Tag Archives: health

Hancock’s excuse for care home deaths changes with the wind – but doesn’t change the fact that HE LIED TO US

Smug little liar: when Matt Hancock opens his mouth to make a claim, it will probably be wrong – or irrelevant.

It should have been easy to demonstrate that Matt Hancock has been lying to Parliament.

This Site provided a handy guide for members of the Commons Science and Health committees, who questioned the Death Health Secretary for four and a half hours on Thursday (June 10).

But instead of catching him out over his old lies, committee members managed to let him tell some new ones.

And they don’t even excuse him from the accusation he faces: causing the deaths of more than 40,000 care home residents by failing to provide adequate protection against Covid-19 – and lying about it.

We know he told us on May 15 last year, “Right from the start we’ve tried to throw a protective ring around our care homes. We set out our first advice in February… we’ve made sure care homes have the resources they need”.

Would this be the advice from Public Health England that “There is currently no transmission of Covid-19 in the community. It is therefore very unlikely that anyone receiving care in a care home … will become infected”?

If so, then it is clearly that his “protective ring” claim was false. Clearly, one of the resources necessary to ensure that care homes are protected from Covid-19 is the testing of people going into those homes, to ensure they don’t have it. This testing was not carried out.

Nor were homes provided with equipment to protect care home residents, in case their neighbours returning from hospital might have the virus – or with advice on how to achieve such protection.

We know that government policy was to provide no protection at all.

This policy did not change, even though Covid-19 deaths were registered at care homes from March 2. So the Tories allowed those deaths – and the infections causing them – to go uncontrolled for 10 days (March 12 is when we understand the advice was changed) before taking any action at all.

Covid-19 testing did not begin in those homes until July last year, by which time more than 29,000 people had died there. At least a further 11,000 people died after testing began, bringing the total to more than 40,000.

Hancock told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that [bolding mine] “we brought in the policy of wanting to test everybody who went into a care home as soon as we had those tests available”.

That is not what he told us last May. He lied.

At the Science/Health committee hearing, he said the government had not changed its advice on routinely testing hospital patients before they were discharged into care homes did not change until April – because it was following scientific advice that the virus was unlikely to spread asymptomatically.

That does not make his “protective ring” claim any less of a lie. It doesn’t matter what the scientific advice was – he had claimed the government had been protecting care home residents since February when it hadn’t.

None of his witterings about the scientific advice changes this fact.

Here’s another howler:

Defending the government’s initial advice that all hospital patients did not need to be repeatedly tested before being sent to care homes, he said ministers had “followed the clinical advice” at all times.

Again, this does not excuse him from lying. He said the government had put a “protective ring” around care homes when in fact it had left them completely unprotected.

Why did the MPs grilling (if that’s the word) Hancock not point out that nothing he had said changed the fact that he had lied?

Were they protecting him, for reasons unknown to us? If so, that’s dereliction of duty.

Were they dazzled by the new set of excuses he put up to replace the debunked previous batch?

Or are they simply as stupid as Hancock himself?

He clearly thinks they are, otherwise he would have at least come up with lies that were more convincing.

If any other MP is reading this (I know many of you do), can you please point out that Hancock’s lie is obvious and proven – and that we, the people, want him to face serious and lasting consequences?

Source: Covid: Matt Hancock defends timing of first lockdown – BBC News

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Victory for grassroots campaign as Tories ‘delay’ giving away your private NHS patient data

This is a victory for social media campaigners like This Site.

The Tories had been planning to pass private details of your mental and sexual health, criminal records, smoking and drinking habits to profiteers without telling you.

They had created a scam scheme in which they would hand over the medical histories of more than 55 million NHS England patients to profit-making organisations – unless the patients opted out.

But they never actually bothered to tell anybody what they were doing.

I mean: if you’re in England, did you see the national advertising campaign on TV, the social media and in the newspapers? Did you catch the news spots with NHS and government representatives debating it with some of the many organisations who oppose it?

I didn’t think so.

Yet Health Minister Jo Churchill, announcing the “delay” in Parliament, had the bare-faced cheek to say the government was “absolutely determined to take people with us”.

The impression I get is that hardly anybody knew a single thing about it until Vox Political – along with a few other social media organisations – publicised it on June 2.

By then, less than three weeks were left before the original June 23 deadline for opting out.

So it was risible when Churchill told Parliament “patients own their own data”.

If that’s an admission that the Tories don’t own patient data, then why have they been trying to sell it ever since they formed their government in 2010? Isn’t that, you know, theft?

The good news is that This Site’s article – and those of the other social media sites that took an interest – caught the public interest and the government had to step back.

The Tories wouldn’t have announced this delay if they had not received significant resistance to their plan.

And the really good news is that the delay means more people can opt out of the scheme.

You can do this by providing this online form to your GP – or by using this website. I strongly urge you to do so.

Be sure to enjoy the “mythbusting” section of the website in which the Tories say it’s all perfectly innocent. And then ignore it.

Source: New NHS patient data store delayed by two months – BBC News

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Dido Harding wants to run English NHS. Where there’s no accountability, there’s no shame

Fiasco: Dido Harding (left) was appointed by Matt Hancock (right – not the donkey, although it probably has more brains than him) to run a privatised Covid-19 ‘test and trace’ scheme (hence the Serco logo) under the NHS banner. It was a disaster. Now she is thinking of applying to be the new boss of NHS England. What do YOU think will happen if she gets the job?

The former jockey who cocked up the UK’s Covid-19 “test and trace” efforts – so badly that £37 billion of public money couldn’t put it right – now wants to inflict herself on the English NHS.

Dido Harding has made a name for herself as the worst possible choice to run any organisation, ever since her lamentable stint as boss of Talk Talk.

Her tenure at the head of “test and trace” almost certainly caused thousands of unnecessary deaths.

But there is no accountability among Tories. She has not been called to face justice for her failures, and she never will be.

Just you think about the colossal amount of harm she could do to the nation’s health if she gets a job running England’s NHS.

The Tories would love it; it would be the best advert for full privatisation they could possibly have.

Source: Former Test and Trace boss Dido Harding considering bid to lead NHS England

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If you’re in England, the government is planning to hand your private health records to people you don’t know – again

Readers in England: are you happy that the Tory government is about to pass private details of your mental and sexual health, criminal records, smoking and drinking habits to profiteers?

Tory-run NHS Digital will hand over the medical histories of more than 55 million patients to “third parties” to “support the planning and commissioning of health and care services, the development of health and care policy, public health monitoring and interventions (including COVID-19) and enable many different areas of research.”

The announcement is carefully worded to avoid suggesting that your details are going to people who plan to make money out of them, but the simple fact is that, before privatisation was introduced in 2012, nobody but the NHS would have needed your records for the reasons given.

You can opt out of the scheme before June 23 by providing this online form to your GP – or by using this website. I strongly urge you to do so – and to ignore the “mythbusting” section of the website in which the Tories say it’s all perfectly innocent. They would, wouldn’t they?

If you think the Tories can be trusted on this, bear in mind that NHS Digital said the data could not be used “solely for commercial purposes”, which means that it will be used partly for commercial purposes.

Digital rights campaign group Foxglove has written to health secretary Matt Hancock suggesting that this plan is illegal.

And campaigners have also raised concerns that the scheme has not been sufficiently publicised. Did you know about it before reading this?

Healthcare IT News quoted Phil Booth of privacy organisation MedConfidential as follows:

“For the Government to rush out a data grab like this, with only a few weeks’ notice for patients and for GPs, is not only corrosive of trust – it’s deeply irresponsible. GPs are the busiest they’ve ever been and dumping this on them without time to prepare and the resources to handle patients’ opt-outs is the very worst sort of digital disruption.”

Absolutely.

NHS Digital is desperate to convince us that the data could only be used by “organisations which can show they have an appropriate legal basis and a legitimate need to use it”.

But recent experiences of health secretary Matt Hancock’s dealings with the private sector suggest that the database will go to anybody who has bunged the Tory Party a few quid over the last 10 or 20 years.

And, let’s face it, the Tories have a very poor record of trying to sell off your NHS records for a quick buck.

It’s one of the stories that has kept repeating over the last (nearly) 10 years, and This Site has reported on its progress:

The Tories tried to put GP records in a central database in 2013 under the Care.data programme, but it was abandoned in 2016 after confidentiality complaints.

My report of the time shows that the Tories are still using the same weak excuse for exploiting your private data, that failed to convince anyone eight years ago:

[Then-Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt] thinks this gross abuse of patient confidentiality is a good idea. But then, he’s a Tory and therefore thinks he has a God-given right to take anything, from anyone, if they have less filthy lucre than himself.

According to the Daily Mail – and you know the Tories have lost the plot when even the Heil weighs in against them – the *unt wants us to believe that the information will be valuable for medical research and screening for common diseases.

Doctors say Mr *unt and NHS England have failed in their duty to publicise the plan in a proper and reasonable way, that patients are not getting an “informed” choice about the matter, and that patients could be identified from the data with any information other than that on common conditions – which, we’ve already established, becomes public knowledge anyway.

Same excuses, same failure to publicise the plan… so we have all the same reasons to withdraw our permission. Don’t we?

I reported on it again in 2014.

And in 2016, after a review into care.data recommended that the scheme be scrapped, the Tories tried to sell your information anyway, but just without telling you.

Again, This Site reported on it:

The government’s review proposes to allow medical records from your family doctor, (possibly including NHS Numbers, diagnoses, referrals, prescriptions along with postcodes and dates of birth) to be uploaded to a giant national database – but this time without telling us or asking for our consent.

One of the schemes to replace care.data is called the “Single GP dataset”. The government’s review into care.data proposes to send all patient records from family GPs to the central database without the express consent of patients. Once in the system, it can be “sold” to any customers of the ‘Health and Social Care Information centre”, including private companies.

The government buried this announcement on the day of the report into the Iraq War. It is hoping no one will notice this new land grab on our medical records.

But people did notice.

And now I’m reporting on it again, so you will notice it again. I hope you will put a stop to it again, too.

And then I’ll look forward to reporting on another Tory bid to sell this information.

Judging by experience, we’ll be back here again in 2025.

Source: Privacy fears over NHS plans to share GP medical records with third parties | Healthcare IT News

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Every new MP receives briefing on how Tory social security reforms have harmed us – so they can’t say they don’t know

Long-term readers of This Site will remember Mo Stewart, the researcher into the harm being caused to claimants of sickness and disability benefits by successive Conservative governments’ determination to convert the social security system to a for-profit insurance scheme.

Mo spent 10 years researching and writing a book on this subject: Cash Not Care – The Planned Demolition of the UK Welfare State.

After the 2019 general election, she became concerned that the huge new influx of Conservative MPs – along with those from other political parties – were ignorant of the harm that government policies had caused.

So she wrote a briefing paper specifically addressing the issue and sent it to all of them.

Labour’s John McDonnell has apparently offered to arrange a debate on the subject, if possible.

Whether or not that happens, Mo has provided me with a copy of the document so we all have a record of what these MPs should know – and so they won’t be able to plead ignorance.

And here it is:

Social Policy Abused:
The Creation Of Preventable Harm

Executive Summary

The Preventable Harm Project (the Project) ran for ten years and closed in November 2019, with the evidence identified within the Project findings widely promoted during 2019/20. The Project identified the bipartisan political ambition to eventually remove the UK welfare state, to be replaced by private income replacement health insurance. In order to remove the welfare state, it was first necessary to remove the psychological security provided by the welfare state. This was achieved by the adoption of a flawed disability assessment model, and the manipulation of the general public aided by the tabloid press, that successfully demonised claimants of disability benefit(s). Large numbers of suicides linked to the adoption of the Work Capability Assessment are overlooked by the Department for Work and Pensions, and successive Rule 43 ‘prevention of future deaths’ Coroners’ reports, highlighting the link between the Work Capability Assessment and suicides, have also been disregarded. The Work Capability Assessment was fatally flawed by design and should be abolished, and the departmental intimidation of disability benefit claimants should be outlawed.

Introduction: The Creation of Preventable Harm

1. Introduced in 2008 to restrict access to the new Employment and Support Allowance long-term out-of-work disability benefit, the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is a ‘non-medical functional assessment’ that disregards all clinical opinion. Since 2010, the WCA has been linked to the deaths of thousands of chronically ill and disabled benefit claimants who applied for state financial support when unable to work, yet were deemed to be ‘fit for work’ by the fatally flawed WCA.

2. Twelve years since the adoption of the WCA there is an identified and growing mental health crisis within the UK linked to claimants of disability benefit(s), and a disturbing increase in suicides directly linked to the WCA, as identified by published academic research but dismissed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

“The worst thing, I find, is realising that I am forced into looking for a life that I want but have no chance of having. I seriously feel I may kill myself because being sick, having next to no money, no life, no future, no cure, constant pain and constant disapproval defeats me.”

An extract from the ‘Fulfilling Potential? ESA and the fate of the Work-Related Activity Group’ project, conducted by Catherine Hale and published by MIND and the Centre for Welfare Reform.

3. In both 2006 and 2007 the government’s own expert medical panel warned the administration not to adopt the WCA, advising that it was ‘not fit for purpose’ due to the predictable negative impact on public mental health. The expert panel’s clinical opinion was disregarded by the DWP. The removal of clinical opinion from disability assessment using the WCA guaranteed that many of those in greatest need were destined to die, as the state removed the financial and the psychological security of a guaranteed income when unfit to work.

4. There have been two official Rule 43 ‘prevention of future deaths’ Coroners’ reports linking the WCA to suicides, with other Coroners expressing concern at inquests due to the identified enforced suffering of the deceased by the DWP. Coroners’ official Rule 43 reports and identified concerns are disregarded by the DWP, whose social policy reforms since 2010 created preventable harm to those in greatest need linked to intimidation. The constant threat of sanctions, which removes all disability benefit income, leaves the chronically ill and disabled community in need of state financial support living in fear of the DWP.

5. Regardless of the Jobcentre being advised that a claimant is unable to attend an interview due to ill health, disabled claimants are routinely met with an ‘institutional reluctance’ to meet their needs, as identified in Coroner’s reports. Jobcentre staff’s decisions to sanction a claimant can cause death by starvation, in C21st UK, when all income is removed for a period of weeks or months. No-one is held to account when some of those in greatest need are starved to death by the state.

6. The WCA is used to limit access to all state disability funding including the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Universal Credit and the War Pensions for older working-age disabled veterans, which is a military medical pension not an out-of-work benefit.

7. The WCA is regularly and inappropriately referred to as a ‘medical assessment’ by the DWP, MPs, academics, policy advisers and journalists. The WCA is not a medical assessment and is totally unrelated to clinical opinion. The adoption of the WCA is identified as being attributed to psychocoercion by successive administrations, to remove what once was the psychological security of the welfare state for anyone who is unfit to work.

8. Identified in 2008 by the American Association of Justice as being the second worst insurance company in America, the corporate insurance giant Unum (Provident) Insurance have been advisers to the UK government since 1992, and were appointed as the official UK government consultants for ‘welfare claims management’ from 1994. Concerned by the increase in various conditions that could not be confirmed by blood tests or x-rays, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, Unum Insurance adopted a biopsychosocial (BPS) model of disability assessment, which disregards all clinical opinion.

9. Unum advised the UK government as to how to adopt a similar BPS assessment model in the UK, and funded an assessment centre at Cardiff University for this purpose. The DWP adopted the discredited Waddell-Aylward BPS model of assessment for the WCA, which disregards diagnosis, prognosis, past medical history and prescribed medicines. The human consequences of using the WCA is that many of those in greatest need would die, with many driven to suicide with a common perception that anyone claiming to be unfit to work, and in need of state financial support, will be persecuted by the DWP. The Waddell-Aylward BPS model of assessment failed all academic scrutiny.

Policy recommendations

• Since 2009 every clinical authority in the UK have demanded that the WCA should be abolished. This includes the British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal College of Nurses and the British Psychological Society. Introduced by the private health insurance industry, disregarding clinical opinion was always dangerous. The WCA is fatally flawed and should be abolished without further delay, to be replaced with a disability assessment that considers clinical opinion, with many assessments being paper-based, so that the chronically ill and disabled community are no longer intimidated by the DWP.

Research findings
• In order to remove the past psychological security provided by the welfare state it was necessary to discredit vast numbers of disability benefit claimants, aided by the tabloid press, which helped to manipulate the British public.
• Social policies were adopted with a fiscal priority whilst disregarding health and wellbeing, which policymakers failed to take into account when recommending policies which were harmful.
• Since 2010 the social policy reforms, and the additional austerity measures, were destined to have a catastrophic and often fatal consequence for many of those in greatest need. Thousands of chronically ill and disabled benefit claimants have died when ‘killed by the state,’ with a 2014 NHS Digital Adult Psychiatry Morbidity Survey report that identified that almost 50 percent of ESA disability benefit claimants had attempted suicide at some point.
• Prosecuted disability hate crimes, including murder, increased by 213 percent between 2010-2016, during the coalition government’s term in office.
• The relationship between physical health and mental health is well documented. The numbers of benefit claimants who have perished due to social policies since 2010 will never be known.
• Published in September 2016 ‘Cash Not Care: the planned demolition of the UK welfare state’ provides the results of the first six years of independent disability studies research for the Preventable Harm Project. The book is now recommended reading for various social policy, health and legal courses at universities in the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

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Boris Johnson’s response to row over his NHS pay comments: he has run away

To judge Boris Johnson by both his words and his deeds, it seems he is a liar and a coward.

The UK’s current excuse for a prime minister caused controversy in a discussion on nurses’ pay during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

Challenged by Keir Starmer over the government’s decision to renege on a promise to deliver a 2.1 per cent pay rise for NHS staff, cutting it back to a below-inflation one per cent (effectively a pay cut), Johnson claimed that “the last time that we put this to a vote, the right hon. and learned Gentleman voted against it”.

He was taken to be referring to the NHS Funding Act last year – wrongly, because nobody voted on it at all; with support from all main parties it went through “on the nod”.

His press secretary, Allegra Stratton, has now claimed that he was referring to the Queen’s Speech at the opening of the current session of Parliament.

This is odd, because I’ve just watched the relevant part of that speech and Her Majesty didn’t breathe a single word about a 2.1 per cent pay rise for NHS staff.

Looking at the NHS Funding Act, though, I can’t find any reference to a 2.1 per cent boost there either.

Starmer himself had been referring to the NHS Long-Term Plan document published by the Tories government of the day in June 2019. That was a policy document and nobody in Parliament voted on it.

So whatever Boris Johnson meant when he said it, Keir Starmer cannot possibly have voted against such a pay rise for NHS nurses.

At PMQs, Labour’s shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, called for Johnson to correct his statement – and the prime minister refused. Speaker Lyndsey Hoyle confused the issue by stating that Ashworth had corrected the record by making his intervention.

He has since issued a new statement saying the onus was on MPs to “correct the record if they make an inaccurate statement to the house”.

He said failure to do so would be “dishonourable”.

This means it was not enough for Allegra Stratton to make new claims in a press conference – or for Jacob Rees-Mogg to attempt to clarify the meaning behind Johnson’s comments in a short statement yesterday (Thursday).

To clear himself of the dishonour he has caused, Johnson must return to Parliament and explain what he said, what it meant and why he said it in a way that makes sense.

Will he do it? No.

He knows he can’t; it would only give Labour, the SNP and anybody else who fancies it a chance to stick the boot in, because there is no sensible explanation for his comment.

He can live with the dishonour because Boris Johnson knows exactly what he is.

Source: Boris Johnson resists calls to correct claim in NHS pay row | Boris Johnson | The Guardian

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This nurse’s vote won’t go to Boris Johnson again. She explained why in a note that’s going viral

Student nurse Jessica Collins wrote a note to Boris Johnson, explaining why she won’t support his Conservatives again.

She didn’t think he would see it – but plenty of other people have, and it’s easy to understand the reasons for that.

See for yourself [boldings mine]:

Your government absolutely do not have my vote in the next election. I say this with the [utmost] certainty and unlike past voting decisions, I am 100% sure it is the right one.

This isn’t just because your government removed the bursary alongside funding for tuition fees, leaving student nurse mums like me in £60000+ worth of debt upon leaving this physically and mentally draining degree and condemning the future workforce to the same struggles.

This isn’t just because the government found a loophole in our opt-in contracts to help during coronavirus, to enable them to stop paying students for risking their lives on the frontline at the earliest opportunity.

This isn’t just because your designated minister for care declared in a letter addressed directly to me, that every single one of the 2,300+ hours I’ve completed in NHS hospitals as not being offering of any form of service to my patients.

This isn’t just because I watched a video back whereby 313 out of 317 conservative MP’s voted against a nurse pay rise (amongst other public sector funding) and then unashamedly laughed when they found out they had the majority.

This isn’t just because your ‘sing happy birthday twice whilst washing your hands’ was never ever going to be enough to avoid the the tens of thousands of deaths that have happened due to COVID-19. Nor is it just because you were too late to lockdown this country for whatever excuse you declare, and subsequently we paid heavily with the lives of so many of our incredible people.

This isn’t just because you left nurses, carers and other key workers specifically, out of a public sector pay-rise for those who have fought so hard against COVID-19.

This isn’t just because every single conservative MP voted no against a new clause intended to protect our NHS from any form of control outside of the UK, then tried to cover it up with sharing a positive story about giving doctors a pay rise.

This isn’t just because it takes a famous footballer calling you out on his public platform, to ensure that the most vulnerable children in our society had food to eat over summer.

This isn’t because of the many, many other things that yourself, or certain members of your party have done wrong, many of which I probably don’t know about.

The main reason you don’t have my vote, is because every single time you have failed, you’ve not once turned around, held your hands up and said that you’ve made a mistake. It’s because I’ve not once heard you say sorry but that you’ve learned and you’ll do better next time.

It’s because every single time you or a member of your party are called out on your failings, you either lay the blame somewhere else, boycott those who dare to seek the truth or just release the same statement quoting the same generalised political jargon.

As a nurse if I was ever to make a mistake, I would hold my hands up and take responsibility for it. I would absolutely say sorry anyone it’s affected. I would reflect on it and learn what I did wrong and then I would plan what I could do from then on to ensure I never make the same mistake twice. Now I know being a nurse is very different to being the prime minister however honesty, trustworthiness and humility should be attributes carried through any job at all if you are to earn any form of respect. Even more so one like your own where your decisions affect millions of people like me.

When people like me desperately try and express the unjustness of your decisions, you choose to ignore it, every single time. Your people don’t have a voice unless the complaints come from people of higher status or world renowned footballers who have the platform to make you look bad.

You made such a fuss of clapping for the NHS and indicated more, only to put us straight back in our under-valued places the first chance you got, with no explanation or apology.

The saddest thing is, for so long you and many others have played a part in conditioning nurses like me alongside other health professionals to believe that they should never complain about how they deserve better pay. If we dare to feel under-valued or ask for more, it reflects badly on us because we should be doing this job out of the goodness of our hearts with a view to making a positive difference in people’s lives. Asking for more goes against our compassionate, selfless natures right?

Wrong. From the start of my degree I’ve been made to feel worthless and I’m absolutely done with that. Yes I’m kind and caring, yes I try to be selfless and I will always give everything I have to those I care for, but I’m not some muddy ground for you to walk all over in your quest for I don’t quite know what.

We work hard, we work tirelessly and unlike you we do it with honesty, humility and compassion, however you will be the only one out of us to get a pay rise this year. Can you see where this might be a little unfair? Or will you just release another statement saying how we are appreciated expecting that to make us all feel a little better?

Johnson is currently offering nurses like Jessica a one per cent pay rise (which is in fact a pay cut, once inflation is taken into account. Here’s how that compares with other nations:

You can understand why nurses like Jessica are angry; why they feel they have been taken for granted and are considered to be “muddy ground” for Johnson and his like to “walk all over”.

And you can understand her reasons for being furious at being denied a pay rise while Johnson rakes in the cash for himself.

If you can see all that, can you see a way to show your support for nurses like Jessica, so they can have the pay rise they deserve for keeping us, our friends, families and loved ones alive during the Covid-19 crisis when Johnson and his cronies were doing their best to make us die?

Source: This nurse’s note to Boris Johnson is going viral

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Boris Johnson misleads Parliament AGAIN. Why did the UK ask for a liar to be prime minister?

Every day when I wake up and remember that Boris Johnson is prime minister, I wonder what went wrong.

It was bad enough when David Cameron was in charge, with his backwards ideas about benefits and the economy, and his concern for the Conservative Party above the nation that led to the EU referendum.

Then it got worse when Theresa May took over and proved incapable of doing anything apart from victimising people of minority ethnic origin.

Now we have Johnson, who appears to be incapable of uttering a factual accuracy and whose government is therefore – not unsurprisingly – marinating itself in corruption.

Today’s howler was his claim, in Prime Minister’s Questions, that Keir Starmer had voted against a promise of a 2.1 per cent pay rise for nurses – that his own government is breaking.

The plan was in the NHS Funding Bill last year – which passed without a formal vote because all the main parties supported it. Starmer didn’t need to vote, but if he had, he would have supported the Bill.

It will be interesting to see how Downing Street mangles the English language in order to pretend his claim is accurate.

After he said there would be no funding cut for the body tasked with improving transport in the north (he’s taking away 40 per cent of its funding), Downing Street tried to suggest he had been talking about transport generally for the north of England.

And after he claimed all Covid-19 contracts had been published and were “on the record” – only to be contradicted by the High Court – a minister said all CANs – Contract Award Notices – had been published. They are not the same thing.

This time, he has declared – on television – that the leader of the Opposition took part in a vote that did not take place, and in doing so, voted against a Bill he supported.

I’d wish Johnson’s Downing Street advisors the best of luck finding a way out of that – but I want them, and him, to fall flat on their faces.

Source: Boris Johnson accused of misleading Parliament for third time in three weeks – Mirror Online

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‘No ceiling’ promise for Welsh NHS pay rise – but how much will nurses actually get?

It will be interesting to see what pay rise Welsh NHS staff get, in the end.

The Welsh Government might not have said there is a ceiling on the amount it will pay NHS workers here, but that doesn’t mean Vaughan Gething doesn’t have one in mind.

There is no magic money tree for the Welsh Government; no Bank of Wales to create cash out of nowhere to pay for policy objectives.

The Welsh Government has to rely on the grant doled out to it by the Tories in Westminster, who very obviously restricted that cash a few years ago in order to prevent Wales from looking more generous to its health workers than England.

There are limited powers of taxation, too.

It’s clear that the Welsh Government – the Labour-run Welsh Government – can smell a propaganda victory over the Tories here, whose meagre one per cent offer is in fact a pay cut, as inflation is currently 1.5-1.8 per cent.

But I doubt they will be willing to sacrifice any hard-won fiscal credibility.

Also, of course, any decision will take into account the recommendation of the independent NHS Pay Review Body.

I would be astonished if it supported the full 12.5 per cent rise demanded by the Royal College of Nurses.

But a significant rise could lead to an influx of staff and a surge in procedures, leading in turn to increased productivity in the Welsh workforce.

Remember, healthcare has a “multiplier” effect on the economy that the Tories ignore. A decent pay deal for Welsh NHS staff could make the consequences of that ideological difference embarrassingly clear.

So Gething has it all to play for.

Let’s hope he doesn’t fumble the ball.

Source: Welsh NHS: ‘No ceiling’ for possible pay rise, says minister – BBC News

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Here’s why a DECENT NHS pay rise will help us all

Paying NHS staff more money will improve the UK’s economy massively.

That’s the educated opinion of Tax Research UK’s Richard Murphy, and who are we to argue with him?

In his latest video clip, Mr Murphy explains that the Tory government’s decision to offer only a derisory one per cent pay increase – less than the rate of inflation – is actually harmful to its own hope of economic recovery.

The Tories have based their offer on a false belief that the NHS does not contribute to the economy. This is easily disproved because a person who is fit and healthy is clearly more able to create profit than somebody who is ill or injured.

The benefit to the economy provided by the NHS has actually been measured and it seems that for every £1 invested in the health service, the economy benefits by between £2 and £4.

That’s a hell of a markup!

Think about it. Most supermarkets operate on the basis of profits between – what – five and 15 per cent, if I recall correctly. This is a profit of up to four HUNDRED per cent.

In a nation that badly needs to re-establish its economy after Covid-19 – not to mention Brexit – that’s not to be sniffed at, but sniffing at it is exactly what Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and the other Tories are doing.

At the moment there are 80,000 staff vacancies in the health service because the wages aren’t enough to compensate for the long hours, stress and heartbreak involved.

This, along with the ongoing effects of Covid-19, means that patients aren’t getting the treatment – even the routine work – they need and there is a knock-on effect for the economy because they are being prevented from getting back into it and producing the content of work they should be able to provide at the standard they are expected to.

“It’s as much as we can give,” said Boris Johnson. But this is sheer short-sightedness. A five per cent pay rise, as suggested by Mr Murphy, would pay for itself as the benefits spread through the economy.

This Writer is left wondering whether Johnson is deliberately sabotaging the health service in order to make privatisation more acceptable; if it can’t recruit staff, then perhaps it should be handed over to private firms.

The trouble with that is, private firms won’t pay any better because they’ll be busily grubbing for profits for their shareholders.

And they won’t provide the service the NHS offers because most people simply won’t be able to afford their prices.

So the economy will suffer a much greater downturn as increasing numbers of people fall into illnesses from which they simply won’t be able to get up.

It is economic idiocy.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s Mr Murphy:

One part of the clip that I don’t understand is where he says the NHS is perceived to be free. It isn’t and never has been.

Originally, the cost of the service was said to be paid by National Insurance. Nowadays I think that is not true – or certainly not as true as in the past. Much of the cost is now said to come from general taxation (although we know that tax doesn’t actually work like that; the money taken back by the government is more correctly said to be recycled into use to pay for the NHS).

Either way, the NHS is at least partially supported with payments from the general public. It isn’t free and never has been.

Isn’t it funny how that disappears from the minds of politicians whenever it becomes convenient?

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