Category Archives: National Health Service

If #JeremyHunt thinks #Covid19 restrictions are #CrushinglyUnfair then why is he writing about it and not getting the Tories to change?

Hypocrite: Jeremy Hunt presided over the long-term dismantling of NHS services which were auctioned off to private companies, who then turned those services into postcode lotteries, provided only where they thought they could make a profit. And now he is complaining about an NHS service becoming a postcode lottery.

Jeremy Hunt seems to be revelling in the fact that he Matt Hancock has replaced him as “Worst-ever Health Secretary”.

After being removed from the government by Boris Johnson, he’s now a backbencher, albeit one who chairs the Commons Health and Social Care committee.

One would have expected him to toe the Johnson line, having been responsible for much of the harm done to NHS healthcare in the last 10 years.

Instead, he seems to be trying to carve out a new careers as a ‘voice of reason’ in the Conservative Party – hence his article in today’s (September 20) Fail on Sunday.

In it, he attacks the current Covid-19-related restrictions on people’s movements. Here’s the line that has created all the reaction, referring to the fact that mothers are being told they must give birth alone:

For families, it simply feels crushingly unfair and illogical that six people can meet in a pub and 30 people can go shooting, yet mothers have to go through one of life’s most harrowing and precious milestones alone.

Apparently he is supporting a Fail campaign to “end lone births”, saying that the rules are being imposed arbitrarily:

A postcode lottery is unacceptable on a matter of this importance.

Wasn’t he the health secretary who turned much of NHS care into a postcode lottery, across England (and in other UK countries whose NHS use English facilities)?

Yes he was.

It seems hypocritical for him to complain, because it is. And the public have seen it:

The public have also noted some “crushingly unfair” aspects of Mr Hunt’s own behaviour:

And they want to know why the limit of Hunt’s opposition is an article in a right-wing rag:

Last word must be the following. At a time when Labour has just unveiled its new slogan, Mr Ball points out that the Tories could roll out a new, accurate slogan of their own:

Source: JEREMY HUNT: It’s crazy that six people can meet in a pub while mums endure lone births  | Daily Mail Online

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Is this Boris Johnson’s latest plan to kill the NHS – make doctors so sick of it that they quit?

At breaking point: doctors are planning to quit the NHS en masse – just as we need them the most – because of Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and their daft Tory mismanagement.

A survey of NHS doctors has shown two-thirds want to quit within three years due to Covid-19 burnout and low pay. Is this what Boris Johnson wants?

He would be able to speed privatisation, claiming that the NHS has failed due to lack of staff – while (obviously) neglecting to admit that this is due to his own underfunding of the service.

However: it seems this is the worst possible time for it to happen as Johnson’s daft-headed response to the Covid crisis appears to have triggered a massive increase in infections.

The UK has recorded a massive rise in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus, amid concerns the government has lost control of the epidemic just as people are returning to work and universities prepare to reopen.

On Sunday almost 3,000 people in the UK tested positive for Covid-19, a 50% increase in a single day and the highest daily total since May.

That’s a massive increase – and it’s only likely to get worse.

In fact, with Johnson still in charge – and Matt Hancock still Health Secretary – it seems certain the UK is heading for a disaster of titanic proportions.

Source: More than 1,000 UK doctors want to quit NHS over handling of pandemic | Society | The Guardian

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Support nurses’ campaign for fair pay!

A nurse: doesn’t this person deserve fair pay, after working to keep us all safe from Covid-19 for the last six months – and facing what could be a much worse period in the immediate future?

Yes, that means you!

The Royal College of Nursing has launched a campaign to pressure the government into paying nursing staff what they’re worth. Here’s what’s happening and how you can get involved:

The RCN wants nursing professionals to be valued for their high level of knowledge, expertise and skills with pay that reflects the complexity of their roles and the impact of their work.

This means campaigning for an early and significant pay rise for NHS staff and influencing independent health and social care employers, so they recognise and reward nursing staff properly.

That would involve a fully funded 12.5 per cent pay increase for all NHS nursing staff covered by Agenda for Change, as part of a one-year deal that applies equally to all bands.

That’s right – an increase of one-eighth of wages for all nurses. When the Tories recently mentioned large-sounding pay rises, they only applied to a tiny proportion of staff; most nurses got around one per cent – less than inflation.

The Fair Pay for Nursing campaign is about recognising the complexity of skill, responsibility and expertise demonstrated every day by nursing support workers, nursing associates, registered nurses and all members of the profession. It is about making sure that a safety critical profession can reach safe staffing levels and fill tens of thousands of unfilled nursing jobs. Ultimately, it is about providing safe and effective care for all people of the UK.

And you can help.

1. Find out more about the pay campaign and what it seeks to do.

2. Spread the word about it on social media using #FairPayForNursing, sharing your thoughts on why nursing staff deserve a fair pay rise.

3. Speak to family, friends, patients and colleagues about why you believe nursing staff deserve an early and significant pay rise.

Source: Demanding fair pay for nursing now | Bulletin | Royal College of Nursing

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Which homicidal Tory idiot doesn’t understand why you CAN’T book a place in Accident & Emergency?

Tory stupidity: you can’t book a place in A&E because you don’t know when you’ll be involved in an accident, or when an emergency will arise. The best thing to do is ignore this new rule completely and demand your right to treatment.

Yes, you read the headline right: the Tories want to make hospital A&E departments ‘booking only’ by December.

According to The Times (it’s behind a paywall but you can get the sense of it from the preview:

Plans for patients to “call first” and book into A&E via NHS 111 will be implemented before December, NHS bosses were told yesterday.

A joint board meeting of NHS England and NHS Improvement was told that new emergency care standards designed to replace the four-hour waiting time target would also be in place before winter.

The plans were described as a “profound change” by Lord Prior of Brampton, chairman of NHS England. Hospitals will be asked to adapt “rapidly” to the measures, which have yet to be finalised, and make improvements as they learn how they work in practice during autumn, board papers said.

So it seems this “Lord Prior of Brampton” is the airhead who thinks you can book A&E time for events you have no reason to expect.

The thinking behind the change is clear: if the only way into A&E is by booking a place, then there won’t be any waiting times and the Tory government will be spared the embarrassment of being shown to have worsened NHS care.

That could be particularly important – for public relations, but not for public health – at a time when hospitals are otherwise likely to be overloaded with Covid-19 patients, people with regular flu, and other emergency demands.

And I suppose people who die at home because they cannot get a slot won’t be counted.

But isn’t the NHS supposed to consult the public on major changes like this? Aren’t they illegal if that doesn’t happen?

My advice: ignore this new rule.

The National Health Service exists to provide health care, free at the point of use, for every UK citizen, when they need it – not when it’s convenient for Tory politicians.

Source: Patients will have to book a spot at A&E by autumn | News | The Times

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This man will die of cancer because the Tories weakened the NHS. They might as well have killed him themselves

Adrian Rogers: by starving the NHS of resources, the Tories have cuased his cancer to become terminal.

Back in March, This Site quoted oncologist Karol Sikora, writing in Mail Online, of all places, about fears that the diversion of NHS resources to Covid-19 would lead to the preventable death of cancer patients.

The expert wrote:

“Capacity within the healthcare system – in both the public and independent sectors – is going to be tested to the limit and perhaps beyond.

“We are already seeing decisions in place to stop or reduce chemotherapy treatments.

“It would be sad if young men with fully curable testicular cancer or adolescents with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma were delayed. It’s a juggling act and none of us know how tough it is really going to get.”

And now it has happened.

As the Mirror reports:

Adrian Rogers, 46… has become the first known cancer patient to reveal he is now terminal after potentially life-saving surgery was cancelled – due to Covid.

His surgery was scheduled for early April – but when Covid-19 hit doctors decided it was “too risky” to go ahead with his surgery.

[He] has now been told his cancer is terminal – as the number of tumours on his bowels and liver has since swelled from six, to a massive 20.

Cancer Research UK has revealed that hundreds of thousands of cancer patients have experienced cancellations or delays to their treatment.

Back in March, I wrote, “Just remember: if cancer patients’ lives are lost because resources are diverted to Covid-19 cases, it won’t be coronavirus that’s to blame.

“The fault will lie entirely with the Tories for short-sightedly putting cash before care.”

I stand by those words.

The Tories who systematically starved the NHS over the last 10 years should be held responsible for the now-inevitable deaths of cancer patients like Mr Rogers.

Source: Man is first known cancer patient to become terminal after coronavirus cancels treatment – Mirror Online

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After private firm linked to Gove & Cummings helped cause ‘A’ level disaster, will new health ‘Institute’ go the same way?

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Dido Harding: Isn’t it funny how McKinsey was hired to work on an organisation fronted by a former McKinsey consultant? Did I type “funny”? I meant “sickening”.

Were you aware that the disastrous strategy to deprive lower-class students of their higher ‘A’ level grades was devised by a firm of consultants, apparently hired because of links to Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings?

I mention this because the same criteria seem to have been used to get advice about the “vision, purpose and narrative” of Matt Hancock’s new public health “institute”.

Public First, a policy and research firm owned by James Frayne and Rachel Wolf, who both formerly worked for Gove, was involved on the project with Ofqual since June after being granted a contract that was not put out to competitive tender.

Details of the contract have not been made public and Ofqual declined to say how much public money had been spent hiring the firm of Tory cronies.

The collaboration led to the result we all know:

The algorithm used by Ofqual downgraded 40% of the A-level grades assessed by teachers under the process set after the exams were cancelled, leading to a storm of protest from students, parents, school leaders and teachers, that culminated in a complete government U-turn on Monday and the system being scrapped.

Most of us would expect the Tories to be coming out with the usual “lessons will be learned” speech right now – but they can’t, because they haven’t.

The Johnson government has already hired McKinsey – under the same “exceptional circumstances” rules used to award the Ofqual contract to Public First – to play the same role.

And guess what? According to the Financial Times, the new National Institute for Health Protection’s boss – Dido Harding – is a former McKinsey consultant.

What a cosy, cronyist world they all inhabit.

There is one difference between the NIHP situation and Ofqual. We know how much of our money McKinsey has been paid: £563,400. At a time when the national debt has just topped £2 trillion, the Johnson government has shovelled another half a million of borrowed cash into private, profit-grubbing hands.

That’s a lot of money for something that I’m happy to bet will be a worse travesty than the ‘A’ level debacle.

Source: Firm linked to Gove and Cummings hired to work with Ofqual on A-levels | Education | The Guardian

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For once, Johnson was right – it takes ‘world-beating’ incompetence to screw up the health service mid-pandemic crisis

Matt Hancock: one look in those eyes and you know nobody’s home.

Matt Hancock has secured his position in the top rank of Tory chumps alongside Boris ‘holibobs’ Johnson, Chris ‘failing’ Grayling and Gavin ‘algorithm’ Williamson – by announcing a huge reorganisation of the health service in the middle of a health crisis.

He’s handing control of the UK’s response to pandemic threats over to a new ‘agency’ that will partner the government with private firms, even though every single partnership with private businesses over the handling of Covid-19 has resulted in failure and chaos.

Hancock seems to think he can hide the facts by denying them, hence his comment that partnering up with corporate giants is “the best way through”.

He actually said: “We couldn’t have expanded testing in the way that we did.” That system failed.

He actually said: “We couldn’t have expanded contact tracing in the way that we did.” That system failed.

But he was right in this: “The truth is we couldn’t have done this without the private sector.”

He is right – in that the private sector should take equal responsibility with the government that employed it for causing the preventable deaths of nearly 70,000 UK citizens.

Because believe me, that is the sum total of all that has been achieved by the Conservative government in its Covid-19 strategy that involved partnership with the private sector.

Expert advice is that closing Public Health England and replacing it with a privatised lash-up is a “major misstep”.

Nigel Edwards, the chief executive of the Nuffield Trust, [said]: “The government risks making a major misstep by dismantling its own public health agency at such a crucial time, creating a huge distraction for staff who should be dedicating themselves to the next stage of the pandemic.

“There is no clear argument as to why this rebranding and reshuffling will solve some of the problems highlighted by the secretary of state today.”

It is certain to cause huge distraction – at a time when that’s the last thing the health service needs:

Independent SAGE, the independent group of scientists providing advice about the Covid-19 pandemic, offered its own opinion here:

This is particularly telling [bolding mine]:

“Independent SAGE does not agree with the course that the government appears to be taking and is concerned that it will further destroy the confidence of public health staff. The changes are of such magnitude and importance that they should be the subject of close parliamentary scrutiny. However, if the government makes a decision to proceed down this path Independent SAGE advises as follows:

Any new organisation needs to be operating under trained, qualified and experienced public-health leadership.

So why the hell has he put his good friend, former jockey Dido Harding, in the job?

Why did she get the job? I think Carole Cadwallader has an inkling:

If that looks like corruption to you, you’re unlikely to be alone!

What a good thing the government has measures in place to prevent corruption from happening.

Take a look! Oh dear…

Last word in this article can go to Melanie Melvin, who puts this whole affair in perspective. We could have had a proper response to Covid-19 if we’d had a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn – but too many right-wing cuckoos had worked themselves into the party and did too much damage to his reputation for that to happen.

That is why Matt Hancock is health secretary now. It’s why he has been able to dismantle even more of the public health service and replace it with private asset-strippers – under a blatant lie that the best-working part of the UK’s Covid-19 tragedy was these profiteers and their blithering incompetence.

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Public Health England to be axed as Matt Hancock desperately blame-shifts

Matt Hancock: he was a Covid-19 super-spreader so it should be no surprise that the private organisation he wants to create, replacing Public Health England, is likely to do nothing to prevent the resurgence of the disease across the UK.

Failed Health Secretary Matt Hancock is set to scrap Public Health England (PHE) this week, we’re told, in an attempt to blame somebody else for his failure to control Covid-19 in the UK.

The trouble is, he’s planning to replace it with something worse.

Public Health England, as an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, exists to protect the general health and well-being of English people – in any circumstance. But Hancock wants to replace it with an organisation dedicated only to handling pandemic threats.

And he plans to do this by merging the pandemic response work of PHE with Serco Test and Trace – the privatised ‘test and trace’ system that has already proved itself to be a humiliating failure for the government, and for its plans to privatise NHS services.

What a fiasco.

It means that Hancock is planning to replace a system that he has decided has failed with something that we all know is a failure, for the sake of the Tories’ Holy Grail of NHS privatisation.

And the devil take public health and safety.

Let us also remember that, as a wholly-owned executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, PHE’s failure are entirely the responsibility of one man: Matt Hancock. It seems he is hoping that he can hide his incompetence by dissolving the organisation that contains the evidence.

It doesn’t work that way. The evidence is already public knowledge. Take a look at this article if you need to be convinced.

And we all know where the blame lies:

It’s true. The BMJ article (link above) states that public health funding has fallen by 25 per cent per person in the last five years alone.

Worse still, the rumour mill has it that the new, privatised organisation that will be tasked with protecting us from pandemic infections (but only if it can make a profit from doing it, of course) will be headed by another failure: Dido Harding:

This may be another example of Tories giving jobs to their friends, rather than to anybody who actually knows what they are doing:

It’s interesting also to take note of the fellow-travellers who have sprung up to support Hancock’s plan. These are Tory propagandists who should never be trusted on any subject at all.

Here’s an obvious example: Julia Hartley-Doodah.

Rest assured that nothing good will come of this. Hancock will not succeed in shifting the blame away from himself; his decision can only result in more infections and deaths as Serco continues to take our money while failing to do anything to prevent Covid-19 infections from spreading.

We know this is the wrong decision and it will only worsen a Tory-engineered national disaster.

But there is nothing we can do to prevent it. We lost that opportunity on December 13, 2019.

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Lower than sewage: liar Johnson is still making poorest NHS workers pay ‘immigrant surcharge’

Cleaning up: people who can least afford it are being charged for NHS treatment, despite being the ones who keep hospital beds clean and equipment available.

Could there be a better demonstration of what a detestable liar Boris Johnson is?

He said his government would end a £624 “surcharge” it demanded from immigrant NHS workers for their own healthcare treatment. He lied.

In fact, the charge has continued to be applied – to the poorest workers; those least able to afford it.

The fee is still levied on staff who take a different job within six months – lower-paid cleaners, porters and carers, especially those on the zero-hours contracts the Tories have been keen to force into the workplace.

Perhaps most damning of all is the fact that ministers have had to cheek to suggest that these staff – who are on the lowest pay possible – need an “incentive” to continue working.

Typical Tory thinking – Johnson reckons everybody is as lazy as he is!

In fact, people on low incomes – especially those on zero-hours contracts – already have an incentive to work. It’s called “survival”.

Apart from a tiny minority for whom a zero-hours contract works because it fits into their own lifestyle – people who already have enough money to live on – nobody would take up such a job if it wasn’t the best they could get.

Zero-hours jobs offer no sick pay or holiday pay; and the wages are the lowest employers can get away with offering.

And, of course, they are designed to facilitate termination on short notice.

So we see a situation in which Boris Johnson claimed he was ending an unfair charge on people who have worked tirelessly to save us all from Covid-19…

… when instead he was continuing to inflict it on the people who most deserved to have it lifted.

Remember when Nye Bevan said Tories were lower than vermin?

If he were around today, no doubt he would admit that he overpraised them.

I feel sure he would agree with me that Johnson is lower than sewage.

Source: Boris Johnson accused of ‘cynical broken promise’ as some foreign NHS and care staff still pay surcharge | The Independent

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Tory corruption: why hide results of inquiry into NHS Covid-19 deaths?

Sufferer: Did any NHS staff member realise, when the Covid cases started coming into hospitals, that they could end up occupying the same beds as the people they were treating?

Who will benefit from the decision to keep secret the findings of a government review of Covid-19 related deaths of NHS staff?

The deceased won’t; they are beyond worrying about these things.

Their families won’t; it’s in their interests to have any mistakes made public, to get justice for the deaths of their relatives.

Other NHS staff won’t; it’s in their interests to have any mistakes made public, to ensure that they are not repeated, possibly harming them.

No, the only people who will benefit from this decision are the decision-makers themselves; secrecy will hide any mistakes they made, obscuring any responsibility they may have for the deaths.

And who are the decision-makers?

Matt Hancock. Boris Johnson.

The Conservative government.

This stinks of Tory corruption.

Source: Coronavirus: Cover-up fears as reviews of Covid-19 deaths among NHS staff to be kept secret | The Independent

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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