Tag Archives: treatment

Tory NHS fail: they want to scrap most cancer treatment targets

Steve Barclay: if there is a problem with cancer in the English NHS, he is the tumour that needs to be removed.

How will Rishi Sunak be able to complain about the Welsh NHS now?

And is this just a shabby bid to boost private cancer treatments?

The Tory government reckons it is being advised by clinicians and cancer charities to scrap six out of nine treatment targets – but two such charities have objected to the plan, just in the BBC’s article announcing it!

The head of the Radiotherapy UK charity said she is “deeply worried”.

Pat Price, who is also an oncologist and visiting professor at Imperial College London, said… “the clear and simple truth is that we are not investing enough in cancer treatment capacity”.

Naser Turabi, Cancer Research UK’s director of evidence and implementation, said… “Despite the best efforts of NHS staff, it’s incredibly worrying that cancer waiting times in England are once again amongst the worst on record.”

He blamed the missed targets on “years of underinvestment” by the government and called for more cancer staff and a clear strategy.

“Without bold action, more people will miss out on lifesaving services,” he said.

We have seen recently that restrictions on NHS services – such as those that are likely to be imposed if treatment targets are scrapped – tend to “nudge”* people into taking private treatment, even if they can’t afford it.

Personally, This Writer thinks Barclay is simply putting more patients between a rock and a hard place: what difference is there between waiting for help that may not arrive in time and putting up with a private ‘specialist’ dancing around you, waving his beads and rattles?

*Remember the Tory “nudge unit” that was attached to 10 Downing Street under David Cameron before it was privatised, and recommended ways of… shall we say “persuading”?… people to do things they would not consider in the normal scheme of things? Clearly, making it impossible for patients to get life-saving treatment in time is a way of “persuading” people to fork out extra cash for private treatment that they would not otherwise have considered and should not need.


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Why are NHS trusts being told to cancel treatment on the day of the Queen’s funeral?

Party girl: this is how Therese Coffey commemorated the removal of £1,040 per year from Universal Credit payments. As Health Secretary, is she partying in similar manner while appointments are cancelled because they are scheduled for the same day as the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II?

Vital hospital appointments and treatments are being cancelled by NHS trusts because they were due to take place on the day now scheduled for the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

This is hugely dangerous for the patients involved. Waiting lists are at record lengths. How long will it take for the appointments to be rescheduled?

(To give you a clue – and I know this is slightly different: Mrs Mike badly needed to have a tooth filled and the dentists offered her an appointment the following week, which required rescheduling of other events… or in December. Who knows how badly her tooth would have deteriorated by then?)

Here’s Maximilien Robespierre with a video clip:

And here‘s the Open Democracy article to which it refers. I’ve excerpted the following:

Some NHS trusts have said that all non-urgent procedures and clinic appointments will be postponed, including hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, maternity checks and some cancer treatments.

Many patients had been waiting months for surgery – only to have it cancelled a week beforehand. In a letter to one patient, the NHS blamed “unforeseen circumstances”.

Doctors at one central London hospital trust were told: “The day of the State Funeral will be treated as a bank holiday so please go ahead and start rescheduling patients.”

It follows the announcement that the UK will have a bank holiday on September 19 to mark the Queen’s funeral. But government guidelines says: “There is no statutory entitlement to time off,” adding that this is “a matter for discussion between individuals and their employer”.

So it is clear that the decision has been made unilaterally by the NHS trusts involved and there is no reason at all for the treatments to have been cancelled and rescheduled.

This Writer looks forward to hearing the rationale from party-girl Health Secretary Therese Coffey. Is she still having the time of her life?

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One rule for them: the privileges enjoyed by this Tory MP sex offender have been astonishing

Khan and can’t: Imran Ahmad Khan has been convicted of a serious crime – but will his erstwhile boss, that utter incompetent Boris Johnson, also be convicted of a criminal offence before long?

Are the newspapers really sure they have permission to reveal that now ex-Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan is a convicted sex offender?

The lengths to which he – and, it seems, the authorities – went to avoid admitting he was facing charges were phenomenal, and strongly reinforce the prevailing opinion that MPs, and particularly Tories, get preferential treatment:

  • His victim said he wasn’t ‘taken very seriously’ when he made the allegation of sexual assault to the Tory press office days before Khan was elected as MP for Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in the December 2019 general election.
  • Turned away by the Tories, the victim resorted to the police, making a complaint days after Khan was elected. But Khan was sent a questionnaire by Staffordshire Police rather than being interviewed under caution at a station because of “Covid protocols in place at the time”.
  • Neither Staffordshire Police nor the Crown Prosecution Service informed the media or the public when Khan was charged by postal requisition – the point at which suspects in criminal cases are routinely named.
  • His first appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court by video link on June 3 last year did not appear on the public or press lists. Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring granted him an interim anonymity order ahead of another unlisted hearing, which the CPS refused to confirm was taking place as well as what charge Khan was facing.
  • He attempted to stop key details of the case – including the age of his victim, his own homosexuality, and even his fondness for a gin and tonic – coming into the public domain.
  • On June 17 last year, Khan argued in court that he should be granted anonymity.
  • Then he tweeted in support of press freedom, retweeting a message by then-foreign secretary Dominic Raab about the situation in Hong Kong. He had previously claimed Extinction Rebellion had constrained press freedom when the protest group blocked a newspaper printing press.
  • His anonymity – unprecedented in a case not involving national security – was only lifted after legal challenges from two media organisations.

Now Khan has been convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old male at a house in Staffordshire in 2008.

Southwark Crown Court heard how Khan forced the teenager to drink gin and tonic, dragged him upstairs, pushed him onto a bed and asked him to watch porn before the attack.

The victim, now 29, told a jury he was left feeling “scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised” after Khan touched his feet and legs, and came within “a hair’s breadth” of his genitals.

The boy ran to his parents and a police report was made – but no further action was taken at the time because the victim did not want to make a formal complaint.

Of course, now that a court has returned a “guilty” verdict, the Tory Party’s attitude has gone into reverse. Whereas in 2019 the victim wasn’t “taken very seriously”, now Khan has been expelled from the organisation.

He is awaiting sentencing for the offence and if he is imprisoned for more than a year he will be automatically expelled from the House of Commons.

He could also be subjected to the recall process, by which Wakefield constituents may have him removed as their MP.

Labour has already called for him to resign, so the people of Wakefield “can get the representation they deserve”.

This Writer is fine with all of that; whatever is appropriate, I’ll go with it.

But I want to know how the police and courts will be prevented from treating accused MPs as though the law doesn’t apply to them.

Source: Tory MP guilty of sex attack on boy after forcing him to drink gin | Metro News

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Tory underfunding means 1.2 MILLION people are waiting for vital NHS treatment

Waiting for treatment: thanks to Tory policies, 1.2 million people are being made to wait for vital treatments and operations.

This is the flipside of the Tory plan to give £2 billion to private health firms for non-essential health procedures.

They give £200 million to the privateers’ bank accounts and it isn’t available for brain surgery, cataract treatment and gynaecology – among other vital work.

And the waiting list grows.

This was a conscious choice, made by Tory leaders years before anybody dreamed of a crisis like Covid-19.

They wanted to starve the NHS of cash and resources in order to nudge patients and the general public into the false belief that a socialised medical service can’t possibly work.

(In fact, a system in which everybody pays into a national health scheme is the only way everybody can benefit from affordable health care. Privatised or insurance-based schemes are always either too expensive for most people to afford, meaning they have to live with – and sometimes die with – preventable health problems, or they are rip-offs designed to take cash from gullible punters.)

They didn’t – and don’t – care that people are suffering, and may die, because of their privatisation push, that is not based on fact but on fanatical right-wing ideology.

The long and the short of it is that, if you are waiting months and years for vital treatments and operations, to the point where it is causing you pain and/or even endangering your life, there is a reason.

It is because Conservatives like health secretary Sajid Javid, former health secretary Matt Hancock, and prime minister Boris Johnson – along with all the other Tory government ministers going back to 2010 – wanted you to suffer; wanted your life to be in danger.

If you know anybody who voted Tory, they voted for you to suffer in this way.

And for those of you who actually voted Conservative yourself: what were you thinking? That’s actual self-harm.

Source: Almost 1.2m people waiting at least six months for vital NHS services in England | NHS | The Guardian

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Cummings’ Barnard Castle trip ‘minor’ breach of social distancing rules. What about dangerous driving?

Dominic Cummings: he and his buddy Boris Johnson probably think they got away with it again.

Durham Police have confirmed the adage that the UK has one rule for the elite and another for the masses, by refusing to fine Dominic Cummings for breaking social distancing rules in his controversial trip to Barnard Castle.

What about the breach of lockdown represented by his trip to Durham, where he breached social distancing rules by handing his son, who had been exposed to two people who had Covid-19, over to his elderly parents – vulnerable people who were now potentially exposed?

What about the implication of dangerous driving – a criminal offence – in the fact that Cummings himself said he drove to Barnard Castle because he believed Covid-19 had affected his eyesight and he wanted to check whether he could see well enough to drive back to London?

All we get is that Durham Police “did not consider an offence had been committed”.

To the rest of us, this simply suggests that Durham Police are not fit for purpose; this service cannot enforce the law with equality towards rich and poor alike.

PM aide Dominic Cummings’ trip to Barnard Castle “might have been a minor breach” of lockdown rules, Durham Police has said.

But the force said no retrospective action would be taken against the PM’s chief adviser.

In a statement, Durham Police said they view Mr Cummings’ 50-mile round trip to Barnard Castle with his wife and son as “minor” because there was no apparent breach of social distancing rules during their visit.

The force said it had “no intention to take retrospective action in respect of the Barnard Castle incident”, since this would amount to “treating Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public.”

Other members of the public who have been fined for travelling may take a different view. Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski recently made a fuss about being denied access to Welsh beaches for fear of being fined, for example. Was he mistaken? Would he – and others – have been permitted to make the trip, if Cummings’s 60-mile round trip was not worthy of a fine?

On the issue of whether it was an offence for Mr Cummings to drive himself and his family from London to Durham to isolate on his family’s farm, Durham Police said it did “not consider an offence was committed”.

Source: Dominic Cummings ‘might have broken lockdown rules’ – police – BBC News

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Coronavirus: save your sympathy – Boris Johnson won’t be the prime minister who died of stupidity

Johnson: He wasn’t looking well at this prime ministerial broadcast last month – but you bet he’s getting the best possible treatment.

Boris Johnson’s health has deteriorated to the point where he has been moved to intensive care at a National Health Service hospital.

He experienced breathing difficulties while undergoing tests and was given oxygen.

And suddenly there’s an outpouring of sympathy for him. Twitter hashtags like #PrayForBoris and #GetWellBoris are top-trending.

Why?

He’s the prime minister of the United Kingdom. He’s getting the best treatment that the taxpayer can buy – unlike older and more vulnerable people who have been told to sign away their right to treatment and wait for death.

Johnson won’t be the prime minister who died of stupidity.

Don’t kid yourself – that’s what it would be if the coronavirus took him. He chose to shake hands with all those Covid-19 patients. Did he wash his hands afterwards?

He chose to ignore his own rules on social distancing.

And of course, he chose to put off the UK’s lockdown until almost catastrophically late after the pandemic arrived in the UK.

So save your sympathy.

I may be wrong about this – because the virus is unpredictable. If I am, I will apologise profusely.

But right now I have far more sympathy for the people who have died, and who are being told to die, than for a government minister who ignored his own rules.

Source: Coronavirus: Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after condition worsens | Politics News | Sky News

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Coronavirus: Medical groups unite to condemn bulk ‘Do Not Revive’ plan for sick and disabled people


This should be seen as absolute proof that it has been a policy to deny coronavirus care to people with long-term illnesses and disabilities.

This Writer has noted some scepticism in the responses to yesterday’s article about the GP practice in Wales that wrote to people with ongoing medical conditions, telling them that equipment used to treat coronavirus is being rationed and they were not likely to be treated if they contracted the disease. Instead, the letter asked them to sign a form directing medical staff not to attempt to resuscitate them if they succumbed to the virus.

My own attitude to this is clear: as we have all paid into the National Health Service, throughout our lives, we all deserve the best possible care available from it. I asked: do politicians and royalty get preferential treatment? If so, why?

Also, just because a person has an underlying condition, that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to shrug off the virus, given the same help that is provided to everybody else.

Now the British Medical Association, the Care Provider Alliance, the Care Quality Commission and the Royal College of General Practitioners have released a joint statement, saying more or less the same.

Here’s the statement:

It reads [boldings mine]:

The importance of having a personalised care plan in place, especially for older people, people who are frail or have other serious conditions has never been more important than it is now during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Where a person has capacit, as defined by the Mental Capacity Act, this advance care plan should always be discussed with them directly. Where a person lacks the capacity to engage with this process then it is reasonable to produce such a plan following best interest guidelines with the involvement of family members or other appropriate individuals.

Such advance care plans may result in the consideration and completion of a Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) or ReSPECT form. It remains essential that these decisions are made on an individual basis. The General Practitioner continues to have a central role in the consideration, completion and signing of DNAR forms for people in community settings.

It is unacceptable for advance care plans, with or without DNAR form completion to be applied to groups of people of any description. These decisions must continue to be made on an individual basis according to need.

It’s saying that any policy requiring medical staff to write off any individual – of any age and condition – as untreatable without discussing their situation with them is wrong.

If the government has handed that down to healthcare providers as a requirement, then it is wrong.

If anybody has already died as a result of such a policy, then those responsible must be identified and must pay the appropriate penalty.

This is real. It is important. It could be deadly. Don’t let the Tories get away with it.

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Coronavirus discrimination: surgery asks chronically sick and disabled patients to refuse treatment

People with serious health conditions and disabilities who are registered with a GP surgery in Wales had a nasty surprise in the post.

The surgery sent them a letter saying if they caught the coronavirus, the best thing for them to do would be to reject treatment and wait for death – and it asked them to sign a form confirming it.

Llynfi Surgery, in Llynfi Road, Maesteg, sent the letter to patients with serious health conditions such as incurable cancer, motor neurone disease, and untreatable heart and lung conditions, on March 27.

It comes as further confirmation that people with disabilities will suffer adverse discrimination in the coronavirus crisis – that government guidance is to abandon them.

The letter states that people with these conditions are “unlikely to be offered hospital admission” if they become unwell with coronavirus and “certainly will not be offered a ventilator bed”.

It continued: “We would therefore like to complete a DNACPR form for you which we can share with the OOH [out of hours] GP services and which will mean that in the event of a sudden deterioration in your condition because of a Covid-19 infection or disease progression the emergency services will not be called and resuscitation attempts to restart your heart or breathing will not be attempted.”

Going on, it suggested that the “best option” for patients is to stay at home to be cared for by their family with “ongoing support from ourselves and community nursing services”.

It listed “benefits” to signing the DNACPR form:

  • “Your GP and more importantly your friends and family will know not to call 999”;
  • “Scarce ambulance resources can be targeted to the young and fit who have chance of surviving the infection”, and;
  • “The risk of transmitting the virus to friends, family and emergency responders from CPR (even chest compression alone) is very high. By having a DNACPR form in place you protect your family and emergency responders from this additional risk”.

The final line reads: “We will not abandon you but we need to be frank and realistic about what the next few months holds for all of us.”

Wales Online reported on this scandalous correspondence, saying that the local health board had contacted patients who were upset by the letter, to apologise and “answer any concerns”.

And both the Welsh Assembly member and MP have issued a joint statement saying this was “not a standard letter” and the board is working with the surgery “to offer compassionate and sound advice in the very best traditions of our health service”.

You’ll notice that there isn’t a single line in these comments that contradicts the suggestions in the letter.

If anything, it seems the authorities have simply been embarrassed that it has stated the facts about government guidance on long-term sick and disabled patients who contract the coronavirus in a blunt way.

The affair seems to be confirmation that the government is indeed using the coronavirus to cull “useless eaters”, in line with the eugenics beliefs of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings, and the Nazi-style persecution of people with long-term health issues that has been carried out by successive Conservative governments over the last decade.

Source: Surgery asks sickest patients to sign ‘do not attempt CPR’ form if they get Covid-19 – Wales Online

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Will the UK follow America and abandon people with disabilities to die of coronavirus?

A ventilator: The NHS in the UK doesn’t have enough of these to cater for the number of people likely to need them. Will people with disabilities be passed over because of Tory prejudice?

Boris Johnson and his Tories like to copy what happens in the United States – and they already have a record for persecuting disabled people.

So what would you give for the chances of people with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism or any of the other reasons for receiving Personal Independence Payment, knowing that the US is letting them die of coronavirus?

Read:

New guidance published Alabama officials says that ‘persons with severe mental retardation, advanced dementia or severe traumatic brain injury may be poor candidates for ventilator support.’

It goes on to say that ‘persons with severe or profound mental retardation, moderate to severe dementia, or catastrophic neurological complications such as persistent vegetative state are unlikely candidates for ventilator support.’

Similar guidance has been issued in Washington and Arizona, with medics in the latter state instructed to ‘allocate resources to patients whose need is greater or whose prognosis is more likely to result in a positive outcome with limited resources.’

Disability advocacy groups have now filed complaints against the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for further clarification on the often vague guidance, and are seeking assurance that disabled people will not be discriminated against when it comes to receiving emergency care.

Too late – the discrimination is already happening.

In the United Kingdom, the NHS doesn’t have enough ventilators to go around so it is entirely logical to expect the Tories to ration them.

This Writer has a terrible feeling disabled people are already being passed over – or the orders may already be in place – in the UK.

I would appreciate any information from people who experience such prejudice.

Source: People with Down syndrome could be left to die of coronavirus to ‘save’ supplies | Metro News

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Should this Home Secretary be held responsible for asylum-seeker’s cancer death?

Sajid Javid: He denied a cancer sufferer healthcare, and she died.

It seems the Tory-run home office isn’t happy with the misery it has caused with the Windrush scandal and its “hostile environment” policy – it has branched out into causing death by withholding healthcare.

Kelemua Mulat died after the Home Office said she should be refused life-saving cancer treatment.

The excuse was that there was confusion over whether she should be charged for the treatment.

That is an administrative matter.

The immediate concern should have been ensuring that she did receive treatment – not who pays for it.

Perhaps we should be unsurprised that the Tory government responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands, or millions – of people by withholding benefit payments was more concerned about money than life.

That doesn’t change the fact that the Home Office has blood on its hands, and the Home Secretary responsible for this death should face justice for causing it.

That would be Sajid Javid.

Watch him run from justice like the coward he is.

An Ethiopian woman who was denied potentially life-saving cancer treatment for six weeks amid confusion about whether she should be charged by the NHS has died aged 39.

Kelemua Mulat, who had advanced breast cancer, was refused chemotherapy last year after Home Office and NHS officials decided that she was not eligible for free care.

Mulat, a mother of one, was eventually treated by the internationally renowned Christie hospital in Manchester after its doctors expressed concern and said her need was “immediately necessary”, which is permitted treatment under the rules.

Source: Asylum seeker denied cancer treatment by Home Office dies | Politics | The Guardian