Thursday, March 31, 2011

Avoid Arriva Wales trains as a venue for being unconcious

My late father was a diabetic, so I got a fair amount of practice in the management of a diabetic comma. He managed his illness very well, but there were occasions where he got the balance between insulin and food intake wrong. The one occasion he collapsed in public where he was assumed to be drunk by the police who were all for locking him up for being D & D, but fortunately the Ambulance Service set them right.

A lad on the seat behind me on the train back from Shrewsbury on Tuesday collapsed. No obvious smell of drink, could have been pills and potions or could have been concussion from some type of accident or diabetic comma or something else. The train manager could not wake him once he had collapsed between the seats and she made a lot of effort.

It does not really matter the cause from a 1st aid point of view. Make sure their airway is clear and put in recovery, seek help. Our poor unfortunate had his head against the side of the carriage, forcing his head forward. The possibility of doing a Hendrix is somewhat raised and if he had been sick, well, you know what could happen.

The conductor who was both most caring and intent on doing the right things, called for an ambulance to meet the train at Machynleth Station. All good. However, neither she or the driver-manager(not quite sure I understand what they are) felt that they could move our friend to release the pressure on his neck because of Arriva rules(thats my understanding at least of their conversation). So I did it and put him in the recovery position [ which he promptly moved out of, but at least his neck was not constrained ]. I figured that should he die, it would spoil my evening more than the shadow of a no-win no fee solicitor.

We can't expect all train staff to be 1st aid trained, but they could at least ask if any passengers are. If he had stopped breathing, he may not have made it to the paramedics without CPR and that would have fallen to a passenger, in this case probably me, to keep his breathing and circulation going.

So if you are going to take drugs, drink yourself into oblivion, bang your head or not manage an illness properly and wish to travel on an Arriva train while unconcious, take someone with you who knows how to handle the situation. The Arriva staff will do their very best for you, but believe they are constrained by the rules their company gives them to follow.

No idea what happened to him or the cause, but he was still breathing at Machynleth as the Paramedics took over and I got off.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dyfed Powys Police and Twitter

I had my Council Tax bill this week. Given they way they conduct business, I don't think Trefuerig Community Council should get even 30 pence of the 26.30 I am going to have to write a cheque for (unless they have changed the way they treat community members in the last 9 months).

Dyfed Powys Police Authority get 272.13. At one level, why I have to pay it puzzles me as I don't plan to commit any crime so I am not clear why I need to pay for the police, but it seems close to a reasonable figure and worth it to have P.C. Hefin Jones as our local bobby alone. I am less sure about some of this money being used for someone to sit behind a Twitter account and tweet, as they did in December, that I should take care as there is snow on the road. Good use of the council tax payers money? I can't see it. Most of the Tweets are retweets which means someone is spending a lot of time reading other web sites, am I also paying for that?

Anyway, I don't get it and the xray99 site should be investigated as wasting public money and police time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Food security : framing the real problem

An interesting article in the Economist special report on food security a week or 2 ago. One of the inset boxes contained a short article about food waste at various levels. The developed world waste about 50% of the food produced and the developing world about 20%.

Making agriculture more efficient would be trying to solve the wrong problem. Are vested interests at work to promote the culture of increased production as the only path or is it seen as too hard to change the culture of what and how were eat to cut waste.

I tried to come up with a bias that might explain some of this, but decided I did not know enough about the subject area. Maybe that is a bias in itself?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

BCS talk : Lessons from America - Obama's Healthcare IT Programme

I attended this lecture last night at the BCS mid Wales meeting. Its was quite depressing really regarding the extent to which WAG gave failed to grasp the IT nettle, Edwina Heart was the best out of touch quote. I think this was recorded and if you are intested in Healthcare IT, it would be well worth the hour to watch.

Lessons from America - Obama's Healthcare IT Programme

Date: Monday 7 March 2011, 6.00pm - 8.00pm. The talk will start at 6.00pm and tea/coffee will be available from 5.30pm.
Venue: Computer Science Department, Aberystwyth University. We expect to be able to offer a live broadcast of this event via the internet. Details to follow when this is confirmed.
Speaker: Tom Brooks

The UK has a poor record of implementing major national IT programmes especially in the public sector. For some 20 years, various Audit Office and Parliamentary reports have been produced to describe the “failures” and some of the reasons for them. Few lessons appear to have been learnt bringing into question on the world stage the competence of IT professionals in the UK.

This presentation compares elements of the NHS IT programmes in England and Wales with the Obama healthcare IT initiative in the USA. It identifies principles that could be deployed, with advantage, in the UK.

Tom Brooks, a committee member of the BCS Mid Wales branch, has worked on national IT programmes in several parts of the world. He has supported the National Audit Office and the Audit Commission and given evidence to several Parliamentary Select Committees. In 1995, he was seconded to the Department of Health to lead the successful ‘new NHS number’ programme forEngland and Wales. He worked for 7 years for a leading US advanced systems supplier and still makes regular study tours to the USA.