NHS news review

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Claims that NHS pay is too expensive. There is already anger amoung NHS staff and unions about changes to public sector pensions needing higher contributions for lower pensions.

Groups of commissioning GPs are concerned that they are required to be large groups and that they may inherit legacy debt.

Lib Dem health minister confirmed amendments to the Destroy the NHS / Health and Social Care Bill will be taken in the Lords.

Private firms offer GPs poor contracts.

Patients waiting weeks for GP appointments.

Private medical companies are trying to profit from the ConDem’s attack on the NHS.

There are also a few articles on Lib-Dem peer Baroness Williams demanding further changes. I find it rather hypocritical that Baroness Williams is demanding changes to a bill that was produced and supported by her own Tory party.

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

NHS leaders say salary bill is unsustainable | Society | The Guardian

Leaders of 1.5 million NHS staff are poised for confrontation with health service employers and ministers over proposed pay and pensions changes that unions claim would seriously damage their incomes.

The NHS already faces the prospect of more than 500,000 staff taking industrial action on 30 November as part of the national day of action against government plans to overhaul public sector pensions. A series of ballots in coming weeks is expected to see paramedics, radiographers, physiotherapists, chiropodists and a host of non-clinical staff such as cooks and cleaners participating in as yet unspecified action.

NHS staff, most of whom are experiencing a two-year freeze on their pay, are furious that ministers are seeking to compel them to work longer and contribute more for ultimately smaller pensions. Unions such as Unison, Unite and the GMB have pledged to ballot their members, although the British Medical Association, Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwives are reluctant to do so.

But the organisation NHS Employers has increased the prospect of another money wrangle by declaring that the NHS salary bill is unsustainable and that local pay deals are needed to bring down costs. It claims that, despite the pay freeze for all NHS staff earning over £21,000, the cost to its members “ such as hospital and mental health trusts “ of employing staff is rising by 2.4% a year.

BBC News – Commissioning groups ‘concerned’ about size and budgets

A survey of the groups due to take over commissioning NHS care is highlighting fears about their size and budgets.

The questions were answered by 131 leaders, out of 253 new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

A third said they felt under pressure to become larger, and two-thirds expressed fears that they might inherit debt.

The Department of Health said it expected parts of the NHS to work together to resolve any deficits.

The survey was organised by NHS Alliance and the National Association of Primary Care, which have joined forces to represent CCGs, who will take over buying and organising NHS services.

36% of GPs and other leaders who responded to the survey said they were under pressure from NHS managers to become bigger, so they could pass a viability test next month.

And 67% suspect they will have to deal with some legacy debt from former primary care trusts (PCTs) when the new system begins in England in April 2013.

Health bill changes in Lords will be accepted, says Lib Dem minister | Politics | guardian.co.uk

The government is to accept further changes to its health plans after Lady Williams, the veteran Liberal Democrat, warned that peers are prepared to hold up the health and social care bill in the House of Lords.

As a leading Lib Dem rebel in the Commons condemned the bill as a “huge strategic mistake”, the health minister Paul Burstow admitted that peers would improve the bill next month.

Peers are to consider the bill after more than 1,000 amendments were rushed through the House of Commons earlier this month in the wake of the government’s “listening exercise”.

Burstow, the Lib Dem health minister, said the government was still open to change. “We didn’t stop listening when the listening exercise ended,” he told the Lib Dem conference in a question and answer session on health.

Private firm offers GPs just two weeks’ sick pay – newsarticle-content – Pulse

Exclusive The company behind the UK’s largest network of privately run GP practices is offering its doctors less than half the paid sick leave they would receive under the BMA’s model contract.

Wait weeks to see a GP: Some patients face delays of more than a fortnight for appointment with family doctor | Mail Online

Many patients are having to wait up to three weeks or more to see their GP, a survey has revealed.

A poll of more than 2,000 patients has found that well over two-thirds are not able to see their family doctor within two days.

More than a quarter cannot get an appointment within a week, including some who are made to wait longer than a fortnight or even three weeks.

Aggressive marketing blitz by private firms seeking to gain from NHS cuts – mirror.co.uk

PRIVATE firms have launched an aggressive marketing blitz as they aim to profit from the cuts made to the NHS.

They are trying to lure patients away by highlighting rising waiting lists and the chaotic reorganisation.

One, BMI Healthcare, has placed adverts in local papers and put a waiting times map on its website to encourage NHS patients to go private.

Shadow Health Secretary John Healey said: “Firms are clearly lining up to cash in on damaging policies. It’s the same old Tory choice, wait longer or pay to go private.”

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