NHS news review

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Summary: News of protests as part of the unions “Alltogeth for the NHS” day, BMA concerns and more news of the attack on Lansley’s office.

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

BMA urges Lansley to think-again on reform – News – OnMedica

The BMA says plans to restructure medical education and training and public health services in England are “could damage the NHS beyond repair” and must be reconsidered.

The proposals for public health are outlined in the government’s White Paper, Healthy Lives, Healthy People, and those for education and training are put forward in the White Paper, Liberating the NHS: Developing the Health Care Workforce.

BMA chairman, Dr Hamish Meldrum says: “In these two final consultations related to the Health and Social Care Bill, we find, yet again, that the government is racing towards further fragmentation of the NHS.

“The proposals for public health are causing great anxiety among doctors who believe the plans are flawed and could lead to the NHS losing the skills and expertise of hundreds of highly trained public health doctors. These doctors are responsible for emergency planning such as developing systems during a pandemic flu crisis, developing projects to counteract unhealthy living such as obesity and alcohol misuse, and essential contributions to the commissioning plans for local health services.

Newcastle blood unit may shut in cost cuts – Chronicle News – News – ChronicleLive

LIVES will be in danger if health bosses give go ahead and close Newcastle’s blood testing laboratory, unions claimed today.

NHS Blood and Transplant were informing staff today about the future of the laboratory at the city’s Barrack Road, following talks at a board meeting in London yesterday.

It is the second time in five years cost-cutting has threatened the future of the lab and it has been suggested transferring donor testing to Manchester.

‘For sale’ sign goes up at St Thomas’ Hospital as UNISON attacks NHS reforms [1 April 2011]

NHS for sale. St. Thomas's Hospital 1 April 2011.
NHS for sale. St. Thomas's Hospital 1 April 2011

The stunt – featuring ‘estate agents’ wearing masks representing prime minister David Cameron, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and health secretary Andrew Lansley – was part of the union’s campaign against the coalition Government’s Health and Social Care Bill.

“Selling off the NHS is no joke – but that’s exactly what’s the Health and Social Care Bill paves the way for,” said UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis.

“Even the Tories are waking up to the toxic prescription that the Health and Social Care Bill really is for our NHS.

“Handing over £80 billion to GPs is a reckless gamble. Doctors don’t want it, and it will poison the relationship between patients and their GP.

“Who wants to be sitting across from their doctor wondering if the treatment they are prescribed is what they need, or what the GP can afford to pay for?

NHS Direct Action over Cuts to Health Service – London | Demotix.com

Protest at Dept. of Health 1 April 2011
Protest at Dept. of Health 1 April 2011

[Many more images at link]

Today a small group of protesters gathered outside the Department of Health in Westminster to highlight their opposition to cut backs and privatisation of the NHS.

The protest was different from all other protests that I have been to, as it was done in the form of a short play, with the vampire Andrew Lansley feeding off death and dying NHS.

A highly original form of protest which was a welcome change from last weeks carnage. The protesters got their message across in a peaceful and highly comical way, finally moving away with NHS written on the floor in fake blood.

They moved across the road to Downing Street and staged a short lay-down protest. The protest was cut short by the arrival of five police cars and two police motorbikes of Diplomatic armed police (two of which had their ID numbers hidden). It seems that peaceful protesters is all our police force can handkle these days. London, UK. 01/04/2011

REVEALED: West Middlesex Hospital to axe 260 jobs including doctors, nurses and admin staff (From This Is Local London)

Debt-ridden West Middlesex Hospital is set to axe more than 260 jobs – including frontline workers – it has emerged.

It is feared the hospital’s plans to make savings of £19.7m over the next two years, and a total of £22m over four years, could put strain on services.

John Lister, information director at campaign group London Health Emergency, said: “They [bosses] say job cuts will mainly be administrative, but if they [administrators] are not there then who will do their job? Will it be dumped on nurses and clinical staff? The question is will scaled down services be able to cope?”

BBC News – Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s office attacked

Graffiti has been daubed on the Cambridgeshire constituency office building of Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

The 54-year-old Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire oversees the NHS.

Protesters wrote slogans across the front of the building in Hardwick with red and black paint on Thursday night.

The words “Hands off our NHS” were daubed across the front of the building while a window was also smashed. Police are investigating the incident.

Protesters fighting Government cuts and tuition fees gave Nick Clegg a frosty welcome during his visit to Leicestershire yesterday.

Protesters fighting Government cuts and tuition fees gave Nick Clegg a frosty welcome during his visit to Leicestershire yesterday.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat party leader was in town to encourage supporters ahead of the Leicester South by-election and council elections on May 5.

His visit ended with a question-and-answer session at the Showcase Cinema, in HighcrossLane, where about 100 Capital FM listeners grilled him on everything from electoral reform and taxation to war in Libya and the NHS.

However, it was tuition fees – and Mr Clegg’s decision to go against a party election promise by supporting the increases – which brought out protesters.

Up to 50 demonstrators gathered outside the cinema – singing slogans and waving placards aimed at Mr Clegg.

Health staff in the North East step up protest at NHS reform – Today’s News – News – JournalLive

HEALTH workers in the North East stepped up their protests against the Government’s controversial NHS reforms.

More than 50 campaigners stood defiant outside Sunderland Royal Hospital yesterday in opposition to the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill, which unions belive will lead to increased competition and privatisation of the NHS.

The gathering was included in a series of protests held across the UK as part of The All Together for the NHS campaign, coordinated by the TUC, and health workers also protested at the gates of the Newcastle Blood Centre.

Ann Clay, Unison’s Wearside health branch secretary, said: “I don’t know how we can make these cuts and still provide the services for the people of Sunderland. Frontline staff can’t work without people doing the jobs behind them, we’re a team in the NHS.”

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