#TOTW (from 24-06-14): “The Pain Detective”

It’s been a very varied week of tweeting this week, encompassing most of the “usual” topics. The one that sticks out for me, and this week’s #TOTW was a retweet that I took from @mosaicscience:

RT Brilliant film about and the management of chronic pain

Here they followed a guy called Colin Froy as he visited one of the major drugs companies to find out how they produce their drugs. The link to the film can be found below. It lasts about 30 minutes, but it is well worth the time, as what he discovered, I think should be of interest to all of us that use drugs in some way on a regular basis:

I was sad to learn at the end of the video/documentary that Colin has since passed away. I think it’s great that his family are allowing this video to be shown. It’s a really educational video.

Please take the time to watch it and learn something about how drugs are developed, some of the science behind it, and how dugs get to market.

Until next week…



#TOTW (19-06-2014): ‘Dementia progress ‘achingly slow’ says global envoy’

In a week dominated by talk of dementia, I decided that this week’s #TOTW is:

‘Dementia progress ‘achingly slow’ says global envoy’ via


I think Dr.Gillings sums it up far better than I could, so:

“Dementia is a ticking bomb costing the global economy £350bn and yet progress with research is achingly slow. Research must become more attractive to pharmaceuticals so they will invest and innovate.

“Just as the world came together in the fight against HIV/Aids, we need to free up regulation so that we can test groundbreaking new drugs, and examine whether the period for market exclusivity could be extended.

“Without this radical change, we won’t make progress in the fight against dementia.”

If you look at the figures on the BBC link, then you will see that Government spending on dementia research is almost 1/10th that which is spent on cancer research, and although I’m not suggesting that one is more worthy than the other, clearly there needs to be a re-balancing of the proportion here. The Government has pledged to increase spending by about £14 millions by next year. Clearly a drop in the ocean, and not something that is going to help the massive push needed to come up with either a preventative drug or a cure for this extremely debilitating disease.

Until next week…

#TOTW (from 15-06-14): ‘Hospital patients to get named doctor’

This week’s #TOTW is:

‘Hospital patients to get named doctor’ via

To me this is not something that is new and a good idea, and wouldn’t it be nice to have. To have a named doctor who is responsible for your care in hospital, and someone that you have met and can talk to about your care, or the care of a relative/loved one is a fundamental right. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges was asked by the Government to draw up guidelines following the Francis Report into the scandal at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust:


To have a “The Name over the Bed” of your senior doctor is one of the suggestions from their report:


There’s not really much to say about this, other than it should be implemented as soon as possible, as it goes to the heart of patient care and maintaining patient dignity in hospital. Patients have the right to know who is responsible for their care in order to help them feel that they are not just one of many on a list (which of course in one respect they are), but that they do have someone who is overseeing the care they are receiving. Patients meet many people during a stay in hospital, and knowing peoples names is an absolute basic, as I have tweeted and blogged about before in relation to the #hellomynameis campaign.

So to all the health professionals out there, please, please, please continue to introduce yourself to your patients, and explain to them who you are and what you are doing. It’s such a simple thing to do, yet one that can make such a big difference to how patients feel.

That’s it for this week, see you next week! Who knows what the topic will be about this time next week…I certainly don’t!

#TOTW (from 04-06-14): ‘It’s not all doom and gloom in the NHS’

This week was a difficult choice to make, but in the end I decided to go with:

‘It’s not all doom and gloom for the NHS’ via


All too often the NHS is criticised for being under-resourced and over-worked, which of course it is and always will be! I don’t believe there will ever be a time in which we could stand back and say right, we have enough staff and there is plenty of money in the budget! Let’s just learn to accept this and praise the NHS for the great institution that it is, and the amazing work that is done day in, day out by so many people.

Listen to Rob Webster’s (Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation) conference speech here:


So, whatever your views on the NHS, how it performs and how it should be funded in the future, just remember how lucky we are to have such a service here in the UK and not to take it for granted!

Bring on the next week of tweeting!

Longitude Prize 2014 – Vote now!!!

How to chose? With all 6 of the “challenges” – Food, Paralysis, Dementia, Flight, Antibiotics and Water – being worthy of further financial investment, how do you possibly choose between them? How about *YOU* invest just under an hour of your time and then make your mind up!

Personally for me, it’s between Dementia and Antibiotics, though I haven’t actually decided yet! You may feel that £10 millions won’t make much of a difference to any of the above, given their magnitude. However, I feel that it’s more about getting people involved in deciding which of the projects they feel is deserving of the investment. Better to have at least some element of public involvement, rather than it being decided by others on our behalf. Who knows, the entrant that wins this year’s Longitude Prize and receives the £10 millions award may go on to discover new treatments, processes or technology that turn out to be as revolutionary as that produced by John Harrison, a clockmaker and winner of the very first Longitude Prize:


Voting closes at 19.10hrs on June 25, 2014 so please, please, please get involved and VOTE NOW!



#TOTW (from 29-05-14): ‘Human vs superbug: Too late to turn the tide?’

A few months ago, at the end of each week’s tweeting, I started to pick one of my tweets/retweets and post it again as my ‘Tweet of the Week’ or #TOTW. This has usually been for a topic that is important to me for one reason or another, or just something that I feel deserves more “airtime.”

From today I have decided to start posting my #TOTW on my website, in order that I might write a few words about it. This may literally just be a few words, or a bit more depending on the subject and the time I have. Whatever it is I write, I will just have more opportunity than Twitter, with it’s 140 characters!

So from all the topics I have tweeted about this last week I chose:

‘Human vs superbug: Too late to turn the tide?’ from

I chose this topic, as it is hugely important, and one which is in the press/media a lot lately. I don’t actually have a whole lot to say about it, other than, please take a look at the link from the BBCiWonder website and see if there is anything you didn’t already know about antibiotic resistance, and what you can do to help fight it.

If the subject is of interest to you, then please have a scroll through my Twitter-feed and you’ll find a number of links to the topic, as it’s something I regularly tweet about. In fact I tweeted about it first thing this morning! 🙂