NHS news review

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Why cuts are the wrong cure from False Economy on Vimeo.

Growing waiting lists force the Con-Dem scum government to introduce waiting list targets.

Labour pledges to repeal NHS bill when they are re-elected.

GMB union to join the 30th Novermber public sector strike on the Con-Dem government attack on pensions.

Stafford Hospital is employing army medics to keep its Accident & Emergency department open. I didn’t realise that army medics had proper qualifications.

Wake Up Call Episode 2 “A Betrayal of Trust” from Health Emergency on Vimeo.

Conservative election poster 2010

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

NHS waiting times force coalition U-turn on targets | Society | The Guardian

The government has been forced to abandon its opposition to NHS waiting time targets and introduce a new rule to halt the growing number of patients not being treated within the promised 18 weeks.

The U-turn is a surprise because the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, had previously criticised waiting times measures introduced by Labour to speed up patient care as “arbitrary Whitehall targets”.

But fresh evidence that waiting times are creeping up, despite David Cameron’s pledge to keep them low, has forced Lansley to change tack and impose an extra treatment directive on the NHS. He had previously castigated targets as unnecessary, likely to distort NHS staff’s clinical priorities and part of a bureaucratic “top-down” system he intended to overhaul.

It has been prompted by the disclosure that, among the 2.6m patients waiting for treatment at any time, almost 250,000 (9.4%) do not get treated within the 18 weeks guaranteed in the NHS constitution. Among these, about 20,000 patients have been left untreated for at least a year.

On Thursday Lansley warned the NHS in England that, as of next year, no more than 8% of all patients waiting at any one time would be allowed to have had their treatment delayed by 18 weeks or more.

Labour pledges to repeal NHS bill | Society | The Guardian

All provisions that turns health and social care services into a market-based system will be removed, says Andy Burnham

Labour have pledged to repeal the coalition’s controversial health and social care bill if they are re-elected, opening a new front in the debate over the NHS’s future.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham committed the party to undoing the proposed radical reorganisation of the English NHS in a speech on Wednesday. “Labour will inherit a very different NHS – lots of damage will have already been done. And let me make it clear – if the bill in parliament goes through, we will repeal it”, he told delegates at the Royal College of Midwives’s annual conference in Brighton.

“We will return the NHS to a national system based on the principle of collaboration on which it was founded in 1948,” added Burnham, who also emphasised that, in making that pledge he was “not talking about protecting the status quo”.

His remarks are likely to be welcomed by medical organisations and campaigners against health secretary Andrew Lansley’s planned legislation, which has been approved by the House of Commons and is currently in its committee stage in the House of Lords.

But a source close to Lansley claimed Burnham, Labour’s last health secretary who returned to the shadow role in shadow cabinet reshuffle, was in effect proposing yet another restructuring of the NHS which staff would not support.

GMB Set to Join Nov. 30 Walkout over Pensions – International Business Times

The GMB has voted to join a national strike over pensions to be held later this month.

The Nov. 30 walkout has been planned in protest against public sector pension reforms. A total of 33 percent of GMB members met and voted in favour of the strike by more than 4-1.

“It is now clear that millions of workers will be protesting on 30 November at the government’s attack on jobs and pensions,” GMB National Secretary Brian Strutton said.

Although the union has voted to join the strike, Strutton said there was still time for the government to negotiate and settle the issue of public sector pensions.

Strutton added: “The government has already accepted that the original proposals were unfair and wrong. It is not too late for the government to pull back from this confrontation and scrap this attack on pensions.”

The GMB is one of the UK’s largest unions with more than 600,000 members, including NHS and local government workers from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

UCATT, the union of construction workers, also voted recently to join the strike.

The strike, originally called by the TUC, has the support of 15 unions protesting against the government’s proposal to make public sector workers pay more and work longer to earn their pensions.

Army medics drafted in to keep NHS hospital running – mirror.co.uk

ARMY medics have been drafted in to keep an NHS hospital running for the first time in Britain – because it does not have enough staff.

Stafford Hospital has been forced in to the move to keep its accident and emergency department open during the day.

But the hospital, which is currently at the centre of an inquiry into hundreds of deaths between 2005 and 2008, will still shut A&E at night due to staff shortages.

And the situation will reach crisis when the military medics pull out.

The hospital offered £100,000 salaries and £500 per extra four-hour shifts, but its poor reputation and a national shortage of NHS consultants made hiring impossible.

So two emergency consultants, used to battlefield medicine, and four senior nurses also provided by the Ministry of Defence will keep the ward open.

But Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust chiefs decided the department, which has only four of the six consultants it needs, must shut between 10pm and 8am from December 1 for three months. And the Trust admitted without “urgent action”, there “will be significant risks following withdrawal of the military support”.

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