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CQC inspectors put prisoners off their porridge and other stories

The prison population may be rising steadily, but have no fear, the CQC has come up with a brilliant way to reverse this trend.

Speaking at a recent board meeting the chief inspector of general practice revealed that CQC inspectors are given keys to ‘go wherever they want’ in a prison during inspections of health services and they engage with inmates to gauge their views.

As Professor Steve Field explained: ‘In the last inspection I went on, I certainly got the opportunity to talk to some prisoners on their own. There’s obviously security, but you have to be sensible.’

Sick Notes thinks that this kind of service should be rolled out extensively. Let’s face it, many people think life is a bit cushy in the slammer these days but five minutes with a CQC inspector would put off the worst recidivist. Nice idea, CQC, it saves us bringing back hanging, eh?

In more CQC news, the regulator has sternly warned GP practices that people may be posing as CQC inspectors to get information.

According to commission’s website, a number of providers have been contacted by people ‘posing as CQC inspectors, who have tried to gain access to services or information’.  CQC guidance advises that practices check the ID badges of inspectors and that these should have

a photograph, a copy of the CQC warrant and the signature of the chief executive David Behan (or Cynthia Bower if older).

Sick Notes understands rumours that the bogus inspectors were rumbled after they ignored soft toys in the waiting room and didn’t ask for a ‘mission statement’ turned out to be unfounded.

After Team GB won dressage silver at the Olympics in Rio, a study from the University of Portsmouth has some important advice for anyone inspired to follow in their hoof prints.

It found 40% of 1,324 female horse-riders experienced breast pain in the saddle. The pain increased with cup size and was felt most frequently when trotting or cantering, due to the ‘greater breast momentum’ created.

Lead author Dr Jenny Burbage, senior lecturer at the department of sport and exercise science, advised GPs to encourage any shapelier female patients (and maybe the odd male) to strap those puppies down for equestrian activity.

She said: ‘A correctly fitting bra for exercise is essential, as an incorrect fit can contribute to upper body musculoskeletal problems, poor posture and deep bra furrows in the shoulder.’  

Pulse recently took home one of the most prestigious prizes in journalism – the Professional Publishers Association award for ‘Business Magazine of the Year’ – but the team’s inflated egos were soon punctured by comments on PulseToday, which pointed out what we are missing.

‘Not bad,’ said Gloucester GP (and amateur Russell Grant) Dr Bob Hodges. ‘But without a resident astrologer you’ll NEVER achieve your true potential. I have five minutes spare once a month, I could knock up some generalised mystic nonsense and apply it to the 8.3% of the population born in any given month.’ [Thanks, we’ll get back to you – Ed].

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt was on form in the House of Commons before the summer break. Before tackling Brexit and the NHS, he congratulated the health service on its 68th birthday.

‘Before I start, the House will want to mark an important milestone,’ he opined. ‘Alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brian May, Camilla Parker Bowles and Meat Loaf, the NHS is 68 years’ old, and its birthday is, in fact, today. I know that we will all want to wish the NHS and all who work there a very happy birthday.’

And Mr Hunt has the right to be smug. After many predicted that, like a Bat Out Of Hell, he’d be gone by the morning after the Cabinet reshuffle, the Prime Minister (using her royal prerogative) decided he would avoid Judgement Day and instead the Show Must Go On. [Please stop – Ed].

PR fail of the month. Sick Notes recently received a press release entitled ‘Increased condom use can tackle STIs, says NICE’. That’s news to those who, like Sick Notes, thought condoms were made to be filled up and used as water bombs. Thanks for setting us straight, NICE.

It’s not all bad news. The Government’s childhood obesity strategy was a touch underbaked, but there are no soggy bottoms in Newcastle, where GPs are referring patients to free dance classes to get them active. The health impact of the ‘Falling on your Feet’ scheme will be monitored  in order to secure funding for rollout across the North-East of England. Keep dancing pet!