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Author Archives: Simon Duffy

  The NHS, perhaps followed by the education system, is the part of the welfare state that we value the most; in fact we tend to forget that health and education are only a part of the whole welfare system; social security (or benefits) social care and social housing are the second class citizens of the welfare state – forgotten or devalued. Part of the reason that we value the NHS so much is that it touches the lives of all of us when we are most in need of help and it takes away a disgraceful fear – that […]
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Instead of Accountable Care Organisations The NHS in England is being reorganised, yet again. Jeremy Hunt and his advisors have decided to turn upside down their own previous reforms. Now commissioning organisations (CCGs) and service providers (NHS Trusts) will be brought together into large Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs). How this will work in practice is not clear and rightly there have been calls in Parliament to scrutinise the changes. A coalition of health campaigners, including Stephen Hawking, are also trying to take the Government to court to stop these plans. In one minimal respect these changes are positive, for they […]
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The UK has had a policy of competitive tendering for public services since the 1980s; this is despite the fact that there has been no research evidence of its success. At the heart of this policy are a set of policy rules, set by central government, which force local government into using a competitive tendering process to ‘purchase’ public services. These rules are often called EU Procurement Rules, although the UK has twisted these rules to make them harsher and more damaging. For instance, most countries exclude services like social care from competitive tendering – but not the UK (nor, so […]
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The latest great reform for the NHS is now unveiled – the creation of Accountable Care Organisations. This sounds great doesn’t it? bring commissioners and providers together end contracting and the internal market focus on community and service integration improve efficiency with better data and innovation Advertisement – ADVERTISEMENT – I am not quite sure how this sounds to anyone outside the NHS. It may sound like a set of good ideas or just empty jargon. To those inside the NHS it promises yet another round of meaningless organisational change, personal confusion, management consultants, promotions for some and redundancies for others. […]
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Brexit will strip away a layer of protection for human rights in the UK and it is unlikely that these will be restored under the current regime. The current Conservative Party is passionately interested in protecting only one human right – the right to property – all other human rights are just for foreigners. The Government’s attitude is made crystal clear by its scornful rejection of the severe criticisms made by a series of United Nations’ Committees. To any reasonable outsider austerity is just another word for the way disabled people and the poor have been made to pay the […]
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This is a draft policy not yet agreed. Social care policy has been subject to much muddle, tinkering and the perpetual promise of a fairer funding system – a promise which is never fulfilled. Now is the time to end the confusion and create a social care system that is fit for the 21st century and which is in harmony with the socialist principles which underpin the NHS. This policy proposal offers a solution which is fair, sustainable and which would be hugely beneficial to all citizens and families across the country. The three key elements of the proposal are: […]
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Poverty in the UK is a serious problem, and it is a problem that is often ignored or wilfully misrepresented in political debate. Social injustice is wrong, but misrepresenting the nature of social justice is doubly wrong, because it encourages further injustice. Of course there are natural and selfish reasons why we may all want to misunderstand the nature of justice, and usually such misunderstandings start by distorting a half-truth rather than deploying a lie. In the UK a common distortion starts with a twin pair of assumptions that are not exactly false, but are highly misleading: Economic development requires […]
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Social care policy has been subject to much muddle, tinkering and the perpetual promise of a fairer funding system – a promise which is never fulfilled. Now is the time to end the confusion and create a social care system that is fit for the 21st century and which is in harmony with the socialist principles which underpin the NHS. This policy proposal offers a solution which is fair, sustainable and which would be hugely beneficial to all citizens and families across the country. The three key elements of the proposal are: Fund a universal system and end means-testing – […]
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I am a proud member of the Socialist Health Association. I feel strongly that decent healthcare is a basic human right and that nobody should be deprived of it because of poverty, nor should the wealthy be able to buy their way to longer or healthier lives. If this is socialism then I’m a big fan. Recently, the Socialist Health Association decided to review its fundamental principles, and as a philosopher by training, I thought I’d try and help clarify what socialism, at the beginning of the 21st Century, really means. However this turns out to be a rather difficult […]
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Labour’s highly successful conference has given us the term “21st Century Socialism” as a label to describe Corbyn’s new political strategy. Cynics and plotters may observe that this term, rhetorically, performs the same role as “New Labour” – it looks back, but moves forward. But I really like it. Restoring socialism to the centre of public policy is a smart move that will advance political debate in this country. Socialism remains a spiky and challenging word in modern Britain. But it is much better to claim it and to define it than to let your enemies use it against you. […]
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Draft Policy Introduction The system to support disabled and older people who need on-going support and assistance (or long-term care LTC) is weak and fragmented. Not every country in the UK is the same, but in England it is divided between: Children’s social care – managed by local government Adult social care for working age disabled people – managed by local government Adult social care for older people – managed by local government Continuing Health Care for people with chronic health conditions – managed by the NHS Mental health services – managed by mix of NHS and local government Palliative […]
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Presentation by Dr Simon Duffy (@simonjduffy) of the Centre for Welfare Reform (@CforWR) for discussion by the Socialist Health Association on 18th June 2016, Birmingham Old SHA Policy • Free social care should be introduced progressively starting with those with greatest needs, such as those with disabilities. • The SHA will campaign against cuts in Social Care. • Additional funding for social care is necessary to raise the quality and professionalize the workforce, with decent pay and conditions. • Public provision of (social) care services should be greatly increased. • Integration will bring longer term savings, but the initial net additional cost has to be met through progressive […]
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