Tag Archives: emergency

No emergency budget to help with cost-of-living crisis

Michael Gove: it seems there won’t be any levelling-UP of opportunity while he’s in charge of it.

The Secretary of State for ‘Levelling Up’ has made a mockery of his title by saying there will be no emergency budget to provide help for families facing financial hardship in the cost-of-living crisis his government has caused.

Michael Gove said Boris Johnson’s claim that Chancellor Rishi Sunak and he “would be saying more about this in the days to come” had been widely misinterpreted:

“The prime minister is right. We will be saying more and doing more in order to help people with the cost of living challenge we face at the moment, but that doesn’t amount to an emergency budget. It is part of the work of government.

“Last night the prime minister convened a group of ministers – we have all done work on some of the things we could do to help. Those policy initiatives will be announced by individual departments in due course as they are worked up.”

And the Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, said

the cost of living crisis was “now the most important challenge” in Britain which he and Cabinet colleagues would be discussing how to solve this week.

“You will hear more probably on Thursday after the Cabinet has met,” he told TalkTV.

This Writer will believe in new measures only when I hear them.

The ideas on the table so far are pathetically weak – cutting the frequency of MOT tests on cars to once every two years, for crying out loud! How is making our roads unsafe going to save money after the collisions start happening?

Put it together with the words of Johnson, Gove and Hart and we see a government that is happy to put us all in an impossible situation, and then delighted to leave us all to find our own way out of it.

Source: PM’s cost of living hint has been ‘over interpreted’, says Gove – and no emergency budget

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Covid-19 is STILL threatening the health service, says senior doctor

STILL at breaking point: the UK’s National Health Service.

The argument about Covid-19 is still raging. Who are you going to believe – the politicians or the medical experts?

Here’s a medical expert – Dr Tim Cooksley, president of the Society for Acute Medicine.

He’s saying that the surge of Covid infections caused by the BA.2 variant of Omicron has caused a wave of illness among hospital staff, creating knock-on effects of overcrowding and low morale.

He said:

“The NHS and social care continue to be under immense strain and the system is becoming increasingly compromised.

“The reality is that we are seeing overcrowding in acute care settings with patient flow throughout the system impaired and patients stuck for long periods in emergency departments and acute medical units (AMUs) which results in worse patient outcomes.

“Due to this, paramedics are then stuck unable to transfer their patients into hospitals and get back on the road, resulting in 999 patients being left at home for longer periods without clinical assessment and treatment which potentially has a significant impact on their outcomes.

“These were problems that existed before Covid, however they are now exacerbated by high staff absence levels, fatigue and low staff morale, worsened by often not being able to deliver the standard of care they wish.”

More than 71,000 staff in acute trusts in England were off work last week because of sickness – two in five as a result of Covid, while more than a quarter of ambulance handovers were delayed by more than 30 minutes, Dr Cooksley said.

He described the Government’s goal of tackling the backlog in elective, non-urgent care as a “distant prospect”.

Covid-19 infections in most of the UK remain near or at record levels.

And Boris Johnson has spent years saying tens of thousands of nurses and doctors are entering the health service.

Where are they?

Or was this just like his more recent promise to “take control” of energy prices? That it’ll happen sometime, or maybe never?

Source: NHS patient care increasingly compromised, senior medic warns – upday News UK

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Failure of NHS privatisation is proved by harm to patients kept waiting in ambulances

Waiting: ambulances outside a hospital. Strange how privatisation was supposed to improve healthcare but, since it was brought in, the NHS has only deteriorated.

A report for ambulance service chiefs shows that around 160,000 hospital patients in England are being harmed every year because of delays getting them out of ambulances.

As many as 12,000 – or one in 10, could be suffering severe harm like a cardiac arrest, loss of a limb or brain damage.

The ambulance drivers aren’t at fault.

The problem lies with the UK’s Conservative government that has de-funded the National Health Service to a critical degree, while also inviting profit-making private firms to provide some services – taking even more money from healthcare provision.

In a way, we should be grateful for the collapse of healthcare provision since 2010, under the Conservatives.

The delays that have kept patients waiting in ambulances – and thereby risking serious injury – have only become seriously harmful since the Tories brought private providers into the English health service.

They demonstrate more clearly than words that the introduction of those private providers into NHS England has been a disaster for patient care.

And they show that the best possible strategy for the future of healthcare in England is to ban private profit-grubbers from the NHS – forever. Otherwise this nightmare will only get worse.

Source: Ambulance delays outside hospitals are harming 160,000 patients, leaked report warns | The Independent

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Conservative Covid-19 contracts cronyism: professionals suffer as cash goes to Tory chums

One more time: we can hope the PPE provided by Platform 14 was better than what we see here – but the fact that this Tory-run company beat firms that may be considered better-qualified remains a scandal.

This is an outrage.

A Merseyside company specialising in medical wear from its establishment half a century ago was ignored and passed over by the Tory government’s “emergency” tendering process for PPE contracts.

Meanwhile a former Tory councillor was given £276 million worth of PPE contracts for a company that was dissolved in April 2019 after making a loss of around half a million pounds.

The Merseyside firm – Florence Roby – is having to lay off staff – while the owner of the revived Platform 14 has apparently skimmed £1.5 million off the top of his contract and used it to buy a 17th-century Cotswolds mansion with 100 acres of land.

This is Tory cronyism – and profiteering – at its worst.

If Florence Roby – which has five decades of experience – had won some of these valuable contracts, it would have produced excellent PPE. Moreover, the investment in this well-established firm would have provided employment and security to experts in their field.

You can draw your own conclusions about Platform 14 (est. 2012) from the fact that it managed to run up huge losses in seven years, and from what its owner has done with your money.

These are the decisions the Tories have been making regularly since they started using the so-called “emergency” system to avoid going through a proper tendering process for Covid-19-related contracts.

As a result, the effort to control the disease has been hampered by substandard products – where they have been supplied at all – and amateur manufacturers.

And Boris Johnson has run up a borrowing bill that is expected to total more than 316 billion more than this year’s national deficit, when the financial year ends in April 2021.

He’ll expect you to pay for Steve Dechan’s £1.5 million mansion. How do you feel about it?

Source: Mersey company forced to lay off staff as PPE contracts go to Tory connected firms buying from abroad – Liverpool Echo

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Covid-19: their policies don’t work and neither do the chums the Tories have given all our money

Useless: Tory money pit and expertise vacuum Dido Harding.

If you tuned in to the BBC’s Any Questions at around 1.15pm today, you may have enjoyed the same experience I did: a guest, exasperated at the Johnson government’s abject failure to devise any effective policies to restrict the spread of Covid-19.

All that Boris Johnson and his Minister of Death, Matt Hancock, have achieved is the creation of a huge reservoir of distrust across the nation as regulation after nonsensical regulation fails to stem the tide.

His problem is that he is desperate to keep money flowing to his chums, the rich businesspeople who donate cash to the Conservative Party on a regular basis. For that, he needs to ensure that people go to work in spite of the fact that they are more likely to catch the virus in the workplace or on the way to work. Sending our children and young people to school and university has also hugely worsened the spread.

And he has made it worse by abusing the emergency system of awarding contracts without going through the normal procedure of inviting tenders from multiple companies and awarding the contract to the one best-suited to honour it, according to established criteria.

Instead of giving contracts to those best-suited, Johnson has handed them to Tories – some of them running start-ups or firms that were non-functional – and has received very little in return.

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis explained the issue on the BBC’s Question Time last Thursday (October 8):

Yet more and more Tory cronies are on the gravy train – doing less and less for your cash. Look at the state of this:

Meanwhile the test and trace system run, contrary to logic, by Tory peer, former jockey and business failure Dido Harding, continues to fail the nation:

She won’t “consider her position”, of course. She’ll carry on draining the Treasury of cash because that’s Tory greed for you.

And they don’t mind the fact that people are dying. They don’t mind that at all.

Enough is enough.

Isn’t it?

This crisis has been here long enough that there’s no reason for the emergency contract system to remain in place for it; even though the Tories might not be able to predict what new equipment and personnel will be needed in the future, our experienced civil servants and NHS experts should.

Let’s see the Tories reopen the contract system to multiple tenders, with assignments of Covid-related contracts going to the firms best-suited for the work.

Or – indeed – to the public organisations and authorities best-placed to handle it.

Don’t you agree that giving control of the response to Coronavirus back to people who actually know what they’re doing might turn the tide?

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In the biggest crisis of our time, why has the government’s emergency committee not met since MAY?

Rampant: Covid-19 is multiplying rapidly across the UK, infecting thousand more people every day – and Boris Johnson hasn’t convened his emergency committee to deal with it since May 10.

Is this the reason all the Johnson government’s attempts to handle Covid-19 have fallen apart?

The committee convened by the prime minister to tackle emergencies facing the UK – known as COBRA after its location (Cabinet Office Briefing Room A) – has not met since May 10.

That shocking fact was revealed, not by Boris Johnson, but by London Mayor Sadiq Khan during a phone-in on James O’Brien’s LBC radio talk show.

He said it seemed the Tories in the government don’t like to be challenged:

“The government doesn’t like having their policies and their ideas challenged, as often happened at Cobra,” he said.

The caller – Alex – had suggested that the army could help with Covid testing and treatment. Mr Khan said: “You’re right to remind us that the army in the past has come through and saved the bacon of successive governments.

“You remember the Olympics of 2012? Security was a shambles. The army stepped in and sorted out security in the Olympics.

“You remember early on during this pandemic, real problems with the personal protective equipment… The army stepped in and gave us a huge help.

“And you remember the Nightingale hospitals; the army played a huge role in co-ordination.

“I will pass this on – not through Cobra because there is no Cobra.”

There is no Cobra.

Listeners reacted with horror:

… and with humour:

Khan also mentioned test and trace boss Dido Harding being surprised that an increase in tests was being demanded this month (September): “I’m surprised at her surprise, because it was perfectly predictable – not only because the WHO said six months ago it was important, but back in March… the government stopped community testing… because they hadn’t got enough tests, and that led to the increase in community transmission.

“My worry is that they’ve not learned the lessons of the first six months of this virus.”

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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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Conservative cronyism rampant as contract awarded to colleagues of Cummings and Gove

Buddy money: The Tories are using emergency procedures to bypass proper tendering procedures and give huge amounts of public money to their friends.

It’s jobs for the boys, the Old School Tie, and every other example of favouritism you can imagine in the Tory government during the Covid crisis!

They’re using emergency regulations, that allow services to be commissioned quickly, to pass huge amounts of money to their friends.

And apparently there’s a conflict of interest as it seems to involve Eurosceptics working on focus group research related to Brexit – although a Cabinet Office spokesman said this was a bookkeeping issue. Do you believe that?

The Tories are using the Covid-19 crisis to funnel public money away from vital services and into their friends’ bank accounts:

The Cabinet Office has awarded an £840,000 contract to research public opinion about government policies to a company owned by two long-term associates of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings, without putting the work out for tender.

Public First, a small policy and research company in London, is run by James Frayne, whose work alongside Cummings – the prime minister’s senior adviser – dates back to a Eurosceptic campaign 20 years ago, and Rachel Wolf, a former adviser to Gove who co-wrote the Conservative party’s 2019 election manifesto.

The government justified the absence of a competitive tendering process, which would have enabled other companies to bid, under emergency regulations that allow services to be urgently commissioned in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

However, the Cabinet Office’s public record states that portions of the work, which involved focus group research, related to Brexit rather than Covid-19, a joint investigation by the Guardian and openDemocracy has established.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said this was because of bookkeeping methods, and insisted that, contrary to government records, all the focus group research done by Public First was related to the pandemic.

Source: Firm with links to Gove and Cummings given Covid-19 contract without open tender | Politics | The Guardian

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Coronavirus: here comes the second wave as first UK hospital closes A&E due to overloading

The snake: this image was probably created to denote Donald Trump but it works equally well for Boris Johnson, especially as we are no seeing a new spike in Covid-19 infections, exactly the expected time after Johnson relaxed lockdown rules. He must have known what would happen.

As predicted two weeks ago, when Boris Johnson blithely told us all to go back to work, here comes the second wave of Covid-19 infections that he caused:

An NHS hospital has been forced to close its accident and emergency department to new admissions as a result of high numbers of patients with coronavirus.

Weston General Hospital, in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, stopped accepting A&E patients at 8am on Monday morning.

Dr William Oldfield, medical director said: “This is a clinically led decision and we are being supported by our system partners to ensure that new patients receive the care and treatment they need in the appropriate setting, and we are continuing to provide high quality care to existing patients who are being treated in the hospital.”

So there you have it.

We know that Covid-19 takes around 14 days to gestate inside human beings and, right on time, 14 days after Boris Johnson relaxed the lockdown, here it is back again.

He still wants to reopen schools to Reception-age pupils who won’t have any understanding of social distancing rules, next Monday.

So if you’re a parent being told to send your child back, you now know that it will be to bring Covid-19 home to you.

I would urge you to rely on your instincts as a parent (as Boris Johnson described the actions of Dominic Cummings recently) and protect your child by ignoring the demand.

Of course the social media are full of this latest development:

Source: Coronavirus: UK hospital closes A&E and no longer accepting new patients | The Independent

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Coronavirus: Tories push on with A&E closures that ‘will only result in death’

This takes Tory ignorance to new homicidal levels.

It seems the Conservative government is pressing ahead with the closures of Accident and Emergency departments and intensive care units in hospitals across London (the rest of the UK isn’t mentioned) despite the fact that the UK is in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic.

The likely result is summed up by GMB union organiser Helen O’Connor, who said: “The removal of these services at existing major acute hospitals will only result in death.”

That’s even though the Tories are planning to open a special Covid-19 hospital in the Excel Centre in east London to care for an additional 4,000 patients afflicted with the disease.

It seems these lunatic toffs really don’t have a clue what they’re doing or what it signifies for the fight against the virus.

Source: Government is pressing ahead with A&E closures despite Covid-19 – LabourList

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