Tag Archives: NHS

#OperationRedMeat: How destroying the UK’s institutions may save #BorisJohnson

Operation Red Meat won’t help you or anybody you know. Its only purpose is to save Boris Johnson’s career by destroying much-loved UK institutions and making promises that, let’s face it, our lying prime minister won’t keep.

Boris Johnson is pandering to the worst demands of his backbenchers in a desperate bid to stop them booting him out of 10 Downing Street, it seems.

He has apparently drawn up a list of extreme actions that he hopes will persuade his Parliamentary party not to challenge his leadership.

They include:

  • Promising to end the BBC licence fee, putting the existence of the UK’s beloved public service broadcaster in jeopardy.
  • Announcing plans to tackle the backlog of operations in the NHS that has arisen because of his party’s failure to fund and staff the public health provider properly.
  • Lifting Covid-19 health protection measures (otherwise known as restrictions) on January 26, whether it is safe to do so or not.
  • Ordering the military into the English Channel to stop foreign nationals from crossing to the UK.
  • Forcing the 1.5 million people who are out of work and on Universal Credit into government-funded skills and job training (but not creating actual work for them).
  • Publishing Michael Gove’s “Levelling-Up” White Paper, that aims to improve neglected towns in northern England. So far, so-called “levelling-up” money is notable for having been used to improve a Tory aristocrat’s driveway, costing the public £300,000.
  • And announcing a workplace booze ban to end the drinking culture in what has been called “Club Downing Street”.

If any of that sounds good to you, it shouldn’t.

The BBC remains the best creator and broadcaster of TV and radio in the world – because it is funded by licence fee and does not have to pander to shareholders, advertisers or even ratings. This means programming for minority interests is not only possible, but encouraged. Johnson’s plan will make it the same as every other broadcaster – if it survives. Culture secretary Nadine Dorries has leapt at the opportunity to kill off this huge national asset, like the raving dunderhead she is.

How will Johnson tackle the backlog of operations that his own idiocy has run up? He’ll probably farm it out to private companies, funnelling even more of our money into shareholders’ pockets. If previous records are any yardstick, many of the operations will be botched and NHS surgeons will have to repair the damage.

Johnson’s attitude to Covid-19 has been wrong throughout the crisis. Here he is being influenced by his backbenchers who don’t care about public health but do want the proles to get back to work, making money for them and their doners. If he lifts the measures that protect us too soon – again – he will pitch us back into crisis.

What will happen when the Royal Navy – intentionally or otherwise – sinks a boat full of refugees? How will Johnson respond to the international incident he will have created?

Funding skills and work training may seem a good idea, but there is no guarantee that this training will be of any use at all; based on Johnson’s criteria for handing out Covid-19-related funding, it seems likely that it will be a tick-box exercise for hastily-created firms founded by friends of Conservative MPs to take more money from the public purse.

The failings of “Levelling-Up” are already well-documented, and publishing a White Paper is not the same as putting the right money in the right places. In fact, experience of Johnson suggests the exact opposite will happen.

And announcing a booze ban isn’t the same as stopping the drinking culture in Downing Street. Far from it. Johnson is a liar. He’s most likely to tell us he has done something, and then carry on partying as though no scandal happened at all. What do his MPs think the public will do, when we find out that he has let us down again?

The whole strategy – if it can really be dignified with such a description – is being called “Operation Red Meat”. One questions how Johnson arrived at the title.

Is it because he intends to rip the best parts of the UK – its finest institutions – into bloody shreds and then feed them to his toadies?

We can all foresee the harm Johnson is planning. Here’s just one comment on his plan to destroy the BBC:

And then, of course, there’s this:

Worst of all is: You won’t have any say in whether this happens or not.

The decision will be left with Conservative MPs – and we all know that their first priority has never been the good of the nation; they will do whatever they think will enrich themselves in the extreme short term.

You’ll get your chance to vote them out in 2024. If these plans – including the Police, NHS privatisation and anti-refugee Bills – have been enacted by then, it will be too late to save the institutions that have made Britain great.

And the alternative, of course, will be an extreme right-wing organisation masquerading under the name of the Labour Party, whose policy platform will bear no resemblance at all to traditional Labour philosophy.

In other words – and purely for your information: Boris Johnson is trying to use this threat to his leadership as a way of screwing you even harder than he was doing before.

#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:

#Tory policies to attack the #NHS have crippled UK healthcare far more than #Covid19 [tweets]

Tory political policies are causing huge harm to the health of people in the UK – in many ways.

In fact, the number of different ways in which the government headed by Boris Johnson is attacking you is hard to quantify – because there are so many and they come at you from so many angles.

So we should be grateful to Labour’s Clive Lewis for the Twitter thread below:

Some people have responded by pointing out that Labour under Keir Starmer is unlikely to do anything about the problems that Mr Lewis raises.

While this is probably accurate, This Writer would say it is misguided.

The aim isn’t to score party political points.

It is to demonstrate that the Conservative government is trying to harm you – and if you support it with your votes, then you are actually self-harming.

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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?

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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.

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Failure of NHS privatisation is proved by harm to patients kept waiting in ambulances

Waiting: ambulances outside a hospital. Strange how privatisation was supposed to improve healthcare but, since it was brought in, the NHS has only deteriorated.

A report for ambulance service chiefs shows that around 160,000 hospital patients in England are being harmed every year because of delays getting them out of ambulances.

As many as 12,000 – or one in 10, could be suffering severe harm like a cardiac arrest, loss of a limb or brain damage.

The ambulance drivers aren’t at fault.

The problem lies with the UK’s Conservative government that has de-funded the National Health Service to a critical degree, while also inviting profit-making private firms to provide some services – taking even more money from healthcare provision.

In a way, we should be grateful for the collapse of healthcare provision since 2010, under the Conservatives.

The delays that have kept patients waiting in ambulances – and thereby risking serious injury – have only become seriously harmful since the Tories brought private providers into the English health service.

They demonstrate more clearly than words that the introduction of those private providers into NHS England has been a disaster for patient care.

And they show that the best possible strategy for the future of healthcare in England is to ban private profit-grubbers from the NHS – forever. Otherwise this nightmare will only get worse.

Source: Ambulance delays outside hospitals are harming 160,000 patients, leaked report warns | The Independent

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Boris Johnson’s ignorance of hospital mask rules has sparked a wave of stupidity

Stupid, selfish mouth-breather: Boris Johnson wouldn’t wear a mask as he wandered the corridors of Hexham Hospital like a bad case of MRSA. And it seems his idiocy has been infectious.

This is what happens when you let spoilt children have their way when they’re pretending to be important politicians.

Boris Johnson got away with wandering through Hexham Hospital in Northumbria without wearing a mask and now everybody wants to do it, no matter how badly they endanger themselves and others.

It seems selfish idiocy really is infectious.

See the tweets below for examples of what Johnson has started. Note the word “another” in Dr Bhatt’s tweet – this is not an isolated incident.

Note also that a fight nearly broke out because of it. NHS staff already face violent patients every day, but here’s the prime minister – the prime minister – deliberately making it worse.

The poem, tweeted by The Far Field, puts the whole matter in context.

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Javid’s vaccination coercion will increase NHS staff shortages

Covid Javid: he’s trying to force something into the bodies of frontline NHS staff. Many will see this as a form of attempted rape – which it is – and quit. And NHS staffing will worsen. Wouldn’t it be better simply to change their jobs so unvaccinated people aren’t on the front line?

We could all see this coming. For a party that insists it values choice above all things, the Tories love forcing people to accept what they don’t want.

So Sajid Javid is forcing all NHS frontline workers to have Covid-19 vaccination injections, whether they want them or not.

We have discussed this subject previously on This Site. I made it perfectly clear that I am double-jabbed – and I intend to have the booster injection when it is offered to me, even though I know it will make me feel very ill for several days.

Nevertheless, I was attacked as an anti-vaxxer by several ignorant souls after I stated that this has been my personal choice, and there is no possible argument strong enough to rob other people of their own choice.

Javid cannot force people to have the injection. That would be forcing them to have a foreign object inside their body against their will, which is analogous to rape. I do not use the comparison lightly and anybody who criticises another person for making it fails to understand the seriousness of the issue here.

The alternative to taking the injection, it seems, is expulsion from the National Health Service.

Who does that help?

It won’t help patients because there will be fewer staff available to treat them and waiting lists will become longer.

It will help those who want to privatise the NHS altogether because they’ll have a stronger (albeit as false as ever) argument that it cannot cope and private firms should be brought in to take up the slack.

Is that Javid’s ulterior motive? Probably.

A simpler solution would be to move staff who won’t accept the injection away from frontline duties. That would be the safer option for all concerned in any event and should have happened as soon as a vaccine became available. I wonder why nobody has bothered to implement it until now.

Other staff could have been trained up – or hired in (remember, the NHS currently has a shortage of many thousands of nurses and doctors).

If a solution isn’t found and people are forced to choose between the injection and the loss of their job, then that will be coercion and I would strongly encourage victims of such intimidation to take the Health Secretary to court for attempting the criminal activity named above.

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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