Dropping the drugs: Who? What? Why?

Dropping the drugs: Who? What? Why?.

Polypharmacy has always been a bugbear of mine. It causes harm, isn’t effective for the conditions that the prescriber is attempting to manage, and of course is costly.

My mum and dad have a pharmacy worth of pills,potions and lotions n their kitchen cupboard. They are typical of folks of their generation, the GP adds to the list everytime they visit.

Inquest opens into death of resident at Immacolata Care Home, Somerton.

What's happening in Somerset Care Homes.

The Western Gazette reports the opening of the inquest on 19th January 2015. John Weldin, aged 83, was found hanging at the care home on 6th January 2015.

He had moved into the home after the death of his wife in 2011.

The inquest was opened on 8th January and adjourned for further investigation.

The Western Gazette Story can be found here

More about Immacolata Care Home, run by Notaro Care Homes, can be found on the company’s website.

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Book Review: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

I will have to get this one on my Chrsitmas list. Feisty is a word that also bugs me, and seems to have a positive meaning but is used in a negative way. I hope I’m still feisty in my eighties/nineties!

British Geriatrics Society

Shane O’Hanlon is a Consultant Geriatrician (Surgical Liaison and Cancer Care), Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support. 

As a geriatrician who works with surgeons every day, I was intrigued to see what Atul Gawande’s latest book had to say – apparently it was all about what happens in later life. But was it just a misguided attempt by a surgeon to write a book on geriatric medicine?

Gawande has been a general surgeon and a professor at Harvard for over a decade. During that time he began writing for the New Yorker, and is now well known in patient safety circles for his successful books “Complications” and “The Checklist Manifesto”. He is seen as a sensible writer who doesn’t shy away from talking about his own mistakes. This humble approach also pervades “Being Mortal”, which considers how healthcare treats the old and dying, and asks “What really matters…

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CQC Sandwich Generation Survey

I covered this story briefly earlier in the month when it was featured on BBC Radio Four’s You and Yours.
It’s a really useful piece of work though, so I thought I would cover it in further depth.

CQC commissioned Mumsnet and Gransnet to carry out a survey of the users of their sites. They were in particular looking for those that are described as the Sandwich Generation.

These are people who described as juggling caring for children and older relatives.

Eight out of ten people surveyed identified choosing care as major source of stress. Going as far as describing it as more stressful than divorce, separation, choosing a school, getting married or buying a house!

I have always described the process of finding good quality care as minefield. This survey clearly re enforces this.

Whilst I take no satisfaction in the fact that finding good care is so hard, clearly all care should be good! It is refreshing to see the CQC tasking steps to gain views and improve the information they provide. The infographic they provide shows what people want to now about care providers. All of which are included in one of my reports.


If you need some help and advice call my freephone line 0800 0016694 always happy to help .


Heres a link to the report on CQC website.





Thousands With Degenerative Conditions Being Found Fit For Work

Then when questions where asked they were regraded. Talk about a system designed to cause pain and suffering.

Same Difference

More than a third of people with degenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis are having their benefits slashed because the Department for Work and Pensions deems they will recover enough to look for work.

Thousands of those with diseases that only worsen with time – and who have become too ill to work – are being denied full Employment Support Allowance. Instead they are assessed as suitable for work-related activity which is designed for people likely to recover to the point where they can seek employment.

People in The Work-Related Activity Group receive less money and the threat of sanctions if they do not attend regular sessions. Many also have this benefit removed after a year as an added “incentive” to find employment.

Steve Ford, Chief Executive at Parkinson’s UK, said: “These latest figures are an utter disgrace and serve to underline just how little theGovernment cares…

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You need risk to live well with dementia

I have always favoured a risk enablement approach in my practice as a nurse. My take on it is, there are some things in life that can only be learnt the hard way. This doesn’t equate to a throw them in the deep end and they will learn to swim approach, but it does mean supporting and helping people to balance risk, learn and grow.