Medical device sales reps a law unto themselves?

WHY are medical technology sales representatives apparently exempt from providing proof of competency to the hospitals they access in the course of their work in the United Kingdom?

The employee’s knowledge and competencies in respect of the clinical environment they enter are not set, measured and validated by an independent agency.

This would appear to be an abdication of the National Health Service responsibility to its staff and patients, and it is at odds with the procedures and practices of other government bodies.

The National Health Service in the UK has in this last three years been rocked by increasingly worrying revelations and scandals.

  • There are almost daily reports of gagging orders on staff to prevent the reporting of patient neglect or incidents of medical negligence.
  • The minister of health has said that standards within the NHS are not acceptable.
  • Newspapers carry front-page headlines proclaiming that four out of 10 hospitals are unsafe. The Jimmy Savile debacle points to a lack of regulation in respect of non-clinical personnel having access to hospitals and clinical environments.

So who is running the show and, more importantly, who is responsible and accountable?

MatronYears ago, the likes of Sir Lancelot Spratt was responsible for the clinicians, and a formidable Matron was responsible for the non-clinical staff and oversaw everything else in the hospital from food to bed pans.

Sir Lancelot and the Matron are gone and have been replaced by an army of fresh-faced management graduates who now run the hospital.

However, and in spite of the efforts of this army of usually non-clinically trained managers, standards continue to fall.

Doctors, nurses and medical staff who are required to have a therapeutic contact with patients are trained to clearly defined national standards and are governed by colleges and associations who set competencies and maintain standards.

All clinical staff have to demonstrate by examination set by an independent body that they have achieved the required standard. In most cases they are required to maintain and update their skill set by acquiring continuing medical education (CME) points awarded after further training.

Technical and maintenance staff who are directly employed by the hospital are vetted by the hospital as part of their employer’s liability.

Laboratory and scientific staff will have proven qualifications from a university or other independent awarding body.

Directly employed maintenance staff, such as plumbers and electricians, have to show and maintain current Joint Industry Board (JIB) or Gas Safe registration to be employed.

Then there are the people who enter the hospital as part of their work who are not employed by the hospital.

In the case of building and technical maintenance workers, their presence is granted by short-term contracts – one for the company and one for the individual employee.

However, there is a group of people who access the hospital for work who appear to be exempt from providing proof of competency.

These are the sales representatives who work for medical technology companies.

They are the people who sell implants and technology to clinicians and provide technical support for the use of their products.

They may be required to be present in a clinical setting while patient-therapeutic or surgical procedures are being performed.

Furthermore , they may be asked to answer questions and solve problems arising during the patient use of their products.

The companies employing these representatives will say that their employees are adequately trained and have the knowledge and skills necessary to support the use of their products.

That may be true, and all responsible companies will ensure that their staff are trained and understand the technical aspects and indications for use of their products in a clinical setting.

That may suffice for their products. However, people entering a clinical environment must also understand all of the responsibilities expected of them by the hospital and the patient, or patients, undergoing treatment.

Where the company’s assurances fall down is that the employee’s knowledge and competencies in respect of the clinical environment are not set, measured and validated by an independent agency.

So self-regulation is no regulation.

There are a number of examples for which training content and methodology is validated and training outcomes are measured by an independent agency. Learning to drive is a good example.

To be registered as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) and to teach people to drive, it is necessary to complete a training course and pass an examination set by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).

United Kingdom law requires driving instructors to be qualified before they can charge for their services. The licence to drive a car is issued by another government agency – the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) – upon successful completion of a theory and practical driving test.

In this case, the person providing the training cannot set the required standard to be achieved to pass the test, nor can they issue a licence to drive. 

The setting of standards and the assessment of outcomes of training by independent agencies protects trainers from accusations of inadequate standards and bias and guarantees that those trained are fit for purpose.

There are medical technology company trade associations who use third parties to register employees as having achieved the requisite standard to enter a clinical environment.

The question arising is: who sets the standard and how is it measured?

There is legislation which specifies the competencies and legal requirements for hospital access. It is therefore not within the gift of trade associations or any other agency with a commercial interest in accessing hospitals to set, measure and administer standards.

The safety of the patient, the company employees and the clinical staff is the responsibility of the hospital. It is they who should set the standards.

The medical device company’s responsibility is to achieve the standard and have it independently validated.

Within the last five years, credentialing companies have been set up to provide hospitals with a quick way of checking the criminal record status and competency of people seeking access to clinical areas.

This may give a false sense of security, as the hospital staff rely on the credentialing company’s validation. So, unless the credentialing companies examine those they register, which they do not, whose and what validation are they relying on?

Like the driving test, there must be a national standard for hospital access and a requirement that any training meets the standard and that the outcome is validated by an independent agency.

The criteria and requirements for hospital access cannot be at the discretion of individual hospitals or of medical companies or associations.

Failure to implement a standard is an abdication of the NHS responsibility to its staff and patients and is at odds with the procedures and practices of other government bodies.

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Libby Talks To Phil & Dave

Libby McArthurFORMER soap star Libby McArthur will be talking about her latest project on Scotland’s premier community radio chat show, the Talk To Phil & Dave Show, tomorrow (Aug 12, 2014).

Libby, best known as Oyster Cafe owner Gina Rossi in BBC’s River City, is also a producer, writer, director, singer, storyteller, inspirational speaker and political activist.

She will chat live in the studio to hosts Phyllis Joyce and David Boyes about the play 3,000 Trees, written by George Gunn, which she directs and which runs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe run until August 24 at the Gryphon venue.

Libby, who was born into a working-class family on the south side of Glasgow and embraced the principle of “service to others’ at an early age, has also appeared in Taggart, Looking After Jo Jo, Doctor Finlay, Take The High Road and Rab C. Nesbitt.

When she was just 14, she had her own drama group in the city’s Gorbals area. By 21, she was a Drama Supervisor with the Youth Training Scheme (YTS), taking several groups of young people from writing and performing into full-paid work. And during Glasgow’s City of Culture celebrations in 1990, she became Drama Worker in Residence in Blackhill.

A true lover of her country and her home city, she believes in the restorative powers of creative storytelling.

3,000 Trees concerns the death of Glasgow lawyer Willie MacRae – a former vice-president of the Scottish National Party and a controversial anti-nuclear campaigner – who was found dead at the wheel of his car in Sutherland.

At first, it appeared he had veered off the road and crashed in a burn but the later discovery of a gun and a bullet wound to his head led police to conclude he had killed himself. However, it had been fired twice and conspiracy theories were fuelled when it emerged the book MacRae was writing, and his briefcase containing key documents, were missing.

Neither MacRae’s medical reports nor the post-mortem data have ever been revealed. Nor has there ever been a fatal accident inquiry. MacRae was also the author of the maritime law of Israel and emeritus professor at the University of Haifa. After his death a forest of 3,000 trees was planted in Israel in his memory, hence the name of the play.

Phyllis said: “Libby is a true Scottish talent – and someone who has something to say about a host of topics. She has become a household name in the land but she remains true to her roots and her working-class upbringing.

“This is further proof that the Talk To Phil & Dave Show is making people sit up and listen. Our mix of conversation, agony aunt advice, live counselling, music and other original features is like nothing else on radio right now, and we are committed to pushing an agenda for the listener.”

David added: “Against the backdrop of the exclusion of independence-themed productions at the main Edinburgh International Festival, Libby’s interview with us is going to be interesting.”

The two-hour Talk To Phil & Dave Show airs live every Tuesday at 2pm and addresses serious issues affecting the lives of ordinary people in an unchallenging, down-to-earth setting while at the same time delivering a light-hearted entertainment package.

Hosted by body-centred therapist and counsellor Phyllis Joyce and journalist and media consultant David Boyes, the programme first hit the airwaves in November 2013, with the aim of turning the spotlight every week on new topics of interest to listeners.

It is augmented by the TalkToPhilNow website, which acts as a gateway to the show and which hosts helpful information in a number of media formats.

Pulse, which transmits on the 98.4 FM frequency, is a community radio station based in Barrhead, near Glasgow, UK, broadcasting to all of South Glasgow, the city centre, East Renfrewshire, Paisley, Renfrewshire and Clydebank and online.

Two things set Pulse aside from other community radio stations – it is professional in its approach and it has no set music policy, allowing it to give exposure to a wide range of styles and artists.

Pulse 98.4 is also available online at tunein, which lets listeners around the world access 70,000 live global radio stations, with music, sports, news, talk, and comedy streaming from every continent. It also has more than two million on-demand programmes, from podcasts to concerts to interviews.

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Talk To Phil & Dave Show on radio

THE Talk To Phil & Dave Show on Pulse 98.4 community radio airs live every Tuesday between 2pm and 4pm. Presented by Phyllis Joyce and me, it is Scotland’s premier community chat show.

Two every Tuesday! The Talk To Phil & Dave Show – THE ONLY ONE.

#music #news #TalkToPhil #chat #conversation

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HC Skills endorsed by anaesthetists’ body – PRWeb

A SIGNIFICANT endorsement of my clients HC Skills International has come from the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

The AAGBI, which is the professional body that represents more than 10,500 anaesthetists across the British Isles, has officially recognised a new training course developed by HCS for industry organisation Barema.

Barema is the premier UK organisation representing the interests of companies providing anaesthetic and respiratory medical device support to clinicians and has worked in partnership with HCS to develop a training programme that meets requirements specific to its field of expertise.

Read the media release on PRWeb.

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Talk To Phil & Dave Show on radio

David Boyes and Phyllis Joyce, hosts of the Talk To Phil & Dave Show on Pulse 98.4 community radio. Black and white photo.THE Talk To Phil & Dave show on Pulse 98.4 Community Radio is a weekly programme that is co-hosted by Phyllis Joyce and by me.

Every Tuesday, from 2pm until 4pm, we seek to address serious issues affecting the lives of ordinary people in an unchallenging, down-to-earth setting while at the same time delivering a light-hearted entertainment package.

Phyllis and I are extremely proud of our show – which brings together a unique blend of agony aunt advice, music and social media – and we believe it to be unique on radio in Scotland, if not the United Kingdom.

It is our aim to assist people wherever we can, and we subscribe to the principle of the “spirit of giving”. We wish to give of ourselves as professionals – Phyllis as a body-centred therapist and addiction counsellor and I as a journalist and media consultant – in order to improve the lives of others.

We do not seek any material return for our intervention in people’s lives or through the provision of advice. As Phyllis says: “We want to help the nation advance.”

The programme also features a number of original concepts that were developed by Phyllis and me, including the One Sentence Horoscope, Dave And Phil’s Dish Of Food and Three For The Price Of Two.

Another unique feature sees us create podcasts through the editing of recordings of the show. These give lasting life to interviews with guests who have shared information on subjects of a topical or critical nature.

The show also guarantees the anonymity of those who decide to reach out for help by directing them to use a dedicated email address or referring them to the Talk To Phil website (www.talktophilnow.com), where they can sign up through an email form. Only the details of the issue at hand will be broadcast.

The website is home to Phyllis’s Problem Exchange, which provides insights into real-life scenarios involving people who have asked Phyllis for guidance. It is also a repository of critical support material, including the show podcasts.

Pulse 98.4 logoPulse 98.4 , which transmits on the 98.4 FM frequency, is a community radio station based in Barrhead, near Glasgow, broadcasting to all of South Glasgow, the city centre, East Renfrewshire, Paisley, Renfrewshire and Clydebank and online.

Two things set Pulse aside from other community radio stations – it is professional in its approach and it has no set music policy, allowing it to give exposure to a wide range of styles and artists.

Pulse 98.4 is also available online at tunein, which lets listeners around the world access 70,000 live global radio stations, with music, sports, news, talk, and comedy streaming from every continent. It also has more than two million on-demand programmes, from podcasts to concerts to interviews.

The tunein app is compatible with all smartphones and tablets and on more than 200 platforms such as Sonos and Logitech.

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Agony aunt advice

AGONY aunt advice from the Talk To Phil & Dave Show, which airs live every Tuesday from 2pm-4pm on Pulse 98.4 community radio.

The station broadcasts from the southern suburbs of Glasgow, Scotland, and is available worldwide on the Tunein app or browser.

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Lamb and lemon tagine

Lamb tagineMAKE your dinner table Moroccan roll with this lamb and lemon tagine recipe from North Africa!

This is probably not a dish to serve midweek, since it is a little bit on the expensive side, bearing in mind the amount of fresh lamb required, but it is perfect for a dinner party or a Saturday or Sunday family dinner.

The quantities here will give you a hearty meal full of earthy, tangy flavours that will delight four people.

And if you don’t have a tagine (a North African clay pot with conical lid, don’t worry. Just use a large frying or sauté pan with lid.

MARINADE INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon allspice

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

grated rind and juice of 2 lemons

1kg (2.2lbs) diced lamb (shoulder of lamb, from your butcher)

300 mils chicken stock

1/2 cup of raisins (or dried apricots)

1/2 cup of chopped almonds

1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley (chopped finely)

Small tub of natural yogurt

Small jar of harissa

Packet of couscous

Place the sweet paprika, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground ginger, chilli powder, cinnamon, white pepper, ground cardamom, allspice, salt, olive oil, rind and juice of the lemons in a deep bowl, together with the diced lamb.

Leave for four hours minimum in the fridge, covered.

TO COOK:

Fry one big onion until translucent in your tagine or pan

Add the lamb

Add 
1 to 2 cups of chicken stock

Cook for one hour in oven (160C)

Then add
 1/2 cup raisins or apricots and chopped almonds and return to oven for 30 minutes

Remove and serve with natural yoghurt and harissa and couscous or rice

As they say in Morocco, besseha! (Enjoy your meal).

 

 

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Chicken piri piri with salad

chickPORTUGAL is a country that hides its culinary delights – it doesn’t seem to shout about its cuisine in the same way as Spain, France or Italy.

But its signature dishes – piri piri and cataplana – are well worth tasting and trying to cook yourself by way of a little change.

This recipe for chicken piri piri with salad will give you all the flavours and colours of a Mediterranean meal (even although Portugal’s coastline is exclusively in the Atlantic).

This meal will serve four, and is more filling if served with plenty of fresh, chunky artesanal bread. To make it even more special, serve with a glass of Portugal’s very own vinho verde, which  is a lovely light, white wine of low alcohol content.

INGREDIENTS
Salad:

100 grams of black olives

150 grams of sun-dried tomatoes

150 grams of mozzarella (little pearls or larger balls, sliced)

2 cups of rocket leaves

Juice of 1 lemon

2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

 

Marinade:

4 chicken breasts

6 red chillies, seeds removed, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

Juice and zest of 1 orange

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of salt

METHOD

Prepare the salad in a large bowl by mixing together the dry ingredients, then adding the oil and lemon juice and mixing by hand to ensure every component is coated. Set aside in the fridge.

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Add the chicken breasts and make sure each one is coated in the vibrant liquid.

Cover the bowl with cling film and leave for at least an hour at room temperature. You can also leave the chicken in its marinade overnight in the fridge if you wish. If you do, make sure not to prepare the salad until the next day. After you remove the chicken from the fridge, allow it to come to room temperature before cooking.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C or Gas Mark 4. Place the chicken breasts on a baking tray and cook for 25 minutes, or until the middle of the meat is fully cooked. To make sure, just slice into the chicken with a sharp knife to check it looks the way it should do – white, not pink.

When cooked, remove the tray from the oven. Lift out the chicken and allow it to sit on a chopping board for 5 minutes. Return the tray, which should contain some residual juices to the oven to keep warm.

While the chicken rests, divide the salad among four plates and then place the chicken on top. Pour the remaining warm juice in the baking tray over the chicken.

Desfrutar da sua refeição (enjoy your meal)!

 

 

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Pasta twists with chicken and broccoli

pasta twists (fusilli)HERE’S a pasta recipe that ticks a couple of important boxes for me – 1) it’s a hearty Italian meal that’s full of flavour and vibrant colours and 2) it’s a healthy, home-made plateful that will not load you with calories and fat.

I have suggested pasta twists (fusilli) for this recipe but, in all honesty, you can use any pasta you like. But pasta twists with chicken and broccoli gets the thumbs-up every time it is served in the Boyes household.

This recipe will comfortably serve four. If for two, just halve the quantities.

INGREDIENTS

3 large chicken breasts, sliced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

3  garlic cloves crushed

8-12 florets of broccoli, stems removed (two or three for each diner)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped finely

About 200mls of chicken stock

6 fresh basil leaves

400grams pasta twists (fusilli)

Freshly grated parmesan cheese

METHOD

Put the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook according to instructions. It should take about 10 minutes. While it is bubbling away, you’ll have time to cook the other part of this meal (assuming you have prepared all the ingredients).

Add half the olive oil to a sauté or frying pan and fry the slices of chicken until thoroughly cooked (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, then remove.

Pour the remainder of the oil to the pan along with the pepper flakes and garlic. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes, then add the broccoli and cook for a further 3-4minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and chicken and cook for another 4 minutes or until broccoli is done to your preference. Add the basil leaves.

Now drain your pasta and return it to the pot. Pour the chicken and broccoli sauce over the pasta, mix together and top it all off with a sizeable grating of parmesan cheese. Serve sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper in pre-heated bowls or plates.

Buon appetito!

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Chicken fajitas

MexMEXICAN food is something, generally, that we eat in restaurants or maybe cook at home using expensive packets and jars of horrible, over-salted and artificial-tasting spices and marinades.

Follow this recipe for delicious, tangy chicken fajitas and you’ll never look another shop-shelf packet of gawdy, pre-prepared gloop or powder in the eye again!

This home-made fajitas feast is not only healthy but good value for money. Not only that, it looks fancy and feeds four. Double up the ingredients if you’re feeding eight.

INGREDIENTS

4 large chicken breasts

Juice of half a lime

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of sugar

Half teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of dried oregano

1 teaspoon of dried cumin

3 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)

1 or 2 teaspoons of hot red chilli powder (according to taste)

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

1 yellow pepper

2 red onions

6 to 8 soft tortillas

2 cups of basmati rice

1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

Small carton of soured cream

METHOD

Marinade:

Slice the chicken into fine strips and add to a bowl containing the lime, oil, sugar, salt, garlic, oregano, cumin and chilli powder. Stir to combine the ingredients and allow to marinade for an hour or two. You can even do this the day before you cook this dish.

Cook:

Cook the rice according to the packet instructions.

Put half the oil in a very hot pan and fry the chicken strips for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking tray and keep warm in the oven.

Add the remaining oil and fry the onions and peppers for about 5 minutes. Transfer them to the baking tray containing the chicken.

Place the tortillas on another baking tray (possibly two) and place in the oven to warm.

Serve:

Take the tortillas and the chicken mixture out of the oven and place on the dinner table. Serve everyone a portion of rice on a warmed plate. Diners just dive in by grabbing a tortilla, spreading the chicken the chicken and pepper mix on to it and adding grated cheddar cheese and soured cream.

Caramba!

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co