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Showing posts from July, 2014

To make us well?

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In 1948 the  World Health Organisation developed this definition  of health: " Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Who could argue with that? But how much do we invest in the whole concept of health and well-being; preferring instead to invest in fix-it models of healthcare? We know how to do this after all....or do we really? Yes healthcare helps to reduce symptoms, occasionally even affects a cure-although more likely a move  from an acute to a chronic condition-it provides opportunities to extend quantity and hopefully quality of life and sometimes it even relieves pain and suffering. So it's important to have these drugs, therapies and treatments to improve our options and by extension our lives. But what is clear to me is that, this is not enough to enable well-being at a personal or community level. Does it really make sense to give priority only to healthcare (and we could a

A warm smile to welcome and a sad goodbye

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I haven't taken any photos of the mountains since I have arrived this time. Other distractions of family to photograph instead, maybe. But tonight they are spectacular with light and cloud dramatic and moody. I can hear the sheep bells, being taken out now that the day is cooling.  We heard yesterday that the lovely Jacko is no more. Our undstanding of bulgarian does not lend itself to the complexities of the cause but we will never again see his smiling face welcoming us when we arrive.  These are not the pampered pooches of home, their lives not protected by vaccines and vets I suspect. So it's a sad goodbye to Jacko, we will miss him. There is something special about the touch and the love of an animal that brings a sense of joy and comfort too. I have seen often that importance of a pet to an many a person. Their lives given a rythm and sense of purpose, especially when their contact with the outside world is limited. When loneliness is our fastest growing longterm con

It will last as long as there are folk to fight for it...the NHS

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I grew up in the NHS, even before I left school I tested out my future career by volunteering. I was smitten from the start. That sense of community, of working for a common good and being able to make a difference some times in a small way, sometimes in a huge way. Yes it's tiring usually, stressful often, the shift-work a pain but the satisfaction a balancing point usually. But I wonder if things are balanced now? Levels of stress, of workload, of pressure from targets and- in England at least- endless reorganisation that has no apparent value or indeed common sense at its root, are taking their toll.      The workforce is struggling that much is evident. What is amazing in a way is how much great work is done nonetheless; day in, day out. The evidence of cost effectiveness of a national health service is plentiful, we know it ’ s not perfect but it ’ s nonetheless impressive. It ’ s part of our psyche, part of what we are proud of as a nation; be that UK or S

Are you living in the now?..a poem for a Friday

I heard this poem read out last night and thought it was a great one to share. What would I do if I could live my life again, I wonder?....... Moments by Jorge Luis Borges Moments If I could live again my life, In the next – I’ll try, - to make more mistakes, I won’t try to be so perfect, I’ll be more relaxed, I’ll be more full – than I am now, In fact, I’ll take fewer things seriously, I’ll be less hygienic, I’ll take more risks, I’ll take more trips, I’ll watch more sunsets, I’ll climb more mountains, I’ll swim more rivers, I’ll go to more places – I’ve never been, I’ll eat more ice creams and less (lime) beans, I’ll have more real problems – and less imaginary ones, I was one of those people who live prudent and prolific lives - each minute of his life, Of course that I had moments of joy – but, if I could go back I’ll try to have only good moments, If you don’t know – that’s what life is made of, Don’t lose the now! I was one of those who never goes anywhe

Power in the right hands....

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I have noticed that of late I have had a tendency to look at less mainstream media, trusting more the authentic voice that I read in a range of social media. I know it's often from one perspective or another but it's honestly so, it's a viewpoint I can opt to take or not, to sharpen my understanding. I don't read rants from choice so it's the measured pieces I seek out, the thoughtful, and the questioning. I'm not saying mainstream media never contains   those but it does feel like you do have to search for them. Like others I have felt frustrated by the lack of balance in the media-at this time in Scotland in particular -but this week has taken the prize for hypocrisy. It's   because this was the week where Andy Coulson was found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones. As this case and others have unfolded the widespread nature of this has become clear to all of us. So far so obvious....but what really tipped me from curiosity, alarm and conc