Alcohol Abuse Over-65 drinkers Meddling UK Politicians & Bungling Bureaucrats at NHS?

English: Total recorded alcohol per capita con...

English: Total recorded alcohol per capita consumption (15+), in litres of pure alcohol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an important MUST READ article from the MailOnline. Check it out!

via Over-65 drinkers in health alert: Doctors call for alcohol safety levels to be halved for pensioners | Mail Online.

I am sure that the cited research has indeed identified many over-65s drinking to dangerous excess.

However, I would like to see free publication of the underlying research to validate the conclusions being reached by the Department of Health. Personally, I would like to take a hard look at the statistical justification for the changes in policy.

The picture described, by the cited doctor, of the average woman over-65 consuming a bottle of wine a day seems rather over the top in austerity ravaged UK.

Looking at recent disastrous news on the UK’s public healthcare‘s performance, I am convinced that the meddling politicians and bungling bureaucrats are desperate to seize the initiative for some good news, so perhaps there has been some opportunism in this story?

For me, alcohol abuse is a serious problem across society, with different manifestations according to:

  1. Age
  2. Sex
  3. Diet
  4. Income
  5. Wealth
  6. Occupation
  7. Social Class
  8. Life style
  9. Location
  10.  Weather
  11. Medical history and medication
  12. Psychological profile

Trying to condense policy for these diverse sub-sets into an across the board recommendations of the following safe limits of alcohol seems naive and simplistic:

  • 5 units a day – current limit for men under- 65
  • 3 units a day – current limit for women under- 65
  • 1.5 units a day- proposed limit for over-65s

Policy guidelines need to take account of the twelve variables cited above and research samples need to be large enough to cater for valid statistical conclusions to deal with these twelve sub-classes robustly. Also subjective understanding and research is required into alcohol abuse with publication of case studies. Otherwise, David Cameron’s Government is just changing policy on the hoof to gain favorable media coverage to deflect from their underlying performance. Perhaps, Cameron’s Government is going to turn hostile to the over-65s as a political tactic; they seem to rather favor gays and minorities.

Let me conclude with an open question:

Do you think that the Uk’s meddling politicians and bungling bureaucrata are just trying to divert the media’s attention from their own failings with this story?

Any thoughts?


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Scandal of doctors paid more to do less – Telegraph

Second Life: National Health Service (UK):

Second Life: National Health Service (UK): (Photo credit: rosefirerising)

This is an excellent, MUST READ article in the Telegraph. Check it out!

via Scandal of doctors paid more to do less – Telegraph.

The article cites latest evidence from the Public Accounts Committee, highlighting that hospital consultants‘ contracts with the public health authorities’ are ineffective, stopping consulting from working evenings and weekends; meanwhile, consultants have also been given exceptional bonuses routinely.

As John Gelmini indicated, in an earlier blog, it is time for radical action to save the NHS from meltdown. With regard to consultants’ contracts and their union, the BMA, John Gelmini argued:

The BMA contract should be renegotiated and if the BMA makes trouble they should be de-recognized and replaced with other doctors who are equally and better qualified than our own, expert systems and more “nurse practitioners” for simple ailments.

As the news about the state of UK public healthcare gets worse by the day, this repeated raises in my mind a series of open questions:

  • Is the NHS too big to manage effectively?
  • Are the vested interests like the BMA and the unions just too powerful in an austerity torn UK?
  • Are the bureaucrats at the Department of Health ineffective, because of leadership, competence, motivation or available resources?
  • Or is David Cameron’s Government just too weak, without the essential qualities  to take on the vested interests, namely leadership, vision, and political stamina?

Personally, I think that it is too late for the NHS, and it should be replaced with a new model based upon Best Practice in other countries.

Any thoughts?


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