Saturday, 31 January 2015

Tapestry and Kung Fu Chicken Fighters at The Cave, Addlestone.

Thursday night; despite the cold and a few wisps of snow we were off to The Cave at The Hollybush in Addlestone.

I've been a regular there for a while for a while but this was the busiest I've seen it. Then again, it's no coincidence that The Hobgoblin has closed. Mind you, there were some special offers behind the bar.

I have no idea who the first act was (we were a bit late, if I can find out, I will update) a strong, acoustic guitarist. 



The Kung Fu Chicken Fighters were up from Poole in Dorset and are Mark Leadbetter and Matt Burridge on guitars, Jason Colbert on Drums, Graham Rigler on bass and Robbie Almond on vocals.

Just like The Hob, I often go to The Cave to catch music I probably wouldn't like, if I thought about it. That's how you get to hear new things. I like that.

They play 'Stoner Rock/Funk'...."Like a roundhouse kick to the face from Chuck Norris". Well we got the Funk - in small patches. We also got the stoner rock, not so much my thing though everyone else liked it.
 


We'd come to see Tapestry who we've seen a few times before at The Hob. By the time they came on there were more than a few Hob regulars in the pub too.





Tapestry describe themselves as an "Alternative Rock band fusing Metal, Indie and Atmospheric Rock to form the unique sound that is tapestry". They are; Simon on drums, Jake (JB) on guitar, Tim guitar, Matt on bass and Alys on vocals.
  




It's all their own material, it's original and always exciting. The band that comes closest to them (different, I know) are The Wicked Venetians.




Here's Matt who also appears on solo acoustic guitar occasionally;



 
 
Anyway, the desperate renegade group of people who found their way to the Hob are probably now going to be finding their way out to The Cave. Which is kind of circular because back in my day you could see bands like The Jam playing there.
 
And they still have pool tables.
 
 
Neil Harris
 
(a don't stop till you drop production)
 
 
 
 


Friday, 30 January 2015

The 2015 winter waiting crisis at St. Peter's; as it happened.

Sunday, 11 January 2015


Yet another waiting times crisis at St. Peter's Accident and Emergency.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise – St. Peter’s Accident and Emergency had to announce a ‘Major Emergency’ on 5th January 2015.

It shouldn’t be a surprise because demand for A and E rises every winter, there is an epdemic of a ‘Killer Flu’ that isn’t stopped by flu injections this year and most importantly….they weren’t keeping to the 4 hour waiting time limit in the summer.

The result? cancelled planned operations which can be catastrophic for the people concerned.

The problem? Too many staff cutbacks which means not enough general wards in winter so people in A and E can't be moved out quickly enough.

Ashford and St Peter's emergency to last at least 24 hours (From Surrey Comet) 

 

 First published Tuesday 6 January 2015  in News  

 by Ellie Cambridge, Reporter

 

Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has struggled to keep up with the demand this week, declaring a major incident that is likely to last for at least the next 24 hours and warning people to stay away from accident and emergency unless it is a real emergency.

 

This comes as data for England was published today by the NHS for the week ending December 28. Christmas is traditionally a busy time for hospitals and this data showed the trust had not met the Government target of seeing 95 per cent of admissions to A&E in four hours, having seen 85.6 per cent in four hours.

 

The number of patients spending between four and 12 hours waiting to be admittedin that week were 88.

 

Country-wide figures showed A&E departments had flagged under huge demand, seeing the worst national performance for 10 years.

 

A spokesman for the trust said: “Declaring a major incident (which we did at the weekend) allows us to mobilise additional staff and take a more targeted approach in how we manage outpatient clinics and planned operations and this is

resulting in an improving situation [today January 6] within our hospitals.”

 

An urgent message issued by the trust yesterday continued today as it faced “unprecedented demand” and needs to prioritise their most urgent patients.

 

In a statement online, it said: “We are currently under severe pressure - please don’t come to A&E unless you are a real emergency.

 

“Non-emergency patients are likely to have an extremely long wait and will be taking staff away from caring for patients who need emergency or lifesaving care.” Some appointments were cancelled on January 5 with patients affected called and informed.

 

No appointments were cancelled today.

 

Chief executive Suzanne Rankin said: “We expect to remain at major incident status for at least the next 24 hours to allow the actions we are taking to take full effect.

 

“I would like to praise and thank colleagues in the hospital who have been working extremely hard on behalf of patients to meet this demand.”

 

Other trusts throughout the country have faced similar difficulties, with hospitals in north Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Gloucestershire struggling to cope with the demand and declaring a major incident.

Monday, 12 January 2015 

Ashford and St. Peter's Accident and Emergency - tenth worst waiting times in the country?


I haven’t been so well recently so when the NHS figures for Accident and Emergency waiting times came out I wasn’t really up to analysing them the way I used to.

However, this last quarter has produced the worst NHS waiting times for 10 years – even though the Tories reduced the requirement from 97% of patients to be dealt with within 4 hours under labour to only 95% now.

Then again, inside the national figures are some real local problems and here we have one of the worst performances in the country.

Here are the 10 worst performing trusts – out of 140 of them;

10 worst performing hospitals for A&E waiting times - ITV News 

 
  ITV Report

  6 January 2015 at 1:53pm 

  

10 worst performing hospitals for A&E waiting times

 

NHS England announced A&E departments have the worst waiting times for 10 years.

See which hospitals performed worst:

 

  Worst;           Cambridge University Hospital Trust: 75.2%

  2nd Worst;    Medway NHS Foundation Trust: 79%

 3rd worst;     Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital Trust: 80.5%

4th Worst;  University Hospitals Of North Midlands NHS Trust: 80.6%

5th Worst;  Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust: 81.7%

6th Worst;  North Bristol NHS Trust: 82.7%

7th Worst;  Colchester Hospital NHS Trust/Brighton and Sussex NHS Trust: 83.4%

8th Worst;  Peterborough and Stamford Hospital NHS Trust - 83.7%

9th Worst  University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust - 84%

10th Worst;  Ashford and St Peters Hospital NHS Trust - 84.6%

I’m grateful that ITV did the work for me because it is important to see that Ashford and St. Peter’s is the 10th worst A and E in the country – not least because they sent me home for a week with a broken ankle.

But I wasn’t happy with those figures. In the past (it’s on my ‘Pages’ column to be found on the right hand side of this Blog) I’ve shown how the figures have been distorted by Ashford and St. Peters.

Here are the figures to be found in The Guardian newspapers ‘Data pages’;

Major A and E                      All A and E             % Type 1 seen in          All A and E

attendances Type 1                                            4 hours or less             seen in 4 hours or less

1992                                        2248                        71-80%                                  75.0%

 

According to these figures the trust’s Accident and Emergency department is up there (or down there, I suppose) with the very worst.

Only 75% were seen within the statutory requirement of 4 hours – or only 71% of the really serious cases.

That’s appalling. How do they do it?

The  national NHS figures include the Ashford Walk-in centre which sees patients who would never go to A and E and can be dealt with really quickly. So, when I needed my dressing changed I went to see a nurse there - no A and E would have seen me for that.

Oh dear, I suppose I may have to take a closer look at these terrible figures one of these days.


 


 

Accident and Emergency at St. Peter's Hospital, Chertsey - Week ending 4th January 2015 figures.

 
OK, so I finally got my act together and downloaded the NHS England figures for patients waiting times at Accident and Emergency. This is were the rules state that from arrival at hospital, you should wait no longer than 4 hours to be either admitted or discharged.

Hospitals have to provide figures because they are required to keep to a maximum wait of 4 hours (think about it – that’s a long time).

Anyway here are the figures for Ashford and St. Peters Accident and Emergency for week ending 4th January 2015. There now appears to be a separate listing for the Ashford Walk in Centre, so this is just A and E.

During that week, the A and E at St. Peter’s saw 1830 patients of whom 1605 were the most serious Type 1 while 225 were minor injuries classed as Type 3.

Of the Type 3 minor injuries only 72-2% were seen within the 4 hours limit.

Much more seriously, of the Type 1 serious injuries only 68-2% were seen in less than 4 hours.

The national requirement is 95% reduced from 97% under the last Labour government.

They are poor figures but when you look at the other 140 trusts – The type 1 serious injury waiting times for St. Peter's are joint 13th worst in the country while for Type 3 injuries they are 11th worst.

One week, of course, can be a blip.

Except that I’ve been following this story for a while now (well over a year) and if I was able to spot it back then there is no reason Ashford and St. Peter’s NHS Trust should have been able to do something about it by now.

 

Sunday, 18 January 2015


The waiting time crisis at St.Peter's Hospital, Chertsey continues.


The latest figures for waiting times atg Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals are now out covering for week ending 11th January 2015.

It is probably no surprise that despite a slight improvement, the figures are still far below the Government’s requirement that 95% of patients at Accident and Emergency departments are admitted or discharged within 4 hours.

There were 1852 patients seen at St. Peter’s but only 78.9% of the most serious cases were seen with in 4 hours while for all cases (including less serious ones) only 82.1% were seen within the time limit.

Why is this happening?

Not enough staff, inadequate organisation and triage and the perennial problem that there aren’t enough beds (because there aren’t enough nurses) so that admissions can’t be taken out of A and E and into beds for treatment quickly enough.

Just waiting for the Flu season and the cold weather to end isn’t good enough.

Still watching - the latest waiting times figures are out. 25th January 2015

I’m still watching the waiting time statistics for the Accident and Emergency department at St. Peter’s hospital, Chertsey.

Like many other A and E’s, they have been missing their targets over this tough winter.

Except that at Christmas St. Peter's had to declare an emergency and bring in some fairly drastic measures to try to deal with the problem.

And it was already going on for much of 2014, as I’ve been recording on this Blog.

The government target is that 95% of patients should be seen and admitted or discharged in less than 4 hours.

The figures for week ending 18th January 2015 are now out.

Ashford and St. Peter’s are still missing their target;

Only 93.8% of patients were seen within the time limit while of the most serious cases only 92.8% were seen in time.

It doesn’t make pretty reading and the bare statistics hide the very human situation that people are hanging about in fear and pain instead of being seen when they should have been.

It also hides another story – in order to try to reduce waiting times, planned operations will have been cancelled to free up beds.
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
 
 

From one subversive to another.




I couldn't resist posting this picture; on Thursday I was feeling c#$p and ended up going out for a walk when I should have been doing other things.

It was worth it when I saw this - it's sunbeams moving through the trees at Ankerwycke, picked out by woodsmoke.




 
 
It looks like everybody apart from me is getting themselves sorted out. This is a busy mole, getting his house ready for the spring.



It's ideal mole weather - not too cold, wet but not too wet.

The wet matters because if the soil is wet but not waterlogged, the worms are active near the surface.

Moles eat worms and it's easier to tunnel.

People with neat lawns hate moles - I love 'em!

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

Home:  helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com

Contact me: neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Congratulations!




I took this picture from The New York Knicks facebook page (they won again and Lang got another 12 points) and as you can see it shows a very happy Langston Galloway signing a contract with the Knicks.

I know, I know, I know....I promised no more basketball stories but I've been trying to mend our toilet. Do you really want to see me getting filthy and sweaty and hurting my bad back?

No don't answer that.

We are both very proud of Lang, it's a tremendous achievement.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

Home:  helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com

Contact me:  neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Signed up!



It’s been an amazing three weeks and a real privilege to watch it all happen, but this is the last of my basketball reports.

Langston Galloway has been signed to The New York Knicks after a couple of days of real ‘hardball’.

It’s been amazing because over these few weeks Lang got his big chance to play for a Major League team and we got a chance to see him play for them….by accident.

Then, playing for a great team which was having a terrible season, Lang had a burst of fantastic form which made everybody realise how good he was.

I was following his games on fans websites and reading US sports reports stats – I couldn’t believe how well it was going.

And now?

What a fantastic career he is going to have.

New York Post.   

 

Langston Galloway, Knicks agree to contract for 2015-16

By Marc Berman

January 27, 2015 | 10:54am

Unheralded Knicks guard Langston Galloway became a free agent when his 10-day contract expired Tuesday.

 

The Knicks and point guard Langston Galloway have agreed to terms on a contract for the remainder of this season and a partially guaranteed pact for 2015-16, The Post has learned, after the rookie’s second 10-day contract expired Tuesday.

 

The negotiations were over whether the Knicks were willing to give Galloway guaranteed money for next season. The Knicks — who cancelled Tuesday’s practice because of the snowstorm — initially offered only a non-guaranteed pact for 2015-16. Galloway was asking for the $800,000 minimum for second-year players.

 

Galloway was briefly a free agent Tuesday morning, technically, and may have gained leverage with other teams interested in signing him after a breakout month of January.

 

Knicks president Phil Jackson is very protective of his cap space, with potentially $32 million available to spend on free agents this offseason.

Jackson didn’t exercise the $2 million option on Shane Larkin’s pact for next season – with indications he does not believe the undersized, speedy point guard is part of the Knicks’ future.

 

Galloway has been one of the positive developments to an otherwise brutal season since joining the team three weeks ago from the team’s D-League affiliate in Westchester. Galloway also was on the team’s summer-league squad after going undrafted. It was surprising any contract impasse occurred at all.

 

The 6-foot-2 Galloway, who has started the past four games, is averaging 12.1 points and 4.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

Go Lang!

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

 


 

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Give him what ever he wants!





OK, after tomorrow if Langston Galloway isn’t signed up........

Lang is Robyn’s cousin and we were lucky enough to get tickets to see the New York Knicks play at The London O2 a fortnight ago.

In my match report I told you all how great he was – remember…..you read it here first.

Report: Knicks working to sign Langston Galloway for the rest of the season
ProBasketballTalk 

Report: Knicks working to sign Langston Galloway for the rest of the season 

Sean Highkin

Jan 27, 2015, 12:00 AM EST

Langston Galloway         

The Knicks’ season is a disaster, but they may have found a diamond in the rough with former D-League point guard Langston Galloway. They signed him to two 10-day contracts and RealGM’s Shams Charania reports that they’re hoping to sign him for the rest of the year:

Langston Galloway and the New York Knicks are in talks on a deal, league sources tell RealGM.

Galloway is on his second 10-day contract with the Knicks.

Multiple NBA teams are prepared to engage with Galloway should he become a free agent.

In eight games, Galloway is averaging 12.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

It looks like the Knicks and Galloway will keep talking on Tuesday.

No deal reached between Langston Galloway and New York, and both sides will carry over negotiations Tuesday, league sources tells RealGM.

2 Comments

 jmoney34 - Jan 27, 2015 at 2:34 AM

Reblogged this on jmoneysports and commented:

     This is a good move by the Knicks. Galloway has shown that he belongs at the NBA level during the short time he has been in New York.


elcaminobilly - Jan 27, 2015 at 3:34 AM

    The Knicks would be fools to not sign him. Give him whatever he wants! The three game winning streak they had can be credited largely to him.

I’m with El Camino Billy!

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)


 

Ice and fire.




We are expecting a really cold spell later this week but these pictures come from last Thursday when it was already quite cold enough for me.

The confused ducks are trying to learn how to cope with walking on the frozen stream; slip sliding around and falling over.

I went for a walk across the fields and took a look at the Bullrushes, still looking fine, with only a few turning into cotton wool with the seeds flying off ready for spring.



Over at Ankerwycke farm, the farmer was clearing some waste ground with a chainsaw and a couple of fires.


 
 
It was a very fine morning, with wisps of wood smoke highlighting the beams of sunlight as they drifted through the trees.
 
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
 
 
 
  

Monday, 26 January 2015

Still watching - the latest waiting times figures are out.


I’m still watching the waiting time statistics for the Accident and Emergency department at St. Peter’s hospital, Chertsey.

Like many other A and E’s, they have been missing their targets over this tough winter.

Except that at Christmas St. Peter's had to declare an emergency and bring in some fairly drastic measures to try to deal with the problem.

And it was already going on for much of 2014, as I’ve been recording on this Blog.

The government target is that 95% of patients should be seen and admitted or discharged in less than 4 hours.

The figures for week ending 18th January 2015 are now out.

Ashford and St. Peter’s are still missing their target;

Only 93.8% of patients were seen within the time limit while of the most serious cases only 92.8% were seen in time.

It doesn’t make pretty reading and the bare statistics hide the very human situation that people are hanging about in fear and pain instead of being seen when they should have been.

It also hides another story – in order to try to reduce waiting times, planned operations will have been cancelled to free up beds.

Perhaps I should start researching those figures too?

Yup!

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)


 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Snowdrops.


 
 
We had a rare bit of sunshine and the snowdrops stopped hiding for a while. There a number of different species which is why they actually flower from January onwards.
   
 

 
They aren't really a sign of anything except that it's winter...and it's still miserably cold. I can't even say that spring is on its way......yet.
 
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

31000 Thanx!


 
 
 
 

I’m celebrating; 31,000 hits and thinking of all the people that made it possible.

And what better way could there be to celebrate than to do so than in the shadow of the giant ‘Jumbotron’ at The London O2 last week when we were watching Langston Galloway playing for the New York Knicks.

Here’s another reason to celebrate
 
NBC Sports

Recent News

Langston Galloway turned in another outstanding game against the 76ers on Wednesday with 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes.

He continues to get some run at point guard and the Knicks suddenly have a lot of confidence in the rookie. Galloway has exceeded all expectations and the Knicks seem to view him as their best wing option after Carmelo Anthony. He is still on a 10-day deal, but it would be a shock to see the Knicks not sign him for the rest of the season next week. He's worth a look in standard leagues. Jan 21 - 11:16 PM

Time to get your cheque book out, Phil.
Or do I have to start a basketball blog?
 
Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)
 


Friday, 23 January 2015

An argument waiting to happen.


I’m angry, I’m an argument waiting to happen; I actually wanted to get into an argument today and couldn’t think of a reason to. I’m frustrated.

Back in 2004 my mum spent a long time in hospital after breaking her ankle. To free up her hospital bed, she came out with some intensive support at home. We had to make alterations and install equipment to make it all possible.

One of the requirements was to install an alarm she could wear around her neck.

We had to rent one – from a local housing association.

Recently, I discovered there were a number of cheaper alternatives; we didn’t realise it at the time and no one told us.

Then they stopped sending us statements of how much we had paid – so we overpaid. After a struggle, we got some of the money back but they kept a chunk to pay the rent ahead of time.

Now my Mum has died I need to get the overpayment back and to stop the continuing rent which I could only do by returning the machine (that we have paid for many times over in the last ten years).

They don’t collect – so I had two ‘choices’;

a) Leave it at Windsor’s Council offices. Windsor is a town where it’s impossible to park without getting fined or clamped. No one at the council will have any idea what I’m trying to do. The machine will be lost and we’ll just go on paying. Plus, I’ll get yet another parking ticket.

b) Go to their offices in Maidenhead which is miles and miles away.

I chose b), which is where I ended up getting angry that I couldn’t find a reason to pick a fight with them.

Of course, no one who is working could do this.

I ended up queuing up with a number of women and children with rent problems; a ‘housing association’ isn’t an association at all. It’s a nominally non-profit making supplier of social housing. It’s taken over the housing stock of the democratically controlled local council (all paid for the tax payers) and turned these homes into the assets of a corporation.

Despite not (apparently) making any profits, lots of well-paid people work for them. Hugely profitable City of London Corporations lend them very expensive money which has to be repaid with interest by those poor tenants in the queue. A horde of professionals and advisors profit out of it all.

They actually need security windows to protect them from the ‘beneficiaries’ of the ‘association’.

As I queued up, I was thinking about how it is that over their lives the poor pay many times over for the homes they live in yet they never end up owning them – just like us with the alarm.

Their generosity is repaid with a kind of contempt that you wouldn’t get from a high street shop.

That many of the people working at the counter are just one little step up from the people on the other side of the glass and they ought to remember that when they are dealing with people.

As it was, I couldn’t think of any particular reason to get into a fight with them….so I’m feeling grousy.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)
 
 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Wednesday night.


 
 
 
The table set, mattresses out on the floor, hot meals bubbling on the stove.
 
Wednesday night was freezing cold and foggy and we were at Robyn's church in Isleworth; it was their turn to host some of West London's homeless for the night.
 
We could have done with out it - both of us had overdone it during the day....we both had bad backs. It seemed like a better idea when we agreed to it.
 
But in this freezing cold, miserable weather? There was a record number of guests trying to get into the warm for the night.
I wouldn't have been anywhere else.
 
Of course, the state should be providing help for the homeless and vulnerable, it shouldn't be up to people like Robyn to make up the difference on nights like this.
 
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)