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Tuesday 19 March 2024

The NHS Crisis (Spring 2024): now there is no more money!

The NHS Crisis is developing fast, getting worse by the day, and has become a year-long event. I have been writing about this crisis for over 11 years now. The underlying pattern of the crisis has never changed:

 >>> increased sickness >>> followed by increased spending on pharmaceutical treatment >>> followed by even more sickness >>> and then even more demands for even more money. 

During this time the NHS has never changed its explanation for the crisis. They don't have enough money, they need more, lots more, for more pharmaceutical drug treatment, for more adverse drug reactions, for more sickness - for which the NHS will want more money for treatment. It is a merri-go-round!

It has always been thus. It is contained within the 14+ blogs written over the last 13 years on the NHS Crisis, all listed and linked at the foot of the page.

And no one (outside this blog) has EVER questioned whether it is wise to spend more and more money on a medical system that is so demonstrably failing to provide an effective response to the constantly expanding levels of sickness. Yet the right questions are beginning to be asked. The NHS has routinely told us that it does not have enough doctors and nurses. Yet doctor numbers have risen by 37%, and other staff by 45%, in the last 10 years. This Expose article asks "How does the the NHS do so little with so much". It fails to come to the inevitable conclusion, but it does provide some useful statistics from the Office for National Statistics.

  • The number of doctors increased by 37,467 (up 37%) from 101,137 in 2013 to 138,604 by 2023.
  • The number of nurses and midwives increased by 68,063 (up 23%) from 295,163 in 2013 to 363,226 in 2023.
  • The number of scientific staff increased by 42,938 (up 13%) from 123,912 in 2013 to 166,850 in 2023.
  • The number of support staff increased by 125,510 (up 45%) from 279,579 in 2013 to 405,089 in 2023.
  • The number of infrastructure staff increased by 62,758 (up 41%) from 152,437 in 2013 to 215,195 in 2023.
  • The number of ambulance staff increased by just 1,721 (up 10%) from 17,537 in 2013 to 19,258 in 2023.

Even the BBC is beginning to ask questions about the viability of the NHS. In July 2023 it wished the NHS a happy 75th birthday - but asked whether it could survive to 100 years old. They are right to ask the question, but as usual, wrong in their assessment of what the problem is. They mentioned the "dire warnings" that it could not do so "without drastic change". A change in the medical system, dominated by pharmaceutical drugs, that dominates NHS treatment? No, let's blame the patient instead!

            "When the NHS was created the main focus was on short bouts of treatment for injury and infection, but now the challenge is completely different.The ageing population means huge numbers of people are living with chronic health problems, such as heart disease, dementia and diabetes that require long-term care and for which there is no cure. It is already estimated about £7 out of every £10 spent in the NHS goes on people with these conditions. On average, those over 65 have at least two. And the situation is only going to worsen. "The numbers are going to grow," Health Foundation director of research and economics Anita Charlesworth says. "The baby boomer generation is reaching old age."

Predictably the BBC fails to spot that heart disease, dementia and diabetes have grown to epidemic proportions during the 75 years of NHS treatment, but fails to take the comment "... for which there is no cure" any further!

It does, however, provide graphs about health spending as a percentage of day-to-day public service spending, indicating that this rose from 27% in 1999-2000, to 32% in 2009-2020, to 42% in 2019-2020, and to 44% in 2024 to 2025. More and more money for health clearly indicates that there is less and less money for any other public service - education, police, local government, defence. We are gradually, progressively, robbing Peter to pay Big Pharma!

This Medscape article outlines just how bad the situation has become, focusing on the situation in Northern Ireland.

            "Record-breaking waiting lists and emergency department times – the worst across the UK, healthcare staff at breaking point and leaving the region, GP practices closing due to financial issues, and a scheduled junior doctors' strike this week have seen the situation hit crisis point. The health service in Northern Ireland is now in “absolute meltdown” say clinicians working in the region, with even the Minister for Health acknowledging that the situation is “deplorable” and “unprecedented”."

            "Northern Ireland's Minister of Health, Robin Swann issued a stark warning of an "extremely difficult and worsening" financial position for health and social care ... (as usual) ... calling for increased resources and multi-annual budgeting".             "We have a system that is in very real trouble. Every part of it is in profound distress.... The risks of service breakdown are real and growing in a range of areas. I do not say this to frighten people but to help build a shared understanding. We continue to have expectations and demands of health and social care that we cannot currently meet, and on the current trajectory the situation is getting worse rather than better".

In other words, there is no more money, no more handouts for a failing medical system can be expected. The Westminster Government continues to trickle money into the NHS; but it recognises that taxes are too high, that more borrowing is untenable, and in a recent budget, has said that they are expecting more productivity from medical staff (blame the staff?). The Opposition Labour party, which might find itself in government by the end of this year, tells a similar story; they will not break their fiscal rules, which effectively means - no more taxes, no more borrowing, no additional money for the NHS.

This is what has changed since I last wrote about the NHS Crisis. Both government and opposition has now accepted that there is no more money. The NHS is not going to be bailed out, again, as has happened routinely during the last 75 years. The magic "NHS money tree" is dead!

Another new factor is that key NHS staff have gone on strike; senior doctors, junior doctors, nurses, ambulance staff - people who have never been on strike before. Why? Despite the money thrown at the NHS little of it has apparently gone to staff. So not even those who deliver pharmaceutical medical treatment are content. A newly qualified doctor, after 5-6 years of training, has a starting salary is about £33,000. And it has been estimated that junior doctor's salaries have fallen by about 30% in the last 15 years.

So the NHS has not only devoted itself, entirely, to a system of medical treatment that does not work, which is actually making us sicker, it cannot even treat its clinicians, the people who operate the NHS, properly. Staff morale within the NHS is not only poor, it is getting worse.

In a health service that cannot cope with the pressures it faces, recent news from the GP Magazine, Pulse, on 12th March 2024, reported alarmingly that "swathes of GP's were at risk of redundancy". Watch this space! Is the NHS facing self-destruction? A BMA spokesperson has recently warned general practice that it has suddenly gone from a recruitment crisis to an employment crisis. 

Surely the NHS crisis cannot get any worse! But I haven't mentioned NHS dental services, which in many parts of the country are now virtually non-existent. The Guardian reported, in October 2023, that there were a record numbers of patients complaining to the NHS Ombudsman about poor care, exorbitant fees and gaining accept to NHS dental services in England. The Ombudsman said that poor dental care leaves patients frustrated, in pain and out of pocket. The number of complaints received every year has risen by 66%, and the proportion of complaints being upheld has increased from 42% to 78% over the same period. The ombudsman is currently receiving about 100 calls a week from people worried about poor treatment, an inability to access NHS dental care, and being removed from a dentist's practice list.

So the NHS crisis continues and deepens, as it is likely to do so long as we fail to recognise the main reason for the crisis. No problem is ever resolved unless and until the cause of the problem is accurately identified. The NHS, and the Government, have been singularly unable, or unwilling to do so to recognise that it has invested in pharmaceutical medicine, a medical system that just does not work. So, bad as the current crisis is, it will only get worse.

According to the USA Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 1 in 3 hospital admission each year are linked to adverse drug reactions, and inter-reactions. The situation in the UK is similar, as it is in other countries with a so-called 'advanced' or 'modern' medical system. So we have the evidence that prescription drugs, legitimately prescribed, cause patient harm, and make them sick, can even lead to death. 

In fact, many do lead to death. This is from a paper published by Imperial College London, "National State of Patient Safety, 2022. What we know about avoidable harm".

            "In 2019 there were more than 130,000 avoidable deaths in Great Britain - more than 22% of all deaths. Of these, 64% were classed as preventable and 36% were classed as treatable"

The problem is that the conventional medical establishment is skilled at discounting any such evidence. They are the result of under-performance, mistakes, errors, accidents, all of which can be avoided by improved management practices. The motto of the NHS seems to be "carry on, regardless".


NHS Crisis: links to previous blogs


Sunday 17 March 2024

Good Health. If Conventional Medicine has failed, what is the alternative? A new NHS - a 'Natural Health Service'?

For over 100 years now most people have relied on Conventional or Pharmaceutical for their health care. Most people have become dependent upon it.

Most countries now have some form of subsidised health care service that dominates and controls the treatment we look to when we are sick. Today, most people rely entirely on conventional medicine because we believe it to be the best, if not the only system of medicine available to them.

Yet regular readers of this blog will realise that conventional medicine is failing, and failing badly, to meet the health needs of people around the world - for three main reasons. 

    (i) Conventional medicine costs the earth.

Spending on conventional medicine has risen, year by year, for decades now. And the demand for even more money and resources continues, year by year. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that health care costs are in the process of bankrupting the economies of many wealthy nations, and is already out of reach of many less affluent nations.

    (ii) Conventional medicine is ineffective.

Despite this epidemic of health spending, the rising levels of medical costs have not run parallel to improved health but to epidemic levels of chronic diseases, ranging from allergy, Alzheimer's disease, autism, autoimmune diseases, cancer, dementia, diabetes, epilepsy, heart, kidney, and liver disease, mental health complaints, and much more.

    (iii) Conventional medicine is dangerous.

Pharmaceutical medicine has also added to the national burden of sickness and disease through the 'adverse drug and vaccine reactions' known to be caused by pharmaceutical drugs. These adverse reactions are more than mere 'side effects', as they are usually described; they are often fully blown diseases, and they clearly contribute to growing levels of sickness, and to those epidemics of chronic disease.

So what is the alternative to conventional medicine?

Many more people are now realising this, especially since the health fiasco of the Covid-19 pandemic. For over a year conventional medicine had no treatment to offer us, except for the the ludicrously inadequate entreaty to hand wash, social distancing, face masks, lockdown, test and trace, et al. 

Thereafter we were pressured to take vaccines which we are now learning have caused such enormous patient harm.

So what do patients do now, when illness strikes, and we want to avoid the dangers of conventional  medicine? Our first thoughts are to consult a doctor, or go to hospital, with the almost inevitable outcome of being prescribed pharmaceutical drugs. If this is not a good idea, if it is no longer something we want to do, what are the alternatives? What can people do to get better, or maintain good health?

Fundamentally, for anyone who recognises the failure of conventional medicine, there is only two choices available: (i) to take the risk, and continue to trust the pharmaceutical medical establishment, or (ii) to start to trust your body again, and recognise the power of our natural immune system.

The Immune System

During the Covid-19 pandemic the pharmaceutical medical establishment (supported by government and the mainstream media) told us that only their vaccines could save us from the illness, that without it millions of people around the world would.

Strange that we have barely had vaccines for 200 years, with most being developed over the last 60 years. So the question arises. What previously 'saved us' prior to the introduction of vaccines?

The answer, of course, is natural immunity. Even during the gravest epidemics in human history most people survived! The 13th century Black Death is reputed to have killed 1/3rd of the population - which means that 2/3rd of the population survived! And it has always been thus, through the Great Plague, the multiplicity of 19th century epidemics, and the Spanish flu of 1918. During this time we did not understand how the immune system worked. This knowledge has only developed comparatively recently. Yet the pharmaceutical health services discounted this during the Covid-19 pandemic - only vaccines would work!

The science of immunology is comparatively young, starting really only during the 19th century. Our understanding is now more detailed. It is recognised that the immune system is an important branch of the medical science, that natural immunity protects us from infection and illness through many different lines of defence. Unfortunately, as has become so common within conventional medicine, immunology focuses more on the immune systems that is not functioning properly, rather than to study what can be done to ensure that natural immunity continues to function properly. In other words immunology has focused on why 1/3rd of people die, rather than why 2/3rd survive epidemics!

What is now understood is the damaged or compromised immune systems result not just in susceptibility to infection, but in diseases such as autoimmunity, allergy and cancer, and many of the other epidemics of chronic disease mentioned above, as well as many common disorders not traditionally recognised to be caused by immunity, including metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative conditions.

So in looking for a 'new' approach to medical care should be based on relying on the immune system, and in particular, why 2/3rds of the population survive. We need to return to a medicine whose purpose is to upon our own natural immunity, recognising that ill-health always strikes down those people whose natural immunity is weakest. It is not that germs kill us, it is more that germs seek out the weakest, the most vulnerable. It is people with weak, compromised or suppressed immune systems that become ill and die. It is the survival of the fittest.

Therefore, any successful medical system has to be able to do just one thing - to support and strengthen our natural immunity.

How do we support our Immune System?

We now know the principles of supporting and strengthen our immune systems. I have written in more detail about this before, here, basically outlining 4 fundamental strategies that are known to be important in supporting and strengthening our natural immunity.

  1. Diet and Nutrition
  2. Exercise
  3. Freedom from stress
  4. Refusal to take pharmaceutical drugs

Each of these components concern life-style, they are not dependent upon complicated or expensive medical interventions. But each requires a medical system that disseminates this knowledge, and provides professional guidance about life-style choices. It is this that would form the basis of any new, more successful medical system: not a National Health Service but a Natural Health Service.

Yet it is exactly this kind of medical advice and guidance that has not been available to people during the Covid-19 pandemic. If the NHS had offered this it would have been an alternative to face masks, social distancing, lockdowns, and test and trace, all of which depend upon identifying and "chasing" an invisible virus! And almost certainly this would have meant that we would not have had to endure the human tragedy, socially, economically, and in terms of health, that has resulted from the Covid-19 vaccines. 

Most people, apart from those people with a compromised immune system (usually the result of poor life-style choices, including the taking of pharmaceutical drugs) would have been able to continue leading their social and work lives quite normally. In turn this would have meant that the economy would have not been damaged. Our mental health would not have been harmed, And much, much more.

Natural Immunity as an individual strategy

The National Health Service will not transform into a Natural Health Service very soon! But the good news is that those people who are looking for an alternative to pharmaceutical medical care can adopt this strategy TODAY. We do not need to be advised to eat a better diet, or adopt a sensible exercise regime, to reduce the levels of stress (often the self-imposed stress) in our lives, and to stop taking pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. We can all learn about it, and do it NOW.

People with Compromised Immune Systems

People with a compromised immune systems would need more medical support that goes beyond advice and guidance on the immune system. Yet they do not need medical support from the medical system that prescribes harmful drugs and treatments that are known to compromise immunity. Indeed, they have even more reason to avoid the drugs and vaccines of pharmaceutical medicine. 

Immediately, they might need to be protected by strategies such as hand washing, social distancing, and lockdowns. They would need to be protected from the germ, whilst measures are put in place to strengthen their immunity. But other therapies are available, all of which are based on supporting and strengthening natural immunity.

Natural Medical Therapies

All natural medical therapies, from acupuncture, homeopathy, herbalism, naturopathy, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, reflexology, yoga, et al., are based on the principle of supporting and strengthening natural immunity. Indeed, pharmaceutical medicine is the only medical system that does not (more interested in promoting drugs and vaccines).

Any Natural Health Service would gradually have to transfer its attention, and some of its resources, to these natural medical therapies. They are not as expensive as conventional medicine. They are all safer than conventional medicine as the 'adverse reactions' to treatments are limited, and certainly not disease-threatening, or life-threatening. And their effectiveness in terms of patient outcomes could easily be monitored, and compared with conventional medical outcomes.

Again, there is no need to wait for these therapies to be offered. They are all available right now, although not usually within a national health service, which means that the therapist would need to be paid directly. All the individual has to do is to learn about them, and initiate contact.

The Remnants of Conventional Medicine in a new NHS

The organisation of the NHS (from national to natural) would obviously be subject to enormous but gradual change, but it is important to understand that much medical care that is usually encompassed within the heading of "conventional medicine" would continue.

Drugs. The use of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines would gradually be reduced by any medical health service that focused on supporting and strengthening the immune system. This is happening, and will happen anyway, as more people realise that drugs are one of the major causes of serious disease epidemics that we are experiencing now. 

Many more natural therapists would be needed, and many fewer doctors (whose expertise is necessarily dominated by a knowledge of pharmaceutical drugs) would be needed.

Testing. The ability to recognise what is going on within the body would continue to be required within a revamped NHS, albeit it a modified way. Much of the current testing would not be required, especially when therapies like homeopathy are used, as natural therapies do not necessarily need an illness to be diagnosed. For instance, in an viral epidemic, testing to prove the presence of a virus would less important than the ability to test the strength of an individual's immune system. So all testing would gradually be refocused on assessing and supporting the patient health rather than fighting unknown, and unseen pathogens, or similar.

Surgery. Most surgical activity would need to continue for those patients who require it. However, with patients taking fewer drugs, thus ingesting less toxicity, there would likely be a reduction in the need for operations such as organ and limb transplantation (which usually result from many years of failed pharmaceutical treatment).

Regarding health there appears to be three inexorable and inevitable processes going on

    First, people will always want to avoid being sick, and will look to the safest, and more effective medical system available to them. This has always been so.

    Second, people are realising that pharmaceutical medicine, after 70+ years of dominance, is no longer one of those medical systems that can guarantee wellness to anyone.

    Third, this leaves people have two choices; to continue to rely on pharmaceutical drugs; or to rely on our immune system, which we has always protected us (whether we knew it or not), which is understood better now, and which, ultimately, is the only thing we have that we can rely upon.

Monday 4 March 2024

An Asthma Drug Kills: so the Drug Regulator does another "Review". Is this enough?

Montelukast is an asthma drug, better known as Singulair. It has caused the death of patients who have taken it. This Guardian headline (3 March 2024) says that "a healthy kid dies and there has been no change": parents’ anger over lack of warnings for blockbuster asthma drug. Teenager Harry Miller took his own life two years after being prescribed montelukast. His family say they were not made aware of the reported psychiatric side-effects of the drug".

The parents were not told about the "side effects" of the drug? (And is death really a "side effect"). I am surprised that anyone should be surprised at this statement! Too many people trust their doctors, implicitly, and put their complete faith entirely and completely into the hands of a medical system that has always peddled dangerous drugs and vaccines. 

I checked to see what the NHS website now says about the "side effects" of this drug - 4 years after Harry's death. It highlights Diarrhoea, High Temperature, Headaches, stomach pain, feeling or being sick, and a mild rash. Then it goes on to mention, under 'serious side effects', that a doctor should be called if "you notice changes and you become depressed, aggressive or you're thinking of harming yourself".

This is presumably the doctor who prescribed the drug and omitted to tell the parents about the 'side effects' of aggression and self-harm (suicide) that it was known to cause. 

Yet what does my go-to website for pharmaceutical harm,, say about Montelukask? It's all there, within a black box warning.

        "Warning: Serious Neuropsychiatric Events. Serious neuropsychiatric (NP) events have been reported in patients taking montelukast. The types of events reported were highly variable, and included, but were not limited to, agitation, aggression, depression, sleep disturbances, suicidal thoughts and behavior (including suicide). The mechanisms underlying NP events associated with montelukast use are currently not well understood. Because of the risk of NP events, the benefits of montelukast may not outweigh the risks in some patients, particularly when the symptoms of disease may be mild and adequately treated with alternative therapies."

So the problems of this asthma drug are known by conventional medical authorities. Yet the drug has been prescribed in most countries since 1998, over 25 years! And as the Guardian article intimated, until recently it was a 'blockbuster' drug. In 2020, two years after Harry's death, Montelukask-Singulaire was still the 14th most commonly prescribed drug, and therefore, highly profitable for the drug company.

Montelukask-Singulaire is yet another example of the dishonesty of the pharmaceutical industry, another medical tragedy waiting to be made public. Informing patients about serious adverse drug reactions means that they will be more cautious about taking it, thus harming the attractiveness and profitability of the drug. Yet Merck, the drug company, knew that its asthma drug could lead to suicide. Indeed, a group of parents have been trying to sue the company for many years, but as this Children's Health Defense link said, in June 2023, the legal action was unsuccessful, “stymied by an effective corporate liability shield: the doctrine of federal pre-emption”

What this means is that drug companies are prepared to harm us for profit! They have, after all, been doing so for many decades, with many other pharmaceutical drugs, and if you believe this is an over-statement of the situation I have listed some of the more serious medical scandals that demonstrate the assertion at this link. And, of course, there have been literally hundreds of pharmaceutical drugs that have been banned or withdrawn over the last 70 years, and more; I have listed many of these at this link.

Yet such is the parlous state of drug regulation now it would seem that pharmaceutical drugs that harm patients are no longer banned or withdrawn. As with Montelukask-Singulaire they are "placed under review", and doctors are restricted to when, and to whom, they can be prescribed! But what this means is that highly profitable drugs continue to be prescribed. This asthma drug was highly profitable: which, of course, is probably the main reason for it not being banned, or withdrawn. And why people like Harry are dying.

Drug Regulation around the world is now dominated, under the firm control, of pharmaceutical interests. Originally, the main purpose of drug regulators like the MHRA in the UK, the FDA in the USA, and the EMA in Europe, was to protect patients. They now fail to do so. In the UK this possibility has, at last, been recognised by a small group of MP's in the UK Parliament, where an all-party group have stated that the MHRA were aware of heart and clotting issues arising from the Covid-19 vaccines were known about as early as February 2021, but did not highlight the problems for several months

The result of this concern, perhaps coincidentally, has been that the Chief Executive of the MHRA has suddenly announced her resignation from the post! This was reported in the Telegraph 0n 27 February 2024. The MP's have also warned that the MHRA's Yellow Card reporting system, which encourages patients and doctors to report their concerns about adverse drug reaction, "grossly underestimates" the size of the problem of patient harm by pharmaceutical drugs, in some instances picking up just 1 in 180 cases of the harm drugs have caused.

I have been writing about the problem of pharmaceutical drug regulation, and the patient harm caused by these drugs, for many years. Perhaps, now, at long last, something will be done, although this issue too will probably have to be 'reviewed' many times before any effective action is taken! Perhaps it will make parents, like Harry's, more aware that pharmaceutical drugs are dangerous, and that no-one within the NHS will protect them. 

And during these interminable drug reviews there will undoubtedly be many more "Harry's", people who pay the ultimate price for the mayhem being caused by pharmaceutical medicine.