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.
NHS activists stage protest at Care UK headquarters | Society | guardian.co.uk
A group campaigning against the proposed NHS reforms, and inspired by UK Uncut’s tactics, has staged its first protest.
NHS Direct Action targeted private health firm Care UK’s offices, close to Liverpool St station in London, on Monday. About 50 people took part – a mixture of student doctors, workers and former NHS staff.
Toby Simmons, a medical student at UCL, representing the campaigners, said: “Having been involved in the student movement over the last five or six months and as a medical student it seemed logical to funnel some of that energy toward challenging the health and social care bill. We’re taking UK Uncut’s idea of a simple message linked with a viable alternative.
Healey attacks NHS reforms: ePolitix.com
John Healey called on the health secretary to provide reassurance to those patients who were being denied access to treatment.
During health questions in the Commons, he said Andrew Lansley was a “man in denial”, as patients failed to receive the operations they needed, with waiting times lengthened under the coalition.
He said: “You are a man in denial. What the government is doing to the NHS is making things worse not better for patients.
Waiting times ‘have left patients in agony’ / Britain / Home – Morning Star
A huge increase in the amount of time people spend waiting for key NHS operations has left them “screaming in agony,” a charity said yesterday.
The Patients Association received 220 calls last year from people claiming that they were unable to undergo operations such as knee and hip replacements – up from 66 in 2009.
One patient claimed that putting weight on their knee had left them screaming in agony, but their GP said there was no more cash until April so the surgery couldn’t afford to perform the operation.
Revealed: 40 percent could lose their GP|12Mar11|Socialist Worker
Thousands of Londoners face losing their GP because NHS managers are pioneering a cost-saving initiative to remove “ghost patients”.
And the measures could be forced on people across Britain.
Anyone who has not seen their doctor in the last six months and who does not respond to two letters asking them to confirm their details is being struck off automatically.
Hospitals cutting operations, while waiting times rise – Telegraph
A survey of more than 60 hospital trusts has found that they carried out almost 11,000 fewer planned or ‘elective’ operations in 2010 than they did in 2009.
The trusts that replied carried out 1,227 fewer knee replacements, a drop of six per cent, and 531 fewer hip replacements.
And they carried out 2,041 fewer hernia operations, down 7.25 per cent, and 1,770 fewer tonsillectomies, a drop of 11 per cent.
Pulse – GPs up against private firms in NHS sell-off of entire care pathways
Exclusive: GPs are to be pitched into competition with private firms for the right to provide entire NHS care pathways, under Government-backed plans to put huge tranches of the health service out to tender, Pulse can reveal.
A pilot set to launch across the east of England has already involved talks with a series of private companies about a dramatic expansion in their NHS role, and is seen by the Department of Health as a model for the whole country. It follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge last month to end the state’s monopoly in provision of public services.
The plans will hand private firms, GPs, or combinations of the two provider contracts for a fixed amount of money, creating an ‘incentive’ to increase profit margins by delivering cheaper care out of hospital.
NHS ‘faces challenges’ amid reforms (From Your Local Guardian)
The NHS faces challenges in ensuring safe and stable healthcare while the Government’s reforms are implemented, according to a new report.
The “unprecedented” programme of change will require “exceptionally skilled and focused management” over the next few years, according to the Nuffield Trust.
It said new organisations emerging from the restructure, which will see primary care trusts and strategic health authorities abolished, will face challenges if they try to do more than keep things ticking over.
BBC News – NHS changes ‘risk making child health care worse’
Reforms of the NHS in England are putting the healthcare of children at risk, according to an article in the British Medical Journal.
The doctors and academics who wrote it say healthcare for children already lags behind the best European examples.
But they say giving GPs control over the lion’s share of the NHS budget could make the system even worse.
Rebel Mersey MP John Pugh to lead revolt over NHS reforms vote – Liverpool News – News – Liverpool Daily Post
REBEL Liberal Democrat MP John Pugh is ready to lead a revolt against the Government’s sweeping NHS reforms – warning of “chaos and confusion” if they went ahead.
And the Southport MP predicted other Lib-Dems – and even Conservative – MPs would join the growing rebellion, adding: “MPs are waking up to the obvious problems.”
Asked if he would vote against the flagship Health and Social Care Bill – which will introduce a full-blown market into the NHS – Dr Pugh replied: “That is the likely outcome, if there are not significant amendments.”
Couples trying for IVF babies at St Mary’s Hospital fall victim to cuts | Manchester Evening News – menmedia.co.uk
Manchester’s pioneering IVF unit is the latest victim of NHS cost cutting – with fertility treatments set to fall by one quarter.
Bosses of St Mary’s Hospital, which provides treatments for couples across Greater Manchester, provided 1,154 cycles of IVF treatment last year.
But that number will fall to 868 in the next 12 months.
Hundreds of staff petition against NHS reform
Hundreds of staff are lobbying their MP to vote against controversial reforms they claim could lead to the break-up of the National Health Service.
Members of public service union UNISON have signed petitions warning the changes could lead to the private sector “cherry-picking” the most profitable hospital services.
They have signed petitions which will be presented to Liberal Democrat MPs David Laws and Jeremy Browne, whose Yeovil and Taunton constituencies each include a major district hospital.
Labour complains to BBC in ‘cuts or savings’ row – Telegraph
Officials complained that a BBC London News report concerning NHS budgets used the word “savings” instead of “cuts”.
Labour claims the report, broadcast on BBC One after the News at Ten on Monday night, was biased in favour of the Coalition’s spending programme, an allegation strenuously denied by the corporation.
Officials are reportedly angry that cuts were described “savings” on at least half a dozen occasions during the bulletin, with an accompanying graphic also using the phrase.