Thursday, 22 July 2010

Saint Elsewhere

Time for a quick round-up of some health-related issues which may be of interest.

Save Newark Hospital - The campaign against the downgrading of Newark hospital, which is on the Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire border. The plans involve the closure of the A and E department and one ward, replacing the A and E Dept with a Minor Injuries Unit. Campaigners point out that this would involve re-routing blue light ambulances to either Mansfield or Lincoln.

The campaign unites Dr Ian Campbell MBE, who was the Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the area, and his electoral  opponent, Patrick Mercer MP (Conservative) as well as Town Councillors Laurence Goff and Harry Molyneux. Health Minister Simon Burns claims he is "unable to intervene" and the County Council support the changes.

Referring to the proposed Minor Injuries Unit, Mr Mercer commented "We`ve got to have something better than that". Faced with the lack of support from Simon Burns he is now proposing the provision of an `Urgent Care Centre`in addition to the Minor Injuries Unit, which he argues is consistent with evidence from the public consultation.  Dr Campbell is considering his options, but has indicated that the campaign "is far from over". 

Furtherv details from

AICR -  A number of studies have shown that taking aspirin regularly reduces the chances of getting bowel cancer by 20%. Doctors do not recommend that people should take aspirin or any equivalent or similar medication just for that reason, as that would carry a significan danger of internal bleeding. However, research is taking place to find the reason for this phenomena, some of it funded by the association for International Cancer research - more info at  .

AICR - Scientists have discovered that al of our cells have an inbuilt `bilogical clock` that influences a wide range of cell activities. Loss of this `clock` may be a cause of cancer in some cells. Again, more about this from

Asbestos - I`ve mentioned before the sad death of a friend of mine not so long ago, as a result of his having worked with asbestos.

One problem that affects many people with asbestos-related illness is that in 10% of cases the firm that employed them cannot be traced, and neither can details of their employer liability insurance.

At one time, campaigners were pressing for a government-backed compensation scheme - I think one did exist at one time - but the government of the day didn`t make time for the relevant legislation. A new (more realistic ?) approach is to press for similar fund financed by the insurance industry, though there is still a campaign for more funding into medical research into this type of illness.

Further reading ; 

Asbestos Awareness and `Advocacy` - For Chris - The Graphophone (blog), 19 April 2010.
Asbestos Again - Bookshelves and Brown Ale (blog) , 3 July 2010.

These both provide links for further information for the general reader, and points of contact for anyone affected. All I would say is, if you`re affected by this, or think you could be in the future, make sure you`re well informed.

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