Tag Archives: GP

Coronavirus – a small victory: NHS hospitals and GPs are warned against blanket ‘Do Not Revive’ policies

What some health workers wanted to prevent: a vulnerable elderly person using a ventilator while being treated for coronavirus.

This is a step in the right direction.

GP surgeries in south Wales and Brighton have both been reported to have issued letters telling multiple patients that their health conditions make them unlikely to be treated with a ventilator if they contract the coronavirus.

The letters advise that patients sign “Do Not Attempt Resuscitation” orders – in effect, their own death warrants.

But now, England’s chief nurse Ruth May and NHS England’s medical director Stephen Powis have told hospitals, GPs and NHS managers not to issue such letters.

This Site has already reported on a statement by the British Medical Association, Care Quality Commission and others, warning that blanket approaches are wrong.

And the Independent reports (see below) that legal advice shows such an approach would be unlawful.

The joint letter states: “The NHS constitution is clear that we should deliver care and support in a way that achieves dignity and compassion for each and every person we serve. We should be cognisant of the principle of equity of access for those who could benefit from treatment escalation, and the principle of support for autonomy for those who want to be involved in decisions.

“Even under pressure we strive for the delivery of personalised care and high standards of patient experience.”

So that’s that – we should hope.

Anybody who persists in foisting such alternative death warrants on vulnerable people should face the force of the law from now on.

Source: Coronavirus: England’s chief nurse and top doctor warn hospitals and GPs against imposing blanket do not resuscitate orders | The Independent

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Coronavirus discrimination: surgery asks chronically sick and disabled patients to refuse treatment

People with serious health conditions and disabilities who are registered with a GP surgery in Wales had a nasty surprise in the post.

The surgery sent them a letter saying if they caught the coronavirus, the best thing for them to do would be to reject treatment and wait for death – and it asked them to sign a form confirming it.

Llynfi Surgery, in Llynfi Road, Maesteg, sent the letter to patients with serious health conditions such as incurable cancer, motor neurone disease, and untreatable heart and lung conditions, on March 27.

It comes as further confirmation that people with disabilities will suffer adverse discrimination in the coronavirus crisis – that government guidance is to abandon them.

The letter states that people with these conditions are “unlikely to be offered hospital admission” if they become unwell with coronavirus and “certainly will not be offered a ventilator bed”.

It continued: “We would therefore like to complete a DNACPR form for you which we can share with the OOH [out of hours] GP services and which will mean that in the event of a sudden deterioration in your condition because of a Covid-19 infection or disease progression the emergency services will not be called and resuscitation attempts to restart your heart or breathing will not be attempted.”

Going on, it suggested that the “best option” for patients is to stay at home to be cared for by their family with “ongoing support from ourselves and community nursing services”.

It listed “benefits” to signing the DNACPR form:

  • “Your GP and more importantly your friends and family will know not to call 999”;
  • “Scarce ambulance resources can be targeted to the young and fit who have chance of surviving the infection”, and;
  • “The risk of transmitting the virus to friends, family and emergency responders from CPR (even chest compression alone) is very high. By having a DNACPR form in place you protect your family and emergency responders from this additional risk”.

The final line reads: “We will not abandon you but we need to be frank and realistic about what the next few months holds for all of us.”

Wales Online reported on this scandalous correspondence, saying that the local health board had contacted patients who were upset by the letter, to apologise and “answer any concerns”.

And both the Welsh Assembly member and MP have issued a joint statement saying this was “not a standard letter” and the board is working with the surgery “to offer compassionate and sound advice in the very best traditions of our health service”.

You’ll notice that there isn’t a single line in these comments that contradicts the suggestions in the letter.

If anything, it seems the authorities have simply been embarrassed that it has stated the facts about government guidance on long-term sick and disabled patients who contract the coronavirus in a blunt way.

The affair seems to be confirmation that the government is indeed using the coronavirus to cull “useless eaters”, in line with the eugenics beliefs of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings, and the Nazi-style persecution of people with long-term health issues that has been carried out by successive Conservative governments over the last decade.

Source: Surgery asks sickest patients to sign ‘do not attempt CPR’ form if they get Covid-19 – Wales Online

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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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The new Tory government has imposed Nazi-style persecution of disabled people – on its very first day

Arbet macht frei: Boris Johnson’s policy for people with physical and mental disabilities is stolen from the Nazis.

This is how it’s going to be.

The Conservative government has started as it means to go on – by smashing the right of sick and disabled people to have sick notes signed by their doctors.

Claimants of sickness and disability benefits are now no longer permitted to decide for themselves whether the outcome of Work Capability Assessments should be shared with their doctor.

The DWP can now send letters to doctors, telling them not to sign patients’ sick notes if they have been found “fit for work”.

The new regulation overturns an option not to report the outcome of WCAs to GPs that was only included on the ESA50 claim form on December 5, after the Information Commissioner warned that omitting the option contravened data protection rules.

This is an example of the de-humanisation process that minorities undergo when they are to be persecuted by a malicious and despotic national government.

The Nazis took away the rights of Jews, for example.

Note that people are routinely found fit for work when their physical and/or mental health shows that they are not. This is therefore a move to override medical evidence, with only one logical purpose:

In order to inflict further and deeper harm on people who are already injured or ill.

People who voted Conservative are reminded that this is what they wanted.

It is a policy that follows the words of tinpot despot Boris Johnson earlier this year; he said working harder would help people with mental health disorders.

Fine words from a man who has never done a hard day’s work in his life!

This Writer will refrain from commenting on the crackpot Con-man’s mental condition.

Source: Tories use first day back to attack the disabled | Morning Star

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General election 2019: Tory pledge to boost GP numbers is baloney

Jeremy Corbyn is right on this – as he is on most aspects of politics.

Let’s all remember that Matt Hancock tweeted a claim that 1,000 new doctors had joined the NHS – and then quietly deleted it after the UK Statistics Authority pointed out that it was a lie.

In fact, according to The Independent, the situation is actually worse than when the Tories pledged to add 5,000 extra doctors, including trainees, to the GP workforce in 2015.

The newspaper has said that the September workforce figures show 5,460 places to be filled – an increase of 460 vacancies.

And now Mr Hancock reckons his party can get 6,000 more doctors into the NHS by 2024-25?

You’d have to be sick to believe him.

The Tories say they will deliver 6,000 more doctors in general practice in England by 2024-25 to increase patient appointments, if they win the election.

They claim they will reach that target through additional doctors working and training in surgeries, international recruitment and better retention.

However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a previous Tory pledge to recruit 5,000 GPs by 2020 had not been met.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “You can’t trust the Tories on the NHS.”

Source: General election 2019: Tory pledge to boost GP numbers – BBC News

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Tory election lies: Matt Hancock falsely claimed 1,100 more GPs had joined the NHS

Matt Hancock: Fanfare the falsehood, then quietly retract it later. Is that the plan?

Tory election tactics 2019:

1. Make a wildly extravagant claim.

2. Wait for it to be disproved.

3. Quietly delete the claim, hoping that more people will have believed it than seen it isn’t true.

This is what Matt Hancock has done.

His original tweet – last week – raised outrage from doctors and health groups who pointed out that the number of qualified doctors has fallen.

The UK Statistics Office intervened after receiving complaints.

Now Mr Hancock has deleted the tweet.

Where’s the public apology and retraction?

According to The Independent, the situation is actually worse than when the Tories pledged to add 5,000 extra doctors, including trainees, to the GP workforce in 2015.

The newspaper has said that the September workforce figures show 5,460 places to be filled – an increase of 460 vacancies.

As far as Mr Hancock is concerned, how much more wrong could he be?

Source: Health Secretary Matt Hancock deletes ‘1,000 more GPs’ claim after statistics watchdog censure | The Independent

NHS falls deeper into crisis while May – who caused it – babbles about extra funding

GPs’ workloads rose by 16 per cent in the seven years to 2017, according to the chair of the RCGP

I seem to have touched a nerve with my article about the new GP contract – especially as information released subsequently shows the situation is getting worse.

According to the BBC – using numbers from the Nuffield Trust – the number of doctors working in general practice has gone into a “sustained” freefall, for the first time in 50 years:

“The NHS is seeing the first sustained fall in GP numbers in the UK for 50 years, the BBC can reveal.

“An analysis by the Nuffield Trust think tank for the BBC shows the number of GPs per 100,000 people has fallen from nearly 65 in 2014 to 60 last year.

“There have been reports of waits of up to seven weeks for a routine appointment, while those needing urgent appointments have been forced to queue outside practices in the early morning to guarantee to be seen.

“One in three junior doctors who accept places on GP training courses, drops out of the system, according to the Nuffield Trust. Meanwhile, the numbers retiring early have been increasing. Two-thirds of retirements by GPs come early – double the rate seen just five years ago.

“The BMA said doctors were being asked to work longer and harder, without recognition or an increase in pay. Dr Richard Vautrey, of the BMA, said workloads were now “unmanageable” for many.”

Another survey, carried out by Pulse magazine for the BBC’s Panorama, showed that those GPs who are left are being forced to see almost double the number of patients they should, while working 11-hour shifts. This means they are openly making mistakes that could put patients at risk.

The Independent stated: “GPs are working an average 11-hour day, including eight hours of care and three hours of paperwork… On average, each GP dealt with 41 patients per day, despite saying 30 was a safe number. One doctor in 10 dealt with 60 or more patients a day – double the safe limit.”

The article quoted one doctor who said as well as patient demand, there was a “workload dump” from secondary hospital care: “This workload creates patient safety risks. There are risks around having multiple patient notes open because we’re helping a nurse out with hers, or we’re 30 minutes late so we see the next patient while finishing the notes of the last.

“We might forget consultant details, plans and actions, or prescribe for the wrong person, use the wrong labels on blood tests, and so on.

“I have raised safety concerns with governing bodies before. I was basically told to shut up or my practice would be run over with a fine-toothed comb.”

And the piece mentioned a report in March from the King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation predicted that GP shortages in England will almost triple to 7,000 by 2023-24. It said the government would miss its target to recruit 5,000 more GPs by 2020 and the only way to cope with the growing workload was to put more pharmacists and physiotherapists into GP practices.

This seems to support the new GP contract and the idea of creating “primary care networks” on a US-style model, with less-qualified staff seeing patients, meaning confidentiality is lost and it will be almost impossible to see a genuine doctor.

Primary Care Commissioning, an organisation which seems dedicated to the creation of these networks, is running a series of podcasts about what it does – which will undoubtedly present a rose-tinted view that would shame any skilled diagnostitian. Here’s the first:

Before you start thinking these new PCNs don’t sound so bad, bear in mind that the government has overseen a fall in the number of nurses available to the NHS, as well. Here’s a short Twitter thread about it, prefaced by Dr Jacky Davis, co-editor of NHS:SOS:

Meanwhile, in Prime Minister’s Questions, Theresa May had the front not only to claim that there’s nothing wrong, but also to lie that her government was giving the NHS its largest injection of cash in history: “It is this Government, with their long-term plan, who are ensuring that we give that care to staff. NHS staff work hard, caring for patients, and this Government will care for NHS staff. It is only because we are able to give the NHS its biggest cash boost in its history and to give it that long-term plan that we will deliver for NHS staff.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn put her straight: “Under the last Labour Government, NHS investment rose by 6% a year, but under this Government it has barely reached 1.5%. Five thousand nurses and midwives from European Union countries have left the NHS in the past two years, and there are 100,000 staff vacancies across the NHS in England alone.

“Nobody on this side of the House ever talks down the NHS—it is Labour’s greatest achievement. The principle of healthcare free at the point of need as a human right was a Labour achievement, and every Tory MP voted against it.”

But the Conservatives currently have control, and are re-modelling the NHS in England to make it resemble the private, American model into which they want to sell it.

What are you going to do about it?

Did you know that the Tories are seducing English GPs into an American-style health system – RIGHT NOW?

I’ve only just found out about this and it is scandalous.

The Conservative government is pushing a new “GP contract” on local medical practices in England, demanding that your family doctor should sign up to the creation of “Primary Care Networks” based on a US-style model of “integrated care”.

The traditional doctor/patient relationship will end.

You will lose the right to see your GP.

Continuity of care will end.

Your GP may think they are signing up for something better, as doctors are being promised more money and more nursing staff, but…

The money is to make up for cuts to hospital care.

You will be forced to see less skilled staff.

This means your medical records will be shared widely, breaching patient confidentiality.

Patient care will suffer, meaning you will be more likely to suffer preventable harm under the new system.

And, eventually, the new system means the Tories will be able to sell your healthcare to private companies who don’t even need to be health specialists.

For the full, nightmarish scenario, see this video clip:

Is this what you want?

A diminished, profit-driven model of health care in which your well-being is of no consequence compared to the ability of a multi-national conglomerate to make money from your illness?

If you don’t, there’s still something you can do about it.

Download the leaflet and editable letter from this site, adapt the letter according to your own circumstances, and send both to your GP.

Do it before it is too late.

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DWP’s letter to doctors means MORE people have been wrongly denied benefits

Sarah Newton: The Conservative minister for disabled people once said there was no “hostile environment” for benefit claimants. Her capacity for inaccuracy, thus demonstrated, seems to be proved again with this case.

The duplicity in the latest attack on the sick and disabled by the Conservatives is enough to make anybody ill – including the doctors it targeted.

People claiming Employment and Support Allowance because they are too unwell to work, but who have their claim turned down by assessors from the private company hired by the Department for Work and Pensions, are entitled to receive the benefit while they await their appeal hearing.

But they need ‘fit’ notes from their doctors, to prove they are too ill to work – and it has emerged that “ministers” (we don’t know which) have ordered changes to the standard letter sent to GPs, in order to make them think these notes are not necessary.

It’s clearly a scam to undermine the law; sick people can’t receive the benefit if they don’t have a note from their GP, so the government has told GPs to stop providing these notes.

Amazingly, the DWP has claimed that the removal of references that made it clear to GPs they may have to issue a medical statement if their patient wished to appeal against a WCA decision was not intended to dissuade GPs from issuing fit notes.

In that case, why change the letter at all?

And why are we told that the wording was changed by agreement with the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners (although it is significant that there appear to be no formal minutes of the meeting at which this agreement was made)?

According to The Guardian:

The standard letter, called an ESA65B, is sent automatically to the GPs of all claimants who fail a WCA and are declared fit enough to work. Until 2017 the letter advised GPs that if their patient appealed against the WCA decision they must continue to provide fit notes.

However, on ministers’ orders, the letter now states that GPs “do not need to provide any more fit notes for ESA purposes”. It does not mention the possibility that the patient may appeal, or that a fit note is needed for the patient to obtain ESA payments until the appeal is heard.

And what has been the result? Back to the Graun:

Advice charity Z2K said the effect of the revised letter could be devastating. “We have seen how our clients, who are seriously ill, suddenly have zero income, become reliant on food bank vouchers and loans, and face a very real threat of homelessness.”

There was national outrage over the case of Stephen Smith, 64, who was deemed fit for work despite suffering from multiple debilitating illnesses, having his weight plummet to 38kg (6 stone) and being barely able to walk. Smith won his appeal after waiting 12 months for a hearing.

Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, the chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), said the lack of clarity over when GPs should issue fit notes could put patients’ finances and health at risk.

The reason for the change is obvious – it is well-known that 72% of claimants who appeal against their Work Capability Assessment decision are successful.

As readers of This Site know, the Conservatives like to persecute people with long-term illnesses and disabilities to their deaths. So they are trying to make it impossible for claimants to survive long enough to win their appeals.

It seems former minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton (ah, so that’s her name! I had forgotten it already) may have ordered the change. She certainly protested to the Work and Pensions select committee that the change had been to make the letter “simpler and clearer”.

Committee chair Frank Field’s acid reply was that the wording was “not having its desired effect”.

Do you think the DWP will change it back?

Source: ‘Misleading’ DWP letter causing ill and disabled people to lose benefits | Society | The Guardian


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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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