and nor does the Crown Prosecution Service.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Gaviiformes Dixonii

Back in February I toyed with the idea of posting on some of the more lunatic personalities in Britain but the idea has sort of been on hold till now. I think I'll rectify that now and start with one of our own profession.
Michael Dixon, GMC 2496151
Dr Dixon practices as a GP at Cullompton in Devon. Among other things he chairs the NHS Alliance, and the College of Medicine. Superficially, to the uneducated these might seem like highly respectable positions in highly respectable organisations, indeed the College of Medicine has as it's president Sir Graeme Catto, past president of the GMC.

However closer inspection is more enlightening. The so called College of Medicine is a successor to the Foundation for Integrated Health of which Dixon was also a director. It's principal function is to promote all forms of complementary medicine and have woo in all it's forms available on the NHS. The NHS Alliance is a group gathering together people who approve of and have worked hard to implement the distrusted NHS reforms. You know, arselickers.

In his own practice premises Dr Dixon provides the whole range of pseudo scientific claptrap, homeopathy, chiropractic, waving of hands around and calling it healing, and some relatively unknown new varieties of bollocks such as "frequencies of brilliance."

GMC good practice guide states at paragraph 3(c) "you must provide effective treatments based on the best available evidence" There can be no doubt at all that Dr Dixon is flagrantly and consistently in breach of this requirement, so how come the GMC doesn't take an interest? Far be it from me to suggest that having friends like Catto, Hunt and Prince Charles makes him pretty much invulnerable, but it obviously doesn't do him any harm.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Dermajuvenate scam

Another scam from the internet which is even more dishonest than usual. This one even lies about the "free" sample, the inevitable inducement with these scam products.
The usual glaring headlines are there "MUM OUTSMARTS BOTOX DOCTORS", Yeah yeah! and the usual implausible promises and photoshopped before & after pics.


And of course you have to authorise repeated theft from your credit card.
But the most blatant lie lies in the small print. In the introductory page the crooks repeatedly highlight that they will give you a free trial. In the small print it says "We're giving you a trial bottle for only £3.79"  Not quite free then is it, especially when they add another £1.99 for "insurance". Still a total of £5.78 is no massive sum. But further on it says that if you do not cancel "We will bill you £89.31 for the trial bottle you received" So your "free trial" will actually cost you £95.09.
Perhaps they're using some definition of the word "free" that I'm not familiar with.
Oh and then there's the "Rejuven eye max" that you're supposed to buy as well, as the products only work when used together, obviously. That's another £69.95.
So that's £165.04 for two free samples. And then £159.26 every month thereafter.
I think I'd rather stay wrinkly.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The end

I started work in the NHS less than 30 years after it's inception. All my working life the NHS has been plagued by repeated and massive disruption at the hands of successive governments. The fuckers just couldn't leave it alone to get on with the job. And while the administrative and managerial part of the NHS has burgeoned the clinical capability has been cut and cut again.

We have been hobbled by increasing regulation, control and short sightedness. Only last week Gloucester Royal Infirmary came to a complete standstill because of a complete IT failure. So how did we manage to function in the days before computers?

And now it is on the verge of implosion. We are approaching a state of affairs where we will no longer be able to treat the sick. What a sad end to this man's worthy dream.

Saturday, 4 May 2013


It's been shown on numerous occasions that when there is a disaster in the way a patient is treated it's almost never due to a single failing in the system. It's usually a series of errors and deficiencies that add up to the disaster, which could have been averted if just one step on the pathway had been rectified. If you are one of those who watches TV programmes about aircraft crashes you will be familiar with a similar phenomenon at work here.

Something similar has recently happened in the world of architecture. Here you have a building that was designed presumably by a team of architects. They will have submitted their design to their clients for approval. The design will have been examined by civil engineers, planners, building constuctors etc, scores, perhaps hundreds of people. Why did no-one say anything? Did they not notice?
What a cock up!

Monday, 29 April 2013


A nice bit of pointless and ridiculous scaremongering in the DT this morning, under the blaring headline "mad cow infected blood to kill 1000" The article is full of "ifs" "maybes" and other terms showing that the suggested scenario is nothing more than highly speculative fiction. In the body of the article it admits that there have been no new cases in the UK for 2 years, and that in fact there may be no more in future. What a load of shit.

Muscle core X scam

As of this morning my previous post warning people off the scam that is "Lean Muscle X" has been visited 27,616 times. I have no doubt that a proportion of these will have heeded my advice and avoided falling into this expensive trap. This is a source of considerable satisfaction to me.

I've noticed this morning another scam ad for the same product under a different name. They've even used the same photographs. The method of these crooks is unchanged.  Get free trials of two products, as long as you authorise future unlimited deductions from your credit card. The claims made for the products are ridiculous and totally implausible and unfeasible.

If you want to avoid some very nasty surprises when your credit card statement comes through DO NOT fall for this scam.

Sunday, 28 April 2013


If you read the reader comments on some news articles relating to health and science you can get to despair. The impression you get is that the general public are ignorant and stupid beyond belief. The strength of opinion expressed in favour of homeopathy, chiropracty etc, and the blind opposition to such things as vaccination and fluoridation simply make you throw your hands up. What is wrong with these people? Why do they have such ill informed views? What's happened to our education system that such ignorance about scientific matters is so prevalent. Why do these people delude themselves that they know anything about it.

It's not helped by our politicians. We have a health secretary in Jeremy Hunt who believes in homeopathy and seriously seems to think he's qualified to speak on clinical matters. What a twat. The fact alone that Cameron should think this fool a suitable person to appoint to run the NHS is proof enough that he's not a fit prime minister.

When scientists are left alone to get on with the job what they can achieve is outstanding. In this one week alone there are reported breakthroughs which may well lead to a cure for HIV, and the harnessing of nuclear fusion. I wonder if the general public realise the magnitude of these steps forward.

And yet, when you hand these things over to the politicians they can fuck it up so completely that we could be facing having the lights turned off for an inability to provide enough electricity. In medicine now we are gradually being totally stripped of our professionalism as the politicians and those gong chasing twats at the GMC collude to try and turn doctors into mindless automatons, blindly following the dictates of protocols and guidelines. The concept of clinical discretion and autonomy totally vilified. When will they learn that to get the best results out of scientists and professionals what is required of politicians is that they simply look on in awe at the endeavours of better men, and keep their meddling fingers out?

Friday, 26 April 2013


Before I retired I liked to think I was a pretty hard working sort of a guy. I did everything I was supposed to do and went home every day thinking I'd done a lot and earned my pay. Yet back then I was able to post a blog entry almost every day. Every day I found time to think, read, research, find references & links, and put together a post, sometimes quite long, and almost always done during the working day.

Now I'm supposed to be a man of leisure I can barely put up a post a week. Can it be true that being an NHS consultant is a cushy number?

Monday, 22 April 2013


Much has been said in the blogosphere about the GMC continuing to want to "out" anonymous bloggers, with the threat to those that don't co-operate that "we can find out who you are". But lets not forget that this is the GMC we're talking about. While they're very good at harassing and intimidating those on the register they're not exactly a detective agency are they? Bearing in mind the general level of competence they display this threat has to be seen as an empty bluff. To any fellow bloggers out there worried that the GMC can track them down, relax.

Those twats couldn't find their own arse with both hands in broad daylight.

Thursday, 11 April 2013


Viruses on computers have been around for as long as the internet has existed and can cause immense damage on a vast scale to the unwary. According to this article one of the best ways to install a virus onto your pc is by visiting porn sites, which are among the most visited sites on the web.
Perhaps it's just my mind but I was amused by the journalist who stated, "a potential 42 per cent risk of coming across damaging adverts each time they log on."
Pass the tissues.

111 again

In my last post I commented on how quickly the new 111 service had shown itself unfit for purpose. For years governments have tried to provide medical services more cheaply by having them provided by ever less qualified people. NHS direct was an attempt to have patients dealt with by someone cheaper than nasty expensive doctors, but at least it used nurses. 111 is the logical next step, employing people with no qualifications at all.
And now the magnitude of the inadequacy of this service is becoming apparent. Anyone with any sense would now abort this idea entirely, and that is the advice being given by everyone who knows what they're talking about. What do you suppose is the likelihood of that advice being heeded?

Monday, 1 April 2013

That was quick

The proposed 111 telephone advice service has been heavily criticised by many, from bloggers to the BMA. The consequences of having emergency medical call centres manned by people with effectively no medical training are obvious to anyone, except the department of health. It was always bound to go spectacularly tits up once it started. I don't think though that even the most pessimistic expected it to fail so soon.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Rant over!

The role of medical bloggers;


Any material written by doctors......may reasonably be taken to represent the views of the profession more widely”

In my last post I criticised this statement by the GMC as baseless. Perhaps though what they are really afraid of is that bloggers are actually expressing the majority view of the rank & file of the medical profession. Particularly in areas such as revalidation, where there is no doubt that most of us are opposed to the concept. 
And as for the GMC itself. Other bloggers, and I have been openly critical of the GMC and with good reason, as explained here. And talking to my colleagues I am in no doubt that contempt of the GMC is felt by a considerable majority of doctors. If anyone at the GMC is reading this, it's not just us bloggers who disrespect and despise you. Most doctors think you're a bunch of cunts!

GMC talks out of it's arse

GMC guidance for social media, extract from para 17.

Any material written by doctors......may reasonably be taken to represent the views of the profession more widely”

What utter, complete, unsubstantiated, unsupported and unevidenced bollocks! And even if it were true, so fucking what! I know the GMC thinks that the law doesn't apply to them when it comes to tyrannising the medical profession but perhaps they should read this before they start issuing threats to doctors who dare to express their opinion.

Threatening behavior

Criminal threatening (or threatening behavior) is the crime of intentionally or knowingly putting another person in fear of imminent injury. "Threat of harm generally involves a perception of injury...physical or mental damage...act or instance of injury, or a material and detriment or loss to a person.”

GMC Guidance for social media paragraph 18
You should be aware that content uploaded anonymously can, in many cases, be traced back to it's point of origin.”

Monday, 25 March 2013


Apparently the new GMC "good medical practice" guidelines state “if you identify yourself as a doctor in publicly accessible social media, you should also identify yourself by name”.
I don't know if they regard a blog as "social media" but I would guess that they want anonymous bloggers to identify who they are.
As far as Zorro is concerned they can fuck right off.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The rot continues

JD is currently bemoaning the state of affairs in general practice, but it's no better in hospitals either. I've recently been talking to a friend & colleague. He specialises in a condition that is refractory and chronic and many of his patients have seen him many times over several years. His patients, on average require eight follow up appointments before he either achieves some sort of objective, or runs out of ideas. Until recently no one told him how often he could see patients or keep them on his books. He, as the professional made the decision as to whether or not to get them back.

All that has changed. He has now been instructed that he can see a patient for a maximum of three appointments only, and then they MUST be discharged back to primary care. And the appointments they do have will have to be with a specialist nurse in an increasing proportion. That means that many of his patients he will have to discharge before he can achieve anything, and they will return to their GP in effect untreated. The management don't give a shit. They are only interested in "processing" the patients through the system so they can get their money from the PCT. The fact that these peoples' medical problem will not have been addressed does not matter to them. The idea is that if the patient still requires specialist care he will have to be referred again and the Trust can then charge the PCT again, for the patient just to be seen by some overfed harpie who calls herself a consultant but knows fuck all about it.

So what is he going to do about it. He's taking early retirement.

Saturday, 9 March 2013


"The rules were a wee bit different then (1980) to what we did with allegations of child sex abuse 20 or 30 years ago.................our attitude to child sex abuse has changed"

Cardinal Keith O'Brian

Actually cardinal that's not true of most of us. We've always been appalled and revulsed by such behaviour, and of predatory, hypocritical cunts like you who admit a hankering for the old days when you used to get away with it.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Regular followers of my blog will have noticed a sharp fall off in the number of posts since I retired from the NHS and may be wondering why. Perhaps I've spent the last few months in deep depression, or a drunken stupor now that I have lost my purpose in life. Or maybe I just don't care about the NHS any more or no longer have the experiences that provide the raw material.


The truth is that since I have retired I have been so fucking busy with the things I want to do that I don't seem to have the time to blog. I have ever growing "to do" lists and there are not enough hours in the day. I had toyed with the idea of doing a little agency work, but I don't know how I could fit it in.

So those of you approaching retirement, (JD?) if you think you are in for a life of leisure, think again.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


Sycophancy towards the monarchy in Britain is as strong as ever it was. The Prince of Wales, for example, has long had a reputation for unopposed interference in various areas and medicine is no exception as this article highlights.
But today. There is some fuss over comments made about Kate Middleton by Hilary Mantel. Can't say I'm particularly interested either way. Inevitably some have sprung to Ms Middleton's defence. Fair enough. But let's not get carried away. One of her defenders I heard tonight on TV describe Ms Middleton as “a perfect mother” Correct me if I'm wrong but she's not actually going to be a mother, perfect or otherwise, till July. What an arselicker.


A Christian telling an Atheist he is going to Hell is about as scary as a small child telling an adult they won't get any presents from Santa.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Willing slaves

A lot is emerging at the moment in the media, in which management are being targeted as being responsible for poor care in various trusts. This is one such article in, which the medical consultants are portrayed as victims of a bullish and ruthless pressure to do extra sessions against their will. Doctors being subjected to slave labour conditions. 

Well I'm sorry but that's not my recollection. I think what they are talking about here is waiting list initiative sessions. The article doesn't mention the £500 plus that surgeons and anaesthetists used to get for these sessions or the unseemly scramble for these sessions that went on by those doctors eager to profit.
While it is true that aggressive management are in no small part to blame let's not forget that many of our colleagues fully co-operated in a naked quest for self enrichment and self advancement.
If subjected to close scrutiny, we are not going to come out of this squeaky clean.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Francis report

Regular followers of my blog may be expecting me to comment on the report on Staffordshire Hospitals, but I'm not going to for two reasons.

Firstly other bloggers, especially those on my list to the right have already done an excellent job and I don't think anything I could write is likely to add significantly. Suffice to say that I agree with them entirely.

Secondly I had my say in May 2010 in three posts entitled "accountability", much of which has been echoed in Francis.

The underlying problems will not be addressed. Care will continue to deteriorate. A few scapegoats will be sacrificed, and I notice already that that twat Cameron is calling for doctors involved to be struck off, as if that would achieve anything.

Those of us of an age where we are likely to need the NHS in the next twenty years may be better off just getting ourselves a suicide pill.

Friday, 1 February 2013


In my last but one post I included a link to one of my favorite web sites, the Encyclopedia of American Loons. The specific page I linked too actually referred to a Brit and this has drawn some criticism in the comments section. It would be a shame if the page were to be removed because the subject is not American. We could well do with a similar site on British loons. I've searched the web and can't find any Brit equivalent. You could call it "Gaviiformes"

What is needed is for someone anonymous to start writing resumes of the greatest loons, past and present, in Britain. Someone who is no respecter of persons, someone who can be rude, scathing, sarcastic and doesn't give a shit. A cage rattler.

Now, who shall I start with?

Thursday, 31 January 2013


"......when well-established laws of chemistry and physics supported by high levels of data and experimentation demonstrate that, barring the supernatural or some new discovery yet to be made that would invalidate many of our presently understood scientific laws and theories, homeopathy has to be a sham......."


A liar and a fool

My last post  has attracted an anonymous comment referring to a
response to the CMO by one Lionel Milgrom. I’ve read the response. Mr
Milgrom gives a number of references to support his argument that
homeopathy works and there is evidence to support that argument.
I then ploughed through the references only to find that there was no
such support. Many of the references are to articles that make no
mention of homeopathy, but are simply criticisms of conventional
medicine, as if that somehow were to make homeopathy respectable.
There are other articles looking at the concept of evidence based
medicine, but again simply criticising the scientific method is hardly
the same as endorsing the nonsense that is homeopathy.
The ultimate cherry pick is there in the list, a link to the British
Homeopathy Association website.
So he doesn’t actually present any evidence at all to support the
implausible notion that homeopathy is of any value.
Can it be true then than Mr Milgrom has distorted the facts,
misrepresented evidence, exaggerated, fabricated and invented? I don’t
have to look far to find evidence to answer that question. These two
articles by Ben Goldacre and Jack of Kent adequately sum the man up.
This page of one of my favorite sites also gives a nice accurate view.
Lionel Milgrom, hardcore loon.

Friday, 25 January 2013

CMO gets it right

Wow, a CMO with something between her ears, and some balls. What an improvement on the last idiot.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Free lunch?

Not long ago a study found a correlation between statins and cataracts. Now more eye problems have turned up related to aspirin use. Polypill anyone?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Lean Muscle X scam

Yet another scam on the market, identical in modus operandi to those I have previously written about. If you read the terms and conditions it’s obvious that you will be taken for considerable sums of money.

What amazes me about these scams is that what they offer is so ludicrously implausible that it must be obvious to any normal person that the scammers are just insulting your intelligence. Previous products highlighted promised levels of weight loss only achievable by amputation but these latest products, “Lean Muscle X” and “PureCleanse” have a new claim, that they will “flush out the toxins in your body, melt away body fat and pack on tons of muscle”. In short that the product will give you a body like this.

And all from the comfort of your chair, without exercise, work or lifestyle changes. And all for just £69 per month that they will take from your credit card once you have placed your “free trial” order.

The ad slogan is “Get ripped in four weeks.” I think it should read “Get ripped off in four weeks”

Tuesday, 8 January 2013


I commented recently on some of the spam that's turning up in my comments. This is one such;

"I loved as much as you'll obtain performed proper here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. however, you command get bought an impatience over that you want be handing over the following. unwell surely come more beforehand once more since precisely the similar just about a lot regularly inside case you shield this hike."

Any idea what that's all about?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Told you so

After some considerable time and no doubt great expense the report on Stafford hospital is published. Seems to me they could have saved a lot of time & expense by reading these. (1)  (2)  (3).  Perhaps they did.

Friday, 4 January 2013


I could be wrong, but don’t I recall that the GMC promised that all doctors will have been written to by the end of December to tell them of their revalidation date? Well that deadline has passed and I have had nothing, how about the rest of you? I’m not too worried. The instant I hear about my date is when I deregister. But with the inevitable teething troubles, and the innate inertia and incompetence of the GMC it could be years before their promise of revalidation for everyone is fulfilled.

Niall Dickson????

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


In my very first month, when I started this blog I twice bemoaned the gradual erosion of our clinical autonomy, the very basis of our profession as Consultants, and it is an issue that I have visited often since then. (1)  (2)   Inevitably as the politicians and managers have imposed control over our clinical conduct they have seen that, if all medicine is can be governed by protocol, you don’t really need doctors to do it, and our very purpose has been degraded. 

I’m not by any means the only Blogger dismayed by this and both Dr No and the Witch Doctor have written excellent posts recently on the subject.  So if the situation is obvious to bloggers it must be obvious to the rest of our colleagues, and from talking to them I know that that is the case, so why are we not doing anything about it. WD blames apathy but I think it’s a little more complicated than that.

I see Consultants as being divided broadly into two groups. The older generation who remember what true clinical autonomy was. They are mostly appalled by what has been done to the profession, but under the continual onslaught of demoralisation and demotivating from above their response is to cash in their pensions and fuck off. So disgusted are they with what has been done with our pay, pensions, working conditions, and revalidation that they are simply shaking the dust from their feet and walking without a backward glance. The NHS is prematurely losing it’s most experienced and valuable Consultants, the head and backbone of the profession.

Management are perfectly happy with this as it leaves them with the second group. Those far enough from retirement to fear for their continuing job security. This group has never known true clinical autonomy, but have grown up with the increasing control. They are more malleable and controllable than their older colleagues, and this is what management want. 

But a controlled profession is no profession at all. The very concept of being a Consultant is cheapened and damaged. When management dictate clinical practice instead of leaving it to the professionals the inevitable result in terms of quality of care is obvious. But nobody seems to care any more.