Living With Mesothelioma- My Diary- Working a 7 Day Week for the NHS —Sharing the story of Mrs Gwyneth Bonnet

What a day. I was going to relax but I have had many emails and asked to do write ups for different people. Dont worry I revel in people asking my opinions as a patient and a campaigner I love keep explaining and putting people right about Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness.  I have a voice and I use it when ever I can.
I’m not a typist would you believe and yet I clonk away manly with two fingers. Its good exercise for the fingers, but I do have a great speed but thank goodness for spell checker.
There are so many problems Uk with Our Doctors being told they have to work 7 days. Surely a shift work system should be found and a good rota system. The very reason they say we need a 7 day week will be making the NHS unsafe. We will have Very tired Doctors and mistakes will be made.
Maybe if we had staff that would like to come back to work Part Time could do a weekend shift so they are with their children during the week.
I’m sure it hasn’t been worked through.

Oh Jeremy, you really are being very silly. You’ve got your knickers in such a twist.

The BMA supports 7 day working. Weren’t you listening? Evidently not. Stamping your foot and shouting loudly ‘I’m going to impose 7 day working’ isn’t constructive. Play nicely. Listen.

You should really already know Jeremy, that as doctors serving the health needs of our patients, we are just one cog in a very large machine. My role is no more or less important than the professionals I work with. Nurses, physiotherapiststs, occupational therapsist, SALT, play therapists, porters, portage, lab technicians, radiographers, ultrasonographers, mid-wives, nursery nurses, neurophysiologists, educational psychologists, clinical psychologists, secretaries, ward clerks, social workers, care workers and health care assistants to name but a handful. If you want me to do the same on a Sunday as a Tuesday, you need to get the rest of the team on board. The WHOLE team. To recruit and retain the number of multi-disciplinary professionals you require to run a 7 day health care system will require and increase in spending and the offer of training and salary progression for ALL MEMBERS of that team. I don’t know that David’s given you enough pocket money for that. I also think it’s downright rude that you belittle the roles of my colleagues by suggesting that I can offer the same quality of service without them. I can’t offer much without them at all. Get real.

Another thing, I do work weekends. That’s fine, it’s my job. Children get sick at the weekend and at night and its my duty to meet that need. My husband, one of those dreadful species of hospital consultants you have been berating, similarly works weekends. You ‘want that sense of vocation and professionalism brought back into the contract’. Oh, pipe down Jeremy. I’m already there and not because you’ve told me to but because I care.

Jeremy, listen. You made a lot of big promises back in May. But all these press releases full of hyperbole and devoid of solution aren’t getting us anywhere. I used to think you were just a very silly man. In my more cynical moments, I’m starting to worry that you’re less benign than just plain silly. Are you trying to discredit the BMA and senior doctors in the public eye? Are you trying to generate division between front-line staff and the social care component of the health system? Is this another step towards privatisation of the NHS through the strategy of divide and conquer? Either way, I wish you’d just shut up and listen.

I have another Guest Blog —

Please share. This is an important article and affects all of us and our kids. It discusses my mums case and the dangers of asbestos in our schools and colleges. It can’t be ignored, action needs to be take now to protect students, teachers and all workers in these buildings. Please don’t let my mum die in vain x

We wont let that happen so Im sharing here tonight

Thursday, 16 July, 2015

Janet Finch-Saunders

Will the Minister make a statement on the safety of school and college buildings across Wales

Huw Lewis The Minister for Education and Skills

My thanks to the Member for Aberconwy. I am committed to the provision of safe, sustainable and inspiring learning environments. The twenty-first century schools and education programme represents a £1.4 billion investment over five years that will see the rebuilding and refurbishment of over 150 of our poorest condition schools and colleges in Wales.

Janet Finch-Saunders

A constituent, Mrs Gwyneth Bonnet, aged 60, sadly died at her home in January after a battle against the asbestos-related disease malignant mesothelioma, after previously working as a lecturer in what she described before her death as ‘asbestos cladded and rat-infested temporary buildings’ at Coleg Menai. Mr John Gittins, the coroner, said evidence provided by her indicated that the exposure to asbestos would have occurred during her time at Pencraig. Now, despite the fact these buildings have been demolished, the management at Coleg Menai still refuse to respond to concerns raised by the family in relation to this matter, but also in relation to others potentially exposed similarly at the time. Now, in the interests of full transparency and accountability, will you support my attempts to investigate this matter, and can you assure me what steps you are taking as Minister to safeguard our teaching staff and pupils from the danger of asbestos within our school or college buildings?

Huw Lewis

I’m more than happy, Presiding Officer, to look into the very sad case that the Member raises as an issue. I was, until this afternoon, unaware of that particular very sad case. I did meet my officials on 9 July to discuss the published review of asbestos management in schools by the UK Government Department for Education. I remind Members that the Welsh Government has no direct responsibility in this regard: it is a matter for the owners—usually local authorities—and for the Health and Safety Executive. Officials will review existing guidance for Wales with key stakeholders such as NHS Wales, HSE Wales and Welsh Government public health colleagues to ensure information remains current and accurate. My officials are currently organising this process with a view to completing it early in the new academic year. We will also maintain a watching brief during the design of the UK Government’s air sampling study.

A report of the Coroners


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