Tag Archives: appointment

Tories use coronavirus to put barrier between patients and NHS care

Future predicted: The 1980s drama Max Headroom featured a TV doctor who examined patients by video link. In the pilot we were treated to the sight of a patient dropping his trousers in readiness to show off his anal pustule. This seems to be the future that Matt Hancock is planning for the NHS – especially after he gave Amazon free access to all your medical information (I’m not sure if this is the patient from that show but it’s as close to that scene as I’m going! Note the “does not vote” label at the bottom).

The Conservatives have been trying to stop people actually going to see a doctor for years and now they’re using coronavirus to force it on us.

They want us to hold all our appointments by telephone or over the internet.

What an absolutely moronic idea. Only an imbecile would suggest that it was an improvement.

Matt Hancock said a current “digital-first” rollout will be extended across the country wherever “clinically and practically possible”.

He told MPs: “We’re taking steps of course to improve access by making sure people can access primary care in the best possible way.”

Draw your own conclusions about Mr Hancock!

This Writer is reminded of the pilot of Max Headroom (the SF drama, not the comedy video-jockey show) in which people use home video cameras to show their symptoms to a TV doctor.

In the show we’re treated to the sight of a man starting to drop his trousers in order to show the world his “anal pustule”. Charming.

But we live in a country that has aired Embarrassing Bodies, so one imagines that this is the sort of thing that has emboldened Mr Hancock.

As far as I’m concerned, we might as well look up our symptoms on Google. The result will be about as reliable.

In other words, I reckon this policy is a plan for preventable deaths (only affecting poor people, of course) and possibly even for the eruption of another epidemic; remote GPs aren’t going to recognise all the symptoms in the course of a brief call.

And how much are these calls going to cost the patient? The NHS is supposed to be free at the point of use!

Ultimately, we can see this as a transparent attempt to push the NHS closer to privatisation.

It will only take a few tragedies for the Tories to claim that the public health system isn’t working and commercial interests could carry out the duty much more responsibly (even though that has proved not to be the case in every single privatisation ever carried out by a Tory government).

Contemptible.

Source: Coronavirus: GP appointments to be held digitally where possible ‘with immediate effect’ – Mirror Online

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Kiss doctor-patient confidentiality goodbye in the Tories’ latest NHS cash-saving scheme

GPs are no longer to have confidential, one-on-one interviews with patients who have certain conditions, if the Tory government has its way.

If you can’t afford private medicine, you don’t deserve to discuss your medical conditions in privacy, according to the latest crackpot Tory scheme for our cash-strapped NHS.

Having starved the service of funding and staff with a series of stupid or selfish policy decisions, they have left it incapable of coping with the demand for GP time.

So patients are to be deprived of their dignity with consultations organised for groups of up to 15 patients at a time.

The fact that people don’t want the intimate details of their medical conditions bandied around more than a dozen other people – not all of whom may be strangers – won’t enter into the Tories’ calculations.

The whole loony plan is further evidence that Conservatives consider the rest of us to be nothing more than herd animals.

Don’t forget that the Department for Work and Pensions describes benefit claimants as “stock”. Clearly that mentality has polluted the NHS as well.

GPs are to offer shared appointments for groups of up to 15 patients with similar conditions under NHS plans.

Patients who participated in a trial said they benefited from group appointments after receiving support from other participants, according to the head of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP).

Doctors reported finding the sessions effective at dealing with a variety of health issues like diabetes, arthritis and obesity as they do not have to repeat the same advice individually.

There is a UK shortage of GPs and medical staff, which has been exacerbated by a decline in EU applicants to work as nurses and some NHS staff returning to EU countries.

However medical bodies say that is not the primary motivation behind the new scheme.

Source: Group GP appointments: how NHS plans to see your GP with up to 14 people will work

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An appointments system for Accident & Emergency is the stupidest NHS idea yet

The whole point of Accident & Emergency is that people don’t need appointments to be seen.

A person who has just become the victim of a life-threatening injury, illness or condition isn’t going to have time to wait around until a doctor is ready to see them.

And the fact that this is being proposed to save face, for a service whose lack of money means it isn’t hitting targets is the biggest insult of all.

Yes, the National Health Service needs major changes.

They are a change of leaders – and a change of government.

Patients could have to start booking appointments in A&E units, and those with only minor ailments wait many hours before they are seen, under a proposed shakeup of NHS targets.

NHS England chiefs are examining whether to relax the longstanding obligation to see 95% of A&E patients within four hours.

They are also under growing pressure from hospital bosses to ease another key NHS waiting time target – the duty to give patients non-urgent surgery within 18 weeks of being referred by their GP.

Source: NHS proposes A&E appointments system in targets shakeup | Society | The Guardian

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Terminally-ill woman forced to walk to doctor’s on crutches by Tory cruelty

Tracey Mills.

Stealing vital transport from the terminally-ill – that’s “compassionate Conservatism” for you in this day and age.

Tories once claimed that they would not penalise the terminally-ill. Clearly that has changed and they don’t care who they persecute.

Perhaps they are not saving enough benefit money by forcing the genuinely sick and disabled onto Universal Credit?

Perhaps – and this is more likely – they simply get a kick out of watching those near death struggle to live for just a few more days.

The people facing this persecution may be sick, but the Tory government is sickening.

A woman with terminal cancer says she was forced to walk to an emergency doctor’s appointment on crutches – after she was deemed too healthy for a mobility car.

Tracey Mills, 53, from Mossley, Greater Manchester, was previously granted a vehicle through Disability Living Allowance (DLA) after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour several years ago.

But when a new assessment was carried out after the government’s new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) came into force, Tracey’s disability benefits were reduced.

She was found to be too fit to qualify for a car, so the automatic Ford Focus she relied on to get around was taken away.

Source: Woman with terminal cancer forced to walk to doctor’s on crutches after mobility car was taken away

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Scottish Parliament heckler provides more proof that Esther McVey really is a ‘stain’ on humanity

McVile: Esther McVey during her evidence session before the Scottish Parliament.

Congratulations to John Pring at Disability News Service for interviewing the man who heckled Esther McVey during her evidence session before the Scottish Parliament on Monday.

It turns out that ‘David’ had raised the case of Jodie Whiting, who took her own life after her Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was sanctioned away from her. This Site covered the case here.

It is disappointing that the interruption was not reported fully by the mainstream media because it highlights the cruelty of both the Department for Work and Pensions and its current boss, and illustrates why they both have to go:

Ms Whiting lost her benefit because she missed a work capability assessment appointment because she was in hospital being treated for a brain cyst.

Let’s all stop for a moment and think about that.

It is entirely reasonable for a person on a long-term sickness benefit to require hospital treatment for their health condition.

While it may legitimately require people to prove their eligibility to receive ESA, it is entirely unreasonable for the government’s benefits agency to demand that sick people miss their treatment in order to tick a box on a bureaucrat’s paperwork.

Health comes first, or it is the system that is sick.

And the Tory-run system is terminal – for users like Ms Whiting. Instead of rearranging the assessment appointment, the DWP cut her off without a penny, triggering a chain of events that led to her untimely death.

When the case was raised, Ms McVey didn’t even have the decency to apologise. Instead, ‘David’ was removed from the meeting.

Could anything be a better demonstration of the arrogance and ignorance of our current rulers?

Rather than face up to their failings, they remove anybody who mentions them. And their complicit media mouthpieces gloss over the incident.

The mother of a woman who killed herself after her disability benefits were sanctioned has praised a disabled activist who confronted work and pensions secretary Esther McVey about her daughter’s death as she gave evidence to Scottish MSPs this week.

The activist, David*, had told Joy Dove of his plans to question McVey about her daughter’s suicide as the minister was giving evidence to the Scottish parliament’s social security committee on Monday.

Jodey Whiting, a seriously-ill mother-of-nine, from Stockton, took her own life last year after having her employment and support allowance (ESA) sanctioned.

She had her ESA stopped after missing a work capability assessment because she was in hospital being treated for a brain cyst, and never opened the letter telling her about the appointment.

David, from the campaign group Class War Scotland, who was sitting in public seats behind McVey, called out (listen from 52 minutes) as she was replying to a question from an MSP about her government’s policies on social security reform and whether she should apologise to the people of Scotland.

David called out: “What about Jodey Whiting, mother of nine, who committed suicide after her ESA was stopped?

“It was stopped because she missed an appointment.”

The committee meeting was suspended and David left the hearing.

Source: Mother of ESA suicide mum-of-nine praises activist for confronting McVey


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Doctors attack ‘simplistic’ claim that missed appointments cost the NHS £1 billion in a year

Patients in a waiting room at the Royal Free hospital in Hampstead, north London [April: Robert Stainforth/Alamy].

Apparently every missed NHS hospital appointment costs an average of £125 and we should feel ashamed of the eight million missed appointments in 2016-17, because NHS digital tells us so.

This Writer begs to disagree.

Why were these appointments missed? We have no information.

How many of the people who missed these appointments couldn’t get to them – perhaps because their health condition had deteriorated too far while they were waiting for their slot?

How many couldn’t make it due to poor transport connections?

How many didn’t know they had an appointment because they had not received proper notification?

There are many possible reasons.

And, let’s face it, £125 seems a bit steep.

But those are just my thoughts. What do actual doctors think? Let’s see:

Let’s call that another Tory NHS patient-blaming myth busted.

As the NHS struggles with budget cuts, soaring demand and staff shortages, almost £1bn is being wasted annually by patients missing appointments, figures reveal.

In response, England’s chief nurse has urged patients to cancel their NHS appointments in good time if they are not able to attend, in order to free up resources for those who need them.

The money wasted could fund 1m more cataract operations or 250,000 hip replacements, said Prof Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England.

Data released by NHS Digital revealed that in 2016/17 almost 8m hospital outpatient appointments were missed due to patients not attending, compared with 7.5m in 2015/16.

Source: Patients missing their appointments cost the NHS £1bn last year | Society | The Guardian


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Paralysed woman told to find work after husband forgot Jobcentre appointment

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign]

Only yesterday, This Site criticised the claims of Scottish DWP operations manager Tahira Sharif, who insisted that benefit sanctions are “not about hurting people”.

Here is a person who is not able to anything at all for herself, who has been subjected to the ultimate sanction – being kicked off-benefit altogether – simply because her partner had a momentary mental aberration.

As a carer, This Writer sympathises. We all get overloaded sometimes; we all forget important matters that need our attention.

In most cases, if these matters involve other organisations or statutory authorities, they are reasonable, accept that mistakes can be made, and re-arrange.

The Department for Work and Pensions is not reasonable in this way. But how many of its employees, bosses and the ministers who run it can honestly say they haven’t made similar mistakes?

Take the decision-maker who refused to accept Vince Rodger’s explanation – has this person never forgotten an important appointment? Does this person not know anybody who has done so? Do they not understand that these things happen?

If not, they’re in the wrong job!

Or they would be, if the DWP had not been completely ruined by the Conservative Party in government. It isn’t necessarily the choice of the decision-maker to rule that a forgotten appointment is unacceptable; that’s a rule decided by the Conservative Party.

Even so, these people should have discretion to make their own decision – especially in the case of a woman who cannot do anything for herself.

What job is she expected to do?

Tahira Sharif said sanctions are “there for a purpose” and will be used when people on benefits are unable to meet their “obligations”.

Perhaps this person can explain how the DWP’s treatment of Julie Rodger is “supportive”?

A paralysed woman with brain damage has had her benefits stopped and told by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to start looking for work, after her husband mistakenly forgot to attend a mandatory Jobcentre appointment.

Julie Rodger is a tetraplegic, due to hypoxic brain damage, and is completely dependent on the care provided by her husband Vince and others.

Vince wrote on Facebook: “To all who know me and know my wife Julie, the Government have in their wisdom taken Julie off her employment and support allowance due to an oversight on my behalf and now has been given her P45 to start looking for a job/work.

“Julie is a tetraplegic due to hypoxic brain damage and can’t do anything for herself.

“Julie will be attending the job centre on Monday morning after the miracle worker has been and rid her of her disabilities.”

Explaining why he missed the appointment, Vince wrote: “I received the letter asking for Julie to attend an interview………. I put that letter in a safe place and on the morning of the interview I forgot all about it.

“I received a letter to explain why she didn’t attend, so I told the truth and said that I had forgotten, they sent out a reply stating that they were not accepting my reason and removed Julie from her benefit.

“I appealed for the decision to be changed and a new interview to take place, yesterday I received their reply that they were sticking to the original decision and removed Julie’s benefits.”

Source: Paralysed woman told to find work after husband forgot Jobcentre appointment


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Pro-Israel groups and figures should face inquiry after ‘take down’ video leak

Shai Masot discusses MPs he wants “taken down” in the leaked video.

While This Writer has to agree with the Israeli Embassy staffer Shai Masot when he says Alan Duncan is an idiot, there are questions about Israel’s policies in the UK that really must be answered now.

Mr Duncan was the fool who criticised everybody in the UK who isn’t a millionaire as “low-achievers”. Of course, he comes from a privileged background.

He is also outspoken against the anti-Palestinian policies of the Israeli government and has denounced the policy of building settlements on Palestinian land, likening Israeli policy to apartheid.

It is clear, then, that this Israeli politician was proposing the removal of British politicians who oppose his own government’s behaviour when he suggested to Maria Strizzolo, Tory Robert Halfon’s former chief of staff, that she “take” him “down” – as shown on a leaked video.

How many other UK politicians have been the subject of Israeli interference? How is the UK government to prevent further such interference?

It seems the Foreign Office considers the matter closed, after Israel apologised.

But the Labour Party is right to demand an inquiry.

Ms Strizzolo has said there was nothing to the conversation – it should not be interpreted as an attempt to instruct the UK government on its ministerial appointments – but this can only be borne out by examination of her actions, and those of Mr Masot.

Mr Masot is also on record as having admitted setting up front groups. These are both party political & “astroturf” (fake grassroots) bodies, including Labour Friends of Israel.

Would these include the organisations we have seen trying to “take down” prominent Labour figures on bogus “anti-Semitism” claims over the last year?

That must be investigated, also.

Until we know how far this rot has set in, we cannot know whether any claims relating to Israel, anti-Semitism or Zionism have solid foundations at all.

It is good that this issue has been revealed but more work must be done.

And those who try to shut it down should be held in suspicion.

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The health hypocrisy of Jeremy Hunt

130705hunt

Coalition Health Secretary (and well-known misprint) Jeremy Hunt has admitted ignoring his own advice and taking his children to accident and emergency because he did not want to wait for a GP appointment.

The queue-jumping Conservative has previously – hypocritically – urged the public to avoid A&E in all but the most urgent cases, telling us to go to chemists’ doctors’ surgeries and walk-in centres instead.

In the light of his statement during yesterday’s health questions in the House of Commons, we may conclude that this is in order to clear the way for him and his fat, rich buddies.

It’s not enough for him that he’s selling off NHS contracts to his private-sector shareholder friends just as fast as he can; he wants to push ordinary people – the people who actually pay for the NHS – to the back of the queue.

The NHS is falling further into crisis under his stewardship, with most of the English trusts preparing to record huge deficits at the end of the financial year.

Wasn’t the Health and Social Care Act 2012 supposed to ensure that the NHS stayed on-budget? Why has it made matters worse?

The NHS has delayed publication of its weekly “winter pressures situation reports”, raising fears that people are being denied information about what’s happening on the NHS frontline.

And experts have reported that they believe vulnerable people are having more accidents in the home because of cuts in social care.

The failure of Conservative attempts to manage the National Health Service is complete. Perhaps this is why Tory MPs would prefer healthcare to be entirely privately-run – they would be able to blame someone else.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Tory NHS sniping fails to hit targets

141024NHS

Heartfelt words: A short poem by Lorna (pictured) on YouTube has been more persuasive than any of the Tory smear tactics.

The Tories have been working very hard on their campaign against NHS Wales; shame they don’t have a brilliant health service in England to hold up in comparison.

Twitter lit up around teatime yesterday (Thursday) with allegation after allegation about the service in Wales – for example, that one in seven Welsh patients are on waiting lists, including more than a thousand (if memory serves) for more than a year.

Yr Obdt Srvt countered by pointing out that Mrs Mike had to go to NHS Wales-arranged hospital appointments twice last week; on both occasions she was seen promptly and received appropriate treatment immediately.

All right, came the response. What about the appalling record of the Welsh Ambulance Service, which remains unable to reach all of its emergency calls within the mandatory eight-minute deadline?

The response should be obvious: How many of those patients died? They didn’t have an answer for that. It seems that the health of the patient is of less concern to the statistic-keepers than the speed with which they are attended. The situation conjures up images of Mussolini’s (fabled) Italy in which the trains all ran on time and you can imagine a Tory-run NHS Wales report right now: “None of the patients survived the journey to the hospital but the ambulances were all punctual!”

In fact, even if the Tories had been able to dredge up an answer, they would have been trumped. Yr Obdt Srvt has friends who work in the ambulance service and it just happens that, only a few days ago, one of them told us proudly how they had been working in a team who had arrived too late to stop the patient’s death – and had then brought this person back to life.

(As an aside, it was pleasant to be addressed by members of Conservative Central Headquarters, by the Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies, and by the Welsh Conservatives’ official Twitter accounts while debating the above issues (and others). Either Vox Political is going up in the world or they had nothing better to do than argue the toss with a small blog site. If you’re a Tory, try to work out which of those alternatives is least embarrassing for you!)

So, before criticising hard-working ambulance crews who have to negotiate gridlocked city centres, miles of winding country roads, and sometimes both – and are still expected to do it all within eight minutes, just take a moment to thank them for the amazing feats they can perform when they do arrive.

Wales isn’t like England. The terrain is different and the service is intentionally under-funded by the Westminster government, which has been cutting its grant to the Welsh Assembly ever since the Conservative Party came into office on the back of Liberal Democrat collusion.

As for the service in England itself – well, you’ve seen the image of Lorna adorning the top of this article. Have a listen to the following YouTube clip; it’ll tell you all you need to know about public feeling on that account!

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