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Author Archives: Brian Fisher

Doctors in Unite are concerned at the pace of the ideologically driven moves to ease Lockdown measures. The implication is that we will have to live with a baseline prevalence Covid-19 and within the shadow of a second surge We have launched an open letter to the Prime Minister on the issue as we fear that the Westminster government is displaying the greatest level of recklessness in this regard. https://doctorsinunite.com/2020/06/21/open-letter-to-the-prime-minister-about-the-uks-covid-19-strategy-from-nhs-and-social-care-workers/ The campaign was triggered by the experience in many other countries that are pursuing a policy of eradication of Covid-19 as far as it is practical and the Crush the […]
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This paper was developed by a group of primary care clinicians for the Labour Shadow Health Team at their request. We hope it helps illuminate the next steps for primary care. WHAT ARE THE RISKS, OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FACING  PRIMARY CARE PROVISION DURING AND AFTER ITS RETURN  TO A NORMAL STATE OF OPERATION?   “We will be facing some tough challenges over at least the next year: managing more consultations (and clinical risk) remotely by phone or video; catching up with resurgent patient demand, catching up with the care of long-term conditions (whilst trying to protect groups of vulnerable people […]
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SHA POLICY ON ADULT SOCIAL CARE AND CARERS This policy document is our first significant step towards a more complete statement on social care. It will require further work over time with our members and others. It fleshes out the motion that we carried about a year ago which reads as follows: RESCUING SOCIAL CARE England’s Social Care system is broken. Local Authorities faced £700m cuts in 2018-9 with £7 billion slashed since 2010. 26% fewer elderly receive support, demand grows. People face isolation, indignity, maltreatment, neglect, barriers to inclusion and independent living. Most care is privatised, not reflecting user […]
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ECONOMIC RECOVERY But is it also time to share ideas about the contribution the H &SC sector can make to strategies for economic renewal press for some imaginative new ideas for jobs, training and service delivery just as the PM is about to announce how the economy can revive?  Can we not present our future Health and Care Service as a part of the transformation the economy needs as it tries to get people back to work  – greener, fairer and more equal. How? New kinds of training and apprenticeships to provide career pathways to and between professions, and between […]
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There will be nationwide celebrations on July 4th and 5th to mark the 72nd year of the NHS. Keep Our NHS Public and Health Campaigns Together are rallying round the occasion. Please follow this link for the first of a series of campaign materials and plans: OUR NHS DESERVES BETTER: 72nd anniversary coming soon SHA is disseminating these in support and solidarity. Please campaign locally and with SHA branches. Watch here for more soon!

We are sad to report the recent death of Ron Singer, retired GP and tireless and effective campaigner for a vibrant, humane, safe NHS, free and publicly provided. I have known him for many years – he was always incisive, funny and passionate, despite his fading health. He will be sadly missed. The NHS has lost a powerful supporter.   We can do no better than direct you to this moving tribute from Doctors in Unite who have given us permission to reproduce here: https://doctorsinunite.com/2020/05/29/dr-ron-singer-the-very-best-of-us/”

This is a collective statement on behalf of SHA bringing together public health evidence and other opinions on a key Covid policy issue. The Westminster Government announced on May 10th that: “As a result of the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to strict social distancing measures, the transmission rate of coronavirus has decreased. We therefore anticipate, with further progress, that we may be able, from the week commencing 1 June, to welcome back more children to early years, school, and further education settings. We will only do this provided that the five key tests set by the government […]
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This is a collective statement on behalf of SHA bringing together public health evidence and other opinions on a key Covid policy issue. The government ‘s centralised programme in England for testing and tracing – and the use of outsourcing Key messages: The Government has not yet passed the five tests it set itself for easing lockdown The government said that it would only consider easing lockdown once the country has passed five tests. One of these tests [TEST 5] is “confidence that we can avoid a second peak of infection that overwhelms the NHS” The Devolved Administrations and many […]
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This is a collective statement on behalf of SHA bringing together public health evidence and other opinions on a key Covid policy issue. The impact of the pandemic on inequalities more generally and the implications for policy and plans going forward Key messages The pandemic has hit us when we have already seen health inequities widen 10 years of austerity have disproportionately affected the least affluent and the most vulnerable Life expectancy has plateaued and inequalities in mortality have widened in recent years. The gap in healthy life expectancy at birth is about 19 years for both males and females. […]
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This is a collective statement on behalf of SHA bringing together public health evidence and other opinions on a key Covid policy issue. The impact of the pandemic on BAME populations and the implications for policy and plans going forward Key messages: Data collection, transparency and presentation are not good enough: o There is concern about inaccurate, incomplete and selective data. All official bodies should adhere to the Code of Practice for Statistics o Ethnicity data is not collected in many countries: in the UK for many years there has been a call for greater ethnic monitoring in routine health […]
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FEEDBACK AND TOUGH QUESTIONS 17 5 2020 TOUGH QUESTIONS   QUESTIONS ON TEST, TRACE AND ISOLATE We must continue to press for testing and contact tracing locally and expose contracts going to private sector http://edition.pagesuite.com/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=a708f69f-8beb-4220-b47c-fb76a4892194 What stopped the Govt engaging with Local Resilience Forums set up to coordinate local planning in the event of a pandemic? The absolutely key issue is testing and contact tracing and why on earth are we easing the lockdown in England when we have not got this system up and running? The R number is far less relevant here. Only 1500 volunteers out of 18000 […]
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BUYING BEDS FROM PRIVATE HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS Can the minister explain why the Government has chosen to buy beds from private healthcare providers rather than requisitioning private hospitals and staff as the Spanish Government has done? The Centre for Health and Public Information (CHPI) has demonstrated that the government’s deal to purchase their entire capacity in return for covering their “operating costs, overheads, use of assets, rent and interest” is in effect a bailout for private hospitals. https://chpi.org.uk/blog/who-benefits-from-the-nhss-bailout-of-private-hospitals/ Based on the accounts (2017 or 2018) of their operating companies, four of the largest private hospital providers (Spire, BMI, Nuffield, Ramsay) have an […]
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