Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone has had a happy and restful break. I certainly did, but have had to cram a couple of weeks work into five days in order to catch up!

Hence the lateness of the greeting.

One of the things that makes Christmas for me is the BBC.

It all starts with the Christmas Radio Times, and then Carols From Kings, The Reith lectures, The Royal Society Christmas Lectures and delightfully this year Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens!

The Reith Lectures by Professor Atul Gawande were a huge pleasure this year and I can highly recommend them.

Click here to go the BBC website to listen to them

The first lecture explores the topic of why doctors fail, and explores the factors which affect medicine, Ignorance (lack of knowledge) and Ineptitude (failure to use existing knowledge).

The second lecture is titled the century of the system,  and interestingly describes some simple systems that care and nursing homes would do well to copy.

Lecture three is about the problem of hubris and looks at the issues of aging and death and how society has a problem recognising the limits of what professionals can do.

The final lecture the idea of wellbeing is for me the highlight, and explores ideas around end of life care and assisted dying.

If nothing else, for me, the whole series re enforces the importance of the fact that people providing care need to care. A simple concept,but one that’s often overlooked.

Do Not Resuscitate, DNR/DNAR

Yesterdays High Court ruling clarifying the basis for the use of these notices is very welcome, and it’s been a long time coming.

To clarify a DNR-Do Not Resuscitate or DNAR-Do Not Attempt to Resuscitate notice, lets medical personnel know how urgently to treat the person if they have a life threatening crisis.

Clearly there are cases when the quality of life balance weighs on the side of leaving the person to pass. Personal choice plays a large part in this, and making ones wishes known!

I had an aunt who had been a nurse all her life, who made it clear to us all she didn’t want people “jumping up on down” on her chest if she keeled over.

I always advise families to be aware of these notices, and have come across case of people and their family being unaware of one being in place, such as in Janet Tracey’s case.

This ruling will help to prevent that happening in future.