Do you have a damp home? Do you need an affordable home? Contact Councillor Phil Twiss to get your problems sorted!

It seems councillor Twiss is a modern-day superhero – able to help you with just about any problem you might come across.

So, if you live in Honiton, do contact him:

Telephone: 01404 891327
Address: Swallowcliff, Beacon, Honiton, EX14 4TT

or at DCC:

True, he hasn’t so far sorted East Devon’s broadband not-spots, wasn’t able to halt the closure of Honiton Hospital’s community beds or stop Baker Estates from weaselling out of their affordable housing commitments and the ‘fillip’ to Honiton’s jobs and shops when the EDDC HQ moves to Honiton will be at the expense of Sidmouth … but these are just minor hiccoughs … aren’t they?

NHS discriminates against older people … says former old people’s tsar

“The NHS is discriminating against older people, Dame Joan Bakewell has claimed, as she said she had been denied access to a vaccination for shingles and mammograms because of her age.

Dame Joan, the former ‘older people’s tsar’ for the government said she was concerned that the health service was prioritising younger people for preventative treatment and screening.

The 85-year-old broadcaster and Labour peer, said older people would be left to ‘fend for themselves’ unless the NHS realised the value of keeping pensioners healthy.

Speaking on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, Dame Joan said: “Something is going wrong. I went to my local clinic I would like to have a mammogram again and I have been having them all my life, and I stay healthy, and I’ve resolved to stay healthy and they said, no you don’t automatically get called in now.

“Now that also happens to shingles. It’s a very horrible illness and there are now vaccines for people who are old because the risk of shingles increases with age especially if you had chickenpox as a child. And I applied for that. No you aren’t eligible for shingles.

“So what is happening? Is the health service saying, well the old they’ve had their lives we’ve got bigger priorities, it doesn’t matter.

“Given the problems of our finances, we’ll put the money with younger people rather than old, is that what’s happening? In which case the old are going to have to fend for themselves.”

Dame Joan said she was denied the shingles vaccine because she was too old
Dame Joan said she was raising the issue following the recent NHS breast cancer scandal in which 450,000 older women failed to receive screenings, which may have shortened the lives of 270 and led to thousands of missed cancer diagnosis.

Currently women are only offered screening up to the age of 70, because it was felt that by then the harms of over-diagnosis outweight the risk of cancer. However trials are currently underway to find out if it would be beneficial to extend screening to 73.

Older people are also only allowed the shingles vaccine up to the age of 79.

Dame Joan said prevention was extremely important to keep older people healthy and save the NHS money.

“There are more older people and they are very concerned about their health and it would save the health service money if they avoid illness

“Believe me, when you are over 70 (prevention) is very important. And I know that’s true of all my generation. We’re eager to stay fit, we want help in doing it, but we don’t want to fall off the radar. We need to be told about these things.”

Asked by Robert Peston whether it amount to a scandal, Dame Joan said: “Well I’m not sure that it is yet, but I am eager to find out what is happening here, to people who are over 70, over 80, people are living into their 90s.”

Austerity and our NHS: in the relegation zone in football terms

Owl says: so, in football terms England has 8 men playing in a game with a full Barcelona premier, super-fit 11-person team. With our 8-person team consisting of six people waiting for hip operations and 2 blocking beds awaiting their home care packages!

“… The stark findings come from a new King’s Fund analysis of health data from 21 countries, collected by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. They reveal that only Poland has fewer doctors and nurses than the UK, while only Canada, Denmark and Sweden have fewer hospital beds, and that Britain also falls short when it comes to scanners.

“If the 21 countries were a football league then the UK would be in the relegation zone in terms of the resources we put into our healthcare system, as measured by staff, equipment and beds in which to care for patients,” said Siva Anandaciva, the King’s Fund’s chief analyst.

“If you look across all these indicators – beds, staffing, scanners – the UK is consistently below the average in the resources we give the NHS relative to countries such as France and Germany. Overall, the NHS does not have the level of resources it needs to do the job we all expect it to do, given our ageing and growing population, and the OECD data confirms that,” he added.

The report concludes that, given the dramatic differences between Britain and other countries: “A general picture emerges that suggests the NHS is under-resourced.”

The thinktank’s research found that the UK has the third-lowest number of doctors among the 21 nations, with just 2.8 per 1,000 people, barely half the number in Austria, which has 5.1 doctors per 1,000 of population.

Similarly, the UK has the sixth-smallest number of nurses for its population: just 7.9 per 1,000 people – way behind Switzerland, which has the most: 18 nurses, more than twice as many.

With hospital beds, the UK has just 2.6 for every 1,000 people, just over a third of the number in Germany, which has the most – 8.1 beds – and which places the UK 18th overall out of the 21 countries which the OECD gathered figures for. The number of hospital beds in England has halved over the last 30 years and now stands at about 100,000, though the NHS added about 4,000 more as an emergency measure in December, January and February to help it cope with the spike in patient numbers caused by the long, cold winter.”