Copies to Chairman of TSDHT – Admiral Sir Richard Ibbotson KBE, CB, DSC ‘Provider’ body
and Dr Paul Johnson Chairman of the Devon Clinical Commissioning Group ‘Commissioning’ body
and Professor Adrian Harris Executive Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive, Royal Devon and Exeter
Open letter – see https://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/ or search ‘david halpin’
Dear Dr Dyer, 2nd of November 2020
This is necessarily long but should be of interest and a spur to re-evaluation of the present downward direction of OUR NHS, and towards the better for it, and for our society in general.
My own course as a patient, and in service within OUR NHS
You will know me by reputation, and from your wife Stephanie caring for me as a GP. She might have sought your advice as an endocrinologist about my iatrogenic but not fully expressed diabetes ‘insipidus’- due to damage of my secondary renal tubules from 27 years of Lithium – 800 mg pd rising to 1000 mg pd. Nocturia and extreme urgency of micturition resulting. ‘Isosthenuria.’ This was stopped in Spring 2019 at my request having learned of the cause of several ‘side effects’ from my reading. My fingertips were becoming numb and I love using my hands. This was out of self-diagnosis - ‘physician heal thyself!’. BNF advice was to review the need for further prescription of this nerve and kidney poison every 3-4 years. That never happened to my knowledge.
There were other deleterious side effects – cerebellar ataxia, thankfully largely resolved, shoe size increase from 11.5/12 to 14 – handmade boots necessary, sudden onset of hyperacusis with my own speech as I weened off the Li, etc. At a second opinion with Dr Jeannie Todd at the Hammersmith last March (requested by me) I was found to be a little dry (I note loss of skin turgor on waking in the morning), hyperparathyroidism secondary to Vit D deficiency, and some iron deficiency. Latter longstanding. I have put this down to achlorhydria. (Vit B12 required for about 15 years. I do not associate the latter with inappropriate consumption of Li.)
Readers might recall my summary of a long process well before any ‘consultation’ about a glossy ‘hub’. OUR NHS - Destabilise>demoralise>dismantle. And perhaps they would have read the quote from the annexe to my web site when I stood, with some exhilaration, as a truly independent candidate in Newton Abbot last December. Here it is again -
In his report to the Conservative Party’s Economic Reconstruction Group in 1977, Nicholas Ridley wrote that: "...denationalisation should not be attempted by frontal attack but by preparation for return to the private sector by stealth. We should first pass legislation to destroy the public sector monopolies. We might also need to take power to sell assets. Secondly, we should fragment the industries as far as possible and set up the units as separate profit centres."
But do not look just at the Tory party. The other two, Tweedledum and Tweedle, have the same core. This is called, by euphemism, ‘neo-liberal’. ‘New liberal’ - that is having been either on the ‘right’ or the ‘left’ before. This is typical of the distraction used to fascinate the minds of the electorate/plebiscite. The EU has it in its core also. The essence is the idea that competition brings efficiency and general good, as against the command economies of the former USSR or Mao’s China. The reader will know that neither ideology brings too much ‘good’. Good comes from the essential spirit within the human, and indeed the animal kingdom, along with ‘common sense’.
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
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'.
Dear Dr Johnson, Sent 30-07-19
It does not appear that I have had an acknowledgment of my e-mail below. In it you will read that I was to write to the Torbay 'Trust' to find the costs of the visits of Trust board members to the headquarters of Kaiser Permanente in the USA. I have not done that for lack of time, partly due to resolution of factors in my own health.
Another reason is Trust tardiness in grasping nettles -
a. Admiral Sir Richard Ibbotson
b. is the failure of board member Leslie Darke Executive Director of Estates and Commercial Development at TSDFT, to tell me in October 2018 whether staff leaving before retirement were asked in a kindly way their reasons for leaving. She was obliged. as you know, under the Freedom of Information Act to reply to my simple question within 20 days, and without a need for me to cite this STATUTE and her obligations under it. I asked her twice. The ICO (the overwhelmed Information Commissioners Office) was contacted and after delay, prised the following out of the Trust this month, at least 9 months after my question. See twin posting: Retention of Nursing Staff: Failure of Leslie Darke, Torbay Trust Board Member to Answer a Key Question asked October 2018
I am therefore asking you, on behalf of the CCG to answer these four questions given that the budget which CCG-Corporate Services holds of £1.6 billion funds the 'Torbay' Trust. That is, it commissions services, planning, policy etc within the Trust.
Data Protection and Freedom of Information Team
Request for information FS50815962[Ref. FS50815962]
Dear Ms Pearce, 12-07-19 11.45 am
This is a preliminary response. I first asked Mrs Leslie Darke, Executive Director of Estates and Commercial Development at TSDFT, in October 2018 whether staff leaving before retirement were asked in a kindly way their reasons for leaving. She was a board member. She was obliged under the Freedom of Information Act to reply to my simple question within 20 days, and without a need for me to cite this STATUTE and her obligations under it. I asked her again and received this -
21-12-18 Dear David, Thank you for your question. Via this e-mail I will ask my colleague the Director of Workforce to respond to your question. Happy Christmas to you too. Kind Regards Lesley
I heard nothing from the 'Director of Workforce'.
Dr Tim Burke BM Clinical Chair NEW Devon CCG 19th March 2018
Dear Dr Burke,
Thank you for arranging to meet me and my erstwhile colleague David Jameson-Evans. And I also thank you for the letter which followed with the clear minutes made by Clare Doble.
I accept your apologies contained in the letter. I have learned, much too late in the day and with some anger, that there was a worthwhile electoral process for all NEW CCG medical officers. This extract of the minutes adds clarity -
Dr Halpin therefore sought evidence that this was an electedprocess and wrote to the CCG onMarch 3rd 2017, but the documents that Dr Halpinreceived did not give reassurance on the process, detail or clarity as to how theclinically elected membership of the CCG had arisen. (collected correspondence)
In the absence of a coherent response to my question re constitution, and 5 months after I wrote to Dr Jenner of the NEW CCG , I instructed Mr Selman Ansari of Bindmans. He wrote to you on the 22nd August (4), that being over 5 monthssince my brief and courteous letter to Dr Jenner. You replied 25th October.