A heatwave across the country, and no sign of letting up. British politics also generating plenty of heat, both nationally and internationally.
The NHS is rarely out of the news. A further two poisonings with Novichok, with one fatality. I am certain that without the dedicated expert care and high-quality NHS facilities, the outcomes would have been worse. Rightly the focus is on the methods of delivery of the poison and the perpetrators, but it would have been morale boosting if the medical services had more media time! The PM has indicated a further £20 billion for the NHS, welcome, but rapidly there was a realization it was not from the windfall figure painted on the side of the Brexit bus, but will require a rise in taxation levels. So much for windfalls.
Theresa May has been checked by her Chequers Brexit proposal but interestingly an amendment in the Commons did vote for continued collaboration and alignment of the Medicines Agency. It may not prevent the potential paucity of drugs in a “No Deal Brexit”, or other “Fudge” but at least UK will still benefit from the cooperation so vital in health of both medical devices and pharmaceutical products.
GDPR, General Data Protection Regulations, came into force at the end of May and the world has not collapsed around us. Remember the Millennium bug worries. Nevertheless, to catch a few bad boys, Internet and Social media companies, every organization has been enmeshed in a net to capture a few. The cost to SMEs, including health organisations, is considerable, in both time and resources. More bureaucrats delivering a blunderbuss policy
with an unproven evidence base. Generally, like drug lords, it already known who the main perpetrators are likely to be, so a focused approach would have been less costly.
The £20 billion mentioned earlier is hardly going to cope with the demographic changes which will result in an escalation of healthcare costs. One chronic disease, dementia, will be eating away large chunks of the health service cake. Devine (p.92) does not mention costs, that is a fact that all are aware of, but concentrates on the human and patient aspects. Gallagher and Hinchcliffe (p.74) highlight a common presentation in our ageing population.
Lord Hague, ex leader of the Conservative party and Foreign secretary, has added his weight to the debate on legalizing cannabis for recreational use. The debate was ignited by a mother demanding cannabis for her child, for medical purposes. Newton-Howes et al (p.84) provide a medical perspective of this much misunderstood drug.
Holidays will be in full flow by the time of publication of this issue and many of us will be reveling in the tropics. Try not to bring back unwanted skin souvenirs (Mounsey et al p.104). I was interested to learn that Intellectual Disability affects ~1% of the UK population, that is a whooping 650K (Sheehan et al p.113) and the vital role that GPs/Primary Care and Community physicians can play in managing patients who suffer. This issue ends with Fatty skin lumps (Bean et al p.124) focusing on investigations on the potential myriads of aetiologies and their radiological
Enjoy the summer and by the time of the next issue one of several events will have occurred. Boris Johnson may be Prime Minister, UK will have a no deal Brexit, a 2nd Brexit referendum will be called, an early election will be in the offing and the NHS will have a wonderful 70th birthday and will outlive all of us.
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