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triple helix: summer 2015

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The NHS at a crossroads - crisis equals threat plus opportunity

The NHS is at a crossroads. Simon Stevens, NHS England's Chief Executive, says we need a new plan based on a 'triple integration': primary and specialist services; physical and mental health; healthcare and social care. (1) The Five Year Forward View, (2) launched last October, is a collaboration between six...

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Plans for ‘seven-day’ NHS - where will the money come from?

Review by Steve Fouch CMF Head of Nursing. In May, the Government announced a move towards a fully seven days a week service in hospital and primary care. (1) This proposal sounds good in theory. Running GP surgeries seven days a week would increase equity of access and reduce...

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Assisted suicide bills - one down, one to go

Review by Peter Saunders CMF Chief Executive One assisted suicide bill has been defeated and another resurrected in six weeks of roller coaster activity in British parliaments, keeping the debate very much alive. Patrick Harvie's Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill (1) was defeated by 82 votes to 36 in...

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Fears grow over HPV vaccine - how safe is it?

Review by Philippa Taylor CMF Head of Public Policy Recent reports (1) have added to an evolving story of inadequate research into the HPV vaccine that almost every teenage girl in the UK has been given since 2008. (2) Apparently, thousands have endured various debilitating illnesses after receiving the...

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DNA editing - a case still to be made

Review by Peter Saunders CMF Chief Executive Manipulating the human germline has been off limits for decades but new technology has brought it one step closer. A new tool called Crispr enables scientists to 'edit' the genome by adding or deleting DNA sequences. In response to...

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After the sexual revolution

Glynn Harrison outlines a Christian response to the sexual revolution. Key points In less than a generation, the Christian moral vision has seen a profound loss of cultural power. We need to get to grips with the ideologies that form the plausibility structures of the new moral order....

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Improving healthcare in South Sudan

Alice Madgwick reports on a pioneering training venture "I've seen very many people in South Sudan suffering, others dying when giving birth, children are suffering of malnutrition, others are not even being immunised. So I felt like I should also be one of the persons who could serve those people."...

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Prayer, personality and temperament

Pablo Martinez explores how our psychological makeup influences how we feed our spiritual lives. Key points Every Christian is unique; the character of our spiritual life is different from other people. Our personality type will be reflected in how we pray. An introvert will be comfortable with silence and...

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Nepal walking through pain and hardship together

Tom Roberts hears the stories of CMF members caught up in the Nepal earthquake. Key points Two large earthquakes have left 8,600 people dead, thousands more injured. Around 600,000 homes have been damaged, and 140,000 destroyed. While things are recovering in the cities, in the affected rural areas many...

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Problem solving in the NHS

David Pitches says Christian servant leadership can make a difference. Key points There are situations where well-established 'command and control' routines lead to a solution. For more complex management puzzles the problem-solving approach will be team-based and democratic. Then there are altogether more complicated problems where there...

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The fellowship of suffering

John Wyatt on the growing pressures ahead for Christian health professionals. Key points As pressures in the NHS grow, Christian health professionals need to prepare for opposition and suffering. The Bible makes a mysterious but profound connection between suffering and koinonia –'fellowship', 'participation', 'sharing', or 'communion'. Koinonia is at...

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Alcohol's hidden iceberg

Rick Thomas highlights an often-overlooked problem. Key points Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) describes a range of disorders caused by the toxic effects of alcohol on the developing fetus. Due to the complex assessment needed to recognise FASD, affected children may be misdiagnosed with ADHD, ASD, attachment or behavioural disorders, and...

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2.00005-parent embryos

The media sound-bite of 'Three-parent embryos' is misleading and should not be encouraged by CMF (News Reviews, Spring 2015, p5). Mitochondrial DNA constitutes roughly 0.005% of the total and its 37 genes (~0.15% of the total) are principally concerned with the integrity of the respiratory (energy producing) chain, so the...

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Their name is today: reclaiming childhood in a hostile world

Johann Christoph Arnold Plough, 2014, £9.24, Pb 189pp, ISBN 9780874866308 Reviewed by Sarah Germain, a former hospital doctor and former CMF Junior Doctors' Committee chairman In a world where many pressures seek to deny children a happy and healthy childhood, Arnold aims to write a 'hopeful book...

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Prayer: Experiencing awe and intimacy with God

Timothy Keller Hodder & Stoughton, 2014, £16.99, Hb 321pp, ISBN 97814444750157. Available as an ebook. Reviewed by John Martin, CMF Head of Communications There is a paucity of quality books on prayer. Even good ones rarely strike an adequate balance between the theological, experimental and methodological. Tim Keller has succeeded...

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Growing up to be a child

Peter Sidebotham Westbow Press, 2014, £9.14, Pb 174pp, ISBN 9781490840673 Reviewed by Andrew Tomkins, Emeritus Professor of International Child Health at University College London. This is a 'must' for all parents! Whereas many Christian authors emphasise the need to engage in thoughtful reading and interpretation of Scripture, Jesus said that...

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The Bloomsbury guide to pastoral care

Edited by Bernadette Flanagan and Sharon Thornton Bloomsbury Continuum, 2014, £35.00, Hb 240pp, ISBN 9781441125170 Reviewed by Russ Parker, director of Acorn Christian Healing Foundation. This book consists of a collection of essays addressing a wide range of issues affecting the practice of pastoral care in a world of rapidly changing...

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Eutychus

'Wellness': a new Gnosticism Gnosticism was early Christianity's deadliest rival. Gnostics claimed 'secret knowledge' and insisted that slavish adherence to their beliefs or rituals guaranteed eternal happiness. Eutychus can't help noticing resemblance between Gnostic attitudes and prescriptions of a new breed of 'wellness' bloggers. Belle Gibson, a 23-year-old Australian, claimed...

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Message received and understood

Using people's 'heartlanguage' always makes a difference, writes Ruth Eardley. It was an ordinary working day but my friend was wearing a gorgeous sari in red and gold. 'I don't get many thank you cards' she confided, 'but I do get a lot of hugs'. She is a GP in an...

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