The NHS competition watchdog has ruled against plans for the merger of three East London Hospitals. It appears that this is to protect future possible commercial interests – it risks “stifling the development of alternative services and providers in future.”
Huge cuts in wages in the North-East suggests job cuts.
Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham reveals that directors of primary care trusts (PCTs) across England have been sent pro-forma resignation letters.
Unions accuse the government of being confrontational over public-sector pensions.
- 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 NHS competition watchdog has ruled against plans for the merger of three East London Hospitals after London’s health authority approved them this week.
The Cooperation and Competition Panel claims the merger would reduce patient choice and that its benefits “do not outweigh the potential drawbacks.”
Tower Hamlets’ Royal London Hospital and Mile End Hospital are among those set to join what could become the country’s largest NHS trust with a turnover of £1.1 billion.
St Barts and the London hospital will merge with Whipps Cross and Newham NHS trusts if the union gets a green light from the Department of Health in April.
But the CCP is advising ministers that the move, backed by all three trusts, will deprive patients of alternatives by putting all the hospitals under one roof, and risks “stifling the development of alternative services and providers in future.”
The ruling comes one month after a leaked government document indicating plans to open NHS care to private providers, causing furore among health professionals.
CCP director Catherine Davies said: “We know there are some difficult challenges facing healthcare services in north east London but these proposals don’t necessarily provide the best solution.”
But Peter Morris, lead chief executive for the merger, said it was essential to “secure the long-term viability” of local services.
HEALTH trusts in the North East are planning to make almost £90m worth of cuts to their wage bills in the next few years, a shock report has found.
Information released by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) has analysed the three-year workforce plans of all foundation trusts in England and has identified that most are planning a wave of cuts to staffing bills.
Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust has forecast the biggest percentage wage bill cut of 7.9% by 2014, closely followed by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust at 7.4% and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust at 6.9%.
Although the findings do not identify where the cuts will come from, union bosses have claimed that any savings on wage bills will inevitably result in the axing of some frontline staff.
Stephanie Dunn, acting regional director of the Royal College of Nursing Northern Region said: “This confirms what the RCN has been saying for some time.
“Namely that despite the Government pretending that the NHS budget is protected, in reality they are forcing trusts to make significant cuts of a magnitude not seen for more than a generation.
“Frontline jobs are being lost, and we know what happens when we go down this road. The quality of patient care suffers and waiting lists increase”.
Hundreds of senior NHS figures have been sent letters asking for their resignation as part of the move towards controversial health reforms, Labour has revealed.
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said chairs and directors of primary care trusts (PCTs) across England have been sent pro-forma resignation letters, even though reforms have not yet made their way through Parliament.
Letters include an explanation of what is required, as well as pre-written resignation letters.
Mr Burnham said the move threatened to create a leadership vacuum and accused Health Secretary Andrew Lansley of “steering the NHS towards the rocks”.
The move has also prompted a letter from a group of chairs in Cumbria and Lancashire, which said although they had mixed views about the Health and Social Care Bill, they were united in thinking that “long held and cherished standards, efficiency and effectiveness” should not be put under “dire threat”.
Under the reorganisation of the NHS, GPs will be handed the bulk of the health budget to buy in services for patients, [we know this to be untrue and simply spin / part of the official narrative] with a new NHS commissioning board overseeing the process. PCTs are being streamlined into “clusters” as part of the transition, with the aim of getting them to work with GP practices and emerging “GP consortia”.
UNION chiefs yesterday accused ministers of holding a gun to their heads over pressure to reach a deal on pensions today.
The ConDems could withdraw an improved offer tabled last month unless unions sign up to reforms that will mean working longer, paying more and retiring on less.
Treasury axeman Danny Alexander will update MPs on progress in talks tomorrow before they head off on their long Christmas break, effectively imposing a deadline.
A spokesman for the civil service PCS union said: “They are trying to hold a gun to our heads.”
Teachers and civil servants are already fuming after the Government announced it was going ahead with a 3% increase in their pension contributions last week.
Unions representing town hall employees are on the verge of an agreement and talks involving NHS staff have gone well.
But a union source said that the Government looked “hell bent on confrontation” on the other schemes.
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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