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.

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