UK June 2021 – Let’s Reflect

UK June 2021 – Let’s Reflect.

Observations, experiences and reports in the UK in June 2021:

Education is key.

All medical doctors and professionals we liaised with agreed that the “basics were not done”, which included education.

• We observe at least 5 individuals in the general public in the UK every day with active symptoms of a flu or cold (not COPD or related presentation). We observe this pattern in the UK more so than in other countries.

• Many individuals still report that they want to avoid the vaccine “because I don’t want headaches”. Many report that they don’t understand or know what the side-effects or risks are (or benefits). Many report that they still don’t know what the risk is that they will end up in hospital if they get sick.

• The public is asked on a regular basis in the UK “do you have one of the three symptoms of COVID”, which most doctors agree, is misleading. 

Many report that they want information and “it is not ethical (clinically indicated or legal) to force people to get vaccines without longterm information on side-effects for an infection that only puts 5-20% in hospital, … and then when you get the vaccine, the rules in the UK are more draconic than ever”, as reported by a medical colleague. Many report that all vaccines are associated with risks, minor risks and more serious risks such as anaphylaxis (although not occurring often) and making vaccines mandatory will only last until the first person presents with anaphylaxis who was “forced to get a vaccine”, as reported by a legal colleague.

It is important to add that most medical doctors (all of our medical colleagues) would recommend the covid vaccine to all adults within the general public, however most medical doctors do not believe that it should be mandatory (medical doctors prefer to focus on education, choice, capacity, weighing risk for individual patients).

Most if not all of our medical colleagues and their families (not children) have had the covid vaccine.

Many medical doctors do not agree that the vaccines should be offered to or mandatory for children (under 18) at this stage unless specific clinical indications. Some doctors believe this age group can extend to 20 or even 35 due to neurodevelopment (unless clinical indications).

Many professionals and medical doctors in the UK report that they, along with the general public, are still not attending health related appointments:

The reasons are as follow (experiences in June 2021):

– “Most of the population or a large part had the vaccine, yet we still have to wear masks, not enter empty shops (or offices) together, there is less freedom than January, than last year, it makes no sense.”

– “The only monitoring that is done is the collecting of phone numbers and addresses, no one asks about symptoms or temperature, seems that is not the important thing.”

– “The PCR tests can stay positive for months for healthy people who are no risk, so why risk going and then be told I have to take a test because someone is sick, I can be healthy and have to stay in isolation, they base their decisions on tests that make no sense, I know people who had to stay in isolation for 30 days or longer, all healthy”.

– “They close the toilets, I can’t cope with that.”

– “They force me to wear a new mask that they hand to me with their unwashed hands touching both sides, if I say I am not happy, they become very rude and hostile.”

– “People are more rude than ever, and when we say please stop being rude, they turn around and say ‘you have been rude from the start and you are shouting at me’, this has become such a predictable pattern that many doctors now avoid health appointments, because they have a lot to lose, whilst the person who treats them with rudeness often has no or less training or qualifications and has less to lose”, as reported by many medical colleagues.

– “We can’t deal with the rudeness and hostility, most people are totally hysterical, I can’t deal with that stress on top of everything else, so we’ve not gone to dentist, health or eye appointments.”

– “I went for an eye appointment and the person shouted hysterically that my mask is not fitting well enough, that she can’t visit her mother in hospital if she gets sick, now I must sit there and let her be my doctor after she shouts at me.”

– “After being shouted at that there is a small gap between my nose and my mask I ended the appointment, I am not happy to tolerate abuse from professionals.”

– “They lock the door after every person entering and leaving, and everyone has to wait in the parking lot in the rain, never did they think to put a chair there, or give an umbrella, but the point is our health is not important to them, their health is the only thing they seem to think about.”

– “I was shouted at when I used the wrong disinfectant gel, apparently there is a gel for staff and a gel for patients.”

– “I have travelled throughout the pandemic, in every country except one other and the UK, healthcare professionals and staff were friendly and professional; there are a few gems in the UK, but many are anxious and therefore very rude, which most try to avoid now.”

It is important to add that many report positive or very positive experiences at many appointments, however this appears to be less frequent.

We mentioned the above for one reason – it is important to create an environment in health or health related services where patients ‘feel’ or believe they are considered as equal human beings with relevant needs (such as access to ablutions, shelter in storms or cold weather – “not told to avoid certain staff alcohol gels”), respected, protected and listened to. Small and simple steps can lead to compliance and attendance of appointments.

Confidentiality and Privacy – Medical Records:

Many individuals in the UK report significant concerns regarding their health information being shared with third parties for research (possibly in the near future – September); “we can opt out, but most don’t know we have to opt out otherwise it will be shared, and worse still, we have to ‘opt in’ to online services to be able to ‘opt out’ of this sharing of information with third parties for research, which seems illegal and unethical”, as reported by a medical doctor.

Many medical doctors and professionals engaging in high risk work are very concerned about having to ‘opt in’ for online medical services, considering that they consistently avoid certain online activities (eg where address etc is available).

Many medical doctors are concerned that they now need an ‘app’ on their phones to show their vaccine history in order to travel. Many medical doctors would like to avoid medical information on apps or online. Many prefer a paper copy with evidence of vaccines.

We understand that some countries ONLY accept a paper copy with evidence of vaccines.

Many also report concerns regarding having to send an online photograph to ‘verify identity’ and report that this increases risk rather than reduces risk, especially for individuals working in high risk fields, and mainly serves to gather data and information on the public.

Many report that it is illegal to deny access to places unless electronic evidence of vaccines, that paper copies should be sufficient. Many doctors also comment that they do not believe entry should be refused for individuals if they have not had vaccines, that this relates to coercion.

Education in terms of relevant laws relating to confidentiality, and the sharing of medical information, is required for the medical professional, the authorities and the general public.

Human Rights:

We were informed last week by a solicitor that the UK might “abolish” or not continue to accept the Human Rights Act in the near future. Human rights are protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which was made part of the UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998. Human Rights protect individuals from acts, and omissions of the State and public authorities acting on its behalf, such as the NHS, but also oblige those authorities to take steps to protect them in certain circumstances.

Relevant to Healthcare:

• Article 2 – Right to life (relevant in safeguarding within hospitals, during any detention such as quarantine or prisons) – Jury inquests

• Article 3 – Freedom from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment (the importance of treating individuals with respect at all times)

• Article 5 – Right to liberty (choice, competency, capacity when making decisions regarding medical or mental health treatment, which includes medication or therapies)

• Article 8 – Right to private and family life (confidentiality, privacy, security)

• Article 14 – Right to non-discrimination (Equality Act)

Other legislation such as the Mental Health Act, Children’s Act or Equality Act are also relevant with these above items.

Liberty is sometimes deprived for patients for instance if they present with dementia or serious mental health problems where they are, at the time, a serious and imminent risk to themselves or others. However, in these circumstances, many safeguards (such as appeals processes etc) are in place to ensure and monitor (very regularly) that risk is balanced, and that clinical and general needs are met.

Many are concerned that there are no such safeguards available for the general public in travel related quarantine or self-isolation.

We have not identified these concerns to this degree, from firsthand observation, in any other country.

The UK is a wonderful country with enormous resources. To whom much is given, much will be required. Let’s take the lead to protect the general public. Let’s reflect, let’s learn, let’s change course.

We want to thank Cambridge, our GP surgery as well as relevant professionals including specialist and GP colleagues, the CCG and especially Cambridgeshire Council (especially the international travel lead) for their assistance and helpful communications in June 2021 and also last year. We sincerely appreciate your input, thoughts and commitment to prioritise evidence-based guidelines to safeguard communities.

#Cambridge #normalcy #liberty #respect #calm #health #HumanRights