The Scotsman medical matters pages

The Scotsman medical matters pages

A good nurse makes little things count

DAY in, day out, there are skilled nurses all over Scotland providing invaluable care to the sick and infirm. Many provide an excellent service, but it would be wrong to grow complacent.

Politics not so different from medicine – but with more support

PEOPLE who used to read the newspaper column I wrote when I was a GP often ask me how life has changed since I threw away my stethoscope and entered parliament.

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New leader of Scots doctors' union has a hard act to follow

AT THE bottom of this article, in italics, a few details about me are given. They identify me as "a practising GP and a member of the Scottish council of the BMA".

It's healthcare, Jim, but not as we know it

THINK of the future of medical technology and the image of hand-held scanners from the world of Star Trek might come to mind – machines able to diagnose anything in a few moments.

Unlocking the mysteries of mental illness

LAST year, the global market in drugs to fight mental illness reached £9 billion, fuelled by a long-held medical consensus that diseases such as depression and schizophrenia are caused by imbalances in the chemistry of the brain.

Stem cells offers hope in battle against motor neurone disease

NEURODEGENERATIVE diseases represent one of the major public health burdens of our time.

Mediation can be the path to satisfaction in negligence claims

IN ARGUING against "no-fault" compensation for medical negligence claims, Frank Maguire (Medical Matters, 28 July) raises interesting issues.

How tragedies can be turned into fresh hope

WHEN asked if they support the principle of transplantation, about 95 per cent of those questioned answer yes. Yet when relatives are given the devastating news that a loved one has died, only 61 per cent agree to donate their organs.

Dr John Garner: Isolation the answer to overabundance of swine flu advisories

FOR the last three months my colleagues and I have received a torrent of paper and electronic advice concerning swine flu.

How tsunami changed dental chief's outlook

AS A forensic dentist working for the Scottish police, John Drummond has seen some terrible sights.

Avoiding fault in compensation does no-one full justice

THE Scottish Government has set up a task force of experts to examine a possible change in the way patients could obtain compensation from the NHS.

Lyndsay Moss: Testing questions to be asked about free product samples

I CANNOT lie to you – I love a freebie. I'm not talking about the kind of freebies your local MP might enjoy at the taxpayers' expense, or the free clothes and holidays lavished on celebrities.

Professor David Webb: Drug development critical in ongoing medical challenges

OVER the past 50 years the use of effective medicines to treat heart disease, cancer and infections has transformed and extended our lives.

Joint force to provide a safe space to share

PEOPLE don't realise how hard it is to say, 'I am living with HIV'," says Martha Baillie, the senior manager of community projects at Edinburgh charity Waverley Care. "While it might not be such a profound physical disability, in terms of mental health it can be quite difficult. People are living with something that shuts them off from everybody else."

Care-giving must be part of prescription

CARE-giving is understood by economists as a "burden," by clinical psychologists as a "coping process", by health-services researchers in terms of health-care costs, and by physicians as a matter of clinical competency.

Designed to deliver a better experience for new mothers

THE design of maternity hospitals has undergone a silent revolution, with current thinking taking into consideration such issues as wall colour, birthing pools and access to external spaces.

Ian McKee: Pupils' alcohol complaints leave a nasty hangover selling minimum age changes

ALCOHOL has been my problem this month and it has given me a serious hangover. Not, I hasten to add, because I have been imbibing the stuff, but because it has been the subject of two important meetings I attended within a few days of each other in the past few weeks.

Sammy Lee: Human error is no excuse as IVF clinics fail to learn from mistakes

IN 2002, the UK IVF world was shattered by the media revelation of a fertilisation blunder in Leeds that saw a white couple have black twins.

Dr John Garner: Fab four days with BMA, but its money can't buy you lunch

LAST week saw the annual jamboree of the British Medical Association (BMA), which this year was in Liverpool.

Bryan Webster: Failed by a system set up to care for her every need

DEAR Consultant for Patient-Centred Care, I want to draw your attention to our friend (whom we will call Patience) who recently lost her life while being cared for by the NHS. I know you exist because politicians and NHS managers talk about patient-centred care all the time, so there must be someone responsible for it. But, like Richard III looking for Richmond on Bosworth Field, I kept thinking I had found you, only to be frustrated.

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