Published: Thursday, January 20, 2011
A few months ago David Cameron announced that if he were elected, there would be no more major top-down reorganisations (as per the bad old days of New Labour).
This week the coalition government announced the biggest revamp of the NHS since its creation in 1948, described in a Daily Telegraph headline as “throwing a hand grenade into the NHS”.
In a speech to the BMA in 2006 Andrew Lansley the current Health Minister said “Referrals to hospitals are being treated as if…treatment is a commodity, not a highly professional service.”On radio yesterday a spokesman said “the principle duty of the NHS Regulator is to promote competition”. In other words, treatment will be now out to tender as a commodity. Call me old-fashioned but I think the NHS should be based on cooperation rather than competition.
Perhaps the Lib Dems will revolt and we’ll have a general election. Or perhaps not.
Yesterday afternoon I went out for a little jog along the coast road. The sun had just gone down and the air was getting chilly with a promise of heavy frost. The light was striking and I could see Caldy Island and Tenby over the bay.
As I turned for home the moon was just appearing over the trees. It was the shape and colour of a Penlan egg yolk and the size of a soup plate. I could have been in a traffic jam somewhere or starting a two hour commute. I thought “This will do for now.”
I know some may say it’s cheating but I’ve just bought myself an “electric” bike. It’s so hilly in this area a large part of any bike trip is spent on foot pushing the damned thing. This one is a Trek and it’s wonderful. There are 4 levels of assistance so I can get the exercise or back-up from the dynamo as I need. Going downhill you put it into resistance mode which acts as a brake and charges the battery at the same time.
It’s made in Taiwan: I tried to find a British bike manufacturer but there doesn’t seem to be any. I wrote to Raleigh but they didn’t reply.
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