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Sleeping in a Ford, Not a Hotel

It seems that British Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes doesn’t have the cash to pay London prices when it comes to staying overnight in the capital. Fiennes, who has his seventy-fifth birthday on Thursday, prefers to spend the night in his Ford Mondeo estate car rather than pay the often staggering price of a hotel bed.

Fiennes was quoted by the Sunday Times magazine as saying: ‘The car is long enough for me to stretch out. It’s not uncomfortable or anything. In London I park in a residential bay between 10pm and 8am.’

Sir Ranulph’s expeditions have left him in debt at various stages, including some £100,000 on his 1979 Transglobe expedition in which he traversed both poles. His next adventure is to walk across the seabed from Robben Island to Cape Town in South Africa equipped with only breathing apparatus and a sonic device to ward off great white sharks.

The latest onslaught on cigarette smoking may come in the form of banning it for anybody aged under 21 under new proposals being considered by MPs.

The suggestion is being backed by 17 health organisations including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians and charities such as Cancer Research UK.

The proposals also include yet another hike in tax on a packet pf twenty cigarettes and an additional levy on tobacco manufacturers.

In another example of the failing NHS, a man of 85 travelled 1,500 miles to Lithuania for a much-needed hip operation after being told that he would have to wait 80 weeks for it to be done in the UK.

Peter Gaillard, from Gwynedd in North Wales researched the cost online and paid £6,000 – half the UK cost – to have the op done and said afterwards that the results were: ‘extraordinarily good.’ He also was able to claim the cost back from the NHS afterwards.

Patients in England and Wales can apply to a special panel for drugs or treatment not routinely offered by the NHS if their doctor believes it would significantly improve their condition and they are likely to deteriorate. Under European law this includes getting the NHS to pay retrospectively for operations in Europe of the patient is likely to face an ‘undue delay otherwise. Whether ‘undue delay’ applies is determined on each individual’s clinical needs, history and prognosis.

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