The Scottish Government: “we are not aware” reblog Sep15

Hole Ousia

This report, written by Marion Scott, was recently printed in the Sunday Mail:

Why paid, and to who (6-9-15)

The Cabinet Minister for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, is quoted as saying:

We are not aware

I was surprised by this Scottish Government statement.

Open and transparent from omphalos on Vimeo.

For the last four years, in research for my petition to the Scottish Parliament for a Sunshine Act, I have collected evidence and have shared this with the Scottish Government. This can all be read here.

Scottish Government Guidance (HDL 62), which is now 12 years old, is widely being ignored by NHS Health Boards across Scotland. There is no public transparency on how much of this £41 million went to Scottish doctors last year.

41 million

Whilst the Scottish Government are “not aware” it is reassuring that young folk of today, such as medical Students, are:

Educating future drs on industry pressures

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The Scottish Public Want Sunshine

Hole Ousia

There is a long standing joke about the lack of sunshine in Scotland.

Three years ago I began the process of raising a petition with the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce a Sunshine Act.

A Sunshine Act makes it a statutory requirement for all payments from commercial interests made to healthcare workers and academics to be declared publically. The metaphor is that sunshine brings full light. Both the United States of America and France have introduced a sunshine act.

The doctor in Gabriel García Marquez’   ‘Living to tell the tale’ says “Here I am not knowing how many of my patients have died by the Will of God and how many because of my medications”. Márquez often returns to the theme of medical ethics in his writings and reminds us that all interventions have the potential for benefit and harm.  In ‘No one writes…

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Blackness Centred Compassion Therapy DRAFT 1


Compassion and self-compassion

Compassion literally means to co-suffer, or to ‘suffer with’. It has been defined as the feelings that arise in us when we are confronted with the suffering of others and, which trigger an urge or motivation to alleviate that suffering. Self-Compassion thus, can be taken to mean extending compassion to ourselves when we experience suffering, pain or when we feel inadequate and taking actions to relieve our suffering. Kristin Neff who based her formulation of self-compassion on Buddhist teachings proposes that self-compassion is composed of three main components, namely: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.

She defines self-kindness as being warm towards ourselves when faced with pain and shortcomings rather than ignoring our feelings or resorting to harsh self-criticism. Common humanity, she proposes involves recognizing that suffering and feelings of personal failure are part of what makes us human. They are part of a shared human experience. Finally…

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Spit Hoods and Child H

Mental Health Cop

That was quite an unexpected day! The IPCC published a summary of one of their investigations along with the recommendations they have made to Sussex Police following a serious of incidents in which a young person was arrested or detained. Sussex Police have accepted that a total of 12 police officers misconducted themselves and have instigated either disciplinary procedures or have given management advice to those still in service – two have since retired. The media coverage has been considerable, raising more questions for me than it answered.

It’s clear things went wrong: the Deputy Chief Constable of Sussex Police admitted as much on early morning radio and that has been repeated throughout the day. In addition to undertaking disciplinary procedures and giving advice where thought necessary, Sussex has stated they have reviewed policies and procedures, including around so-called spit hoods or spit guards, suggesting that there needs to…

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Rethinking Mental Health: Peer Support and Peer Services

jen padron

The following interview is part of a “future of mental health” interview series that will be running for 100+ days. This series presents different points of view about what helps a person in distress. I’ve aimed to be ecumenical and included many points of view different from my own. I hope you enjoy it. As with every service and resource in the mental health field, please do your due diligence. If you’d like to learn more about these philosophies, services, and organizations mentioned, follow the links provided.


Psychology Today Interview with Jennifer Maria Padron, CPS, M.Ed, PhDc

EM: Your special interest is in the area of developing peer support and peer services to help individuals in emotional and mental distress. Can you tell us a little bit about your philosophy and initiatives?

JMP: Philosophically I am a Realist who fights pessimism juxtaposed with magical thinking that service is still…

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Allied Health Professionals Maximising Psychological Wellbeing: Confident Conversations

AHPs across health and social care.

Here are two of my favourite things – having a great conversation and observing people reach their potential.  As a speech and language therapist, I’m lucky that I have the opportunity to do two of my favourite things for a living.  I’ve always been involved in communication groups for a variety of people.   I’ve been running post-stroke conversation groups for years.  I love the camaraderie of the shared experience as well as the stories, humour and courage.  I decided to offer the same experience to a small group of men who had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  I’d been working with them individually for some weeks and had heard their struggles to manage everyday conversations.  Their specific strain of Alzheimer’s meant that speech and language was the primary presenting symptom – they could remember the story but were unable to find the words to provide the detail.  They admitted…

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