NHS news review

David Cameron is accused by Labour of breaking an election pledge that NHS spending would not be cut.

NHS cuts costs by delaying operations so that patients either go private or die.

Unhealthy foods kill. Lansley consults with junk food pushers.

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.

Cameron accused of breaking pledge on NHS, as health spending falls | Politics | The Guardian

David Cameron was accused of breaking his biggest pledge at the general election – a guarantee that health spending will increase every year in real terms – after Treasury figures showed a fall in spending in the coalition’s first year in government.

Labour accused the government of burying figures in a Treasury document which show that spending on the NHS was cut in real terms to £101.9bn in the coalition’s first year in office from £102.7bn in Labour’s last year in government.

John Healey, the shadow health secretary, said: “David Cameron has broken his NHS pledge. He put up posters pledging to cut the deficit, not the NHS, but we see now that the Tory-led government has already cut spending on the NHS in its first year.

“On top of this cut, Cameron’s reckless NHS reorganisation is set to cost £2bn, money which could be better spent treating patients. And there are more cuts forecast in future years. This proves again what people have seen before: that you can’t trust the Tories with the NHS.”

Labour criticised the government after figures in the Treasury’s Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA) for this month showed a cut in NHS spending in real terms from £102.7bn in 2009-10 to £101.9bn in 2010-11. The Tories opened their NHS section in their general election manifesto with the words: “We will back the NHS. We will increase health spending every year.”

In a question and answer session on 14 June the prime minister said: “I want to make this clear, you know we are not cutting spending on the NHS, we are increasing spending on the NHS. This government took a very big decision, given that the NHS is one of the biggest budgets there is in the country, we took a decision to increase by more than inflation in each year NHS spending.”

Related: Parties trade blows on NHS spending – Mortgages, Money – The Independent

Labour accuses David Cameron of breaking NHS spending pledge | Politics

NHS cuts waiting lists ‘by letting patients die’ | News

Health bosses are deliberately making patients wait for treatment so they will remove themselves from waiting lists by either going private or dying, a report has suggested.

Some Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are refusing to operate before 15 weeks in a bid to save money, an independent agency that advises the Department of Health has discovered.

The tactic was employed by PCTs after they found that if patients were made to wait longer “some will remove themselves from the list or will no longer require treatment when it is finally offered.

“A PCT may therefore save money overall by increasing waiting times,” the report said.

“We understand that patients will ‘remove themselves from the waiting list’ either by dying or by paying for their own treatment at private sector providers,” the report by the Co-operation and Competition Panel (CCP) said.

Related: NHS delays operations ‘as it waits for patients to die or go private’ – Telegraph

Health News – Laws that restrict unhealthy food ‘would save lives and money’

The government could protect lives and save the NHS money by introducing laws that restrict unhealthy foods, experts say.

According to an article in the British Medical Journal, measures such as reducing the salt content of foods and eliminating industrial trans-fats could prevent thousands of cases of heart disease in England and Wales each year.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham’s School of Health and Population Sciences concluded that measures to reduce people’s salt intake by 3g per day or trans-fats by 0.7 per cent could save the NHS £40 million or £230 million, respectively, per year.

‘The findings are reassuringly consistent with results from very different methods in the United States, Australia and the UK Treasury,’ the study authors wrote.

McDonald’s and PepsiCo to help write UK health policy | Politics | The Guardian

The Department of Health is putting the fast food companies McDonald’s and KFC and processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Mars and Diageo at the heart of writing government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease, the Guardian has learned.

In an overhaul of public health, said by campaign groups to be the equivalent of handing smoking policy over to the tobacco industry, health secretary Andrew Lansley has set up five “responsibility deal” networks with business, co-chaired by ministers, to come up with policies. Some of these are expected to be used in the public health white paper due in the next month.

The groups are dominated by food and alcohol industry members, who have been invited to suggest measures to tackle public health crises. Working alongside them are public interest health and consumer groups including Which?, Cancer Research UK and the Faculty of Public Health. The alcohol responsibility deal network is chaired by the head of the lobby group the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. The food network to tackle diet and health problems includes processed food manufacturers, fast food companies, and Compass, the catering company famously pilloried by Jamie Oliver for its school menus of turkey twizzlers. The food deal’s sub-group on calories is chaired by PepsiCo, owner of Walkers crisps.

The leading supermarkets are an equally strong presence, while the responsibility deal’s physical activity group is chaired by the Fitness Industry Association, which is the lobby group for private gyms and personal trainers.

In early meetings, these commercial partners have been invited to draft priorities and identify barriers, such as EU legislation, that they would like removed. They have been assured by Lansley that he wants to explore voluntary not regulatory approaches, and to support them in removing obstacles. Using the pricing of food or alcohol to change consumption has been ruled out. One group was told that the health department did not want to lead, but rather hear from its members what should be done.

 

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.

Please be assured that this blog is a non-commercial blog (weblog) which does not feature advertising and has not ever produced any income.

dizzy

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