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NHS news is concerned with various responses to changes signalled by the government’s acceptance of Future Forum recommendations.


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.

York GP hits out over NHS changes (From York Press)

THE York GP leading a campaign against sweeping Government health reforms says the recent listening exercise on the controversial changes was “a shambles”.

Earlier this week, David Cameron announced a Government U-turn on several of its key NHS reforms, following recommendations by a panel of experts.

Dr James Chan, who works at York Hospital, and heads the Save Our NHS York campaign and website, said: “Although we welcome many of the outcomes, it stops short of looking at the hard scientific evidence out there which says that competition doesn’t drive up quality.

“The largest costs to the NHS are not looked at. Medicines and equipment which are run by the private sector are costing us more and more for little benefit for patients.

“This drains away our tax money to big companies who make sickening profits, at the detriment to the rest of the health service.

“This is what private involvement means – greater cost, less benefit, more profits for shareholders while patient services get cut.”

Unison vows to kill Tory Franken-Bill / Britain / Home – Morning Star

Health union Unison urged total destruction of the government’s “Frankenstein Bill” for privatisation of the NHS today.

Tricky Prime Minister David Cameron relaunched his pet project with some new parts, but unions and health campaigners issued grave warnings of the havoc which he still intends to unleash.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The government is creating a monster and the NHS is the victim.

“The Bill will pave the way for private companies to grab any part of the NHS where they think they can turn a profit.

“Once the NHS is opened up to competition, it becomes subject to European Competition laws and there is no turning back.”

Mr Prentis warned: “The government is creating a Frankenstein Bill that should be thrown out now.”

Health union Unite predicted that private healthcare companies would now use EU law to transform their toehold in the NHS into a headlock.

The verdict on the NHS bill shakeup: Experts react to the changes | Society | The Guardian


Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of GPs, is pleased ministers have performed what she calls “a monumental U-turn” and says “the prime minister is heading in the right direction”. But she wants to see the exact wording of the amendments to the health and social care bill to ensure it does follow through on Cameron’s pledges to honour all 16 recommendations of Steve Field’s NHS Future Forum report.

NHS managers

The 40,000 managers in the NHS are pleased that Professor Steve Field forcibly urged ministers to stop denigrating them as pen-pushers and bureaucrats, which he said had prompted some managers to quit the service just when their expertise is needed to help it through the coming upheaval.

Hospital doctors

The abandonment of Andrew Lansley’s original plan for the regulator to promote competition between hospitals pleased the Royal College of Physicians, which represents hospital doctors.

It now wants to help the NHS Commissioning Board and Monitor to develop guidance on how choice and competition can be applied on the ground in hospitals, GPs surgeries and elsewhere.

But Sir Richard Thompson, the college’s president also warned that “without fundamental review the government’s current proposals for reforming medical education and training will put the next generation of doctors’ training at risk and could jeopardise patient safety.”

The mandatory inclusion of a specialist hospital doctor on the board of each clinical commissioning group is a significant success for the college. It is suggesting that, as a reciprocal gesture, a local GPs’ representative could sit on the board of every local hospital.


The Royal College of Nursing, which represents the UK’s 400,000 nurses, scored a victory by ensuring that “at least one registered nurse” will be on the board of each new clinical commissioning group, rather than just local GPs.

“Nurses have an unparalleled range of skills and experience to enable them to improve healthcare at every level [and can] help build a service which can manage long-term conditions, keep people out of hospital and improve the health of the public”, said RCN chief executive Dr Peter Carter.

Private and not-for-profit healthcare firms

David Cameron’s explicit rejection of further private sector involvement in the NHS has appeased the Bill’s many critics and helped neutralise its most sensitive issue. But it has left both private and not-for-profit providers of healthcare frustrated and warning that the NHS will be poorer if they are squeezed out.

“The independent sector continues to believe that the NHS needs more innovation, diversity and robust, fair competition if it is to meet the challenges it faces, including achieving better integration, which we support and which can be strengthened by a competitive market”, said David Worskett, director of the NHS Partners Network, which represents both sectors.

Health policy experts

Professor Chris Ham, chief executive of the King’s Fund health think-tank and a member of the Downing Street health ‘kitchen cabinet’, sees the updated reforms as “a more promising approach to meeting the health challenges of the future than the proposals originally set out in the Health and Social Care Bill.”

But he warned that: “The confirmation of the Prime Minister’s pledge to keep waiting times low, and the emphasis placed on the 18-week maximum wait for hospital treatment enshrined in the NHS Constitution, leaves the NHS with a very significant challenge. With the spending squeeze beginning to bite, the number of hospital inpatients waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment is already at its highest level for more than three years and waiting times for A&E and diagnostic services have also risen. As the government has said that it is opposed to targets, it now needs to be clear about how this pledge will be measured and enforced.”

Mixed reception for NHS climbdown – Health News, Health & Families – The Independent

Conservative and Liberal Democrats presented a united front yesterday as the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, detailed the Government’s reformed NHS reforms amid jeers and heckles from Labour benches.

The proposals could still face opposition from doctors, represented by the British Medical Association, who warned that the Government had not addressed their concerns about GPs being given financial incentives to save the NHS money. Others expressed concern that safeguards put in place could result in additional layers of the bureaucracy the reforms were designed to address.

Labour accused Mr Lansley of wasting £800m in redundancy payments for health staff, many of whom will be re-employed in their old roles. “This is a political fix, not a proper plan for improving care for patients, or for a better or more efficient NHS which is able to meet the big challenges it must face for the future,” said John Healey, the shadow Health Secretary.

The National Wealth Service – Health News, Health & Families – The Independent

As Coalition retreats on NHS reform, investigation reveals conflicts of interest that could give GPs a licence to print money

By Oliver Wright, Whitehall Editor and Emma Slater

One in seven doctors appointed to the new clinical commissioning boards, which will have responsibility for spending £60bn of NHS money every year, could have a significant financial conflict of interest, an investigation has found.

Research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed that, of the first 52 consortiums established under the Coalition’s NHS reforms, 19 could present concerns about the independence of their boards. The study raises the prospect that GPs could benefit directly from private companies working in the NHS.


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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