NHS news review

Cameron’s pledge to increase health spending in real terms is yet again shown to be untrue.

The NHS Confederation – which represents all types of providers and commissioners of NHS services in England – opposes the bill to destroy the NHS claiming that the case for the breadth of the government’s reforms ‘has yet to be clearly made’.

Shameless liar Nick Clegg claims that “There will be no privatisation of the NHS” at Prime Minister’s Questions. He is definitely a Tory and a liability to the Liberal-Democrats and they should dump him.

Wales and Scotland are to have more severe NHS cuts that England.

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.

Unite cautiously welcomes news on privatisation of blood service

Unite, Britain’s biggest union has cautiously welcomed news that Linda Hamlyn, head of the NHS blood service has expressed optimism it will escape privatisation amid suggestions the government is becoming worried about the political backlash against competition (see http://www.hsj.co.uk/5030170.article.)

The Department of Health (DH) is currently leading a review into ways the NHS Blood Service could cut costs. As part of the review the DoH have been talking to private providers.

Unite launched a media and  online campaign against the potential privatisation of parts of the blood service and raised the issue with MPs who asked questions in the house. A recent independent poll of 18,000 people commissioned by Unite showed that 74 per cent opposed the privatisation of any part of the blood service. Over 50,783 people signed a petition started by Unite against privatisation.

Unite national officer, Rachael Maskell said: “This is a step in the right direction but we will continue to keep a careful watch over this very precious service. Privatisation of any part of the blood service contaminates the whole of the blood service. Our campaign struck a chord with the general public, who were outraged when they learnt that the government was prepared to even consider privatising parts of the blood service.

“It is totally wrong to allow private sector companies to profit from men and women who freely donate their blood to help others. The government got the message that the people of this country were saying no to blood money but we will remain vigilant to ensure that these proposals have not just been kicked into the long grass for the time being.”

Cameron’s NHS budget pledge false, says expert | Society | The Guardian

David Cameron‘s pledge to increase the NHS budget in real terms has been challenged by a leading health economist who claims the service’s spending power is set to fall. The NHS budget in England will be 0.9% lower by 2014-15 than it was in the financial year that ended last month, Professor John Appleby writes in the British Medical Journal.

Although ministers are giving the service more cash in each of the remaining four years of this parliament, inflation will mean its purchasing power is eroded so much that it will drop, he says.

Appleby, chief economist at the King’s Fund health thinktank, contradicts Cameron and health secretary Andrew Lansley’s repeated promises to deliver year-on-year rises in real terms. They claim the NHS will receive an extra £11.5bn over the next four years thanks to protecting the health budget, increasing it from £103.8bn in 2010-11 to £114.4bn by 2014-15.

Appleby does not dispute the cash increases but insists that “by 2014-15 the amount of money the NHS has to spend in real terms, its purchasing power, will have gone down by 0.9%.”

He based his predictions on Treasury estimates of inflation in the economy as a whole, and the likelihood of NHS staff pressing for pay increases once the current three-year freeze ends in 2013.

38 Degrees | Blog | NHS Ads: Lansley has his fingers in his ears

38Degrees NHS Ads: Lansley Still Isn't Listening

Lansley Still Isn't Listening


“When we tell him his plans aren’t working, he doesn’t seem to want to hear what we’re saying.

– Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chair of the British Medical Association, May 2011

It’s hard to listen with two fingers stuck in your ears. That’s the message 38 Degrees members have sent Health Minister Andrew Lansley this morning.

Newspaper ads funded entirely by thousands of donations from 38 Degrees members have been published in five daily papers, the GuardianMirrorMailExpress and Metro. The combined circulation is a whopping six million people. These ads were driven by people power with thousands of contributors raising over £90,000 in just a few days. And not only did 38 Degrees members fully fund the ads, they also contributed important feedback during the design process.

Lansley still isn’t listening. His sham “listening exercise” draws to a close at the end of the month and today 38 Degrees members have sent a message he can’t possibly ignore. The future of the NHS is too important for us to let it be decided behind closed doors.

Cheltenham MP speaks out on plans for NHS shake-up in county|Gloucestershire news

CONCERNS have been raised that a shake-up of NHS care in the county could see health services move away from Cheltenham.

Town MP Martin Horwood yesterday warned the proposals put forward by health bosses may continue the “drip, drip” erosion of services at Cheltenham General Hospital.

This week saw a consultation begin on plans affecting stroke care, outpatient breast cancer services, trauma cases and emergency treatment for children.

Mr Horwood greeted the proposals with caution. He said: “I’m relieved that, as promised, there is no suggestion that Cheltenham’s A&E is going to close and that there are no further threats to maternity or other key local services.

“But it’s clear that the consultation is leading people to endorse a further shift in key emergency services from Cheltenham to Gloucester.”

Under the plans, those who suffer a stroke and trauma patients may be treated at one site in the county. There is also a proposal to have one dedicated children’s emergency unit at Gloucestershire Royal.

Health reforms need rethink, says NHS Confederation | Public Finance — official CIPFA magazine

The body that represents most of the organisations in the NHS has refused to back the government’s planned health reforms. The NHS Confederation argues that the reforms will provide neither the productivity gains nor financial savings needed. It says the proposals need a ‘significant overhaul’ and are being implemented against an ‘arbitrary’ timetable.

In its submission on the Health and Social Care Bill, the confederation, which represents more than 95% of NHS organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland,has said it is in favour of reform of the NHS. But it believes the plans need to be ‘better focused on the challenges that the NHS now faces’.

The proposed reforms would transfer health care commissioning transfer from primary care trusts to consortiums of GPs. It would also open up NHS services to bids from ‘any willing provider’ to provide care.

The reforms were put on hold on April 4 when Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said that the government would embark on a ‘listening exercise’ on the plans, dubbed the NHS Future Forum.

The NHS Confederation’s contribution to this consultation agrees that part of the reforms, including the introduction of clinical commissioning led by GPs, ‘have real merit’. It also backs the use of competition in the NHS where it can show benefits to patients and taxpayers.

However, it argues that the case for the breadth of the government’s reforms ‘has yet to be clearly made’, adding that the changes are not ‘sufficiently focused’ on the problems facing the NHS, including the need to save £20bn by 2014/15.

NHS reforms are not privatisation through the backdoor, says Clegg | Mail Online

Nick Clegg today insisted the Government’s healthcare reforms did not amount to NHS privatisation.

The Deputy Prime Minister was repeatedly pressed over the coalition’s shake-up of medical services at Commons question time, with Labour MPs lining up to accuse the Government of backdoor privatisation.

But an angry Mr Clegg told them: ‘There will be no privatisation of the NHS.’

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman told MPs: ‘People are worried about the NHS being turned from a public service into a commercial market.’

BBC News – Wales facing ‘worst health cuts’

Wales is facing the worst NHS cuts in the UK, a review of spending suggests.

The analysis, by Professor John Appleby, of the King’s Fund think tank, suggests the Welsh NHS budget will fall by nearly 11% in the next three years, once inflation was taken into account.

Northern Ireland faces a 2.2% cut over four years, he says, with the long-term picture in Scotland less clear.

England came out best, but even it is facing a cut of 0.9% over four years – despite promises to protect the budget.

Prof Appleby said this was because new inflation figures, which were higher than expected, had counteracted the small rises for the NHS in England that were announced last autumn.

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