Thank you Anticoag team at Hinchingbrooke Hospital

OK chaps, an impromptu post on the Charity Oars blog, but one that I hope will show how we’re moving along in the right direction.

For the past 3 years, almost on a weekly basis I have attended Hinchingbrooke Hospitals anticoagulation clinic. I have my routine (OCD is a pain sometimes) I sit in “my chair”, Jane, Sue, carol, Caroline, Caroline will come and get me (not all at once I hasten to add…!) I then chat about what has gone on in the past week, they prick my thumb, claret comes out (sometimes straight away, which pleases me, or sometimes with some coaxing, which does not please me). They drop the claret onto a reader, and eventually the reader goes “2.1” or “3.8” or sadly “1.4” (I hate anything beginning with a “1”. Well, as I was saying. For the past 3 years the “patients board” has never changed. Old flyers, sun bleached posters, sales leaflets. Today however, as I walked to the door there was a “Thrombosis Day” poster in the window, that pleased me. It gets better…! In place of all of the old leaflets that had been on the “patients board” we now had literature from Lifeblood, we have information on this years Thrombosis Day, we have information about DVT’s and Pulmonary Embolisms, we have information on Lifebloods Buddies program. In short we have information that patients need to see.

Now I know you may be thinking “is that it? Just a noticeboard?” well lets put it this way. It’s the first time in 3 years that there has ever been any information that is directed at the patients and raising awareness. So I’m rather happy…!

Oh, by the way my bloods were “2.8” today so that pleases me…!



@charityoars off to London again to visit @clarebalding & @jggmedia

Well what can I say….. The rather lovely Clare Balding has made contact and has kindly offered to sign the #charityoars A quick look at my diary, a quick “creative” reschedule of the day job, and it looks like Tuesday is the day for a jolly jaunt into the Capital.

Now I know that some of you may well think that by giving such advance notice could mean that First Capital Connect have extra time to scupper the plans, but I remain optimistic that they might just try and behave themselves, this time…!!

So a huge thank you to Clare for offering to help, and a cheery salute to JGG Media (in advance) for any help they can offer.



Look who’s supporting @charityoars @pikey128

Well on a rather wet early evening at Goldington Road I met one of my favourite Bedford Blues players, Brendan Burke. He’s one of those quick running, tackle evading, ball in hand, try scoring sort of players, and a dam fine chap as well….!

Brendan ends his career at Bedford Rugby Club this season, he’s been a great Ambassador to the game and to the club, and now his career has hit an all time high by signing the #charityoars …! lol   Maybe he did a few other superb rugby things as well, have a look

So from a Bedford Blues fan and a fan of the game, best of luck with your next step in your sporting career.


Look who’s supporting @charityoars @JPritchard_21

Many thanks to Bedford Blues Captain and Canadian International James Pritchard for taking time out of training yesterday to sign the #charityoars 

If you’re looking for a sporting Ambassador and a dedicated professional then you don’t need to look too much further. So James, have a great game tomorrow, and here’s to continued success wearing the Canadian shirt.

“James moved to England to join the Bedford Blues in 2001 and set a new National Division One record with 374 points in his second year at the club, and has since scored 1006 points for the Championship side. The records kept on tumbling for Pritchard after he recorded 403 points in the 2010-11 season – the first time a Bedford player has passed the 400 mark.”


Many thanks @bedfordbluesRFC

With their last home game tomorrow there was a rather cheery feel about the team. It’s been a long season and some well earned rests are called for, the Blues also say farewell to 2 great ambassadors of the game, Brendan Burke and Sacha Harding. So off I went, #charityoars in hand to Goldington Road to get a few of my rugby chums to sign the oars.

It was great to have time to chat with the players, to explain why there’s a chap with an oar at the rugby ground and to talk about Lifeblood and the work the charity is doing to raise awareness of DVT’s. Pulmonary Embolisms and Thrombosis. 

The awareness of DVTs for players in the modern game is imperative, as it’s not only through injury that a thrombosis can be caused but if you take into consideration the international travel that so many players have to make these days, awareness is key.

Club Captain, and Canadian International (and all round good chap) James Pritchard spoke about the demands of the game as well as the international travel, and highlighted the understanding of DVTs that is coming to the fore at club and international level. The mention of compression stockings was raised, rather bashfully I showed him my wonderful beige “Nora Batty” NHS specials…!

So from a supporter of the game and a Bedford Blues fan, many thanks to Mike Rayer and the team for the enjoyment you have given over the years, and thanks to the miracle of modern medicine I’m able to look forward to the next few seasons as well.


Off to @bedfordbluesRFC

The lucky chaps at Goldington Road are the next sporting stars to put their mark onto the #charityoars Over the years I’ve spent many a damp, cold, windy (and that’s just the Charles Wells beer…!!) afternoon down watching the Blues. Support from clubs and players is so warmly welcomed, and it just goes to show how committed these people are to help raise awareness of DVT’s, Pulmonary Embolism and Thrombosis. So as I put the #charityoars into my trusty truck, I bid you farewell for now.

Woman, 32, died from DVT just three hours after stepping off holiday flight from Tenerife


Liz Cooper started to feel ill while on holiday at a Tenerife hotel complex, but suffered a pulmonary Embolism (due to a DVT) just 3 hours after landing.

It seems strange to read such stories, would you have known what a DVT was? Would you have known what a Pulmonary Embolism was? You need to know the signs, you need to be able to listen to your loved ones, family, friends, strangers. You need to be able to say “go to your doctor…!”

Trouble is (sadly) a lot of the time the doctors misdiagnose, as do the A&E departments. This is why charities like Lifeblood are working so hard to raise awareness,

To read the full story please click here


Failure to spot blood clots costs the NHS million

The NHS has paid £112million in compensation over the past five years after doctors failed to spot deadly blood clots, according to research.

Data from the NHS Litigation Authority show a rise each year in the amount paid to patients after staff failed to screen for the condition or give appropriate medication.

Last year, the health watchdog said more than 10,000 lives could be saved annually if people going into hospital were screened for the clots. They kill an estimated 25,000 people admitted to NHS wards in England every year.

Three years ago, Sir Liam Donaldson, then the chief medical officer, said that all patients admitted to hospital should be screened.

In 2005, £21million was paid out over blood clots, but this rose to more than £26 million in 2010. The money was paid to people who suffered an avoidable blood clot or who had a clot missed by doctors. New research from Lifeblood, the thrombosis charity, suggests claims for the period 2005 to 2015 could top £250million in total.

Prof Beverley Hunt, medical director of Lifeblood, said the human cost from this preventable condition was “devastating”.

Cost to the NHS