Low back pain treatment ‘needs improvements’

Low back pain (affecting the back between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the legs) is a common condition. Over the years research has improved our understanding of how to treat it. We now know that a lot of advice given in the past, such as bed rest, was unhelpful as it […]


I want my money back

News and Comment from Roy Lilley. It looks like the shemozzle over the next pay-rise is over.  The basic minimum wage, in the NHS, will be at least £8.93 an hour, which is 18p above the voluntary, living wage of £8.75. The average Cabinet Minister receives a salary of around £140,000 a year.  On the […]


The singularity

STP plans are rightly famed for their clarity and punchy style, but what happens if you ask an advanced artificial intelligence system to run a quick translation? The lines that follow are what an AI translation bot made of a real executive summary from an STP. We’re not making any of this up. The reader […]


Open mind

Hospitals that are full of people who really shouldn’t be there.  Staff working at the limits of their capacity.  Overburdened bureaucracy and regulation.  Political indecision.  An ageing population.  Management struggling to find the balance between culture and attitude. The feeling that top-down burdens make change impossible and the working environment is a oneway street to […]


Blithering on purpose

Following reports in the media about the appointment of a major firm of management consultants, Sir Trevor Longstay, chairman of Blithering Improvement, has issued a short statement. All press enquiries to Martin Plackard, strategic director of crisis communications. Here is Sir Trevor’s statement in full. Once again the media have misreported our recent award of […]

Primary Care Training I Dunno


I’m trying to remember the phrase.  Something about what counts gets counted?  What gets measured gets done.  You can’t manage what you can’t measure.  I forget exactly what it is, anyway, it makes no sense. What makes more sense, in the NHS at least, is don’t measure what you don’t want to change. There are […]

Seven ways … to manage irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome may be inherited. It is linked to oversensitive nerves in the gut, causing debilitating pains and cramps among other symptoms. But there are ways to manage it and reduce its impact on your life.

primary_care_training_piece of cake

A piece of cake

News and Comment from Roy Lilley. They were dainty, set out on a china plate with decorations around the edge and coloured napkins, cups with saucers… and a table cloth! Homemade cakes.  Flavoured ice, glitter-spray, sprinkles… wow!  Mid-afternoon, on a ward for elderly people.  Nurses take turns to bring in home-made cake.  Sponges, walnut cake, […]

Is a cure for snoring finally getting closer?

The Schnarchmuseum’s unusual collection traces humankind’s millennia-long struggle to cure snoring – a problem that still affects millions. But is science getting closer to solving it?

primary care training robbery

What message does it send

I’m writing this in the morning.  Just after nine.  The day yet to fulfil its promise. In the garden, there’s a greenfinch popping in and out of the conifer.  By lunchtime we will know if the Chancellor is going to find some cahones and do something about NHS funding.  It’s his ‘Spring Statement’. (Update; he didn’t!) By […]