NHS news review

The main NHS news is that the British Medical Association (BMA) is to “start a public campaign to call for the withdrawal of the health and social care bill”.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/20/doctors-campaign-against-nhs-reforms  NB article recommended.

The BMA, which represents 140,000 doctors, voted to “reject the idea that the government’s proposed changes to the bill will significantly reduce the risk of further marketisation and privatisation of the NHS” and “agreed that the government is misleading the public by repeatedly stating that there will be ‘no privatisation of the NHS'”.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of council at the BMA, said: “Whilst the BMA recognises there have been some changes following the listening pause, there is widespread feeling that the proposed legislation is hopelessly complex, and it really would be better if the bill were withdrawn.”

His colleague on the council Dr Peedell said that the health bill was “just a privatisation bill with a third of it devoted to [producing] an economic regulated market”.

In the same article, campaigning group 38degrees received huge support to their campaign to save the NHS.

To underline that the government’s attempts to dissipate professional and public anger – such as the legislative pause – have had little effect, internet campaigners at 38 Degrees, which has 850,000 members in the UK, claimed to have raised cash at the rate of £56 a minute via an email marketing campaign on Wednesday.

The money will be used to get lawyers to comb through the 180 amendments produced by the government when it re-submitted the bill for its second reading earlier this month.

“38 Degrees members want to cut through the tangled web of amendments which make up Andrew Lansley’s re-written NHS plans. So we’re chipping in to hire legal experts to go through them with a fine tooth comb,” said the organisation’s executive director, David Babbs. “We’re concerned that real threats to our NHS may still lurk behind Lansley and [David] Cameron’s warm words. Are we on a slippery slope to the NHS being broken up by EU competition laws? Why does Lansley seem to be watering down his legal duty to provide a national health service?”

 

Health treatment restrictions for smokers and fat people. It should be noted that this is rationing of care as a result of cuts.

Cuts hitting the NHS in Wales.

Many articles report on yesterday’s news of Lansley extending privatisation through Any Qualified (Willing) Provider.

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.

Doctors to launch public campaign against proposed NHS reforms | Society | The Guardian

The government faces a summer of discontent over its NHS reforms after doctors voted to launch a public campaign against the health bill, and one of the UK’s internet campaign groups raised £10,000 in three hours after emailing members to pay for expert legal advice over the bill.

The British Medical Association’s council, the executive committee of the union, voted to pass a series of motions critical of the government’s bill – and crucially accepted that doctors “start a public campaign to call for the withdrawal of the health and social care bill”.

Put forward by NHS consultants Clive Peedell and Jacky Davis, the motion will ratchet up the pressure on ministers over the summer break who had hoped that the bill’s third reading in early September would be an easy ride.

The BMA, which represents 140,000 doctors, voted to “reject the idea that the government’s proposed changes to the bill will significantly reduce the risk of further marketisation and privatisation of the NHS” and “agreed that the government is misleading the public by repeatedly stating that there will be ‘no privatisation of the NHS'”.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of council at the BMA, said: “Whilst the BMA recognises there have been some changes following the listening pause, there is widespread feeling that the proposed legislation is hopelessly complex, and it really would be better if the bill were withdrawn.”

The Operating Theatre Journal : GPs agree ban on operations for smokers and obese patients

GPs have signed off a series of sweeping referral restrictions by NHS managers that will bar smokers and overweight patients from being referred for surgery, as PCTs across the country bring in new cost-saving restrictions.

Both LMCs and GP consortium leaders have backed moves by NHS Hertfordshire to block any patient with a BMI over 30 from being referred for routine joint replacement surgery without first being referred to a weight management scheme. GPs will also be prevented from referring smokers for any orthopaedic surgery until they have been referred for smoking cessation.

GPC leaders are seeking legal advice on the controversial plans and are warning that a number of trusts across England have suggested they may follow suit. Locally, the move has driven a wedge between GPs – with consortium leaders divided over the ethics of the restrictions and Hertfordshire LMC backing the plans by just one vote.

Meanwhile, a Pulse investigation covering 41 PCTs has found two-thirds have added new procedures to ‘low clinical priority’ lists since April, as trusts struggle to cut costs.

Procedures subject to new restrictions include the treatment of ganglions in Hampshire and DEXA scanning in primary prevention of osteoporotic fractures in men and women over 50 in Bristol. NHS Warrington has added 13 restrictions, including the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea.

But it is the restrictions on treatment for smokers and obese patients that have prompted fiercest debate.

Fears for patient care as Welsh NHS battles to make £455m saving – Health News – News – WalesOnline

Patient services could be threatened as health boards battle to save almost half a billion pounds this year.

The scale of the financial challenge facing the NHS comes after “unprecedented” savings of £435m made last year and a further £1bn made over the course of recent years.

Experts believe patient services will not escape the spending cuts this year and the Western Mail has learned Wales’ seven health boards have not yet identified how they can find almost a third of the £455.7m total saving needed.

Hywel Dda and Cardiff and Vale University health boards have yet to find £39m and £31.5m of savings respectively.

Professor Marcus Longley, director of the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care, at the University of Glamorgan, said: “Clearly this cannot be done with no impact on patient care because there isn’t half a billion pounds in the system that’s not needed.

More NHS care open to external providers – Public Service
NHS community and mental health services opened up to competition » Hospital Dr
Unions Criticize Government Plans for Patient Choice, Amid Fears of Privatization

This entry was posted in NHS, politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.