NHS news review

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.


It’s been some time since I’ve posted on the destruction of the NHS by the Con-Dems – the Conservative and Liberal-Democrat Conservative coalition government.

The Destroy the NHS Bill has been passed. The government refused to publish the risk register documents despite being instructed to do so. An early draft of the risk register was leaked.  Privatisation of the health service continues. The Lib-Dems are getting hit for being duplicious two-faced, lying scum and for being in coalition with duplicious two-faced, lying scum.

Health reforms could damage NHS, warns draft risk register

Document points to danger of emergencies being less well managed and increased use of private sector driving up costs

• A longer term danger to the NHS’s ability to cope with emergencies. It said: “The NHS role in emergency preparedness/responsiveness is more difficult to manage through a more devolved organisation, and so emergencies are less well managed/ mitigated.”

• Greater costs if new GP-led consortiums make greater use of the private sector. “One example of area where system could be more costly is if GP Consortia makes use of private sector organisations/staff which adds costs to the overall system.”

• A danger that the new system is set up too quickly, threatening the running of the NHS.

• A loss of financial control. “Financial control is lost due to the restructuring of budgets distributed between or allocated to organisations within the system [to be clarified],” it said.

• Unfavourable media coverage. “Public reputation. There is a risk that the transition will be presented in a negative light via the media. Two of the biggest risks which have already surfaced in the media are i) that the reforms will continue to be characterised through the prism of privatisation and ii) financial cuts.”

Public interest ‘high’ in publishing NHS risk register

The public interest in publishing a risk assessment of the NHS overhaul in England is “very high, if not exceptional”, a tribunal has ruled.

NHS privatisation trumped by pasties and petrol

… [T]here are plenty of stories for any self-respecting health journalist to get excited about. To give but two recent examples, neither of which was given much publicity.  The first is the sudden closure of a GP surgery in Camden, only four years after it was taken over by UnitedHealth, the wealthiest US healthcare company. Over 3,000 patients in one of London’s more deprived areas have been left without a GP, and, therefore, access to secondary care. This is the reality of private providers who can leave their patients high and dry. Secondly, we have the handing over of Surrey’s community services to Virgin, in a 500 million pound contract on 1st April. Yes, reassuringly the same Virgin Group who provide such a fantastic value-for-money rail service. This is despite repeated claims by ministers that anyone describing the Health and Social Care Bill as “privatisation” was scaremongering. I wonder what definition of privatisation they are using if giving large chunks of NHS work (and taxpayers’ money) to Virgin doesn’t count.

So why haven’t these events made the national news bulletins? Are we really more interested in Ken Livingston’s tax return? I can think of two reasons – firstly people only worry about health when they’re ill. When well they prefer not to think about it, and cling to their assumption that the NHS will always be there for them. Secondly, lazy journalism – health provision is complicated to explain, whereas pasties and petrol are easy. And if those don’t explain why the nation’s health provision isn’t considered newsworthy, we will have to stray into the territory of conspiracy theory. [!]

NHS reforms: GPs losing faith, BBC poll suggests

The number of GPs who believe that the government’s health reforms in England will improve patient care is falling, a BBC poll suggests.

Just 12% agreed that putting GP-led groups in charge of the budget would mean patients saw a “noticeable” improvement.

That figure was 23% when a similar poll was carried out in September 2010.

A majority of the 814 GPs polled also believed there would be more rationing of care because of financial pressures.

In total, 83% said there would be an increase in rationing in their area.

Collapse in activist base over NHS reforms and civil liberties sparks fears for 2015 contest


Fears that NHS reforms, tuition fees and state incursions into civil liberties have damaged Nick Clegg’s hopes at the next general election are fuelled today by figures showing that the Liberal Democrats are not fielding candidates in key town hall battles on polling day next month.

Analysis of nominations for the local elections on 3 May seen by The Independent on Sunday shows that 1,198 fewer candidates are standing for the Lib Dems than for Labour in England, Wales and Scotland.

The figures suggest that the Lib Dems’ activist base has been severely curtailed as a result of its coalition with the Conservatives, with fewer candidates ready to wear a yellow rosette and defend the Government’s policies on the doorstep than in recent memory.

How the Orange Bookers took over the Lib Dems

What Britain now has is a blue-orange coalition, with the little-known Orange Book forming the core of current Lib Dem political thinking. To understand how this disreputable arrangement has come about, we need to examine the philosophy laid out in The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism, edited by David Laws (now the Chief Secretary to the Treasury) and Paul Marshall. Particularly interesting are the contributions of the Lib Dems’ present leadership.

Published in 2004, the Orange Book marked the start of the slow decline of progressive values in the Lib Dems and the gradual abandonment of social market values. It also provided the ideological standpoint around which the party’s right wing was able to coalesce and begin their march to power in the Lib Dems. What is remarkable is the failure of former SDP and Labour elements to sound warning bells about the direction the party was taking. Former Labour ministers such as Shirley Williams and Tom McNally should be ashamed of their inaction.

Clegg and his Lib Dem supporters have much in common with David Cameron and his allies in their philosophical approach and with their social liberal solutions to society’s perceived ills. The Orange Book is predicated on an abiding belief in the free market’s ability to address issues such as public healthcare, pensions, environment, globalisation, social and agricultural policy, local government and prisons.

The Lib Dem leadership seems to sit very easily in the Tory-led coalition. This is an arranged marriage between partners of a similar background and belief. Even the Tory-Whig coalition of early 1780s, although its members were from the same class, at least had fundamental political differences. Now we see a Government made up of a single elite that has previously manifested itself as two separate political parties and which is divided more by subtle shades of opinion than any profound ideological difference.


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.

I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.

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