Tag Archives: privatise

Does Whately’s scorn for student nurses hide a deeper Tory agenda?

Airhead or conspirator? What did Helen Whately mean when she said student nurses were ‘not deemed to be providing a service’?

After 25,000 student nurses volunteered to help NHS staff cope with the Covid-19 crisis in April, ‘care’ minister Helen Whately has announced that a new £5,000 grant will not be backdated to allow them to receive it because they are “not deemed to be providing a service”.

That’s the information we get from Nursing Notes:

The government scrapped the NHS Bursary system for student nurses and midwives in 2015 which subsequently led to a significant drop in the number of applicants.

Later this year the government will introduce the NHS Learning Support Fund which will provide non-repayable grants of up to £8,000 per year for both new and current student healthcare professionals.

Those who completed their course between this period feel understandably short-changed by a lack of financial aid – relying solely on student loans.

Tom Pursglove MP – himself a Tory – wrote to Ms Whately, asking for the grant to be backdated after he was contacted by student nurse Jessica Collins.

Ms Whately writes; “The Government has no plans to introduce a scheme that will backdate the offer for students who completed courses in earlier years.

“Student nurses in training are supernumerary and are not deemed to be providing a service. They are required to undertake 2,300 hours of clinical practice to learn the skills necessary for entry to the workforce.

“Whilst they may be performing limited clinical duties, this is under close supervision and they are not being paid to staff hospitals.”

Fine words from a government minister whose department would have been overwhelmed if those students had not volunteered their apparently non-existent services in April!

It would be easy to dismiss this comment as the witterings of an airhead and there is plenty of evidence to support such an interpretation of Ms Whately’s contribution to society.

Indeed, her letter goes on to claim – falsely – that those assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic were required to join an “emergency register” and would be paid a six-month clinical placement. According to Nursing Notes, this is not true – another lie to add to the ever-increasing pile of porkies the Tories have laid at our feet during the crisis that they made so much worse for people in the UK by their own selfishness, ignorance and laziness.

And what does Ms Collins, a mother-of-two who is graduating with debts of £60,000 because the Tories cancelled student bursaries, and who launched a petition calling for student nurses’ debts to be written off that attracted 200,000 signatures, think of the minister’s unkind words?

She told the Mirror: “The most shocking point of it was that we’re ‘deemed not to be providing a service’.

“I think you would only need to work one shift with us to see how we’re providing care for patients.

“We are under exactly the same pressures, we’re under exactly the same stresses.

“And the way she’s worded that just seems un-empathetic and so callous.”

Jessica said nursing students already feel undervalued and “to have it in writing I think is awful”.

She added: “I shared it with my closest circle first and there were a lot of tears, proper tears because it was that upsetting to some people.”

It seems Ms Collins will have a chance to clear the air with the minister next week, as part of a group conference call to discuss the issue.

This Writer believes nothing will come of this call apart from more hot air being blown down the phone lines at Ms Collins and student nurses like her.

And I reckon that – national loyalties notwithstanding – they will need to look to their own best interests when they graduate.

Other nations’ health services provide better pay and conditions than the NHS as it is run by the Conservatives, and nobody would blame them for taking employment that will help them clear the debt into which Tories like Ms Whately have pitched them.

If it creates a problem for the Department of Health and Social Care, so be it. The Tories already told nurses from foreign countries that they are not welcome, and it would do the country good to see that any problems in providing nurses are entirely caused by Conservative MPs.

And now I must ask: is that the plan?

Remember Noam Chomsky’s words on how the National Health Service could be privatised?

The Tories de-funded student nurses – and have now added insult to injury by saying they were “not deemed to be providing a service” during the Covid crisis.

If those nurses quit the NHS for better pay, then the NHS won’t work and people will get angry.

You know the Tories won’t take the blame – they never do. They’ll simply say the NHS as a system was always doomed to fail because socialist models always do – the usual baloney – and finish privatising the lot.

And the next time you need hospital treatment, they’ll slap you with a bill so large you could never, ever, hope to pay it.

Are you looking forward to that?

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Tories are accelerating destruction of the NHS, just when we really need it

Money: Matt Hancock is more interested in making a profit for private firms than in your family’s health.

If you ever needed evidence that the Conservative government is hell-bent on wrecking as many UK lives as possible, this is it.

Just when the coronavirus pandemic is proving that the worst thing possible for a nation’s health is a privatised, profit-driven health system, Matt Hancock and his gang are using it as an excuse for more privatisation!

Apparently he reckons this is a great chance to push through the changes because they aren’t being subjected to proper scrutiny.

In recent weeks, ministers have used special powers to bypass normal tendering and award a string of contracts to private companies and management consultants without open competition.

Doctors, campaign groups, academics and MPs raised the concerns about a “power grab” after it emerged on Monday that Serco was in pole position to win a deal to supply 15,000 call-handlers for the government’s tracking and tracing operation.

Deloitte, KPMG, Serco, Sodexo, Mitie, Boots and the US data mining group Palantir have secured taxpayer-funded commissions to manage Covid-19 drive-in testing centres, the purchasing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the building of Nightingale hospitals.

Now, the Guardian has seen a letter from the Department of Health to NHS trusts instructing them to stop buying any of their own PPE and ventilators.

From Monday, procurement of a list of 16 items must be handled centrally. Many of the items on the list, such as PPE, are in high demand during the pandemic, while others including CT scanners, mobile X-ray machines and ultrasounds are high-value machines that are used more widely in hospitals.

Centralising purchasing is likely to hand more responsibility to Deloitte. As well as co-ordinating Covid-19 test centres and logistics at three new “lighthouse” laboratories created to process samples, the accounting and management consultancy giant secured a contract several weeks ago to advise central government on PPE purchases.

The point on PPE purchases is crucial: the government is making it more expensive to buy this vital equipment, at a time when it should be widely available to as many people as possible.

Just think how different this would be if Jeremy Corbyn had won the 2017 election (it has been alleged that he only lost because of a right-wing faction in his own party that sabotaged him): these items would be free.

More people are going to die as a result of these decisions. Your friends and family perhaps. Maybe even yourself.

I think it’s time Matt Hancock had a nickname. What should it be?

Murdering Matt? Hancock the Hangman?

Source: UK government ‘using pandemic to transfer NHS duties to private sector’ | Business | The Guardian

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Extended jail term plan will lead to disaster

Behind bars: Boris Johnson’s plan for extended jail terms – stretching overstrained prisons beyond their limits – is criminal. But Johnson seems immune to punishment.

Conservatives can’t run prisons.

We all know this – right?

They tried privatising prisons and the cuts imposed by the privateers (in order to make a profit) meant wardens could not keep control.

Consider the failure to control drug use or even to stop drugs being passed into prisons.

Overcrowding led to unrest and even the occasional riot.

Now Boris Johnson has announced an intention to extend jail terms, meaning even more people will be packed into our limited prison space.

Or is he going to build more (like he promised to build more hospitals)?

Even if he achieved this – and I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting – would he not simply turn them over to private companies that would cock it all up again?

Yes, of course he would.

The UK’s prime minister is deliberately plotting a disaster for the justice system.

Or is there evidence that I am mistaken?

Source: Watchdog warns of prison overcrowding as Boris Johnson vows to extend jail terms | The Independent

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Job done: BBC got the Tories re-elected and now Tory pollster is softening us up for privatisation

“Blatantly Backing Conservatives”: but is the BBC irredeemable or could it be restored to its role as the greatest impartial news provider in the world – if the Tories don’t privatise it first?

Did you enjoy a lot of TV over Christmas? Did Worzel Gummidge tickle you? Or was Dracula more to your taste? How about that classic-with-a-new-face, Doctor Who?

BBC output – and not just drama – appears to have won the Christmas ratings war, but the corporation itself is in danger of being destroyed by politicians.

Boris Johnson said in the run-up to the general election that he thought the BBC in its current format – as a public service broadcaster supported by a licence fee paid by all television users – has had its day.

This Writer finds that a strange way to repay the organisation that has done more to re-elect the Conservatives than any other. Around 70 per cent of the UK gets its news from the BBC and a high proportion of those people let its newscasters tell them what to think.

The BBC’s election coverage was hugely controversial; there is a large body of opinion that the Corporation went far too easy on Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, despite policy positions that are, frankly, completely whacko.

In contrast, BBC presenters were almost feral in their reaction to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, whose policies – should they ever be discussed – were actually far more in tune with the thoughts of the nation.

There are many possible reasons for this behaviour by a broadcaster that should have been impartial – especially considering the fact that it relies on our money for its existence.

But I don’t think that’s why YouGov has just released a poll saying most people want to scrap the licence fee.

YouGov is the Tory polling organisation. It was set up by Nadhim Zahawi and another prominent Tory, and has always existed in the shadow of its founders’ political ambitions.

So, following up on Mr Johnson’s comments, it seems likely to This Writer that YouGov has polled the people most likely to support the end of the licence fee, in order to produce these results.

Remember: polls are published in order to tell you what to think, not to tell you what other people think.

The Tory plan would be to turn the BBC into a subscription-only or advertising-funded service, making it far less capable of providing the services it currently offers.

Then private, billionaire-owned companies could rush in to fill the gap – especially in news programming – with pro-Tory propaganda.

And the BBC itself could be taken over by privateers, leaving the logo only to mislead us into thinking that it’s the same as it ever was.

You know – like the Tories are doing with the NHS.

Labour offered reform of the BBC to eliminate political interference but you (or your fellow voters) didn’t want that.

If you lose the best broadcaster in the world because of the election result, I hope you know where to place the blame.

Source: Half of Britons want the BBC licence fee scrapped, new poll reveals | Daily Mail Online

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When is a public health service NOT a public health service? When it’s run by TORIES

The Conservatives will swear blind that the National Health Service is still a publicly-owned, universal system because it is free at the point of use – falsely.

It isn’t a universal system any more because, after some services were sold off to private firms, those firms have chosen not to provide them in certain parts of the country.

And it isn’t free at the point of use any more – obviously – because patients who have been left high and dry by the privateers in the NHS have been forced to seek treatment by private providers – at cost.

Meanwhile, other healthcare services are being starved because the Treasury is having to pump inflated amounts of cash into the private providers, to accommodate their profits.

And their mouthpieces in the Tory-owned media will still parrot the nonsense that, because it is funded by the Treasury, it is a publicly-owned, universal system, free at the point of use.

Please don’t let anyone get away with spreading the lies.

NHS cancer care and kids’ ­treatments are up for grabs in a stealth Tory sell-off.

Private firms are being invited to bid for chunks of our health service – in complete contrast to Boris Johnson’s repeated election campaign denials.

Cardiology, gynaecology, paediatrics and oncology are among the services being offered to companies.

A new framework drawn up by NHS Shared Business Services will see hospital trusts buying clinical care from a list of suppliers.

It could lead to deals worth up to £117million being handed out over four years.

Source: Private firms invited to run NHS services with cancer and kids treatments on sale – Mirror Online

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Did you know that the Tories are seducing English GPs into an American-style health system – RIGHT NOW?

I’ve only just found out about this and it is scandalous.

The Conservative government is pushing a new “GP contract” on local medical practices in England, demanding that your family doctor should sign up to the creation of “Primary Care Networks” based on a US-style model of “integrated care”.

The traditional doctor/patient relationship will end.

You will lose the right to see your GP.

Continuity of care will end.

Your GP may think they are signing up for something better, as doctors are being promised more money and more nursing staff, but…

The money is to make up for cuts to hospital care.

You will be forced to see less skilled staff.

This means your medical records will be shared widely, breaching patient confidentiality.

Patient care will suffer, meaning you will be more likely to suffer preventable harm under the new system.

And, eventually, the new system means the Tories will be able to sell your healthcare to private companies who don’t even need to be health specialists.

For the full, nightmarish scenario, see this video clip:

Is this what you want?

A diminished, profit-driven model of health care in which your well-being is of no consequence compared to the ability of a multi-national conglomerate to make money from your illness?

If you don’t, there’s still something you can do about it.

Download the leaflet and editable letter from this site, adapt the letter according to your own circumstances, and send both to your GP.

Do it before it is too late.

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Labour would halt RBS privatisation – in return for investment

 

This looks like Labour’s plan for a national investment bank, writ smaller.

A Labour government would halt privatisation because it would not profit the state. This makes perfect sense – far more than the current Tory plan to sell to the rich at a loss for the poor.

But the offer is only to delay continued privatisation of RBS – and only if the bank commits itself to lending money to the regions, and to small businesses.

For This Writer, it is not enough. RBS played a large part in the financial crisis of 2008 and it would be fitting if that bank were kept in public ownership and made to put right the damage it caused.

Put the Tories in Labour’s place, with a similar kind of offer, and I’d be calling them liars. History shows that Conservatives will say what they think others want to hear, to get them on-side. Then they renege on the deal.

I wouldn’t mind at all if Labour reneged on this one and turned RBS into a part of – or the basis of – the National Investment Bank in the party’s manifesto.

But Labour is not the Conservative Party and I have a feeling this is a sincere offer. But will the RBS bankers – and their shareholders – share my belief?

[The] Labour party would halt the privatisation of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) if it came to power but would not seek to exert day-to-day control, the opposition party’s shadow banking minister told Reuters.

RBS shareholders voted on Wednesday to approve the bank’s plans to begin buying back its shares from the government in order to accelerate a return to majority private ownership, with more than 98 percent backing the proposal.

RBS remains 62 percent owned by British taxpayers after a £45 billion bailout in the 2008 financial crisis, although the Conservative government has conducted two share sales as it looks to return it to private ownership.

The government’s two RBS equity sales so far have crystallised deep losses for British taxpayers on shares that have almost halved in value since the bank’s rescue.

“If RBS is now paying dividends, and the price of the shares is under what was paid, we cannot see the rationale for selling more shares,” said Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds.

Having previously suggested full nationalization of RBS, Labour has been rowing back as it seeks to build bridges to the City of London and ease concerns about a Labour-led Britain.

The extent of state involvement would depend on RBS’ willingness to increase lending to Britain’s regions and small businesses.

“We don’t have a policy of day-to-day control of RBS,” he said. “But there is clearly unmet demand in lending and a problem with financial inclusion.”

Source: Britain’s Labour says it would halt RBS privatization


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How can we trust the Tory government when its ministers behave like this?

 

Puppet: Matt Hancock mouths the words – but who wrote them? Him? The press barons? Or the IEA?

Matt Hancock is a naughty boy, isn’t he?

It seems his fat ministerial salary isn’t enough for naughty Matt, and he’s been taking donations – from a think tank dedicated to the end of the National Health Service.

And he’s the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

The Independent reports that after becoming an MP in 2010, Mr Hancock has received regular donations of between £2,000 and £4,000 from millionaire currency manager and Conservative Party donor Neil Record.

Mr Record heads the board of free market group the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

That organisation has claimed that opponents of its plan to privatise the NHS are really opposed to patients having a choice.

In fact, privatisation would force patients into insurance schemes that are unlikely ever to pay out, meaning patients would end up with no choice at all.

The IEA is a firm fan of such insurance schemes.

And our Health Secretary takes its bribes cash.

We’ll need to watch this one carefully. Will he try to use Brexit to put through his real paymasters’ plan?

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American firms should run hospitals for profit after Brexit, says group supported by Trade minister

Sell-off: The report calling for NHS hospitals to be sold off to private American firms, was edited by Eurosceptic Tory MEP Daniel Hannan.

At last the plan to sell off the NHS to private companies is out in the open, after years of being denied.

This think tank, the Initiative for Free Trade, should probably be thanked for allowing naked greed to get the better of tact and giving the game away too soon.

It is an organisation that has the support of International Trade minister Liam Fox, so you can be sure that it will be Conservative Party policy in the near future.

Mr Fox has already come out in support of forcing the people of the United Kingdom to eat chlorinated chicken – another move supported by the IFT.

And it turns out the report was written by another Conservative – Eurosceptic MEP Daniel Hannan.

So there you have it. It seems Brexit is being supported by the Conservatives as the excuse they need to fully privatise the National Health Service – or at least, the profitable parts of it.

They have tricked us into voting away our international reputation, our rights, our economy, and now – it seems – our health service.

Ministers should allow American healthcare companies to compete with the NHS to run hospitals as part of a free-trade pact after Brexit, a think tank recommends.

The Initiative for Free Trade (IFT) said that Britain should also end its ban on imports of products such as chlorinated chicken and accept American environmental and food safety regulations as equivalent to those in the UK.

The moves, it claimed, would help clear the way for a UK-US trade deal that would “rewrite the rules” of global commerce and allow Britain to take advantage of trade freedoms offered by Brexit. The IFT has received backing from Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, and Boris Johnson.

Source: Let American firms run hospitals, urges free trade group | News | The Times

Want to know what Brandon Lewis’s privatised fire service will look like? It’ll look like this

<RING RING!> <RING RING!> <RING RING!>

<click>

“Nine-nine-nine emergency; which service do you require?”

“Fire service, please.”

“Thank you! Your fire service today will be provided by G5S/CrApiTOS. Putting you through…”

<click>

“Hi! Your fire and rescue services today are sponsored by U-None Insurance – when U need a payout from us, U get None!”

“At last! I need you to come to -”

“One moment, caller! How will you be paying for today’s service? We take Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, PayPal, Bitcoin or blood.”

“Huh?”

“We take-”

“Forget it. It’s too late now. The fire is everywhere. There’s no way out for me, even if you could get here in time.”

“Okay. We’ll bill your heirs for this call.”

That’s the Conservative privatised fire and rescue service – if it is ever allowed to happen.

They’ll make you pay, or they’ll make you pay with your life. Is your credit good enough?

Don’t let it happen.

All 46 fire and rescue services in England could be sold off to private firms under secret Government plans.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis calls for new laws that “would enable fire and rescue authorities in England to contract out their full range of services to a suitable provider” in a letter obtained by the Mirror.

He continues: “I appreciate that the proposals are not without controversy; however these changes will help remove barriers and to increase choices that fire and rescue authorities have to contract out their services.”

Source: Privatised fire and rescue services: Secret Government plans to sell off 46 fire and rescue services revealed – Mirror Online

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