BMA says that government NHS ‘reforms’ are chaotic and that the ConDem coalition government should have had “a clear plan from the outset.”
A private company is providing maternity care.
Looks like the government has been lying about the failed NHS computer project having been abandoned. The project continues although we were told that it had ended. The ConDems also confirmed that black is white and up is down and that Lansley and Cameron love the NHS.
- 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.
The Government’s reforms of the NHS “continue to cause chaos” on the ground, doctors leaders said today.
The British Medical Association (BMA), which opposes the Health and Social Care Bill in its entirety, said changes taking place now before legislation has even been passed are “chaotic and poorly co-ordinated”.
Groups of GPs have been told they must form groups to determine how the NHS budget is spent but, according to the BMA, they are being told they are too small.
Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA, said: “There has been a growing level of unease about how the reforms are panning out – we hear repeated concerns from doctors about mounting chaos on the ground.
“For example, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), that had initially been told they’d have freedom to form to suit their local communities, are now being told they’re too small and have to re-form.
“People are still unclear how primary care will be managed as we don’t yet know where staff currently working in primary care trust ‘clusters’ will eventually be based or if they’ll have jobs at all.
“Even at this stage, there are still unanswered questions about what statutory functions some bodies will have, making planning very difficult.
“Guidance is being issued that is overly restrictive and more and more bureaucracy is being created to try to deal with issues which should have been dealt with at the beginning.
“A huge amount of time, energy, money and commitment has been wasted because of a lack of a clear plan from the outset.”
A primary care trust has become the first in the country to sign a contract with a private company to provide maternity care.
NHS Wirral has signed a three year deal with the company One to One, following a pilot scheme to provide services to women in the local area.
Those women opting to go with One to One will be provided with a midwife who sees them through all their antenatal care, birth of the baby and postnatal care.
This will be an alternative to the usual NHS services on offer, although One to One midwives will be able to go into NHS hospitals to deliver the baby if the woman has a hospital birth.
The company is now in talks with other PCTs around England and Wales about providing some of their maternity services.
Jacque Gerrard, the Royal College of Midwives’ director for England, said: “The RCM is aware of the progress made by One to One as a maternity service provider, and we welcome it as an add-on service for choice for women.
“However, we have reservations regarding the impact upon jobs for midwives in the NHS. We have formed a professional relationship with One to One to gain recognition for our members, as they will be an alternative employer for midwives.”
Labour’s shadow public health minister Diane Abbott said: “This long-term privatisation project may well end up marginalising our NHS maternity services, and draining them of resources.
“It is incredible that having directly promised an extra 3,000 midwives before the election, what we now see from this government is NHS maternity services being sidelined and privatised, thousands of clinical posts such as nurses and midwives being axed, and the NHS budget being cut in real terms.”
Private maternity contract
UNISON, the UK’s largest union, is warning that the maternity deal between private company, One to One and NHS Wirral is the “thin end of the wedge”. “The Government is moving steadily towards the privatisation of NHS services” said Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health, adding that the Government is wedded to promoting more private deals across the NHS. She went on to say:
“Maternity services are for too important to be entrusted to unaccountable private companies.
“Of course pregnant women want choice, but they want a genuine choice over whether to have their baby in hospital or at home, or whether to do so by conventional means or to use alternative methods such as water births.
“They don’t want an artificial choice between different types of providers, being brought about not in the best interests of mothers and mothers to be, but in the interests of a free market ideology that wants to undermine the NHS.
“This is exactly the sort of initiative we can expect more of if the government succeed in getting their massively dangerous Health and Social Care Bill passed, with its commitment to a wholesale competitive free-for-all.”
A US company contracted to provide IT technology for the National Health Service is set to receive a £2 billion extension despite the failed project being abandoned, it was claimed last night.
Computer Sciences Corporation [CSC] has reportedly informed Wall Street that it expects its contract to provide electronic patient records across the NHS to be extended.
Taxpayers are now facing an estimated £2billion bill, despite the company already failing to deliver a fully functional version of its software, The Times reported.
The £11.4billion National Programme for IT, set up in 2002, was at the time billed as the world’s biggest civilian computerisation project.
It aimed to give doctors instant access to patient records wherever they were being treated and CSC had signed a deal to computerise records in most of England.
Digitising the medical records of the country’s 62 million people was the core objective of the National Programme for IT in the NHS, accounting for £7bn of the total estimated cost.
Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, announced in September that he was abandoning the scheme to create a national patient database because it had “let down” the health service.
Yet the company stated in official US papers that it was in talks with the British Government for its contract to be extended until 2017, at a cost of up to £2billion.
On Wednesday night, the Department of Health [DoH] admitted that “negotiations” were ongoing with the company over its NHS contracts, but would not comment further.
The Times reported that health trusts had been threatened with funding cuts unless they agreed to implement the system, and civil servants had privately estimated the software had a one-in-three chance of being late.
Computer applications installed as part of the scheme have also failed or been scrapped.
However, £250,000 in bonuses has been paid by the DoH to 80 people involved in the scheme as a reward for “an exceptional contribution to delivery”, the newspaper said.
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.
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