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That burning platform feeling


Blog headlines

  • Structuring a PCN Social Prescribing Service for the post COVID world
    25 February 2021

    This week we have a blog by Nick Sharples.

  • Community-Oriented Integrated Care
    18 February 2021

    The blog this week is a short extract from a paper considering an approach primary care networks could use to move towards community-oriented integrated care.

  • Strategy Unit releases opensource model for planning vaccine centre capacity
    11 February 2021

    This week's blog is from The Strategy Unit who are sharing an opensource model to help with vaccine centre capacity planning.

  • Time to talk day
    4 February 2021

    A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.

  • Supporting Staff: the emergence of ‘long-covid’
    28 January 2021

    As we are now well into a second, or is it now the third, wave of Covid-19 it is becoming apparent that Covid is something we have not experienced before and it has unique implications for staff management. It is not just the possibility that staff may become acutely ill with the virus, but that for some they may go on to develop persistent debilitating symptoms that will affect their ability to go back to work. This article looks at the implications of long-covid for HR and service managers when looking to support health care professionals (HCPs) return to work.

  • Link of the week: Clinically-Led workforce and Activity Redesign (CLEAR)
    21 January 2021

    This week we are sharing a link to the Clinically-Led workforce and Activity Redesign (CLEAR) site that is funded by Health Education England.

  • So much more than an extra pair of hands
    14 January 2021

    The introduction of the additional roles reimbursement scheme for primary care networks has started to grow capacity in general practice to address the unsustainably high workload that has put so much pressure on GPs.

  • Primary Care Networks – how did we get here?
    7 January 2021

    This week we are sharing a blog by PCC’s chairman David Colin-Thomé.

  • A year like no other
    17 December 2020

    On 5 July 1948 the NHS was born, over the last 72 years challenges and changes have been remarkable but the service has probably never been tested as much as in the last nine months. There have previously been numerous re-organisations, multiple changes to hospitals, mental health services and a shift from the family doctor towards more integrated primary care services delivered by a range of professionals. However, rapid transformation of services to embrace digital technologies, and a shift change to work differently has been forced upon all areas of the health service this year.

  • Guest blog: David Hotchin
    11 December 2020

    This week we have a guest blog that was submitted to us by David Hotchin, written by a retired friend....obviously, he's used a little poetic licence.

  • What now for commissioning?
    3 December 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • What White people don’t see
    26 November 2020

    This year’s Black History Month (BHM) has, unfortunately, in its shadow another example of why campaigns like this exist.

  • Primary Care: Why don’t we talk about Racism?
    20 November 2020

    Rita Symons is an ex NHS leader who is now a leadership consultant, coach and facilitator. Her work is mainly in the NHS and she is an associate for PCC offering facilitation, coaching, strategy development and team development activities. She is a concerned but hopeful world citizen and combines work in the NHS with a board role in a non for profit organisation and an interest in writing.

  • Primary Care and the Health of the Public
    12 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • What now for primary care
    4 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • Boosting your resilience
    30 October 2020

    The last year has been a difficult one, who would have imagined last Christmas that we would have been in lockdown, with the NHS seriously tested by a global pandemic. So much change has happened and the resilience of people working in and with health and care services has been seriously tested. Resilience is our ability to deal with, find strengths in and/or recover from difficult situations. Its sometimes referred to as “bounceabiliy” – but bouncing in what way?

  • Link of the week: National Cholesterol Month
    23 October 2020

    Every month or week of the year seems to be an awareness week, October has more than its fair share.

  • New redeployment service offers talent pool of motivated, work-ready individuals
    15 October 2020

    People 1st International have shared some of the work they are doing to support people displaced from industries due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There is an opportunity for health and care services to benefit from this workforce.

  • Link of the week
    9 October 2020

    Article published in the BMJ looking at the ability of the health service to quickly bounce back to pre-Covid levels of activity and considers if it is desirable.

  • Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective
    2 October 2020

    This week Jessie Cunnett, director of health and social care at Transverse has shared this article.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

That burning platform feeling

The latest in our occasional “consulting room” series, in which an ordinary member of the public gets 10 minutes to talk about an embarrassing medical condition with a doctor. This week: what happens if you think you have an STP?

Doctor: What can I do for you today?

Patient: I’m worried I may have an STP.

Doctor:  Ah, I see. Tell me about your symptoms.

Patient: General feelings of anxiety about the NHS, trouble sleeping. Oh and I’ve started worrying about social care as well.

Doctor:  I’m afraid we can only talk about one condition at a time. If you want to discuss social care you’ll need to make another appointment.

Patient: Sorry.

Doctor: Don’t mention it. When did you first notice something was wrong?

Patient: Ever since 2012 I’ve had this feeling that people were making decisions about me without me, but lately it’s got much worse. Am I going mad?

Doctor: Possibly, but if you want to talk about mental health you’ll need to…

Patient: …make another appointment, I know. Sorry.

Doctor: Any other symptoms? Irritability, a tendency to shout at the television when the news comes on, a general sense of indignation?

Patient: Yes, all of that. Am I going to be alright?

Doctor: That depends on whether you get ill, have an accident or need to go to hospital in the next few years.

Patient: So have I got an STP or not?

Doctor: You may be surprised to hear that everyone has one. It’s just that most of us aren’t aware of it because we never develop any symptoms. Even with a full-blown STP most people can go on to lead a perfectly normal life.

Patient: So it’s not going to get worse?

Doctor: We don’t think so. Most STPs are benign and will lay dormant for years before simply disappearing.  We’ve seen it all before with the health and wellbeing board scare a few years ago. That turned out to be nothing to worry about too.

Patient: But I read in the papers that STPs could be really dangerous if you don't keep an eye on them.

Doctor: You don’t want to believe everything you read. All the ones we know about are harmless but we can never rule out the appearance of a more virulent strain. A so-called active STP could spread panic to the population and in extreme cases bore everyone to death.

Patient: That’s really frightening.

Doctor: Don’t worry. There would have to be actual contact with the public and as far as we know that’s never happened.

Patient: So there’s nothing you can give me just in case? Antibiotics, antidepressants?

Doctor: I don’t think so at this stage. Come back if your symptoms get worse or if your local hospital is reconfigured without warning.

Patient: Thanks for putting my mind at rest.

Doctor: Not at all. Please close the practice on your way out.  I’m off to New Zealand.

Medical editor: Julian Patterson


Andrew Rix
Andrew Rix says:
Feb 18, 2017 11:53 AM

A motor mechanic writes:
You have nothing to fear from Scientifically Treated Petroleum (STP) as long as you don’t swallow it. It has been around since about 1921 and, although the formula has changed slightly, the combination of molybdenum and zinc dithiophosphate as an anti-wear additive may be effective in improving performance. Many successful endurance competitions of new high performance engines have been attributed to the formula, which effectively stops the active ingredients of lubricants breaking down under conditions of high temperature and pressure.
The problems come when STP is added to machinery that is effectively clapped out and the existing lubricant is not completely expunged from the system. Stickers attached to the ancient mechanism, often accompanied by a re-spray and other cosmetic changes, encourage newly appointed drivers to believe that the machinery has been given a complete new lease of life. The result is that the old banger works well for a short while but other parts of the system are put under such strain that they beak down altogether, often leaving passengers at the roadside with nowhere to go and no means of getting there.

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Feb 18, 2017 03:15 PM

Impressive knowledge of STP chemistry, though I think you'll find that it was reformulated to cut costs. The main ingredient is now snake.

Andrew Rix
Andrew Rix says:
Feb 18, 2017 08:31 PM

Oh dear,
Adulterating the product is likely to produce emulsification, rendering the lubricant useless as it whips up to the mineral equivalaent of Chantilly cream and leads to the internal mechanisms smashing each other to pieces.
The use of pure snake oil has never been tried in this conrext but I'm sure we could come up with a suitable RCT design to try this out if the cash was right.