There has been a noticable reduction in NHS articles in the corporate media since the acceptance of the Future Forum’s recommendations following it’s ‘Listening Exercise’. The corporate press and indeed many stupid MPs have accepted that the Con-Dems’ evil plans to destroy and abolish the NHS have been defeated. Nothing could be further than the truth. If your intention is to abolish and destroy the NHS then that is achievable through creating an unwieldly, unworkable system.
- 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.
Whatever the sophistry of its proponents, a scheme in which of the provision of clinical care is outsourced to “any willing provider’ can, in reality, mean only one thing: that the potential provider of that care will primarily be judged not on how good that care will be but on how cheaply it will be given. Even leaving aside the additional pressures on costs which apply uniquely to private healthcare organisations (the generation of profit and the payment of dividends to its shareholders), the need to undercut its competitors in the NHS will inevitably impact on their primary item of expenditure: their staff. Fewer doctors and fewer nurses will have to work longer shifts: in other words, the very environment in which mistakes are most likely to happen. Good news for the lawyers: less so for the patients and for the taxpayer who has to foot the bill when a claim is made.
If it were necessary to test that theory against experience, one would need to look no further than the provision of out of hours GP care. Until April 2004, this service was provided in-house by Primary Care Trusts and/or GP practices. Since then, it has been possible for this to be out-sourced to independent commercial providers (a concept which should sound familiar to those examining the current NHS proposals).
In the event, such concern was generated by the succession of adverse events which followed that change that in June 2009 — and prompted by the tragic death of a patient in February 2008 after he was administered a gross overdose of diamorphine by a locum doctor from Germany — the Care Quality Commission began an investigation into the provision of out-of-hours primary care services. Its interim statement on this investigation, in turn, prompted the Department of Health to commission its own inquiry. That report, published in June 2010, should have made uncomfortable reading for the evangelical proponents of the Coalition’s plans. There is no indication, however, that anyone, from Mr. Lansley down, has ever read it — or, indeed, seen any of the countless stories in the media about the failures of out of hours care in the years since 2004.
SOME hospital services in Merseyside are set to be run a private firm in a seven-year £27m contract.
Payroll, recruitment and human resources functions for 12 healthcare organisations could be carried out by international company Crapita Symonds.
The deal, due to be signed off by each individual trust board at hospitals including Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen, will involve the transfer of up to 150 staff and the setting up of a shared service centre in Merseyside.
Trade union Unison today opposed the “privatisation” bid, voicing concerns Crapita would look to make redundancies.
Regional organiser Paul Summers said he anticipated the loss of around 30 posts and had yet to assured job losses would be averted.
He said: “Crapita is not going to run this service out of any goodwill to the NHS – it will run it to make money. We fear the way it will do that is by cutting staff levels.
“Why would you employ 13 payroll managers to run one service? It stands to reason there will be potential compulsory redundancies.
Labour shadow health secretary John Healey accused panicky Con-Dem ministers of railroading their revamped attack on the NHS through Parliament at “breakneck speed” today.
Mr Healey had led an unsuccessful attempt on Tuesday night to secure more time for MPs to consider 160 amendments to the government’s Health Bill, which will be tabled by ministers following PM David Cameron’s latest zig-zag.
The shadow minister said the government’s hasty scheme to rush the Bill through the Commons by July 14 would “deny this elected House its proper role in scrutinising the legislation.”
He warned that the revamped Bill would retain “the essential elements of the Tories’ long-term plan to see the NHS broken up as a national service and set-up as a full-scale market.”
Derisive laughter broke out during a debate on the Bill’s new timetable when Health Minister Simon Burns proclaimed: “Although the pause may have ended, we will never stop listening.”
Leading health campaigner and Labour MP Grahame Morris protested that crafty Tory ministers were “cherry-picking” which aspects of the Bill they would allow to be debated at the committee stage.
A bow-tied surgeon who interrupted a hospital visit by David Cameron and Nick Clegg last week has gone on leave, according to an NHS trust which issued instructions to staff to say nothing to the media.
David Nunn, who burst in as the prime minister and his deputy were talking to a patient at Guy’s Hospital in London, has gone on indefinite leave.
Cameron and Clegg looked briefly startled as the surgeon marched into the ward on 14 June and said: “Sorry. Just a minute. Excuse me, I’m the senior orthopaedic surgeon in this department. Why is it that we’re all told to walk around like this and these people …”
His words were then drowned out as an official from the NHS trust ushered him away. Nunn was objecting to the presence of a television crew and Downing Street officials who had not followed the example of Cameron and Clegg, who had taken off their jackets and ties and had cleaned their hands with sterilising gel.
As he walked out Nunn said: “I still mean it. I’m not having it. Now out.”
Ushering out the TV crew Cameron said: “Why don’t you disappear. Out. We have all taken our ties off.”
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said Nunn had requested the period of leave. It is not yet known when he will return to work.
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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