Tag Archives: ward

Decrepit NHS mental health wards put lives at risk – The Guardian

So much for Tory claims that they are looking after the National Health Service.

They are running it into the ground – and making fatalities likely. Why are they never prosecuted for causing these dangers?

Mental health patients are at risk of suicide because so many of the units they are treated in are dangerously decrepit, say NHS chiefs.

Crumbling old buildings are unsafe as they offer opportunities for mentally vulnerable people with conditions such as depression and schizophrenia to try to hang themselves or fall from a height, according to mental health trusts in England.

New figures show that patient safety incidents in mental health units caused by problems with staffing, facilities or the enviroment in which people are treated have risen by 8%. In all, 19,088 such incidents occurred in 2018-19 compared with 17,693 the year before.

Seven “never events” – incidents which are supposed to never happen – occurred in mental health trusts in 2018 involving a shower or curtain rail that failed to collapse. In another, someone fell from a window.

Source: Decrepit NHS mental health wards put lives at risk | Society | The Guardian

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Lack of cash means NHS is mothballing entire wards, exactly when they are needed

There is plenty of money in the UK but the Tories have decided to starve public services like the NHS to give tax breaks to the very rich.

This has led to chronic underfunding for services across the board, including health – which has also had to cope with the introduction of profit-making private companies into the system which drain out even more money.

They talk about funding increases but the amount they provide each year is barely a quarter of the average since the NHS was formed in 1948.

There can be only one conclusion: Whatever the Tories are planning for the NHS, it isn’t good for your health.

Hospitals are mothballing scores of wards, closing them to patients despite the NHS’s ongoing beds crisis, new figures reveal.

At the last count in September 82 “ghost wards” were recorded containing 1,429 empty beds, the equivalent of two entire hospitals, according to data provided by hospital trusts across England. It represents a sharp increase on the 32 wards and 502 beds that were unused four years earlier, statistics obtained under freedom of information laws show.

The closures, often a result of hospitals not having enough staff or the money to keep wards open, have occurred at a time when the health service is under unprecedented pressure and struggling to cope with demand for beds.

Source: Revealed: 82 ‘ghost wards’ containing 1,400 empty NHS beds | Society | The Guardian


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Jeremy Hunt’s midwife crisis: More than half of maternity units close doors to new mothers

Jeremy Hunt is still the Health Secretary. Do not become ill.

This is not a failure by the NHS. It is a failure of the NHS, by the minority Conservative government.

The Tories have cut taxes for corporations, and they have cut taxes for the rich. They have cut services for the poor and they have sold off huge chunks of the English NHS to their rich corporate friends. And the national debt continues to rise out of control, because all the money is going into private bank accounts.

That is why new parents are being denied the health care they need: Greed.

Here’s Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth explaining the situation:

And here‘s Labour’s press release, covering it in more detail:

New research published today by the Labour Party shows that nearly half of England’s maternity units closed to new mothers at some point in 2016.

Data obtained by Labour under the Freedom of Information Act shows:

·         42 hospital trusts which responded to an FOI request say they temporarily closed maternity wards to new admissions at some point in 2016

·         Some closures lasted more than 24 hours, while over ten trusts shut temporarily on more than ten separate occasions each

·         In 2016 there were 382 occasions when units had to close their doors, a 70 per cent increase from 2014

·         Hospitals report capacity and staffing issues as most common reason for closures

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health, said:

“These findings show the devastating impact which Tory underfunding is having for mothers and children across the country. It is staggering that almost half of maternity units in England had to close to new mothers at some point in 2016. The uncertainty for so many women just when they need the NHS most is unthinkable.

“Under this Government, maternity units are understaffed and under pressure. It’s shameful that pregnant women are being turned away due to staff shortages, and shortages of beds and cots in maternity units.

“Families are being sorely let down by this Government’s failure to recognise the crisis facing our NHS. The Tories need to get a grip and take urgent action to make sure closures like this don’t continue to happen.”


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Let’s make it easier for young people to vote!

You can lead a young person to the polling station but you still can't make them vote: How do we get our youth to exercise their democratic right? [Image: theday.co.uk]

You can lead a young person to the polling station but you still can’t make them vote: How do we get our youth to exercise their democratic right? [Image: theday.co.uk]

Have you noticed how the mainstream media have glossed over the fact that so few people voted in the European elections?

Only about one-third of the electorate bothered to shift their backsides from the sofa to the polling station, and only a quarter of those gave UKIP its resounding (if you believe the BBC) victory.

That’s just nine per cent of the electorate!

The other nine-tenths of the country – including both voters and non-voters – didn’t want UKIP to win, and it is delusional of that party’s supporters to say the whole country got behind them.

The problem is, far too many people didn’t get behind anybody else.

My cousin’s daughter, at 18, voted for the first time last week. She said she found it extremely difficult to form any definite opinion on which party to support because it was almost impossible to find reliable information.

You see, she’s not stupid; she wasn’t going to take the parties at face value. She wanted independent validation of their claims, and that’s hard to find.

Obviously the mainstream media are a lost cause. They all have their favourites and it is impossible to get any useful policy information from them. If you were watching the BBC, you would know that UKIP want Britain out of Europe and an end to what party leaders see as indescriminate immigration.

What did Auntie say about Conservative policies, other than that they were offering an in/out referendum in 2017 if they won a general election next year, which is nothing to do with the vote we’ve just had? What was said about Labour? What was said about the Liberal Democrats?

I’ve got no idea, and I spend my life commenting on politics! What chance do these teens have?

The problem is that there simply isn’t a resource that can provide easy answers for young people. If they want it on a website, it would have to feature not only listings of what the parties say they’ll do, but information on the philosophies behind those plans – so readers can understand the proposed direction of travel. It would have to carry detailed information on each candidate, in each constituency and ward, to enable our young people to judge the character of the people they were being asked to trust.

It would be unwieldy and it would be controversial. Candidates would be accusing it of bias within five minutes of any such website going up.

My cousin-once-removed thought that local councils should have information on their websites but I pointed out that they would only be allowed to publish material from the parties themselves, without any kind of commentary at all; as such it would be nothing more than propaganda.

So what’s the answer?

That’s not a rhetorical question; it’s a call for suggestions.

Schools don’t teach politics in any meaningful way. Citizenship was supposed to have gone onto the curriculum years ago but this writer hasn’t seen any increase in political awareness amongst the young. Political representatives aren’t allowed to discuss politics with students unless members of other parties are also present, which means they can each obstruct the others from doing so.

Courses on politics at further or higher education institutions really are biased according to the lecturers’ own beliefs – look at Oxford’s neoliberal PPE course.

Young people don’t have time to cut through all of the babble.

So most of them walk away.

How do we get them back – or do we simply not bother, and watch as democracy is quietly euthanised within the next generation?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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