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Author Archives: Brian Fisher

Brexit is opening the door to NHS chaos in so many ways. But we are now presented with a new threat. There have been concerns for many years, often expressed in this column, that the 2012 Tory design of the NHS opens the way to privatising not only services but also commissioning itself. Fighting the impact of the 2012 Act and its offspring such as ACOs/ICSs has been paramount. By shrinking the state at the same time as imposing austerity, the Tories have created the conditions for increasing mortality rates. This appears to be taking place now. But Brexit has […]
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This is a draft programme drawn up by the SHA. It remains under development and does not yet represent our final set of recommendations. However, it follows much work and consultation and we see this as a conversation with our members, the party and the public. We want and expect that such discussions will change aspects of this document and we welcome that debate. We shall be holding a workshop on Public Health which will feed in to this work. We want to present conference with a challenging set of practical and theoretical ideas. They are summarised here, but there […]
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This is a discussion document not agreed policy. All NHS bodies must be under clear obligations and duties: To work to reduce inequality To cooperate with other public bodies To promote shared decision making and community development To be open and transparent and to involve public and patients in all major decisions and plans. Mergers and other organisational changes should be subject only to local agreement. NHS bodies should have boards of directors with a majority of NEDs and governing bodies set up to reflect a balance between patients, public, staff and other local stakeholders. The procurement and contract management […]
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This is a discussion document not agreed policy. The rationale for international trade is clear. No country can be self-sufficient in everything it requires, whether this is because of the geographical distribution of natural resources, climatic constraints on agriculture, or the benefits that come with concentration of particular types of expertise. However, it is important that this trade takes place in ways that bring benefits for all concerned. Unfortunately, this is not the case with many existing global and regional trade agreements. Too often, they are designed in ways that allow the powerful to exploit the powerless, whether by exploiting […]
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This is a discussion document not agreed policy. A new unified care system that combines health and defined social care components and specialised housing, having local democratic input from the Local Authorities with the Public Health Director having that role in an expanded Public Health organization with the NHCS and in the LA, to ensure the tightest of possible joint working. Social care will be offered on the basis of assessed need, free at the point of use, and funded from progressive taxation. Devolved administrations will have the freedom to develop their policies and approaches independently within this context. Universities […]
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This is a discussion document not agreed policy. A Health and Care Service The bringing together of our separate health and social care systems so that they become one unified care system driven by the political values and professional / organisational principles that underpin the NHS. Organising resources to meet the medical and social needs of people so that organisational and professional barriers that might hinder the giving of care are kept to a minimum (or even removed totally). It sees the need for care as sitting within the wider social context which individuals and families inhabit. Marketisation/privatisation We support […]
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This is a discussion document not agreed policy. 1. Purpose 1.1.This paper supports the bringing together of our separate health and social care systems to become one unified care system driven by the political values and professional / organisational principles that underpin the NHS. 1.2. The political values are: a system with national standards; funded largely from progressive taxation1; delivered by locally accountable bodies that rely on committed staff many of whom have professional training and professionally established responsibilities; is evidence based; relies on the notion of “co-production” between service users and professional staff – people playing an active role […]
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This is a discussion document not agreed policy. The SHA is concerned that general practice under the Tories may go the way of dentistry and optometry. The SHA aims to eliminate the private sector except in exceptional and transient circumstances. The SHA wants to see improved access to primary care for both acute and chronic care. We are keen to maintain continuing personal care. This will require significant increased funding for clinicians in primary care. The government’s proposals are too little, too late. They have resulted in immense frustration with GPs threatening industrial action for the first time. The SHA […]
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This is a discussion document not agreed policy. Mental Health services are “overwhelmed” by soaring demand according to a report by the body representing community, ambulance and hospital service providers, NHS Providers (July 2017, ref 1). Demand has increased by 5-10% over the last 3-4 years, but by 30-40% for children and young people. Patients are facing long delays to access mental health care, and people too often receive inadequate treatment. The numbers of people in need of specialist post-trauma mental health services has escalated dramatically following recent terrorist and civilian disasters. These intractable problems are the result of the […]
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The election showed that people across the country welcomed a left-leaning set of policies. The financial crisis and the right-wing’s austerity response to it has left the country poorer and more unequal both financially and socially. By offering a comprehensive manifesto that showed a practical route towards more investment in the country, its institutions and its people, Corbyn and McDonnell have broken the assumptions of Labour Party policy-making since 1997. Political conversation in the UK has moved so far to the right in the last 20 years that social democratic polices commonplace across Europe are seen by the media as […]
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Fulfilment of repeated high level commitments to ‘parity of esteem’ for mental health, and urgent implementation of proposals set out in the cross-agency ‘Five Year Forward View for Mental Health‘ (Feb 2017), including: parity of funding for prevention of, treatment services and related social care for, and research into mental ill-health treatments including psychological alternatives to medication; and funding to get research findings into clinical practice more quickly; a new integrated National Service Framework for Mental Health, urgent review and reinstatement of national standards for mental health service provision, including for access to services; greatly enhanced services for children and young people with mental […]
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The Next Step To Privatisation? They Aren’t Accountable, They Don’t Seem To Offer Better Care And They Are Not Really Organisations. The biggest ever NHS tender for £6bn over 10 years was launched recently for a Local Care Organisation – a single provider for all “out of hospital” health and care services for 600,000 people in Manchester. The contract will be let by a partnership between the council and a new single Clinical Commissioning Group. This is the latest variant of an ACO – we shall be seeing more of them over the next few years. What are Accountable Care […]
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