NHS news review

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There is a seperate article addressing UK Uncut’s ‘Emergency Operation’.

NHS news is concerned with various cuts to services, Tory privateer has an undeclared interest and speculation whether Lansley’s on his way.

On a totally different topic: Take a look at these

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.

Mr Cameron must rein back on NHS reform | Observer editorial | Comment is free | The Observer

There were two good reasons why David Cameron stood for election pledging “no more top-down reorganisations” of the NHS. First, voters felt no pressing need for a healthcare revolution and, second, they did not trust the Conservatives to enact one.

It was wise of Mr Cameron to promise timidity in health reform. To have then turned the issue into a vicious political battleground, within a year of becoming prime minister, represents a serious political failure. It is a war he should never have started and one that he is losing.

Is anybody winning? Not really. The Liberal Democrats have at least belatedly discovered some gumption in asserting their blocking power as the guarantors of Mr Cameron’s parliamentary majority. They are threatening to withhold support for the plans set out by health secretary, Andrew Lansley, unless drastic changes are made. Mr Lansley envisaged a health system governed by vigorous competition between different providers, with the private sector encouraged to take over services traditionally run by the state. The Lib Dems want market forces more firmly restrained.

Lansley’s ally on NHS reform faces conflict of interest questions | Politics | The Observer

The Tory MP leading a backbench fightback to save Andrew Lansley’s health reforms is at the centre of controversy over his business links to firms that could benefit from wider private-sector involvement in the NHS.

Nick de Bois, MP for Enfield North, reignited tensions within the coalition government when he called on fellow Conservatives to prevent the Lansley plans from being watered down by Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats.

However, De Bois was thrown on to the defensive when a senior Labour MP, Grahame Morris, wrote to the Speaker, John Bercow, protesting that his Tory colleague had repeatedly failed to declare his private interests during the passage of the Lansley bill.

In an email to colleagues, De Bois, who was on the committee that scrutinised the health and social care bill, spelled out to fellow Tories a series of “red lines” that he said must not be crossed if the essence of the Lansley plan was to be retained. These included the idea that “any qualified provider” from the private sector should be able to supply services in the NHS – a key plank of the health secretary’s blueprint.

Transform the banks and save the NHS, say protesters | Ekklesia

NHS Direct Action and UK Uncut activists dressed in medical scrubs have staged a protest outside HSBC’s AGM over the bank’s NHS profiteering.

The demonstration took place on the morning of Friday 27 May 2011, as part of a series of nonviolent direct action initiatives to highlight the gap between rhetoric and reality in the government’s policies – and the way the wealthy are being ‘rescued’ from national debt at the expense of the poor and ordinary people.

A recent BBC investigation found that HSBC used a tax loophole to divert millions of pounds of NHS money into a Guernsey ‘tax haven’, says UK Uncut.

In 2010, a company set up by HSBC made more than £38 million from its 33 PFI hospital-building schemes and paid £100,000 in UK tax – less than half of one per cent of the profits.

Describing such practices as “scandalous”, former Oxford MP Dr Evan Harris has called for new rules to stop NHS money being sent to tax havens.

Stuart Gulliver, the new chief executive of HSBC, recently received a bonus of £9 million – which could pay for the annual salary of over 400 nurses, say campaigners.

BBC News – Labour: ‘Confusion’ on NHS reforms

John Healey claimed it was “hard to tell” the position of the government on NHS reforms. He said “We’ve had Nick Clegg saying one thing, Andrew Lansley saying another and David Cameron saying another”.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show the shadow health secretary added that from Labour’s point of view the NHS could not “stand still”.

New Statesman – UK Uncuts hosts 40 direct actions in protest at NHS reforms

The protest group, UK Uncut, yesterday hosted 40 direct actions across the country – the most significant number the group has made since many of its members were arrested outside Fortnum and Mason on the March 26th March for the Alternative. Yesterday’s actions were subtitled the “Emergency Operation” on the group’s website and were directed against the Coalition’s wavering reforms of the NHS headed by Andrew Lansley.

One of the first actions to be held left Soho Square at 11am Saturday morning and I accompanied the group from its meeting point to the target of protest in Camden Town.

The UK Uncut members – dressed as medical workers, bankers and members of the judiciary – were trailed by several police, in riot vans and on foot, from their meeting point through the London Underground and to the intended target of a Natwest bank branch in Camden Town.

No 10 denies Lansley is to resign over NHS reforms – UK Politics, UK – The Independent

David Cameron was forced to issue a vote of confidence in his Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, yesterday as ministers search for an NHS reform blueprint acceptable to both parts of the Coalition.

There has been growing speculation over Mr Lansley’s future since his plans to overhaul the NHS were dramatically halted by Mr Cameron and Nick Clegg in the face of a rebellion from health professionals.

The Health Secretary, who has spent years drawing up proposals to restructure the service, has made it clear he would quit the Cabinet rather than move to another post.

There were also reports yesterday that the Prime Minister would be prepared to accept his resignation on the grounds that a new face would be needed to make the case for the heavily modified plans.

A Downing Street spokeswoman dismissed as “nonsense” suggestions that he could be sacrificed, adding: “Andrew Lansley is doing an excellent job as Health Secretary.”

BBC News – 800,000 ‘not given help with social care’

Hundreds of thousands of older people in England who need social care are not getting any support from the state or private sector, campaigners say.

Age UK says 800,000 people are excluded from the system – and the figure is set to top one million within four years.

It said budgets had hardly risen in recent years even before the squeeze, despite the ageing population.

The charity renewed its call for an overhaul of the system, something ministers are looking at.
Funding rise

Social care in England is means-tested, which means those with savings of over £23,250 are excluded.

But councils have also been making it more difficult for those who do meet the income threshold to get care, by tightening the eligibility criteria.

Campaigners fear ward closure will reduce hospital to clinic – Local stories – Yorkshire Post

CAMPaIGNERS fighting plans to axe a hospital ward for the elderly in Yorkshire have urged health chiefs to rethink their proposals.

They have handed over a letter of protest to the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust in response to news that an elderly care ward at Wharfedale Hospital, Otley, may be axed.

The letter, from the Support Wharfedale Hospital Campaign, urges the trust to ensure that the ward, which campaigners says is the only ward caring for older people, is run by the NHS and continues to serve local people, ideally offering care for elderly patients.

It is facing an uncertain future as Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust tries to save £60m this year.

Andrew Lansley fights to save himself from the sack – mirror.co.uk

UNDER-fire Andrew Lansley slammed the Lib Dems yesterday as he fought for his political life.

The Health Secretary hit out over the Government’s hated NHS reforms as No 10 was forced to issue a statement denying that he was about to be sacked.

The desperate move by Downing Street came amid reports that David Cameron was willing to sacrifice Mr Lansley if it meant keeping the Coalition together.

Rumours that the Health Secretary’s job is on the line were fuelled after Mr Cameron was reportedly overheard saying the reforms “were nothing to do with him now”.

And Foreign Secretary William Hague is alleged to have told the PM and Chancellor George Osborne that the controversial shake-up was a “reform too far”.

Union warning after NHS challenged to find £64.5m of savings (From This Is Local London)

Unions have warned health care could suffer as the NHS launches another “streamlining” review to find £64.5m savings in south-west London.

NHS South West London, formed by the cluster of five primary care trusts, including Kingston, will again bring doctors, nurses and other clinicians together to consider where the axe will fall.

Michael Walker, Unison nursing officer, said the cuts were significant and would represent a drastic reduction in NHS services with an impact on waiting times.

Geoff Martin, of London Health Emergency, said no area would be immune from the “financial assault”.

He said: “The screw will be turned on everything from acute hospitals to mental health with dire consequences for quality of care.”

Fewer nurses being trained in West Midlands « Express & Star

The number of nurses being trained in the West Midlands will be slashed by almost a fifth – sparking fears over standards.

Health bosses have decided to cut 457 student nursing places at universities in the region, a drop of 17.5 per cent from September.

This is ahead of a planned reduction in professional staff, including nurses and doctors of around seven per cent by 2014.

Hospital beds go in NHS efficiency drive, memo reveals – Telegraph

England’s biggest hospital trusts are cutting up to 10 per cent of their beds as NHS managers try to meet tough efficiency targets.

Some are reducing bed numbers by more than 100, while also cutting headcounts to reduce their pay bills.

The Royal College of Nursing has claimed the moves risk affecting the quality of care – a claim rejected by the hospitals.

The trusts hope to make “efficiency savings” of 4.7 to 7.8 per cent of their budgets, The Daily Telegraph has found.


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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NHS news review – UK Uncut’s Emergency Operation

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This NHS news review posting is concerned with campaigning group UK Uncut’s ‘Emergency Operation’ day of campaigning on Saturday. UK Uncut occupied banks drawing attention to the fact that bankers enjoy huge government funding while the NHS is being starved of funding and abolished. This is the first major campaign by UK Uncut since the mass arrests of UK Uncut activists at Fortnum & Mason on 26 March.

New statesman reports that that there were 40 UK Uncut actions. There are reports of arrests at Manchester and Edinburgh, Scotland. There are reports of undercover police officers attending the actions.

In an unusual show of support UK Uncut events were supported by Unite and the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) unions who encouraged their members to participate. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said at the unions annual conference on 18 May “For years our union has been at the forefront of the tax justice campaign, and we are proud to support UK Uncut that has popularised our message that the real fraudsters and the real scroungers are to be found in the boardrooms not in the jobcentres.”

Rachael Maskell, Unite’s national officer for the health sector, welcomes UK Uncut’s action: “The greed of a few and the failure to regulate brought our banking system and the economy to their knees but government expects the ordinary people of this country to pick up the tab.

“We must not allow the profit-first value to destroy our NHS.

“For over sixty years, this country has upheld the principles of quality, universal care where the patient’s needs comes before private greed every time. We are now at the most worrying juncture in the NHS’ history with the government is poised to let market values rip through the service. As Bevan said, the NHS will survive as long as there are people to fight for it. Now is the moment to fight.”

UK Uncut’s Call to Action:

“The NHS will last as long as there are folk left to fight for it.”
– Nye Bevan, founder of the NHS

“Andrew Lansley. Greedy Andrew Lansley. Tosser.”
– MC NxtGen

This is an emergency. The welfare state is in peril. Under the guise of ‘efficiency’ and ‘reform’, this government is plotting to cut the NHS and sell off what’s left. Andrew Lansley has claimed the government is in a ‘listening exercise’ about the proposed NHS ‘reforms’. But despite widespread outcry from doctors, nurses and the public the government isn’t listening to anyone apart from private healthcare lobbyists.

Let’s make Lansley listen. We want to keep our healthy NHS and fix our broken banking system. Whilst the NHS is being dismantled, the banks that caused this crisis in the first place have been left untouched. Reckless gambling, obscene bonuses and a global financial crisis are symptoms of a disease that requires a drastic intervention.

The banks are due a check-up. On Saturday May 28th, join UK Uncut’s Emergency Operation and transform your local high street bank into a hospital. Tell the government to leave our NHS alone; it’s the banks that are sick.

Turn HSBC into a hospital, fill Natwest with nurses, get bandaged in Barclays and operate in RBS. As usual, it’s up to you to organise an action in your area – so talk to your friends, your local union branch and anti-cuts group and then list an action on our website. All the resources you’ll need will be on our website, including a flyer to tell the public about the NHS emergency. Get organised, get creative and let’s make Lansley listen: leave our NHS alone and make the banks pay.

See you on the high streets.

On a totally different topic: Take a look at these

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.


Anti-cuts groups descend on banks in NHS protest | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Protesters have been holding demonstrations outside high street banks around the UK and have succeeded in occupying a number of branches in the biggest direct action to date against proposed changes to the NHS.

The national protest, designed to draw attention to the banks’ role in creating the deficit, is being spearheaded by the anti-austerity campaigning group UK Uncut, which has been were joined by trade unionists and others.

Activists dressed in doctors’ coats and armed with fake blood had planned to enter branches and set up mock hospitals and “operating theatres”. Instead they mostly staged their protests on the streets outside when branches were closed or police kept them out.

After assembling shortly before midday in London, close to 100 protesters staged actions outside three banks in Camden and held a mock trial of the health secretary, Andrew Lansley. Other groups were able to enter a Natwest bank in Brixton and a branch of RBS in Islington and stage protests inside.

“The NHS did not cause the financial crisis – the banks did and are continuing to make billions in profits. And yet it is the NHS which is being cut,” said Candy Udwin of the Camden Keep Our NHS Public campaign, which took part in north London.

“Here in Camden there are hundreds of jobs under threat and that is why protests like this are being strongly supported.”

New Statesman – UK Uncuts hosts 40 direct actions in protest at NHS reforms

The protest group, UK Uncut, yesterday hosted 40 direct actions across the country – the most significant number the group has made since many of its members were arrested outside Fortnum and Mason on the March 26th March for the Alternative. Yesterday’s actions were subtitled the “Emergency Operation” on the group’s website and were directed against the Coalition’s wavering reforms of the NHS headed by Andrew Lansley.

One of the first actions to be held left Soho Square at 11am Saturday morning and I accompanied the group from its meeting point to the target of protest in Camden Town.

The UK Uncut members – dressed as medical workers, bankers and members of the judiciary – were trailed by several police, in riot vans and on foot, from their meeting point through the London Underground and to the intended target of a Natwest bank branch in Camden Town.

Upon arrival, unable to gain access to the bank due to a large police presence blocking the entrance doorway, the protesters acted out set pieces, chanted and handed out leaflets to passers-by on the pavement outside several bank branches in the Camden area for several hours in the central Camden area. The protest eventually culminated in a mock trial of Andrew Lansley.

BBC News – Arrests after UK Uncut protest in Manchester Santander

Activists protesting against proposed changes to the NHS were arrested after briefly occupying a bank in Manchester.

Nine people were held on suspicion of breach of the peace after campaigners entered the city centre Santander.

Campaign group UK Uncut was staging a series of protests calling for the banks, rather than cuts to public services, to pay for the deficit.

The government said “every penny” saved by NHS efficiencies would be spent on front-line services for patients.

Activists targeted banks to highlight what they described as the injustice of “making people, not the broken banking system, pay for the economic crisis”.

Police defend corporate criminals: arrests at Edinburgh Uncut action | Indymedia Scotland

Denouncing tax dodging by big companies and opposing cuts in public services, people took action at Boots, Vodaphone and BHS shops in Edinburgh on Saturday 28 May. Imaginative street theatre saw tax avoiding bosses detained by the Big Society Revenue and Customs Inspectors. But police acted to defend the tax-dodging criminals against Edinburgh Uncut’s protests, arresting, detaining and charging two women.

After several hours of peaceful protest at three city centre shops, police suddenly grabbed two women at British Home Stores on Princes Street. One woman fell to the ground. Police twisted her arms behind her back and handcuffed her, causing her pain and distress. The prisoners were taken to St Leonards and people quickly descended on the police station in solidarity, numbers later swelling as around 40-50 people arrived from the Reclaim the Night march. The women were released after around 5 hours in custody. Both were charged with Breach of the Peace and the woman who was hurt by the police was also charged with “Resisting Arrest”.

UK Indymedia – Plain clothes FIT at #ukuncut protests. Cops use ‘Breach of the Peace’ strategy

The police should only arrest for breach of the peace when they reasonable believe there is an imminent risk of violence. This seems unlikely to have been the case in Manchester. Certainly when Cardiff occupiers of Topshop were threatened with arrest to prevent a BOP they were doing nothing more violent than sitting on the shop floor. The officer in charge didnt seem comfortable with it either. When a legal observer gave protesters a quick briefing on the law of BOP she threw her hands in the air, and was later reported to have moaned that she “couldn’t do anything because of those bloody legal observers..’

As well as using dodgy reasons to try and arrest people, the police were also up to their old intelligence gathering tricks. While things were low key, and there was a general absence of obvious FIT cops and cameras, there were instances of systematic data gathering. Cardiff occupiers, for example, were photographed individually by uniformed and plain clothes cops using their Blackberry’s. One of them happily explained that the pictures were for the ‘intelligence log’.

There was no doubt this time about the identity of the plain clothes cops because strangely, they came and introduced themselves, giving both name and number. Their details are shown above. It’s not at all clear why they were being so candid. Perhaps they were being genuinely friendly and open. Or perhaps they identified themselves as police officers in order to get round the restrictive authorisations needed for covert surveillance. Anyway, we are happy to be able to put them on the blog.

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Continue ReadingNHS news review – UK Uncut’s Emergency Operation

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The Tardis by Disent http://disent.deviantart.com/art/The-Tardis-30529477

The previous On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing blog is due for deletion on 31st May. Mirror before then if you’re interested.

Here are some articles from December 2008 which were reposted after the blog was mysteriously deleted in early December 2008. I’ve not abandoned this line of research and understand far more about it now. Comments are moderated to stop spam but you’re welcome to disagree.

Esoteric Knowledge #3 Jean Charles de Menezes

Dr. Who?

Richmal Marie Oates-Whiteheadt

Blair’s government and Metropolitan Police policy dictated by the Jerusalem Post

Danger of dust explosions on the London Underground

[17/9/12 Links edited from pointing at the previous On a quiet day I can hear her breathing blog.]


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NHS news review

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NHS news is dominated by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s speech yesterday. The corporate press response is very easy on Clegg (compared to mine). It’s not a showdown as suggested by corporate media – Clegg is defending the main parts of the abolition of the NHS Bill including abolishing the responsibility on the Health Secretary to provide a comprehensive health service. Clegg suggests further delays in the passage of the Bill to destroy the NHS. There is an absence of opposition to GP commissioning consortia as required by instruction from his Spring Conference.

There are suggestions of a Conservative counter-attack to defend the attack on the NHS. The Tories are not really in any position to make such demands.

There are various submissions to the government’s ‘listening exercise’ which ends soon. 38Degrees assist in making your contribution.

I was expecting a speech by Shadow Health Secretary John Healey yesterday. Must have been mistaken.

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.

Newswire Article: Health Bill needs major changes – BMA comment on Deputy Prime Minister’s Speech 26/05/2011

Commenting on the Deputy Prime Minister’s speech on NHS reforms in England, Dr Richard Vautrey, Deputy Chairman of the BMA’s GPs Committee, said:

“We agree that a dog-eat-dog market would be damaging to the NHS. Unfortunately, unless the current Bill is withdrawn or undergoes major amendments, competition will not only be encouraged, but enforced by law. The Deputy Prime Minister talked about promoting the needs of patients through competition as well as collaboration, but these two aims can be contradictory. We welcome the indication that the Health Secretary will retain responsibility for ensuring a comprehensive health service for everyone. In a system driven by competition, many services patients rely on could be at risk. We welcome the signs that the government recognises these concerns, but real evidence of their commitment to listen will not come until we learn more about their plans for the Bill.

“It is reassuring that the Deputy Prime Minister recognises the problems created by arbitrary deadlines for change. We hope this means that the deadline for hospital trusts to achieve foundation status will be relaxed, as the current rigid timetable could compromise patient safety. We are equally concerned about the pace of change for the winding down of primary care trusts. There has been no ‘pause’ on the ground, where implementation of the proposals is proceeding at great speed.”

Newswire Article: BMA calls for major amendments to Health Bill 26/05/2011

The Health and Social Care Bill should be withdrawn or at least undergo major changes, the BMA says today (Thursday 26 May, 2011), as it warns that the latest feedback from its members on the reforms to the English NHS indicates very high levels of concern.

In its formal submission to the NHS Future Forum, the body leading the government’s listening exercise on the reforms, the BMA says the legislation represents “an enormous risk” during a time of huge financial pressure for the NHS. It sets out its own recommendations for changes to encourage the development of more integrated services, arguing that greater collaboration would be more likely to improve quality and efficiency than the current proposals to increase and enforce competition.

It says disquiet among NHS staff is being exacerbated because change is already being implemented despite the announcement of a ‘pause’. Over 80 per cent of just under 1,000 BMA members who completed a feedback form on the BMA website in May said their attitude to the reforms was either mostly or very unwelcoming.* When asked which area of the reforms was potentially the most damaging, just over half identified the powers to be given to NHS economic regulator Monitor to promote competition.

The BMA submission to the Future Forum calls for “a more mature form of commissioning”, based on clinical networks of specialists and primary care professionals working together across traditional boundaries, alongside commissioning consortia. The BMA is also today publishing new guidance putting forward examples of possible models for the governance of consortia and advising that, as a minimum, specialists should be involved in the design of patient pathways.

UNISON Press | Press Releases Front Page

Commenting on a speech on NHS Reforms, made by Nick Clegg at University College London Hospital today, UNISON’s head of health, Christina McAnea, said:

“Nick Clegg’s attempt to reassure people that any changes to the NHS will be in the best interests of patients, has not worked. A growing number of professionals are calling for the Health and Social Care Bill to be ditched and that, we believe, is the best option.

“He is completely naïve to think that more competition won’t lead to a greater role for private companies. Companies who are chomping at the bit to start raking in cash from the health service. Once they get their teeth into the NHS they will destroy it.

“During this so-called listening exercise the overwhelming majority of patients and staff have put forward their fears. The Government must listen to them, rather than the hand-picked few, who are set to benefit from reforms.

“If the Bill goes back to Committee stage as a result of significant changes, Parliament will have a chance to scrutinise it in much more detail. In that case, reform plans already being pushed through should be stopped, as there is clearly no legislative mandate and none likely any time soon.

“We will continue campaigning against the privatisation of our NHS and this destructive Bill.”

NHS reform bill sent back to MPs for examination | Society | guardian.co.uk

The government’s troubled NHS reforms will be delayed by at least six months after Nick Clegg announced that the health and social care bill is to be sent back to MPs for detailed examination.

In a speech to patients and medical health professionals at University College London hospital, Clegg said it would be wrong to “bounce” the bill through parliament.

The deputy prime minister, who buried Andrew Lansley’s 2013 target for the changes by rejecting “arbitrary deadlines”, said a revised version of the bill would be sent back to MPs to examine at committee stage. Aides suggested Clegg’s announcement would delay the bill by a few months because it had already completed that stage.

Leaked email shows Tory MPs determined to fight Nick Clegg | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Last week I blogged that the Tories are so angry with Nick Clegg for hijacking the debate on NHS reforms that they are referring to the Liberal Democrats as “yellow bastards”.

Now that anger is being translated into action. A thoughtful Tory backbencher, who was involved in the committee stage of the health and social care bill, has decided to set down his thoughts in writing.

Nick de Bois, the MP for Enfield North, sent an email to colleagues this morning while Clegg was speaking at University College London Hospital.

The email, a copy of which has been leaked to me, has a clear message: it is time for the Tories to recapture the debate by insisting that core “red lines” must not be crossed. Some of these have been crossed by Clegg. This guarantees a battle when the health and social care bill returns to the commons this summer.

BBC News – Health charities say patients need a stronger voice

A group of 40 charities says the government’s plans for health changes in England must be revised to give a voice to the most vulnerable patients.

They say the current proposals fail to ensure that patients will be properly consulted in the planning of services.

The charities have issued a statement setting out six “much-needed” changes.

The coalition government says there will be substantive changes, and describes feedback from organisations such as these as “invaluable”.

This statement has a long and impressive list of signatories, including the Alzheimer’s Society, the Patient’s Association and the National Autistic Society.

The charities set out a series of demands designed to ensure that the public, patients and carers have a say – especially those least able to speak up for themselves.

The NHS ‘reform’ bill should be scrapped, Unite says in submission to ‘listening exercise’

The ‘seriously flawed’ NHS ‘reform’ bill with its privatisation agenda should be scrapped, Unite, the largest union in the country, said today (Thursday 26 May 2011).

Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, outlined 11 key points in its submission to the government’s ‘listening exercise’ as to why the Health and Social Care bill should be withdrawn.

Unite is opposed to the bill as it heralds ‘commercial involvement on a scale’ not seen before, risking the concept of a universal, free health care service, which has been the central ethos of the NHS since its formation in 1948.

Unite is calling for a Royal Commission to be set-up to investigate the long-term demands on the NHS.

In its submission Unite said it believes that ”the heart of the government’s proposals will transform and privatise the NHS so that services are geared towards fulfilling financial and business contractual relationships and outcomes, rather than meeting health needs.

RCN responds to ‘listening’ exercise – RCN

The Royal College of Nursing has called for ‘decisive action through significant amendments’ in its formal response to the NHS Future Forum – which is running the Health and Social Care Bill ‘listening’ exercise.

Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said the bill requires more than ‘minor and superficial’ changes to make the Government’s vision for the NHS acceptable to members.

38 Degrees | Blog | NHS listening exercise: Submission Resources

There are just four days left of Andrew Lansley’s NHS listening exercise. That means we have 4 days left to flood it with our comments, concerns, and objections.

We can make sure that when the figures are released in a couple of weeks, the headlines are clear: the bulk of the submissions to Lansley’s listening exercise opposed his plans.

It’s easy and fast to make a personal submission to the listening exercise using the 38 Degrees website. It only takes a couple of minutes, and there are hints and suggestions for what to include.

You can send a message to the “listening exercise” right now here? It will take only a couple of minutes. You can be as brief or detailed as you like, and there are links below to useful facts & figures that you can include in your message.

Continue ReadingNHS news review

Nick Clegg lies about the NHS

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Image of David 'Pinoccio' Cameron and Nick Clegg. Image is originally from the UK's Mirror newspaper. Looks like Bliar doesn't he? Cameron seems to be apingning/copying Bliar's public image ~ speeches aligning himslf with Bliar ... and of course ... who Bliar aligned with ...Nick Clegg has made a deceitful and evasive speech on the NHS. Deceitful since he suggests that all will be well and hiding the fact that the Destroy the NHS bill is intended to reduce the scope of the NHS. Evasive by avoiding any mention of privatisation or the role of private providers. It’s a feel-good speech intended to reassure people that everything is OK, that there is no need to worry, that he, Cameron and Lansley can be trusted to look after the NHS. The lying, evil sods.

We know from the experience of tuition fees and V.A.T. that Nick Clegg is a shameless liar. We know that he lies to decieve people. We know that he’s a slippery shit in the tradition of UK politicians.

Some of the lies and evasions I pulled from his speech today:

“When Beveridge first proposed a nationalised health service in 1942, he didn’t prescribe exactly how it should work.


He called for a comprehensive service to ensure every citizen can get “whatever medical treatment he requires in whatever form he requires it.”

Care, free at the point of use, based on need and not ability to pay.

No government worth its salt – certainly, no government of which I am a part – will ever jeopardise that.”

That’s a lie. The current coalition government – of which Clegg is a part – is intending to do away with a comprehensive health service free at the point of use.

“The comfort of knowing that the NHS will always be there for you.

If you’re in an accident, if you get ill, if your family need treatment.

And it will always be free. No bills, no credit cards, no worries about money when you’re worrying about your health.

That’s why I have been absolutely clear: there will be no privatisation of the NHS.”

There are a few lies here.

Firstly, GP consortia will commission services. They decide which services will be available. With cuts to spending they will cut the range of services available. There will also be some expensively ill people that will likely not have a GP. This means that the NHS will not “always be there for you”.

Secondly, perhaps not an outright lie but certainly intended to mislead and give a fase impression: “it will always be free …”. No it won’t always be free. If you need a treatment that is not provided by your local GP commissioning group, you will have to pay or go without.

Thirdly, again perhaps not an oughtright lie:“there will be no privatisation of the NHS”. There will be private provision of services not offered by a reduced NHS. There will be private providers within the NHS. It will not be wholly privatised but there will be hugely increased involvement of private providers.

Clegg continues by saying “The NHS has always benefited from a mix of providers, from the private sector, charities and social enterprises, and that should continue.”

Notice what’s missing? The public sector. Is he saying that the public sector should not continue to play a role in the NHS?

Charities and social enterprises are private providers in a sense. They certainly are not public sector.

“People want choice: over their GP, where to give birth, which hospital to use.

But providing that choice isn’t the same as allowing private companies to cherry-pick NHS services.

It’s not the same as turning this treasured public service into a competition-driven, dog-eat-dog market where the NHS is flogged off to the highest bidder.”

Choice. People don’t really want choice. They want a good service that doesn’t unduly inconvenience them e.g. having to travel to a distant hospital.

Clegg is deliberately misconstruing the argument, putting up a straw-man by saying that the NHS will not be sold off to the highest bidder. It’s about providing a restricted health service where you will have to pay – or go without – services that are not provided.

[27/5/11 edit: It’s also the first stage in the process of privatisation and transition to a private insurance-based health service on the US model.]

“I’ve heard people suggest that our reforms could lead to politicians washing their hands of our health services, because of the way the Bill is phrased.

So we need to be clearer – the Secretary of State will continue to be accountable for your health services.

This is your NHS; funded by your taxes and you have a right to know there is someone at the very top, answerable to you. With a public duty to ensure a comprehensive health service, accessible to all.”

Clegg is employing the worn-out argument that they have failed to properly explain the proposed changes. The truth is that the more people understand, the more they object.

He’s defending the Health Secretary no longer being responsible for providing the health service, arguing against what Colin Leys said ‘The bill removes the secretary of state’s responsibility to provide a national health service and doesn’t assign it to anyone else. She or he would only be charged with “promoting” it.’

Clegg suggests that this is merely phrasing when it is crucial. If it is only a matter of phrasing, then we’ll have the phrasing that the Health Secretary will provide a health service.

“opening up”

Clegg is defending the Bill to abolish the NHS contrary to the instruction of his Spring Conference. He needs to be dumped asap.

Continue ReadingNick Clegg lies about the NHS