Tag Archives: patients

Sunak offers to fine NHS patients who miss appointments – but how will it help?

Rishi Sunak: Avaricious and ambitious.

Conservative – and therefore UK – leadership candidate Rishi Sunak has made an offer to help clear the NHS backlog. On the face of it, the plan has flaws:

Whataboutery aside, is there any merit in the idea? Probably not.

It seems that, like many Tory cruelties, it proposes an overly-simplistic solution to a complicated problem, that is more likely to make matters worse than help anybody at all:

According to Dr Patterson, above – and reading between the lines, what is actually needed is research to find out why these people are missing their appointments and help with the causes of their problems.

And Sunak is never likely to offer that.

It would cost money, rather than raising it.

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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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Tory destruction of NHS means curable cancer patients may suffer due to coronavirus

Tory policies that have starved the National Health Service of vital funding and resources mean people with curable forms of cancer could die as efforts are diverted to the fight against coronavirus.

That’s what This Writer takes from oncologist Karol Sikora’s article on Mail Online.

He writes:

In the next few weeks capacity within the healthcare system – in both the public and independent sectors – is going to be tested to the limit and perhaps beyond.

We are already seeing decisions in place to stop or reduce chemotherapy treatments.

It would be sad if young men with fully curable testicular cancer or adolescents with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma were delayed. It’s a juggling act and none of us know how tough it is really going to get.

We are working in a system which is pretty much at full stretch anyway.

And he points out:

There is real worry about cancer patients becoming infected with Covid-19.

So the outlook is bleak for cancer patients – and likely to get worse as the pandemic runs its course.

Just remember: if cancer patients’ lives are lost because resources are diverted to Covid-19 cases, it won’t be coronavirus that’s to blame.

The fault will lie entirely with the Tories for short-sightedly putting cash before care.

Source: Cancer patients can’t be condemned to lose their treatments because of coronavirus | Daily Mail Online

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Boris Johnson’s negligence caused the deaths of 5,500 NHS patients – says doctor.

Negligence: Boris Johnson was booed out of Addenbrookes Hospital when he visited it in the run-up to the general election – by doctors and patients alike.

An NHS hospital doctor has told Boris Johnson that he – and the Conservatives – are responsible for the deaths of around 5,500 patients.

Their negligence meant 5,449 people died because they spent too long waiting on trolleys in NHS hospitals when they should have been admitted to accident and emergency units.

The delays of between six and 11 hours led to the deaths, according to the study by leading NHS doctors Chris Moulton and Cliff Mann.

The deaths were entirely and solely caused by the length of wait and not by the patient’s condition.

The findings are extremely embarrassing for Boris Johnson, who, it is accepted, is winding the NHS down in order to sell off our healthcare to US companies after Brexit.

This has been the Conservative plan since 2010, as identified by Noam Chomsky:

That’s about the size of it. If the service had not been de-funded, then it would work. Nobody would be getting angry about it (because their relatives would not have died for the sake of a few farthings). But then, of course, Boris Johnson would not have an excuse to hand it over to the privateers.

It seems Mr Johnson might reckon he has found a stop-gap answer to get people off his case – by getting nurses to treat patients in corridors rather than in wards.

But the staff carrying out these duties say this shows times are “desperate”. Hospitals are at breaking point due to overwhelming demand and bed shortages.

And Andrew Meyerson, a junior doctor working at Worcestershire Royal hospital, has directly accused Mr Johnson of causing the deaths by negligence.

In an open letter published by The Guardian, he wrote [boldings mine]: “Prime Minister, the NHS is not safe in your hands.

Your negligence and that of your party over the past decade has contributed to the deaths of nearly 5,500 patients, and if you were a junior doctor like me, your licence would now be revoked, and you would be sent to prison.”

He wrote: “You are not fit to lecture us any more about what we need in our NHS hospitals.

You have failed the British people, failed my beloved Worcestershire Royal hospital, and failed our brilliant and hardworking NHS staff nationwide who have been traumatised by your negligence.

“Because the safety of our patients has now been threatened to such a significant degree, I am exercising my right as a whistleblower in clause 29 of my contract to speak out – outside your sanctioned channels – because this has happened too many times in hospitals across the country, and the British public has a right to know exactly who is responsible.”

He wrote: “You and your party have had nearly a decade to leave the health service in a better state than when you found it.

On every objective metric, the Conservative party has failed in that, and we see this in our NHS hospitals every single day.

“England is short of 40,000 nurses and 10,000 doctors, A&E waiting times are the absolute worst in NHS history, our cancer patients are waiting longer than ever to be seen, you have shut down too many district hospitals, you have left us with too few hospital beds, social care is a mess, mental health care is inaccessible, and you have destroyed our capacity to provide a multitude of services in the community to keep people healthy and out of hospital.

“And now nearly 5,500 people have died as a direct result of your policies. This is the legacy of the “one nation” Conservative party.”

He wrote: “Prime Minister, you have failed these patients and your negligence has contributed to their deaths.

He is absolutely right, of course.

And the UK voted Boris Johnson back in, to cause many more thousands of deaths over the next five years.

In the cases of some Tory voters, he’ll cause their own deaths.

Did they think about that at the time?

We had a chance to vote for an improved service, and we turned it down.

Still, the election result does mean that Mr Johnson has had a chance to improve his suntan.

Let’s hope that information warms the hearts of everybody about to lose a relative over the next five years, due to Johnson’s negligence.

Source: As a doctor I have to speak out: Johnson has contributed to thousands of deaths | Andrew Meyerson | Opinion | The Guardian

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NHS privatisation: paying profiteers means there’s no money for healthcare and patients are harmed

Recruitment difficulties for NHS ambulance trusts have meant private ambulances are being used, with untrained staff, leading to incidents in which patients have suffered serious harm.

This is what happens when you waste money that should be spent on healthcare, paying profit into private company bank accounts.

The cost of hiring private ambulances is draining funds that could be used elsewhere, while private firms are cutting corners and failing to provide the care that patients need, according to the Unison representative quoted in the report (below).

While ambulance trusts said they were struggling to recruit staff because each person has to have three years’ training, the Care Quality Commission found private ambulance services were employing staff who had no training at all.

It reported “evidence of incidents of serious harm to people from staff that had not been properly recruited and vetted”.

I would like to know what this evidence is, and how many patients suffered serious harm as a result of Tory healthcare privatisation.

I would like to know which Conservative MPs were directly responsible for inflicting this harm on people who are ill, or injured, and vulnerable.

And I would like to know what action may be taken to call them to account.

England’s ambulance trusts spent more than £92 million in the last year on private ambulances and taxis to transport patients, Press Association (PA) research found.

Some trusts said they rely on private ambulances due to a chronic shortage of NHS staff and ongoing problems with recruitment.

In some parts of the south, almost one in five emergency calls result in a private ambulance being sent to the scene.

Earlier this year, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a damning report warning that patients were being put at risk by private ambulances.

Source: Patients ‘at risk’ as NHS spends £92m on private ambulances and taxis | The Independent

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Tory government is failing incurable breast cancer patients – because they see no profit in them?

Laughter: I was going to use an image of a patient with a nurse – but then it seemed more appropriate to show how Mrs May might have reacted to a suggestion that the Tories would honour their promise to help people who are never likely to provide a profit for Tory bosses.

Here’s a classic example of Tory priorities.

They promised to provide a designated nurse for all cancer patients three years ago, and no doubt got a lot of good publicity for it.

Three years later, having shown little interest in actually making good on that promise, they’re probably hoping everybody has forgotten it – or died.

Don’t expect the Tories to have a shred of decency because you will always be disappointed.

To me, it makes perfect sense that the Tories haven’t bothered to help people whose illness is not going to be cured.

As far as they see it, these patients are never going to make a profit for a Tory – so why would they bother to help?

They wouldn’t.

And, let’s face it, they haven’t.

A shortage of specialist nurses is leaving patients with incurable breast cancer feeling “abandoned” without critical care, according to a charity.

Breast Cancer Care said thousands of patients continued to be denied crucial care three years after the government promised access to a designated nurse for all cancer patients.

A Freedom of Information request to NHS providers across England, Scotland and Wales [resulted in] figures [that] reveal that 72% of NHS trusts and health boards do not provide a dedicated nurse for people living with incurable breast cancer.

There has been only a 7% increase in the trusts and boards providing nursing support in the two years since the charity’s last research, which it said indicated a “worrying lack of NHS investment in care to help people live well for longer”.

Source: Specialist nurse shortage ‘failing’ incurable breast cancer patients | News | Nursing Times

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‘Care BnB’ – nudging Bedroom Tax victims into becoming unqualified nurses?

Southend Hospital had been planning to run a pilot of the so-called ‘Care BnB’ scheme – but has backed down amid criticism.

The Conservatives’ latest privatisation bid for the NHS is about getting poor families to do the jobs of qualified nurses – and seems to be a cynical attempt to take advantage of the plight of Bedroom Tax victims.

The scheme – dubbed ‘Care BnB’ in imitation of the ‘Air BnB’ model it resembles (although other organisations have already adopted that name, so it isn’t entirely suitable) – would see patients discharged after operations and sent to nearby homes to recuperate, with those renting the rooms receiving up to £1,000 a month.

Isn’t it handy that a legion of people have been pushed into poverty by the Tories’ Bedroom Tax, which took 14 per cent of their housing benefit if they were deemed to have one spare bedroom (25 per cent if they had two). How much persuasion would they need to join this scheme?

It is ‘nudge’ politics at its most insidious.

But what would £1,000 a month do to these people’s overall income? How would it affect any other benefits they receive? Would it provide enough to survive? All these factors would also need to be considered, of course.

The scheme is being piloted by a private company, of course, calling itself CareRooms. So money would still be siphoned away from the National Health Service and into the bank accounts of business executives.

But we are told it will still be cheaper than the current situation.

Another concern is the quality of care that the patient would receive. Members of the public are not qualified nurses and have their own lives to lead. What if a complication develops and nobody is there to notice? Who would take the blame if a patient died because the resident was otherwise occupied? It may seem unlikely but I would want these issues hammered out before I went anywhere near such an arrangement.

Criticisms are already flying:

Call me a wild free-thinker if you like but I’d rather believe the expert opinion of a doctor than the amateur assumptions of a politician, or a profiteer.

ADDITIONAL: The hospital that was planning to pilot the scheme has backed away from it, amid criticism from politicians and health groups.


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Apprentice nurses could treat hospital patients in bid to tackle shortages

The move could allow as many as 1,000 apprentice nurses to join the NHS annually and work alongside fully qualified nurses and ‘nursing associates’ [Image: Peter Byrne/PA].

The move could allow as many as 1,000 apprentice nurses to join the NHS annually and work alongside fully qualified nurses and ‘nursing associates’ [Image: Peter Byrne/PA].

What if they make mistakes?

This could blight the careers of potentially good nurses while failing to help patients.

Jeremy Hunt should have funded the NHS in England properly – but instead he promoted privatisation. This is the result.

Hospital patients could be treated by apprentice nurses under plans to be announced by Jeremy Hunt, sparking a new row about how the government is tackling shortages of health professionals.

The health secretary will say on Wednesday that student nurses can train on the job rather than having to complete a university degree.

The move could allow as many as 1,000 apprentice nurses to join the NHS annually and work alongside fully qualified nurses and “nursing associates”.

Those who could become nursing apprentices include healthcare assistants or those already working towards nursing qualifications.

While nursing associates can remain at that level, apprentices will be expected to work towards becoming a registered nurse.

Source: Apprentice nurses could treat hospital patients in bid to tackle shortages | Society | The Guardian

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Will GPs be bribed to put you back to work?

Fit note: could GPs be paid to get patients back to work? (Photo: JH Lancy for GP Online)

Fit note: could GPs be paid to get patients back to work? (Photo: JH Lancy for GP Online)

Doctors could ask for funding from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to ensure patients go back to work quickly, a top NHS England official has suggested, according to GP Online. Is this the next stage in Iain Duncan Smith’s war on the sick?

Addressing the annual conference of the out-of-hours provider body Urgent Health UK, Professor Keith Willett, national director for acute episodes of care, said getting a patient in to see a GP quickly and issued with a return to work certificate could save the government two weeks of benefits payments. Oh really? And what if the patient isn’t better by then?

He said: “So, in the same way as health has given social care the Better Care Fund, and said “come and help us out”, we could, arguably, go to work and pensions and say, ‘Excuse me, we can get them to go back to work seven days quicker. Can we have some of your money to be able to do that?'”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the gentleman seems to be admitting that doctors are signing people off work who don’t need it – and suggesting that the DWP should bribe them into sending people back to work.

Why is he following an Iain Duncan Smith narrative that has not been proved?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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