More NHS news. A group of 42 GPs have supported the Con-Dem government’s NHS ‘reforms’ with a letter to the Telegraph. That’s 42 GPs against the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of General Practicioners and I’m sure that I’ve missed many… [13/5/11 edit: the Royal College of Midwives, the Liberal-Democrats according to the motion of their spring conference, the Labour Party, UNISON and many concerned, informed poeple and more.]
- Conservative election poster 2010
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.
A group of GPs has spoken out publicly against detractors of the Coalition’s proposed NHS reforms, saying much of the criticism is “noticeably misinformed”. The chairs of consortia covering nearly 1100 practices across England wrote to The Daily Telegraph asking everybody to lend support to Mr Lansley’s reforms.
The lead signatory of the letter is London GP Dr Jonathan Munday, a former Conservative MP and chair of the Victoria Commissioning Consortium – the Westminster group that Andrew Lansley chose to visit a fortnight ago on the first step of his new ‘listening exercise’.
The group has urged the Coalition not to bow to pressure to dilute the reforms in any amendments that it might make to the proposals, pointing out: “Many GP consortia already have a record of improving patient pathways. That innovation should not be constrained.”
The signatories counter the objection that GPs lack the skills needed to commission care effectively, saying this ignores GPs’ “existing history of commissioning”, through fundholding, GP polysystems and practice-based commissioning.
They point out that it also “misunderstands what will happen in the future”, because appropriately qualified staff rather than GPs themselves will be taking on tasks such as keeping books, writing reports and contracts or compiling statistics. They say GPs’ role will be to “offer strategy, direction, clinical insight and local knowledge to the commissioning of health-care in our areas”.
Mr Miliband blamed the Prime Minister for what he claimed were the “failing” reforms as he insisted the Tories could not be trusted with the NHS.
But Mr Cameron hit back that the coalition was making “significant and substantial” changes to the service and had ring-fenced its funding.
He said Labour was cutting the NHS in Wales, adding: “There’s only one party you can trust on the NHS and it’s the one I lead.”
The Government has put the NHS reforms on “pause” while they conduct extra consultation after widespread criticism of the changes.
PLANNED changes to the NHS have been slammed by South Yorkshire MP Dan Jarvis.
The Labour member for Barnsley Central attacked proposals by health secretary Andrew Lansley which would allow GPs to commission care, using private providers as well as NHS hospitals.
Mr Jarvis told the House of Commons of the value of the NHS providing care for his late wife during her battle with cancer. He said: “In my family’s darkest days, we saw the true genius of the NHS. While the market can be useful, there are limits to which it can deliver. There’s a reason that Bupa doesn’t do Accident and Emergency. We must never allow an ideological free market agenda to undermine the NHS.”
Campaigners have voiced their concern that a Government shake-up could damage the NHS.
The Royal College of GPs have issued a statement criticising the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill saying it risks “unravelling and dismantling the NHS”.
Now opposers in Lancashire have voiced their own fears.
Lancashire GP, Dr David Wrigley, who works in Carnforth, near Lancaster and is also a member of the British Medical Association Council and Keep Our NHS Public, said “I agree with the concerns of the Royal College of GPs.
“The Bill fundamentally threatens our NHS and the services it provides.
“I am most concerned the Bill is essentially a charter and enabling provision for the privatisation and break-up of our NHS.”
A SOUTH Yorkshire rehabilitation centre is being threatened with closure as the NHS trust in charge struggles to find the £100,000 a year needed to keep it running in the face of public sector cuts.
A review is now being undertaken by Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust into Park Rehabilitation Centre on Badsley Moor Lane, Rotherham.
A trust spokeswoman said the facility – which provides rehabilitation and therapies for NHS and paying patients – said the running costs each year were ‘over and above the resources available’.
The centre is owned by NHS Rotherham and leased to the trust to provide services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy. Consultation with patients, staff and health partners over the long-term viability of keeping the centre open.
Across the country 38 Degrees members are meeting their local MPs to hand in our Save Our NHS petition. One of those members is Geraldine O’Connor from Sheffield and in 48 hours she is meeting her local MP, Nick Clegg.
Here is her message. Please spread the word and help get as many signatures as possible before Friday.
My name is Geraldine and, like you, I’m part of 38 Degrees. I live in Sheffield. This Friday, I am going to deliver a copy of the Save Our NHS petition to my local MP – Nick Clegg.
In the next few weeks, Nick Clegg has to decide whether or not to dig his heels in to block dangerous changes to the NHS. This is our chance to put pressure directly on him.
I want to show him that there are hundreds of thousands of people standing behind me urging him to stand up for the NHS. Can you help by adding your name to the petition now?
You can add your name here:
On 28 May UK Uncut will be staging an “Emergency Operation“, transforming high-street bank branches across the country into hospitals, operating theatres and GPs’ surgeries. This day of action is an urgent response to the cuts and privatisation that threaten to wreak our National Health Service. While the health service is being cut, broken up and sold off, the banks that caused the financial crisis have been left virtually untouched. As Andrew Haldene of the Bank of England recently pointed out, our yearly implicit subsidy to the banks is equal to the entire NHS budget. On 28 May we will demand that the government transforms the broken banking system, and not our NHS.
This will be UK Uncut’s first national day of action since 26 March. On that day, half a million people marched through the streets of London against the government’s cuts. UK Uncut staged a sit-in at Fortnum and Masons. Despite being described by the senior police officer present as “nonviolent and sensible“, all 145 protesters were arrested. For them this was, and continues to be, an unpleasant experience. We are no strangers to sit-ins, but it was not fun to sit in a cell for 24 hours, without access to a solicitor, or to have possessions and clothes confiscated indefinitely. These events appear to be part of a worrying pattern of political policing, where protesters are criminalised in order to intimidate.
But we will not be intimidated away from defending our public services, and we will not stop highlighting the injustice of the government’s cuts. We will keep doing what we do best: creative, fun, family-friendly protests. And if there was ever something we all need to stand up for, it’s the NHS. As its founder Nye Bevan said, the NHS will last “as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it”.
As private healthcare companies circle like vultures, the government is plotting to cut the NHS and sell off what’s left. Despite a pre-election promise by David Cameron to “cut the deficit, not the NHS”, 50,000 NHS jobs will be lost over the next five years including thousands of doctors, nurses and midwives in a £20bn “efficiency drive”. The Royal College of General Practitioners has warned that the government’s NHS plans jeopardise the principle of universal healthcare, saying that “we are moving headlong into an insurance-type model“. If there is any confusion about what an insurance-type model looks like, simply look across the pond to the United States