Category Archives: National Health Service

Why are parking fees TRIPLING for hospital staff after Johnson promised to end them for everyone?

Where’s the warning that parking charges are enormous?

The price of working for the NHS is astronomical as it is – and now it seems it is rising again, in spite of a promise by prime muppet Boris Johnson.

The issue here is car parking. Boris promised to eliminate parking fees for everybody attending hospital – which includes staff.

But now we have reports that the price of staff parking at King’s College Hospital in London is tripling.

New permits will cost doctors and nurses at the trust up to £1,440, with the changes reportedly taking effect from the beginning of December.

Let’s remind ourselves of Johnson’s promise:

It seems the government pledged in their December 2019 election manifesto to provide free parking for some patients and staff on their night shifts.

In the email from the Kings College Trust to staff, the hospital’s management claim the move has prompted privately run car parking companies to pass on the cost to daytime NHS workers.

This prompts the obvious question: why are hospital car parks run for profit by private companies in the first place? Our health care is supposed to be free at the point of use so is our useless Tory government getting around that by charging us all to get there?

The question is rhetorical; the short answer is yes:

And it turns out Johnson was lying to Parliament when he made that promise:

In an exchange in the House of Commons in July, Labour leader Keir Starmer urged the prime minister to keep free parking – but Johnson refused to rule out bringing charges back in for hospital staff.

He told Starmer: “May I suggest he takes his latest bandwagon and parks it somewhere else.”

Johnson added: “The hospital car parks are free for NHS staff during the pandemic, and we are going to get on with our manifesto commitment to make them free for patients who need them as well.”

Clearly the prime muppet hasn’t thought this through. With hospital car park firms passing their losses from free parking on to those who still have to pay, it will soon cost staff too much to work there.

Richard Burgon, former shadow justice secretary when Jeremy Corbyn led the Labour Party, has called on the Tory government to put a stop to the price rise:

It seems unlikely Johnson will take any notice.

Public opposition to hospital car parking charges is widespread:

The subject was buried over the weekend, beneath the Downing Street soap opera about Dominic Cummings quitting and Boris Johnson self-isolating.

But honestly, who cares about those things? They don’t affect us. Cummings will be replaced by somebody just as bad at the job and Johnson can use Zoom.

But if our doctors and nurses can’t afford to work at a hospital because some greedy private car parking firm wants to keep its profit margins high during a medical emergency, then we’re all in trouble.

Source: Labour MP calls on government to intervene over ‘disgusting’ 200% rise in parking fees for NHS staff

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Why is this Liverpool hospital being penalised for a political decision by NHS England?

Overwhelmed: across the northwest more than 2,660 patients are in hospital with Covid-19, including more than 200 patients on a ventilator.

You might think it is fair for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to take possibly punitive action against the Liverpool University Hospitals Trust.

Trust medical director Tristan Cope had, in fairness, warned that the hospital had been overwhelmed by coronavirus and standards of care could no longer be maintained.

But would it be fair if, as he also claims, NHS England has been blocking the hospital from enacting plans that would redeem the situation – in the name of politics?

Here’s The Independent:

In the WhatsApp message to doctors, shared with The Independent by multiple sources, Dr Cope, a consultant in anaesthesia and critical care, said: “LUH is now essentially overwhelmed by the demand. We cannot maintain patient flow and usual standards of care. We have put forward a proposal to further reduce elective [planned] activity, but maintaining capacity for the most urgent cases that would suffer from a two-four week delay.

“It is a very sound plan that our divisional teams have worked up. However, NHS England are prevaricating and delaying with the usual request for more detail, more data, etc. It is clear to me that the politics is outweighing the patient safety issues of the acute crisis.

“There has been no meaningful support from the acute cell or NHS England. In fact, they are blocking us from acting in a rational way that would help us to manage the acute pressures.”

He added: “I am utterly demoralised by the catastrophic leadership failure at a national and regional level. I feel I have done everything I can in terms of escalation and lobbying for some courageous and meaningful action, but apparently to no avail, at least so far. Not sure what else I can do.”

Liverpool has been hit hard by the escalation of Covid-19 in recent weeks, as more and more people have succumbed to the virus as a result of Tory government policies that have allowed it to spread.

The Independent article’s comment from an NHS England spokesperson avoids the substantive issue already – merely commenting that the service is treating more people now than at the height of the first wave.

The statement also says more “clinical support” has been brought in from elsewhere in the region, but this must be balanced with the fact that it has demanded asymptomatic staff testing.

And who is going to be providing the facilities to test every single person in Liverpool, as often as necessary, as the government has claimed?

It seems clear that – yet again – the Tory “make do and mend” approach to medicine is heading for disaster. Perhaps Boris Johnson would treat the matter seriously – if only he were affected by it personally.

Source: NHS bosses accused of ‘putting politics before patient safety’ as leading hospital struggles to cope with second wave | The Independent

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Arrogant Dorries rejects cross-party talks to help mental health of NHS & care staff – EIGHT TIMES

Nadine Dorries: Wrong again.

The health minister who is so stupid she said the November lockdown in England could only have been predicted with a crystal ball has struck again.

There’s a reason we call Nadine Dorries “Mad Nad”.

Over the weekend, the woman widely considered to be the stupidist Tory MP – against stiff competition! – admitted that she did not understand the information being received and used by her own department of government; SAGE had demanded a lockdown in September.

Now she has demonstrated that she does not understand that her government’s failure to get to grips with the Covid crisis in any meaningful way over a period of nearly a year is having a devastating effect on the mental health of people working in the NHS and in the care sector.

Labour MP Doctor Rosena Allin-Khan does – and appealed to Dorries no fewer than eight times to join with her in devising a mental health package that has cross-party support. Dorries rejected it in a manner that belittled not only herself but her entire miserable government:

Condemnation has rained down on Dorries from all sides:

It won’t have any effect, though.

I say that not because the Johnson government has a huge Parliamentary majority – granted to it by a population that was desperate to resolve the Brexit crisis that the Tories had created and gulled by rabidly right-wing mass media into thinking the Tories were the only party that could provide a solution (which is lunacy, if you think about it for just one moment).

The reason condemnation won’t work on Tories like Dorries can be summed up in a simple, well-known saying:

No sense, no feeling.

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#LevellingUp or #ToryCorruption ? Serco-employed test and trace managers take £1.5m per year

Not the NHS: Boris Johnson privatised the Covid-19 test and trace system, believing it would be a great advert for privatisation. Instead, it has become a millstone around his neck – so he refers to it constantly as “NHS test and trace” in the hope that people will blame the nationalised health service that has nothing to do with it.

The Serco Test and Trace scandal gets worse and worse; it has just been revealed that some employees receive £7,360 per day to pretend to find people with Covid-19 and trace their contacts.

That’s the equivalent of £1.5 million a year. These are people from companies with strong connections to the Conservative government, that won their contracts via an emergency system which avoids the normal tendering process.

And it has already been established that most contact tracing personnel spend their time playing computer games because they are not being given work to do.

City AM says,

Sky, citing leaked documents, reported that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has paid BCG around £10m. That was for a team of 40 consultants to work for four months on test and trace.

BCG’s “day rates” for public sector work – which determine the cost of its service – range from £2,400 to £7,360 for its most senior employees.

The report said BCG is giving the government a 10 to 15 per cent discount. Although this would still equate to day rates equivalent to around £1.5m a year.

BCG declined to comment.

Sky also said that 165 more consultants had been hired to work on test and trace. They include 84 from Deloitte, 31 from EY and 50 from KPMG.

So much for Boris Johnson’s claim that he was “levelling up” the UK. Tory friends are being paid millions in public money while those who desperately need it are being starved.

While ministerial salaries are being frozen, all MPs are getting a pay rise of £3,300 per year – equivalent to around two-thirds of the current annual rate of Universal Credit for an adult aged over 25.

The lowest MP salary will be £85,291 per year. Compare that with nurses on £24,000. Who does the more important job?

What about care workers, who receive an excruciatingly-low £18,553 per year. Who does the more important job?

The Durham-based family of Boris Johnson’s adviser Dominic Cummings have been excused from paying £30,000 in backdated council tax on houses they built without planning permission 18 years ago – while child poverty in the Durham North constituency has rocketed by nine per cent – to total one-third of all children living there – in the last four years… after housing costs were taken into account,

The social media are seething with discontent:

I think the following three tweets put the current situation in a nutshell, using the current northern lockdown as an example of Tory corruption at its worst. First, let’s set the scene:

Now we can go into details with this excellent speech by Labour MP Dan Carden:

Lastly, let’s remember that there was an alternative – but people were steered away from it by liars in the mainstream media who shilled for the corrupt Tories instead. Now what, do you think, encouraged them to do that?

Source: Government paying test and trace consultants equivalent of £1.5m salary : CityAM

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‘NHS’ contact tracer app DOESN’T come from Serco or harvest data. Johnson’s lies confused us

For once, it seems This Site is having to do a u-turn!

Information has come into my possession – some of it from very rude people on Twitter! – that the new contact-tracing app for smartphones hasn’t been developed by Serco after all.

It has yet to be proved that the incompetent outsourcing giant has nothing at all to do with it – the Department for Health and Social Care has not released the names of every organisation that worked on it.

But the headline, according to Wired, is that

The app has been developed by the NHS and NHSX, the innovation arm of the health service, under the direction of the DHSC. Software firms Zuhlke Engineering and Pivotal have been involved in the development though NHSX has not published a full list of companies who have worked on the app.

This raises an awkward question:

What has Serco been doing that required £12 billion?

As far as privacy is concerned, I misread Jim Killock’s tweets. He was saying that, while the smartphone app keeps your information private in an acceptable way, people who don’t have a smartphone and cannot – or will not – use it are in danger of having their data harvested because of the traditional ways in which it is recorded.

He’s saying you hand your details in to people at the location where your case is handled, with no safeguards or guarantees on it at all.

And he’s saying we have no idea whether privacy issues at Serco have been fixed – or how bad they are.

This Site is happy to apologise for the confusion.

The fact that there was confusion over this simply highlights the incompetence of the Conservative government in hiring untrustworthy private contractors to do a job requiring confidentiality in the first place.

It has created an atmosphere of distrust in which the default position is an expectation of betrayal; I wasn’t the only one who made the mistake.

And the mistake over Serco’s involvement in the smartphone app can be directly traced to our performing monkey prime minister Boris Johnson and his insistence on mislabelling the Serco test and trace fiasco as belonging to the NHS.

Now that there is an NHS app, will he start referring to the Serco shambles by its proper name?

I think not.

So the confusion will continue and it seems people will be put off the UK’s contact tracing schemes as a whole because of it.

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Value for money? Serco contact tracer app cost £12,000 per person and harvests your data

CORRECTION: It seems the NHS contact tracer app wasn’t developed by Serco and won’t harvest your data. See this article for further details. I’m leaving the piece below on the site as an example of the mistakes that can happen when a prime minister lies – Boris Johnson has repeatedly claimed that the Serco test and trace business belonged to the NHS, so when an NHS contact tracer came along, we all automatically accepted that it was run by Serco, and subject to the same privacy issues as the Serco system.

The BBC is reporting that a million people have downloaded the Covid-19 contact tracing app developed by the private money-grubbers at Serco.

At the same time, we have learned that Rishi Sunak has handed over another £2 billion to Serco for its test-and-trace… work… bringing the total up to £12 billion.

So, that’s a cost of £12,000 per user (so far).

Here’s what it’s supposed to do:

NHS Covid-19 instructs users to self-isolate for 14 days if it detects they were nearby someone who has the virus.
It also has a check-in scanner to alert owners if a venue they have visited is found to be an outbreak hotspot.

First, let’s get something straight. It’s being called the NHS contact tracing app. Is it really being run by the National Health Service?

Bad news, Mike…

So it’s a money pit for corporate beasts.

Is the price right? Well..

And does it do what it’s supposed to do – and nothing else?

Oh dear.

But there is a bright side:

That’s the bright side. You’ve got to really want to see it.

So! If you haven’t done it already, are you looking forward to downloading the app?

Source: NHS Covid-19 app: One million downloads of contact tracer for England and Wales – BBC News

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

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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