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Children call for ban on public health advice and a tax on humbug

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Friday, 22 February 2013

Children call for ban on public health advice and a tax on humbug

Children’s groups have hit back at government plans to reclassify fizzy drinks and junk food as class A drugs, branding officials behind the scheme as “out of touch” and “totally lame”.

Under existing laws possession of small quantities of carbonated drink, potato crisp or burger is permitted for personal use, but under planned new legislation it will be punishable by up to five years in jail. Harsher penalties will be introduced for snack dealing with possible death sentences for the biggest offenders.

Government sources said that snack use among the young was reaching epidemic proportions and that organised gangs of “shopkeepers” had moved in to take control of supply. According to some reports, Coke use has already spread to primary schools, while “bags” of crisps are consumed in playgrounds up and down the country by children as young as five. 

Leading doctors said the problem was compounded by new stronger varieties of snack:  “We’re not talking about a few ready salted crisps passed around at parties like we saw in the sixties and seventies, but new flavours such as prawn cocktail and sweet chili which are many times stronger and potentially lethal,” said one. 

Dismissing reports of growing snack addiction as scaremongering, children’s groups said that the vast majority of recreational users of fizzy drinks were able to lead perfectly normal lives. “It’s not fair to blame everyone for the random behaviour of a few snack heads,” said a children’s leader.

Critics of the scheme include civil rights campaigners who warn of growing discrimination against larger children who they claim are routinely targeted by public health officials in so-called “stop and weigh” operations. 

Further opposition comes from those who argue that criminalising crisps and carbonated drinks will push the problem underground, leading users of soft drinks to experiment with heroin and crack cocaine. 

Dismissing claims that the scheme is a shameless revenue raising exercise masquerading as a public health initiative, a government spokesman said: “There is plenty of evidence that paying tax in moderation during childhood leads to more responsible tax-paying in later life.”

 
Laura.Lopez@bristol.gov.uk
Laura.Lopez@bristol.gov.uk says:
Feb 22, 2013 09:22 AM
“It’s not fair to blame everyone for the random behaviour of a few snack heads,” said a children’s leader.

:D This has really made my morning
debphillips
debphillips says:
Feb 22, 2013 09:44 AM
I laughed out loud...which doen't happen very often these days...brilliant as always!
rachel.dechenne@foodhealthpolicy.com
rachel.dechenne@foodhealthpolicy.com says:
Feb 22, 2013 10:23 AM
And focus on the source ...here is what could be done: http://lnkd.in/5AZm9Q 
rachel.dechenne@foodhealthpolicy.com
rachel.dechenne@foodhealthpolicy.com says:
Feb 22, 2013 10:23 AM
And focus on the source ...here is what could be done: http://lnkd.in/5AZm9Q 
maggie.young@nhs.net
maggie.young@nhs.net says:
Feb 22, 2013 10:37 AM
"routinely targeted by public health officials in so-called “stop and weigh” operations"

Lordy, that has made my week. Who says humour can't be serious?
peterwitness3@yahoo.com
peterwitness3@yahoo.com says:
Feb 22, 2013 05:31 PM
I agree it is a shameless way to raise funds.
  If children are obese due to eating poorly and drinking fizzy drinks the parents should be held to account. They should have to make serious contributions to the health care required for their children, I would go further and say that they should not be treated on NHS but have to go privately, knowing this would surely make parents more responsible in their shopping habits and also in what they packed in their kids lunch boxes, as well as what children ate at home.
 Just to add fuel to the fire I personally think that people being treated for drug abuse and alcohol abuse should also have to be treated privately. Think how much money the NHS would save in these areas.
samanatta@gmail.com
samanatta@gmail.com says:
Feb 23, 2013 12:15 AM
Is someone paid to write ths mindless and acetic us drivel?
jeanhcjean
jeanhcjean says:
Mar 01, 2013 10:06 AM
The following gives more information about health informatics contributions post-Francis - please forward as appropriate (www.ukchip.org)

Due to its incredible length and complexity (3 volumes, 4000 pages, 290 recommendations) it is unlikely that many of us will read every word of the Francis Report on the inquiry at Mid Staffs Hospital. However everyone will have read or heard enough in the general press to know that things went seriously wrong and that professional informaticians have a significant part to play in ensuring that health services do much better with delivering services and maximising the safety and security of patients in future.

As the body concerned with professional standards and ensuring individual informatics practitioners work to a high level of quality in all that they do, the UK Council for Health Informatics Professions is very concerned to highlight some key outcomes from the report. There are plenty of phrases which indicate that information-related issues contributed to the causes of many of the failures:-
“ …. a culture focused on doing the system’s business – not that of the patients”
“…. an institutional culture which ascribed more weight to positive information about the service than to information capable of implying cause for concern”
“…. standards and methods of measuring compliance which did not focus on the effect of a service on patients”
“…. too great a degree of tolerance of poor standards and of risk to patients”
“…. assumptions that monitoring, performance management or intervention was the responsibility of someone else”
“….a failure to appreciate until recently the risk of disruptive loss of corporate memory and focus resulting from repeated, multi-level reorganisation”

We must learn from this report: there is a whole section of 28 recommendations under the heading of “Information” (numbers 244 to 272), covering common information practices, shared data, electronic records, quality accounts, information standards, improving and assuring accuracy, enhancing the use, analysis and dissemination of healthcare information.

We support wholeheartedly the recommendations that:
• Each provider organisation should have a board level member with responsibility for information.
• There should be a code of conduct… (for Trust Board Directors)….
• Commissioners should have the power to intervene if services are considered unsafe.
• …national code of conduct and a registration system …(for healthcare support workers)…
• ...an accreditation scheme for leaders of all disciplines…..
• … NHS should move to a real time information in the field of patient safety..
We also believe that consistent standards for information handling should be embedded in all clinical and management job descriptions, whilst the employers and commissioners of informatics services, upon whom frontline staff depend for the systems and information they need, should be required to ensure that their staff conduct themselves in a professional manner, are competent and above all have the safety and security of patients as a priority.
  
UKCHIP already offers an independent accreditation of individuals working in healthcare informatics, including a code of professional practice, national standards-based assessment and a requirement for continuing professional development. We encourage all informatics staff working in health and social care to apply for registration (www.ukchip.org ) .