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It was reported recently that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley would break with convention and refuse to address the Royal College of Nurses Congress. It is now reported that he will meet a group of nurses in private at the congress – clearly with a view to avoid bad publicity for his intended destruction of the NHS.

The Royal College of Nurses have identified 40.000 job losses with 54% being in frontline staff.

I seem to have some strange bedfellows recently, linking to Blairite scum. I linked to this important document at a blog presented by Blue Ken and today I’m linking to John Rentokill and Parrot Tonee. Rentokill’s argument looks strangely familiar as if the traditional press has to keep up with bloggers keeping people informed. Notice for example recognition of the role of Bliar’s administration in privatising the NHS and the refutation of “doing nothing is not an option”.

There are suggestions that one of Clegg’s closest advisors Norman Lamb intends to resign if NHS reforms are not to his satisfaction. Spin.

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.

‘Listening’ Lansley to meet nurses after all – UK Politics, UK – The Independent

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, yesterday reversed his decision to stay away from the annual conference of Britain’s 400,000 nurses.

Mr Lansley had previously turned down an invitation to attend the Royal College of Nursing’s Congress – prompting accusations that his promise to “listen” to health professional over NHS reforms was a “sham”.

But yesterday, after his planned absence was reported by The Independent, the Department of Health announced that he would go after all – as part of a “listening seminar”.

It is understood that Mr Lansley will meet a group of nurses, selected by the RCN, who will be able to put their concerns to the Health Secretary. However, he will still not take part, or address nurses, in the main conference hall. Instead the keynote government address will be given by Anne Milton, the most junior minister of the Health Department.

BBC News – Poor morale and job cuts threaten NHS reform, says RCN

Nurse leaders will warn this week that poor morale and job cuts threaten to derail the government’s reform programme of the NHS in England.

The issues will be key themes of the Royal College of Nursing’s annual conference in Liverpool.

RCN leader Peter Carter has said nurses were being pushed to the limit, working extra hard to keep services going.

John Rentoul: It’s hard to diagnose confusion – John Rentoul, Commentators – The Independent

As George Orwell said, “the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts”. If only David Cameron had remembered that when Andrew Lansley persuaded him that he knew what he was doing to improve the NHS.

It is possible that the Secretary of State for Health has Jedi powers when speaking in private. That might explain why Cameron left him to it in opposition and guaranteed him his job in the Cabinet. It might explain why the senior Liberal Democrat delegation that went to “have it out” with him last month came away saying how impressed they were with his grasp of the situation.

BBC News – Union claims overworked nurses are ‘propping up’ NHS

Nurses are “propping up” the NHS by repeatedly working more hours than contracted and providing last-minute shift cover, a union has claimed.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland said a survey of its members found just one in 10 felt there was enough staff where they worked.

The “snapshot” survey of 200 Scottish nurses was part of a UK-wide poll.

Royal College of Nursing Scotland released the figures on the eve of its annual congress.

Almost all nurses (96%) reported working in excess of their contracted hours, with more than a quarter (27%) saying they did this every shift.

Just 11% of respondents said that staffing levels at their place of work were quite good or very good, while more than a quarter said they provided last-minute cover for absentee staff at least fortnightly.

20,000 doctors and nurses to be cut as NHS feels the pain – Health News, Health & Families – The Independent

Controversial plans to reform the NHS suffered a double blow yesterday after a member of the Government threatened to resign over the proposals and new figures suggested up to 20,000 medical and nursing jobs could be lost as a result of cutbacks.

Norman Lamb, the chief political adviser to Nick Clegg and a government whip, said patient care could suffer because of the speed at which the changes were being introduced. “I’ve said that if it’s impossible for me to carry on in my position I will step down,” he said. “I don’t want to cause embarrassment but I feel very strongly about this issue… It would be a crying shame if we rush the reform process and got it wrong.”

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), which is holding its annual congress this week in Liverpool, released new figures yesterday suggesting that more than 50 per cent of the planned jobs losses in the NHS will be clinical. So far the RCN has identified more than 40,000 NHS posts due to be lost over the next three years.

But in a survey of 21 NHS trusts, which between them are planning to cut nearly 10,000 jobs, the RCN discovered that 54 per cent were filled by clinical staff. The union said some roles were being downgraded. The Liverpool Women’s Hospital Trust is planning to cut 65 specialist nurse posts while introducing 48 staff nurse posts within its neonatal specialty. In Coventry and Warwickshire, managers are planning to reduce the number of registered nurses within learning disability services and increase the number of healthcare assistants.

More than half of NHS job cuts are on clinical frontline – RCN

The Royal College of Nursing has exposed the myth that NHS frontline care and services are protected, and says cuts will lead to ‘fewer services, fewer nurses and a worse NHS’.

As members from gather in Liverpool for the RCN’s annual Congress, the College warned cutting frontline posts could have ‘catastrophic consequences on patient safety and care’.

Evidence from 21 NHS trusts in England showed 54 per cent of nearly 10,000 posts due to be cut are frontline clinical posts. The RCN also found that nursing posts account for 46 per cent of identified workforce cuts.

The findings will put pressure on the Government to say how patient services will be protected, as trusts in England alone aim to save £20 billion by 2015.

Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said clinical staff were the ‘lifeblood of the NHS’ but were haemorrhaging at an alarming rate.

He said: “Many trusts are not being transparent by admitting to the proportion of clinical jobs being lost. From our research we now know the truth – the majority of job losses are frontline clinical jobs, the jobs that matter to patients.

Nick Clegg adviser threatens to resign over rush to reform NHS | Politics | The Guardian

David Cameron has been warned that he will have to endorse sweeping changes to the government’s planned NHS reforms when a senior adviser to Nick Clegg threatened to resign unless a series of demands are met.

Norman Lamb, a government whip who is the Liberal Democrat leader’s senior parliamentary adviser, said his party’s MPs and peers would be unable to support the health and social care bill if their concerns are ignored.

Lamb’s warning came as the British Medical Association claimed the tight NHS settlement, which will raise its budget in line with inflation, is leading to an “accelerating withdrawal of services”. Growing numbers of patients are being denied treatment for conditions such as infertility.

David Cameron’s well-oiled winning machine is now a car crash | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian

A year ago running up to the election, everything they did looked clever, well oiled and pitch perfect. David Cameron’s electoral Rolls-Royce purred up to the winning post, his party’s reputation for wrecking the public realm left far behind. Likeable, reasonable and focus group-tuned to what the British wanted, he understood Labour’s legacy was a basic instinct for fairness. He knew the no-go zones – or so it seemed.

So why has he broken all his own rules in such a short time? Where did this appetite for random acts of revolutionary chaos come from? But above all, friend or foe, no one foresaw incompetence on such a scale. The saga of the NHS car crash is incomprehensible: his party seems at a loss, as ideology trumps political common sense. Cameron’s campaign – “I’ll cut the deficit not the NHS” – understood what was electorally totemic and radioactive for Tories.

No cuts? Former Tory health secretary Stephen Dorrell, powerful head of the commons health committee, warns yet again that no country ever attempted a 4% health cut in one year, let alone four years running. So what possessed Cameron to risk such cuts and lie about it, let alone to encourage Lansley’s simultaneous “revolution”? To advertise the NHS for sale to “any willing provider”, making Monitor open it to EU competition law, confirms every worst suspicion voters already held against his party.


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.

Please be assured that this blog is a non-commercial blog (weblog) which does not feature advertising and has not ever produced any income.


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