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Not for sale: That’s unless you live in North West London, it seems.
More than two million Londoners are set to have their NHS services rationed in a scheme to save cash that may do little for their health.
The Tories are using North West London as a testing ground for the scheme that will deprive patients of essential NHS services in order to save £60 million.
That’s right – unlike previous schemes that targeted elective treatments, this round of cuts will take away services that patients need.
I recall reporting on the rationing of hip operations in 2017. At the time I stated that I foresaw huge extra costs: “Either you spend a fortune having your hip operation done by a private company, or you cost the NHS a fortune in unnecessary further costs from delayed treatment and pain management.”
I think many Londoners may be induced into forking out to have their care provided by a private company – and/or having to rely on the NHS for help to manage complications caused by the rationing.
The programme of cuts was announced on the same day Boris Johnson reinforced a commitment to NHS spending. But then, what are his promises worth?
Apparently the NHS in that part of London has racked up debts of more than £120 million. I wonder how much of that has been caused by spending on unnecessary profit-driven health “care” companies?
Services to be hit include:
• Patients currently receiving treatment from more than one consultant may no longer be able to access treatment from both or all of the specialists.
• “Repatriation” of some acute treatment from various specialist hospitals to local ones.
• New scrutiny – described as “demand management” – of GPs who refer patients for acute treatment, with GPs being asked to look at “alternative ways” of dealing with patients’ needs.
• Reduction in intravenous feeds through “better prescribing”.
According to The Guardian,
North-west London has previously been the testing ground for major NHS blueprints across the country, such as Shaping A Healthier Future, a failed hospital closure programme which wasted £76m on management consultants alone.
Health campaigners fear that the cuts to essential NHS acute services contained in the list could be rolled out nationwide to deal with budget shortfalls.
I wonder how the Tories plan to hide the adverse effect of their changes on NHS patients?
Will they pretend the problems they create have “many causes”, as they do with the deaths of benefit claimants?
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This is a media-led scandal; if the Tory-dominated mass media had not spent the last four years demonising Jeremy Corbyn, members of our armed forces would not have used an image of him as target practice.
And supporters of the armed forces would not have voiced their own hatred of Mr Corbyn. Consider the comments of Trevor Coult, founder of ‘For Our Veterans’ – and the organisation’s own comments in support of him:
It does say much about both the organisation and the man.
But with 13,000 veterans homeless thanks to Conservative government policies, and Jeremy Corbyn the only political leader likely to change that…
To the soldiers shorting at an image of Jeremy Corbyn. When the army have finished with you and you find yourselves having to claim Universal Credit, or you join 13,000 other veterans without a home, Mr Corbyn will be there to help you.
… these servicepeople are going to feel like a proper bunch of patsies if they actively oppose him becoming the UK’s democratically-elected leader – as some are predicting:
Here's a report of the comments made by that unnamed general. Identifying him, I would suggest, should be an even higher priority than investigating the soldiers who have deeply imbibed the anti-democratic culture that dominates British army life https://t.co/mDdABhBVHZ
Meanwhile, members of the public have been making up their own minds – and they’re not impressed:
The Ministry of Defence have confirmed this is real. Following on from recent threats & attacks made on Jeremy, it really is a matter of urgency that the press reconsider the merits of doorstepping Jeremy at his family home address pic.twitter.com/rvvUhZGLGM
Less than 3 years ago an MP was murdered. Yesterday we learned how close we came to another MP’s murder. The footage of soldiers using images of @jeremycorbyn for so-called “target practice” are disgusting, shocking and utterly unacceptable. MOD must investigate and act urgently
(Robert Peston, below, is one of those best-placed to answer his own question, as a member of the mass-media representatives who have been so instrumental in demonising Mr Corbyn, in accordance with the wishes of the Conservatives.)
The media must change. Corbyn and LAB have been demonised by the media since 2015. The media must own this. #BrokenMedia
Back in 2015, an unnamed general called for a de facto military coup against a hypothetical Corbyn government, and another general publicly spoke out against Corbyn, which I debated at the time here https://t.co/ZfBT9LSfwa
Obviously the Army must investigate this shocking video and the soliders involved. But if this is how they view the British leader of the opposition, there are wider concerns for how they view and, more importantly, treat, local Afghan people https://t.co/r9SdftMvkA
Sad to see ordinary, likely working class UK troops so seemingly brainwashed by UK media into hating someone who, perhaps more than any other politician, risked his political career by trying to stop UK troops being killed and maimed in unnecessary UK warshttps://t.co/KE6eETlKMb
Powys is, geographically, the largest county in Wales – with the smallest population. It habitually receives the least extra cash in the annual settlement from the Welsh Assembly.
As a result, it struggles to provide services – partly because private companies that carry out many of those services assume local authorities have money to burn and charge accordingly (I had that from a council officer).
It must be true, the reasoning runs, because just look at the salaries paid to the council’s chief officers.
And salaries paid to chief officers are high because if they weren’t on a par with richer councils, nobody would even offer to do the job.
So everyone with a chance to demand more is on the take – and who can blame them in these uncertain times?
And public services suffer.
But the only reason we pay our taxes – council tax, income tax, and any other tax that feeds into local authority budgets – is to receive public services.
But (again) we can’t withhold our tax money on the grounds that these services are being withheld from us, because that is a crime and we would be fined at the very least (thereby giving more money into the pot).
Whatever happens, we lose. And this will continue as long as public servants are paid £55 for doing nothing at all.
Incoming Powys chief executive Dr Caroline Turner, has been given a cash boost worth more than £25,000 by Powys councillors.
This will be on top of her salary of £138,000 a year.
At the Full PCC meeting on Thursday, January 24, councillors had to appoint Dr Turner to … statutory roles [including] election returning officer.
There are five sets of fees, some of which are set by external bodies:
Parliamentary elections fees which are set at Westminster – £2,685 for Brecon and Radnorshire and £2,500 for Montgomeryshire.
Welsh Assembly election fees of £4,730 for Brecon and Radnorshire and for Montgomeryshire it’s £4,730.
Elections for Police and Crime Commissioner (set by the Police and Crime Commissioner Board) – £2,870 for Brecon and Radnorshire and £2,574 for Montgomeryshire.
European Elections (which may not happen again) – £5,952.
Local Government elections £110 per contested ward and £55 per uncontested ward.
Underfunded councils prove unable to attract qualified full-time social workers but have a statutory duty to provide the service, so they have to hire agency staff instead.
This costs more, so council then have to cut the number of staff they employ, meaning those who remain are faced with a larger workload.
They won’t be able to cope.
Result: The collapse of the service and increased abuse of children.
Anyone who voted Conservative in 2017 wanted this.
The council department [in Coventry] which looks after the city’s most vulnerable youngsters needs to cut agency workers after spending more than £750,000 on them in the first quarter of the year, it has been warned.
Concerns about the case load of social workers and use of agency staff in the council’s children’s services department were first raised in 2014 when the council was slapped with an ‘inadequate’ rating – the worst possible – by Ofsted inspectors.
A council report … cited ‘a shortage of competent and experienced social workers regionally’ as the reason for the use of agency social workers.
Mad: David Davis will warn the European commission that it cannot cherrypick sectors in a trade deal [Image: Hoslet/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock].
Isn’t there a saying that madness may be defined as doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results?
In that case, David Davis is not only stupid but mad as well.
He has repeatedly stated the Tory government’s demands to the EU27 on what Theresa May and her cronies want from Brexit.
He has been rebuffed, every time – but now he is coming back with more of the same.
And isn’t it charming of him to try to say what other people must do – when he couldn’t even produce a series of impact assessments that he spent months swearing had been carried out.
The fact that they don’t, in fact, exist shows that Mr Davis and the government he represents is not only stupid and mad, but incompetent as well.
What organisation goes into negotiations about major changes without having carried out work to find out how they will affect it?
The EU27 will hear what he has to say, shrug, and force a deal on goods but not services on us, crippling four-fifths of the UK’s economy.
Brexit secretary David Davis will warn the European commission that it cannot “cherrypick some sectors” when negotiating a trade deal, according to a senior government official, who said the UK planned to treat goods and services as inseparable.
Responding to EU figures setting out their stall, the Whitehall source insisted that while trade talks would be complex, “they either want to have a broad economic relationship with the UK, or they don’t”.
The source dismissed the idea that Britain would have to choose between a simple free trade agreement, which would focus largely on goods but not on the services that make up almost 80% of the UK economy, or a more comprehensive arrangement inside the single market and customs union.
They also suggested that ministers across government had held meetings with a “full sweep of EU member states” and were confident some would be pressing internally for the commission to secure a bespoke and strong deal with the UK.
Cliff Jordan, Conservative leader of Norfolk Counci [Image: Evolve Politics].
Conservative priorities: Take from the poor to give to themselves.
The authority comprises 84 councillors – that means they are taking an extra £84,000 a year from the council’s budget.
This year, because they are backdating the rise to May, that amount rises to £120,000.
The contrast with their attitude to the people they are supposed to serve could not be more stark – on the same day they awarded themselves this entirely-undeserved raise, the Norfolk Tories voted to cut vital children’s services.
And they have decided the council will have to make cuts of £125 million across the board over the next four years.
The logic is very clear:
How else are the people of Norfolk to pay for any future pay rises demanded by their councillors?
The revelation comes only a day after it was revealed that councillors in Lancashire had decided to award a £104 million contract to a private health company instead of the NHS, prompting fury at the diversion of public money into private bank accounts.
It seems clear that the Tory agenda for local authorities is the same as for national governments: ‘Starve the Beast’.
That means: Privatise everything so public money intended for services becomes private profit instead; tax breaks and pay rises for the obscenely rich…
And cuts to services for the poor, justified by a feeble claim that there isn’t any money.
The Conservative-led Council in Norfolk has come in for stinging criticism today after deciding to award themselves with an inflation-busting 11% pay rise just hours after voting through swingeing cuts to vital children’s services in the area.
Not only will Norfolk’s Councillor’s see their allowances rise by over £1000 a year, the greedy Tory Councillors also decided to backdate their own pay rise from May, meaning they will each pocket an extra £400 on top.
The decision was made despite the fact that the Tory-led Council had argued Norfolk would need to make cuts of £125m to vital services over the next four years.
And to add insult to injury for the people of Norfolk, the vote to hand themselves huge pay rises came just hours after Tory Councillors had forced through budget cuts to vital local children’s services.
Philip Hammond, by cartoonist Dave Brown: Mr Hammond’s policies are more likely to strangle the UK’s public services than the Chancellor himself.
It takes a special kind of genius to (metaphorically) shoot your own mouth off and shoot every Tory MP of the last seven years in the foot – at the same time.
That is the achievement of a Twitter user who, with stunning insight, calls him- or herself “Voice of Reason”.
This person clearly set out to undermine Labour’s answer to this week’s Budget statement, which Conservatives have tried to reduce to a claim that John McDonnell would borrow so much money, he would bankrupt the country.
That is impossible in a sovereign country, and there’s a huge difference between borrowing money, spending it, and having nothing to show for it – as the Conservatives have been doing – and borrowing in order to invest in business and receive a financial reward in return.
These facts seem to have bypassed “Voice of Reason”, who transmitted the following to the world:
Borrower:Please can I borrow £2m to buy a house?
Lender: How will you repay the loan?
Borrower : I won’t need to because the investment pays for itself.
Let’s just nail the fundamental flaw in the argument right now: John McDonnell and Labour have never claimed they won’t need to pay back any money they borrow – they want to invest such cash in money-making enterprises that will make a profit for the country. That doesn’t mean the premise of John McDonnell borrowing money for a house is false, as the Tories’ own policies have offered ways to make that work, too – as we shall see, now.
I don’t know whether the people who responded to this ill-advised outburst were Labour supporters or economists, or Labour-supporting economists, but they dealt out a lesson that everyone should remember. Let’s consider their responses:
Borrower: Can I borrow £2million please? Lender: How will you repay the loan? Borrower: By investing the money in things which will increase my revenue. Lender: Great, that's how this shit works.https://t.co/ZN5Hq8Ds1p
With apologies to those who are easily offended by harsh language, that really is how this works. Labour is proposing business loans that are intended to produce a return on the investment – making more money than the initial outlay, which is exactly the same as any other business loan.
For ways to make money after buying a house, try this:
Jesus. So you can't tell the difference between the state borrowing to invest in infrastructure to boost productivity, employment and therefore tax receipts and a family applying for a mortgage for a home?
Ohnojamiemoron. You’ve missed the point. Before you can make a profit you need to borrow the money first and find someone who will lend it to you. It doesn’t appear by magic. And of course all Labour have ever done is piss away billions for nil return.
In fact the UK government never has any problem finding people who will lend money. The process was explained on the BBC’s Daily Politics this week: The Bank of England issues debt securities called “gilts” in one of two forms. A conventional gilt is a bond issued by the UK government which pays the holder a fixed cash payment (or coupon) every six months until maturity, at which point the holder receives his final coupon payment and the return of the principal; index-linked gilts pay coupons which are initially set in line with market interest rates.
Government bonds are usually in the currency of the country of origin, in which case the government cannot be forced to default.
The terms on which a government can sell bonds depend on how creditworthy the market considers it to be. International credit rating agencies will provide ratings for the bonds, but market participants will make up their own minds about this.
Not only does the UK have its own sovereign currency, meaning it cannot be forced to default on its debts, but market participants have chosen to ignore several downgrades by credit rating agencies since the Conservative took office in 2010.
This means UK gilts are considered extremely safe forms of investment. About two-thirds of UK gilts are held by insurance companies and pension funds. The UK has absolutely no problem finding lenders.
The claim that Labour has only ever spent money without making any return is risible. History shows that Labour is the party with a record of paying off the national debt; Tories merely increase it. Recent history shows that the Tories have borrowed more than every UK Labour government there has ever been.
It is indeed economically illiterate to claim that anyone borrowing money to invest it in profitable enterprises, then using the profit to pay off the debt with interest, and still having cash left over, is a “nutcase”.
It is also economically illiterate to claim that the national debt will be paid off by borrowing money and then slashing economic growth, as the Tories have claimed for the past seven years.
So their economic policy can’t be about paying off the national debt.
In fact, Tory economic policy is about ensuring that the state cannot fund public services and must therefore sell off publicly-owned assets, forcing citizens to pay for services themselves – a far more expensive form of provision which therefore makes a large profit for any privately-owned provider of those services.
It is also about ensuring that the majority of citizens simply don’t have the funds to pay for those services privately, putting them at a permanent disadvantage in comparison to the rich asset- and shareholders.
That is why the Conservative-led governments of the past seven years have offered huge tax cuts to the richest people in the UK, when that money could have been used to help pay off the deficit and debt; and austerity to the poorest, cutting public services and business investments that could have brought in revenue for the state.
The policy means tax revenues are never enough to cover the cost of public services, providing the Tories with an excuse to go on cutting them until there are none left.
According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), we will reach that point in 2031. The Tories themselves are hoping to manage it in 2025.
Those are the dates at which these two organisations reckon the deficit will go into surplus, and that’s why we may conclude that it is the date by which all public services the Tories want to sell into private hands will have gone.
And this is the only explanation of Conservative policy on taxation and borrowing that makes any sense at all.
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Leaked proposals from three areas have already revealed plans including downgrading or closing A&Es [Image: Chris Radburn/PA].
Shame on The Guardian for accusing the NHS of hiding planned service cuts.
The health service is run by the minority Conservative government and must do what it is told.
Its spokesperson is right to say it must work within its budget. As for the information it releases – that’s up to the Tories.
So let’s be honest – it’s not the NHS hiding the facts; it is the Conservative Party. Again.
The NHS has been accused of keeping the public in the dark about controversial plans to plug a £250m funding gap by rationing services.
The crowdfunded campaign group 38 Degrees submitted freedom of information (FOI) requests to the government, NHS leaders as well as trusts and clinical commissioning groups in the 13 areas affected but all except two refused to release details of planned changes.
Leaked proposals from three areas have already revealed plans including downgrading or closing A&Es and extending waiting times for operations, and 38 Degrees says the public is entitled to know what else is in store.
A mother’s grief: Obviously this image is only representative.
Not only is this a story about a council’s Social Services department overstepping its bounds, but it also shows how government works to deny valid diagnoses of illness for its own purposes.
The details are being serialised on Jayne Linney’s blog site, here, and This Writer would strongly urge you not only to read the original but to follow the site, as further evidence will be published there.
In her message notifying me of this article, Ms Linney wrote: “This is a true story of what seems to be disability discrimination resulting in a disabled child being removed from home and contact with his disabled mother limited.
“The mother is desperate to get her story out there and gain support.
“Both mum and son need to be back together.”
Alison is a single parent of 14 year old Adam, both live with various diagnosed and pending diagnosis health disorders including Fibromyalgia and Elhers Danos; Alison is also Autistic and symptoms suggest Adam is as well.
Due to Adams health, he found it difficult to cope with school from the beginning and despite special educational needs intervention, including one to one lessons he struggled experiencing bullying which resulted in him developing depression. These experiences became worse during Adams transition from junior to senior school, so much so that in 2015, Alison began to home educate him. Utilising her qualifications in Advanced Sports Therapy, Holistic Therapies and counselling, Alison along with other professional devised and delivered a programme of education with a wide variety of skills and healthy activities. This proved very successful wih two reviews from the LEA and feedback from the young carers project Adam attended, resulting in him showing a general improvement in mental capacity, attitude and general happiness.
However despite the improvements in Adams education and development the local social services were unhappy and persuaded Alison to undertake a psychological assessment. This transpired to be 4 and ½ hours of Rorschach testing and a further 3 hours of probing of her medical history, during which time Alison without an advocate, perhaps understandably became extremely agitated. The findings of this assessment, which interestingly Alison’s own GP deemed totally unnecessary, was Alison being regarded as having Somatic Syndrome Disorder and thus influencing Adam into thinking he has medical conditions. The findings despite an array of medical, educational and other evidence to the contrary, was then used by social services to go to court, the outcome being Alison was found to be unable to care for her son and Adam was removed from home and taken into care.
The court when considering Adams future, refused to consider the historical and educational evidence of Adams physical and psychological health and relied entirely upon Alisons psychological assessment. The miscarriage of justice transpired therein as it appears that the psychological assessor determined: Alisons willingness and ability to research the most appropriate consultants for her sons health, indicates she is only willing to work with selected professionals; further it seems Alisons knowledge that her personal diagnoses of autism and elher danos both have a genetic pre-disposition to health issues, was considered by the assessor as a desire to transpose these onto Adam.
Further the court found that Adam should be taken into care permanently and that contact with his mother would only be regulated once Alison shows no further concern for the health of her son.
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