Saturday, January 1, 2011

H1N1 (Swine Flu) Vaccine - Tory Government For God Sake Get A Grip!

At least now we now know why the Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, did not want to advertise encouraging people to take this year's flu-vaccine up incredibly it looks like *He Has FAILED To order Enough Supplies*. Worryingly, now when the country looks to be heading for a serious flu epidemic, we have run short of vaccine and surprise, surprise NOT, we are now being urged to BUY our vaccine from Boots, Tescos and other Tory supporting establishments! However, some branches of Tescos pharmacies are now reporting that they too have run out of vaccine.

And really given this government's absolute resolution to privatise as much of the NHS as they can get away with, is it any surprise that the Conservative government are planning to sell PCT's and NHS Direct and NHS walk in Centers to Boots and Bupa? And that Sainsburys have given over highly valuable commercial floor space *FREE* of charge to groups of GP private businesses (consortia) to set up surgeries in supermarkets?

If you read my blog yesterday and previously, you will see that one of the questions I wanted to ask Andrew Lansley, was indeed about supplies and stocks of the vaccine. I had heard weeks ago that there was likely to be a shortage and that also weeks ago the supply of Tamiflu suspension for children was in very short supply. If I knew weeks ago, why then didn't the Government and Andrew Lansley? It is their job to know, or are we to assume that they did know and rather than spend money on ordering enough vaccine and anti-virals to protect all of the country's citizens, they decided to take one huge gamble in the H1N1 virus not being as bad as it was being reported to be, like last year? Well if Andrew Lansley had done his homework properly and if the interim Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies had also been more on the ball, they would know of course that it is the second year of a "pandemic" that is often the worse and they would have taken the correct precautions to protect the nations as best as they possible could!

Now the Department of Health have released a statement informing us that there is not a shortage, despite GP surgeries reporting they have run out!

I would also like to put it to Mr Lansley, that even if there were stocks for every single person and they took up the offer of a free vaccination, it would now be too late as we are nearing the peak of the flu-season. I explained on yesterday's report that the flu-vaccine takes around 2 weeks to give partial immunity and about 4 weeks to give full immunity to the strains of flu contained in the vaccine. The time to have organised this campaign was last year, when the previous Labour government had *ALREADY* done so.
The question must also be asked of Mr Lansley, why he cancelled the arrangements already put in place for this year's *EXPECTED* flu epidemic and referred to Labour's arrangements as "unnecessary and too costly"? And put absolutely *NOTHING* in their place!
The whole thing has now descended into debacle with chaos and confusion, with GP surgeries reporting they have run out of vaccine and some surgeries reporting they have no idea when stocks will be replenished. Less than half of those in the "at risk" groups have taken up the vaccine. And now that the government has finally caved into pressure to run an advertising flu awareness campaign, the take up of the vaccine will see demand for it soar, so where are the stocks to supply need?  Have we got them or not?

The last entry to CAS about vaccine and anti-viral supplies was on 23rd December 2010 - again this points to gross professional misconduct, as Andrew Lansley has know about the possibility of this problem since early September 2010.

Vaccine Update For 23rd  December 2010
Read Letter from: Dr Keith Ridge - Chief Pharmaceutical Officer

What the hell is going on in Lansley's Department of Health? He needs to get a grip on this and fast!

How much Vaccine is available to the Government to order?
Has the government ordered enough vaccine for children?
Why are they now advising GP surgeries to contact PCTs and neighbouring surgeries to beg for more supplies of vaccine?
Has Lansley ordered in enough supplies of "Tamiflu"?
Has Lansley ordered enough supplies of paediatric Tamiflu?

  • Half the country’s intensive care beds have been given over to the 738 flu patients fighting for their lives.
  • Many critical units are full and some dangerously-ill patients are being transferred to hospitals more than 40 miles away.
  • NHS Trusts have cancelled vital cancer operations and heart surgery to ensure life-support machines are kept free.
  • The shortage of jabs raises the possibility that many more people will need hospital treatment in the coming weeks.
"Geoff Martin, of the NHS pressure group London Health Emergency, said the situation was ridiculous.
‘The Government have just launched their flu awareness campaign and now there is a vaccine shortage,’ he added.
‘Clearly there has been a complete lack of planning as is always the case whenever the country faces any sort of crisis.’
Mothers trying to get the jab for their very young children before they return to school next week are also being told there are no vaccines.
The Government has decided not to give the jabs to the under-5s on the NHS – even though they are hardest hit by this year’s outbreak. Some parents have responded by paying privately."

It is no good the Department of Health now trying to pin the blame for this debacle on GPs - the GPC was warning the government about this weeks ago and the Department of Health declined several pleas to run an information campaign encouraging people to take up the  this year's seasonal flu-vaccine, the please fell on deaf ears, with the DH arrogantly responding that they "had no intention of relenting to pressure", when concerned GPs and other health groups tried to make them aware of the looming crisis.
Again I ask this serious question, if the Conservative Government and Andrew Lansley cannot even organise this, when half of the work was done for them BEFORE they came to office, by the previous Labour Government, (which the Tories arrogantly destroyed and tossed aside) then how on earth can the Tories and Lansley be trusted to carry through the most radical reforms of the NHS since its very conception?

I have pointed out on numerous occasions, about the sheer amount of work and organisation it takes to reform just one very small branch of the NHS, it is not only the organisation that must be carefully planned and accounted for, it is the "knock on effect" that changing one thing has in its implications on other departments, patients and staff. It is obvious that Lansley and this Conservative Government simply do not have the intellect to carry through this kind of reorganisation and unless they are stopped from interfering in the NHS and trying to fix something that is NO LONGER broken, then not only does this spell chaos, confusion and mayhem for the health of our nation, it spells abject danger and a serious threat to loss of life, across all departments in the NHS.

Here is a classic example of how GP led consortia will repeatedly fall very short of providing the first class service they are to replace. The first sign of trouble and the government are trying to blame GPs and GPs are trying to blame the Government and the nation is stuck in the middle of this Government created medical chaos.
The majority of GPs do NOT want this consortia, it is about time the Government woke up and listened to them.

This government's radical changes in the NHS have nothing at all to do with improving patient care, these radical reforms are purely politically motivated and ideological, this governments wants to cut NHS spending first by £20 billion and then by a further £10bn per year until they have succeeded in privatising it completely. it is time the Government of abject liars told us the truth about their plans.

By the way where is the Interim Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies? I have only seen her once during this flu outbreak! And what she had to say appeared to have been penned by the Department of Health.
Concerning antivirals for children, I would like to ask Andrew Lansley if there is any truth in what I have been told, that paediatric Tamiflu is now in short supply? And that if Tamiflu does become depleted, that marketing authorisation for Tamiflu now includes the emptying of adult dosage capsules into a suitable dilutent, with appropriate volume to be administered to the child depending on age and weight?

How long will this go on for before a child is given the incorrect dosage? Who is going to make these "make-shift" child suspensions up? The pharmacist? The GP? Hospital Pharmacies? Parents? Who?

And how much further strain is this going to load onto the system that is already cracking under the weight of total incompetence, and the Government's negligence in getting to grips with this BEFORE it got to this stage?


John Green said...

Dear Gracie,

Happy New Year!

I see that, despite the holiday break, your knickers remain in a twist.

The campaign this year to combat winter influenza and H1N1 involved GP surgeries writing to everyone on the target list with an appointment for a vaccination. Those patients who did not respond received a follow-up letter. Patients who still did not respond have chosen so to do. There is enough vaccine in the pipeline for the expected demand.

We all appreciate why you have joined forces with the Daily Mail to run your scare stories but I think you should stick to praying for a "double-dip" recession.

Gracie Samuels said...

I think John should go back to Conservative central office at Millbank Towers, and ask them to at least give him the truth from which to network with.

Some doctors do as he suggests, while others do not.
The GPC ( General Practitioners Committee) contacted the DH (Department of Health) several times to ask for a swine flu awareness campaign and were told it was "not necessary and too costly" - FACT

The DH was told back in October that take up of this year flu vaccine (which contained the H1N1 strain) was slow and sluggish and asked for a national campaign to remind people and those at risk to take up the vaccine. This was refused - FACT

The DH also STOPPED vaccinating under fives for free, even though they KNEW they were in the high at risk group - Parents could if they wished pay for their children to be vaccinated. FACT

GP Surgeries have run short of vaccine - FACT

Supplies can be *PURCHASED PRIVATELY* through Tory supporting supermarkets and Boots - FACT

John mentions this:

The campaign this year to combat winter influenza and H1N1 involved GP surgeries writing to everyone on the target list with an appointment for a vaccination. Those patients who did not respond received a follow-up letter. Patients who still did not respond have chosen so to do. There is enough vaccine in the pipeline for the expected demand.

He puts this across like it was a national plan worked out between GPs and the DH- it was NOT - FACT

Worried GPs asking for a national flu awareness campaign were told this is what could be done, but of course GPs were already doing this and take up was still low, this is exactly why GPs were asking for a national campaign BEFORE the country got into the state it is now regarding swine flu - FACT

Incidentally, GPs were expected to to the Department of Health's work for nothing, they do not get reimbursed for phone calls or sending letters out - FACT

John treats GPs like idiots, but then so does Andrew Lansley.

And just a footnote, I read the Daily Mail article, but my information does NOT come from the Daily Mail, I leave referring to Tory papers to get information out of to cretins like John Green. All my info is taken directly from official sources like Health secretary Andrew Lansley and Stephen Dorrell Tory MP and the Department of Health and other official sources and all links are given, as John would have seen had he read this blog properly, but then I suspect that John is typical of many Tories, they live in la la land and do not want to know the truth. Well tough, because the truth is what you get on this blog and wherever possible that truth is always backed up.

With regards to the "double dip recession" comment of John's, this actually says more about him than it does about me.
The reason why I write this blog is to try and bring awareness to people to explain the truth behind what this Tory led government is doing, now that truth offends people like John, but I don't care because neither he or anyone else will stop me reporting it.

Gracie Samuels said...

I do not want a double dip recession, but John accuses me of praying for one will not stop one coming.
Hopefully we can bring this corrupt lying Tory led government down before it happens.
George Osborne is taking an unprecedented gamble with the British economy, it is quite simple really, for Osborne's plan to work, the UK must suddenly get billions of pounds worth of orders for goods we no longer manufacture, and have not manufactured since Margaret Thatcher decimated this country's manufacturing base. True Exports have picked up slightly, but nowhere near enough to enable Osborne's gamble to work and meanwhile, Osborne borrows £10bn to loan to Ireland. That was his gamble, KNOWING what a dire situation that country was in he "banked" on Ireland recovering, and the UK exports to Ireland increasing and instead of that happening, Ireland went back into a double dip recession and they show no signs of coming out of it any time soon. So despite when Osborne was in opposition he actually OPPOSED the Labour government bailing UK banks out, he (Osborne) borrowed £10bn to loan to Ireland because he knows if Ireland does not recover, and recover quickly the UK economy will slump too.

Now you ask yourselves this, what kind of blithering idiot gambles the livelihoods of everyone in the UK and gambles with the futures of all our children on an economy he KNEW was sinking? This is why Osborne borrowed £10bn to *GIVE* to Ireland. If Ireland's latest austerity measures do not work, then Ireland is sunk and so is the UK and by the way, Ireland's austerity measures have NOT worked so far and show no signs (as yet)of working and their welfare bills are rocketing, despite them cutting all benefit payments. Also Britain is very unlikely to see that £10bn we loaned to Ireland again, yet we will have to go on paying the interest payments on it as well as pay the loan down, so George Osborne has just gone an increased the UK deficit by £10 billion, although, he has probably found some way to hide it so it doesn't look as if he has. But it is still there, we still have to pay for it, never forget that!
In contrast, when Alistair Darling was chancellor, he refused to help bail Greece out because we were not in the Euro zone, Ireland of course is, so why did Osborne borrow money to loan to Ireland? The EU should have done this, it should not have been up to this country.

Remember that George Osborne was the very person that told Gordon Brown that we should be more like Ireland and do what they were doing, in fact Osborne went to Ireland, to listen and learn from them and their economy!

Today we discover that retail sales have slumped 13.6% and that is taking in Christmas and New year a sales.

Another sign that bodes ill for 2011.

Julia said...

Hi Gracie,

I see once again your fears have been founded on the economy. Latest figures show the UK economy shrank by 0.5% and unemplyment rose by over 49.000.
In the NHS polls say 1 in 4 disagree with the government.