My #Twitterdisco #bettercovers

So from (roughly) 9pm on Friday 19th January there was a flurry of internet activity to post and debate whether cover versions could be better than the original – as well as raise money for the Lullaby Trust.

This is my list of #bettercovers that I was going to try to post – I didn’t get round to some of them and other people came up with some of them too…

Any glaring errors? Anything you wildly disagree with?


  1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Eva Cassidy (original by Eva Cassidy) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  2. Torn – Natalie Imbruglia (original by Ednaswap) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  3. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley (original by Leonard Cohen) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  4. All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix (original by Bob Dylan) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  5. One – Johnny Cash (original by U2) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  6. Rent – Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine (original by Pet Shop Boys) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  7. Man of Constant Sorry – Blackberry Smoke (original from O Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  8. The Drugs Don’t Work – Ben Harper (original by the Verve) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  9. Rocket Man – Iron Horse (original by Elton John) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  10. Dream On – Boyce Avenue (original by Aerosmith) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  11. Give in to me – Three Days Grace (original by Michael Jackson) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  12. In The Air Tonight – Nonpoint (original by Phil Collins) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  13. Easy Like Sunday Morning – Faith No More (original by the Commodores) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  14. Lake of Fire – Nirvana (original by the Meat Puppets) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  15. Careless Whisper – Seether (original by George Michael) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  16. Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm (original by Michael Jackson) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  17. I’m too Sexy – Leo Moracchioli (original by Right Said Fred) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  18. With a Little Help from my Friends – Joe Cocker (original by the Beatles) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  19. The Man Who Sold the World – Nirvana (original by David Bowie) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  20. Hurt – Johnny Cash (original by Nine Inch Nails) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  21. Nothing Compares 2U – Sinead O’Connor (original by the Family) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  22. Respect – Aretha Franklin (original by Otis Redding) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  23. Twist and Shout – The Beatles (original by the Top Notes) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  24. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston (original by Dolly Parton) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  25. Learn to Fly – Rockin’1000 (original by Foo Fighters) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  26. Don’t Look Back in Anger – Chris Martin (original by Oasis) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  27. Hound dog – Elvis Presley (original by Big Mama Thornton) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  28. Free Fallin – John Mayer (original by Tom Petty) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  29. Jolene – White Stripes (original by Dolly Parton) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  30. Kiss From a Rose – Jack Black (original by Seal) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  31. Killing me Softly – Fugees (original by Roberta Flack) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  32. I Fought the Law – The Clash (original by The Crickets) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  33. Womanizer – All American Rejects (original Britney Spears) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  34. Hit Me Baby One More Time – Travis (original Britney Spears) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  35. Without You – Harry Nilsson (original by Badfinger, then subsequently wrecked by Mariah Carey) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  36. Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Guns n Roses (original by Bob Dylan) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  37. November Rain – Steve n Seagulls (original by Guns n Roses)
  38. Alone – Heart (original by i-Ten) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  39. Only Love Can Break Your Heart – St Etienne (original by Neil Young) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  40. Tainted Love – Soft Cell (original by Gloria Jones) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  41. Every Time You Go Away – Paul Young  (original by Hall and Oates) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  42. The Loco-motion – Kylie Minogue (original by Little Eva) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  43. Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Nirvana (original by Lead Belly) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers
  44. Mad World – Gary Jules (original by Tears for Fears) #Twitterdisco #Bettercovers

Countdown to #Twitterdisco January 2018

I have stumbled across a positive corner of Twitter where a group of health professionals and their followers have a virtual #Twitterdisco along a predefined theme by posting links to music videos (and videos of themselves). I’ve managed to accidentally get myself invited on as a “Guest DJ” which is ironic as I have bought next to no new music for the last 15 years and I’m not known for being the most positive social media user…

So for those curious enough to know, this is my dusty old website which I rarely use these days. Probably because I have been busy as a GP, dad, father, husband etc… But also because I have been doing some management work (CCG project and a superpartnership; yawn – now finished) and for the last few years I have been luck enough to get things I have written put on other people’s websites (see here)

When I am not faffing about on Twitter, seeing patients, helping run a GP practice, and trying to not to get too much in the way of the raising of three children I amuse myself by going climbing (reminiscing days when I was lighter and stronger), playing guitar, painting and watching films. I have occasionally been known to record songs too. The latest song was a collaboration with all the staff at the surgery where I am a partner as a surprise leaving present for a retiring partner.

So on Friday 19th January I will be “on the decks” with a special theme: #bettercovers – cover versions of songs that are better than the originals. I’ll need lots of people to join, have fun and help raise some money for the Lullaby Trust. One of things that this charity does is help families affected by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (and the lesser-known Sudden Unexplained Death in Children) – a charity that friends of ours found a real support when their 18 month old died overnight.

Part of Who I am

A powerful message about our own personal stories


This blog was first published on the NHS Vale Royal CCG website in September 2015.

A scene familiar to doctors and nurses. An urgent call in the middle of the night followed by a rapid fumbling with clothes and shoes as you shake the too little sleep out of your head. The run through the quiet and empty corridors of the hospital before bursting onto the ward, your destination immediately made obvious by the busyness and urgency around one patient. As you approach you see resuscitation already underway, someone doing chest compressions and someone else ventilating.
Many of you reading this will relate to the scene. Two things make this memory different for me. Firstly, the patient is not an elderly person potentially coming to the end of a life well-lived,but is only 17 months old. Secondly, the patient is my son.
Over 11 years ago, this scene brought to…

View original post 595 more words

A letter to Theresa May via my MP

Please feel free to copy and paste this in an email to your own MP, sign a petition, do anything. You can find your MP by using this link

Dear Prime Minister,

I was dismayed at your inability to directy condemn the US president’s vindication of the use of torture and also your frankly lacklustre and tardy repsonse to his latest exectuive order about immigration controls into his country. Whilst I cannot know what goes on behind closed doors between you I believe you have a duty to outwardly show your own country that you serve, that you do not condone such actions at all, and not just when they affect British citizens (it is already, by the way).

I would politely ask you to cancel the State visit of President Trump until such moment as his Executive Order over immigration is revoked. If you are not able to do this immediately then I expect nothing more than a full and frank explanation as to why not. Please feel free to write to me directly, or make a public announcement.

I look forward to hearing from you

Yours Faithfully


The GP 5 Year Forward View, the importance of inequality and the Deep End

Great blog by Greg Fell about inequality and how it affects general practice

Sheffield DPH

So we are all doing responses to the GP 5 Year Forward view
Who knows whether there’s any REAL investment fund. Meanwhile the world keeps revolving.

General Practice, you know the bit that everyone says is the jewel in the NHS crown, gets ever more fragile.

The point re General Practice in the most disadvantaged parts of our communities, you know the bit of the narrative everyone manages to forget, isn’t going away anytime soon.

The amazing Deep End group keep shining a light on it.

Here are some thoughts as we finalise where we are re the GP5yFV.

Regular readers will recognise rehashed material (sorry, but got to say the same thing again and again)


The slice of the NHS £ going to primary care and in particular General Practice

GP funding seems like it’s going down not up

General practice funding has fallen to 8% of…

View original post 668 more words

What many doctors think is happening

London, United Kingdom - April 27, 2016: The Second Day of the Strike By Junior Doctors. The junior doctors resolve is strong on the second day of the all out strike over working conditions.A slimy man is at a very large desk. He is speaking into a phone.

“Don’t worry Richard, sorry, yes, Sir Richard. Don’t worry Sir Richard. Look we have talked about how we were going to have to break it a little bit before…sorry…yes, I know, well look it is  just a little bit. No, no, no it’s not a basket case like the East Coast mainline.”

There is a buzzing sound from a red telephone on his desk, “Look, hang on a minute, I have an important call on the other line.”

He mutes the mobile phone, puts it down on the desk and lifts the old-fashioned red telephone to his ear, “Hello, Rupert,” he listens for a minute or two, “Well that is very kind of you to offer. This week, let’s do nurses, followed by consultants the week after, with a dash of immigrants. If the comments sections seem a bit tame then why not go after the hospital executives and managers, you know publish a few salaries, significant events, patients complaints – you know the sort of thing?”

He listens for a few moments, “Yes quite, I completely agree, ungrateful sods. Speak to you soon,” he replaces the handset and picks up the mobile phone again.

“Sorry Richard, Sir Richard, where were we?” he checks his fingernails and holds the phone away from his ear to protect his eardrum from the shouting, “Look, Rich… SIr Richard, I promise you I will not completely break it. It just needs to be a little bit broken, you know, for us to be able to seal the deal, splash the cash, bring home the bacon… No, no I haven’t been smoking.”

He sits forward in his chair, “Listen, when have we ever let you down? Tell me, eh? Leave this to me and I’ll make sure it will all work out fine for us. Even if they suspect, there won’t be anything they can do about it. Everyone will be panicking about bloody Brexit for a start… Yes, I know… Can’t believe we have been so lucky to have such a massive distraction from our plan land straight into our laps. They always vote with their wallets as you know.”

A woman walks into the office. He cups his hand over the mobile phone and mouths, “Who are you?!”

“Your new specialist advisor, sir.”

“But I’ve already got three, what does her up the road think she’s playing at? No Sir Richard, not you!”

He glances angrily at the woman, “Look, I have got to go. Need to figure out how to make sure Number 11 keep their coffers shut. Speak to you soon.”

He turns to face the woman as the mobile phone is silenced, “And what, pray tell, are you going to advise me about?”

The perfect storm to distract us from a crisis

Paris, FRANCE - JULY 21, 2016 : The Prime Minister of United Kingdom Theresa May arriving at the Elysee Palace at Paris for a work visit.All over social media today there has been wailing and gnashing of teeth, by GPs, such as myself, at suggestions that the opening hours of general practice are in some way to blame for the crisis being seen in hospitals up and down the country. A single paper initially led with the story that the Prime Minister was going tell GPs that they had to be open from 8 until 8, 7 days a week, according to local need. This is nothing new. This is old news. This is the part of the plan set out in the GP Forward View, with the finer details being laid out in NHS operational planning guidance (see page 53).

Fortuitously for the government the National Audit Office has recently released a report into GP opening times. This shows that, currently, GP practices are not open 8 until 8, and in fact some surgeries will have a half day, neglecting to point out that many surgeries will compensate for this by opening during unsociable early or late hours on other days of the week.

Certain aspects of three reports have simply been juxtaposed, within a right wing newspaper and set alongside the context of the bed crisis in the NHS. The ridiculous inference is that the crisis seen in hospitals is down to GP surgery opening times. However, he Prime Minister hasn’t even made an official statement, speech or given a press release about this – all that is reported is that she is going to remind GPs of the details of the GP Forward View.

As always, the politicians, their advisors and journalists have cherry picked from the reports linked above, in order to create a distracting media storm. Better to have irate GPs, and their supporters, on the TV and social media, than pictures of patients in corridors and stories of deaths on trolleys. The spin doctors have done a perfect job and we have all fallen for it. The Prime Minister doesn’t even have to retract a statement she hasn’t made.

As for the cherry-picking – well the GP Forward View and the accompanying operational guidance make it clear that not every practice will have to work from 8 until 8, 7 days a week. Practices will be able to work together. The National Audit Office report does talk about the current state of affairs, but the real headline from it is that every unsociable hour that a GP surgery opens will cost 50% more than regular office hours. It is also worth pointing out that we’re in Year One of the GP Forward View, which is underpinned by the Five Year Forward View. The clue is in the name of the latter. GPs are not expected to provide these extended hours services until 2021, so no wonder current opening hours are much less.

Organisations that have been quick to jump into the media to decry a statement that has been reported will be made, are the very organisations that support the GP Forward View; namely the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners. They think it will be the only way that general practice will get the funding it needs.

The argument over whether the GP Forward View makes economic or clinical sense is one that needs to be had. The real debate for the moment, however, is about the crisis in the NHS as a whole due to a combination of funding, workforce and demand issues. All three have to be tackled at the same time to have any hope in hell of providing the public with standard of care they need.

I am a GP partner in Birmingham, Board Member of Our Health Partnership and co-clinical director of QCAPS for Northfield Alliance Ltd. The views expressed here are my own and don’t necessarily represent that of any organisation I work for.