Fully informed consent: NHS Scotland

Hole Ousia

This post is based on the following Scottish Parliamentary debate which took place on the 5th December 2017. In this post I have highlighted cross-party considerations relating to fully informed consent. One of the aims of the original petition, Polypropylene Mesh Medical Devices, PE1517 was to call on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to:

“introduce fully informed consent with uniformity throughout Scotland’s Health Boards”.

Johann Lamont, MSP, stated:

Johann Lamont went on to state:

Jackson Carlaw, MSP made the comparison between this Mesh scandal and that of Thalidomide, a prescribed medication:

Jackson Carlaw, cited Brenda O’Hara, MP who like Johann Lamont expressed determination that this should never be allowed to happen again:

Neil Findlay, MSP, has steadfastly supported the Mesh survivors from the outset. He began by expressing very serious concerns about financial conflicts of interest and the medical profession:

Neil Findlay, MSP, continued:

Currently there is no regulatory requirement for…

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NHS Targets: learning from experience

Hole Ousia

The following Report was published in November 2017:

The Foreword began [highlights are mine]:

The Report author Sir Harry Burns states: “experience with existing targets and indicators has been positive in many respects. Significant improvements have been seen in many aspects of health and social care following their introduction.” He continues:

In what follows I present a summary of my experience as an NHS Consultant in relation to the application of one particular Scottish Government target.

Back 8 years ago I found myself under considerable pressure from a GP and Quality Improver to expand the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease to include people who do not meet established clinical criteria for dementia. The argument was put forward as follows:

“We realise there is a lack of consensus generally about patients with minimal cognitive impairment but even if this is what the psychometric findings conclude- it would be useful to have an…

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PaCA – What is a Place of Safety?

Mental Health Cop

This blog is part of the series which will cover, in detail, the amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 within the Policing and Crime Act 2017. This post is one of several which relates not the amendments themselves, but to the implications arising from them.

For background to the series, see the introductory post which outlines why I’m doing this and what other specific issues will be covered concerning laws that will come in to effect in the next few months. We now know the changes will take place on 11th December 2017.

This week has been full of phone calls, emails and questions – mainly about how officers should consider the choice they have to make about which Place of Safety to use after they’ve initiated someone’s detention under s136 MHA. In particular, many of this week’s questions have been connected to the role Emergency Departments…

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Well, bread

face the music

When you make bread, there’s a lot of kneading and proving before you get to bake it, never mind eat it . . . I’ve been practising recently, when you have the right ingredients, and spend enough time, the results are quite tasty:


This week I became eligible to work as a music therapist – with a card and certificate to “prove” it – and I’d begun thinking of parallels between bread-making and my last few years.

You could say the preparation for music therapy training was like assembling ingredients, the training itself involved a lot of kneading and proving, and the loaf is finally baked (with a hollow sound when tapped!?).

I’m yet to savour the loaf (or make a crust) – still in the process of setting up music therapy work. Glad to say I’ve arranged a few meetings with people in organisations who are enthusiastic about music…

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Kicked into the long grass

Hole Ousia

This is a short update on “progress” made since my petition PE1493: A Sunshine Act for Scotland was closed more than a year-and-a-half ago.

[I was impressed by the Scottish Parliamentary Committee and the way it carefully and methodically considered my petition. Unfortunately my experience with the Scottish Government provided stark contrast]

Kicked into the long grass from omphalos

We want to gain the public’s trust, but are we listening to them?
(a letter published in the British Medical Journal)

Music credits: Dexter Britain (under common license)

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The world is a more wonderful and a more surprising place

Hole Ousia

This is a film based on the chaotic pendulum.

My friend, David Harrowes, took me to St. Mary Redcliffe parish church in Bristol.
I cannot recall the year. But it was not so ‘long ago’.

The world is a more wonderful and a more surprising place from omphalos

Music credits:
Thomas Tallis – Third Tune for Archbishop Parker.

This film is for Chrys Muirhead.

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Be Kind, Be Patient

Mental Health Cop

You may have seen that internet meme bouncing around on social media, above? This post is essentially about how this advice may be more important than other things we spend much longer talking and worrying about. I’ve been caused over the years to read a lot of books that have been pushed in my direction, in lieu of any proper training on what I do – professionals wanting me to know more about the ‘medical model’ and ‘psychological approaches’, even sociology and philosophy. I also catch snippets of CPD designed for AMHPs and mental health nurses, when I’ve been waiting to give presentations to them, or when I’ve been hanging around afterwards. In the course of doing my job, I’ve received hundreds if not thousands of emails and social media contacts over the years from patients, their families or carers about police training on mental health related matters.

“The police…

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