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Author Archives: Brian Fisher

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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SHA Central Council unanimously passed this motion at its last meeting. Please circulate and discuss at your CLPs and wards and consider whether you want to choose this as a motion to go to conference. It is an opportunity to shift Labour policy forward. The beginning of the motion succinctly describes the current disastrous situation, deepened by this government:   England’s Social Care system is broken. LAs 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 […]
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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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