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Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

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Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by witchfinder on Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:01 pm

First topic message reminder :

Here is a news item from North Yorkshire which never made it onto the national headlines

A York-based practice has written to its patients offering them a range of minor treatments privately, claiming they are not funded by the local NHS.

Doctors' leaders said this could be the start of a worrying trend due to the squeeze on finances and NHS overhaul.

The letter, seen by the BBC, said local health chiefs had stopped funding a range of services, but added they could still have them done privately at a number of clinics, including one owned by the practice.

These included removing skin tags from £56.30 to treating benign tumours for £243.20.

Dr Richard Vautrey, of the British Medical Association, added: "The dire finances of many trusts means that many more NHS treatments are likely to become unavailable in the future".
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:01 am

That's gonna cost! Unwinding the Management Companies which GP panels are setting up could involve eye-watering compensation claims.

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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by bobby on Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:08 pm

Whats new? It always costs when taking over from a Conservative Government. What I fear is that when Labour left office and a note jokingly apologising "there isn't any money left" That when we rid ourselves of this evil Fascist Government, there really won't be any money left, They will have it all stashed in overseas banks.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by skwalker1964 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:31 pm

Actually, there may be an 'out'. Perhaps letting the Tories make retrospective legislation that they couldn't block anyway was a smart move by Labour after all.

They could treat that as precedent and simply make retrospective legislation declaring all the contracts illegal and therefore void and not liable for any compensation.

I would. I'd be tempted to apply it to all the other sell-offs, too.

Then I'd make a new law making retrospective legislation illegal (but not retrospectively!) and one requiring a 95% majority ever to undo either of those pieces of legislation.

After all, if the Tories can do it to make slaves of people and to require a 67% majority or whatever to oust them before 2015, what's good for the goose...
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:05 am

Harold Wilson's government passed the War Damage Act 1965, which I think may have been the first Act of Parliament to specifically have a retrospective effect.

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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by Ivan on Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:15 pm

"A study of health care in seven industrialised countries, published in June 2010, concluded that the NHS was the most efficient. The Commonwealth Fund report looked at five areas of performance - quality, efficiency, access to care, equity and healthy lives. The US came last in the overall rankings, which also included data from Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand."

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When I read things like that, my blood boils. This evil government, with no mandate to do so, set about dismantling the NHS within weeks of taking office. Why? Not because the NHS needed overhauling, but to satisfy Tory ideological hatred of all things public and to reward the healthcare companies which bankroll their corrupt party.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:14 pm

It would be nice to think that an incoming Socialist Government would be able to chop off all those fingers already in the NHS till.

But there wasn't much sign of that sort of thing in 1997.

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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:18 am

Ivan wrote:[i]When I read things like that, my blood boils. This evil government, with no mandate to do so, set about dismantling the NHS within weeks of taking office. Why? Not because the NHS needed overhauling, but to satisfy Tory ideological hatred of all things public and to reward the healthcare companies which bankroll their corrupt party.

Hear, hear! The current, deeply-misleading campaign around Leeds children's heart unit is a case in point - an agenda to close units based on a premise that isn't borne out by the facts, and exploiting seriously-unsound statistics and a smear campaign to achieve the end no matter what the obstacles or negative consequences.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by tlttf on Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:03 am

If this is what's happening/happened then something really has to be looked at.

No let-off for those guilty of needless deaths in hospitals
RITA PACE was 56 when she collapsed in a toilet and bled to death without anyone coming to her aid.

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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:23 am

tlttf wrote:If this is what's happening/happened then something really has to be looked at.

No let-off for those guilty of needless deaths in hospitals
RITA PACE was 56 when she collapsed in a toilet and bled to death without anyone coming to her aid.

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That can happen to anyone in any hospital. There can't possibly be someone in every room, and if someone goes into a room by themselves with a condition nobody knows about yet and then collapses, it's going to be some time before you're found - even longer in a hospital that's understaffed and overstretched, as they almost all are.

An aortic aneurism can rupture at any time and one it goes, unless you're already on the operating table you're gone (and even then if you are the chances are poor!). By choosing this as an example, the Express is just showing its complete ignorance of medicine.

This wasn't a 'needless death' - just a very sad and virtually inevitable one.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by astradt1 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:49 am

When the knee jerk headline is looked at it sounds like there would have been blood all over the floor but as it was a an Aortic Aneurism all the bleeding would have been internal.......

The rupture may well have been brought on by straining.

While it is sad for the family they are like many looking for a reason for this death at a fairly young age....

In the article there is no mention of why this lady was in hospital, what she was being investigated/treated for.

As skwalker says this could have happened anywhere but of course because it happened in hospital it must be the hospital's fault, according to the rightwing press because it fits with their agenda of placing ALL hospitals in the hands of Private Health Care Companies......

If someone collapsed in Tesco's and dies, would Tesco's get the blame?
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:16 pm

Only if they'd been eating a value burger..
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by Ivan on Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:37 pm

skwalker1964 and astradt1. How dare you reply to a grubby little snippet from the right-wing gutter press? Such filth is meant to go unchallenged. You place yourselves in danger of being labelled a ‘troll’ and told to “get a life”.

When this rancid government was cobbled together at great haste in 2010 (don’t laugh, but apparently that was in order to preserve our AAA credit status), patient satisfaction with the NHS had never been higher and waiting times for treatment had never been lower. Within weeks, that runt Lansley, whose private office was being bankrolled by a private health company (as was the Tory Party), revealed his plans to privatise the NHS, which he had been secretly working on for years. The voters were given no indication of this and had been assured by the serial liar Cameron that the NHS was safe in his hands and would suffer "no top-down reorganisations". As Michael Portillo, a former Tory minister who is no longer a member of the Tory Party, pointed out, had the Tories revealed their plans for the NHS, they would never have been in a position to weedle their way back into power.

The Royal College of Nursing has said that nurses are “drowning in a sea of paperwork”, often spending one-sixth of their working time on it. It also said that the problem has become much worse in the last two years. No doubt getting rid of some admin staff and making nurses do their work instead, thereby reducing their time for patient care, is all part of the insidious process of undermining the NHS and softening up the public for the day they realise that our health service has been transferred to the Tory donors in the private sector.

The vote in the House of Lords on Wednesday (24 April) is probably the last chance to stop the creeping privatisation of the NHS:-
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Meanwhile, crap Tory tabloids try to distract our attention from the real issues with stupid anecdotal stories that have no relevance to the NHS, one of the most cost-efficient health services in the world. And isn’t it just sad when a mindless moron can find nothing better to do than swallow such shyte and then spew it up on this forum?
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:44 pm

".... hospitals in the hands of Private Health Care Companies......" have Consent Forms which any patient (or legal representative) will be required to sign before any procedure is performed.

The form will have been devised by the Company's Insurers. It will bind the Hospital to little more than recording your name.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:55 pm

Ivan wrote:skwalker1964 and astradt1. How dare you reply to a grubby little snippet from the right-wing gutter press? Such filth is meant to go unchallenged. You place yourselves in danger of being labelled a ‘troll’ and told to “get a life”.

When this rancid government was cobbled together at great haste in 2010 (don’t laugh, but apparently that was in order to preserve our AAA credit status), patient satisfaction with the NHS had never been higher and waiting times for treatment had never been lower. Within weeks, that runt Lansley, whose private office was being bankrolled by a private health company (as was the Tory Party), revealed his plans to privatise the NHS, which he had been secretly working on for years. The voters were given no indication of this and had been assured by the serial liar Cameron that the NHS was safe in his hands and would suffer "no top-down reorganisations". As Michael Portillo, a former Tory minister who is no longer a member of the Tory Party, pointed out, had the Tories revealed their plans for the NHS, they would never have been in a position to weedle their way back into power.

The Royal College of Nursing has said that nurses are “drowning in a sea of paperwork”, often spending one-sixth of their working time on it. It also said that the problem has become much worse in the last two years. No doubt getting rid of some admin staff and making nurses do their work instead, thereby reducing their time for patient care, is all part of the insidious process of undermining the NHS and softening up the public for the day they realise that our health service has been transferred to the Tory donors in the private sector.

The vote in the House of Lords on Wednesday (24 April) is probably the last chance to stop the creeping privatisation of the NHS:-
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Meanwhile, crap Tory tabloids try to distract our attention from the real issues with stupid anecdotal stories that have no relevance to the NHS, one of the most cost-efficient health services in the world. And isn’t it just sad when a mindless moron can find nothing better to do than swallow such shyte and then spew it up on this forum?

Smile and Sad
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254 Lords betray the people of England

Post by skwalker1964 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:55 am

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A few minutes ago, 254 peers betrayed the people of England, as they defeated 146 other peers in a crucial NHS vote on a Labour motion in the House of Lords to kill ‘secondary legislation’ that the government is trying to implement under last year’s Health and Social Care Act.

Why was it such a betrayal? Earlier today, one quisling Labour peer, Norman Warner, gave the game away when he went on the record in the Guardian to explain

Why I, a Labour peer, am supporting a regulated market for NHS competition

An unforgivable treason when the amended secondary legislation the government is trying to implement (having failed to sneak it through unnoticed) is even worse than the original version and will mire commissioners of NHS services in England in such confusion and fear of legal action that will force them to play safe by including private health companies in every contract bid.

But Warner was at least a ‘useful idiot’ to a degree. In ‘coming out of the closet’ as an enemy of a truly public NHS, his statement served to make absolutely clear what the government has consistently – and ludicrously – tried to deny: that this legislation is intended to force the piecemeal but progressive privatisation of the NHS.

Describing his reasons for his decision to mark himself indelibly as a turncoat, Warner said,

It is a fantasy to believe that we can solve the NHS’s problems without the help of many new providers with fresh ideas and better management techniques. Other countries facing the same problems are doing just this. To allow new entrants from the private, voluntary and social enterprise sectors to enter the NHS market a set of fair procurement rules are required and that is what the new regulations do.

The weasel words and outright lies are clear:

    that the NHS is unaffordable – it isn’t, it’s simply a matter of choice – if we value it, we’ll pay for it and be glad to do so.
    That this government doesn’t want to fund the NHS properly simply demonstrates how hollow their ‘safe in our hands’ promise always was.

  • that private companies automatically have ‘fresh ideas and better management techniques’. G4S, anyone?


Warner wasn’t finished yet. He went on,

Patient (sic) best interests are served by the new clinical commissioning groups replacing repeatedly underperforming NHS service providers

Thomas Murphy, Chairman of General Motors, infamously said,

General Motors is not in the business of making cars. It is in the business of making money.

Private health companies don’t care about patients’ interests. They exist to make money, and healthcare is just the way they intend to do it. Patients’ interests might be protected to a degree because companies fear loss of profits – but in the end no profit-making company can ever provide the same level and extent of services it could provide if it did not make profit, because profits taken mean money not spent on patients.

Warner’s words make clear that section 75 is designed to lever open the NHS for the entry of private companies – a betrayal of everything the NHS stands for and of all those who rely on it.

But Warner was not alone in his calumny. The media, which almost without exception (and including the now-lamentable BBC) has been almost silent on this vital, vital issue – allowing the government to do as it wished without fear of the public backlash its actions have merited.

And those peers, those 254 peers – no matter which party they belong to – betrayed the British people unforgivably tonight.

They may feel they were doing the right thing. They were wrong – and ordinary British people will suffer for it in their moments of greatest need and vulnerability.

They may feel they were obliged to vote to defeat the ‘fatal motion’ that Labour had laid to try to kill these regulations. They were wrong. No party loyalty can excuse such reckless disregard for the National Health Service that is so vital – disregard for that principle of ‘free to all at the point of need’ that has saved the lives of millions who could never have afforded to pay for healthcare.

They may feel that ‘it’ll all turn out alright in the end’. They are wrong – the only way things will turn out right is if people realise what is being stolen from them and unite to fight bitterly to prevent it.

It doesn’t matter what their reasons were for voting to protect this deceitful, venal government measure. They were wrong, because nothing justifies any threat to something so vital to the national wellbeing – especially not the profits of shareholders that will probably be banked offshore in some tax haven.

Whatever their reasons, what happened tonight was unforgivable. It’s essential that we fight, and that we don’t forgive, or forget – neither at the impending local elections nor at the next general election.

If this measure passes, one of the only resorts left to those who love the NHS will be to do exactly what the government is trying to make Clinical Commissioning Groups afraid of – tie them up in legal action by demanding our rights under the NHS Constitution if they fail to offer contracts exclusively to true NHS providers.

CCGWatch has been set up to enable local communities and activists to do exactly that. If you’re able, please visit this site and use the PayPal link to make a one-off or repeat donation. Thank you.


Update: This is the list of greatest shame - the 63 LibDem peers who voted with the Tories. Not a single one had the spine or morals to vote against:

Addington, Lord
Alderdice, Lord
Allan of Hallam, Lord
Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, Lord
Avebury, Lord
Barker, Baroness
Benjamin, Baroness
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, Baroness
Brinton, Baroness
Burnett, Lord
Chidgey, Lord
Clement-Jones, Lord
Cotter, Lord
Dholakia, Lord
Doocey, Baroness
Dykes, Lord
Falkner of Margravine, Baroness
Garden of Frognal, Baroness
German, Lord
Hamwee, Baroness
Harris of Richmond, Baroness
Hussain, Lord
Hussein-Ece, Baroness
Jolly, Baroness
Kirkwood of Kirkhope, Lord
Kramer, Baroness
Lee of Trafford, Lord
Linklater of Butterstone, Baroness
Loomba, Lord
Maclennan of Rogart, Lord
Maddock, Baroness
Mar and Kellie, Earl
Marks of Henley-on-Thames, Lord
McNally, Lord
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, Baroness
Newby, Lord
Northover, Baroness
Parminter, Baroness
Phillips of Sudbury, Lord
Randerson, Baroness
Razzall, Lord
Roberts of Llandudno, Lord
Roper, Lord
Scott of Needham Market, Baroness
Sharkey, Lord
Sharp of Guildford, Baroness
Shipley, Lord
Shutt of Greetland, Lord
Stephen, Lord
Stoneham of Droxford, Lord
Storey, Lord
Taverne, Lord
Teverson, Lord
Thomas of Gresford, Lord
Thomas of Winchester, Baroness
Tope, Lord
Tyler, Lord
Wallace of Saltaire, Lord
Wallace of Tankerness, Lord
Walmsley, Baroness
Watson of Richmond, Lord
Williams of Crosby, Baroness
Willis of Knaresborough, Lord
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:27 am

The NHS Pot of Gold has always made entrepreneurial eyes glitter, but they've had to await this venal government's arrival to provide the keys to the safe.
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Massive, hidden gulf in NHS nurse numbers

Post by skwalker1964 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:17 pm

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Last year, I highlighted some ‘corporate doublespeak’ on the part of a Chief Executive of an NHS Trust to the Health Select Committee of MPs. When asked about nurse numbers, Philippa Slinger, the CEO of Heatherwood and Wexham Trust, told MPs:

I have recruited 350 staff in the last year, including qualified nurses and midwives.

Suspicious that this phrasing might cover a multitude of sins, I submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request to the hospital asking for details – both of the breakdown of the new recruitments and of unfilled positions at the Trust relative to its ‘funded establishment’ (the total number of positions it should be filling).

The answer showed how misleading the CEO’s statement was:

New nurses recruited (whole-time equivalent of WTE): 90.65

WTE nurse positions not filled: 206.57

Last month, with the aid of a couple of wonderful accomplices, I put in similar FOI requests to every one of the just over 140 acute hospitals in England. So far, just under half – 67 – have provided information (some have refused and a large number have not yet responded).

The response is staggering.

Among 67 hospitals, an incredible 9,283 nursing positions were unfilled at the time of response. There is some argument for concluding that the average among the hospitals that have not yet responded may be even higher, as those hospitals might be slower to admit their shortfalls.

However, even just assuming that the rate among those hospitals that have not responded yet is exactly the same as among those who have, this means that the total of unfilled nurse posts is:

19,420

a total that dwarfs the 7,000+ nursing posts eliminated under this government.

What is this telling us?

Not every hospital differentiated in its responses between qualified staff nurses and healthcare assistants (HCAs). However, among those who did, the almost unvarying pattern was of far higher numbers of nurse posts being unfilled than of HCA posts. This suggests that hospitals are retaining (and in many cases probably increasing) the number of unqualified, lower-paid HCAs and choosing not to recruit qualified nurses.

This fits entirely with information that has come to light about hospitals changing the usual 60/40 nurse to HCA ratio to a 40/60 ratio in order to cut costs.

But these new figures indicate that in order to make ends meet hospitals are not only ‘de-skilling’ their staffing mix but choosing not to fill many positions of both types at all.

In his report into care failings at Stafford hospital, Robert Francis emphatically concluded that, in the 3 areas of the hospital where poor care did exist, the overwhelming cause was understaffing. This element of his conclusions has been completely and willfully ignored by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Now we know why. The pressure that Hunt and his party have applied to funds in hospitals all across England and Wales is leading not only to overt cuts in nurse numbers, but to a massive gulf in numbers that is being kept hidden by NHS Trust executives and the government.

It is common, intuitive sense that cutting nurse numbers must affect the quality of care that hospitals can provide to patients. Since the Francis report was published, this has become even more apparent.

But all we hear from the government is that nurses ‘lack compassion’ and need to be trained how to care about people (as if you can ever ‘train’ compassion), and not a word of admission that Francis was right.

The 3 main causes of poor care in the NHS are understaffing, understaffing and understaffing. That the government is not only ignoring it but forcing hospitals to operate on such drastically inadequate frontline numbers makes one conclusion all but inescapable:

The government is setting hospitals up to fail.

Ask yourself why that might be.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:03 pm

"The Nurse's interview, first draft."

Peter Cook: I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war. Get up in a crate, Perkins, pop over to Bremen, take a shufti, don't come back. Goodbye, Perkins. God, I wish I was going too.
Jonathan Miller: Goodbye, sir — or is it — au revoir?
Peter Cook: No, Perkins
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by astradt1 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:09 pm

Is there any way of finding out what the skill mix (Trained to untrained nurse numbers) for BUPA and other private hospitals?

The current accepted patient to HCA ratio in private care homes is 1 HCA for every 4 patients.......And that is a deemed high staffing level...

For Trained nurses it is 1 nurse to however many patients are on the ward/unit so it could be one trained nurse to 20 patients.......with no allowance made for the needs (complexity of care) of those patients.....
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:25 pm

Nurses working in the private hospital sector have all been trained within the NHS. Practically speaking, most medical staff in the private sector may accurately be described as "moonlighting".

In the unlikely event of the NHS ceasing to provide Training, the private sector would be stuffed for recruits.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by skwalker1964 on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:27 pm

astradt1 wrote:Is there any way of finding out what the skill mix (Trained to untrained nurse numbers) for BUPA and other private hospitals?

I'm not aware of one - doubt they publish that kind of info. Sad
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by Ivan on Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:28 pm

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Source: Labour Party
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North East Cumbria NHS bends over for unwarranted 'Stafford similarity' inspection

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed May 08, 2013 10:18 am

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Last night on BBC’s regional Look North programme, there was a segment on the visit of inspectors this week to North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust. According to Look North, the inspection visit forms part of the government’s targeting of 14 hospitals for supposed issues with their mortality rates ‘in the wake of the Mid Staffs scandal’.

The Trust’s board issued a statement to the effect that it ‘welcomed’ the inspection as an opportunity to identify and address any issues – echoing its statement to the BBC last December when it was first targeted:

The process we are going through now is looking at where we can improve. We’ve identified specific areas which we are about to look at and embark on an action plan to implement changes.

I understand why the Trust feels it needs to respond in this way for PR purposes, but in my opinion it’s exactly the wrong approach.

The rapid switch into ‘apology/defence mode’ by the Mid Staffs board was a significant part of the way in which the now-discredited ‘excessive’ mortality statistics were allowed to be used uncontested by media and politicians to denigrate and demonise that Trust and its staff. One of the clear lessons that came out of Mid Staffs’ harrowing (and ongoing) experience was that if you think you’re innocent, it’s far better to come out fighting than to bend over and ‘welcome’ the attack on you.

Moreover, North Cumbria does not have a mortality rate issue. As I pointed out in March, the 14 hospitals are being targeted for supposed high mortality rates according to the deeply-flawed HSMR statistical method, but no less than 9 of these do not have high mortality rates according to the much stronger and more widely-accepted SHMI system.

North Cumbria is one of these 9 Trusts.

The Department of Health and its advisors are fully aware of this fact – it’s hardly a secret – but are choosing to proceed with these inspections anyway. The decision to target hospitals that have no cause to be targeted reveals other, darker motivations – motivations that have nothing to do with patient safety or quality of care.

Last December’s statement to the BBC by the Trust’s Mike Walker was along the right lines:

I don’t think it is correct to say that people are dying in the hospitals when they shouldn’t be. A review of all our deaths over the past year has shown that over 90% of the patients received completely appropriate care as described by our clinical team.

But now the Trust appears to have decided that its best approach is to act as if it's delighted to go under the microscope in what is without question a politically-motivated and cynical series of inspections instigated by a government determined to misuse a completely false (and assiduously cultivated) public perception of what happened at Mid Staffs.

The government is targeting 14 hospitals in this wave of inspections, and 50 in the next. That’s 10% and 36% respectively of England’s hospitals. Most of these hospitals, as demonstrated by ‘the nine’, do not have mortality rate issues according to the more reliable statistical method.

Passivity and ‘grin and bear it' is not the right response. Hospital Trusts and their local communities need to stand and fight – and being prepared to robustly challenge the government’s preference for a statistical method known to be less accurate is a good place to start.

And it’s time that any media who don’t have a hidden agenda of ending the NHS for their political and financial masters needs to step up, too, and start changing the narrative. Putting the story right on Mid Staffs would be a good place to start on that.
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Cash-strapped hospitals to be FINED for ambulance waits

Post by skwalker1964 on Sun May 12, 2013 3:42 pm

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Just been listening to a piece on BBC Radio 5 Live about ambulance waits at Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments – the phenomenon whereby ambulances are unable to discharge patients because A&E departments are unable to cope with demand.

Various callers – doctors, nurses, patients, NHS managers – spoke of the obvious: that massive cuts in funding and nurse numbers have resulted in A&Es straining at the seams as staff struggle valiantly to cope without any realistic hope of doing so. This is exactly what caused the problems at Stafford hospital’s A&E (though not the ’1200 needless deaths’ fallacy that most of the media trot out – well done 5 Live for not doing so).

Callers were virtually unanimous in the view that funding and staff cuts are a root cause of this problem – as indeed Robert Francis concluded in his report on Stafford. The cumulative effect of these cuts to funds and numbers is a rise of 58% in ambulance waits of 30 minutes or longer .

The government’s ‘solution’ to this situation? Fines.

Cash-strapped hospitals will be fined £200 for every time an ambulance has to wait 30 minutes at A&E – and £1,000 for every wait of an hour or more.

Isn’t this so typical of this deceitful, underhand government? Imposing a ‘solution’ that actually exacerbates the problem it’s supposed to solve – and puts lives at risk as either A&E’s struggle even more, or hospital managers are forced to divert funds from other parts of the hospital to shore up A&E to avoid the fines.

Jeremy Hunt completely ignored Robert Francis’ key conclusion in his so-called ‘response’ to the Francis report. He is wilfully ignoring the real cause of A&E problems and imposing fines that will make them worse. All while planning to close ‘failing’ hospitals.

You have to wonder why that is.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun May 12, 2013 10:26 pm

The NHS is visibly and INTENTIONALLY starting to creak at the seams. We are intended to lose confidence and succumb to paying for Private medical insurance.

At the local level, we have an excellent GP facility in a modern dedicated building with a Dispensary incorporated. The effect of this was that after being examined by a Doctor, any medicines prescribed could be collected after a brief wait. Until now. There are fewer staff in the Dispensary, which now requires TWO DAYS notice for anything but emergency drugs.

Safe? Why do you need to ask?
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by Ivan on Mon May 13, 2013 9:04 pm

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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon May 13, 2013 9:12 pm

And, yet again, an ineffective Opposition are doing precious litttle to raise awareness of this Tory menace, or to get the public energised behind protest.

It just isn't the stuff of prospective election winners... Shocked
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon May 13, 2013 10:19 pm

On the evidence of electors' recent behaviour, it might be said that Voters do not entirely trust ANY political party.

On that assumption, nothing that the Labour Party may say at this particular juncture would have any measurable effect.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by Ivan on Sun May 26, 2013 10:20 pm

Cap on number of GP visits being considered by Tories

Extracts from an article by Jane Merrick:-

A Tory consultation document on local health provision asks activists whether they agree or disagree with the idea of an annual limit on GP appointments. The paper also asks whether evening and weekend appointments with GPs and consultants are a "luxury the country cannot afford".

Labour seized on the document, describing the proposed limit as a threat to the core National Health Service principle of access based on clinical need. The revelation follows the appointment of Nick Seddon as Downing Street health policy adviser. Formerly of the think-tank Reform, he has suggested NHS cuts and charges for GP visits.

The document is buried on the website of the Conservative Policy Forum, chaired by Oliver Letwin and supported by the Tory co-chairman Grant Shapps. The forum brings together activists from constituency groups to discuss ideas for the next two years of the coalition, the 2015 manifesto, and future Tory government policy.


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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun May 26, 2013 10:51 pm

It may not be logical to criticise the Tories when they admit the truth.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by Ivan on Wed May 29, 2013 7:14 pm

Ten reasons why the Tory plan to limit visits to the GP is barmy and will cost lives:-

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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed May 29, 2013 10:38 pm

During the first forty years of a National Health Service, people in work stuck contribution stamps onto a card, which proved their entitlement to benefits. Eventually "NI" contributions were recognised as the additional tax which they had become, and collected through PAYE together with Income Tax. The psychological difference is important, because instead of earning a personal entitlement through visible "savings stamps" a general tax is evidence only of a universal common provision - which can be anything or nothing.

Never underestimate the cunning of a Tory Government's fiscal changes.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:57 pm

The government's economies have wreaked a dreadful price on healthcare

Extracts from an article by Andy Burnham:-

"A&Es are struggling. More and more people are facing long waits to be seen, often in pain. More and more patients are being left on trolleys, because they can't be admitted to hospital wards. More and more patients are held in the back of ambulances as they queue to come in – and even being diverted to hospitals further from home.

When Labour left office, A&E was holding up well with 98% of patients seen within four hours. But since the election, the number of people waiting longer than four hours has nearly trebled.

In March, Osborne carried out a silent raid on the NHS budget, grabbing back more than £2bn in 'underspends' to massage his budget figures. The NHS is reeling from Cameron's toxic medicine of budget cuts mixed with a wasteful reorganisation that nobody wanted and nobody voted for. Cameron has broken all his promises on the NHS and now patients are paying the price. More than 4,000 nursing jobs have been lost. And the closure of many NHS walk-in centres, coupled with the chaos with the 111 helpline, has placed a growing burden on A&E.

The government's devastating cuts to budgets for care mean fewer older people are getting the help they need to stay healthy and independent in their own homes. For the lack of simple support at home, older people are struggling and having to come into hospital and too many become stranded there. We are spending thousands on expensive hospital care when a few pounds at home can keep people well. And with hospital beds not being freed up, the pressure backs up through A&E, which can't then admit new patients to the ward."


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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by boatlady on Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:39 pm

One of the big factors that has impacted the capacity of the NHS (apart from understaffing and the rest) is of course the cuts to Local Authority budgets, which means that people no longer get quality support in their own homes before they are in crisis.

The outsourcing of home care services (not to mention the relabelling of 'home help' as 'home care') means that vulnerable people can no longer depend on a regular visit from a home help who has time to prepare a meal, to chat, to do a bit of housework, and who, incidentally acts as an early warning system, getting GP's, distant family members etc involved when needed.

Home helps were often regarded as one of the family and would provide extra help flexibly as needed, to keep a person safe at home. The service was charged for at a flat rate that everyone could afford, and was provided on the basis of need, not ability to pay.

The current situation - often home care agency staff are unskilled, untrained, receiving minimum wage, allowed as little as 10 minutes for a visit, and rarely visiting the same person on a regular basis - means that 'care' in the home is fragmented, provided by someone who does not know the individual, often has little understanding of the task, and doesn't have the time to register and act upon any concerns. This leads of course to vulnerable people, often elderly, becoming dehydrated, having pressure sores, falling, suffering hypothermia - all issues that will bring them to the A&E department, where of course, they will add to the waiting times for everyone - because an illness or accident is avoidable, doesn't mean it will take less time to sort out - and of course, after treatment those people will be returning to the same inadequate care in the community, leading to more admissions and ultimately for many an early and avoidable death.

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In a recent survey by Community Care, the journal for social care, respondents said the transfer of social care services from councils to private providers has been bad for the sector. Two-thirds said the quality of adult care had deteriorated because of large-scale outsourcing since the early 1990s. But it's not just misguided: as we've shown, it's sneaky. These secretive chips at local budgets won't generate the coverage a huge Governmental department cut will, but the impact on those affected will be every bit as significant.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:39 pm

Why are we surprised that a Tory-led coalition is succeeding in its ambition to weaken the "Welfare State" which they have NEVER supported during seventy years?
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:18 pm

The Health And Social Care Act

Adapted from a blog by Marcus Chown:-

The Health And Social Care Act, which was passed in March 2012, removes the UK government’s obligation to provide universal healthcare in England. There was a massive conflict of interest, with a quarter of the MPs and Lords who voted for the bill having financial stakes in private health companies that stood to benefit by from the bill's passage. ‘Care UK’, a private health company, donated a significant amount of money to the office of health secretary Andrew Lansley.

There was overwhelming opposition from the medical profession (most notably from the British Medical Association and 25 of the 26 royal medical colleges), though this impression was not communicated by the mainstream media, particularly the BBC. Although the NHS affects every man, woman and child in England, most remain in the dark about what has happened.

The NHS is one of the fairest, most efficient and cost-effective healthcare systems in the world; it has half the per capita costs of the US health system. The government repeatedly concealed the purpose of its bill - to make possible the gradual dismantling of the NHS and its replacement in the medium-term by a market system, based on ability to pay rather than need. The Act also opens the door for charges (without limit) for NHS services. It permits private providers to take over any NHS services, and it allows up to 49% of the business of NHS hospitals to be private. According to Michael Portillo: "The Tories did not believe they could win an election if they told you what they were going to do to the NHS."

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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by boatlady on Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:30 am

Foreshadowed in 1990 by this nasty little piece of legislation

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which
introduced an internal market into the supply of healthcare making the state an 'enabler' rather than a supplier of health and social care provision.[1]

It was the beginning of the end - further evidence, if any were needed, that the current assault on our National institutions has been a long time in the planning. As I recall, this went through with little opposition, but has definitely paved the way for the current wholesale destruction.

In retrospect, I wish Labour had reversed the act in 1997 - would have made it more difficult to achieve the selling off of the NHS - but at the time, there seemed more pressing matters for a new government
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:04 am

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The truth. Admitted at last.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by Ivan on Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:47 pm

It would appear that the NHS isn't safe in the hands of the Liberal Democrats either. Shirley Williams, who claimed to have protected the principle of an NHS 'free at the point of need', has suggested that charges for going to the GP and an end to free prescriptions for pensioners should be considered:-
 
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:14 am

Private Medicine in the UK rides on the back of the NHS.  Practitioners have nearly all been trained by the NHS at taxpayers' expense and the only non-NHS staff in a private hospital are caterers, cleaners and auxiliaries drawn from the Hotel industry.

Where will the clinical skills and research come from in twenty-five years' time?  Imported at great expense from foreign countries, presumably. The "Teaching hospitals" attached to Britain's Universities will need formidable funding to replace the part now played by National Insurance.
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:51 pm

10 ways the Tories have ruined our NHS
 
- Public satisfaction with NHS at 'record low' (June 2012).
 
- 20,000 NHS staff axed.
 
- 11,000 beds axed.
 
- A&E waiting times at 8-year high.
 
- NHS spending promise broken.
 
- Record high clinical negligence payouts.
 
- 22 treatments now restricted.
 
- £7 billion of NHS privatised.
 
- 30% of NHS walk-in centres shut
 
- Ignored tribunal ruling to publish risk register.
 
Full details here:-
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Re: Is the NHS really safe in Tory hands?

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