Royal Marsden & cancer therapies for children

The hospital I work in is always carrying out amazing research into care, treatment and prevention.

There are so many brave patients here especially the younger ones sometimes with terminal illnesses. The staff don’t give up either, working tirelessly to improve health and their care before, during and after.

A British Gem – Ken Loach releasing his films on youtube

The British film industry has a wonderful reputation for producing hard hitting dramas but so few can reach into the guts of humanity in the face of constant political upheaval with a consistent message about how we treat each other. His most recent film which he came out of retirement to produce once the Conservative party came into full government-  I, Daniel Blake has recently won the Palme D.Or at Cannes, portraying the practical, physical and mental struggles that someone in 2016 Britain faces when life throws constant challenges at them.

Up and down the country, you can hear people discussing Ken Loach films and how they have been touched by his devotion to filming real lives e.g. Kes is an outstanding and eye-opening story for British children to read who have not experienced the same background, beautifully filmed by Ken Loach and many stories for adults including Spirit of 45, Cathy Come Home.

A lovely, warm, passionate, talented man

Pharma & water sanitation eLearning projects on People’s University

I first heard of People’s University from a fantastic semi-retired doctor when we were marching down the length of the country over a 300 mile route in approx 3 weeks –  unlike me, he completed the full 300 miles albeit with some impressive blisters (I managed over 210 but due to commitments could not be there every day). We were raising awareness that our NHS was under threat of extinction and should be publicly funded, accountable and publicly delivered. Walking together over many miles provided many opportunities to talk about other stuff too.

I have recently reconnected with colleagues / ex colleagues from MHRA and decided to also link in ex colleagues who run an international centre of excellence in water sanitation. We have been talking about doing things like this for years but never got round to it.

People’s University is a nice home for the projects because they will complement their existing clinical and public health content. With all the changes in patient involvement in health, technology developments and resources supporting these – it’s an opportunity to links some of these together alongside the traditional drug/device R&D & regulatory affairs.

If anyone is interested in becoming involved, especially multi-lingual contributors please contact me on Skype nicola.avery, twitter @nicolaavery or via this blog. Everyone is contributing on a voluntary basis.

Outline ideally drafted by late September, possibly parallel development for both projects depending on scope.



Leaving the NHA Party

I am no longer a member. The party is unrecognisable from the one I joined a few years ago.

There are several reasons – including standing an NHA candidate against a brilliant health campaigner with claims that NHA would do much better. They didn’t and it had major resource implications for other candidate campaigns.

And the Clive situation was final straw.

I don’t have a political home at the moment, the actions of the Labour party and their refusal to be a credible opposition, with other so called left-leaning parties constant use of Marx, Lenin,Trotsky is really irritating.

Vile cowardly right wing thinking with pathetic greedy claims that markets are objective is not an option. As is still being shown -mass murderer Bliar and his team are still destroying public services without the Tories needing to do anything. The curse of Westminster and Oxbridge narrow thinking & academics who care only about their careers.


Essential part of any taekwondo training. Previous training included squats repetition at mid level with front kicks from mid level squat in between.

Will be returning to those in autumn bit recently doing low level squats with a longer hold (previous back/hip injuries) and have noticed slight flexibility change in hamstrings when done regularly.

This video is good

Interval Study on blood donation frequencies success

Well done to the NHS. In the UK currently less than 4% of the eligible population donate blood and that is likely to decrease with aging population. A large study (n=50k approx) of this kind is helpful not just in England but for other countries to analyse the results. This was only possible in a national health service where the demographics made it possible to get a large cohort with a consistent approach.

table of donation frequencies for men and women in Europe

“No one knows what the optimum interval between donations is, blood donation services in different countries have developed varying customs. In England, men are invited to donate every 12 weeks and women every 16 weeks. This is a relatively long interval compared to other European countries; the figure below shows inter-donation intervals for men and women across 14 European countries.Between June 2012 and June 2014, the INTERVAL study recruited about 25,000 men and about 25,000 women at NHS Blood and Transplant (NSHBT) blood donation centres across England” 1

During the study participants were asked to give blood either at usual donation intervals or more frequently. Men donated every 12, 10 or 8 weeks and women every 16, 14 or 12 weeks. The researchers are comparing the amount of blood donated and measures of well-being in people asked to give blood at standard intervals versus those asked to give blood more frequently.

It was incredibly easy to take part because they just did as part of the regular donation and it’s great for the researchers to provide a really useful outcome.


Banning clean athletes is cruel especially vulnerable athletes

I’m currently in the middle of compiling a series of different blogs and articles which have made legitimate scientific, ethical criticism of WADA & McLaren report – some of which have made it into some mainstream media but not all.

The ethics of deciding to ban a Paralympic team based on that report with no further ‘evidence’ openly provided is appalling. How can someone who has had to fight & knows how hard it is to get sporting achievements be so blase about destroying clean athletes with a collective punishment.

It’s difficult enough in the UK – in certain sports at international level as the government has repeatedly cut funding for certain paralympic sports because it doesn’t fit their national policy. Over £35k needed and that doesn’t include any specific allowances for additional equipment or aids so that you can live a decent life. These allowances have also been repeatedly cut by the government in a relentless inhumane pattern of punishing vulnerable people so that they can reward elites.

Imagine in another country where living conditions are different too, how is not possible to work with another country to sort out infrastructure problems etc instead of making political statements that don’t do anything. As before re all the pointlessness of talking deterrents but not actually doing anything that is a deterrent. WADA lost that one years ago with it’s processes and allowances for some athletes & not others. There is no sensible message other than improving how things are done & if the agency or other sports organisations cannot achieve that by themselves, work with other regulators who can.

Out in the real world where people actually care about Russian health and don’t just talk about what it means for Putin (143million people and the media only talk about one), but what it might mean for clean paralympians in Russia who have made phenomenal efforts to get to compete on the international stage. What it means to their careers, their families who made sacrifices, their trainers and coaches who have encouraged them never to give up.

The only humane thing that can be done is to continue to fight back as an international community to ensure that these decisions can never be made again, to help other countries if we have something that may be of use or people who are useful to talk with, to get on and deal with issues quickly instead of stringing them out over multiple cycles. We owe it to all of us.