Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fluoride = sticking plaster with side effects

South Central SHA's decision to fluoridate Southampton's tap water is dangerous, undemocratic, potentially illegal and a 'sticking plaster with side effects solution'. Southampton Primary Care Trust has failed to provide adequate NHS dentistry for its residents as a Freedom of Information request revealed that 76% of its NHS dentists are not taking new patients. Other dentistry data released today has shown that less than half of adults are using NHS dentists and the proportion of children accessing NHS dentistry in Southampton has fallen by 2.4% over the past two years.

Trying to fixing NHS dentistry problems by un-ethical and potentially illegal mass medication is simply wrong. Southampton needs to fix its access to dentistry. Only having 24% of its dental practices taking on new patients means that many poorer people are forced to go without dental care. Today's statistics have also shown the proportion of children accessing NHS dental care has fallen by 2.4% over the past two years. Despite this appallingly poor level of provision in Southampton, the local NHS has opted for a sicking plaster with side effects solution.

Fluoridating water is one way of medicating people without their permission, and the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine distinctly states that individuals have the right not to be medicated without their consent. Fluoride has well documented and dangerous side effects, it is wrong to expose people to these against their will. This appalling decision also seems to have been taken without any regard for the voice of local people, the majority of whom were opposed to mass medication with fluoride.


1. FOI response to the Green Party dated 3rd Feb 2009 showed that of
Southampton PCT's 25 NHS dental practices only 6 were accepting new
patients in December 2008.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Greens welcome public debate on assisted suicide

The Green Party today welcomed the Royal College of Nursing's decision to launch a public consultation on assisted suicide.

The Greens reiterated their concerns about the legal uncertainties that relatives face. The Green Party supports a clear, safe and open framework for people to be able to make decisions about when and where their life ends.

Fear and misery

Stuart Jeffery, health spokesperson for the Green Party of England & Wales, said today: "The lack of a coherent framework for assisted suicide in this country is causing fear and misery for many people.

"With families breaking the law by helping their loved ones attend clinics such as Dignitas, the UK's arcane laws are a real threat even though no one has yet been prosecuted.

"This law puts undue pressure on people already facing a difficult decision. Who would want to relieve their own suffering in the knowledge that their loved ones could end up in jail?"

Mr Jeffery, who is a registered nurse, continued, "People with terminal illnesses should be able to make clear and rational judgements on when and where their lives end, provided there is a clear framework of safeguards to prevent abuse. These safeguards must include a cooling off period, independent assessments, counselling and discussion of alternatives, and ensuring that illnesses such as depression are treated so that they do not impinge on the decision."

Protect the vulnerable

He concluded: "We must have a clear legal framework in this country to overturn the bizarre and damaging system that currently exists. We must have a system that protects the vulnerable and ensures that needs and wishes are met."

2. Over 100 people have travelled abroad for assisted suicide. There have been no prosecutions for people accompanying them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

NALM AGM and Conference

Interesting conference coming up!


NALM AGM and Conference will be held on April 2nd 2009

Woburn House, near Euston Station in London

We are delighted to announce that the first NALM AGM and Conference will be held on April 2nd 2009. We hope very much you will be there to support and build NALM. All members are welcome and the conference is free to members. The conference will formally and democratically develop the process of building a national 'grassroots' voice for LINKs’ and help to develop ways for all LINks and LINks’ members to communicate with each other and with regional and national policy makers. We want to stimulate new and more powerful approaches to public and user involvement. We want to build NALM into a major grass roots body of LINks that can significant influence government policy at national and regional levels. The conference will give us an opportunity to promote diversity amongst the membership of LINKs and build our collaboration with National Voices and other national organisations. Please sign up for the Conference; raise the Conference with your LINk and ensure that you put in a bid to your host for funds to cover your fares to London and any other expenses.

Malcolm Alexander, Chair

Conference Programme

10.30 am Launch – Professor Sir Cyril Chantler, Chair King’s Fund

10.45 am Stephen O’Brien MP, Shadow Minister for Health

11.00 am Baroness Young, Chair, Care Quality Commission

11.15 am David Pink, Chief Executive, National Voices

11.30 am Stuart Jeffery, Health Spokesperson, Green Party

11.45 am Open Forum –LINks members Contributions and questions to speakers

12.15 pm to 1.00pm Workshops led by LINks members


2.00pm LINk Member – name to be confirmed

2.15pm Graham Box, Chief Executive, National Ass for Patient Participation

2.30pm Sue Slipman, Director, Foundation Trust Network, NHS Confederation

2.45pm Peter Walsh, Chief Executive, Action Against Medical Accidents

3.00pm Open Forum – LINks members contributions and questions to speakers

3.30 – 4.30pm AGM