» Friday, May 20, 2005

Prime Minister’s Health

Asked for an update on the Prime Minister’s back, the PMS said the Prime Minister was fine and was working as usual.

Asked if he had fallen off his running machine, the PMS said the Prime Minister was not sure how he had hurt his back, but possibly whilst he was in the gym.

Asked why had the Prime Minister said he was "fighting fit" during the election when he "clearly" was not, the PMS said that just because he had a sore back did not mean he was not fit.

Asked if the Prime Minister had been told to not exercise too much over the coming weeks, the PMS said it was a matter for the Prime Minister and his doctor.

Asked if the Prime Minister needed to lie down for meetings, the PMS said he was able to walk and talk and carry on as usual.

Asked if he would be able to attend Leo’s Birthday party, the PMS said she did not have any details about the party.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news


  1. Mr Blair would benefit from a stretch in The Tower

    Comment by Hugh Tattersall — 22 May 2005 on 8:53 pm | Link
  2. 6 Questions about the man’s back and 5 on the Electoral Commission. No wonder an ex-porn scribbler runs rings around the great British press.

    Comment by Mr Pooter — 23 May 2005 on 1:58 pm | Link
  3. The Prime Minister is clearly in ill health so he should carry out his promise to Gordan Brown.
    As for reporters asking about his sons birthday party they should just accept that he just wants to be left alone.

    Comment by Jack The Ripper — 23 May 2005 on 3:09 pm | Link
  4. He so clearly is just trying to enjoy his final few days of freedom and fun in the sun. He’s a man on bail. He knows that when he resigns he loses his political immunity and ability to keep a lid on the consequences of all the actions he has done, and his political corpse will be cremated and mailed back to Crawford wrapped in an American flag.

    Comment by Julian Todd — 24 May 2005 on 3:15 am | Link
  5. Oh, if only, if only! It would have made my year if Bliar had been beaten in his own constituency by Reg Keys; I’d accept Julian Todd’s scenario any day of the week instead though…

    Comment by PapaLazzzaru — 24 May 2005 on 11:01 am | Link
  6. Re: 20th May 2005. The Prime Ministers Health

    16th June 2005

    Re PPI forums national conference, Birmingham 7th 8th June 2005.

    I am writing to you as a Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust Forum member. A forum that is fraught with problems. Camden Primary Care Trust forum was not represented at the conference, this forum is also dysfunctional.

    I found the two day conference very refreshing, informative, hopeful and enjoyable. It was particularly helpful to meet other regional forum members, to exchange ideas and learn from them.

    There were many people asking questions of you on Wednesday and those that were unable to speak, where invited to write to you.

    I wanted to express my enthusiasm for the government officially introducing Sports Medicine, the science of physiology, into the NHS. I believe that this signals the beginning of significant reform, in physical health and mental health. In particular, physical health.

    The introduction of Choose and Book, prescriptive exercise and a GSCE in physiology, anatomy and healthy living will offer empowerment, choice and education which will eventually alleviate many chronic conditions and the Department of Works and Pensions payments in care and benefits. Offering more people the opportunity to live normal pain free lives.

    The diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, is primarily a women’s health issue, a diagnosis that is not widely heard of, although it is estimated to effect 500,000 – 750,000 people, of which 90 to 95% are women. Until 1995 Fibromyalgia was believed to be ‘all in the mind’. Fibromyalgia is primarily a progressive musculo/skeletal bio-mechanical problem, with secondary auto-immune and neurological problems, namely, CFS or ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Myalgic Encephalitis), that are recognised to be debilitating, disabling and recently research shows that it is life threatening and can cause death and provoke suicide.

    Whilst, sadly, treatment, competent or otherwise is not available within the NHS for this chronic condition there is a model for prevention. This model is given to us by Sports Medicine and elite athletes. In athletic terms, it is called ‘under performance’ or ‘under recovery’ or ‘athletes overtraining’ syndrome. Kelly Holmes had CFS. Paula Radcliffe’s performance at the Olympics was attributable to a muscle strain injury, stress of competition and a stomach infection.

    Put simply the model for early recognition and prevention is trauma/stress, infection and injury/muscular imbalance.

    Tony Blair recently visited the Royal Free Hospital for back pain caused by a sports injury, he has had stomach aches and heart palpitations. Dr Copperfield, of The Times recently wrote that the clinical appraisal of stomach pains, possibly due to a wheat allergy tiredness and heart palpitations are attributable to ‘neurosis’. As an expert patient, I am concerned that this combination of symptoms. Injury/pain, physical stress caused by pain and life style, could hinder the bodies immune system to fight infection and repair itself. This is common sense and yet, as you know, policy, ignorance, prejudice and discrimination, outdated Freudian psychology and politics all conspire to compound this major split between the mental and physical health of an individual.

    I can not understand why Tony Blair’s GP did not refer him to a local sports injury clinic, for example St Mary’s , UCL or London Bridge Hospital. Or indeed to a local private clinic, eg Sports and Spinal in Westminster, Harley Street. GPs can refer privately for treatment if that treatment would significantly improve the quality of a persons life, however that does depend of who you are.

    I hope that a man in his position will get a second opinion and will not pander to his ideological principles although I have the greatest respect for him being seen to do so.

    Physical therapy is given to a small minority of people in this country, it is not surprising that there are so many people claiming disability benefits. Could you tell me whether ‘Sports Medicine’ will be involved in consultations and policy making decisions at a national level, particularly, for the new National service framework for Children, Young People and Maternity.

    I understand that it is the Primary Care Trusts that are responsible for assessing the need and introducing this ‘expensive’, ‘new’ speciality into their region.

    In my local area of Camden, I have made enquiries to the Director of Public Health, and have spoken to a non executive director. I have been told that GP’s in this area do not consider that Camden needs Sports Medicine. In my area, within the shadows of The Royal Free Hospital there are 15 Sports Medicine practitioners registered with BUPA. With the introduction of Choose and Book,, will it be possible for people with chronic musculo/skeletal problems to access the appropriate technical physiotherapy treatment, even if the local service providers do not recognise a need or provide a service?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours sincerely,

    Jane Barratt

    23 Courthope Road


    NW3 2LE

    0207 482 6090



    Comment by jane barratt — 26 Jun 2005 on 11:44 am | Link
  7. Ms Barratt writes:

    "Fibromyalgia is primarily a progressive musculo/skeletal bio-mechanical problem, with secondary auto-immune and neurological problems, namely, CFS or ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Myalgic Encephalitis)…"

    Would Ms Barratt take note that the correct terminology for "ME" is "Myalgic encephalomyelitis" not "Myalgic Encephalitis".

    Myalgic encephalomyelitis is indexed in the WHO international classification of diseases under ICD 10.G93.3 \x97 neurological disorders.

    Comment by Suzy Chapman — 4 Jun 2006 on 11:07 am | Link

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