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.

Pulse reported yesterday that Tower Hamlets CCG (Care Commissioning Group) have called on the government to drop the Health and Social Care / Destroy the NHS Bill. This huge news story has received very little attention by the corporate press.  From the Guardian’s NHS reforms live blog.

Breaking news – and it’s another plea for the government to drop the health and social care bill altogether, not simply amend it further. Tower Hamlets clinical commissioning group in east London has become the first CCG to ask for the legislation to be withdrawn.

While a growing list of medical organisations has already adopted the same position, including the BMA and various medical royal colleges, this CCG’s action is significant because David Cameron has sought to portray the spread of CCGs across England as evidence of GPs’ enthusiasm for the NHS shake-up.

Plus, this particular vote of no-confidence has been authored by no less than Dr Sam Everington, a widely respected GP who used to advise Andrew Lansley, and whose Bromley-by-Bow surgery in Tower Hamlets hosted the health secretary’s first speech soon after the 2010 general election.

Pulse, the magazine and website for GPs, has an exclusive story that reports that Everington, the chair of the NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commisisoning Group, has written to the prime minister asking for the bill to be scrapped because his “rolling restructuring of the NHS compromises our ability to focus on what really counts”. Efforts to further improve patient care through clinically-led commissioning – a key element of the bill – could still be made “without the bureaucracy generated by the bill”, Everington adds.

As Pulse reports: “The moves marks the first time a CCG has publicly called for the bill to be withdrawn and comes after Pulse revealed last month [that] some commissioning leaders were concerned that the government had ‘lost the narrative’ on the reforms.”

The letter states: “We support a strong role for clinical involvement in commissioning decisions that lead to better health outcomes for our patients. We do this already in Tower Hamlets. An Act of Parliament is not needed to make this happen.”

In what Pulse deputy editor Steve Nowottny calls “a big blow to the government”, Everington goes on to say that his CCG does “share the concerns” about “the long-term implications of the bill made by our professional representative organisations, the Royal College of GPs and the British Medical Association”. As both those bodies are now firmly in the “drop the bill” camp, his deliberate association with them makes Everington’s letter even more embarrassing for ministers and Number 10.

Lib-Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Shirley Williams wrote a joint letter yesterday to Liberal Democrat parlimentarians. They’re demanding further changes to the Destroy the NHS Bill having been scared by Lib-Dem activist demands. I’m bored with this – read about it here.


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NHS news review

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) , representing hospital doctors, has chosen to ballot its 26,000 members on the Health and Social Care / Destroy the NHS Bill.


At the Royal College of Physicians, we believe the NHS bill is beyond repair

We were told that this bill will make the NHS less bureaucratic, more cost effective and provide more choice for patients. It won’t

Today the Royal College of Physicians joined the growing ranks of opposition to the government’s health and social care bill.

We were told that the bill would make the NHS more efficient and more cost effective. It won’t. Management costs in the NHS are about 5% of the total budget. In the US healthcare system, where the market rules, they are above 25%. If the bill is passed, management consultants such as McKinsey and KPMG will make millions from the NHS budget “advising” clients on both sides of the purchaser/provider split, with additional contracts “advising” government and health regulators how to cope with the tangled web of contracts the new system would create.

We were told that the bill would make things less bureaucratic. It won’t. It will replace three layers of management in the NHS with at least six new ones, and a seventh if you count the health and wellbeing boards to be established at the local authority level. For example, 152 primary care trusts will be replaced with well over 200 clinical commissioning groups. Almost half the staff of primary care trusts have already gone, but many are returning to work for the commissioning groups and commissioning support services, often as consultants on a higher rate than their previous salaries.

We were told that the bill was essential to control spiralling healthcare costs. It isn’t. Britain spends less per head on healthcare than most other European Union countries, and far less than the United States. Market competition in health is inherently wasteful, because it implies the existence of spare capacity in the system. It is likely to drive up costs for each patient, as charges for healthcare have to rise to ensure that providers can carry the costs of under-used people, building and equipment.

We were told that the bill means more choice for patients and more control over their healthcare. It doesn’t. Instead, it will strain to breaking point the essential relationship of trust between doctors and their patients. GPs in particular will be put in the invidious position of having on the one hand to diagnose their patients and recommend the best course of treatment, and on the other hand to refuse to supply it because as commissioners their budgets are under pressure.

For all these reasons and others, doctors, nurses and other health professionals have finally concluded that the bill is beyond rescue. Opinion polls show that view is shared by a large majority of the British public.

NHS care to be severely rationed. People will need health insurance like the United States.


NHS bill: goodbye comprehensive healthcare, hello private insurance

Services are already being pulled in an unannounced, piecemeal way. If the bill passes, the health secretary won’t be accountable

Under the bill the range of what is available for free seems certain to contract further. Commissioning groups will have fixed budgets. The for-profit “support organisations” that are being lined up to do most of the commissioning for them will have a strong incentive to limit costs, and therefore the treatments to be paid for. CCGs also look likely to be free to decide that some treatments recommended by hospital specialists are “unreasonably” expensive, and refuse to pay for them, as health maintenance organisations do in the US.

A core of free NHS services will remain, but they will be of declining quality, because for-profit providers will cherry-pick the most profitable services. NHS hospitals will be left with the more costly work, so staffing levels and standards of care will be forced down and waiting times will get longer. To be sure of getting good healthcare people will increasingly take out private insurance, if they can afford it. At first most people will take out the cheaper insurance plans now on offer that cover just what is no longer free from the NHS, but gradually insurance for most forms of care will become normal. The poor will be left with a limited package of free services of lower quality.

What is available on the NHS should be determined nationally, in a transparent and democratic way, not by unelected local bodies. The bill will allow the secretary of state to deny responsibility when good, comprehensive, free care has become a thing of the past.

Majority of GPs expect to see more rationing of care in NHS

85% of family doctors think health service will have to cut back on provision

More than eight in ten GPs believe that there will be greater rationing of care in the NHS as a result of the financial challenges facing the health service.

Research published this week suggests that 85% of family doctors believe that the government will have to set out more clearly what care is – and is not – freely available on the NHS in England.

A survey of 821 English GPs carried out by the Nuffield Trust, an independent health think tank, and doctors.net.uk found that only half of GPs believe that the NHS will be able to improve efficiency enough over the next five years to avoid having to scale back on the services that are currently funded.

In addition, the vast majority of GPs (83%) believe handing responsibility to local clinical commissioning groups for setting priorities for spending NHS funds will be likely to lead to greater variations in what services are provided to patients throughout England.

Campaign group 38degrees is appealing for donations to place billboard adverts in London to make the ConDems’ attack on the NHS an issue in the elections for the Mayor of London.


Lib-Dem activists force Nick Clegg to make further demands for changes to the bill. It should be recognised that Nick Clegg is and has been fully supportive of plans to destroy the NHS.

Lib Dem activists in last-ditch attempt to scupper NHS reforms bill

Party members to press ahead with emergency motion at spring conference despite changes advanced by Clegg and Williams

Clegg breaks ranks to demand more amendments to NHS Bill

Attempt to appease party faithful comes on day PM asserts: ‘there will be no more big changes’

Tavistock service for vulnerable children at risk, expert warns


The future of a prestigious health service which helps children suffering severe abuse is in doubt because of government cuts, a mental health expert has warned.

The Tavistock’s Monroe Assessment Service provides treatment for families going through care proceedings and assesses many children subjected to sexual and physical abuse or neglect.

But a new cap on the amount of funding these expert court witnesses receive has left the prestigious service operating at a loss, and many families without adequate support, a consultant social worker has warned.

Tim Kent said: “We are seeing the highest number of applications for care orders in the family courts for a decade, but the work of expert witnesses has been hit by savage cuts.

“Cases are getting stuck in the legal system and children’s lives are on hold for longer. We fear that the risk of courts making bad decisions about the best interests of the child is growing.



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.

Please be assured that this blog is a non-commercial blog (weblog) which does not feature advertising and has not ever produced any income.


Continue ReadingNHS news review

I’ve been thinking …

… about looking at opportunities for young people to get into work.

I’ve not been thinking about poor people …

I’ve been thinking about rich people … and looking at the difficulties they face – or possibly do not – face getting into work.

In fact I’m probably going to concentrate on those people who are very rich and have a privileged backgrounds and see if any of them are forced into slave labour.

I would expect to find that they’re not and that these are the same ****s that are are so enthusiastic about slave labour.

edit: I need to look at Ian Duncan Smith’s work experience. He’s very keen on work experience. I wonder what work experience he’s got apart from being upper class.

edit: not a good target but still a tory shit


Continue ReadingI’ve been thinking …

NHS news review

Critic of Health Bill claims Lansley ‘smear’


An NHS chief who spoke out against the Government’s controversial Health Bill last night claimed he had been the target of political “smears” by Andrew Lansley’s department.

Professor John Ashton, the head of public health in Cumbria, who was awarded a CBE for services to the NHS, claimed that someone on behalf of the Health Secretary called his local BBC radio station to allege that he could not speak objectively because he was a member of the Labour Party.

The 64-year-old said he had been a member since he was 17, but it was an “outrageous smear” to suggest this clouded his independence as a doctor.

<original post snipped>

NHS bill opposition
Opposition to Health and Social Care Bill in context. http://www.nhscampaign.org/



Mis-sold, ill-conceived, unsupported

We have all heard about how the government’s health bill will make the NHS a better service: more clinician-led and more patient-centred. We have also been warned by the Prime Minister and his Health Secretary that their reforms are the only way to address the unprecedented financial and demographic pressures facing the NHS over the next few years. But how much of this salespitch is actually based on facts?

Below are some of the more common claims from the government – claims that simply don’t stand up to proper scrutiny. Click on any of the claims to reveal just a selection of the evidence that undermines them.

“Doing nothing is not an option.”

“We’re giving more power to GPs.”

“We’re going to cut bureaucracy.”

“We’re going to make the NHS better for patients.”

“We will never privatise the NHS.”

“We have listened and we have the support of NHS staff.”


Continue ReadingNHS news review

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.

There’s a warning that the illegitimate ConDem coalition government intends to lie in the coming week in an attempt to bolster support for the Health and Social Care / Destroy the NHS Bill.

Despicable ConDem scum intend to employ the lie that medical unions are using opposition to the bill to fight their seperate battle on pay and pensions.

ConDem scum also intend to push the lie that the bill will decrease health service bureaucracy.

The Standard has obtained a copy of a five-page briefing note for MPs, prepared by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and No 10, on how to sell the shake-up which is being fiercely opposed by many doctors, nurses and health professionals.

In the briefing document, ministers accused unions of using the health reforms to fight their battle against pay and pension changes.

MPs were told to stress that the reforms, which will hand GPs more control over the £60 billion budget to commission health services, scrap primary care trusts and allow the private sector to play a greater role in the NHS, would mean:

More power to doctors and patients.

Competition to get better treatment.

Slashing bureaucracy to transfer money to the front line.

The three remaining royal colleges that do not currently oppose the bill will be voting in the next fortnight over whether to oppose the bill.

Tomorrow, grassroots members of the 26,000-strong Royal ­College of ­Physicians will attend their ­extraordinary general meeting where they will urge leaders to “kill the Bill”.

On March 8 the 25,000-­member Royal ­College of Surgeons will hold its EGM. Members will ­decide ­whether to come out in opposition to the plans. On March 9 the 15,000-strong Royal College of ­Obstetricians and ­Gynaecologists will gather to ­consider whether they should do the same.

If all three vote to oppose the Bill it will mean that all the hugely ­respected royal colleges are lined up against Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s plans. ­Privately officials from each group say that among their rank-and-file, opposition to the ­reforms are ­growing. They say they have listened to the Government’s ­arguments but it has failed to win them over. ­Opposition to the shake-up is growing as key ­parliamentary votes on the issue loom.

Labour Leader Ed Milliband calls for support from the Libe Dems

This week the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords must join with Labour to hole David Cameron’s health plans below the water line.

The House of Lords has the chance to puncture the arrogance of an out-of-touch Prime Minister who thinks he knows better than patients, nurses and doctors and persuade him to drop this Bill.

If they do not the betrayal by the Lib Dems in allowing this Bill through will be bigger than the row over ­university tuition fees.

They will betray not only the people who rely on today’s NHS, but also generations to come.

It will strike at the heart of Britain’s proudest institution.

Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron says that the bill should have been dropped.


Mr Farron said the legislation to implement Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s reforms should have been scrapped or “massively changed” at an earlier stage before it progressed this far and it would be “stupid” to ignore medics’ concerns over the proposals.

He demanded that all elements of new competition in the NHS should be stripped from the bill in order for Lib Dems to support it.

Lib Dem peers have tabled a number of amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill, which resumes its difficult passage through Parliament next week in the Lords.

Speaking on ITV Granada’s Party People Mr Farron, said: “Lots of us are guilty for allowing it to get as far as it has done now.

“Basically this should have been dealt with far earlier in the cycle.”

Asked whether that meant it should have been dropped, he said: “Dropped, massively changed.”

British Medical Association to ballot doctors on strike action over pensions

Ballot on strike over NHS pension changes will be first time doctors have voted on industrial action since 1975

The British Medical Association has decided to ballot doctors for industrial action over the government’s reform of the NHS pension scheme.

The ballot will be the first time that doctors have voted on such action since 1975.

The decision followed an overwhelming rejection by doctors and medical students of the “final” offer on pensions.

The BMA said the changes would see younger doctors paying more than £200,000 extra over their lifetime in pension contributions and working eight years longer, to 68. The highest earning doctors’ contributions would rise to 14.5%.

Officials have urged the government to reopen talks with the health unions, but said neither the Treasury nor the Department of Health had signalled any change to their position.

The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, has said the NHS pension scheme is “amongst the best available anywhere”.

But a survey of 130,000 BMA members in January found almost two-thirds of the 46,000 who responded said they would be prepared to take some form of industrial action if the government did not change its offer.

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.

Please be assured that this blog is a non-commercial blog (weblog) which does not feature advertising and has not ever produced any income.


Continue ReadingNHS news review

In other news

Hands Off Our Land: two thirds of rural England at ‘mercy’ of developers, warns Sir Andrew Motion

Two thirds of rural England will be at the mercy of developers because of proposals to relax the planning laws, former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion has warned.

 Sir Andrew was speaking as he was formally unveiled as the next president of the Campaign of Protect Rural England.

In his first public comments since accepting the role, the former poet laureate made clear his concerns about Government reforms to planning rules.

Ministers want to replace over 1,200 pages of planning guidance with a new 52 page document called the National Planning Policy Framework, which campaigners say will make it easier to build on parts of rural England.

The CPRE is worried that the draft NPPF includes a new “presumption in favour of sustainable development”, and puts communities at risk of large scale development. The Daily Telegraph is also urging ministers to rethink the reforms.

Earlier this month, the CPRE warned that an area in England which equates to an area almost three-and-a-half times the size of Wales was at risk from the reforms.


Oxbridge splits Coalition

IN Easington, in County Durham, there were five or fewer, and the number was only slightly higher in Middlesbrough (7), South Sunderland (9) and Redcar (11).Now those lowly figures are at the centre of the latest Coalition bust-up between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, which broke out into the open this week.

The statistics refer to the number of young people, from each parliamentary constituency, who applied to study at the great universities of Oxford and Cambridge last year.

A stark North-South divide was revealed, with the seat of Easington bringing up the rear. Applications were so low that officials refused to reveal the actual number, recording it as “five or fewer”. At the other end of the scale, several hundred applications came from leafy parts of the South such as Oxford West and Abingdon (232), Richmond Park (230) and Cambridge (208).

This divide was predictable, but that made it no less shocking. Remember, the top jobs in law, politics, business, medicine, academia and the media are grabbed by Oxbridge graduates.

Cameron’s ‘Families’ tsar steps down – Channel 4 News

Emma Harrison, the head of a welfare-to-work firm which is being investigated over fraud allegations, has resigned from her post as David Cameron’s ‘Families Champion’.

Ms Harrison, the boss of the welfare-to-work-company A4e, said she was standing aside from the voluntary role to avoid it becoming a distraction. “I do not want the current media environment to distract from the very important work with troubled families”, she said. “I remain passionate about helping troubled families and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute in an area where I have been active for many years.”

A spokesman for Number 10 said the Prime Minister respected her decision, and thanked her for her work.

The Prime Minister asked Ms Harrison to lead the Working Families Everywhere campaign back in 2010, to help 120,000 problem families into work, calling her “inspirational”, and citing her “proven track record of turning lives around”. But she’s been coming under intense pressure to step aside, as it emerged that her multi-million pound firm had become the subject of a series of fraud allegations.

Thames police have already arrested and bailed four members of staff, and last night that probe widened: according to the Daily Telegraph, officers are focussing on the ‘business practices’ of the company as a whole. The Department for Work and Pensions said it had launched nine investigations into alleged fraud in recent years, and A4e was forced to pay back public money five times.

PM insults public with ‘snobs’ sneer


David Cameron swanned around a pro-market event with Prince Charles today to defend profit-hungry businesses against “snobbery.”

The Prime Minister and Prince of Wales attended the Business in the Community charity annual conference to hit back at “the snobbery that says business has no inherent moral worth like the state does.

“Frankly I’m sick of this anti-business snobbery,” wealthy Mr Cameron snorted.

“In recent months we’ve heard some dangerous rhetoric creep into our national debate, that wealth creation is somehow anti-social, that people in business are out for themselves.

“We have got to fight this mood with all we’ve got.”

He called on “those of us who believe in markets, business and enterprise” to come together and “prove the sceptics wrong”.

Mr Cameron’s speech follows massive criticism of the government’s work programme to force people on benefits into a month’s unpaid work.

It has been branded “slave labour” as benefits could be stopped if a participant leaves before completing a placement.

And Left Economics Advisory Panel co-ordinator Andrew Fisher said: “Big business has been rightly pilloried of late for dodging taxes, paying excessive bonuses, rampant profiteering, and now exploiting the unemployed through workfare.

“Cameron’s speech is a reaction to the inevitable public distrust and growing anger with his government handing over our schools, welfare system and the NHS to big business.

“Activists should be proud that we have forced the government on the defensive – and keep up the pressure!”

Business expert Professor Roger Seifert described Mr Cameron’s words as strangely Victorian.

Mr Seifert said: “Clearly in a capitalist society the profit motive and profit making are seen by its supporters and apologists as the engine and the steam of all things.

“We know that it does not actually function in that way: businesses, in order to secure profits, exploit workers and consumers alike, do not pay their way in terms of tax and costs they inflict through pollution and ill-health.

“They also distort the use of resources away from socially useful and economically needed to the useless and the wasteful,” he added.







Continue ReadingIn other news

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.

Cumbria health boss John Ashton defends NHS reform letter

Cumbria’s director of public health has defended his right to speak out on the government’s planned health reforms.

Prof John Ashton co-signed a letter in a newspaper earlier this month. It defended the Royal College of GPs’ chair, who opposes reform.

NHS Cumbria said in a letter to Prof Ashton that it was “inappropriate” for him to express his personal views and summoned him to a meeting on Friday.

According to Prof Ashton, this meeting has now been postponed.

“Trying to gag me at this stage in my career won’t have an effect,” said Prof Ashton.

NHS reforms bill should be scrapped, say paediatricians

Royal college calls for withdrawal just days after NHS summit, saying most members are concerned it puts children at risk


The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has called for the health bill to be withdrawn just three days after meeting the prime minister to discuss the controversial reforms.

Its president, Professor Terence Stephenson, said the college never supported the bill but it was now clear a substantial majority of voting members believed it “carries risk for children and young people“.

He said there was also deep concern among the wider health profession and public over the impact of the bill on patient care.

The government’s determination to push the bill through was “creating disaffection amongst the very people – the clinicians – who will be delivering these changes on the ground”, he said.

A survey of 1,492 college members published on Thursday found 79% wanted the Health and Social Care Bill to be scrapped. They voted for the college to call for the “outright withdrawal” of the bill rather than continue to push for amendments.


Lib Dem peers table package of amendments to health bill

Proposals addressing competition and regulation designed to defuse party anger over controversial legislation

The Liberal Democrat health front bench in the Lords has tabled a series of amendments to the health bill, designed to constrain competition and maintain regulation over foundation trusts. They are likely to be critical in deciding whether the Lib Dem leadership can fend off a party rebellion that could lead to the bill’s collapse and a rupture in the coalition.

…The leading Lib Dem health activist Martin Tod told the BBC that the Lib Dem peers’ amendments were helpful but would not be enough to satisfy those calling for the bill to be dropped.

“The bill is impossibly complicated, hugely disruptive at a time when the NHS needs to concentrate on efficiency savings and has little or no confidence from the people that are expected to implement it,” he said. “We want it withdrawn. You get to a point when something is so flawed that you try and fix it and you try and fix it, but the outcome is still not good enough.”

Tod expressed frustration with the party leadership, saying: “I don’t think they have engaged enough. There are some conversations going on with the leadership, but frankly it has been very hard to get their attention on this and make them realise the degree of concern there is.”


Continue ReadingNHS news review

Divorced from reality David Cameron talks ridiculous nonsense

In a pro-business speech today insane lunatic David Cameron said “Business is … the most powerful force for social progress the world has ever known”.

What transparently ridiculous nonsense. Why is a British Prime Minister talking such utter bullshit? This man has a first in PPE! That can’t be at all difficult if this is the standard of argument.

I look forward to hearing David Cameron explain how the PIP company that made substandard breast implants was such a powerful force for social progress. I was under the impression that this business was knocking out substandard shit and hiding the fact from inspectors to increase profits. We’re waiting for the explanation Cameron.

Then there’s the bankers that caused the global recession. Once again I will be very interested to hear David Cameron explain how greedy bankers lining their own pockets and causing a global recession are such an unequalled force for social progress.

He could perhaps explain how the UK’s privatised train service with huge public subsidies, ridiculously expensive ticket prices and useless standards of service is such a wonderful force for social progress.

I’m looking forward to hearing how fast food retailers McShit and Kentucky Fried Shit are such wonderful forces for social good. I’d like to hear what they’ve achieved in the way of social progress.

I wonder how EDO and other businesses building weapons of mass destruction are such an unequalled force for social progress. I can’t wait for Mr. Cameron to explain.

Then there’s the Bhopal disaster. There was me thinking that Union Carbide had cut costs to increase profits and consequently killed hundreds and ruined thousands of peoples’ lives. I’m waiting for Mr. Cameron’s explanation.

I don’t really expect to hear Mr.Cameron explain these events as examples of unequalled forces for social progress and to be quite honest I’m not expecting Mr. Cameron to provide any examples at all of businesses being such wonderful forces for social progress. That’s because he’s talking absolute, ridiculous crap. Businesses are about making profits. They have no interest in social progress.

edit: Cameron’s speech actually mentions McShit


Continue ReadingDivorced from reality David Cameron talks ridiculous nonsense

In other news …

RBS hands out £800m of bonuses as salaries are frozen


ROYAL Bank of Scotland will today impose a pay freeze on 10,000 staff, while it prepares to pay £400 million in bonuses to its highest earners.

The bank is expected to claim that it needs to cap basic pay in order to manage its costs ahead of announcing a bottom-line loss of up to £2 billion.

But it will also be seen as a move to deflect attention from the huge bonuses to be paid to those already among the bank’s top paid staff.

But the bank will still announce today a widely-anticipated bonus round of about £400m for investment bankers, which is likely to extend to almost £800m when extended to other staff. The main beneficiaries will be traders working mainly in London, Hong Kong and New York. Although the handout is lower than last year it has attracted criticism following a “bad year” at the division.

The investment banking arm at RBS, which is 82 per cent owned by the taxpayer, is headed by John Hourican, who is in line for a personal bonus of 21 million shares – worth about £5.7m at today’s prices.

[Business is] “the most powerful force for social progress the world has ever known”.

Divorced from reality, deranged and deluded Capitalist simpleton David Cameron.

Welfare reforms ‘hitting disabled’


The UK government’s welfare reforms are having a devastating impact on thousands of sick and disabled Scots – according to evidence published today by Citizens Advice Scotland.

The employment and support allowance scheme (ESA) was introduced in 2008 for those who were “new” claimants and is now being applied to those who are currently on incapacity benefit who have previously been deemed to be too sick to work.

The CAS report, From Pillar to Post, details individual cases of people who have been considered healthy by the ESA assessment, but actually suffer from severe health problems.

The report includes the case of a man who was considered fit to work after an ESA assessment, despite having suffered a stroke that continues to affect his right side and speech and which has left him able to only walk a few yards without pain.


[Business is] “the most powerful force for social progress the world has ever known”.

Divorced from reality, deranged and deluded Capitalist simpleton David Cameron.

Universities cut number of degree courses by 27%


The number of degree courses on offer at British universities has been slashed by more than a quarter in the past six years, new research suggests.

It reveals that there are almost 20,000 fewer full-time undergraduate courses available now than there were in 2006.

The study, by the University and College Union (UCU) found cuts across a range of subjects, from the sciences, to arts and humanities.

England, where tuition fees will rise to a maximum of £9,000 a year this autumn, has been the hardest hit, with almost a third fewer courses on offer, it claims. UCU said that the findings showed that funding cuts were affecting course availability, which could be damaging to students.



Continue ReadingIn other news …

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.

Andrew Lansley wins battle to keep NHS risk assessment under wraps

Labour motion demanding publication of document defeated despite growing disquiet among Tory and Lib Dem MPs

Health secretary Andrew Lansley looks more determined than ever not to reveal the findings of a risk assessment done on the government’s NHS shakeup.

Lansley won the support of MPs, who voted on Wednesday by a majority of 53 against a Labour motion that the Department of Health should make its document public. However, growing disquiet among some Conservative MPs and Liberal Democrats was voiced by Lib Dem MP John Pugh, who told the often bad-tempered debate that the bill was “toxifying the Tories” and “sadly detrimental” to his party.

Lansley suggested to MPs that he might refuse to release the risk register even if instructed to do so by a tribunal due to meet in a fortnight to judge on his dispute with the information commissioner, who has instructed him to publish.

Shameless immoral lying scumbag Lansley twice refused the opportunity to tell MPs he would accept the tribunal’s judgment. Answering deputy Lib Dem leader Simon Hughes, the health secretary instead quoted from an article in the Observer by the information commissioner, in which Christopher Graham said he was “not infallible”.

PM accused of NHS ‘deception’

Labour’s Easington MP Grahame Morris said Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron “has broken his promise of no top-down reorganisation by deploying WMD, weapons of mass deception, to conceal the true nature of his reforms.”

He added: “We know the danger to the future of the NHS with up to 49 per cent of work carried out in NHS hospitals done by the private sector and every service provided by the NHS put out to competitive tender, making it vulnerable to private sector takeover.”


Critic of NHS reforms demands health secretary apology

Speaking to Channel 4 News John Ashton, one of Cumbria’s top doctors, demands a government apology after being summoned to explain himself to local NHS chiefs for criticising planned health reforms.

Professor John Ashton, who is director of public health for Cumbria, told Channel 4 News that attempts to silence him were authoritarian and very scary, and he wants an apology from the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley after he received an official letter warning that he could be in breach of the NHS code of conduct.

According to the letter, the code made it “inappropriate for individuals to raise personal concerns about the proposed Government reforms”, and Profesor Ashton was asked to attend a meeting with the chief executive of NHS Cumbria to explain himself. The professor said he understood it didn’t come from the local Primary Care Trust – but those “higher up the food chain”.

Angry GPs fear shake-up poses major threat to future of NHS

Middleton’s GPs have joined a chorus of condemnation against the proposed shake-up of the NHS.

The Rochdale and Bury Local Medical Committee (RBLMC), which represents GPs in the area, fear the controversial Health and Social Care Bill could threaten the future of the NHS.

The bill, which has attracted widespread criticism, proposes giving GPs control of much of the NHS budget and opening up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector. The government believes the bill will make the NHS more accountable to patients, improve public health and cut bureaucracy slashing NHS management costs by 45 per cent.

But RBLMC secretary Dr Mohammed Jiva, from Peterloo Medical Centre on Manchester Old Road, fears the move will jeopardises the future of the NHS.

He said: “The majority of GPs, including the Royal College of General Practitioners supported by many other clinicians, all concur that the proposed Bill will be detrimental to the future of the NHS.

“Already the NHS locally has stopped funding many services that were historically available but which now needs to be privately paid for by the patient if the public requires the procedure.

“This is likely to get worse as the NHS attempts to make more savings by decommissioning more and more services.






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