Showing posts with label the NHS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the NHS. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

NHS news: Tesco Extra: Royal Las Vegas: Chicken charmer: Got orf my land: and Rubber Duck Debugging.

Not a lot of light stuff at the Castle this morn, the liquid metal in the gauge has descended to a more reasonable level, the garden is in need of a fettle-again and his Maj has discovered the joy of vanilla ice cream.
Not sure if there will be a post tomorrow-I have an early appointment with the tooth puller, hence the rather endless rambling today.

And apparently over the seas our dear old NHS is still being “Reformed”, it seems that high-profile NHS hospitals in England are to be encouraged by the government to set up profit-making branches abroad to help fund services in the UK.
An agency will aim to link hospitals such as Great Ormond Street with foreign governments that want access to British-run health services.
Investment would have to be drawn from hospitals' private UK work, but with profits ploughed back into the NHS.

Meanwhile, before the Health and Social Care Bill actually passes into ignominy in the leaning tower of Westminster tonight NHS trusts have been pre-empting the “reforms”.
Thousands of staff have already been laid off, meaning the existing management bodies - primary care trusts - have had to merge during the transition.
At a local level, GPs have been forming themselves into groups - known as clinical commissioning groups - for the past 18 months. They will be the bodies that take responsibility for spending 60% of the NHS budget.
There are now 240 of them, although that could change if some of the smaller ones merge as has been happening in the past few months.
1 April (vey apt) 2013 marks the day the new NHS is born. Strategic health authorities and PCTs will be abolished, leaving the GP-led groups and the national board to take on their full functions.
However, the board will retain ultimate responsibility for the budget for those groups which have not been authorised to take full control of the purse strings.
Meanwhile, local authorities will take control of public health - something they used to do up until the mid 1970s.
This will mean directors of public health, currently employed by PCTs, will move across to local government and, on a practical level, schemes designed to encourage healthier lifestyles will be organised by local councils.
A new body, Public Health England, will be created within the Department of Health to take a lead on the issue.
From April, competition in the health service will be extended to include a host of community services such as physiotherapy and podiatry - it is already available to patients who are undergoing non-emergency operations such as knee and hip replacements.

Which brings me to THIS
Eight NHS trusts have been warned about anti-competitive behaviour over the way they ran their private patient units.
The trusts - all based in south-east England - were reported to the Office of Fair Trading by a whistleblower after they exchanged information about pricing.
They escaped a formal investigation by giving voluntary assurances they would no longer discuss pricing.
They have also agreed to train their staff in competition law.
The exchange of commercially sensitive pricing information can result in higher prices for customers as it can diminish incentives to compete on price.
The OFT has the power to impose large financial penalties when such practices are uncovered.
But in this case the regulator decided not to carry out a formal investigation as it judged the exchange of information was down to a lack of awareness.
The eight trusts involved were: Brighton and Sussex, Frimley Park, East Sussex Healthcare, Portsmouth, Dartford and Gravesham, Southampton, Epsom and St Helier, North Hertfordshire and my very favourite butcher’s shop- Frimley Park,
Deborah Jones, of the OFT, said: "We welcome the assurances given by these trusts which have enabled us to bring our preliminary investigation to a close."

Oh well as long as they have promised......

Tesco could be fined up to £200,000 after foreign students at one of its warehouses were found to be working illegally.
Authorities found the students, of almost a dozen nationalities, were working significantly longer hours than their visas allowed at the warehouse operated by Britain’s biggest supermarket chain.

The breaches were discovered after immigration officials swooped on the building in Croydon, south London, last month.

It is understood that at least seven of the students, none of whom has been identified, have been deported. It follows Home Office operations to put a stop to “visa abuse”.

Officials discovered the students, who were predominantly of Bangladeshi and Indian origin, had been working up to three-and-a-half times longer than their visas allowed.

The Daily Telegraph understands that a further 15 students remain under investigation. The Home Office would say only that inquiries were “ongoing”.

Tesco was subsequently issued with a “notification of potential liability”. Authorities are now deciding whether to go further and issue the employer with a notification of liability, and a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker. The Home Office said the company needed to provide “evidence that it was carrying out the legally required checks to avoid a fine”.

The retailer said it was “co-operating fully” with the UKBA, adding that it had tightened its procedures. It did not condone employing illegal workers.

Yeah right, still every little helps...their profits...

Allegedly a certain ginger haired squaddy has been spotted partying poolside with Hollywood royalty at a Las Vegas casino.
The third-in-line heir to England's throne was at Wet Republic on Saturday, an exclusive club at the MGM Grand which was hosting a party celebrating the start of Jennifer Lopez's tour with Enrique Inglesias, People reported.
The shirtless royal reportedly went largely unnoticed, with J-Lo attracting all the attention.
He sipped Grey Goose and chatted with his entourage, a small group of male friends, and some girls who had joined the group.

The next day he was seen again sipping vodka and beer and throwing inflatable beach balls at passing women.

That night he went to a VIP pool party and jumped into the water in his jeans.

Alright for some....

No guns, no traps, just his wits and a song.

Watch as the man above sings for his supper.

Must try that....sorry about the sound, click on the link over the video and watch the original.

A German farmer poured manure on a group of trance music fans who organized an improvised open air festival on his land, the N-24 TV channel reported.
At first, the elderly farmer from the northern German province of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania tried to persuade about 40 Goa trance fans, who gathered at his field without permission, to end their party.
When they refused, he drove a tank-truck with manure to the place, took a hose and turned the faucet on.
The participants, who had to immediately end their party for apparent reasons, complained to police about damage done to their cars, tents and other property, which they estimated at 5,000 euro ($6,100).
The incident is being probed by local prosecutors, who are to decide whether a case should be launched. 

Slurry with a fringe on top?

And finally:

Rubber duck debugging, Rubber Ducking, or the Rubber Duckie Test is an informal term used in software engineering to refer to a method of debugging code. The name is a reference to an apocryphal story in which an unnamed expert programmer would keep a rubber duck by his desk at all times, and debug his code by forcing himself to explain it, line-by-line, to the duck.

To use this process, a programmer meticulously explains code to an inanimate object, such as a rubber duck, in the expectation that upon reaching a piece of incorrect code and trying to explain it, the programmer will notice the error.  In describing what the code is supposed to do and observing what it actually does, any incongruity between these two becomes apparent.

In a nutshell, a software engineer places a generic rubber duckie on your desk. Every time you make a big coding decision or implementation, you explain how it all works to the rubber duckie. If you find yourself straining for an explanation, or if you find yourself unable to even come up with something logical, stop. The duckie has served its purpose -- it's helped you expose a bug or design flaw or implementation flaw that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.

Thank him/her upstairs that I got out of computers....

And today’s thought:
Do you really want me to tell you?


Monday, 9 May 2011

The NHS-will U-turn Cam listen?: The English language and the EU: Plane cooking: Head heads back to NZ: Ant Zombies: and Feathertail Gliders.

‘Tis sunny, calm and warmish at the Castle this morn, the sky water has stopped, the Honda is red again and the butler has returned from his hols.

The five solar powered garden lights I ordered arrived on Saturday, I bought them so that I could wander around the grounds in my Jim-jams at night without crashing into things as the butler refuses to walk in front with a lantern.

Anyway with great excitement I assembled them and put them in strategic places, and waited for the dark thing to come-nothing-dark as a Tory’s soul.

 So, I waited another day and on Sunday night-nothing-black as a LibDems policies.

I was thinking of phoning the “company” to have a “quiet” word when I decided to have another look at one, inside the dome thingy was an on-off switch which of course was in the “off” position.

Switched them all “on” and took them to the dark walk in cupboard up the spiral staircase-and there was light!

Which goes to prove that there is nothing like a Daft Old Fart, mind you, the manufacturer could have put a note in telling me.

The Royal College of GPs says the government needs to rewrite a key part of its Health Bill which encourages greater competition.

Dr Clare Gerada, the chair of the college, says otherwise the bill risks "unravelling and dismantling" the NHS.

The government says it wants competition based on quality not price to deliver better results for patients.

It is looking at the role of choice and competition as part of its listening exercise on the Health Bill.

Some parts of the government plans are welcomed, such as the greater involvement of GPs in buying and planning care.

But it also challenges the need for a greater market in healthcare and for the first time calls for the entire section on competition in the bill to be rewritten.

Why the need for “reform”, why the need for “competition”, why, why?

The head of the European Parliament's London information office has warned of a "serious problem".

Only 5% of the jobs in the European Parliament and Commission are taken by British workers - although the UK contains 12% of the EU's population.

The government is aiming to reverse a decline in language study in schools.

On Monday, for the first time, the European Parliament and European Union are holding an open day for UK school leavers and graduates encouraging them to think of a career in Brussels or Strasbourg.

Michael Shackleton, who runs the European Parliament's communications operation in the UK, said: "People like me are coming to retirement and it’s very clear there are not enough people to take our places.

Who bleedin cares? Just get us out of the damn thing.

Airline food with a difference – and the prices are far from sky high.

Chef Tony Caunce has opened up his DC6 Diner inside a Douglas DC6 aircraft which stopped flying three and a half years ago.

Now customers can enjoy an aviation-themed menu based on the names of old military aircraft in the restaurant at Coventry Airport.

It includes 8oz Rapide steak, Vampire gammon, Bomber T-bone steak and a Meteor marinade fillet.

Diners can also look into the cockpit of the transatlantic prop-engine plane. And waiters can be summoned with the original call buttons used on a flight to bring a stewardess.

And unlike the Airbus, there is no fear of it falling out of the sky.

The tattooed, shrunken head of a Maori warrior starts a long voyage home to New Zealand today when France hands the mystic relic back more than a century after explorers took it away.

At the town hall in Rouen, north-west of Paris, Maori elders will perform chants, prayers and other rituals to honour the dead man, a relic of the ancient practice of mummification of Maori killed in battle.

The head, which tribal custom forbids from being photographed or filmed, will be handed over to the Maori in a box by officials from the town and the Museum of Rouen, which has housed it since 1875, organisers said.

Maori will chant "invocations and solemn tributes to the dead warrior, who will be returned the very next day to his native land in order to find his final resting place," the museum said in a statement.

The restitution follows a four-year political struggle, which ended last year when the French Senate voted a law allowing the return to New Zealand of all Maori human heads held in France - estimated to number between 12 and 15.

A computerised image of the Rouen head from the museum gives a haunting impression of a high-cheek boned youth, masked with swirling green tattoos, with a crooked-toothed grimace and a gruesome gash where one eye should be.

Sounds like me after writing each post.

Grim details about how a fungus turns forest ants into 'zombies' to control their behaviour before killing them have been uncovered by scientists.

Like an alien invader from Dr Who, the parasitic fungus takes over the brains and bodies of tropical carpenter ants.

The insects, which normally live high in the forest canopy, stagger and fall to the ground. Attempting to climb back up, they get no further than an 'understory' spot with ideal conditions for fungal reproduction.

There they die, their mandibles (crushing organs in the mouth) locked in a 'death grip' on leaves about 25cm above the ground where the air is cool and moist.

A few days later, the fungus erupts from the ant's head and releases spores to be picked up by other victims.

Scientists investigating infected carpenter ants in Thailand discovered that the fungus fills the body and heads of the insects, causing muscles to waste away and forcing the muscle fibres apart.

It also gets into the ant's central nervous system, producing 'zombies' which walk randomly and suffer convulsions, causing them to tumble out of the trees.

Fungal cells multiplying in the ant's head detach the mandible muscles, locking the jaws.

Nice…now we know what is wrong with the U-turn Coalition…

And finally:

Feathertail gliders come out only at night and are tiny creatures, growing to a maximum length of 8cm.

They are the smallest members of the glider family, but what they lack in size they make up for in agility, being able to glide 20m between branches.

Taronga Zoo has had a bumper glider-breeding season. Twenty-three joeys have been born in the past two months, taking the zoo's population to 48.

Zoo spokesman Mark Williams said Feathertail gliders were common in Sydney and along Australia's east coast.

"But unless you're out at midnight with a set of infra-red goggles, you won't see them," Mr Williams said.

"People don't even know they're there, but they're quite remarkable animals.

"They're tiny, but they can glide for metres and metres. If you and I tried to glide, we wouldn't get very far."

A skin membrane that stretches between the hind and fore legs allows gliders to soar between trees.

"They also have serrated pads on their toes, similar to frogs and geckos, and can cling to smooth surfaces such as painted walls," Mr Williams said.

Taronga Zoo's "reverse daytime" exhibit allows visitors to view Feathertail gliders in a nocturnal setting.

They are not a threatened species, but Mr Williams said domestic cats were a predator and householders often mistook gliders for mice when their cats brought them home.

Oh bless….

And today’s thought: That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." -- Neil A. Armstrong-A thin man left planet, ran; makes a large stride; pins flag on moon! On to Mars!