Tag Archives: hospital

Why are parking fees TRIPLING for hospital staff after Johnson promised to end them for everyone?

Where’s the warning that parking charges are enormous?

The price of working for the NHS is astronomical as it is – and now it seems it is rising again, in spite of a promise by prime muppet Boris Johnson.

The issue here is car parking. Boris promised to eliminate parking fees for everybody attending hospital – which includes staff.

But now we have reports that the price of staff parking at King’s College Hospital in London is tripling.

New permits will cost doctors and nurses at the trust up to £1,440, with the changes reportedly taking effect from the beginning of December.

Let’s remind ourselves of Johnson’s promise:

It seems the government pledged in their December 2019 election manifesto to provide free parking for some patients and staff on their night shifts.

In the email from the Kings College Trust to staff, the hospital’s management claim the move has prompted privately run car parking companies to pass on the cost to daytime NHS workers.

This prompts the obvious question: why are hospital car parks run for profit by private companies in the first place? Our health care is supposed to be free at the point of use so is our useless Tory government getting around that by charging us all to get there?

The question is rhetorical; the short answer is yes:

And it turns out Johnson was lying to Parliament when he made that promise:

In an exchange in the House of Commons in July, Labour leader Keir Starmer urged the prime minister to keep free parking – but Johnson refused to rule out bringing charges back in for hospital staff.

He told Starmer: “May I suggest he takes his latest bandwagon and parks it somewhere else.”

Johnson added: “The hospital car parks are free for NHS staff during the pandemic, and we are going to get on with our manifesto commitment to make them free for patients who need them as well.”

Clearly the prime muppet hasn’t thought this through. With hospital car park firms passing their losses from free parking on to those who still have to pay, it will soon cost staff too much to work there.

Richard Burgon, former shadow justice secretary when Jeremy Corbyn led the Labour Party, has called on the Tory government to put a stop to the price rise:

It seems unlikely Johnson will take any notice.

Public opposition to hospital car parking charges is widespread:

The subject was buried over the weekend, beneath the Downing Street soap opera about Dominic Cummings quitting and Boris Johnson self-isolating.

But honestly, who cares about those things? They don’t affect us. Cummings will be replaced by somebody just as bad at the job and Johnson can use Zoom.

But if our doctors and nurses can’t afford to work at a hospital because some greedy private car parking firm wants to keep its profit margins high during a medical emergency, then we’re all in trouble.

Source: Labour MP calls on government to intervene over ‘disgusting’ 200% rise in parking fees for NHS staff

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Why is this Liverpool hospital being penalised for a political decision by NHS England?

Overwhelmed: across the northwest more than 2,660 patients are in hospital with Covid-19, including more than 200 patients on a ventilator.

You might think it is fair for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to take possibly punitive action against the Liverpool University Hospitals Trust.

Trust medical director Tristan Cope had, in fairness, warned that the hospital had been overwhelmed by coronavirus and standards of care could no longer be maintained.

But would it be fair if, as he also claims, NHS England has been blocking the hospital from enacting plans that would redeem the situation – in the name of politics?

Here’s The Independent:

In the WhatsApp message to doctors, shared with The Independent by multiple sources, Dr Cope, a consultant in anaesthesia and critical care, said: “LUH is now essentially overwhelmed by the demand. We cannot maintain patient flow and usual standards of care. We have put forward a proposal to further reduce elective [planned] activity, but maintaining capacity for the most urgent cases that would suffer from a two-four week delay.

“It is a very sound plan that our divisional teams have worked up. However, NHS England are prevaricating and delaying with the usual request for more detail, more data, etc. It is clear to me that the politics is outweighing the patient safety issues of the acute crisis.

“There has been no meaningful support from the acute cell or NHS England. In fact, they are blocking us from acting in a rational way that would help us to manage the acute pressures.”

He added: “I am utterly demoralised by the catastrophic leadership failure at a national and regional level. I feel I have done everything I can in terms of escalation and lobbying for some courageous and meaningful action, but apparently to no avail, at least so far. Not sure what else I can do.”

Liverpool has been hit hard by the escalation of Covid-19 in recent weeks, as more and more people have succumbed to the virus as a result of Tory government policies that have allowed it to spread.

The Independent article’s comment from an NHS England spokesperson avoids the substantive issue already – merely commenting that the service is treating more people now than at the height of the first wave.

The statement also says more “clinical support” has been brought in from elsewhere in the region, but this must be balanced with the fact that it has demanded asymptomatic staff testing.

And who is going to be providing the facilities to test every single person in Liverpool, as often as necessary, as the government has claimed?

It seems clear that – yet again – the Tory “make do and mend” approach to medicine is heading for disaster. Perhaps Boris Johnson would treat the matter seriously – if only he were affected by it personally.

Source: NHS bosses accused of ‘putting politics before patient safety’ as leading hospital struggles to cope with second wave | The Independent

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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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Loss of free car parking is latest Tory attack on NHS staff who saved us from Covid-19

Tories can be murderously vindictive, can’t they?

They are currently working hard to attack NHS staff for daring to bring down the Covid-19 death toll. It seems clear that Boris Johnson and his cronies were hoping to see many more deaths, considering the way they are penalising the people who helped stem the tide.

They want to cut NHS staff pay as part of a belt-tightening regime to cope with the cost of dealing with the disease (even though the Tories themselves had known it was coming but stopped any preparation for it).

They intend to make Covid-19 testing a taxable benefit-in-kind for employees, meaning NHS staff will have the cost of their regular tests removed from their pay.

And now they are going to impose charges on NHS staff, simply for driving to work; free car parking is to be removed from NHS hospitals in England.

This is not the way to reward people who risked – and sometimes sacrificed – their lives to save the rest of us.

The Mirror reports:

Councils and NHS trusts in England were given cash by the government in March to suspend fees for hospital workers “during this unprecedented time”.

But last week health minister Edward Argar declared the subsidy “cannot continue indefinitely”.

Isn’t it funny that, here in Wales, we don’t have parking charges at our hospitals – because we didn’t invite private companies in to profit from other people’s illnesses?

It seems to This Writer that the answer isn’t ending a subsidy that protects NHS staff from parking charges that should never have been imposed in the first place.

The answer is to clean out the parasites from NHS car parks.

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Doctor launches court case against Tories over Covid-19 care home death of her dad

The late Mr Gibson and his daughter Doctor Gardner: she’s taking Matt Hancock to court and he may have met his match.

This is what happens when government policy on Covid-19 cases causes the death of someone related to a doctor.

Cathy Gardner launched a high court claim on Friday (June 12) after her father, Michael Gibson, a retired superintendent of births, marriages and deaths, died in an Oxfordshire care home in early April.

He became infected after a patient who tested positive for the virus was discharged from hospital into the home.

It was Tory policy to send infected care home residents back to their homes, where they would be able to infect other residents in a closed system that meant the virus could spread like wildfire.

They also took no precautions to prevent staff who travelled between homes from spreading the disease from one facility to another.

The request for a judicial review alleges failings “have led to large numbers of unnecessary deaths and serious illnesses” and have been “aggravated by the making of wholly disingenuous, misleading and – in some cases – plainly false statements suggesting that everything necessary has been done to protect care homes during the pandemic”.

Several [families of care home residents] have raised complaints with hospitals and care homes about infection control, including the discharging of Covid-negative residents into homes with outbreaks.

Thirty-five councils have also blamed virus spread on discharges with hospital patients sent to homes that did not have sufficient protective equipment and/or facilities to isolate infected residents.

Other cases include a decision to discharge John Heywood, 83, from Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge into a Peterborough care facility with an outbreak. He contracted the virus and survived, but his family have lodged a formal complaint with Addenbrooke’s.

Wasn’t Addenbrooke’s the site of a PR stunt by Boris Johnson in the run-up to the general election last year? Yes – he was booed out of it. No doubt hospital chiefs will be delighted to have yet another reason to resent Johnson’s presence in Downing Street.

Neither the Department of Health and Social Care nor NHS England are commenting on the case while it is ongoing.

But we’re going to have to keep a close eye on it.

Source: Matt Hancock faces legal action from daughter of Covid-19 care home victim | World news | 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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Why didn’t Matt Hancock send vulnerable Covid-19 sufferers to Nightingale hospitals rather than care homes?

Care: even the image I’ve been using emphasises the impossibility of social distancing in this context.

It’s a simple enough question.

The London Nightingale hospital opened on April 4 – that’s not such a long time to let a person (who is ill, remember) stay in hospital, is it?

The Nightingale hospitals were provided with facilities specifically for sufferers of Covid-19.

But instead, elderly and vulnerable people were carted off to care homes that did not have such facilities, there to infect many of their fellow residents – along with some staff .

These staff, in turn, moved on to other care homes, where they infected more people who would not have caught the disease if people who had been receiving treatment in hospital had not been shifted out, on the orders of the Conservative government.

The whole situation triggered a spike in excess deaths of at least 31 per cent.

Put that way, the decision looks more like a plan, doesn’t it?

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Coronavirus doubles deaths in mental health hospitals. How did it get in?

The number of deaths in mental health hospitals has doubled since the same time last year because of the coronavirus. Why?

These are supposed to be very secure facilities.

The number of people visiting them should have fallen because of the lockdown.

And medical professionals should have had the equipment – and the knowledge – to prevent the virus from penetrating as far as the patients.

But out of 106 deaths between March 1 and May 1, 54 were from confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infections.

In the same period last year, 51 people died. So deaths have more than doubled and all but one of the excess deaths were due to the pandemic.

And if you think the problem is limited to mental health hospitals, ask yourself: why is NHS England refusing to admit the number of people with learning disabilities who have died?

The Care Quality Commission has reminded mental health hospital providers that they have a duty of care to vulnerable patients.

It has highlighted its fears over the spread of the virus in secure hospitals and units, and to patients who are under Mental Health Act restrictions in the community.

The CQC will review its information on the deaths to determine what may be driving the deaths and whether other action should be taken.

There are serious human rights questions to be answered:

Deborah Coles, from the charity Inquest, told The Independent: “The refusal to publish the data points to the historical longstanding failure to provide detailed information about deaths of people in the care of the state in mental health and learning disability settings.

“People in closed institutions are completely reliant on others for their care and treatment. At a time of no external scrutiny, because the CQC is not inspecting units and family visits are restricted, there is the ever-present risk of abuse and ill treatment. These organisations have clear human rights obligations and it is unacceptable that there is just no transparency about what is happening.”

She added: “The other key issue is the indirect impact of Covid-19 on therapeutic services, use of restraint, medication and seclusion and self-inflicted deaths. They need to publish more comprehensive data than numbers disaggregated by gender, race, age, provider. Such a dramatic increase in deaths is deeply concerning and we need to understand the context. Data is meaningless without analysis.”

This Writer wants to know if our health providers have a guilty conscience.

Have they deliberately overlooked their duties to ensure that people with mental illnesses and learning disabilities enjoy a decent standard of health?

Let’s be honest with ourselves – if people in authority are trying to hide something, it’s usually because they know they’re responsible.

Lastly: nobody in such a position knowingly fails in their duty of their own accord. Were they acting (or rather, not acting) on orders from the Tory government?

Source: Coronavirus: Deaths in mental health hospitals double as Covid-19 spreads | The Independent

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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: Johnson sent to hospital due to persistent symptoms

Hospital: this trip may come as a relief for Johnson as he usually ends up defending himself against irate members of the public. He’ll probably leave by the back door, as usual.

Some of us may have lost a bet on this.

When the government first announced that Boris Johnson had self-isolated with coronavirus symptoms, there was a movement that suggested he was faking it to avoid scrutiny.

Others said it served him right for ignoring the rules that he himself had imparted to the rest of us on social distancing – and when other cabinet members started showing symptoms, we thought that was their just desserts too.

Now it seems that his symptoms are “persistent” and he has been sent to hospital for “tests”.

He can expect to have a chest X-ray and his lungs scanned – particularly if he has been struggling for breath.

His fiancee, Carrie Symonds, has been self-isolating in Camberwell, away from Johnson – but announced on Saturday (April 4) that she had spent seven days in bed with coronavirus symptoms.

What’s the likelihood that she got it from him, while he was flouting his own rules left, right and centre?

Source: Coronavirus: PM admitted to hospital over virus symptoms – BBC News

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