NHS news review

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NHS news is dominated by claims that Cameron, Clegg and Lansley are “listening” to concerns about the bill to destroy the NHS. Labour have condemned the initiative as an “expensive PR stunt” and I agree.

There are claims that drastic changes are necessary to the NHS because of UK’s ageing population. I suspect that this justification has surfaced over the past few days and that previously alleged necessary change was presumed to be self-evidently true and no justification beyond “Doing nothing is not an option” was necessary.

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.

UNISON Press | Press Releases Front Page

“Good morning Conference. It’s great to be here with you in Liverpool. A great city and a great conference. Our Health Conference – the biggest gathering of Health workers in the United Kingdom. Our big society coming together from all parts of the land. Our people who work in the NHS because they believe in it. A coalition who do not believe in our NHS. But a coalition with no democratic mandate.

“A coalition reporting its definition of democracy to the rest of the world but not giving the people of this country a say in the future of our NHS. Yesterday evening I had the privilege of attending the fringe meeting on our NHS. Blood and Transfusion Service. A centre of excellence. Our big society at work. Millions of donors willing to give their blood for the benefit of others. Blood for the benefit of others. No money changing hands.

“Donating organs with no money changing hands. Now we are told that the transport and storage of blood and organs are to be privatised looking at ways in which “commercialisation can be exploited”. Private companies to come in and extract blood money. It’s unethical. It’s immoral.

“And I want to make it clear from this platform to our NHS BT branch representatives in the hall today, that you will receive the full support of our national union and our Conference here today. To anyone who is listening, this union, our union will do everything in its power to stop the privatisation of NHS Blood.

Healey condemns Tories’ NHS chaos / Britain / Home – Morning Star

Shadow health secretary John Healey joined delegates at Unison’s health conference today in calling for an end to Tory cuts and reforms.

Hot on the heels of his attack on Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s NHS reforms in parliament on Monday evening Mr Healey attended the conference in Liverpool to speak out against the government’s reckless, ideological and politically motivated health policy.

The former TUC campaign director hailed some of Labour’s achievements before admitting that the party did make mistakes in securing the best PFI deals.

He went on to lay into the government’s NHS reforms as being steeped in “chaos” and “confusion.

Prentis: Cut service and we’ll walk / Britain / Home – Morning Star

Unison leader Dave Prentis delivered a rousing speech to furious health workers today, vowing to fight tooth and nail to protect their pensions from Tory-driven NHS cuts.

The general secretary pledged to delegates at the Unison conference in Liverpool that he would support industrial action if pension schemes were targeted.

“If there’s money to bail out the banks, if there’s money to protect their bonuses, if there’s money for war, then there’s money available for the NHS,” he said.

“It’s the rich in the city, some paying less tax than one of our cleaners in a hosptial, who should be doing more for less.”

United and fighting / Britain / Home – Morning Star

Hundreds of health workers swept out of Liverpool’s conference hall today for a lunchtime rally amid a fanfare of horns and placards demanding: “Hands off our NHS.”

Speakers at Unison’s annual conference called for solidarity in protecting the NHS and the crowd jeered “tossers” as the Con-Dem’s plans for cuts and reforms were attacked.

North West regional secretary Frank Hont introduced speakers as he praised the NHS as a “shining beacon for health care.”

He reeled off a lengthy list of other NHS workers stating that the service is “not just about GPs.

“If the health service was just about GPs we would be in a sorry state,” said Mr Hont.

“It’s also about patients and their families who depend on it and those who work for it. The NHS may not be perfect but it’s the best thing that the government in this country ever did.”

Workers step up battle to save blood service / Britain / Home – Morning Star

Health workers unanimously backed an emergency motion today to step up the fight against privatising parts of the NHS blood and transplant service.

Delegates at Unison’s health group conference in Liverpool were united in opposing any Department of Health dealings to hive off the running of parts of NHS blood and transplant service to private companies.

The plans have attracted interest from private firms Capita and DHL, which could stand to take over parts of the service including testing, processing and transport of blood products.

Transplant ward worker in Oxfordshire Stephen Parkinson said: “I’m proud to be working for a service that is truly life-changing and life-saving.

“It’s crucial that the service is one that remains for donors a gift of life given freely.

Pulse – Public health plans set to fragment NHS ‘beyond repair’

Government plans to reshape public health services in England are flawed and could ‘damage the NHS beyond repair’, the BMA has warned.

The association said the proposals outlined in the government’s public health White Paper, Healthy Lives, Healthy People, could lead to a ‘further fragmentation of the NHS’ and were causing ‘great anxiety among doctors’.

The warning came as the NHS Confederation said plans to financially reward areas that successfully reduce health inequalities could penalise the areas most in need of extra investment and, in fact, worsen health inequalities.

BBC News – We won’t take risks with NHS – PM

The government will not take risks with the NHS in England, Prime Minister David Cameron says.

But at the launch of a new push to convince critics that the reforms are right, he said sticking with the status quo was not an option. [Why not?]

The prime minister was joined by his deputy Nick Clegg and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to try to present a united front amid widespread criticism.

Labour has branded the move an “expensive PR stunt”.

Union protests over NHS shake-up plans – Health – The Star

Fool protest at Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Fool protest at Doncaster Royal Infirmary

PROTESTERS at Doncaster Royal Infirmary donned jester costumes to voice their opposition to Government plans to reform the NHS.

Members of the trade union Unison targeted the borough’s biggest hospital to make their position clear to the borough MP Rosie Winterton, who was visiting during their protest.

Ms Winterton is also the Labour Party’s chief whip.

A spokesman for Unison confirmed the protest was held to tie in with Ms Winterton’s visit.

She said: To coincide with her visit, nurses and health care workers from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospital are protesting against the Health and Social Care Bill outside DRI main entrance.”

The protesters dressed in jesters outfits holding signs saying: “Don’t be a fool Mr Cameron – leave the NHS alone”.

Modernising NHS vital, says David Cameron – UK Politics, UK – The Independent

David Cameron today warned NHS staff that modernisation of the service was “essential” if it was to cope with the demands of a rapidly ageing population.

Launching the Government’s “listening” exercise on its controversial reform programme, the Prime Minister insisted he remained “passionately” committed to a health service free at the point of delivery.

But addressing NHS workers in Frimley, Surrey, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, he said they could not afford to carry on in the way they were doing.

“The status quo is not an option,” he said.

At the same time he insisted that ministers were committed to taking staff with them as they made the reforms that were needed.

BBC News – Sherwood Forest NHS Trust budget jobs threat

Hundreds of jobs are under threat after a Nottinghamshire NHS trust said it had to make savings of nearly £50m.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the King’s Mill and Newark hospitals, said it needed to save £46m over the next three years.

Two thirds of its budget goes on staff, with the savings needed equivalent to 420 full-time posts.

NHS protests attract massive support – Local – Sunderland Echo

HUNDREDS of thousands of protesters have put their name to a petition opposing NHS changes

The petition, signed by Easington residents, was received by local MP Grahame Morris.

It was organised by the campaign group 38 Degrees which lobbies on a range of issues affecting people in the UK.

Mr Morris accepted the petition at his constituency headquarters at the Glebe Centre in Murton.

Nick Clegg was claiming that the NHS reforms were the Lib Dems’ idea just three months ago | The Spectator

Ahead of this morning’s Cameron, Clegg, Lansley event on the NHS, it is worth reminding ourselves of what Nick Clegg was saying about these reforms back at the start of the year. On January 23rd, he went on the Andrew Marr show and had this exchange:


Huge change to the NHS just coming down the line. Was that in the Liberal Democrat manifesto?


Actually funnily enough it was. Indeed it was. We were one of the primary critics in opposition of what we felt was a top …


(over) I don’t remember you saying you were going to get rid of Primary Care Trusts and pass it down to GPs.


We certainly said we were going to get rid of Primary Care Trusts.’


27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.

I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.

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