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This large and complex ship is steaming at maximum knots. It is crammed to the gun-whales with passengers. On the bridge and down in the engine room there are the GPs, specialists, nurses and all the important others keeping the ship on course and the screws turning.

'Sparks' the radio officer is doing his best to keep up with the stream of often contradictory messages coming over the short wave from the owners' offices.

Hunt, Dr Poulter, Nicholson, Keogh, Hakin et al are barking out the orders across the ether. The deck hands are shifting the deck chairs furiously as directed from the Westminster head office whilst the band plays on, and on.

There is dense fog and there are icebergs about. Should the officers of the watch go to 'slow ahead' and change course? If the course and speed are held, disaster is sure. If the SS NHS sinks, it will be sunk for ever. It will never be re-floated.

I noted the artist’s impression of a new department store at a corner of Brunswick Street in the MDA of 27th August. But then read that this was in fact for ‘health’ and ‘wellbeing’ **.

I recall that this structure and its siting was discussed behind closed doors about a year ago. Mrs Sylvia Russell defended the secrecy by saying that commercial, or similar categories, needed confidentiality. So much for democracy and ‘localism’. The shiny proposal is set to house one of three general practices. General practice has been the bedrock of OUR NHS, and the main purpose in spending £8 million would be for a centre for the GPs and their skilled staff. Central to that would be face to face contact rather than ‘video links’ etc being forced upon our tired populations.

So I look to the foundations, as to any building, and avoid a sandy base.

Adjuvanted (sic) Trivalent Influenza Vaccine:Seqirus

I have been invited twice by my GP surgery to have ‘flu vaccination.

I asked for details. “I should be grateful to know which vaccine I would receive and its contents.  Also - I  have in mind a surgeon whom I trained.  Some doctors at Torbay Hospital resisted 'flu vaccination first time around, but it was insisted upon.  c. 8 years ago.  This doctor/surgeon suffered a neural injury as a result, with a permanent effect.  My diagnosis, without examination - ?neuralgic amyotrophy.  I have seen this following ?tetanus immunization or ?toxoid administration for instance.  (edited)  Added - there were 'hot spots' of 'lock jaw'.  Daccombe was one, and that patient was a market gardener in that hamlet.  The good local GP promoted vaccination against tetanus.

I am sorry to add to your work but like to know what might be injected into me.  I add that I have not had the 'flu jab' for at least 10 years and have been lucky to 'escape' the seasonal A or B. My wife and her brother have never suffered 'flu!  This is food for thought. Many thanks David Halpin

Answer “The flu jab you would get is Seqirus adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine. Hope this helps.”

Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The CSL Group of companies employs more than 20,000 people with operations in more than 60 countries.

Office of Dr Sarah Wollaston MP Totnes Constituency

Dear Nina,

Which party does Dr Wollaston currently represent?  I am not sure.  I do know she left the Conservative party some time ago.  So I cannot help wondering which element is paying the office expenses, but 'not my bag' as they say.  Incidentally, I had some useful correspondence with her re OUR NHS early on.  I have summarised the strategy as


The latter started in about 1988 with Mrs Thatcher's/Milton Friedman's/Chicago School's Internal Market.  All the main organs opposed it, and I did my best alone from Torbay Hospital and the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital, ** to oppose it.  ***  The latter was bulldozed for a housing estate in c.1994 against the opposition of the surgeons bar two of ten.  PEOH - > RD&E as the PEOC.  This was under a Tory government and with Dame Margaret Turner-Warwick at the helm of the RD&E.  I had five colleagues at the RD&E then.  There are now 33.  This is in inverse proportion to the available beds.  eg  In February 2018, 8 operating lists were set up one weekend - as Mr Hunt was instructing should happen.  (You will recall he had angered the younger medical staff by calling the service then a 5 day one.)  There were only 12 available beds and as yet hip replacements etc cannot be done from day beds!  Norovirus on one ward and big overflows from the acute medical intake.  We were completely insulated from the latter at the PEOH and had 120 beds including one for children.  And you have heard how at Derriford, almost all elective orthopaedic surgery has been shifted from the NHS  to Care UK.

The closure of over 60% of Community Hospital beds in South Devon, and an even greater proportion in North Devon, was engineered with 'consultations' that were undoubted shams.  In South Devon these were signed off and sealed by 'Healthwatch' Torbay - another UK wide sham and political invention.  The latter gives the illusion of public involvement and empowerment.  There was a large majority in the various 'consultations' pleading, on good grounds, against the closures.  As predicted, the District General Hospitals are failing in many important ways, the IT chaos of the weekend at Torbay being just one example.

This 'consultation' is headed 'Safer Together' (George Orwell lives), and was set up by the Devon and Somerset Fire Authority.  It proposes that eight of the fire stations staffed by retained firemen/women be closed, among other things.  It mimics the 'consultations' regarding the Community Hospitals.  There are familiar words like 'Drop In Sessions'.