‘Flu, goats and fleecing

At 6 am this morning the BBC were reporting that RCGP Chairwoman Clare Gerada had said pharmacists should not be allowed to sell the ‘flu jab. This is the story in the  Telegraph. By 7am this had changed to saying that she hadn’t said that, but she had said that vulnerable people should have their jabs before the ‘worried well’ and the BBC website story was duly changed. Isn’t the real story that many GPs have under-ordered their supplies of ‘flu for their patients as they oversee their own orders and some of them have been giving them to the worried well instead of keeping them for their ‘at risk’ patients? Pharmacists will have ordered their flu jabs quite separately and it feels like they are being made the scape goat.

Which reminds me, the story that got my goat at the weekend was the unbelievable price some parents were charged for their daughters glasses. They had been referred to an ophthalmologist at Great Ormond Street who found that their daughter had a problem with focusing. This is not unusual and a good optician such as those here would have been able to work that one out – I was prescribing bifocals to children for this sort of problem 20 years ago. The scandal is being charged £400 for the glasses when most opticians would have supplied them for free – not charge any cost to the patient, simply submit the NHS (or Hospital Eye Service) voucher to cover the cost! Patients can always top up for a fancier frame – but £400 – for a 9 year old’s glasses! They were fleeced!

Meanwhile Sir Michael Rawlins was interviewed about his new report but the BBC interview failed to capture the importance to UK economic growth of making the running of clinical trials easier. See my post here for why this report is crucial.

 

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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