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David Payne

David Payne: Medical stuff at Edinburgh’s festivals 2016

4 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

drahmed02For the first time in more than a decade I’m skipping Edinburgh in August with its international, fringe, and book festivals. It seemed like a good idea at the time. The fringe grows ever more unwieldy, accommodation is scarce and expensive, and I’ve gained a week to explore more destinations in the UK or overseas.

But now I’m feeling a twinge of regret. Two days ago when I overheard a colleague commission a review of Glasgow GP and The BMJ‘s award winning columnist Margaret McCartney, who makes her festival stand-up debut this year.


David Payne: Time to pause Scotland’s “Named Person” policy

16 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

“They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do.” Was Philip Larkin right, and if so, are state-funded parenting classes the answer? Or should we be offering all children, regardless of their background, access to a state guardian from birth to 18 to help safeguard their wellbeing?

One apparent problem, two potential solutions. John Ashton, outgoing president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, told The Times that between 10-15% of school-leavers are in trouble emotionally or mentally, with one child in ten having a mental health problem. more…

David Payne: “Bed blocking” is an offensive term

9 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

older_patient_hospitalSimon Stevens, head of the NHS in England, has warned MPs that delays in releasing older patients from hospital could continue for up to five years because of social care pressures. His comments were immediately reported as a “bed blocking” crisis.

The term bed blocking certainly trips off the tongue more easily than “delayed transfers of care,” but is the term derogatory? I think it is, implying that one patient is somehow denying another access to care. more…

David Payne: Do we still need hospitals (and hospital beds)?

3 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

IMG_0495During a conference coffee break last week two physiotherapists pushed a hospital bed through the networking area, along with a wheelie bin overflowing with “redundant” bed-related paraphernalia—monitors, clipboards, etc.

The hospital where Shanna Bloemen and Yvonne Geurts work plans to remove beds during the day to encourage patients to get active and get out of the wards. Implementation is due to begin in the department of cardiothoracic surgery and will be extended to others over time. more…

David Payne: Matisse, decoupage, and digital health

1 Jun, 16 | by BMJ

cutout_a_textAre there lessons in the life and work of French artist Henri Matisse that could help regulators navigate the brave new world of digital healthcare? How can the experience of Matisse—who radically and constantly reinvented himself throughout his career—support organisations with responsibility for regulating apps and other innovations, such as the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency? more…

Doctors, The BMJ, and Ireland’s Easter Rising

30 Mar, 16 | by BMJ

gpoEarlier this year Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE screened a three part documentary to mark the 100th anniversary of the six day Easter Rising, the rebellion against British rule that led ultimately to the foundation of the Republic and the island’s partition to create Northern Ireland.

The programmes, screened by the BBC this week as part of its coverage of the anniversary, featured archive footage and interviews with historians alongside moving eyewitness accounts (filmed decades earlier) of some of the key personalities and their families.

Liam Neeson’s mellifluous narration and lucid storytelling described how the insurgents changed history by storming key public buildings in Dublin, the Irish capital, tearing the city apart and bringing poorly prepared soldiers from the Sherwood Foresters across to help restore order. more…

The sugar tax: “Was it The BMJ wot won it?”

21 Mar, 16 | by BMJ Group

David Payne2“Get something out on social?” urged a colleague in response to UK Chancellor George Osborne’s sugar tax announcement in his Budget speech last week.  “I think you can claim that as a ‘win’ for The BMJ” added another after we reminded him of the many articles we have published on the sugar tax.

We quickly got tweeting, and updated our website homepage with links to some  of the articles we have published about sugar taxes over the years. This includes a call from our editor in January 2016 to listen to the evidence in response to a study we published about Mexico’s tax on sugar sweetened drinks.  more…

Junior doctor strike: Angels need to eat and pay their bills

17 Mar, 16 | by BMJ Group

David Payne2The junior doctor strike in England triggered an Oxford Union debate last month about the extent to which patient safety is compromised when public sector workers take industrial action. But will health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s revamp of pay and conditions stop at doctors? Are nurses in his sights? And if so, how likely are they to join their medical colleagues on the picket line? more…

David Payne: How disease outbreaks drive digital innovation

3 Mar, 16 | by BMJ Group

Ebola tablet deviceTo what extent do disasters and disease outbreaks drive developments in digital health? And as the WHO and other national and global health agencies get to grips with the Zika virus outbreak, what lessons can be learned from the 2014 Ebola epidemic?

John Edmunds, Dean of the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, described how, in the early days of the Ebola outbreak, clinicians wearing protective outfits struggled to write up notes by literally shouting through a wall to colleague, which was both time consuming, error-prone, and labour intensive. more…

David Payne: Can higher education help protect against dementia?

2 Sep, 15 | by BMJ Group

David Payne2In 2001 Tony Blair’s bid for a second term as UK prime minister included a pledge to make “education, education, education” top priority for the Labour party, with a follow up target to get 50% of  students entering higher education. Critics of Labour dismissed the figure as arbitrary and meaningless. But might the policy help protect some people from developing dementia? more…

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