17 Easy Ways to Pay it Forward

I’m a Helpfulpeeps Community Champion and I can’t recommend it highly enough! Helpfulpeeps is a free website community full of people helping each other. From sharing skills to giving advice, there are plenty of people who need help and plenty of people to offer help. It’s a great community full of kind people, pop over and check it out at www.helpfulpeeps.com. In the meantime, check out these 17 great tips for paying it forward from the Helpfulpeeps blog.

It doesn’t need to be difficult to do something nice for someone! In fact, if often only take a simple random act of kindness that can most likely be free, easy and quick and the impact of your good deed could be huge, so what are you waiting for? Continue reading

Pinned Post – End the Shame and Stigma for Survivors of Domestic, Mental, Physical and Sexual Abuse

Please sign and share My Petition Here.

End the StigmaI believe that anyone who has been the victim of abuse should be able to come forward and get support for what they have been through.

Please sign and share my petition to get people talking about abuse. 

Continue reading

Update on GP Petition

As you may know, I launched a petition a few weeks ago regarding a scheme in which GP’s are rewarded for diagnosing certain conditions over others. It’s an unethical, immoral and unsafe practice – encouraging doctors financially to diagnose one condition over another can only lead to misdiagnosis, ill health and potential deaths. Most people aren’t even aware of this system.

(If you haven’t seen it already, then please read and sign the petition if you are in the UK, and share it widely. Thank you in advance for your support.)

I put a Freedom of Information request to the government which stated ““Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like you to provide me with information on any and all schemes which financially reward any medical staff/departments/GP practices for testing, diagnosing or treating certain conditions, and any and all schemes which fine any medical staff/departments/GP practices for testing, diagnosing or treating any conditions.”

I have now received a reply, this is it:

Dear Ms Milligan,  

Thank you for your request of 20th December 2015 under the Freedom of Information Act (2000).  I can confirm that the Department holds some information relevant to your request.  However, as the information held by the Department is in the public domain, we will under Section 21 of the FOI Act (information accessible to the applicant by other means) refer you to the published source.    

The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) is a voluntary incentive scheme for GP practices in the UK. The QOF rewards contractors for the provision of quality care and helps to standardise improvements in the delivery of primary medical services.   The QOF contains groups of indicators, against which practices score points according to their level of achievement. Practices aim to deliver high quality care across a range of areas, for which they score points. The higher the score, the higher the financial reward for the practice. The final payment is adjusted to take account of the practice list size and disease prevalence. The results are published annually and the indicators are reviewed, with some being retired and new ones added.   Details of the indicators and the performance of participating practices can be found on the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s website at http://www.hscic.gov.uk/qof.    

You may also wish to contact NHS England, who may hold information relevant to your request.  Details on how to request information from NHS England under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) is available at:  
http://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/foi.

I will be sending a request direct to NHS England also, with the same request for information, I will let you know what their response is.

I find it so wrong that the very people who spend so many years training to save lives, would wish to be part of a scheme which is so dangerous. The claim is that this scheme will enourage GPs to better treat their patients and improve overall health but how can this be so? If a patient comes in with ten symptoms and is immediately judged by the fact they look overweight, how can that help them? They could have any one of a million medical conditions, but the immediate diagnosis is ‘overweight’. Which conveniently nets the GP £160. I myself was diagnosed as overweight, diabetic and depressed – a nice payment of £480 to the GPs – and I am not any of those things, I actually have an entirely unconnected medical condition! And I know of many other people who have been misdiagnosed in the same way.

This system is seriously flawed, and leaves patients at risk of health complications, further illness or injury, or death.

So please sign this petition, and share it on all your social networks, email to your colleagues, friends and family. Let’s get this system reviewed and overhauled – let’s make sure that if there has to be an incentive for GP’s to treat us, that the incentive is to make us well, and not for their own financial gain.

Please read and sign the petition here.

Thank you.

Petition: NHS reward schemes for GP’s

Unfortunately I haven’t posted for a while, as I have been quite ill, but during this time something I was previously unaware of has come to light. I sign and post a lot of petitions, as you know, but this is the first time I have felt so strongly about something I have felt the need to start my own petition. Please read and sign the petition if you are in the UK, and share it widely. Thank you in advance for your support.

Most people are completely unaware that their GP will receive financial rewards for meeting targets of diagnosing certain conditions – a bonus of £160.15 in 2015/16. While rewarding GP practices for doing a good job and helping patients is of course a good thing, rewarding them financially to diagnose and treat certain conditions over others is wrong.

The official text of this scheme is : The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) is the annual reward and incentive programme detailing GP practice achievement results. It rewards practices for the provision of quality care and helps standardise improvement in the delivery of primary medical services (source: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/qof).

 

Each diagnosis gains a point, and in 2015/2016 thats worth £160.15 in England (source: www.nhsemployers.org/your-workforce/primary-care-contacts/general-medical-services/quality-and-outcomes-framework). This system needs to be investigated, reviewed and overhauled to offer better care to patients, instead of financial rewards to GP’s for only diagnosing certain conditions.

 

 

I have spoken to many people who have seen their GP with serious medical conditions, only to be told they are depressed or overweight – both of these conditions merits the above award – and offered anti-depressants or a referral to a dietician. Offering anti-depressants to someone who is not depressed is dangerous in itself, but labelling someone as depressed instead of treating their serious illness is tantamount to neglect, and could cost lives.

This system is seriously flawed, and needs to be reviewed urgently. Since I launched the above petition, I have had many emails about other NHS financial reward schemes, with bonuses ranging from tens of pounds to thousands of pounds. I have submitted a Freedom of Information Act to the Department for Health asking for information on any and all financial reward schemes – I will post the information here when I receive it.

People in the UK pay taxes their whole life towards the NHS, and when they turn to it in need of medical help they shouldnt be worried that the medical professionals aren’t acting in their best interests.

Please visit the petition website at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116543 and sign, if you are in the UK, and share it on your social networks.

Fundraising in Memory of Pets

Socks The CatLast year our beloved pet cat Socks was very ill and sadly passed away. This has affected our whole family, as Socks was over 15 years old and had been with us a long time. In particular, she had been a huge part of my 9-year old son’s life for most of his life. We were talking recently about how sad it was to lose a pet, and how sad my son felt at our loss.
We talked about doing something in memory of her, perhaps getting a plant or garden ornament to put in the garden and remember her by. Then we talked about maybe doing some fundraising, and helping other animals.
So we have set up this justgiving page, in the hopes of remembering not just our pet, but many other pets who are no longer with us, and also helping raise funds at the same time.

We decided to raise funds for our local shelter, Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter. So we invite you, dear reader, to make a small donation – whatever you can afford – and send us the details, and the name and a picture of your pet. We will then post a memorial to your pet here on this special memorial page.

 Make your donation here. 

Thank you in advance.

Living a Vegan Life

I know a lot of my readers/visitors here are vegans like me, and most of my readers will also know that I have written/published some fundraising guides on Amazon. I’m currently working on a new book, provisionally entitled “Living a Vegan Life”. I’m interested in the vegan stories out there – not the arguments over who is right and wrong, or the merits of one lifestyle over another, I am simply interested in the vegan story. Why are you vegan, what do you eat, what difficulties do you face? etc. etc.

The aim of the book is to share with people the true story of becoming vegan, staying vegan, and living a vegan lifestyle.

So, if you would like to tell me YOUR vegan story, please download my questionnaire, fill it in and return it to me using the email address provided. I’d like as many people as possible to fill it in, from all different places and all different backgrounds, so whoever you are I would LOVE to hear from you! All answers are strictly confidential and you will remain completely anonymous if I use your comments in the book (though you can agree to be acknowledged in the book if you wish!).

If you don’t want to fill in the questionnaire but would like to contribute your story in your own words, please feel free to fill in the below box or drop me a line at tess.milligan@gmail.com.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Download the Vegan Questionnaire (July 2014)