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.)
I had suffered a mental breakdown as a new house physician. I was appointed House Physician to the Medical Unit under Professor Stan Peart at my hospital St Mary’s, as I had wished in April 1964. We had to do our own locums so I was on the 2 ‘Nightingale’ wards with very sick patients – end stage renal failure and malignant hypertension, within days of passing the final examinations. I had little sleep for 10 days; Sue whom I married 3 years previously told me recently that I did not go home to our flat in Kew for a meal and cuddle in that time. Via the upward flight of confidence, and fast thought, I spiralled downwards. A low physical state was expressed as an ischio-rectal abscess. I was cared for by expert and kindly nurses in Holloway Sanitorium. The psychiatrist was a different matter. Instead my recovery was spurred by 45 minutes with a kindly senior registrar, Dr Weir, at St Mary’s. I can remember coming away with hope that I could still be a doctor. Prof Peart had me start as HP again in the autumn. From the start of my collapse, he and the other Unit doctors were kindly. I served I think from then on with some distinction – because I cared deeply for my patients. I feel the pain for those doctors like Rose Polge who waded into a cold sea at Meadfoot Beach in February 2016. There are many more in the ‘caring professions’ and I know what lessons have not been learned.
Mark, who has helped me in my 28 acres of woods for most of 40 years thought I was dying in 1992. He was right. Every cell in our bodies require thyroid hormone. With declining levels, cell metabolism slows. Mucopolysaccharide accumulates - carpal tunnel syndrome being one expression. Arterio-sclerosis happens more quickly, along with other disease.
It is by the way now that Dr ‘Steph’ found no indication for the initial and continued prescription of Li. She had conscientiously read through 4 full Lloyd George envelopes of my medical records. (Distributed against my written and opt-out form request to have my records held securely in my GP on principle alone – the sacred need for confidentiality between patient and doctor, to over 130 centres by NHS Digital in 2018.) You will know I had a mental breakdown in February 1992. About 6 months after presentation to my GP and a late psychiatrist, I was found to be hypothyroid (not grossly so judging by the TSH I recall, this being found by a private nursing home,the NHS facility being actual Bedlam). You will know that organic causes for acute psychosis should be searched for urgently. I had felt more easily tired for many months, and had ‘carpal tunnel’ symptoms which I had put down to work in my woods! I was good at diagnosing disease of humoural origin, from Peart’s teaching, but failed in myself.
In addition to holding a senior position in my specialisms of orthopaedic and trauma surgery both at Torbay Hospital and at the excellent Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital, Exeter (bulldozed in 1996 with its 120 beds, esprit de corps - and much else), I was fighting with all the other surgeons at the PEOH bar one, for the survival of the latter. I had also fought, alone as a doctor in South Devon, against the very expensive and most destructive ‘Internal Market’ of Mrs Thatcher and her vicious cabal. I had correctly forecast that this creature of Milton Friedman’s ‘Chicago School’ would at least double the cost of administration from its then current base of 5-6%. I calculated later that the cost, ie loss, was equivalent to the costs of 400,000 hip replacements – in one year.
I was also thinking and working hard for my many patients in both fields of trauma and elective orthopaedic surgery. In addition I took on the role of Clinical Director in yet another managerial convulsion instigated by HMG, with Charles Clyne as Medical Director. You will know this talented man was lost to cancer quickly. I looked after the little ones as well – congenital dislocation of the hip, club foot, cerebral palsy made more common perhaps by the saving of more ‘prem’ babies etc. Finally I add that I was always concerned by inadequate standards of care in my own ambit, in the DGH in particular, and the ‘community’ in general, and very concerned by actual corruption in the managerial echelon. This latter, and disgusting feature in a hospital of all places, was repeated more recently as you know, and dealt with mildly by our courts compared with the second theft of a can of beans in a Tesco.
I was encouraged to retire by the then medical director at Torbay, along with a colleague who I can fairly call disloyal. This was early in the recovery of my mental and physical health. Thus I felt small and was vulnerable.
I recovered fully, and went back to operating at the PEOH whilst it existed, and later at the RD&E/PEOC. I mostly did knee ‘replacements’. My teaching of operating skills to trainee surgeons was much appreciated. I also did small clinics in my field in five South Devon general practices. I should instead have been offered a part-time role so that I could continue using my skills in clinical medicine and in surgery, and have been encouraged to continue teaching which I loved.
It is understood that as a doctor first, and as a surgeon second, who had treated thousands of patients in Devon, I am respected by many who know ‘what is what’. Almost every day I hear stories of illness and injury, and their treatment. Advice is often sought when people are bewildered or in desperation. Because I care deeply about most things, and especially the sanctity of the mother and her child, I actually relish this function in my long retirement. You will know that I am often ‘in print’. I do not hold back as Britain and its former good medical services are ever lowered. This lowering is even quicker now in the fear, and then the hysteria, induced deliberately both nationally and globally, over an engineered virus – SARS-CoV-2, or in its more dramatic name Covid_19. The deliberate conflation of a ‘positive’ RT-PCR test of the worst scientific base in this context, with very largely absent disease, is evil beyond belief. The insanity induced in a largely gullible and timid population, made deliberately so over many years, is shocking to a man who was induced by his father to think for himself.
Other patients I have heard about
I can no longer stay silent for the sake of these patients I now describe, nor for the many that I know, nor will ever know. I need as a doctor and surgeon, and as a citizen, to attempt to warn against further gross deficiencies in the care of the injured or sick.
There has to be a revolution of the mind and of the caring in OUR NHS. I know many in the caring professions who are the finest and most skilful, but they are being submerged, and the more vulnerable subverted. The letter C followed by italics below is for comment. I have seen only one set of medical records but I will speak as I have been told by citizens I judge to be truthful.
Case 1. Current
70 + lady. Fell in road c. 20-09-20 where Dynorod had been clearing a sewer, onto her L elbow. Wound. Fracture C. ?of the olecranon. A&E - ?trauma firm involved – even by ‘phone call. Plaster, and listed for ‘pinning’ at 10 days. C. I am assuming from the sequel this was an open/compound fracture (#). Very severe pain from day one. Could not manage at home so slept on a sofa at a friends house. Reduction, tension band wiring and K wires 30-09-20.C any fracture requiring reduction either open or closed is best treated ASAP. If an open # - cleansing and reduction within hours + excision of all dead and contaminated tissue – as in a motorcyclist with a crushed leg. Pain continued.
Extract from her friends e-mail 17-10-20 8.47 pm -
“I spoke to **, she is very grateful to you for taking an interest, and happy for me to pass on her Discharge Letter details. The operation yesterday was to fully open and clean the wound. She was then awake all night as the nurses had to inject antibiotics every half an hour. She sounds better and more “with it”, but is still in a lot of pain.
At some point yesterday a senior doctor/consultant saw her. She seems to have taken some photos of the oozing mess on her phone, which she showed him; he was horrified and apologetic, and promised her that he would sort it out - don’t know if he meant the arm, or the way she had been treated. Unfortunately ** didn’t get his name, I asked her to try to make a note of it if he comes back.”
“ The Discharge Letter was given to her when she left hospital following the procedure on 30th September. ( The accident happened on the 20th, but she was sent home from A&E with an appointment for the 30th. Why?) This extracted and skeletal letter is below.She returned to hospital as an emergency last Saturday the 10th, sent by a Boots pharmacist, and has been there ever since, but they only opened/ cleaned the wound yesterday. “
Hospital Number 137331
Patient name **
Date of Admission 30 Sep 2020
Consultant Mr. M. Hockings
Sub Specialty Trauma
Operating Surgeon Ashraf Awad
Operation Performed: PRMY OPEN REDUCTION # + INTERNAL FXN WITH TENSION BAND WIRING Elbow Left
Operation Date 30 Sep 2020
Follow-Up Outpatient appointment required: Y
T&O - OUTPATIENT Clinic face to face with X-RAY on arrival 2 weeks Mr Ashraf Awad
1 Home when safe
2 Wound review and fracture clinic XROA 2 weeks
3 sling and mobilise as pain allows, no heavy lifting for 8 weeks
Dressing/ Wound check: YES in 14 days
You will note the absence of a diagnosis. And the abbreviation PRMY! These few words convey nothing of the disastrous delay in treatment. I could say much more but ‘cavalier’ would be a euphemism.
Further information from friend 26-10-2020 - ** is now out of hospital. She is not too bad, but the arm is a mess. It’s not plastered, she has a big dressing which obviously has to be changed regularly as the wound is still draining through a fair-sized hole. She was discharged without any dressings, but the kind nurse who walked her to the front door managed to find two. When she rang her GP to ask for more, she was told it was nothing to do with them and she should contact the hospital. She got a friend to order some online, which has already cost her £18 - she is a pensioner living in a tiny flat, who has absolutely nothing. She is on two separate types of antibiotic, 2 tablets of each per day, and apparently will be taking them for weeks.
A lady of 75 had a R THR at Mt Stuart 9 years ago. I heard the sequelae when she contacted me when I was standing as an independent candidate in the ‘snap’ election of December last year in the Newton Abbot constituency. I cannot recall exact details but there was difficulty – possibly due to the absence of an appropriate sized prothesis. After one operation the surgeon apologised for ‘breaking the femur’. She had a second operation which I assume was a so called ‘Girdlestone’. This leading Oxford orthopaedic surgeon’s name was attached to excision of the head and neck of the femur for say TB. For 50 years it is much more often to do with failed THRs. She has pain, uses 2 elbow crutches and has spent £9000 in adaptations to her house so she can continue living alone. She has had severe pain from advancing osteoarthritis in her left hip but is afraid of the ‘anaesthetic’. Patients often blame these very skilled doctors! She has been fobbed off in her increasing pain and disability and prescribed large doses of codeine phosphate. She has been referred to a Mr Blake at Torbay who undertakes revisions, and I assume with a L THR the object but ‘there is a long waiting list’. C. That she has especial need for a successful THR and a disastrous result from surgery would surely accord her great priority? Her life, pain and disability would be greatly bettered by a well done THR.Fact.
A frail 93 yr old retired and reverred GP, with a sharp mind was resident for 6 months in a NA care home. He was our family GP and friend. He suffered falls, and 6 months before had fractures of 2 lumbar vertebrae and of ribs. He spent time in Dawlish Community Hospital. His pains were severe but he was stoical. He felt he was bullied in the attempts to help him walk, and without an appreciation of the severity and painfulness of his various fractures.
About 2 months ago he complained of an obstruction to his breathing. He was not seen by his GP but was remotely referred to Torbay on a Monday. The details are obscure but I know he underwent a per-nasal oesophagoscopy. His marked thoracic kyphosis might have made this difficult, and the per-oral route impossible. No obstruction was found. It is said his chest radiograph was clear. He was sent back to the care home at 11pm the same day! C Was there an RN on duty? Was there not at least an overnight bed for this patient? I have not looked up Torbay bed occupancy but for June, the last month available on the NHE web site, occupancy at the RD&E was 55%. His care was inhumane in my opinion. He died 2 days later. I advised his daughter to request an autopsy and to obtain the notes. She later demurred.
A boy of seven had sudden pain and swelling in his knee, and a fever I understand. The likely diagnosis of septic arthritis was only relieved on the third day and not within hours. Why? His mother has asked for his records. She is still waiting about 9 months from her request; invoice etc , most recently has been asked for her driving licence. She told me last week, via a nurse she knows, that ordinary blood tests at Torbay are not possible at present because there are ‘no chemicals’. CI assume either reagents or the standard solutions necessary. Currently, the failure to provide copies of the case notes 9 months from the initial request, is being put down to the ‘covid crisis’ I learned 7-11-2020.
Coming away from an art and craft exhibition – Hearne Field, at Combe-in-Teignhead. A recreation field I got going. An overweight 70 yr old, with a stick and pain in her R hip. THR 3 years ago - ?Torbay ?Mt Stuart. Pain ever since. Surgeon - ?Mr Aldeiri she thought. Did the wound heal I asked? No – discharged pus. She had been told later that all was well and she should soldier on. C Likely diagnosis - ‘loose THR with likely chronic low grade infection’.
She had recently been diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica and was taking a steroid. Pain in her hands was her main complaint, and she also had a skin condition. C. I recommended urgent referral to expert surgeons.
A young tree surgeon, after working on the moor, noted a red ‘disc’ on a shin. He questioned Lyme disease and at a week he went to Torbay A&E 23-07-19. He said that a search by Google took place. It was decided that there as a fungal cause. He was instructed to go to his general practice for a prescription of an anti-fungal ointment. He applied this for 3 weeks without benefit, and began feeling ill. Blood test 28-08-19 Lyme disease confirmed. Doxacillin. Later Ampicillin.
From notes written by me 26-11-19 when I saw him at my home - For last 5 days daily infusions via a L subclavian catheter. A month's treatment planned. He feels no better. Muzzy head, cannot do hard work. Never any fever. Describes 'slimy' sweat and increased odour. Does not know which consultant is in charge of his treatment.
His memory for numbers returned and the IV treatment restored his health. But in cycles he is quickly fatigued and he then has to stop doing his physically very demanding job. He heads the firm.
89 yr old little lady, intact mind. Relative close by. Breast lump noted by her in January. Kept quiet. Spoke of it in June. >> Breast clinic at RD&E. Several functions ?core biopsy. ?In June. Called in for 7am 4-08-20 for mastectomy. Operation 2pm.
https://www.rdehospital.nhs.uk/services/breast-care/breast-cancer/ FIVE'breast surgeons'.
Axilary nodes sampled I believe.
Ward called the daughter to pick her up - at 4.30. ?Drain or no drain. NO drain. (C. I bet they use a small perforated plastic drain with a plastic bottle squeezed to cause a small vacuum. Imagined added difficulty in getting patient out and home. We/I used a corrugated drain under the flaps and out through a separate 'stab' incision. Gamgee in the axilla, and over the chest wall, crepe bandaging arm to the chest with compression over the chest wall.) Daughter found her dozy, and had to ask ward staff to help get her into the car, driven by her husband.
By the bed a carrier bag I think. In it 5 different sized pr
ostheses. 'Breast care team' off at 4pm, so not able to 'size' her in seeing her intact breast. Returned to OPD at 2 weeks. 150 ml of fluid aspirated. As my C19 group GP friend said, she could have had an infection, and > septicaemia. After all, the wise doctors have been speaking of diminished resistance in the frail elderly.
Arrangements made for radiation and I think oncotherapy.
My eldest grand daughter aet 23 - just. Manages her father’s Torquay branch of his building supplies firm. A Saturday night with her long term boyfriend. Moderate consumption of alcohol. Coming away from the second venue around midnight – sudden vomiting and unconsciousness. Manhandled into a taxi by her boyfriend. To RD&E A&E. Admitted. Notes available – mostly printed and advisory eg re head injury. Written notes sparse and largely illegible. The only words by a qualified doctor – two lines, diagnosis ‘alcoholic intoxication’. First memory - waking very drowsy c. 5am. Discharged soon after. No blood tests for alternative diagnoses – other causes of poisoning. No account taken it seems of history given by her boyfriend, nor by his father – a senior detective. The latter knows her well. ‘Spiking’ of a drink seems likely. Some young people die from that.
I return to my own care and then reflect on that which family members received in a lowered NHS and country.
I have had a R inguinal hernia for about a year. Although I cannot recall pain being a strong feature in those patients in whom I carried out Bassini’s repair as a training registrar in 1969 at the old RD&E, it can be very painful when ‘out’. The assistant GP said in March this year that only strangulation or obstruction would be a reason for surgical treatment at present. Consider what a lay person would make of this. He or she would not know that strangulation would be an absolute indication for urgent surgery.
After 3 contradictory letters, I had a ‘phone call to be seen at ‘Mt Stuart’ by a senior surgeon, but he was due to retire in a few weeks! The hernia would not appear. I later had the ultrasound scan he ordered by a kind Dr John Isaacs. This confirmed my diagnosis. The excellent surgeon whom I had asked to be referred to wrote later. He did not perform laparoscopic herniorrhaphy so recommended Mr Andrews who did, and which advice I gladly accepted.
I asked if I could be listed directly. 3 weeks ago I had a ‘phone call from a Ms Hannah Trinder at Mt Stuart (NHS) offering me an OP appointment with yet another surgeon who is not listed currently I see on this listof consultant general surgeons https://www.nhs.uk/Services/hospitals/Services/Service/Team/DefaultView.aspx?id=319281
I explained that Mr Andrews had been told of me by my surgeon of choice and did not wish to see another. It was ‘the system’ she said, and there was a ‘back log’ which I knew only too well. The hernia often appears but as I said to Mr Kenefick, I am very well aware of much more pressing pathology.
My wife Susan. A THR 12 years ago. Leg lengthened by 2 cms – immediate need for shoe alterations. Pain in the groin on lifting the leg or walking uphill. Pain abolished twice for about 6 weeks with injection of a steroid around the psoas tendon. Persisted over the years. Later the other THR. Offered a psoas tenotomy + at 9 years. Took this up a year ago – endoscopic > complete relief. C. My conclusion – too small incision requiring forceful retraction of ilio-psoas tendon.
My sister Mary.Presented to her GP with weight gain and a thyroid nodule 6 years + ago. He was in the middle of divorce proceedings. Referred to RSCH 6 months from presentation, whereas referral within 2 weeks was standard. Operated on by a good and caring surgeon. Papillary cancer outside the capsule and infiltrating the recurrent laryngeal nerve. DXT and therapeutic I131. Former damaged salivary glands, and later via radionecrosis some teeth have come loose. ?Contribution by tablets given for osteoporosis.
Has been aware of a lump/lumps behind her sternum. Everntually an ultrasound scan in July this year which, as I would expect, did not show anything definite. The ultra-sonographer said she would probably be called for a PET scan – Positron Emission Tomography. She has heard nothing since from the ‘Royal’ Surrey County Hospital. She is in limbo, like many with recurrent cancer.
She had a ‘phone call the other day. ‘Sorry to be the bearer of bad news – your appointment this month has been put back to January 2021 – date ….’
Brother Michael – 4 THRs! First two metal on metal. Both required revision. Tested later for toxic metal ions. I called at a British Orthopaedic Association conference for all new designs
of prosthetic joint ‘replacements’ to be restricted to a named hospital or group, and studied over say 10 years. At the time there were over 700 different total knee arthroplasties! Myself and other surgeons visualised that the DoH would insist on such long term studies, especially given the cost to OUR NHS, and many patients, of early failures.
There are more anecdotes re family members and less than acceptable treatment.
Over all. The failures of caring listed above must not be unique – of course. But several are abysmal and show gross inhumanity. Against this there are very skilled and committed professionals and support staff. And look to the porters, the ward maids and the cleaners, as part of the esprit de corps. One case in the footnotes below shows the pinnacles that are in reach. But many have left the service having been deliberately demoralised.
My summary of the strategy – destabilise>demoralise>dismantle. This arising from ideology best shown in this quotation ex London Review of Books, ex John Furse and published in the election December 2019 annexe of my web site -
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."
The mix of weapons used in this ‘dismantling’ is long, and includes the virulent ‘managerialism’.
“Managerialism in political science is a set of beliefs, attitudes and values which support the view that management is the most essential and desirable element of good administration and government.
Central is the fact that OUR NHS is a political football, especially in the present plandemic. The ironic ‘PROTECT THE NHS’.
I have long wanted the NHS to be headed by an executive of the best motivated and informed citizens, and which is directly responsible to Parliament, and not manipulated by the ‘party of the day’ with ideology and ignorance dominant. The DoH would have a standards, analysis and recording role.
Professional independence and the striving towards excellence with efficiency has been subverted in all manner of ways. An unaccountable and vast bureaucracy, amounting towards 20% of the £120 billion budget, is the wrecking ball, with politicians and their ‘neo-liberal’ policies dominant.
The CCG.It has a most responsible role in ‘commissioning’ the medical services in Devon. Does it fulfil that role?
During this plandemic, has it opposed those mixtures of advice, rule and ‘law’ passed on the nod within 48 hours ending 23-03-2020 – the original title being ‘The 2019/2020 Corona Virus Bill’?
a. The accumulation of over 300,000 humans nationally with symptoms of possible or actual cancer?
b. The backlog of patients waiting for elective surgery, already at record levels before the hysteria through fear was triggered?
c. The predictable mental disease in children said to be one in six?
d. Is any part of the £1.6 CCG budget funding the Nightingale > cancer symptom triage centre > Novavax C19 ‘vaccine trial’ (BBC Spotlight – 500 volunteers sought. https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/first-volunteers-given-novavax-coronavirus-vaccine-at-kings-college-hospital-but-more-needed/. The BBC saying 31-10 that there are 500,000 ‘infections’ per week currently might spur the most naive to ‘volunteer’, and currently 25,000 ‘cases’ per day.
e. Any CCG funding going towards the temporary mortuary in an Exeter trading estate, or the permanent one in East Devon at Greenway – or is it central ‘funny money’? See attached
And much else. It must be aware, as it plans to see a few million pounds received from bulldozing on that spur above Teignmouth Docks, that hundreds of millions have been spent on inane propaganda in the ‘media’, especially the printed. 2 pages of Q and A in Mid Devon Advertiser 29-10-20 + a half page.
See https://dhalpin.infoaction.org.uk/2-articles/correspondence-with-politicians/307-covid-19-propaganda-cost-to-us-via-the-treasury Note the request was made of Mel Stride MP Central Devon in June. He has been urged twice to give me the facts - ‘in the hands of the DoH’. I am still waiting over 4 months later. Still the inane full page ‘adverts’ keep appearing. This ‘government’ is completely unaccountable.
‘Integrated care’ and ‘care in the home’ are spoken of a good deal by the CCG, and is put forward as a substitute for ‘care appropriate to the individual patient.’ This is paired with the ability, given surgical and anaesthetic advances, for early discharge from acute and elective hospital beds. The implication is that this pathway is more economic and better. For instance, early mobilization militates against deep vein thrombosis and the risk, including death, from embolism to the lungs. I agree with the latter, and did everything possible with my teams to get patients ‘going’ ASAP.
The more frail, for instance the many hundreds of ladies I looked after with broken hips, are not so easily ‘mobilised’. If anxiety is added, venous thrombosis becomes more of a risk. 40% of the elderly live alone. Some of those who are not alone will have spouses or friends who are failing eg with the very common Altzheimer’s disease (which has as yet an unknown environmental cause.) Care was well integrated in most of the excellent general practices in this county when I was serving.
The Kwit Fit approach has unmeasured downsides – I recall an 8% re-admission rate at Torbay.
What do I see? I see a people, who stood alone against the psychopathic in 1939, regaining their spirit. They emerge from induced insanity, timidity and fear, and from this slough of despond, into a nirvana where loving care predominates. When we care for those who are ill or distressed, everyone is lifted up. https://youtu.be/su4Qm5pvagY
One of my great mentors, Freddie Durbin, born in Farway east Devon, cared deeply. See footnote. He had simple sayings - ‘David. Chapter and verse, chapter and verse.’ That is in me anyway. ‘The pendulum has to swing far one way, before it swings towards the other’. It could not have swung more to the right than now.
The hospital in Teignmouth will be re-opened, and most of the other 15 in Devon. Some general practitioners will use their skills and accumulated knowledge to treat their patients in that airy hospital, the first built by OUR NHS in spite of being in hock to the US out of WW1 and WW2, and with a very large national debt. A hospital which was bombed by the Luftwaffe killing 7 patients and 3 nurses. It is being bombed again by similar mentalities.
The gross incompetence and corruption of the current junta will be revealed and charges made.
People, now subjugated, will recover self esteem. They will be informed as to how they can maintain their mental and bodily health through a public channel of the highest principle. The pandemic of obesity will wane just as C19 did in April. We will celebrate OUR NHS, and help rebuild medical services around our world which we have destroyed with other nations. We will hold my present maxim in our hearts - ‘no mother and child should be in the least harmed anywhere in our still beautiful world’.
There is good evidence that the Torbay Trust, and its commissioner, the CCG is failing very badly in its central duties. Resignation of the boards of both is surely indicated, followed by a public inquiry of the Stafford/QC Francis type.
David S Halpin MB BS FRCS
2. Corruption – a speck -
Good Law Project
Leaked documents seen by Good Law Project set out special pathways by which “VIP” and “Cabinet Office” contacts could be awarded lucrative PPE contracts at the height of the pandemic – and at inflated prices.
Lord Bethell, a junior Health Minister, promised that “suppliers will be evaluated by Departmental officials on their financial standing.” But there are serious questions over how enormous contracts came to be awarded to dormant or new entities and those of dubious financial standing including:
PPE Medpro won two contracts worth over £200m to supply PPE to the NHS. The £100 company, set up by the former business associate of Conservative peer Baroness Mone, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Mone,_Baroness_Mone_of_Mayfair
won the contract just seven weeks after it was set up.
SG Recruitment UK Limited, a staffing agency, won two PPE contracts worth over £50m, despite auditors raising concerns about its solvency. Tory Peer Lord Chadlington sits on the Board of its parent company, Sumner Group Holdings Limited.
P14 Medical Limited, controlled by former Conservative Councillor Steve Dechan, who stood down in August this year, was awarded three contracts worth over £276m despite having negative £485,000 in net assets.
The leaked documents disclose that special procurement channels – outside the normal process – were set up for VIPs.
They also show that Cabinet Office was feeding its contacts into the procurement process, outside the normal public channel.
Good Law Project is also aware that successful contractors – like Ayanda which received a £252m contract for supplying facemasks most of which were unusable – were guided through the process by the Cabinet Office. You can read the documents in relation to Ayanda here and here.
Good Law Project understands that most suppliers were operating on 10-20% margin. The leaked documents reveal that Cabinet Office contacts and others were helping ‘VIPs’ sell PPE to Government outside normal procurement channels. The information that Government would buy at 25% above the price paid to ‘regular’ suppliers was a licence to make enormous margins – 35% – 45% – on contracts sometimes worth hundreds of millions of pounds. Although Government has tried to cover up the per unit prices it paid to connected suppliers, we know that Ayanda enjoyed staggering margins above the prices paid to others. So there are certainly questions to be asked about whether other politically connected ‘VIPs’ benefited from lucrative inside information about pricing.
Jolyon Maugham QC
Director of Good Law Project
3. Frederick Charles Durbin – obituary by another mentor and good colleague Robin Ling – attached
Recovered largely from ‘polio’ he did fine work repairing nerve injuries in hundreds of service people, and for which Professor Seddon took most of the credit! He set up the accident services here in Devon and later headed an RCS, DoH agreed survey with recommendations about A&E departments. He cared greatly and was loyal.
4. A pinnacle. Mark of dextrous and strong hand, and good mind, has helped me in the gardens and woods for most of 40 years. About 5 years ago he had very severe sciatica. I could see that surgery was likely to become necessary having examined him at his parent’s home. At a weekend his bladder did not function and he had pins and needles in his nether regions. Dr Kay sent him to the RD&E on a Monday morning ‘under blue lights’. An MRI scan was waiting, and he was soon in a theatre of the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre. Mr Andrew Clarke, also of dextrous hands and a fine mind, excised a disc protrusion using a microscope and a very small inscision. This was constricting his lower lumbar and sacral nerve roots – the ‘horse’s tail’. Mark left the PEOC the next day – without pain and with full neural function. He gets occasional back ache, but like me, makes no concessions in our work in the woods.
David who tends our lovely garden here had a coronary thrombosis 3 months ago. He was very ill. He was treated excellently at Torbay Hospital by Dr Guy Gribbin and his team. He came back to gardening!
5. I spent thousands of hours spelling out the vital functions of our community hospitals -
32 references. This letter from 10 doctors with over 250 years of combined service was addressed to Dr Diamond CE of the North Devon NHS Trust. She did not answer it. Attached.