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Health webchats


Health webchats never fail to elicit torrents of questions, so we're grateful to all our expert guests who've gamely attempted to answer them all.


 David BogodDavid Bogod

"Women's choice means nothing if they can only 'choose' what their health care attendants think is best for them. This kind of paternalism has rightly been condemned in medicine and is, I hope, on the way out." David Bogod, March 2011

David is president-elect of the Obstetric Anaesthetists Association and vice-president of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, has worked at City Hospital, Nottingham, for 21 years and carried out more than 2,000 epidural procedures. He came on Mumsnet to discuss the scientific, political and social aspects of epidural pain relief in labour - and a fascinating discussion it was, too.


UNICEF's Sue Ashmore and Carmel Duffy

 "The law regulating the advertising of formula milks is much weaker than the International Code of Marketing and this is the reason there are adverts for follow-on formula on our television sets." Carmel Duffy, November 2010

 Sue Ashmore and Carmel Duffy from UNICEF joined us at MNHQ in 2010 to answer your questions on infant feeding and support for breastfeeding in the NHS, as well as the Baby Friendly Initiative, peer support groups, co-sleeping and longer breastfeeding.


Dr David Salisbury

"We do recommend that pregnant women with flu risk factors should be vaccinated every year and we know that seasonal flu vaccine is safe in pregnant women." Dr David Salisbury, October 2009

David Salisbury is director of immunisation at the Department of Health. He originally trained as a paediatrician and also works extensively for the World Health Organisation, including his role as chairman of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Vaccines. He was a timely guest at the end of October 2009 because he came to discuss the swine flu vaccination, particularly for pregnant women, just as the swine flu vaccination programme was being rolled out.


Dr Dawn Harper

"I'm not a fan of bleaching and disinfecting everything in sight, but handwashing should be routine and is an important part of preventing the spread of coughs and colds from person to person." Dr Dawn Harper, September 2009

A webchat with Dr Dawn Harper in September covered how to avoid catching colds and flu, and how to prevent them taking out the family if one person gets a horrid lurgy. Dawn is a part-time GP in Gloucestershire and a regular on lots of programmes and in the press.


FSIDGeorge Haycock

"I avoid the use of the term co-sleeping because it includes too many different and diverse practices. I prefer to talk about bed sharing, sofa sharing, room sharing etc, to avoid confusion (which has unfortunately affected many published studies in the field)." George Haycock, June 2009

 Co-sleeping, daytime naps and risk factors were some of the topics covered in this webchat with Professor George Haycock, who is a scientific adviser to the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths and emeritus professor of paediatrics at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals, London.



Gwyneth Lewis

"Every woman has the right to have an individual postnatal care plan, discussed with their midwife, which takes account of their needs and wishes." Gwyneth Lewis, April 2009 

Maternity adviser to the Department of Health for more than 20 years, Gwyneth is one of the country's leading experts on maternity care. She came to MNHQ in 2009 to hear your thoughts and concerns and about maternity hospitals and antenatal, labour and postnatal care


Dr Adam Fox

Dr Adam Fox

"75% of mums with kids with eczema manipulate the child's diet. Many dermatologists dismiss the role of food in eczema whilst some allergists probably overstate the potential to improve eczema with diet. The truth is probably between the two." Dr Adam Fox, November 2008

Consultant paediatric allergist Adam Fox has recently been working at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital and St Mary's Hospital. His research interests include gastrointestinal food allergy and eczema. He came to share his expert knowledge of eczema, asthma, anaphylaxis, food intolerance and food allergies with us all in late 2008. 


Dr Adam Fox

Dr Anthony Zybutz

"You don't need to brush your child's teeth three times daily and definitely not within one hour of eating as this could accelerate acid erosion. A good idea is for your children to rinse with water after lunch at school." Dr Anthony Zybutz, November 2008


Anthony Zybutz is a renowned Harley Street dentist with many years of experience fixing and shining teeth. He got us all in a flossing fluster for his online chat in September 2008. And, as he has two young children himself, he was happy to chat about everything from children who grind their teeth in the night to toddlers who won't clean their teeth.


An Unfit Mother

Lord Darzi

"NHS staff don't like upheaval and rightly so, but I don't accept that they're tired of change as long as the change is for the right reasons. We are always going to have to change the services we provide and the way we provide them over time in order to give patients the best possible care." Lord Darzi, June 2008

Lord Darzi is former parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department of Health, the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, and an honorary consultant at St Mary's Hospital and The Royal Marsden. He had been leading a review of the NHS, talking to staff and patients about how it should be reformed. He joined us in 2008, and was very interested to hear your experiences (good and bad) of the NHS.


Dr Adam Fox

Zita West

"You don't have to eat all organic to conceive. It's so expensive and not everyone can afford it. And I often wonder whether some of the organic produce you buy is actually organic! The best thing is to eat fresh food without additives: buy it locally and frequently." Zita West, November 2007

Zita is a practising midwife, acupuncturist and nutritional adviser. She worked in the NHS for more than 20 years and then, in 2002, set up the Zita West clinic, a multidisciplinary practice that uses complementary therapies for fertility and pregnancy.



Last updated: over 3 years ago