NHS news review

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.

Lansley has a hard time from those opposed to his destruction of the NHS and uninvited to the meeting of supporters at 10 Downing Street.

Andrew Lansley heckled by NHS union rep June Hautot before crunch summit

Health secretary Andrew Lansley faced angry protesters outside Downing St – spearheaded by vocal former NHS union representative June Hautot, 75 – as David Cameron went ahead with a highly-criticised summit on planned reforms.

No 10 faced deep criticism for failing to release the guest list to today’s meeting on the health and social care bill, with eight royal colleges saying they were not invited and health unions almost totally excluded.

Mr Lansley, the main architect of the bill, was almost prevented from entering Downing St altogether by a group of demonstrators.

As boos and chants of ‘greedy, greedy, greedy’ rang out, former NHS union rep Ms Hautot, 75, stood in the health secretary’s way saying: ‘I’ve had enough of you and Cameron’.

Ms Hautot, from Tooting, south London, later told reporters: ‘He said, “I want to get through” and I said, “You can wait. There’s a lot of people out there waiting for treatment and if your bill goes through, they will be waiting a lot longer”.’

‘He said, “we are not privatising the NHS”. I said, “I’ve got news for you. You’ve been privatising it since 1979”.’

[The reference to 1979 relates to the UK Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher.]


Lansley: Traitor

“Summit of the willing” puts Cameron at centre of NHS storm by Wendy Savage

‘Codswallop! Don’t lie to me, Mr Lansley’: Fury of pensioner (who just happens to be former union firebrand) confronting Health Secretary as PM vows to press on with NHS reform

June, 75, stands up to Andrew Lansley’s NHS reforms


David Cameron’s NHS summit guests refuse to follow reforms script

Prime minister’s plan to discuss implementation of health bill backfires as ‘supporters’ take opportunity to outline concerns

If David Cameron was hoping for an easy ride on his controversial NHS shakeup by excluding its fiercest critics from the Downing Street gathering of carefully selected health leaders, he will have been disappointed.

While the atmosphere was polite and constructive, those invited used the opportunity to detail their concerns about how the health and social care bill could damage the NHS. They raised directly with the prime minister the same fears and uncertainties that the leaders of Britain’s nurses, doctors and other professions who want the bill scrapped would have mentioned – if they had been present.


Same old Tories? The public turns against NHS reform


The health bill could spell serious trouble for the Conservatives, as a poll shows declining support.

If you were in any doubt about how damaging the continued controversy over the NHS bill could be for the Conservatives, look no further than the Guardian/ICM poll out today.

The topline figures are typical: the Tories are on 36 (despite opening up a five point lead in the Guardian‘s poll last month), Labour are up two on last month at 37, while the Liberal Democrats are at 14. These results mirror those in the Populus/Times poll, also out today, which puts the Tories on 37, Labour on 39, and the Liberal Democrats on 11.

It certainly jumps out that the Tories have lost four percentage points in a single month in the ICM poll, although it looks as if that five-point lead was an outlier. The really interesting findings are on the NHS.

An outright majority of respondents — 52 per cent — believe that the health bill should be scrapped. Just 33 per cent believe that at this stage it is better to persevere with the reform, meaning that there is a 19 point margin in favour of axing the bill. This is reasonably consistent across social classes, gender, and regions.




Continue ReadingNHS news review

NHS news review ~ the ConDems NHS PR disaster

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 news is looking increasingly toxic for the illegitimate ConDem coalition government.

  • A poll shows that the government is not trusted in claimed support for NHS principles.
  • The e-petiton calling for the Health and Social Care / Destroy the NHS Bill to be scrapped reaches 150 thousand and will imminently be the most supported e-petition.
  • Cameron has called a summit of health professionals supportive of reforms at Downing Street today. Commentators note that Cameron and Lansley do not listen to opposing opinions and opponents hold an opposing summit.

Cameron not trusted over NHS


Just one in three voters believe David Cameron is a sincere supporter of the principles of the NHS, a devastating new poll reveals, as the row over the Government’s health reforms shows no sign of abating.

Tomorrow, the Prime Minister will host a Downing Street summit on the Health and Social Care Bill, which critics say places too much emphasis on competition and is a distraction from the need to save £20bn by 2015. But some bodies critical of the Bill, such as the Royal College of General Practitioners, haven’t been invited. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, said: “You don’t get progress on the NHS by shutting the door of No 10 on doctors, nurses and patients’ groups.”

In the ComRes/IoS poll, 27 per cent of people said private firms should have more involvement in the delivery of NHS services; 36 per cent said the NHS would be safer under Labour.


Cameron facing collapse in trust over health reforms says poll


Six times as many people trust health professionals than David Cameron and Andrew Lansley (60 per cent – 10 per cent) over their health reforms and 68 per cent want the government to publish its own risk register on the reforms says a new YouGov poll.

The YouGov poll for Progressive Polling/Unite the union, also shows splits in the coalition’s support. Lib Dem supporters (80 per cent) are more likely to want the risk register published. The register crucially details the impact of the coalition’s plans on the NHS.

Labour supporters follow closely (73 per cent) with a majority of Conservatives (62 per cent) backing the information commissioner’s ruling to release the document under the Freedom of Information Act.

The poll of 1,772 people makes grim reading for the prime minister’s personal ratings and shows that the NHS is quickly becoming a toxic issue for the Tories.

Three times as many people think David Cameron has not delivered on his pre-election assurances (59 per cent to 19 per cent). Among Female voters, 16 per cent believe he has not delivered with just 8 per cent trusting him and Andrew Lansley more than health professionals over the reforms.

Labour also has a 15 per cent lead over the Tories on which party has the best approach to health.

The damning poll comes ahead of Wednesday’s (22 February) opposition debate in the House of Commons over the government’s refusal to release the NHS risk register. The following week will see the government go to the high court to stop the potentially damaging report from being published.

Commenting, Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, said: “David Cameron is haemorrhaging trust over the health bill with public disquiet growing each day the government fights to keep the risk register secret. People have a right to know what damage these so called reforms will do to their NHS.

“The government’s secrecy begs the question of who comes first; the people who pay for and use the NHS, or corporate consultants like McKinsey who drafted the bill and stand to make money from Cameron’s privatisation plan? David Cameron and Andrew Lansley need to come clean, get in step with public opinion and drop this unnecessary and damaging bill.”

Critical doctors ‘locked out’ of Downing Street NHS meeting

Prime Minister takes charge of controversial reforms and hosts implementation summitDavid Cameron will today signal his determination to press ahead with health reforms as he stages a Downing Street summit from which critics of the plans have been excluded.

The Prime Minister, who has taken personal charge of implementing the overhaul, will make clear he believes the preparations for the changes are too advanced to be halted and will argue that patients can already see improvements where preparations have been begun.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, has faced renewed calls to scrap the Health and Social Care Bill from organisations representing doctors and nurses, as well as intense speculation he could be reshuffled out of his job.

Liberal Democrat critics will try to raise the issue in an emergency motion to their spring conference next month and disquiet over the reforms has even surfaced around the Cabinet table.

Last night, Government sources said this afternoon’s session was designed to examine in detail how the reforms could be rolled out rather than to discuss amending or abandoning them.

Downing Street said the guest list comprised a “range of national healthcare organisations and clinical commissioning groups”, thought to include the NHS Confederation and groups of family doctors who back the shake-up.

However, the British Medical Association, the Royal Colleges representing GPs, nursing and midwives and health unions said they had not been invited to the discussion with Mr Cameron and Mr Lansley. Andy Burnham, the shadow Health Secretary, said: “The NHS means too much to too many people for the Government to play this dangerous game of divide and rule.

“People have strong and sincerely-held views about the risks to the NHS from the Government’s re-organisation. They deserve a hearing – not to have the door of Downing Street shut in their faces.”

Peter Carter, the chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “We don’t know why we haven’t been invited but we, like others, find it extraordinary because at the end of the day, it is nurses, doctors, physios, GPs that actually keep the health service going.”

More of the same:

David Cameron accused of divide and rule on health bill

Cameron’s ‘Cold Shoulder’ To Health Leaders

David Cameron facing questions about NHS reforms summit

Downing Street NHS Summit – UNISON Response

Government unwilling to engage, says RCN



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Continue ReadingNHS news review ~ the ConDems NHS PR disaster

NHS news review

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.

Cameron ‘has broken NHS promises’

Labour leader Ed Miliband is set to step up his attack on the Government’s NHS reforms, accusing Prime Minister David Cameron of breaking his promises on health.

During a visit to the Royal Bolton Hospital, in Greater Manchester, Mr Miliband will denounce the Government’s Health And Social Care Bill as “bad for the NHS” and repeat his call on the Prime Minister to scrap it.

More than 120,000 people have now signed an e-petition on a Government website calling for the dumping of the Bill, which has attracted opposition from health professionals and patients’ groups.


NHS bill will damage children’s health, say paediatricians

More than 150 paediatricians have signed a damning letter calling on the government to scrap its health and social care billMore than 150 paediatricians are calling on the government to scrap its controversial health bill, saying it will have an extremely damaging effect on the health of children.

In a damning letter to The Lancet medical journal, members of the UK’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said there was “no prospect” of improving the health and social care bill, which is going through parliament.

They accused the government of “misrepresenting” the bill as being something that was necessary for the NHS.

The signatories join several royal medical colleges, including the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Radiologists, in calling for the bill to be scrapped.

The move will put increasing pressure on the government over the reforms, which have come under repeated fire from healthcare professionals.

Unions, including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, and the Royal College of Midwives, are among those calling for the bill to be withdrawn.

Friday’s letter said that “if passed, we believe that the bill will have an extremely damaging effect on the healthcare of children and their families, and their access to high quality, effective services”.

It added: “We see no prospect for improvement to the bill sufficient to safeguard the rights of access to healthcare by children and their families.

Market-based healthcare is the wrong prescription for the NHS

The health and social care bill proposes a system that will destroy all the advantages of the centrally planned NHS

by Andy Burnham, shadow Minister for Health

By framing this debate in terms of competition, the prime minister is not just choosing the wrong policy prescription for the NHS; it is potentially catastrophic for his entire political project. This is the man who used the NHS to pose as a different kind of Tory. He promised to protect it and spare it from upheaval. In taking a different course, and arguing for a market, he is taking a huge gamble. There is still time to turn back. For Labour, it is to our political advantage if the PM digs in behind his health secretary and his bill – effectively guaranteeing that the NHS will be a major political issue at the next election. But, even so, I’m sure I speak for the nearly all members of the Labour party in saying that we hope the prime minister sees sense at the eleventh hour and drops the bill. In the final analysis, the NHS matters more to this party than our own electoral self-interest.

Government urged to return to NHS pension talks or face action


The BMA has requested an urgent meeting with the chief secretary to the Treasury in a further effort to re-start talks with the government on changes to the NHS pension scheme.

The BMA is seeking a fairer offer after 46,000 doctors and medical students responded to a survey last month, with 84% rejecting the government’s current plans which include raising the normal pension age for NHS staff.

Nearly two thirds said they would be prepared to take industrial action if the government does not improve its offer. In recent exchanges, the health secretary indicated that there would be no movement in the Department of Health’s position.

Under the government’s plans to reform the NHS pension scheme doctors’ retirement age would increase to 68; there would be a move from a final salary pension scheme to one based on career average earnings; and there would be an increase in contributions for senior doctors from 8.5% up to 14.5% by 2014.

In the letter, the BMA points out that the NHS pension is in a very different situation from other public sector schemes, having been radically overhauled less than four years ago.

“It is in good financial health, and currently provides £2billion to the Treasury every year,” it says. “In addition, the cost-sharing agreement reached at the time ensured that any increase in contributions needed in the future would be met by employees, not the taxpayer.”

The letter highlights the unfairness of NHS staff paying twice as much for the same pensions as some other public sector workers on similar salaries. It quotes the Public Accounts Committee’s warning that the government’s proposals “could destabilise the largest public sector pension scheme, increasing the burden on the state, and creating problems with retention of senior staff”

Related: BMA may ballot over pensions



Continue ReadingNHS news review

In other news, ConDems attack the disabled

News that 

  • the illegitimate ConDem – Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government is forcing the disabled to permenantly work unpaid
  • the Tesco supermarket chain is engaging unpaid workers to work night shifts stacking shelves
  • Emma Harrison of a4e recieves a banker-busting bonus of £9million due to the government’s fetish for privatized outsourcing

Disabled people face unlimited unpaid work or cuts in benefit

Mental health groups and charities attack plans drawn up by Department for Work and Pensions

Some long-term sick and disabled people face being forced to work unpaid for an unlimited amount of time or have their benefits cut under plans being drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Mental health professionals and charities have said they fear those deemed fit to undertake limited amounts of work under a controversial assessment process could suffer further harm to their health if the plans go ahead.

The new policy, outlined by DWP officials in meetings with disabilities groups, is due to be announced after legal changes contained in clause 54 of the welfare reform bill have made their way through parliament.

The policy could mean that those on employment and support allowance who have been placed in the work-related activity group (Wrag) could be compelled to undertake work experience for charities, public bodies and high-street retailers. The Wrag group includes those who have been diagnosed with terminal cancer but have more than six months to live; accident and stroke victims; and some of those with mental health issues.


Tesco’s Secret Workfare Slaves

Furious shoppers are threatening to boycott Tesco after their use of forced labour schemes came to light yesterday.

An advert on the Jobcentre Plus website is calling for night-shift workers who will be expected to work for just Jobseekers Allowance (paid by the Government,  not Tesco, at a rate of £53.45 per week for under 25s) plus expenses.  The position is advertised as permanent.

Tesco have claimed the role is not permanent and that this was a mistake which they have asked the DWP to remove from their website.  So far it is still there.



Emma Harrison: The UK’s Biggest Benefit Cheat

£9 million pounds is the annual cost of this parasite to our community.  British people, that is your money!

Emma Harrison, chair of poverty pimps A4e received a banker busting £9 million dividend this year on the back of her company’s shoddy back to work schemes.

A4e provide  workfare and job search schemes for the Government which are notorious for being badly resourced and delivering poor results.  It’s hardly surprisingly when rogue trader Harrison is trousering most of the cash.  Inmates at A4e schemes have complained of lack of even basic IT facilities to enable them to look for work online, poor quality or non-existent training and people forced to sit around in A4e’s offices for 30 hours a week on mandatory workfare schemes because A4e can’t find them anything to do.    It now appears that every penny saved siphoning off cash intended to help people into work is going straight into the upkeep of Emma’s Derbyshire mansion.

On the recent Pathways to Work scheme A4e only succeeded in placing a derisory 9% of people into work – a percentage that well may have got jobs anyway, and perhaps sooner, had they not been subject to A4e’s interference.




Continue ReadingIn other news, ConDems attack the disabled