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For my next trick …

Posted on 12 April 2011 | 4:04pm

First of all, thanks for all the responses to yesterday’s blog asking for examples of frontline cuts to mental health services. Thanks also to Mark Brown, editor of One in Four, for sending me a brilliant description of why ‘the frontline’ is different in mental health services from other aspects of NHS care.

He and the others who responded will be getting plenty of hon menshes when I speak at the Royal College of Nursing congress in Liverpool tomorrow. I am on just before health secretary Andrew Lansley arrives, but apparently post pause he is listening not speaking.

For now I want to focus on another of my causes, namely Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and efforts to get lots of new entrants for our London bikeathon on June 26. You may have seen my tweets setting out the various stages of my BMX training. You can see the results here and sign up for the bikeathon here The tricky bit is around the 39/40 second mark.

  • Arbeit Macht Fre

    Thats one hell of a come down talking about mental health, yes I know all about the problems of mental health I’m going through labours ESA medical assessment soon. laugh I nearly cried.

  • Jenny Eckersley

    Hi Alastair. I’ve just been put on to your blog by an old friend. Do you know much about the graveyards that where attached to the old asylums? Patients who spent their lives in those places often ended up buried there – during the 20th century. We have one in the village where I live in Suffolk and there is some dispute about it at present due to the antics of a property developer. Sorry to change subject from L and L research . I’m also very interested in that as a young friend has just been diagniosed….. Also in the BMX as we plan to have a track on our village rec ground very soon [if we get planning permission]….

  • Ehtch

    Alastair, I have been trying to get on the Newstatesman site for the last day, ok, I am not their average punter, I won’t claim to be, since, ahem, I am me, but I can’t get onto their site.

    Ok, I am different, but that is no excuse for them to be threatened by me, surely. You never know, while my life in one way now comes to a natural conclusion, as life does when losing the last parent, I might surprise such people, but that is in the future, ahem! NewStatesman, Ahem! Anyway Alastair, if they have blocked EhtchTee in any way, please ask them to be not so nasty.

    A video for you, Alastair, since your dad was a vet, and had to cope with animals as commodities to go to the market,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vV4nx6_o9H4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCNT_oMtFUY

    they are speaking welsh, by the way, the first form of language recorded on our islands. Da Iawn.

  • Ehtch

    Tried again. They are picking and victimising me Alastair, Newstatesman are, why, I do not know. Maybe the jurnos there feel threatened, who knows.

  • Ehtch

    Bugger it New Statesman don’t want me, even if I am a Fabian, of the welsh variety.

    NS is running scared, or is just your usual London based dinner party nonsense.

  • Ehtch

    Hust put a complaint with my internet service provider, and the are “looking into it”.

    But internet service providers are quite good at this, as many welsh people found out, when they bothered BBC rugby site they had, when they were not given the fair rub of the green, compared to the irish and the english. Scotish? Wish ther was more of them.

  • Ehtch

    NS is in crisis, it looks, with whoever, Big Brother? None can get on there.

    What the heck is going on?

  • Ehtch

    Alastair, still can’t simply put “New Statesman” in google and then click and get there.

    Something spooky is going on here, and I do not like it. It stinks.

  • Laura Payne

    NHS reforms spell the end of the NHS as we know it and introduce a whole raft of commercial policies as US style private medical insurance companies will move in to run the system for the GP’s. They will demand profitability. They will demand attention to the bottom line. They will refuse to treat condtions that are expensive or order new patients to undergo extensive medical tests as this is where they will make their money. You only have to see the mess of healthcare in the US, where the only free part – Medicare – for those not on insurance, is being threatened to be scrapped by the Republicans (US Tories) if they get into power next year, to know that this is NOT what we want in UK. Here in the US storries of people who have lost jobs and lost access to health care are struggling with huge bills for existing conditions. Children die because they are being refused life giving transplants because the bottom line is that the insurnace companies do not want to meet the costs… I could go on..what we need to ask ourselves – is this what we want here????

  • Mentalhealthnurse

    Alistair, I have just watched the archive of RCN Congress and would like to echo the appreciation given of your contribution to addressing the stigma of mental ill health.

  • Ehtch

    Panic over.

    It was the Hugh Grant story on there that crashed the New Statesman site for most of yesterday. Half of the US must have clicked onto it, or half of Asia or something. It is back to normal now, and my BP is back to normal too! Story here,
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/diary/diary-hugh-caught-short-at-the-bar-2267452.html

    Don’t you hate it when technology lets you down?

  • Ehtch

    Total disaster for Lansley yesterday, as if anyone would think it would not be!

    What a dogs dinner he is doing of his brief.

  • Denise Oakley

    Hi Alastair,
    Im a complete novice to blogging so be patient with me. I was watching BBC Breakfast this morning when Charlie and Naga
    were interviewing you and just wanted to say that I completely agree with what you said about our ‘relationship’ with alcohol in Britain. I look forward to reading your book ‘My name is Hannah’ when it is out in paper back.
    In the past I have been to health experts because I have wanted to control my drinking, instead of drinking conrolling me, but I have been poo-pooed (!) and more or less pushed out of the door because I can hold down a home, a family and a business and im not loosing my teeth!
    I know drinking is not as bad as some but my problem matters to me and there is no support for me. I have tried so hard countless times and I keep trying.
    I did stop drinking for 6 months, but because of the attitute of almost everyone that I associate with and my own weakness, I have lapsed, but I am in better conrtol. But Im not completely sure that it will stay this way.
    Thank you for your openness and honesty.
    Best wishes
    Denise