NHS news review

The government’s preferred candidate to head the NHS Commissioning Board has described the Health and Social Care / Destroy the NHS Bill as “unintelligable” despite being coached by the Department of Health.

Increasing waiting lists.

Frenchay Hospital in North Bristol to be ‘part-privatised’.

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.

Health Bill ‘unintelligible’ says controversial new NCB chairman | GPonline.com

The new chairman of the NHS Commissioning Board (NCB) has been accused of lacking experience and understanding of the NHS and has described the Health Bill as ‘unintelligible’.

Members of the House of Commons health select committee were split along party lines over the appointment of Professor Malcolm Grant.

All three Labour committee members present at a hearing with Professor Grant voted against endorsing his candidacy for the role. But the two Conservative and one Liberal Democrat MPs present backed him, along with committee chairman Stephen Dorrell, also a Conservative.

An amendment backed by the Labour MPs warned that Professor Grant ‘demonstrated a lack of experience of NHS structures and processes’ and did not demonstrate a ‘robust understanding of the issues affecting the NHS’.

He had acknowledged being primed with answers by the DoH before facing the committee of MPs, was unclear about his role and about how the NCB would secure service changes locally, it said.

The amendment pointed out that he had referred to the Health Bill as ‘unintelligible’ and said that he had not convinced members of the committee that he would be ‘an effective counterbalance to executive members’ of the NCB.

Related: ‘Unintelligible’ health bill is chance to empower GPs, says prospective NHS Board Chief – Pulse

Waiting times on NHS show a 60pc jump « Express & Star

The number of NHS patients waiting longer than a year to be treated in the Black Country and Staffordshire has jumped by almost 60 per cent, new figures revealed today.

The only hospital to cut the number of patients waiting longer than a year was Stafford Hospital, where the numbers fell from 45 down to 18.

Nationally, thousands of people are being left to wait for longer than a year because hospitals prioritise those patients they can treat within Government targets and, therefore, avoid health authority penalties.

The NHS should treat every patient within 18 weeks of them being referred by their GP.

If hospitals miss the targets they can be penalised but there is no incentive to treat those waiting beyond the target times.

Cambridge News | Health-and-Beauty | Health-News | £14m cuts axe set to fall on mental health services

MENTAL health services will be slashed across Cambridgeshire in a bid to save £14 million, if proposals are given the go-ahead.

A 13-week public consultation has been launched as local health providers announced a host of proposed facility closures and mergers as part of a three-year cost-cutting measure.

The plans involve reducing eight inpatient wards to six, which will reduce the number of beds available from 28 to 16.

Concerns over plans to ‘part-privatise’ Frenchay Hospital (From Gazette Series)

Concerns over plans to ‘part-privatise’ Frenchay Hospital

CONCERNS have been raised over NHS plans to ‘part-privatise’ one of the region’s oldest hospitals.

Councillors in South Gloucestershire said they had been shocked at news the contract to run Frenchay Hospital would be outsourced to the private sector when it is downgraded to a health and social care unit.

Cllr Ian Scott (Labour, Filton), said: “This revelation came completely out of the blue.

“I don’t think anyone ever expected that the new community hospital at Frenchay would not stay entirely within the NHS.”

North Bristol Trust (NBT), which currently runs Frenchay, has announced that although doctors, therapists, staff operating diagnostic equipment and secretarial support will be NHS, the overall running of the community hospital will be operated privately when it opens in 2014. In addition, nurses in charge of 68 beds at a new rehabilitation centre will also be private. NBT chief executive Ruth Brunt said the move would make the project financially viable.

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