Daily Archives: 05/05/2015

The NHS needs your vote

Yes I’m a sober blogger first and foremost but part of that identity is nurse.  I don’t like getting drawn into political debate but as the General Election draws close please reflect on how your vote will impact the NHS and what happens to it going forward, and as a part of that drug and alcohol treatment and policy.

The Guardian received 3 letters to the editor on Sunday supporting the NHS and signed by many of the great and the good.  One of them related  particularly to the “damage that the coalition government’s policies have done to the health of the British people.”


Here it is in its entirety:

As senior public health professionals, we must draw attention to the damage that the coalition government’s policies have done to the health of the British people. First, it placed “responsibility deals” with producers of junk food and alcohol at the centre of its public-health strategy. As its own evaluation confirms, these have achieved almost nothing. Second, it has delayed action on issues such as reducing the salt hidden in food, which researchers have linked to 6,000 additional deaths.

Third, it has failed to implement minimum unit pricing for alcohol, again in the face of research evidence that this would save thousands of lives. Fourth, its austerity policies can be linked to a reversal in the long-term downward trend in suicides, which have increased most where welfare cuts have been most severe. These policies have also contributed directly to a marked increase in food poverty, with growing numbers dependent on food banks. Fifth, it has failed to address the already poor health of British children. The areas where the government has made progress, such as standardised packaging for cigarettes and antimicrobial resistance, show what could have been done.

This reluctance to act, whether due to ideology, closeness to corporate interests or fears of being accused of “nanny-state tactics”, has been damaging to health and has led to many thousands of unnecessary deaths. Whatever government is elected this week, we call upon it to put evidence before ideology. The people’s health must come first.
Professor Martin McKee CBE Professor of European Public Health, London
Professor Simon Capewell Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Liverpool
Professor John Acres Professor of Public Health, Southampton
Professor Sheila Adam CBE Former Deputy Chief Medical Officer, England, London
Dr Sushma Acquilla Former Academic Registrar, Faculty of Public Health, Northallerton
Dr Tim Anstiss Founder: Academy for Health Coaching
Ms Pam Ashton Public health community advisor, Merseyside
Prof Sue Atkinson CBE PH Consultant & Former Regional DPH, London
Professor Gus Baker Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, Liverpool
Professor Clare Bambra Professor of Public Health Geography, Durham
Dr Ben Barr Senior Clinical Lecturer in Applied Public Health Research, Liverpool
Professor Yoav Ben-Shlomo Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Bristol
Professor Richard Bentall Professor of Clinical Psychology, Liverpool
Professor Susan Bewley Professor of Complex Obstetrics, London
Dr Chris Birt Honorary Research Fellow, Liverpool
Professor Carol Brayne Professor of Epidemiology, Cambridge
Professor Nicky Britten Professor of Applied Health Care Research, Exeter
Dr Catherine Brogan Public Health Chief Executive, London
Professor Eric Brunner Professor of Social and Biological Epidemiology, London
Dr Andrew Burnett Former Director Of Public Health, London
Professor Francesco Cappuccio Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine & Epidemiology, Warwick
Professor Martin Caraher Professor of Food and Health Policy, London
Professor Sir Iain Chalmers Co-founder Cochrane Collaboration Oxford
Dr Kailash Chand OBE General practitioner Tameside & Glossop
Dr Elaine Church Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
Professor Aileen Clarke Professor of Public Health& Health Services Research Warwick
Professor Jeff Collin Professor of Global Health Policy Edinburgh
Professor Anthony Costello Professor of Global Health, London
Dr Jack Czauderna Former GP, Sheffield
Professor Linda de Caestecker Honorary professor at the University of Glasgow, Glasgow
Professor Carol Dezateux CBE Professor of Paediatric Epidemiology, London
Professor Peter Diggle Distinguished University Professor of Epidemiology and Statistics, Lancaster
Gina Dowding County Councillor Lancashire
Professor Elizabeth Dowler Professor in Food & Social Policy, Warwick
Professor Christopher Dowrick Professor of Primary Medical Care, Liverpool
Dr Maria Duggan Director, London
Professor Shah Ebrahim Professor of Epidemiology, London
Dr Etheline Enoch Ebola Clinical Lead, London
Professor Matt Field Professor of Psychology, Liverpool
Professor John Gabbay Former Professor of Public Health, Southampton
Professor Mark Gabbay Professor of Primary Care, Liverpool
Professor Amandine Garde Head of Law Department, Liverpool
Dr Katy Gardner Senior Partner, London
Dr Clare Gerada MBE General Practitioner, London
Professor Ruth Gilbert Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, London
Professor Anna Gilmore Professor of Public Health, Bath
Professor Mark Gilthorpe Professor of Statistics, Leeds
Professor David Gunnell Professor of Epidemiology, Bristol
Professor Sir Andy Haines Professor of Public Health & Primary Care, London
Professor Gerard Hastings OBE Professor of Social Marketing, Stirling
Dr Fengjun He Senior Research Fellow, London
Professor Susan Higham Professor of Oral Biology, Liverpool
Dr Alison Hill Consultant in Public Health, Oxford
Dr Judith Hooper Retired Director of Public Health, Kirklees
Professor David Hunter Professor of Health Policy and Management, Durham
Professor Bobbie Jacobson OBE Former Director, London Health Observatory, London
Professor Ann Jacoby Professor of Medical Sociology Liverpool
Professor Philip James CBE Honorary Professor of Nutrition, London
Dr Tony Jewell Former Chief Medical Officer, Wales Cardiff
Professor Lynne Kennedy Head of Department of Clinical Sciences & Nutrition, Chester
Professor Kay-Tee Khaw CBE Professor of Clinical Gerontology, Cambridge
Professor Tim Lang Professor of Food Policy London
Professor David Lawrence Honorary Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research, London
Professor Andree Le May Co-editor, Journal of Research in Nursing, Southampton
Professor Alastair Leyland Professor of Statistics, Glasgow
Professor Stuart Logan Cerebra, Professor of Paediatric Epidemiology Exeter
Professor Graham MacGregor Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine London
Professor Rajan Madhok Retired NHS director of public health and medical director NHS Manchester
Professor Barrie Margetts Professor of Nutrition, Southampton
Professor Alan Maryon-Davis Former President, Faculty of Public Health, London
Dr David McCoy Reader in Public Health, London
Professor Stewart Mercer Professor of Primary Care Research, Glasgow
Professor John Middleton Independent Public Health Consultant, Coventry
Dr Clive Needle Policy & Advocacy Director, London
Professor Kate O’Donnell Professor of Primary Care Research & Development, Glasgow
Professor Eileen O’Keefe Emeritus Professor of Public Health, London
Dr Steven Oliver Senior Lecturer, York
Dr David Pencheon OBE Director, Norwich
Professor Kate Pickett Professor of Epidemiology, York
Professor Jennie Popay Professor of Sociology and Public Health, Lancaster
Dr Dan Pope Senior Lecturer in Public Health, Liverpool
Professor Geof Rayner Honorary Research Fellow, London
Dr John Robson Reader in Primary Care & Tower Hamlets/ GP, London
Professor Ted Schrecker Professor of Global Health Policy, Durham
Professor Alex Scott-Samuel Honorary Professor, Liverpool
Professor Alwyn Smith CBE Emeritus professor of epidemiology, Manchester
Professor David Stuckler Professor of Medical Sociology, Oxford
Dr Qutub Syed Former Regional Director of Public Health, Manchester
Dr David Taylor-Robinson Senior Lecturer in Public Health, Liverpool
Dr Arpana Verma Senior Lecturer & Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Manchester
Professor Ian Watt Professor of Primary Care, York
Dr Jane Wells Consultant in Public Health, Oxford
Professor Margaret Whitehead WH Duncan Chair of Public Health, Liverpool
Professor Ewan Wilkinson Professor of Global Public Health, Chester
Professor Graham Winyard CBE Former Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Winchester
Dr Katrina Wyatt Associate Professor of Health Research, Exeter

In all my adult voting years there has never been an election that felt so critical.  Lets hope whoever is elected heeds the voices of those listed above and does the right thing by this country and their people in terms of public health and the NHS.


Stansted Airport set to be first Starbucks in UK to offer alcohol at night

This was from one of my local newspapers recently:

Stansted Airport will be the first UK Starbucks to offer alcohol and meals in the evenings.  The US coffee giant, which has over 700 cafés in the UK, is to begin selling premium wines and beers in the evenings to customers.

alcohol not coffee
alcohol not coffee

It will also offer hot meals and snacks – with dishes such as chorizo and prawn skewers to truffle mac & cheese and braised British beef on the menu.

The newly renovated Stansted store is the first location to offer Starbucks Evenings with plans to expand the programme to additional stores.

A Stansted Airport spokesman said: “An £80 million transformation of the terminal building is underway at Stansted and we’re delighted that Starbucks is joining the line-up of leading brands getting involved with this exciting development. We look forward to supporting Starbucks with their first ever food and wine outlet in the UK.”

Ian Cranna, vp marketing and category for Starbucks EMEA said: “We are delighted to launch the first Evenings Programme in the UK. Providing a welcoming coffeehouse environment has always been our focus and now we can offer something new for the evening too. I think our customers will love the new range of terrific food and carefully selected wines and beers which will provide even more choice and reasons to visit us later in the day.”

Simon Smith, CEO, UK and Ireland for SSP UK, commented: “We are delighted to support our partner Starbucks with the new Evenings Programme at Stansted Airport. Starbucks is a brand which is synonymous with great coffee and introducing this programme will tempt our coffee lovers to experience a new range of delicious foods and carefully selected alcoholic beverages in our newly renovated store.”

As well as shareable savoury items, there are also delicious new desserts available on the Starbucks Evenings menu, which have been expertly paired with Starbucks range of drinks. 

Now I like the idea of coffee shop culture broadening out to the evening but do they need to sell booze?  One could argue that an airport is different but they already have a pub serving booze pretty much 24/7.  And our pub trade in this country is under the cosh as it is without Starbucks trying to muscle in on the alcohol trade come evening time if this is a trial balloon …… What do you think?

PS Subscriber number 1100 has just signed up so the free Udemy place is now available to person 1200!!  If you think you are alone in your concerns about your drinking  I can categorically tell you – you are not!  Over 1000 people have requested my free e-book since it became available last September – that’s approximately 4 people a day, 30 people a week or 120 a month.  You are part of a growing movement and in very good company 😉

Edited to add: 20/10/2015

Starbucks to sell wine and beer as it launches store of the future

Starbucks is trying to win over customers by launching a new concept Star Reserve store in London where it will also serve alcohol and £6 cups of coffee

26th February 2016 – it would seem it was indeed a trial balloon ……

Pret a Manger and Starbucks to sell alcohol in UK stores after London trials

Pret a Manger and coffee giant Starbucks are planning to sell alcohol in branches across the UK in a bid to lure late-night drinkers away from pubs and bars | Evening Standard, UK