Aliveandrunning2013 October 2

No available car to drive to Cambridge and Coleridge AC, so no road running for me with the club yesterday evening. Instead I went for a routine 47 minute run which took me to the banks of the River Cam at which point I turn around and run back. Calf feels normal but will it hold up for 2 hours when I do the Hoo Haar half marathon on Sunday, October 6 ? Should I do an hour’s run  tomorrow ? And what about parkrun on Saturday ? Good sense suggests I should cut out at least one of them. I’ll definitely do parkrun, however.

The media is reporting a meta analysis finding in the British Medical Journal which looked at 304 research papers concerning the role of exercise and medication in heart disease and stroke. The conclusion identified exercise as on a par  with medication in terms of continuing good health outcomes. It identifies diuretic drugs as most important for heart failure and exercise as important , or most important, in stroke recovery. It looked at trials involving nearly 340,000 patients to assess the merits of exercise and drugs in preventing death. Such was the extent of exercise in reducing death rates, the findings suggested that exercise should be added to prescriptions. This is good news and will encourage people to take some responsibility for their own continuing health. Unfortunately so many of us seem determined to sleepwalk into substantial health problems by willfully ignoring sensible eating patterns, not sleeping sufficiently, drinking too much alcohol and not taking any regard for the nature and quality of the food we consume, particularly the refined stuff.

At Birmingham Crown Court, a 23 year old man pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a 16 year old girl on a bus by stabbing her, He has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, a severe and enduring mental illness which when appropriately treated and care supported, can be well managed. He was previously assessed by a psychiatric service in prison where he was serving a short sentence for threatening his mother with a knife. On discharge there was no treatment or care plan presumably because they didn’t identify a treatable mental illness (although prison staff had identified a number of problem behaviours). That’s the most charitable explanation. Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust have Assertive Outreach teams, a medium secure forensic service and a contract to provide a psychiatric service to the prison system. I find it difficult to accept that the assessing personnel didn’t identify an illness that their services could successfully treat. Paranoid schizophrenia was apparently diagnosed after the fatal stabbing which occurred about 3 months after his discharge from prison. Are their specialist Assertive Outreach teams working at full capacity? Have there been cuts in the provision of such services ? How could he not meet the criteria ?

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