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.
The BMA has welcomed a commitment from the government that it will not allow healthcare providers to compete for NHS contracts on the basis of price.
The government has laid amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill for England, changing the sections which would have made it possible for providers to bid for contracts at a price below the standard NHS tariff. The changes will also prevent the possibility of differential pricing between NHS and private providers.
I AM a retired general practitioner having worked in Airedale for over 25 years.
The coalition government’s plan for the NHS could spell disaster for our local health services. The health and social care bill is going through parliament at the moment and its policies represent the biggest change to the NHS since it was founded in 1948. These changes will affect every patient in Pontefract and Castleford.
Our hospitals will be made into independent businesses and will be free to treat private patients possibly first and taking up precious beds.
About 600 NHS Isle of Wight jobs out of a workforce of 3,000 (20%) could be lost over the next four years.
Health managers said they needed to make savings of up to £14m a year in order to safeguard essential services.
In a statement NHS Isle of Wight said future redundancies could not be ruled out if savings targets cannot be met through cost saving measures.
Privatisation is not the motive behind the planned reforms of the NHS, the health service’s chief executive has said.
Speaking to GP magazine, Sir David Nicholson said: “’I wouldn’t want to be part of something that privatises the NHS.”
Instead, he suggested that the Health and Social Care Bill aims to “open up doors that haven’t been opened up before” in a bid to improve the quality of services.
Doctors are worried that NHS reforms do not include enough checks and balances to make sure patients are getting the best service, Channel 4 News understands.
The British Medical Association Council Chairman Hamish Meldrum told Channel 4 News: “It’s a real concern. We do support the idea of doctors getting more involved but not on an unmonitored basis. We do worry that some of the governance and oversight provisions in the bill are a bit slack.
“We had our issues with Primary Care Trusts [the bodies which currently commission care], but at least they were a local oversight who could step in if there were problems.”
Nick Clegg is facing possible defeat over the government’s NHS changes at his spring party conference next weekend when a heavyweight group of Liberal Democrat figures table an amendment opposing the “damaging and unjustified market-based approach”.
Evan Harris, a doctor and former MP and vice-chair of the party’s ruling federal policy committee, will table the amendment, supported by the former cabinet minister Lady Williams, registering their concerns that the current legislation will lead to a widening of UK health inequalities if left unchecked.
The government is proposing to give GPs control of more than 80% of the £100bn NHS budget at the same time as driving through efficiency savings of £20bn. The package includes the abolition of primary care trusts.
The workforce providing vital NHS mental health care services in Epsom and Ewell will be slashed by half.
Fifteen out of 30 community support roles in Epsom and Ewell will go as part of a radical shake-up, which will see Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS trust target services for those with the most severe or complex illnesses.
This is in addition to 30 posts already vacant across Surrey. It is part of a wider plan to save the trust £1.5m.
Thousands of patients face being removed from GP practices if they have not seen their doctor for six months.
After this time, if they fail to respond to two warning letters, their names will be removed from the surgery register.
NHS managers say they want to ensure lists are accurate and up to date.
But GPs claim many patients will be struck off without reason and then forced to re-register when they need to see a doctor.
CROWDS of doctors, nurses and trade unionists marched through Canterbury city centre on Saturday to protest about proposed cuts to the NHS.
Almost 100 people with banners and megaphones, including members campaign group Stop The Cuts, mingled among shoppers and chanted: “No ifs, no buts, no NHS cuts.”
Chris Weller, chairman of Stop The Cuts, warned “Local services are going to be devastated. In Kent, nine old peoples’ homes are shutting and 1,500 jobs are to be lost at the county council.