Are the public being listened to?

This is a current Editorial in the BMJ:
Below are a few extracts from this editorial: In a similar vein to Carl Heneghan, I have outlined that there is a problem with the E in CME (Continuing Medical Education)

Sharing the BMJ Editors concerns about a failure of the Academy of Medical Sciences to take necessary action to ensure trust in science (EBM) and education (CME) this response was submitted:

“We could not agree more with Dr Tom Robinson in that we can only gain the trust of the public if we listen to them. One of us (Dr Peter J Gordon) raised a petition with the Scottish Parliament to consider a Sunshine Act for Scotland, and as part of this a consultation was undertaken with the Scottish public. The majority of those consulted agreed that it should be mandatory for all financial conflicts of interest to be declared on a public register. The Academy of Medical Sciences has gone no further than recommending the development of “frameworks for declaring and managing interests” . We would suggest that this will do nothing to restore the public’s trust.”

Dr Peter J Gordon and Dr Sian F Gordon

At the end of the corridor


Doctors loath to disclose their mental health issues

Doctors Loath to disclose their mental health issues (May 2015)

This report, from the BMJ, reminds me of when I attended the Scottish Parliament on the 6th January 2015. This was for a debate on mental health. I sat next to my friend Chrys Muirhead. Together we made up 2/3rds of the gallery who watched the debate from start to finish.


Following the debate I made this Hole Ousia post and sent it to a number of MSPs. A few replied, but this did not include Jamie Hepburn, MSP, whose ministerial role is to lead on mental health.

This blog-post is about stigma. It was obvious to me watching the parliamentary debate that it is not just doctors who may “loath to disclose their mental health issues”.

Not one MSP took the opportunity to talk of any personal mental health issues. They were however comfortable to describe mental health issues of  constituents or family members.

“battling” [the] “horrible”

Last Sunday I watched and listened to the Secretary State of Health on BBC One:Jeremy Hunt2 The Secretary of state began:battling horrible - J Hunt1 Politicians often use military metaphors when discussing health and care:battle definitionOur Prime Minister, David Cameron, has, along with the Alzheimer’s Society, led this “fighting talk”:

Fighting talk from omphalos on Vimeo.

Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary State of Health, continued from Westminster:They tend - J Hunt1I was struck by the Secretary of State’s use of the word “tend”. Here is the dictionary definition:tend definitionIs it accurate, based on epidemiology and established science, to say that those over the age of 70 “tend to have” dementia? Might this add to fear? Might this even be a form of ageism?

Dr Margaret McCartney said in her recent BMJ column ” we need a revolution where patients truly come first, not politicians.”NHS emancipation from government 18-4-15