Sunday, 13 April 2014

3 Nations in 7 Days, Compassion and Evidence Practice, Muslim Prisoners and Goats on the Pill

Last week was a week of numbers. Over the week I've been in 3 different countries, Scotland, England and Wales. In Scotland I was finishing my holiday, England I was working and Wales, well it was to celebrate my Mother's birthday (she tells me she's 21 again). Going to Wales was a long day but it was good to see so many of my many brothers and sisters, their partners, and children (19).  It was great to see so many friends an relatives and to spend time catching up on what people were doing or had done. 

Thursday, it was our student led pre-registration nurse conference looking at compassion and evidence practice. Sam Sherrington (Head of Nursing and Midwifery Strategy, NHS England) was the students key note speaker. Sam talked of the great progress being made to the implementation of the 6Cs plans for action. The students then presented the work that they had been involved with. This included the RADAR programme (Recognition of the Acutely Deteriorating patient with Appropriate Response), the Student Quality Ambassadors Scheme and a number of poster presentations around compassion fatigue, 6Cs across the life span and care pathways for those at the end of their life. The 70 tweets sent during the conference really did capture the high quality of presentations and discussions. Well done to all involved.

Well done also to my colleague Muzammil Quraishi, one of our Schools criminology Senior Lecturers’ who was in the news last week. He was part of the debate exploring the notion that many young Muslim men are under the official gaze of the State from their school days onwards, and can become ‘suspect populations’ in the eyes of law enforcement agencies. It seems there is something in what Muzammil has to say. The UK Ministry of Justice have reported that the number of Muslims in the prison population has reached nearly 12000 over the last 10 years. Whilst Muslims represent only 4.7% of the population in England and Wales, 1 in 7 prisoners (14%) is a Muslim. With 33% of these prisoners being under the age of 25, it’s worth noting that between 2003-2010 there were 143 deaths of young people in prison.

Another unsettling reading last week was the story on Friday that the current test used to predict how aggressive a tumour is in prostrate cancer, underestimates the severity of the disease in 50% of all cases. Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in UK. There are nearly 42000 new cases and nearly 11000 deaths each year. Current guidelines advise that men with low-grade, early stage cancers are offered the choice of an operation to remove the prostate (often leading to problematic side-effects) or active surveillance – with a 50% chance of getting it right it’s not much of a choice really.


My favourite story of last week, was told by Sally Pidcock, the Great Orme Countryside Warden, on Farming Today (I find listening to radio 4 programme a wonderful way to start my working day).This was the story of the annual count of goats who live on Great Orme in Wales. The population had grown too large (220 goats), and so 75% of the female goats had been put on the contraceptive pill. However a large number of kids have been seen already this year, prompting worries that some goats might be ‘forgetting’ to take their pill every day. And the final score of children and grandchildren (kids ?) seems to be my parents 7, me 5 (+8) Philip 2 (+1), Peter 3, Ruth 2 (+1) Christopher 4 (+1), Mark 2, Sarah 2 (+ 2) and the Great Orme goats 100 (+20)