Tag Archives: national

NHS experts say Covid-19 is crippling the health service; Downing St doesn’t want to know

The message from Downing Street: who do you believe? NHS experts, or this dozy windbag?

You remember NHS experts saying the surge in Covid-19 infections is threatening the service, with serious delays and falls in the quality of care?

Downing Street couldn’t care less.

The NHS Confederation has now joined the Society for Acute Medicine in warning that the government should reintroduce greater mask-wearing and encourage mixing outdoors – as the health service is already suffering a “major impact”.

This is the response:

Downing Street rejected the proposals but said that it was “alive to the pressures” that the NHS is facing.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “There is no change to our guidance and our living with Covid plan still stands.

“Thanks to a combination of vaccination and treatment and our better understanding of the virus we are now able to manage it as we do with other respiratory infections, so that remains the case with our approach.

“But obviously we continue to monitor any changes in the behaviour of the virus.”

How incredibly ignorant.

NHS Confederation chief exec Matthew Taylor is right, isn’t he?

He said: “The brutal reality for staff and patients is that this Easter in the NHS is as bad as any winter.

“We have a Government that seems to want to wash its hands of responsibility for what is occurring in plain sight in local services up and down the country.

No 10 has seemingly abandoned any interest in Covid whatsoever.

“NHS leaders and their teams feel abandoned by the Government and they deserve better.”

Source: Downing Street rejects NHS leaders’ plea for more Covid-19 curbs | The Independent

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

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

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

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

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

He said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where are they?

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

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

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As NI rise bites your wages, have you realised yet the Tory plan was always to impoverish you?

Money: Boris Johnson and the super-rich have it because they took it from you. It was their plan from the start – even before the financial crash of 2008. And they tricked you with lies into voting to impoverish yourself.

Somebody’s bound to call it a perfect storm; it is perfect as far as the Conservatives are concerned.

Let’s see if we can get our ducks in the right line…

First we had the financial crisis, caused by bankers who have since become Conservative MPs. The Conservative-led Coalition government that slithered into office by blaming this mess on Labour (despite the fact that Tory bankers caused it) then claimed austerity was the solution.

And what did austerity do? It squeezed money out of the poor and gave it to the rich.

A knock-on effect of the financial crash was that banks were told to cut interest rates, almost to nothing. This meant there was no point in saving money because the only people who could benefit from the interest on their savings were the super-rich.

Then the Tories foisted Brexit on us. People like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg said leaving the EU would bring billions of pounds back into the UK, to be used on things the population really want, like investing in the National Health Service.

In fact, Brexit has cost the UK £800 million per week – and rising. It has tied the UK’s businesses up in red tape, despite that Tories having claimed that they were getting rid of burdensome bureaucracy.

And Brexit is a major contributor to the cost of living crisis. It has created huge pressures on the food supply chain (for example) due to high bureaucracy and a shortage of lorry drivers to bring goods into the country (this being worsened by the Tories’ hatred of foreign-born workers).

Food prices have, unsurprisingly, rocketed. Energy prices are also rocketing because of a shortage of supply. Both have been worsened by the war between Russia and Ukraine and decisions by western nations to boycott Russian gas and goods.

The Tories’ response to these pressures on ordinary families has been to cut wages wherever they can and to raise tax by increasing National Insurance. They have offered nothing to people on benefits or to pensioners, meaning the UK is facing the biggest cut in living standards since records began,

Their justification for the NI rise is that it will subsidise investment in the NHS and Social Care – a slap in the face for everybody who thought money saved by leaving the EU would do that. And the claim is a myth anyway:

And more of us are paying more tax already – because the Tories have frozen the thresholds at which people pay different rates of tax. Even though pay is rising below inflation, increases will push incomes above the levels at which they pay different tax rates, meaning the government will take more of your money in tax, just when you need to keep more in your pocket:

They say they’re going to introduce measures to ease the burden of the tax rises in July. Why not immediately?

And they say they’re going to cut Income Tax by one penny (to 19p in the pound) in time for the next general election. But is that really going to help people? How much money will it put backin the pockets of the poorly-paid when they’re already losing so much to inflated prices and higher taxes?

Put it all together and you can see that this was the plan all along: to multiply the incomes of the already-wealthy while restricting those of the working majority, then to increase prices and taxes to levels that won’t affect the rich but will plunge the vast majority into poverty.

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Free parking for hospital staff to end as Javid piles insult onto the injury of NHS pay

NHS staff, already insulted by derisory pay rises inflicted on them by the Tory government, are being told they’ll have to find the cash to pay for their parking places again from Friday.*

And the cost is likely to be anything up to three times what they were paying before, because of a Tory manifesto promise from 2019.

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

We know the move has prompted at least one privately run car parking company to pass on the cost to daytime NHS workers.

At the time, I questioned why hospital car parks are run for profit by private companies in the first place. Our health care is supposed to be free at the point of use so I asked, is our useless Tory government getting around that by charging us all to get there?

The question was rhetorical; the short answer is yes.

But neither Sajid Javid nor Boris Johnson, the apparent architect of the policy, appear to have thought it 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. Or is that the plan?

*That’s if they work in England, of course. Those of us in Wales (for example) get free hospital parking because healthcare here is considered to be a service to the public, not an opportunity to fleece us.

Source: Free parking for hospital staff to end on Friday – Javid | Evening Standard

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If you thought the UK National Insurance rise was going to the NHS: that was a Tory lie

Rishi Sunak: His – and Boris Johnson’s – claim that a massive hike in National Insurance, announced last year, would go entirely to fund the National Health Service and social care… was not true. Were you fooled?

Boris Johnson’s claim that his – and Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s – National Insurance rise would sent £12bn to the NHS and social care was a lie, economic analysts have confirmed.

They pointed out that measures in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement have chopped that amount in half – but added that it was never intended to go to the NHS in the first place.

Here are BBC Business Editor Simon Jack and Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies to explain:

Were you fooled by the Tory liars?

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Boris Johnson accused – again – of being a national security risk

Bunga bunga? Boris Johnson – at a party – with a Russian oligarch (this one is industrialist Alexander Temerko). At the time, Johnson didn’t think there was any reason to investigate Russian influence in UK politics. Now, he simply won’t answer questions about these associations.

Here’s a welcome humorous interlude before we all try to get to grips with Rishi Sunak’s rubbish spring statement.

After Labour’s Matt Western scored a hit last week, asking what attracted Boris Johnson to billionaire Russian oligarchs, he returned to ask why MI6 considers Johnson such a security risk.

The prime ministers response was… well, see for yourself. It wasn’t an answer!

People in Scotland with lifelong disabilities will no longer face benefit tests

Nicola Sturgeon: doing more for people with disabilities than Boris Johnson.

The UK’s Conservative government – particularly its prime minister – are first to disparage the Scottish National Party but fall behind that organisation in the implementation of policy.

The Tories have been promising to ditch benefit reassessments of people with lifelong conditions but look at this – the SNP got there first:

Disabled people in Scotland with serious lifelong conditions will no longer have to attend reassessments to continue receiving their benefits.

The Scottish government will begin taking over adult disability benefits from the UK government next week.

Currently, people with lifelong conditions such as being blind have to be reassessed to keep their benefits.

The Scottish government said it would have a more “compassionate” approach.

The pilot for the new payment will begin in Dundee, the Western Isles and Perth and Kinross from 21 March.

People already receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from the UK Government’s Department for Work and Pensions do not need to apply for the new payment from Social Security Scotland.

They will be automatically transferred on to the new system from the summer, the Scottish government’s social security minister Ben Macpherson said.

He said the new Adult Disability Payment would make a number of changes to assessment.

Mr Macpherson said: “If they have a disability or a long-term health condition that is unlikely to change, we are looking to provide indefinite awards, which means that people will not need to reapply for their benefit or be reviewed.”

Source: Lifelong Disabilities Will Not Face Benefit Tests | Same Difference

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PM branded ’embarrassment’ – shame it wasn’t HIS #Partygate #questionnaire that was leaked

Boris Johnson: not just humiliated, but a national humiliation.

How disappointing. Like many people (I suspect), I was ready for some real gossip about Boris Johnson when I read the headline

PM branded ’embarrassment’ after leak of partygate investigation questionnaire.

But my hopes have been dashed. It seems it was not Boris Johnson’s own replies to the questionnaire that has been leaked, but a copy of the questionnaire itself, showing the questions alleged Downing Street party attendees have been asked to answer and indicating that it should be treated as an interview under caution:

The documents shared by ITV News appear to show a police caution advising those receiving the documents that they “do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention we questioned something which you later rely on in court”.

Respondents are advised to “ensure the caution is read and understand prior to any answers to questions being provided”.

According to ITV News, the document states that those sent the questionnaire are being provided with the “opportunity to cooperate with police in the form of a written statement under caution”.

We knew that! Nevertheless, Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, has demanded that Johnson should resign, simply because he has been effectively interviewed under caution:

“It is frankly a national embarrassment that Boris Johnson is now the first Prime Minister in British history to be questioned under police caution.

“How on earth can he stay on and claim to uphold British law and order after this?”

It has also been pointed out that Tony Blair was questioned as a witness by police when he was prime minister, over the cash for honours scandal, but never under caution. At the time, he said he would resign if he were interviewed under caution.

The point is clear: Standards have slipped over the last 20 years or so.

And are Boris Johnson and any of his Tories the people to restore them?

Clearly the answer is: no.

Source: PM branded ’embarrassment’ after leak of partygate investigation questionnaire

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Coming soon (online): forum on the future of the #NationalHealthService

It turns out the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs does actually perform a function beyond being Keir Starmer’s tame band of left-wing poodles.

Many of us have been disappointed with the SCG’s failure to stand up to  the Red Tory bully, but perhaps we should give it the benefit of the doubt if it can bring forth anything useful from its series of online policy seminars. Here’s the latest:

Ending NHS Privatisation – For a National Care Service.

Monday, February 21, 2022, 7pm.  Register here 

Organised in partnership with the Labour Assembly Against Austerity and Momentum, this will examine the key policies the Left needs to be raising and asking how to build the movements necessary to win these policies.

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#LevellingUp, #Tories? By cutting #taxes for the rich and heaping them on the poor?

Michael Gove: this Tory has been part of the government for 10 of the last 11 years and says levelling-up is needed because poor communities have been undervalued for years. Wasn’t that his doing? He’s not providing enough. And he’s busily giving tax breaks to bankers while punching working people down with the biggest tax burden in decades.

Michael Gove’s “levelling up” project is already an embarrassment to the Tories and the UK – and he’s only just provided any details?

The plan is to close the gap between rich and poor areas by 2030 through improving services such as education, broadband and transport.

The Tories say they’ll provide £11 billion for projects between now and 2030, including:

  • £100m of new investment for innovation centres to boost research and development in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and Glasgow
  • A £1.5bn fund to give loans to small and medium-sized house builders for new homes mostly outside London and the South-East
  • £5bn in bus services and active travel
  • £1.8bn invested in new housing infrastructure, turning brownfield land into projects across the country
  • £230m extra in grassroots football
  • £30m allocated to improving parks and urban green spaces
  • An extra £560m in activities for young people
  • An additional £150m in a safer streets fund

Does that seem generous? Not when compared with other countries, as critics have pointed out:

It doesn’t even compare with the amounts the Tories have wasted:

But there is a solution!

Some have pointed out that Gove has been a poor choice to front this project:

But the biggest flaw in the Tory plan for “levelling up” is that party’s own ongoing project to overbalance the nation’s wealth in favour of people who are already super-rich.

On the same day as Gove announced this project, the Tory government pushed through a plan to cut taxes for rich bankers – by £1 billion per year. This is at the same time as they are inflicting a 10 per cent increase in National Insurance on working people, after cutting Universal Credit for the same workers by more than £1,000 per year.

Ultimately we come to the big question: why is there a disparity between “rich” and “poor” areas that needs “levelling up”?

One-word answer: Tories like Michael Gove.

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