Letter to the Health Secretary

I would like to follow up on my questions to you concerning the search for treatments that help CV 19 patients. You rightly replied that a number were in clinical research under your Recovery Trial, as well as with the WHO’s Solidarity trial and elsewhere. It was good news that  Dexamethasone was shown to have helpful effects for some serious cases.

How are the trials both in the UK and abroad going for

1. Other immune moderators and Interferons?

2. Anti virals including Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine?

3. Anti coagulants?

4. Convalescent plasma?

5. Vitamins C and D? 6. Nitric Oxide, zinc and Ozone?

Some of these treatments some doctors say  might be best used in the early stages to prevent the disease taking hold , and some may have beneficial effects in serious cases needing oxygen treatment, as with Dexamethasone. Clearly finding more ways of combatting the different features of the serious versions of the pandemic would be of great help in taming it.

Your stated policy of getting the NHS back to work on everything not related to CV 19 is now crucial. New contracts with the private health Sector should be based solely on buying stated procedures, treatments and operations for patients on the NHS waiting list. Buying capacity with no known patient in mind will be wasteful and will not incentivise the NHS to use the private capacity fully, as we saw during lock down.

It is also important that the policy of handling CV 19 cases in isolation hospitals or in clearly sealed off units in District General hospitals is properly enforced and advertised so patients are not put off attending surgeries, clinics and hospitals to have other serious conditions treated. With best wishes to you in getting the NHS fully back to work after the heroic efforts made by some to tackle the dangerous and difficult CV 19 surge.

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  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Please ask the government why they are so happy to ruin hundreds of thousands of people’s holidays for very small increases in recorded cases if Covid 19, most of which are due to increased testing.

    Why are they mandating the use of face “coverings” when there is no scientific evidence that they work. Six month ago Dr Jenny Harries said they didn’t work.

    All are freedoms should be restored immediately, if not increased.

    28,000 people died of flu in 2024/15 in the UK without the need for lockdowns, claps for the NHS, furlough schemes and destruction of the economy.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:24 am | Permalink

      All our freedoms …. should be restored immediately, if not increased.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        You’ve removed a large swathe of them, with your ruinous and idiotic brexit vote.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          That’s such a silly comment because both people were talking about the restrictions due to the pandemic.
          You are obsessed with Brexit.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            The poster said “all our freedoms”

            Yes please.

            I don’t care about wearing a bit of cloth on my face in some places for a short time however – it’s utterly trivial.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

            You are still being silly.
            It is obvious the poster said that phrase in relation to the restrictions created to deal with the pandemic.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff. Your comment is more ridiculous than all of your previous posts put together. Join Andy on the dunces podium.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

          You wanted mass immigration and we warned you that we were unhappy with it and that you would get Brexit and reached it in many stages.

          It did not just appear out of the blue.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

            Nah, not me.

            European Union membership is nothing whatsoever to do with mass immigration from the ex-British Empire anyway.

            They and their descendants often voted Leave too – because they rightly believed that trade deals would make free movement with their historic homes and erstwhile countryfolk easier. See what it is that India wants, for instance.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Indeed, not even specifying a minimum standard for face coverings so long as you can’t *see* nose or mouth.

      PS, one of the answers to yesterday’s post (illegal immigration) and others is to start by defunding the BBC.

      They are setting the agenda, not reporting the news.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        I don’t sleep well and end up listening to a lot of late night phone in radio (BBC). It is blatantly clear that anyone who is for stopping migrant freeloaders etc is closed down quite quickly. The other side are allowed to talk.

      • Suzette Burtenshaw
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Spot on!

      • jerry
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous; “[de-fund the BBC] They are setting the agenda, not reporting the news.”

        Standard fall back bile form the unthinking hard right…

        Fine, privatise the BBC, it’s doubtful it’ll change what they (or their successor) reports or how, after all both ITV & ch4 are funded by commercial advertising, and BSkyB by subscriptions, all report much the same content & opinions – I wonder why…

        • Edward2
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          Rather unecessary opening remark Jerry.
          You are mimicking the bile from the unthinking hard left who try to shut down debate and comment.

          There are numerous opinions on how to control illegal immigration.
          bigneil just gave his opinion.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          If I read the Daily Mail I shouldn’t have to pay for The Guardian.

          Why is TV any different ?

          • jerry
            Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            @Anonymous; So you admit your objection is not what the BBC report but how it is funded…

            Why should I have to fund Sky when I buy legal access to the BBC – by your logic all TV and most radio should be subscription based.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            You dont fund Sky unless you subscribe.
            Oh hang on…you think you pay when you buy a jar of coffee which is advertised on TV.

            Well buy a jar that isn’t advertised on TV.
            There are lots.

          • Anonymous
            Posted August 9, 2020 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

            My objection is my intense dislike of having to fund a corporation which has politics very different to my own.

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; You still have not grasped how paid for adversing works have you…

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous; No one is forcing you to watch broadcast TV, the radio reception licence was abolished back in 1971, whilst watching the majority of on-line content has never needed a licence of any sort.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

            Yes I understand how advertising works thanks Jerry.
            Sadly you think it is always a negative cost added to the price of the product you purchase.
            But this not the case.
            In successfull advertising campaigns the costs are recouped by increased sales that lead to increased profits.
            In other cases advertising campaigns can lead to reductions in selling prices as sales boom and economies of scale can be applied.
            Then there are the huge number of companies who do not advertise using the commercial TV and radio channels.

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Thank you, so you admit peoples money, paid at the shop till, is funding the broadcasting of political opinion that they think should not be given the time of day – or have I mistaken where the vast majority of these advertising budgets arise from, perhaps they are raised directly from shareholders rather than turnover? Yes I know that is some special circumstances shareholders are call upon to fund such (often last ditch) expenditure.

            As for choice, many well known big brand TV advertisers have secondary brands or supply own-label brands to the large retailers – sales of which all contribute to the parent company turnover but how does the average consumer know which brands to buy or avoid should they object to the funding of ITV, Ch4, Sky or even RT etc?

            As I said, you really have not grasped how adversing works. I want a level playing field, not one built on the side of a mountain as you do, with your goal at the top!

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

            That isn’t what I said.
            If you buy some products that are advertised on TV and radio then a small proportion of the selling price might be to pay for the advertising.
            However the vast majority of products are not advertised on TV and radio.
            So you have choice Jerry.
            Which is more than we do with the BBC poll tax if we want only watch non BBC channels.

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You still haven’t got it.

            Read this slowly and carefully….

            Company A spends money advertising product B, even those they never advertise product C (a best seller), those who buy product C are funding the advertising of product B even though they never buy it.

            What is more Product C might even be an “own label” for company D, how does the consumer even know company A is making the product for company D and that the consumers purchase from company D is actually funding ‘political bias’ from a TV company by way of Company A’s advertising campaign?

            “So you have choice Jerry.
            Which is more than we do with the BBC “

            You have more of a choice than I do, firstly no is being forced to watch TV (I like everyone else need to buy food and other essentials), you can buy a sub to Netflix or who ever, get your news on-line, watch catch-up TV from ITV, Ch4, Sky etc (but not the BBC), listen to the radio, buy box sets of DVDs..

          • Edward2
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

            No Jerry.
            It is just you refuse to see anyone else’s opinion.
            Your condescending attitude does you no favours.

          • jerry
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

            So Eddie, precisely what did I get wrong in the comment you replied to?

            Stop trying to call out the kettle, even more so when you have just fallen into that bath full of coal dust – yet again!

          • Edward2
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

            I’ve said what I wish to say jezza.

            Go to a farmers shop or local market and ask them how much extra you are paying for your purchases due to TV or radio advertising.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          lets call them Pravda 1, Pravda 2, Pravda 3, etc – much more realistic.

          • jerry
            Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            @Fred H; As is the entire news media industry, and the more commercial they are the worse the are, you pays your monies and read/hear what you want to read/hear. Some of the most Pravda like outlets are actually those on the hard right, especially those based in the USA.

          • Fred H
            Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            jerry – – our Pravda 1 (some know as BBC) is very commercial – the bloody Government makes it illegal not to pay your near £150 – use it or or not!
            Why pretend, let it be known as BBC tax.
            Anyway I thought we were talking about the UK.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            But viewing figure show who is popular.
            Media companies survive by encouraging an audience.
            Would the BBC survive on that basis?
            Be interesting to see.

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Media companies survive by encouraging an audience.”

            Isn’t that what ratings measure, the BBC appears to do quite well.

            But I take your point, give the rise in internet TV streaming services, many of these services required no TVL…

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Well if you pay your annual fee you will probably want to get your moneys worth.

            If it were a free choice then I think the BBC could still do well especially if it altered some of its more woke output.

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Yes I do indeed get my monies worth, mostly watching a non main-stream channels you have probably never heard of, along with the BBC-Parliament channel of course.

            The TVL is a reception licence, or are you suggesting that because i purchase my VED each year I should be driving up and down the motorways just to get my “moneys worth”?!

          • Edward2
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            You are free to dp whatever you want.
            But don’t do both at the same time.

        • dixie
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

          Jerry, it was easy for the BBC to adopt an approach that avoided strengthening demands for it’s eradication/defunding.

          They simply needed to become what their charter demands which is impartial – neutral and objective.

          The problem is that this has been going on too long and become an issue for too many people that simply sacking the extremists will no longer work. They have poisoned the brand. Just like the EU extremists.

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

            @dixie; If the BBC is not complying with their impartial clause in the charter then make an official complaint, after all the BBC is acting illegally! But whenever anyone has attempted to do so their complaint always ends up being full of bias its self, you only need to read the comment from @Anonymous above;

            My objection is my intense dislike of having to fund a corporation which has politics very different to my own.

          • dixie
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry – I have complained to the BBC of bias using their own complaint form and my complaint was utterly ignored – no acknowledgement of receipt, nothing.

            It was clear the complaint process was a sham and at the time there was no trustee for England (for an inordinately long time) to take things further.

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            Apologies to our host…

            @dixie; “I have complained to the BBC ..//.. utterly ignored – no acknowledgement of receipt, nothing.”

            As I have, many times, and got both a receipt [1] and full reply, although I admit receiving a reply and it saying what I wanted to hear are somewhat different…

            On something as important as legal compliance, even more so the Charter, the first complaint is just the start of a process that would ultimately end at the hands of the BBC Trust, and these days Ofcom.

            I have to ask, did you specifically tick the box and ask for a reply, if not you don’t get one – simples… I strongly suspect your failure to get a response was of your own making!

            [1] strange you didn’t, as they are server generated, so did you suffer a delivery failure, or perhaps your spam filter is over sensitive?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        You were more than happy with the BBC’s giving Farage more airtime than any other politician, and an unchallenged platform for him to set his agenda forth for years on end.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      The last three Tory Leaders only success so far is to make the likes of, Major look competent. Headless chickens one and all.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Quite, we had no SARS contingency, the virus is no longer new, excess deaths in recent weeks have been negative. Time to ditch all these professors. The PM’s bluster and deferral to the “science” hides his weakness and lack of common sense..

    • jerry
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      @Stephen Priest; Yours is nothing but hyperbolic deignal.

      Why do you think it is OK for some people to go on foreign holidays, knowing full well that they could become carriers of Covid-19 and on their return simply have the right to carry on without any mitigation to the risks they have chosen to expose the UK society & workplace too? No one is being prevented from going on such a holiday, just that they need to factor in another (possible) 14 days self-isolation when they return.

      So far 45k people have died due to Covid-19 and we are not in the Flu season yet… There was no need for a lock-down during the 2014/15 ‘flu session’ because pre-emptive treatment was offered via the annual flu vaccine, and for those who became severely ill most responded to existing drug medications, no doubt when/if a Covid-19 vaccine, or more effective drug treatments, becomes available there will be far less or zero public health restrictions.

      I agree we need our freedoms, but freedoms are meaningless to the dead and those incapacitated by Covid-19. There is growing evidence that some people remain seriously ill, with or without symptoms, from the effects of Covid-19 long after they have recovered from the virus and are no longer infectious.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        45k deaths where somebody said ‘Covid’. There remains serious doubt and concern regarding actual cause of death -‘had Covid’ is not sufficient yet used by unwitnessed
        GPs to complete the MCCD.

        If no doctor has attended the deceased within 28 daysof death (including video/visual consultation) or the deceased was not seen after death by a doctor, the MCCD can still be completed.However, the registrar will be obliged to refer the death to the coroner before it can be registered. In these circumstances, the coroner may instruct the registrar to accept the certifying doctor’s MCCD for registration.
        Where a cause of death cannot be ascertained, the death cannot be certified,and the doctor should refer the death directly to the coroner with any supporting information.The coroner may from this information determine no investigation is needed and inform the registrar that the death can be registered.
        Harold Shipman?

    • zorro
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      There is no evidence that they can stop you getting or spreading COVID 19 as per the disclaimer on the box. It is a disgrace that we are compelled under law or the threat of a fine to wear these soggy, ineffectual face nappies. There is nowhere near enough evidence to compel their usage unlike seatbelts or crash helmets!


    • zorro
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Over 50,000 died in 2017/18 winter months including my father during the flu season. No magic money tree economics, mass economic shutdown or mass house arrest and no compulsory muzzling…


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Your claim about the 1968 flu proves that flu is far less serious than covid19.

      Without the lockdown and other measures hundreds of thousands would have died of the latter.

      Only about 7% of the population have had it and there are 70,000 excess deaths, so it is reasonable to say that if ten times as many caught it then there would be a similar increase in the death rate. And it appears – from meat plants etc. – that unchecked, most people do catch it.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Yet in Sweden hundreds of thousands haven’t died.
        According to your theory, they should have.

        • jerry
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; Yet in Brazil the death toll has just past 100,000…

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

            Yet Sweden had very little restrictions compared to us.

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Yet Brazil has even less restrictions than Sweden, your point was what exactly?

            Might local conditions/circumstances have a bearing upon the death rates, even the contagion rates, after all Sweden is very different socially and has different politics to both Basil and the UK.

            Also how many Covid-19 caused deaths are being hidden behind death certificates that make no mention of the virus, after all someone with a already weak heart will likely die from that, not their double pneumonia causer directly by the virus and which has placed additional and fatal strain on the already weak heart.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

            My point is I was relating the different lockdown policies between UK and Sweden.
            Two similar European nations.
            And the predicted outcomes for Sweden have not happened.
            Brazil is a very different nation with huge population densities in flavellas and real poverty in some areas for example.

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You can’t have it both ways, compare two totally different countries (Sweden and the UK) but then refuse to do likewise with Brazil.

            Your ‘point’ is thus a brickbat made of jelly…

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; On the issue of country differences, let’s consider the effect Population/Density might have;

            P – 10,343,403 (89th)
            D – 25/km² (198th)
            [people per km²]

            P – 66,796,807 (21st)
            D – 270.7/km² (50th)

            P – 210,147,125 (6th)
            D – 25/km² (200th)

            Whilst the density of Brazil appears low, despite a large population, it is a huge country, thus as a nation it has a low population per km2, much of it is more or less unpopulated, having statistically 0 to 9 people per km². This results in significant areas that have a figure of between 50 people per km² & 300 people per km².

            On the above density (km²) figures, and actual Covid-19 fatality stats from the three countries [1], it suggests had the UK not locked down the projected modelling of 150k deaths was likely correct.

            Your thoughts…

            [1] whilst Brazil has many more poorly nourished people the UK has many more obese people, both are a problem with regards covid-19

          • Edward2
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

            Keeping busy I see Jerry
            Glad to be of use.
            You forget that similar to Brazil well over half the population is in the South based in two or three big cities where population density is similar to the UK.
            That is why your overall national figures are misleading.
            Ferguson predicted over 500.000 deaths if no lockdown .

          • jerry
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; I actually covered the distribution of the population, that was the whole point of my comment, and is why I consider what is happening in Brazil (with no lock-down) is a measure for what would have happened in the UK had we not locked down.

            No one is suggesting that the same percentage of Covid-19 infections and/or death would occur in say the highlands as in a metropolitan area – but that is also why travel restrictions were imposed. Wasn’t movement on and off the IOW restricted, because of its one hospital and high number of elderly residents?

            The figure used by the govt was 150k, it is quite possible that Prof. Ferguson personally believes in a higher figure.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

            It was 500,000 deaths if we didn’t lockdown
            Professor Ferguson and his team at Imperial College and the computer modelling.
            Brazil is a very different nation to the UK.
            Huge centres of poverty.
            Huge levels of homes of multiple occupancy.
            Higher levels of comorbidities like obesity and diabetes.
            And a worse health system than UK and Sweden.
            The better comparison is between UK and Sweden
            Or Sweden and surrounding European nations.
            The computer models predictions were for huge levels of deaths in Sweden but it never happened.

          • jerry
            Posted August 12, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

            Apologies to our host once more…

            @Edward2; I guess the following quote is were you get the 500k figure from, but as usual you appear to misunderstand what is being said;

            In total, in an unmitigated epidemic, we would predict approximately 510,000 deaths in GB”

            The above is a direct quote from the ICL report, all I have done is add the highlighting emphasis.

            Thus the UK govt used the lower 150k figure, because even without a lock-down mitigation factors were being put in place – or are you now suggesting that even non lock-down mitigation should not have occurred either, such as asking those who could working from home to do so or (as far as reasonably practicable) for work place social distancing or face coverings etc.

            One of the issues in the Manchester and Leicester areas appears to be the large number of multiple generational occupancy households (a problem that also befell parts of both Italy and Spain). Do you have any figures to show Swedish household occupancy levels?

            The difference in population density between Stockholm and London for example is huge, London having a far high density even though it has a far higher (land) area.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 12, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            There is no proper comparison between Brazil and the UK.
            As I have set out.

            Sweden had very little lockdown compared to the UK and EU nations but has beaten the predictions for deaths given out by the experts.

            500,000 deaths if we didn’t lockdown, which is what I said.
            Which is why we locked down.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

          No, because the civic-minded Swedes self-imposed a quasi-lockdown, it appears.

          Maybe people would have here too? Didn’t look like they were going to though.

          And the Swedes have taken a corresponding economic hit too.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

            There were little restrictions.
            Yet they should have had hundreds of thousands of deaths according to you and the Professor of doim.
            Nowhere near the predicted figure.
            Your best desperate excuse is that the Swedes were “civic minded”

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

            And you are also compketely wrong about the economic hit Martin.
            Sweden at 8% has suffered much less of a hit than the UK at 21%
            Source Guardian and BBC

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 11:35 pm | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      80,000 died in 1968 in the UK from HK flu – no lockdown

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        Yes, and perhaps only a few dozen would have died of it, if there had been one.

        You prove the very point that you try to refute.

        • glen cullen
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          My point –
          From the high tens of thousands to the low tens of thousands, with good or bad medical treatments over the last century our country has never been in lockdown and yet survived without economically destroying the country

  2. Adam
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    If Covid 19 had a mind for survival, it would run out of options with the world working to research and block every path it tries to take to reach us.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      I am hereby calling for Black Lives Matter to demonstrate calling the lockdown “racist” .

      If that were to happen the lockdown would end within 48 hours.

      • Zorro
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Ans the ‘virus’ too, of course…


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        ‘Only Black Lives Matter‘ don’t you mean?

        • glen cullen
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          according to the media

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        It isn’t racist.

        So why would they do something so inane?

        • Edward2
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          So now you would lockdown every winter.
          You obviously don’t run a business.

  3. agricola
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Yes every surgeon and condultant practicioner should know exactly what backlog of patients they have awaiting treatment. This is in turn data that should be collated and known within every NHS Trust in the country, and therefore known to the Minister responsible. Knowing the extent of the problem is the first step.

    We then need a plan of operation, using all facilities available to us, to clear this backlog. It should involve 24/7 use of the facilities we have both NHS and private. Not all, but many consultants operate in both sectors and are already doing many more hours work than is contracturally required. So in effect the private sector is the NHS doing overtime, therefore it has its limitations. Government then needs to look at where in Europe there might be capacity that could be used on the premiss that if people can fly to Benidorm for sun and alchohol they can be sent by plane to a willing hospital for a new hip. The same principal could apply within the UK if and where capacity exists.

    Then perhaps a friend who has been waiting two years to have a prolapsed rectum operated upon can fly to Sweden or Aberdeen and get it done.

    • Stred
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Good questions. Hancock will avoid answering, as usual. In particular, why did the NHS insist on banning the use of HCQ with antibiotics and zinc in the very early stages of the disease as tried with success in France, the USA and other countries which have a death per case rate one fifteenth of the UK?

      Why did the randomized blind trial not use the same dose and combination and apply to patients who were already hospitalised and in moderate to severe condition?

      Why did the trial have to be double blind and take six months in the middle of an epidemic when thousands were dying and being seriously injured?

      Why was the use of HCQ stopped after a paper published in the Lancet which was found to be fraudulent and was withdrawn?

      Why were the Nightingale hospitals not used to provide separate isolated treatment so that the district hospitals could resume normal treatment for other diseases?

      Why were the private hospitals commandeered and not used when they could have provided treatment for other diseases ot isolation for covid?

      Why are decisions to lock down being taken based on absolute numbers of cases in the UK and abroad without adjusting for increased testing?

      Why has the NHS produced the highest death rate per case and per head in the world?

  4. Nigl
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Good questions and spot on re commissioning. I would have included test and trace being the bigger picture to get the country back to work. The Health Secretary seems to think bombarding us with large numbers will convince us ‘something is happening’. It doesn’t. I have zero trust. Where is a test that can tell in a few minutes, yes or no to having it, or at least it’s progress.

    Separately we need a conduit to flag up ridiculous anomalies in the ‘distancing rules’ my visit to have a wisdom tooth out, thank you HMG for shutting down dentists for no reason required a temperature test to get in. It was high being the hottest day of the year.So they asked me inside where it was air conned until I cooled down. Toilets closed, what about say a prostate etc problem having had an hours procedure? Lack of understanding and inhumane.

    Maybe unfairly but these things cause me to doubt everything that is being done. Stop spinning be honest.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      At least you got an appointment. We’re working on mid November for hour long appointments.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Test and trace, or track and trace has so far not worked. Small wonder that people aren’t willing to shop their acquaintances who can’t afford to stop work, and probably aren’t infected anyway.

      • Nigl
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        The problem is I don’t know whether it has (in some way) been beneficial or not. HMG is determined to try and ‘fool us’ with numbers.

        Great book out ‘calling BS’ by West and Bergstrom. Essential reading before accepting any snake oil numbers published in the press etc purporting to be from representative samples.

        Hence the title. Basically believe nothing.

        • hefner
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, the subtitle: The Art of Scepticism in a Data-Driven World, ed. Allen Lane, 2020.

  5. Sharon Jagger
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I think what is probably very important is for GP surgeries to be advertised more as being open for business. Locally and nationally.

    I have had a painful knee for about five weeks now, and the thoughts of trying to show and explain over zoom or similar, has put me off. I’m getting to the stage whereby I can’t put it off any longer, but I need/want a face to face consultation. And I believe I’m in the company of thousands…

    • Nigl
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      And your evidence for being in the company of thousands? Reminds me of speaking to kids about the food they don’t like. Have you tried it. No

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Here you’ll be se t to the pharmacist.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      The way they are funded encourages them to close or make it inconvenient to attend as the patients do not pay as they use them. So many do. A & E’s deters by having long waiting times.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        And while the foreigners who have come for FREE ( to them) NHS and need translators ( again free to them) taking up multiple appointment times through constant back/forth translation – WE can’t get any treatment time.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        the triage should be 3 categories = coded.
        1) Emergency
        2) Accident
        3) No GP – last resort

      • jerry
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        @LL; There are far to many NHS trained doctors, consultants, surgeons working in the private sector, rather than spending the same number of overtime hours seeing NHS patients – sometimes as part of their NHS Trusts business plan, using NHS resources…

        Thus the 60 year old Widow living on her own doesn’t get her hip replacement via NHS but a 50 year old company director gets their knee cartilage cleaned/removed via their private health insurance plan just so they can carry on playing golf…

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          Well if more people went privately the NHS would obviously have more time for the rest. After all company director is paying for times over in taxes for others, medical bills, his medical insurance, tax on his earnings for his medical insurance and 12% insurance tax on top.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted August 9, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            I meant:-

            After all company director is paying four times others:- in taxes for others NHS bills, his medical bills or his medical insurance, tax on his earnings (to pay for his for his medical insurance) plus 12% IHT insurance tax on top. Good for him.

          • jerry
            Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

            @LL; You totally missed my point, nice anti-tax rant though.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

          Jerry I understand you point perfectly well – but it makes no sense. If you get more money into the health care system private and public you can have more doctors and surgeons recruited and better services for all. The supply is dependent on funding. The more that go privately the more overall funding and the better for all.

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

            @LL; “If you get more money into the health care system private and public you can have more doctors and surgeons recruited and better services for all.”

            Not when services are limited, as is the case at them moment, with limited consultations, never mind operating facilities, elective surgery stops someone else having their mandatory surgery. The solution is surely (for a short while) to ration all health services on an as-needed bases.

            But I take your point about raising more fund, so you’ll support increasing income tax by say 2% at the next budget, ring fencing it for to improve the NHS -yes? 🙂

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      In the interim,
      Comfrey poultices and cold packs.
      I am certain we will be back to growing herbs.
      Someone or other is pushing for codeine based pain meds to be prescription only!
      Boris will have to makePlague Amulets mandatory.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Our surgery is not open for business as us. They give you a list of phone numbers depending on the results of your telephone triage.
      They still continue to draw their inflated salaries.

      • glen cullen
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        and there calling for a 16% pay rise !!!!!

  6. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Good points

    It would be interesting to see how many MP’s would agree and sign up to that letter.

    The health secretary can so easily ignore 1 voice, but would find it hard to ignore a score — if there are that many MP’s who understand this.

  7. Andy
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Packed pubs. Packed beaches. Spike two is coming.

    Nobody is listening to this failed, car crash government – and especially not the blustering clown who leads it.

    In Preston they are now genuinely using the slogan ‘Don’t Kill Granny’ to try to encourage young people to stay in. Ironic that the older generation which started a culture war against the young now wants help. I know what my answer is.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      The Government have set rules and given lots of advice.
      How would you stop people refusing to follow those laws and rules?
      Oh I know…blame the Government.

      There is no culture war against the young .
      You made that up.
      Ironic coming from you who openly hates older people.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      What on earth are you talking about..what is this with the culture war against the young? It is quite the opposite , you may have heard a few saying that 21 year old’s haven’t the experience, but that is a fact . Now we know where your bitter dislike of older people derives from, some misplaced internal reaction to something which happened to yourself!

  8. Andy
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The Home Secretary – who has the distinction of not being the least competent member of this incompetent government – is appointing a “clandestine Channel threat commander”.

    Apparently half a dozen kids on a dinghy are a threat.

    Meanwhile, she is demanding France do more while France is quietly smirking and wondering why it should. Your problem, you fix it.

    I wonder what the next “clandestine commander” will police. With this extremists mob in power it could be anything.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      France rarely smirks, the insolent shrug of shoulders conveys ‘ tough shit’.

      • hefner
        Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        I was once told that most of the time it means ‘I don’t care what you think’, ‘if you say so but I doubt it’, and/or ‘no need to get in a teasy over this’, which might be closer to truth than ‘tough shit’.
        A British person might find that insolent, but spend half an hour watching French people conversing, say, in a cafe and I would bet one is likely to see that shoulder shrug occurring a couple of times in any conversation.
        What about having shoulder shrugging emoji available for this blog?

  9. Richard1
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Is Q2 even legal? It’s certainly not PC. President Trump thinks hydroxychloroquine is beneficial in preventing or alleviating the effects of the Wuhan plague. Therefore it’s essential that no evidence emerges before Nov 3 that this might be right. Facts, evidence and expert opinion which do not rubbish anything and everything Trump says do not meet the woke test and must be suppressed.

  10. Mark B
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    New contracts with the private health Sector should be based solely on buying stated procedures, treatments and operations for patients on the NHS waiting list.

    This to me would be the ideal situation for healthcare in this country. Let the Private Sector run the hospitals and staff, and let NHS and / or Doctors put out to tender who gets to treat the patient with the government writing the cheque. Still free at the point of service but with Private Sector efficiency.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      And free the private sector from positive discrimination.
      Receptionists and nurses and doctors should be recruited for their job related qualities.

    • jerry
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; Yes, lets just allow a back door privatisation of the NHS, allowing the private sector to name their price…

      Yours is what the USA has in effect, over priced, lower quality for anyone who can not buy a private plan – Medicare & Medicaid in other words.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Or maybe a German style system.
        Which works well.

        • jerry
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; The German system is much the same as the UK, it’s just that in Germany the money is taken from the tax payer from the right hand, in the & UK its from the left hand at source.

          Germany mandates the purchase of compulsory health insurace, in the UK the govt mandates the payment of NI and other taxes, both directly fund the provision of free at the point of need health services.

          • margaret howard
            Posted August 9, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

            The only difference is that in Germany ones compulsory health insurance does not then also force one to contribute to a NI as well

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

            @margaret howard; The German compulsory health insincere is the equivalent to the UK NI (and other tax receipts).

            If a German chooses to pay more than the statutory minimum for their health insurance policy that is akin to someone in the UK paying both NI and buying a private plan.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

          Better mixture of insurance and combination of public and private systems.
          Outcomes are better under the German system.

          • jerry
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Yes because German govts do not restrict what thee German health service can spend, Working age Germans pay more for their health care than we do here in the UK – perhaps if we were to pay more taxes the NHS would be like the German health care system?!

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

            Thats not true.
            There are limits to what their health service can spend.
            Germans pay different types of taxes
            Not much more than we do.
            The point is:-
            Their system gives a better outcome for the amount of money inputted.

          • hefner
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            German outcomes are likely to (have) be(en) better because the health system is not as centralised as in the UK. Each Land (16 in total) has the responsibility of dealing with events, whether it is winter flu (Health), flooding (Environment), teacher recruitment (Education), usw.

            Then the reaction to the early warning in February (automobile company employees coming back from meetings in China, young-ish German people coming back from ski holidays in Italy) was very much localised (see Covid-19 pandemic in Germany on wikipedia) and relatively quickly circumscribed.
            Finally when necessary ICU beds were more readily available than in the UK.
            (At the beginning of the crisis, mid-March, 28,000 ICU, i.e. 29.2 per 100,000 German inhabitants vs. 4,100 ICU beds and 6.6 per 100,000 British inhabitants: ‘The variability of critical care bed numbers in Europe’, Springer).

            On average, via taxes UK people pay 9.8% for health, German people pay 11.2% (Statista.com Health expenditure as percentage of GDP in selected countries in 2018).

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

            So a tiny difference in funding and yet much better outcomes and speed of service.

          • hefner
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

            Edward2, funny you say that. Depending how such an extra 1.4% would be applied either on the total tax due (as +1.4% on the final computed tax) or making each individual tax band higher by 1.4%, the income tax take from a middle earner (£28,000) would move from £3,100 to either £3,144 or £3,317, and for top earner (£344,000 according to HRMC statistics) from £134,800 to £136,687 or £139,241.
            That might be a tiny difference for a businessman as you are. I am not sure such an increase would not be front of the papers if it were one day to happen.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

            The percentage is on overall national income.
            From all taxation.
            So applying it just to income tax is a false comparison.
            Have another go.

          • hefner
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

            Curiouser and curiouser. 1.4% on the overall national income is in fact an even larger amount of money than what I had quoted. And then aren’t you among those who had commented negatively on the 0.7% given the ODA, or the 1.7% given the EU?
            So is 1.4% of the overall national income a ‘tiny difference in funding’?

          • Edward2
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

            My point is that Germany has a very good health system.
            Far better than the NHS.
            With only marginally more expense.
            If you include the insurance better off people pay.
            You applied the difference just to extra income tax
            The difference is actually spread over all the taxes Germans pay.
            I dont see why you find this difficult to understand.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

            As I said…from all taxation.
            Which you chose to ignore.

    • BOF
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      +1 Dare to dream.

  11. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    This letter sounds as though you’re trying to herd in headless chicken, which you are of course.

    All these things need someone to sit down and analyse what’s happening then correct it. The type of person Cummings was advertising for late last year.

    It’d be interesting to be a fly on the wall in meetings between these people and Hancock, who frankly seems to lack breadth, depth and experience in life.

    • Bob
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      “Hancock, who frankly seems to lack breadth, depth and experience in life.”

      In other words, a career politicain.

      • UKQanon
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        500% correct along with the majority of MPs. How many MPs in the dedicated positions have any knowledge of their so called positions, i,e. Health, Energy, Transport, NONE.
        All appear to rely on the words of their advisors, left wing Eurocrat Bureaucrats which make up the civil service.
        Have you checked Boris’s list of advisors S.A.G.E?

        • hefner
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          I checked the list as updated on 17 July on the http://www.gov.uk website ‘List of Participants of SAGE and related Sub-groups’.

          Through which end of the ‘neutral’ spyglass did you look at it, Q?

    • jerry
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      @SJS; Whilst I agree with the thrust of your argument I disagree that this is a suitable job for a political appointment, that route only ends in known Tractor Production figures but constant food shortages…

    • Nigl
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Not sure being rude about everyone adds any value.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        ah..but they get off on it!

    • Julian Flood
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Let me tell you a story…

      In one of the recent general elections – they blur together in the memory – I had a bit of hustings patter along the lines of ‘I’ve out-turned a Lightning at 50,000 ft over the Mediterranean, that was a good job. I’ve walked into my polytunnels as the sun rose on a bright May morning and seen thousands of plants made by these hands. That was a pretty good job. But I can honestly say that being a county councillor and looking after my residents is the best job I’ve ever had. ‘
      Matthew nicked it. However, when he tried it in Haverhill he was heckled…’ But you’ve never had a proper job, have you! ‘ I love that gutsy town.
      The accusation is unfair. MH worked in his parents computer firm before being fast’-tracked through the system.


  12. James Bertram
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Clearly, if there is better treatment and better procedures for those who are hospitalised so that the risk of death is much lower, then the seriousness of the disease, and the public’s fear, are considerably reduced.

    As of 19th March (before Full Lockdown on 23rd March) COVID-19 was no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK

    A very promising treatment for serious cases in hospital appeared in July:

    It is this kind of treatment that the government needs to do everything it can to progress; and not waste time and money on a ‘magic bullet’ vaccine. If we can treat the serious cases, then the public fear disappears, and there is no reason then not to allow herd immunity to naturally overcome the virus, and no excuse for the government to continue with its ludicrous interventions..

    It is worth adding that if general health is better in a population, then all serious illnesses are of less risk to them (this virus has carried off the weak and elderly, almost all with co-morbidities – another version of ‘the old man’s friend’). The government would be wise to invest here also.

    But this government is not wise; it has shown itself up to be ignorant, irrational and bloody stupid. Time for a change.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Dear Health Secretary. Why, in the UK, is it that about 12% of “tested positive patients” die when in Germany it is only 2% (this even in recent figures). Please find out and replicate what Germany is doing as soon as you possibly can. The health care system in the UK has a very poor record indeed which is not surprising given the state monopoly, anti-competitive system it is.

    Too late to undo the death caused by the idiotic pushing untested patients out of hospitals and into care homes but at least sort the about out or resign. Freedom, choice and an unrigged market.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Have you noticed where the majority of the additional £38 billion for the NHS has gone? Pay rises all round – again.

  14. John E
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Have they restarted driving empty ambulances around with their sirens blaring for no reason?
    I’m hearing a lot more sirens again in Earley and I made way on the road yesterday for an ambulance with all the emergency lights and sirens going that didn’t actually appear to be in any great hurry to get anywhere.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I have talked to quite a few ambulance crews in the last 2 months. The usual comment is – in 12 hours they have had 3 or 4 calls. Some have had ONE.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      overdue tea break?

    • jerry
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      @John E; “an ambulance with all the emergency lights and sirens going that didn’t actually appear to be in any great hurry to get anywhere.”

      Transporting someone with a suspected spin injury perhaps?

      Not ever call merits speed, even if it does require urgency.

      • M Brandreth- Jones
        Posted August 11, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        You try putting a cannula into collapsed veins, doing an ECG , giving a shot of adrenaline in an ambulance going over sleeping policemen at 50 mph.

  15. Bob Dixon
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    All hospitalised Covid patients should be moved out of hospitals to The Nightingale Hospitals.Normal service must be resumed at General Hospitals at once.

    • jerry
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      @Bob Dixon; Most areas don’t even have NHS Nightingale Hospitals, your suggestion would result in a massive transport logistic cost, more so when many of these hospitals now mothballed over the summer months. The key is to keep the R# down, thus keep Covid-19 admissions down.

      As for the resumption of ‘normal services’ at General Hospitals, no we need to do better than that, much better!

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I agree that the hospitals need to get busy treating sick people again. A weekly report by the responsible minister, on-camera, would help provide a spur on the flanks of the trusts.

    • glen cullen
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Even now after 6 months its difficult to get the actual numbers of people in a bed with covid-19 in hospital ? If anyone has this simple and straightforward information please please link

  16. Dave Andrews
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Many diseases that previously scourged this country weren’t eradicated by medicines, but good sanitation. It wasn’t antibiotics that rid us of cholera, but fresh water supply and sewage systems.
    Rather than put hope in medication to cure Covid-19, wouldn’t it be better to focus on sanitation measures?
    Put monitors in frequently used public conveniences to encourage hand washing amongst those who might otherwise leave without bothering, and who could wipe cubicle handles, lock, flush button and seat after each use. Conscientious visitors might even do the wiping down themselves.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Dave Andrews. From what I’ve seen most people can’t even bother to use hand sanitisers that are in shop door ways let alone wash afteer using the WC. What a lazy , dirty nation we have become.

  17. Stephen Priest
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The Prime Minister is taking advice from Susan Michie

    From Wikipedia:

    “Michie is a member of the Covid-19 Behavioural Science Advisory Group[6] and the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours, a sub-group of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

    She is a member of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), but has donated to the Labour Party[15] under the Corbyn leadership”

    This explains everything.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Indeed anyone supporting Labour is surely highly deluded to say the very least. Anyone supporting them under Corbyn’s idiotic (let’s become Venezuela) leadership is surely totally mad or genuinely evil.

      But Boris shows every sign of being yet another big government Libdem PM just like most other recent Conservative leaders. He has not even cancelled HS2 yet.

  18. Steven
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The abject failure of the NHS to adequately care for patients during this entirely unnecessary, economically disastrous and lethal lockdown charade is, or should be, a matter of national shame and criminal prosecution. The thought that we should rely on the same people that have done so much harm to organise research into drugs is absurd.
    I am fully aware that a large percentage of the population still believes the flagrant lies and continuing propaganda so no doubt the guilty will escape prosecution as usual. However I suspect that natural justice will prevail and we will all get exactly what we deserve. I can live with that but can the guilty?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      I’m increasingly glad that I didn’t subscribe to the Weekly Clapfest.

  19. a-tracy
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Private Hospitals, hold on a minute John, the private hospitals cleared all their lists in March and haven’t provided any service to their insured patients, people are still waiting to get their booked treatments back, are you proposing to carry on charging private medical insurance and private medical insurance tax then take the services for a further six months. Please let us know because I’ve had enough now you’re government and private medical insurers are taking the Mickey.

  20. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Reports are now that a few people have died in China because of Bubonic plague. Anyone taking bets how long before it is flown into the UK?

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      The death-toll has been stuck on 4634 for months now. One wonders if one should believe their figures or suspect that they have developed a cure and are keeping it themselves.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        I imagine the last report writer of a death is now in one of the sprawling Uighurs’ detention camps.
        You might find a farewell note in a Christmas cracker later in the year.

  21. RichardP
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I would like to know what proportion of the people made very ill by Covid 19 had received a flu vaccination.

    • M H
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Me too RichardP. Boris had one on tv.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Are you thinking that the flu-jab was a positive or a negative influence?

  22. acorn
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    O/T. Do you know the difference between Operation Stack; Operation Fennel and Operation Brock? Would it not be easier if the County of Kent was annexed to the Hauts-de-France region of France for a year or two?


    What could possibly go wrong! 😉

    • Edward2
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Most previous uses have been to deal with the effects of stroppy French union strikes.

  23. Mark
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I see there is an article for the Elsevier published journal Medical Hypotheses that recommends there should be a formal investigation of HCQ plus zinc, rather than either alone, on the basis that HCQ can open up the virus for zinc to interfere with the RNA and prevent replication. The hypothesis is that they work in tandem. That this article is recent suggests we don’t have an appropriate formal test of the combination. They also suggest a trial including the anti-bacterial azithromycin. It is a sad commentary that we still don’t have these trials to supplement the testament of many doctors that these combinations are useful, apparently on the grounds that because President Trump recommended HCQ it is not considered acceptable to run the risk that the might be proved right about that. Lives and good health are at stake globally, and that should trump elections. Let us have a proper trial – not fake data as published and then retracted by the Lancet. If it works, we have a proven and cheap way to reduce serious cases that will allow us to get back to normal. If it doesn’t work then the Democrats will doubtless claim medical superiority.

    The major international trial on HCQ recently reported it has been under more political pressure to halt. They say However, fraudulent data, unjustified extrapolation and exaggerated safety concerns together with intense politicisation and negative publicity may stop COPCOV, the only large, global clinical trial testing hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 prevention, from ever finding out.

  24. BOF
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Tomorrow I have a hip replacement which should have been done in March. My condition has deteriorated to such an extent that I am now nearly immobilised. I consider myself lucky compared with many thousands of others with life threatening conditions, and my op is private.

    The private sector has been commandeered by the NHS to do very little while NHS hospitals have had plenty spare capacity. An utter disgrace and entirely the fault of PHE and administration.

  25. beresford
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    They are running a story on Sky that 48% of the population would refuse a CV19 vaccine and that this would wreck the strategy (paving the way for compulsion). My position is that if the vaccine is a good thing there should be no problem in every MP and their families leading the way by being vaccinated first, and allowing sufficient time to elapse for any side effects to be evaluated.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      I won’t be at the head of the queue. Scientist-me would have some concerns about taking a vaccine that had been rushed through development. And I’ve always been grateful for my mother having the good sense to stop taking Thalidomide when she noticed side-effects while carrying me. I’ll wait a few months and rely on physical protections, like now. But I’ll get a flu jab.

    • Julian Flood
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      While eating beefburgers.


    • Fred H
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      compulsion……I have this dystopian vision of Government Stormtroopers arriving in large black vans, blue lights strobing, dressed head to toe in black, wielding baseball bats and door-breakers – rushing to front and back doors – pushing stun-grenades through letterboxes – -followed by taking doors of hinges and manhandling invalid elderly grannies one at each limb while bellowing ‘you didn’t show up for your Covid jab, did you!’

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        Oh YES!
        My recurring nightmare exactly!

  26. Everhopeful
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Very good letter!
    Kind of “well if not why not?” But extremely tactful.
    Next missive to Boris.
    Suggest he stops listening to SAGE? ….misnomer or what?

  27. Anonymous
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    When are we going to start getting assessments of deaths by lockdown (not by CV19) ?

    – suicides

    – missed appointments

    – poverty

    And perhaps an assessment of global life loss owing to mass unemployment and the starvation it is going to bring.

  28. Caterpillar
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Dear Secretary of State for Health,

    Please could you comment on

    (1) The potential evolutionary impact on a virus of isolating people with no symptoms.
    (2) The loss of cross reactive immunity to potential future coronaviruses by stopping the spread of largely asymptomatic and low risk viral strains.

    • zorro
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Fat chance of an answer. They know that compulsory and amateur muzzling will create other health infections which will need more treatment.


  29. Everhopeful
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Surely if the coronavirus were capable of easily becoming an aerosol and hanging about in the air for hours ( as measles can), then the infection rates would have been much greater?
    Why is some research ignored and other research (disinformation?) followed blindly?
    Never, never have people been thus subjugated in the name of a disease.
    MASKS…for God’s sake!
    As to the various drugs mentioned their actions and side effects are well known to medics.
    Presumably they are on hand (or is there a supply problem) and they are licensed.
    So why not just try them instead of “researching” them?
    Or are we waiting for the Black Swan vaccine?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Does everything have to be binary, absolute, and infantile in its simplicity for you?

      • Edward2
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        A post of sublime irony.
        Coming from you.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Many things in life are binary, absolute and simple.
        Like a Referendum, for example.
        You know….Remain a member of the European Union ☹️
        Leave the European Union 😃
        Simple, binary choice!!!
        Leave WON absolutely!
        Very infantile to sulk and whine about Leave winning. Bad loser!
        Tut! Tut!

        • margaret howard
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink


          “Leave WON absolutely!”

          Really? 51.9% for and 48.1% against?

          That sort of result wouldn’t have been accepted in our local town council elections.

          As it is it will destroy the future of millions of our young people.

          None so blind as those that will not see.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

            Over one million more people voted to leave the EU than remain.
            A smaller percentage majority got Martin his own Welsh Parliament.
            I didn’t notice any rebellion against that result.

          • Helen Smith
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

            Suspect had Remain won 51.9% of the vote you would announce the issue resolved for the next 40 years.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

            No, Farage said that a 52:48 Remain result would not have been “finished business by any means”.

            And there is no reason whatsoever why it should have been in a democracy.

            Just as there is none why pro-European Union people should not continue to work for as close a relationship as possible with it now.

          • hefner
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

            So Edward2, I need your advice here: In a faraway country some years ago, a candidate HRC got 65,844,610 votes (48.2% of the total), another DJT got 62,979,636 votes (46.1%) and and a few Others (all together) got 7,804,213 votes (5.7%). The difference between the two leading candidates was 2,864,974 votes.
            What situation would morally (a word on the rise with our PM these days) be acceptable?

          • Edward2
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

            You forget America has a collegiate system designed to balance the density of population in a few areas with all the other areas.
            And it works well.
            Surely you understand how the American government and electoral college system works.?
            Comparing this to a binary referendum is a complete red herring.
            But good try.

          • hefner
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            You’re so clever, Edward2, I really admire you.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 11, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

            Not really because your post was such an open goal.
            And a red herring.

            But keep trying hef.

        • Andy
          Posted August 9, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

          That’s where you went wrong. You asked a binary question on something that does not have a binary answer.

          Still, enjoy your lorry parks. And your new border down the Irish Sea. And your masses of extra bureaucracy. And higher prices.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

            All your previous Project Fear 1.0 and 2.0 predictions failed to come true.
            So will your latest ones.

          • Fred H
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

            The word for today – binary. Two states – could be positive or negative?
            Truth or fiction. Intelligent or stupid. Worth reading or discard.

          • Everhopeful
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

            It does.
            And the answer is and was…

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

            And the UK has left.

            Hannan, Farage, and his wastes-of-space all got their shoves in the back from the European Union’s Parliament.

            The UK has no Commissioner, nor Minister, nor veto, nor votes in the Council, nor seat with the other sovereign countries’ leaders.


          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            Yet we still pay billions in and are obliged to follow EU laws until 31zt December 2020

      • Fred H
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        sounds rather like our reaction to your posts!

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 9, 2020 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

        When are you going to include deaths by lockdown and not CV 19 ?

        Especially because of global job losses ?

        Everything is black and white with you, Martin (except when it comes to BLM breaching lockdown rules – which you find ‘exhilarating’)

        • David Brown
          Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          Young people the next generation of voters will have their input into UK relations with the EU that’s for sure. The matter of leaving will never go away and I for one will be pushing for a very close relationship with the EU and by that I mean Customs Union in every thing but name. What Parliament is legislating for in 2021 can be overturned in future and I hope within 5 Years. Leaving the EU was an old peoples vote.

  30. zorro
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Good letter and I hope that our Dreaded Health Commissar Mat Hang Kok gives you an acceptable reply. Has he done so so far?

    I suspect that he and those he admires or associates with are too heavily ‘invested’ in a vaccine to ‘cure’ this ‘disease’.

    There is plenty of evidence that suitable mixtures of drugs at the right stage of intervention are having an effect on those who are hospitalized (I can supply the study references). They are also very low cost.

    Unfortunately, I fear that this is mainly a scam to enrich big pharma companies and create a long term dependency on them!


    • backofanenvelope
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      They won’t take this approach, because it was suggested by Donald Trump. Must be bad then.

  31. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve jusT seen we might be going into lockdown again next month. Blooming great! Yet another time I will have to cancel my holiday in Lake District. Why tge hell hasn’t this government got test and trace up abd running yet? It’s disgusting. Every other country in Europe has managed it but we waste millions on something that doesn’t work. Typical. Thank God there’s not a war on. Looks like the kiddies who have been enjoying eating out, going on planes, going to theme parks and the beach won’t be going back to school. More excuses for people to stay off work. I despair and I think we are all running out of patience.

  32. Mick
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    A very good letter Sir John , now draft one up for Boris and Priti asking why we are letting all these bloody illegal migrants into our country instead of sending them straight back to France , no putting up in some flash hotel with three square meals and pocket money, I’m sick of reading this about the softly softly approach to unwelcome migrants and you can bet I’m not on my own which if not sorted soon will come back to haunt your party at the next general election

  33. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Although the daily number of COVID-19 deaths (7-day moving average) continues to decline – but gradually – the daily number of cases (again 7-day moving average) is increasing, from a low of 551 on 7th July to 877.

    What I want to know – and so do most of the UK public – is the source(s) of this increased number of cases. Now that we have a “wonderful” track and trace system in place, it ought to be able to tell us. We don’t want a situation where the Government takes all decisions for us and releases only the information that it wants to.

    Possible sources of transmission:
    – Religious gatherings
    – Overcrowded beaches
    – Sports clubs
    – Private parties
    – Restaurants

    Please, Sir John, let us have the transparency to which we are entitled.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      ‘a situation where the Government takes all decisions … and releases only the information that it wants to.’

      Sounds familar – anybody think of where that happens?

    • Mark
      Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      It is more difficult to disentangle whether we really have rising numbers of cases or simply more testing now that we are no longer allowed to see the breakdown between Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 (which includes many asymptomatic cases), and when the locations of cases are being suppressed.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 4:10 am | Permalink


      The virus is out there. Most, if not all of us, have or will have been infected at so e stage. This is what is known, as you well know, as herd immunity. All the government has done is to drag out the inevitable whilst trashing the economy in the process.

  34. DavidJ
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John for those questions. There is so much misinformation / disinformation about the virus and I suspect many are using it for their own evil ends.

    We deserve the truth not the ramblings of those with an agenda.

  35. ChrisS
    Posted August 9, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    “after the heroic efforts made by some to tackle the dangerous and difficult CV 19 surge”.

    A very interesting final sentence, Sir John.

    Far too many NHS staff and facilities have been twiddling their thumbs on full pay at our expense while the courageous few tackled the virus. This has been an appalling demonstration of inept NHS management and is not the responsibility of the government.

    The likelihood is that people will lose many more years off of their lives because of NHS neglect and lack of treatment through justifiable fear of attending hospital, than will victims of the virus.

    We can only hope that the inevitable public enquiry will call NHS managers and Public Health England to account over this debacle.

    • ed2
      Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      A very interesting final sentence, Sir John

      Perhaps when you are an MP you have to play along with the dominant narrative incase the MSM eats you alive?

  36. Helen Smith
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you for raising the issue of Beta Interferon, results from a small trial were incredibly good and I feel there is no time to be lost in getting the drug into standard usage, either straight after diagnosis in at risk groups or when patients are hospitalised.

    I know we are trialling the preventative option, but updates would be good.

  37. David Brown
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    A very good constructed letter well thought out with appropriate questions and making some good points

  38. Richard
    Posted August 10, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John for a very good letter.

    Reportedly the Recovery trial was a disgrace with inappropriate massive doses of HCQ given to late stage very sick people. https://conservativewoman.co.uk/recovery-the-plot-sickens/ https://conservativewoman.co.uk/author/edmundfordham/

  39. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    John leave it to the people who are actively managing this and the research labs , not the puppet people who write about it and take the most publicised bits out to serve their ridiculous arguments.

  40. martin
    Posted August 12, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Regarding vaccinations see


    Looking forward to your thoughts on moving from a service to manufacturing economy or not.

  41. Butties
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I thank you for posting this. I trust you will post any response that you receive.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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