Tag Archives: health

#Covid19 #planB rules will be lifted in England on January 27

Jabber Johnson: he says people still need to be vaccinated as the Omicron variant is “not a mild disease for everyone”.

Boris Johnson has announced that health protection regulations that he brought in to minimise the effect of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 will be ended on Thursday, January 27.

For clarity, this means:

  • The end of mandatory Covid passes in England, with businesses allowed to use them if they choose
  • Mandatory face masks will end, including in classrooms for secondary students and on public transport – meaning people will not be criminalised for choosing not to wear them
  • The end to work from home guidance
  • Restrictions on care homes will be eased, with detail to be released
  • However, there will still be a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid

As Johnson made his announcement, a Scottish MP asked: “Is the PM scrapping the rules because he doesn’t understand them?” in a harsh – but fair – comment on the prime minister’s latest “Partygate” excuse.

Johnson said his government got the tough decisions right – but did he?

He failed to identify the seriousness of Omicron when it was first reported. He didn’t close the UK’s borders; he practically invited Omicron into the country.

He failed to impose new health protection measures in time to prevent more than a million people from catching the new strain of Covid-19.

He failed to equip the NHS to take the added strain created by the two failures listed above, meaning doctors and nurses were pushed to their limit and beyond. The future of healthcare in the UK is looking bleak because these professionals will be reassessing their decision to work here.

And there is no guarantee that a Johnson government will not make the same mistakes again, if another variant of Covid-19 washes up on the UK’s shores.

Every decision Johnson has made about Covid-19 has been determined by whether a Tory, or a Tory donor, can make money from it.

This announcement merely highlights more reasons Johnson must be removed from office.

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MPs bypass #DWP to publish controversial report on claimants’ experience of #benefits

Boris Johnson isn’t the only Tory minister facing serious consequences for their actions this week. It’s looking bad for Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey too.

Coffey has repeatedly refused to publish a DWP-commissioned report on disabled people’s experiences of the benefit system – so the Commons Work and Pensions Committee has given orders for its authors to provide a copy to Parliament, which will then be published.

The report, The Uses of Health and Disability Benefits was received by the Government in September 2020. The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) had interviewed disabled people about their experiences of receiving PIP, ESA and Universal Credit.

The committee last month gave the Secretary of State one final chance to publish the report, which she herself admitted fell within the Government’s own protocol for publication.

But Coffey said she would not be reconsidering her decision.

Why not? It seems likely that researchers at NatCen, who wrote the report, found that people on disability and other health-related benefits were overwhelmingly negative about their experience of the system under Tories including Coffey and her forerunners, going right back to Iain Duncan Smith.

NatCen has been ordered to provide a copy of its report by January 27.

“After repeated obstruction from the Secretary of State to keep from public view a piece of work that falls within the Government’s own protocol for publication, we have reached the end of the road,” said Work and Pensions Committee chairman Stephen Timms.

“We would have much rather the DWP had done the right thing and published the report itself, so it is with regret that we must now take the highly unusual step of using our parliamentary powers to obtain a copy from NatCen and publish it ourselves.

“We have been forced to do this to ensure that the reality of disabled people’s experiences of the benefits system can see the light of day.”

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Why are the #Tories handing £270 million pounds to #privatehealth if #Covid19 is declining?

Backhander: private health companies are being given a fortune in public money by the Tory government – and the cash will go to firms that are part-owned by Tories and Tory donors.

Can anybody make sense of this?

But all the indications are that the Omicron wave has peaked and Covid-19 is declining.

There is no reason at all to give any public money to private health companies for Covid-related services.

But the money has gone and is not coming back. It seems clear there is only one reason for it:

The only reason This Writer can find for such funding is the one that has been causing the Tories all their problems at the moment: deception.

Only recently, we were told NHS England did not have enough Covid-19 tests – LFT or PCR – to cover demand; indeed, it had to take four million kits from NHS Wales in an effort to cover the shortfall.

So when we see that the number of infections is down to around 70,000, can we really believe it? Or is the investment in private healthcare justified?

It doesn’t matter – because the Tory government is deceiving us in any event.

If the number of infections isn’t really down, then the government is lying about that; if it is, then the government is lying about the need to pay private health.

My personal opinion? The number of deaths appears to have reduced as well as infections (although we’ll have to see what Monday’s data brings), so I’m willing to hazard a guess that the Omicron wave has broken.

That means there’s absolutely no reason to give any money to the profit-grubbers and Sajid Javid is simply lining shareholders’ pockets for no reason other than squandering your cash.

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Outcry as #Labour says it will go #private to clear #NHS backlog

Wes Streeting: nice hair – shame about the policies.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has stabbed the NHS in the back by saying a future Labour government would pay private health companies to reduce the Tory-created health treatment backlog.

Organisations within the NHS responded instantly by calling for healthcare workers to join a union and get organised – on the reasonable ground that “saving the NHS isn’t coming out of Westminster.”

Others reacted with fury to Streeting himself:

And his claim that private sector involvement can cut waiting lists has been disproved:

But then, Streeting appears to have a reputation for backing duff causes:

His comment was a betrayal of a key leadership pledge by current Labour leader Keir Starmer. Funny, that – only last week, Starmer said he stood by those pledges, even though he has broken every single one of them since becoming party leader.

Even if they do join trade unions, those unions are being advised to disaffiliate from Starmer’s Tepid Tory Party, in favour of stronger activism in their own right – for a very pertinent and obvious reason:

Finally, the satirists have had a chance for some fun:

I’m not saying Alan B’Stard could have been a blueprint for Streeting. But the future the fictional character suggested makes more sense than the Shadow Health Secretary’s fantasy.

Besides, there’s an obvious answer to the provision of NHS healthcare by private firms which is that the UK government should simply take it.

The process is called expropriation. In times of national need (like now), the government may simplytake the required service from the appropriate source, which must provide it.

That would be simple and cost-effective. Ah, but it would upset Wes Streeting’s privatisation-based beliefs, wouldn’t it? Poor baby.

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#Tory plans for #Covid19 have fallen into incoherence. Can anybody #makeitmakesense?

Boris Johnson says the UK’s position with regard to Covid-19 is “incomparably better” than it was this time last year.

I don’t get it, so I’m willing to bet that you don’t either.

Covid-19 infections in the UK have skyrocketed over the Christmas period – and that’s just those we know about!

At the time of writing, the number of new cases in England and Scotland stood at 157, 758 on January 3. Those for Wales and Northern Ireland were not included in the figures from Public Health England.

And there is a shortage of test kits, meaning the figures available to us are likely to represent only a fraction of the real total.

Only 42 deaths have been recorded. Again, these are likely to be a fraction of the real total, but the figure is one of the best This Writer has seen in months.

The number of hospitalisations is not listed on any of the press releases I’ve seen, but it likely to be around 9-10,000.  That’s about 50 per cent more than the previous week, indicating that while the Omicron variant may not kill people, it will certainly put them in hospital, tying up NHS resources.

The government’s response? Revive Nightingale hospitals.

That’s right. Apparently eight new Nightingales are being set up in car parks across the UK, aiming to provide 4,000 extra beds for Covid-19 patients.

Sadly, there are no extra NHS staff available to run these so-called hospitals. The NHS is overstretched, just staffing the genuine hospitals it has. Boris Johnson’s claim to be recruiting 50,000 new nurses had the same validity as most of his pronouncements (in other words, none at all) and Sajid Javid’s appeal for former healthcare professionals to help out has fallen on deaf ears.

It seems both men are hoping that nobody will realise that a tent in a car park without hospital staff isn’t a hospital; it’s just a tent – in a car park.

Heaven help you if you end up being sent there.

While all this was going on, the government assured everybody in England that it was perfectly safe to enjoy New Year parties – without any health protection measures at all. This was probably motivated by fear of being shamed again if evidence comes to light of more Downing Street parties at a time when people were not allowed to enjoy themselves, and hope that the inevitable increase in Covid cases comes as those with other causes start to tail off.

Oh, and the shortage of NHS staff is not being addressed at all. In fact, the Tories have refused to provide the FFP2 or FFP3 face masks that will protect them from being infected by their patients, meaning he is deliberately directing the NHS towards what could be its worst ever winter crisis.

Then there’s the question of schools.

The new term begins on January 4 (which could be today, depending on when you’re reading this), with only one health protection measure in place: secondary pupils must wear masks.

There is no plan to address the acute shortage of teachers caused by the government’s refusal to impose protections on their health after the Omicron variant arrived in the UK.

This means classes – and indeed entire schools – are likely to close this month.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has told head teachers to consider merging classes (to ensure that pupils who may not be infected have a chance to catch Covid from those who are?) or sending groups of pupils home if staff absences reach critical levels.

This suggests that his own appeal for former teachers to volunteer to help has fallen on the same stony ground as his colleague Javid’s did within the NHS. And quite right, too – retired staff are in the Covid-19 danger zone and must consider their own safety first.

So government policy is another massive contradiction. Health protection measures are minimal and the assumption is that schools will stay open until closure is the only choice remaining to them – meaning they must become breeding grounds for the virus, once again.

Calls for better ventilation, filtration, and social distancing have been rejected by the government – possibly because acting on them would involve spending money, and the only spending the Tories plan to do on Covid-19 is wasting cash by handing it to their friends (no matter how amateur they may be).

Sadly we cannot expect opposition to any of these hare-brained policies from Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.

Starmer supported, to the hilt, everything Johnson has done – and failed to do – about Covid-19. That includes demanding that schools should stay open.

A U-turn now would leave him and his Tepid Tory party wide open to criticism from the real Tories.

Labour had the chance to demand school safety, support for the vulnerable, and help for businesses but squandered it. Now it is too late for Starmer to change.

Add it all up and it makes nonsense of Boris Johnson’s claim that the UK is in an “incomparably better” position than this time last year.

We are on the edge of a cliff and he is trying to push us over.

That’s unless you can make it make sense for the rest of us.

Social media comments on the information supporting this article – and more – are below:

#BorisJohnson #sleaze #scandal of the day: another MP with a second job

Coward: Boris Johnson hid in a fridge once to evade difficult questions.

Boris Johnson is facing tricky questions again:

Apparently Winchester MP Stephen Brine repeatedly claimed on the public Register of Members’ Interests that he’d been given the green-light to take a £1,600-a-month job with Sigma Pharmaceuticals by a Parliamentary watchdog, just months after quitting as a Public Health minister in March 2019.

This was not true, it seems. And the company was given a Covid-19 contract worth £100,000 subsequently. Did Brine act as a lobbyist? Both he and the firm deny it. But they would, wouldn’t they?

And with corruption in government at an all-time high, it seems unlikely that we’ll get the facts, whether they’re innocent or not.

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Health service in England to be privatised as Tories pass misnamed ‘Health and Care’ Bill

Snout in the trough (all right – bucket): many Conservative MPs have shares in private health companies that will profit from this legislation.

So that’s that. The National Health Service in England is to be carved into 42 smaller organisations that will be passed into the hands of private, profit-making health companies:

The boards of the new Integrated Care Systems, that commission services, will be dominated by profit-grubbers, and they’re not going to give the non-profit organisation a chance to take money out of their shareholders’ pockets.

This means the duty to provide a comprehensive health service is being abolished. The quality of healthcare in all parts of England will plummet as a result.

The only hope now is for the Lords to bounce the Bill back with significant amendments. This is a possibility as the Tories are in a minority there. But the Commons will most likely just send it back with the amendments reversed because many Tory MPs have shares in profit-making health firms.

Let’s also spare a moment to remind ourselves that Jeremy Corbyn, as Labour leader, warned everybody in the United Kingdom that this was the Conservative plan, with more than 450 pages of evidence, in the run-up to the 2019 election.

His words were ridiculed and Boris Johnson’s Tories were elected with a landslide majority after around 13 million people voted for them.

By a curious coincidence, the NHS waiting list is expected to swell past 13 million over the next few months – due entirely to the same Tory government’s utter indifference to your health.

Many of those waiting more than a year, in pain and suffering, for routine procedures will be the very same Conservative voters who put Johnson and his raiders in power. Do they now have buyers’ remorse?

Not a bit of it!

Like petulant children, Tory voters hate being told they were wrong and will self-harm as a response to being told how to help themselves.

Trust me on that.

I’ve been pointing out Tory failures for years and that’s why This Site’s readership is so… er… exclusive.

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As the misnamed Health and Care Bill goes before MPs, here’s what it will do

Not for sale: sadly, this is just an aspiration now – held by those of us who still think healthcare should be based on patient need and not on provider profit.

[Vox Political first published this article in July. As the Health and Care Bill goes before MPs tomorrow and Tuesday (November 22-23), this seems an appropriate time for a reminder of how they intend to butcher your health service.]

Services will be cut or rationed and the NHS will become an unregulated market for healthcare firms under Sajid Javid’s contradictorily-named Health and Care Bill which – if enacted – will support neither.

That’s the message from Keep Our NHS Public campaigners.

The Bill will break the NHS into 42 separate ‘Integrated Care Systems’ (ICS), each with its own – tight – budget that could lead to cuts in care.

These new organisations would be open to the private sector – and the removal of competitive tendering means contracts could be handed straight to asset-stripping profiteers.

Already, 200 firms are connected to the new ICS structure, including at least 30 US-based health insurance companies.

Companies could be given access to confidential patient information, more patient care will be given by less qualified staff who are cheaper, and non-urgent referrals to hospital delayed or refused because of pressure to make savings.

A drive towards cash-saving digital services means face-to-face GP appointments may end.

The long-awaited overhaul of the care system may end up being a demand on already-overworked family carers to take on more unpaid work as unprofitable community services are stripped away altogether.

National agreements on pay, terms and conditions for NHS staff may be swept away with employees ordered to work wherever private-sector employers find it easiest to make a profit – undermining team working, union organisation and continuity of care.

Oh, and you remember the much-anticipated return of responsibility to the Secretary of State? It means a politician will be able to make devastating decisions about the NHS without any democratic accountability.

The Health Secretary will be able to deregulate jobs – offering them to candidates who don’t have the right qualifications but are available for the right price, risking harm to patients and interfering with professional judgement and staff development.

The NHS will be exempt from the Public Contract Regulations 2015, meaning it will be impossible to reject bids for contracts on the grounds of non-compliance with environmental, social, or labour laws guaranteeing Freedom of Association and the Right to Strike, or on the basis of a bidder’s previous history.

The Health Secretary will also impose local service reconfigurations, weakening or abolishing the right and power local authorities currently have to scrutinise significant health changes.

According to Dr John Lister, Secretary of Keep Our NHS Public and health policy academic

This Bill will not treat even one extra patient, or recruit one extra nurse

He asked why the new law is being deemed so urgent and important – but isn’t it obvious?

Javid, Johnson and the other Tory parasites want to turn your health into a profit-making industry for their donors as soon as possible.

I’ve just picked out the headline issues. Read more details here: Health and Care Bill means lucrative NHS contracts will be dished out ‘without competition’ | Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate

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‘Private healthcare’ is an oxymoron. Its supporters are ordinary morons

If you’re British, and haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll know that the Tory Bill to accelerate privatisation in the National Health Service is to be debated by MPs again tomorrow (Monday, November 22).

It has come under sustained attack from health experts and campaigners who are committed to maintaining the high quality of care that we have come to expect from the NHS – quality that will be abandoned in favour of profit if the Tory Bill is passed into law.

And let’s make this clear: Profit Harms Patients.

Of course it does. If you’re running a health service to make money, then you don’t want people to get better.

You want them to stay sick so you can keep leeching money off of them.

And private health companies are likely to achieve that prolonged sickness in any event as many of their operations are botched so badly that the NHS needs to come in and clear up the mess in many cases. Or it did, the last time I heard anything about it.

That’s why people are saying things like

and

If you haven’t contacted your MP to demand they oppose the Bill, there’s an obvious question you need to ask yourself: Why not?

Don’t tell us, “Aw, well, s/he is a Tory so there’s no point.” There is always a point. If you show these people there’s enough opposition out here to mount a serious challenge to their career come election time, they’re going to start wondering whether it’s worth the risk.

If you’re outside England, don’t tell us, “Aw, well, it’s only in England so it won’t affect us.” It will affect you. I live in Wales and some procedures aren’t available here; if I need them, I’ll have to go across the border. The same applies in Scotland and I understand in Northern Ireland too.

And don’t tell us, “Aw, well, Labour’s going to try to amend it so it’s not quite as bad.” Labour cannot amend this Bill in any way that will help! And the simple fact is that Keir Starmer’s party doesn’t want to. It’s filled with Red Tory weasels who say they don’t like private health while actually supporting it (with a few honourable exceptions).

It’s past time ordinary people in the UK woke up and realised what they voted for.

My honest opinion is that it’s probably too late. I doubt many Vox Political readers were stupid enough to vote for the NHS Privatisation Party (Conservatives) in 2019 but your neighbours probably did, or you have family or friends who did, on the basis that the guy who opposed it once saw a mural (or for some other nonsense reason).

And we all politely let them vote to turn healthcare in the UK from a right into a privilege for the very wealthy.

Put it all together and calling on your MP to oppose the Bill is the least you can do.

You can write to them via They Work For You – it’s easy.

Will you?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Ambulance crew says people are dying because Tories are defunding & privatising NHS

This is damning – and it confirms what This Writer suggested earlier:

It isn’t sustainable at all, and we know why. Firstly, the Conservatives have withdrawn huge amounts of funding from the National Health Service:

Secondly, much of what little remains is being given to private companies that aim to profit from your illness rather than improving your health. They are making matters worse:

By the way, let’s not hear anything about Covid-19 making matters worse. Those days are long past:

From the graph, it seems 5,000 beds or fewer are taken up with Covid-19 patients.

The real Covid problem, of course, has always been that too many NHS beds have been removed altogether from the service – possibly because of the defunding that created a staff shortage of 100,000?

Sadly the NHS crisis will continue under the Conservatives because they want to privatise health altogether; they don’t see the profit in a healthy nation.

And a Labour government under Keir Starmer won’t help because his policies align with those of the Tories on most issues including this.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

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Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook