There are many articles about Andrew Lansley repeatedly apologising to nurses for failing to effectively communicate his proposals to nurses following the Royal College of Nursing’s overwhelming vote of no confidence in his reforms yesterday. Ignoring the opposition of doctors and nurses unions – the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing – Lansley is still claiming that his reforms has the support of the majority of health workers.
Lansley and his associated privateers repeatedly present opposition to their plans to destroy the National Health Service (NHS) as a failure to properly communicate their intentions. Nothing could be further from the truth. The intention has always been to deceive and obscure the fact that they intend to destroy the National Health Service.
Take for example the intention to abolish Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). The Con-Dem – Conservative and Liberal-Democrat – government claim that they want to move commissioning to GPs (general practitioners, family doctors). PCTs are accountable while GPs are private for-profit organisations that will delegate commissioning to further private for-profit organisations. There is absolutely no benefit other than to private companies and governments that want to relieved of their responsibilities. Commissioning will be moved to unaccountable private companies. The suggestion ammendment that local councillors should take part on these commissioning boards is just a ridiculous, messy bodge.
Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband called for the bill to be rejected yesterday. The bill should be rejected in its entirety.
The Red Pepper article provides good background.
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.
Colin Leys analyses the ammendments being proposed to the Coalition’s Health and Social Care Bill, and shows how campaigners can use the pause to defend the NHS.
The pause announced by Andrew Lansley in the parliamentary passage of the Health and Social Care Bill indicates the serious trouble that opposition to the Bill is causing the Coalition. It is intended to give a noticeably isolated Lansley time to find compromise amendments which will allow Cameron and himself to say they have responded to public opinion, to allow the Lib Dem leadership to say they have secured concessions, and to still allow Lansley and the private sector to replace the NHS as a comprehensive and universal service with a healthcare market.
Cameron now knows he has allowed a well-informed but tunnel-vision privatiser, who is close and deeply obligated to the private health industry, to push ahead with a bill that risks major electoral penalties. He will wait to see whether Lansley can buy off enough opposition. For both Lansley and Cameron the question is whether they can keep the Lib Dem leadership in the Coalition when the Lib Dem rank and file are pressing to make the defence of the NHS a final sticking-point.
The fact that the story has kept changing day by day shows that the task is seen as quite problematic. At first Lansley said there would be two months of ‘listening’. But he made it so clear that he meant we would be listening to him that the story then had to be changed to one in which he would do the listening, but only to health professionals; and then the idea occurred of listening only those likely to support the Bill. Cameron, accompanied by Lansley, personally announced the creation of a Listening Forum, consisting of patients as well as nurses and doctors. The Forum has since developed into a Futures Panel of five, to be assisted by a forum of 40 doctors, who in turn will listen to ‘grassroots GPs’ around England, and will be chaired by the outgoing chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), Dr Field, a long-term proponent of marketisation.
The all but unanimous Royal College of Nursing vote of no confidence in Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s plans for the NHS in England ought to leave him with no recourse but to resign.
The RCN cannot be dismissed as an extremist politicised outfit, as the Tories and their allies may wish to do.
Historically it fights shy of political involvement and it has never before considered a confidence motion towards a health secretary.
The fact that only six out of nearly 500 RCN delegates opposed the motion indicates the extent of Lansley’s isolation.
Nurses have today overwhelmingly expressed their lack of confidence in the handling of the proposed reforms of the NHS in England. The message came from RCN members from all four countries of the UK attending RCN Congress in Liverpool this week. Almost 99% of members voted in favour of the resolution “That this meeting of RCN Congress, in the light of Anne Milton’s Congress address, has no confidence in Andrew Lansley’s management of his coalition government’s NHS reforms”.
Commenting on the debate, RCN Scotland Director Theresa Fyffe said:
“The scale of support for this resolution is a reflection of many members’ passionate and honestly held concerns that the proposed reforms could destabilise the NHS in England.
“Nurses from all over the UK this morning sent a strong message that they are not confident NHS reforms in England will deliver for patients. Nurses care about the quality of services for patients, wherever those patients happen to live.
The truly terrifying scale of the crisis facing the health service becomes clearer every day and that is before his hated reforms pass into law.
Spending watchdog the Audit Commission has given the latest glimpse of the NHS’s future under the Tories and their Lib Dem sidekicks.
Cash-strapped health chiefs are being told to pull the plug on a range of operations from removing wisdom teeth to whipping out tonsils.
The independent watchdog said that many experts believe the commonplace procedures are ineffective or inefficient, but it admits not all agree.
And it makes clear that the cost-cutting is needed because ministers are demanding £20billion in efficiency savings just as they are railroading through their reforms.
Lansley apologises for failing to explain NHS plans
Health secretary says sorry to nurses, and expresses his commitment to maintaining a healthy NHS
Andrew Lansley coupled an apology to Britain’s nurses for failing to explain his health reforms with an impassioned statement of his commitment to the NHS.
Hours after the Royal College of Nursing voted 99% in favour of a motion of no confidence in him at the RCN congress in Liverpool, the health secretary told nurses that he would have voted with them if he thought his plans would undermine the health service.
“I did read what was said this morning and the result,” Lansley said shortly before holding a seminar with 60 nurses as part of the government’s “listening exercise” on the health and social care bill. “I’m sorry if what I’m setting out to do hasn’t communicated itself…Listening to the vote this morning, if I’ve not got that message across then I apologise.”
The Prime Minister – then in opposition – addresses the Royal College of Nursing conference in 2009. [Lies and misrepresentation presenting the direct opposite of their intentions alert]