Thursday, 30 June 2011

I have just noticed that the automatic 'send to e mail addresses' button on my Blog is switched off and may have been for some time. Sorry! Lots has happened if you want to catch up and there have been over 4000 hits on the Blog in June alone. If you want adding to the list please let me know.

This is the information that we will be handing out at our demonstration on Monday, kindly and very accurately composed by my dear friend Sue...

We are demonstrating peacefully today in order to draw attention to the appalling way some cancer patients are treated at the hands of the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust. Our aim is not to disrupt, simply to make sure that everyone gets the treatment they  deserve.
All cancer patients must be seen within 2 weeks of visiting their GP, and treatment must start within 2 months; many hospitals have been managing to treat within 45 days. It took this hospital 4 months before I finally decided I had had enough, and went elsewhere for treatment. All hospitals are not born equal, and if you want the best treatment, I advise you to do your research. You are entitled to be treated anywhere in the country under the Choose & Book system.
The hospital needs to find funds that will enable staff to provide information to its patients as and when they require it. I couldn’t get an answer from the Patient Advice and Liaison Service, nor from the Specialist Nurse, nor even my Consultant; they don’t have the        resources to even pick up the phone.  Information is the only tool a cancer patient has in their battle to come to terms with their illness and how it might impact their lives.
When things go wrong, which I recognise that they will from time to time, the Trust needs an entirely open system that will allow them to discuss problems with patients, and make changes where appropriate. No cover ups, no whitewash. I was threatened with legal action if I chose to speak out against them; hardly appropriate for someone who is still engaged in the biggest battle I will probably ever face.
I am here today to invite them to do just that, and bring the discussion into the public arena, where it firmly belongs.
The Trust must be approachable and easily accessed by the entire community that it is entrusted to serve; and transparent in all it’s dealings.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Thanks Sue, this is what we are talking about..................
I am getting massive support via e mail, letters, texts and phone calls which confirm that a large number of people, not only in Cumbria but around the country, believe that their NHS Trust ignores the voice of their community. 

This support is great BUT...

We must transfer that support into feet on the ground outside the front entrance of the Cumberland Infirmary this Monday at 12 noon. Our big chance in front of National television to make change! Thank you to my family, friends and others who have pledged to be there; to make a difference.

If the turn out is poor, the North Cumbria NHS Trust will feel free to 'No Coment' to every problem that they face in the future! Though I will continue to protest alone every month outside the hospital until they are willing to talk.

Please don't let this chance pass by, and if you genuinely can't make it because of illness, work, holiday, out of the country etc. then please send a friend to represent you.

Thank you so much

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

As many of you know, I have organised a protest outside the Cumberland Infirmary for this Monday between 12 noon and 2pm. I now know that the BBC's 'The One Show', which is on nightly at 7pm with Chris Evans will be filming the actual demonstration. They will also be filming with me on Thursday and Friday at other locations.

This is our BIG CHANCE to raise awareness of Prostate Cancer to an NHS Trust that has brushed off our concerns with 'No Comment' at every approach, and even threatened legal action over reporting of events on my Blog.

PLEASE make the effort to come on Monday at 12 noon and bring a friend if you wish.

Our aims are...

                 To get a better deal for newly diagnosed Prostate Cancer Patients in Cumbria, and to keep existing cancer patients better informed. 

                 To have a local NHS Trust who will listen to it's community and act on their concerns rather than 'No comment'.

It will not be a noisy protest, there is an elderly people's residence near the entrance to the hospital and I have promised the Police that we will not cause any distress by shouting or blowing whistles etc.

Bring a placard or a banner. You can easily make your own out of paper or an old sheet, a piece of board or side of a cardboard box. Hey, we're not professional demonstrators we must use what we can.

What to write? 'Broken Trust', 'Lost Trust', 'Prostate Cancer Post Code Lottery', 'Tell the Truth', 'We love our hospital'...the list is endless, use your imagination.

The Police will be in attendance to make sure that there is no trouble, which I don't expect and we must not let happen.

Both the local MP's Rory Stewart and John Stevenson support us, but both are in London on the day.

If we have a poor turnout then this will send a message to the Trust that they can simply 'No Comment' to any of our concerns in the future, and it could be one of your loved ones in the future who suffers unnecessarily as a result.

So whoever you are and whatever your situation, please try and see the good in what I am trying to do here. This will not work if you don't show up, and if you do, it could make an amazing difference to our future health care in Cumbria.

Please E Mail me back before 9am tomorrow morning if you will be there. E mail me at if you have any questions.

But most of all PLEASE be there.

Thank You

Dan Sencier
When we asked the Northwest Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust to release certain information under the Freedom of Information Act, I thought that this would be a simple and honest process. Don't get me wrong, they followed the guidelines and gave me the same information under the same restrictions as any Trust in the country would have. But as I wade through the bureaucratic layer of mud that swamps are good doctors and nurses around the country, I become more aware daily of just how thick that mud is.

To remind you - My problem is purely with the pathway, or lack of it, concerning newly diagnosed Prostate cancer patients. So I simply wanted statistics on Prostate Cancer, a disease that 30,000 men are diagnosed with every year in the UK and that 10,000 men die of. So not a rare disease, but a disease that kills more men than almost any other! Easy to recognise as a clinical category you might think? But you're wrong! They say...

"Prostate cancer falls within the Urology tumour group. We do not have information specifically relating to prostate cancer and as it would take a manual search through patient records to obtain this information. This part of the request is refused on the grounds of Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act." 

So even though I have asked for information under the Freedom of Information Act regarding 'Prostate Cancer', they can not provide this information, and don't have to!

Why? Well as they stated above, "it would take a manual search through patient records..."

But they then go on to say that a manual search of 108 out of over 400 patients records took place, restricted by the cost formula below. I just assumed that a Trust would keep these statistics to hand and that they would be available at the push of a button. I had no idea that to gain such important statistical information, that someone had to rake through a bank of filing cabinets with a calculator, pen and pad! 
I dare say that at any given time they are aware of how many pillows, oxygen cylinders or bins are in each hospital. But not aware of how many Prostate Cancer Patients? Could that be true?
It's little wonder that I became lost in the system there when I was a cancer patient.

"The Trust does not hold the information in an accessible form on any system. To obtain this information would require a person to manually check through every patient file held in order to extract the requested figures. The Trust estimates that at present it holds upwards of 400 Urology (per annum) patient files.
Assuming it would take a person 10 minutes to locate and then physically check each file only 108 files could be checked before the appropriate limit was reached, based on the following calculation:
Files checked per hour = 6 (assuming 10 minutes per file) 
Maximum hours under the Act = 18 (18 x £25 = £450)
Maximum number of files that can be checked = 108 (18 x 6 = 108)"

To publish the figures that the Trust gave me would be pointless, because which 108 of the 400+ files did they choose to draw the information from? And of course, they had no way of telling which files were for Prostate Cancer patients...GET REAL!!! Could I suggest putting a letter 'P' on the outside of the file!

Then of course we are reminded of our place with the standard legal threat that we have become accustomed to...

"You may re-use this document/publication (not including the Trust or NHS Logo) free of charge in any format for research, private study or internal circulation within your organisation. You must re-use it accurately and not use it in a misleading context. The material must be acknowledged as copyright and you must give the title of the source document/publication. Where we have identified any third party copyright material you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned. For any other use of this material please apply for a licence for core material by contacting the Freedom of Information Team at the above address."

Well I hope that I haven't been misleading in anyway and that I have tried to explain it as accurately as possible, even though I don't understand most of it! Copyrights, licences, blimey...I only wanted the Prostate Cancer Statistics from my local NHS Trust so that I could help to improve our hospital!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Just back from our 'convention' in Leicester and what a great time I had meeting so many lovely people who I had only known on line up to now. If you are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and can join a group like this, then you will, or could never feel alone. I'm sure I'll keep going every year now and the support for our campaign in Cumbria was tremendous. I have become known as 'The man from Penrith', and some of them even knew where Penrith is!

So what will this coming week bring?

I am hoping to get feedback from our MP Rory Stewart, who I have asked to communicate with the Trust regarding their stance of, 'No comment'. Their hope that this will all just "blow over", will not happen, and there are 11,685 reasons on this Blog why it won't!

Tuesday 28th will be an interesting deadline, because that is the date that the Trust have to provide the information that we have asked for under the Freedom of Information Act. Our group have asked a sample of Trusts from around the country to provide the following information...

"The number of patients investigated for suspected breast cancer and the number of patients investigated for suspected prostate cancer, who received a decision to treat within the 31 day target, for each of the sixteen calendar months to April 30th 2011.

The number of patients with breast cancer, and the number of patients with prostate cancer, who received their first treatment within the 62 day target, for each of the sixteen calendar months to April 30th 2011.

The number of patients with suspected breast cancer, and the number of patients with suspected prostate cancer, not receiving a decision to treat within the 31 day target, and the mean number of days by which the target was missed, for each of the sixteen calendar months to April 30th 2011.

The number of patients with breast cancer, and the number of patients with prostate cancer, not receiving first treatment within the 62 day target, and the mean number of days by which the target was missed, for each of the sixteen calendar months to April 30th 2011."

Our objective is to find how your post code can influence your treatment when diagnosed with one or other of these cancers. I will be discussing this during a programme on BBC's Radio Five Live later in the week.

I have to say that all other NHS Trusts have replied well within the deadline and that the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is alone in not having replied. Still, we must respect that they do have until Tuesday to provide this information.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Below are the 2 links to local radio news station CFM. 

I have another longer Radio interview next week which I will also publish here.
Please take a look at the Blog on Tuesday 28th for a major update.

There are a lot of things going on right now that I can't comment on but it's all positive stuff. Thank you again for the massive support and this campaign will continue until our NHS Trust realises that the answer to a problem can never be....


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Talked to 'The One Show' team again today. If anyone attending the protest has any objections to being filmed please let me know.    We can always allow you to wear sunglasses and a false beard.

In answer to many of your questions...

No, I have not heard from the Trust at all since the legal letter was sent to me by their solicitors. You can see a copy of this letter on May 28th of this Blog, along with my reply.

Banners will be provided but you can bring your own if you wish.

Yes, the Police are aware and happy with our arrangements.

Both BBC and ITV will be covering at a local level and BBC on National broadcast.

Yes, I hope it's not raining too!!!

No, the local Prostate Cancer support group are not involved in this.

Meeting time is 12 noon outside the main entrance of the hospital.

Not sure yet if local MP is attending.

Could the protest be called off? Only if the Trust are willing to enter into talks, aimed at bringing about positive change within a strict time frame to newly diagnosed Prostate Cancer patients.

What next? If I do nothing after the 4th July then the Trust will have won by staying silent and doing nothing. 
I have new ideas that we will pursue until newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients at this hospital can be confident of the same service as they would receive in other leading hospitals. Your post-code should not determine the quality of your experience.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Great news yesterday, had an e mail from the production team of BBC's.......

'The One Show' 

They want to talk on Monday and are very interested in featuring the story of my past year and what the lead up has been to a cancer patient having to protest outside his local hospital. 

This will be massive for awareness and early detection of Prostate Cancer, and also highlight the importance of choosing your hospital very carefully. Some people are not aware that they even have the choice!

I am also in talks with Radio 4 for a new series coming up which takes real life scenarios, where individuals come up against large organisations, such as the NHS. Believe it or not it is a comedy show with Tom Wrigglesworth, but you have to admit, you could easily make a comedy starring our local NHS Trust and the way that they are dealing with this situation!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Protest hits local press

Link to today's article in the Cumberland News.
I visited the Cumberland Infirmary yesterday! No, not to talk, I had an appointment in ENT. Last year I had a hearing test and this was a follow up appointment to see what the change had been like over that period. One of my daughters came with me as she has been visiting for a few days.

We took the opportunity to visit the proposed site of the demonstration and I hope the weather is as nice as it was yesterday! I see it that if we fail to get any response from the NHS Trust over this matter, then they will feel that they never have to respond to any public health concern ever. Are you happy with their response so far?

My fears were heightened that this might be the case when I met someone in the car park who is well connected at the hospital and who I know from previous meetings. It was a friendly discussion and I got a clear feeling of support in their voice. However, the news wasn't good! The Trust have decided to do a complete lock down of 'no comment' to everyone until this "takes it's natural course". 

I couldn't help but relate that quote to my cancer experience there just 12 months ago today! Yes, today on a lovely sunny June morning I was saying goodbye to everyone at University, having just finished my access course, and passing with distinction. Little did I know that later that afternoon, I would be standing traumatised outside the hospital, having just received the news that I had cancer.

Funny thing is, I wouldn't change things if I could. One year on I am happier than I have ever been. I see in colour now, not black and white. I see detail and appreciate everything, absorbing as much as I can wherever I go. I've wasted so much time in the past just letting life drift by thinking that 'there's always tomorrow'. How stupid, but it's only when tomorrow doesn't become a certainty that you realise how precious a day is. Can you learn that without being told you might die? I don't think so, but tell me if you feel differently. I have made so many new friends and been privileged to help so many others along this uncertain path, but there is work to be done because the NHS that saved my life has more parasites than a ships cat.

My appointment went very well, as most appointments at the Infirmary have for me in the past. Having had my ears tested by a nurse with a lovely Scottish accent, I then went in to see the consultant. He was a really funny guy who explained everything in such detail and had my daughter and I in stitches at the same time. (well, you know what I mean!) He asked me what had happened in my life to damage the upper frequencies in my ears. I told him that it started with the Army, wearing no ear protection when firing rifles, throwing grenades and standing next to active artillery and tank fire. His jaw dropped! Then there was the discos and pop concerts where I preferred to stand in front of the speakers which were always taller than me, and often loosened my fillings as the skin and muscle on my face pulsated to the beat of the music! He said that I was OK with lower frequencies but I would find it easier talking to men than women. When I explained that I had 5 daughters, he suggested that they all try lowering their pitch when talking to me! This cracked up my daughter who started speaking an octave lower for the next hour.

So I was discharged with no hearing aid necessary and I was told that I had already learnt naturally to partially lip read and that my brain would just guess the missing words that I couldn't hear, based on the context of the sentence. I didn't know I was so clever! I will struggle to hear sounds like 'shhh' or 'thhh' so 'lass' will sound like 'la' and 'think' will sound like 'ink'. I guess I will always assume that if I hear the sound 'it' that it is just a two letter word!

An organisation like the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, doesn't have a hearing problem. Backed by a heafty PR and legal team it spends vasts amount of money making sure that it hears everything, it's 'image' always being more important than 'reality'. 

But do we want a group of people looking after the organisation of our health in Cumbria, who's apparant motto is 'Hear all, see all, say nowt'?

Thursday, 16 June 2011

I have had thousands of messages of support from around the world in the past week, from NHS staff both locally and from other Trusts, cancer patients and support groups, other organisations, friends and relatives, and they just keep flooding in.

What I need to do now is turn that support into numbers of people at our demonstration on the 4th July at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

I have told the Police that I will be able to give them a rough idea of numbers by Thursday 23rd June, so I ask you to reply to this by Wednesday 22nd June if you will be attending. Your name will only be known to me and I will not make names available to anyone else or any other organisation.

I appreciate that some have already given very good reasons for not being able to attend. Those working in the NHS who don't want to go public, those still receiving treatment at the hospital and the man who wrote a lovely letter of support from the Philippines!

So if you could please reply to if you ARE able to attend I would be extremely grateful.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Today I have contacted the Police, informing them of our date for protest. Unless things change we are looking at...

Monday 4th July between noon and 2pm

Put this in your diary because we need as many supporters as we can get if you want to change this rotten system with its bad attitude.

Always keep in mind throughout all of this that this is not an attack on our dedicated nurses, doctors and support workers who strive to do the best for the people of Cumbria. It is about putting the spotlight on the Management of an NHS Trust that thinks it perfectly acceptable to send a very threatening solicitors letter to a cancer patient who only wanted to improve the experience of future patients. 
I made it clear in minuted meetings with the Trust last year, that I was never looking for monetary compensation or to damage the Trusts reputation in any way, I only ever wanted serious change!!

I am also making contact with the National Union of Students and Local Trade Unions, both of which I am a member. If you can help in anyway please contact me, I am new to this!

My e mail is

I would like to thank John Stevenson (Carlisle MP)  for his public support over this matter.

More support messages...

"I don't know u but i have read ur story, my dad has prostate cancer and the infirmary lost his m.r.i scans 4 18 wks!!!!! as 4 my poor mum they told her in a hosp corridor she didn't have long, if my life depended on it id never get treated at that place and i need treatment, but they are incompetent, good luck with everything ur trying 2 do!!!!"


"Daniel you are absolutely right to take this forward. North Cumbria Trust needs to be taken to bits and put back together by someone who knows how to run it for the benefit of patients. It seems they forget their primary role a little too often. Good on them for the solicitor's letter though - you couldn't buy that level of publicity at any price."


Letter sent to Trust by supporter...

"It is very rare I am moved to write such an email as this. I am writing to you to complain in the most strong way possible about the abhorrent treatment that Daniel Sencier has received. It is beyond belief that you should chose to victimise a cancer patient who was merely exercising his right to free speech. Could you please explain why you felt the need to try and silence an ill man because he was critical of his care. May I ask as why you are so scared of the truth?"


"I would suggest that whoever sanctioned the letter could at the very least resign their post, causing distress to a cancer patient to hush up bad PR is the trait of a corrupt and self serving NHS upper management and their paid for mouth pieces."

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

More comments and dozens of E mails coming in from NHS staff, some very senior...

"Daniel, I have just read about your blog (Saturday Mail). I want to say GOOD FOR YOU!! I recently worked for a year as a secretary in a big NHS hospital and I can see that you are doing nothing but speaking the truth about the real state of the NHS! As you say, the doctors are competent and well-meaning. It's the ancient, creaking, bow-legged, hopelessly inefficient systems (paper notes that get lost all the time/understaffing/appointment dates often received by patients after day of appointment, no linkage between depts and systems etc. etc. etc.) that are the problem. I really could write a book about it. Never mind the 'damned lies and statistics' that fall from the mouths of managers and politicians, the NHS has still to be sorted to make it work properly. It will take a hell of a lot of sorting. It is indeed shocking that NHS Trusts such as the one you speak about would want to pour money into sueing someone like you, who only wants to improve things for patients, rather than doing the jobs they are paid for and improving it themselves! Again, well done to you for standing up and speaking out, we need many more like you".


"As someone who knows the internal corridors of this Trust all too well, I applaud your courage and your effort to highlight the issues that blight this Trust. It is sad that money so desperately needed for proactive treatment is wasted once again on solicitors protecting those very same people that should be protecting patients like you. Stay strong".


"I am ashamed of working in the NHS when I read stories like yours. In Cumbria it's not just men with prostate cancer who get a 3rd rate service, it's other people with other cancers too. The Trust have made themselves look ridiculous, spending taxpayer's money on lawyer's fees which could have been better spent on paying someone to answer the phoneline you rang 3 times and couldn't ever get an answer from. But then the Trust has big problems and perhaps explains why it's going down the tubes."
I would like to pick out some of the great comments and elevate them to the main page here. I will be doing the same with some of the hundreds of e mails and letters I have received, but don't worry, where you have asked for anonymity, your name will not show. They are worth reading.

The first is by Sue who is an NHS employee ....

I thought I'd write a note on your blog, not just as a lifelong friend, not just as the person whose children still need a father, but as an employee of an NHS trust. I'm an administrator (boo, hiss!). I help to organise an Outpatients Department in the North of England. I went into this job, as EVERYONE at grass roots level does in the NHS, because I love people, and genuinely want to assist them when they are at their most vulnerable. And I do, every single day, and so do my colleagues, medical or administrative. But we are tired, we are all almost broken with the weight of work that we have to do that is simply not patient-centred.The Government, in their wisdom, and surely with best intentions, set targets that we MUST adhere to;no Trust in the country is free from them. Just to demonstrate how crazy this is, let me say that our current target for cases of c.diff is 1 (yes, one) for this year. One? We do our best, but surely it's obvious that they should be examining the processes we have in place to defend patients from this infection would be better, not going nuts if we get more than 1. If we fail (fortunately at my Trust that's very rare) we actually get FINED. How does that work then? We get the money from the tax payers, we make a mistake (genuine or not doesn't figure), and then we have to take money out of the patient care coffers to pay the government (you and me) some money back.Single sex accommodation, MRSA screening, money being thrown around left right and centre...and none of it coming from government, all of it needs to come from existing budget. The local PCT tell us how many patients each year it will pay for us to treat. Magnificent guesswork! I wish I knew how many of you would develop cancer or a heart condition, or break your legs this year...I could come round and tell you to take care! If one or two more of you get sick, we don't get any money for you; but of course, we must treat you, or we fail another target. Do you see how this goes on?
Cumberland Infirmary have made an appalling error in Daniel's treatment, and are failing miserably to rectify the situation. Their board of Directors should be ashamed, and their senior clinicians (there will be a few on the board)need to ditch the 'doctor as god' thought processes. But if I had the energy, and the balls, I'd be digging a little deeper; this needs to go national...because you may think the Government have a handle on this, and that they have set up the right systems for the Trusts to work within...but you'd be wrong. Can you take it national Daniel? This may be the cause that your life was meant to champion.
See you on the picket lines!
What a day yesterday, 2 Radio broadcasts and 2 TV broadcasts, it's got to be an easier day today!

It was good to hear that the MP for Carlisle is on board with us now.

Radio 5 Live next and a demonstration to organise.

Here is the link to the broadcast on ITV's 'Lookaround' and I will try and find one to the BBC 'Look North one as soon as I can trace it.

I just want to say thank you to all the media people yesterday, who were so nice and understanding of the cause. Alison, Ben, Ryan, thank you so much for doing a great job.

To the guy in Carlisle who stopped his van so quickly as I walked out in front of him in Carlisle whilst rushing to the first Radio broadcast...Sorry and thank you!

What now? Well let's see what the day brings!

Also a very BIG thank you to all the employees, current and ex from the Cumberland Infirmary who have contacted me, 100% in full support of what this is all about. We have the great doctors, nurses and support staff working in the building, but we badly need a structure in place that makes the whole thing work better. 

Monday, 13 June 2011

Stop Press.....

I'm on 'Lookaround' (ITV) and 'Look North' (BBC) Tonight. 
I know how important this Blog is to me now! I have just come back from the local radio station and my head is spinning; so much flying around in there that I just had to come upstairs, sit down and put my thoughts on virtual paper. It was this that helped me through the darker days when I was first diagnosed. Being dyspraxic, I find it fairly difficult to sort information in my head, but if I can write it all down and then sort it out, things start to settle and I feel less stressed.

I have never experienced a weekend like the one that's just gone. On Friday my story was front page on the local paper, but nothing could have prepared me for the aftermath of the full page article in the Daily Mail on Saturday. I have had support from around the world!

There were 60 comments on the article, 59 in my favour. Thousands of people ticked to say that they agreed with the comments of the 59. I see that as a clear vote of support in a public arena, for what I am doing.

I was contacted, both on the Blog and via e mail by NHS staff from around the country and some who are working at the Cumberland Infirmary. 100% in support that what I am saying is true. I was contacted by a senior member of a complaints section in another Trust, expressing 'disbelief' that a cancer patient who was trying to improve his local hospital could be threatened with the law.

It is worth repeating that the Cumberland Infirmary is full of the kindest most dedicated staff that you could wish to meet. Doctors, Nurses and others doing an amazing job every day of the week. But it's no use having a body with perfect organs if it has a faulty nervous system, and that is the problem. 

After they threatened me with legal action, I started to doubt myself, but the public response to my claims has been mind-blowing. I even talked to a guy who is now living out his last days in the Philippines because of the NHS lack of response to his Prostate Cancer. I cried when I read his e mail and if he's reading this Blog still, I want him to know that I am not going to stop with this, I'm doing it for you and others in your position who were let down by the system, not the people in it.

When I was at Addenbrookes last week, I asked if they could help my hospital to get better at what they do. The answer was "yes", they would be happy to have a team from the Cumberland Infirmary visit to learn. But they also pointed out that they also visited other hospitals to learn because, "we should never stop learning". If the Trust call me, I will give them the number of the lady at Addenbrookes who could help them.

I suppose that when a hospital carries the burden of such a large PR system and pays vast amounts of money in legal fees, someone has to suffer. Our group has asked, under the Freedom of Information Act, for the Trust to reveal this expenditure. 

When doctors and nurses get tired because they just can't cope with the workload, mistakes can happen, papers can get lost and patients forgotten. This can lead to people suing the hospital and bad publicity which requires large amounts of money to be poured into areas that do not help sick people. The more money that's deflected like this the worse things get and the more the hospital spends on PR to make the public think that there is not a problem. I suppose taken to its ridiculous extreme you could end up with one doctor and one nurse trying to treat everyone in Cumbria, whilst half the population of Carlisle were employed by a PR firm spending millions on convincing the public that all was OK. Anyone who was not convinced would be sued into keeping their mouth shut by the other half of the population who were all solicitors.

Well, I'm sure today will bring more light to this, though I can't say I'm looking forward to being on TV later. Better go and change my shirt!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

I would truly like to thank the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust Solicitors, Wardhadaway of 102, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne (or whoever instructed them) for taking this Blog to heights that I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams, just a week ago.

Thanks to their threatening legal letter, designed to 'shut me up', we started front page of the local paper on Friday, followed by a full page in the Daily Mail on Saturday. I am on the Radio on Monday morning and have the BBC TV coming to my home during the day to record an interview.

Three different Human Rights activist groups have agreed to help with organising the demonstration at the hospital and to help with legal fees should that be necessary. ( I don't think so!) One of the groups is also coming all the way from London to film an interview with me.

My Blog has gone off the scale with hits from all over the world, all pledging support. By the end of the weekend I will have had more hits in 2 days than in the whole of the year before.

I am the Mature Student Representative at the University of Cumbria, and I have had massive support from other members of the National Union of Students. The message being..."We are ready to march"!

I am exhausted today replying to floods of mail from Cancer Support Groups up and down the country and also from NHS staff who say they know exactly what I am talking about. After all, this has never been about attacking them, the NHS contains some of the finest people in the country. However, it also harbors a bunch of pen pushing fat cats who are paid 'Bankers' wages to perform no service that will help keep the people of Cumbria in good health. Their jobs exist to keep the Trust looking good, and to sue the butt off anyone who might dare to say anything out of place.

Bullied by the NHS, cancer patient who complained about his treatment online (click on this link)

This is the link to the Daily Mail article which I hope will be a catalyst to changing not only the way that our trust operates but could help change the whole of the NHS for the better.

What the hell is my local Trust doing, spending millions of pounds a year on Public Relations and solicitors fees, to keep patients quiet. That money could be spent on extra staff to help those nurses and doctors in the system now, who are exhausted and demoralised as a result.

I will be asking a lot of people to make a move to action soon, please don't let the people of Cumbria down, you don't have to put up with how things are, because as it stands, you and your families are in danger. You need a hospital where doctors and nurses work for the good of your health, not an office block full of people trying to convince you that the sun is shining when it's actually blowing a gale outside!!

Friday, 10 June 2011

I think that I'll start off with a bit of self indulgence this morning!

Those are the photographs taken by one of the national newspaper photographers who was kind enough to send me copies (Thanks Jeff). This morning I noticed that one of our local papers has started the ball rolling with a small article and it's also safe to say now that the Herald are running the story tomorrow. I say safe because the local Trust are an extremely powerful force in Cumbria, easily capable of suppressing the local media by legal means. The story has developed legs that I couldn't have hoped for a few weeks ago, and all because the Trust sent a threatening letter from their solicitors to one of their cancer patients. The idea was to frighten me away from my basic human right to 'peaceful demonstration' and to intimidate, by letting me know that they were monitoring my Blog.  

Without that letter I couldn't have hoped to bring as much attention to this failing organisation, and maybe it's appropriate now, that they are the instigators of their own decline. 

As for me...

"I do not believe in fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in fate that falls on them unless they act".

So the fight must go on until the people who are responsible for our health in Cumbria, wake up to the idea that OUR voice matters and that they are employed by us to LISTEN!

David Cameron said last week that, "The local community need to have a dialogue with their hospital, to help them to see where change is needed". Well I tried that David, and they shot my tail feathers off!