Category Archives: United Kingdom Independence Party

Jeremy Hunt, Andy Burnham, Norman Lamb and Julia Reid.
King’s Fund organised the debate chaired by the BBC’s Sarah Montague.

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Announced today by UKIP’s Health Spokesman Louise Bours:

  • Keep the NHS free at the point of delivery
  • £3bn more invested in to NHS directed to frontline services
  • Dementia funding £130m per year  in line with what Alzheimer’s Research UK say they will need
  • License to manage: as doctors and nurses are licensed so should medical management. Negate the drift of disgraced hospital managers being fired only to find another job elsewhere within the health service
  • Abolish CQC- inspections would be taken up by local health board,who would also be encouraged to take evidence from whistleblowers and patients with grievances. Media have closed down more failing establishments than CQC
  • Merging health and social care is a priority to enable more joined up integrated patients management
  • Elderly social care funded with £1bn per year
  • Hospital parking charges scrapped £200m which we would find from tackling health tourism which costs up to £2bn per year
  • Scrap tuition fees for medical students (on a means tested basis). Train nurses on wards and reinstatement of SEN (State Enrolled Nurse) to encourage more home grown medical talent
  • Auxiliary staff should be able to work towards becoming an SEN​​

UKIP, the people’s army, have asked the people what they want the NHS to be. Real people, people like you, not Westminster focus groups, and as a result, all of UKIPs policies are rooted around four key principles:

  • There must be an unwavering focus on patient care and patient outcomes. These must always come first in decision-making.
  • The NHS will remain free at the point of delivery and in time of need for all British citizens and qualifying foreign nationals.
  • UKIP pledges an additional £3 billion more for the NHS every year; an affordable sum paid for ultimately by the savings we will make from leaving the European Union, but in the shorter term from other savings we will identify within our manifesto. We will insist this money goes into frontline resources, yes that’s real doctors, nurses and care, not middle management or expensive spin doctors.
  • UKIP is committed to tackling PFI debts, excess bureaucracy, wasteful spending and abuses of NHS treatment. The taxpayer should not be paying for these failures; we will confront these challenges to release even more funds into front line services.

UKIP is particularly keen to encourage the 40% of women GPs who leave the profession before the age of 40, back into the surgery. We will do this by allowing women to take time out from their five-year free tuition fee qualifying period to have families if they wish, and by not charging either women or men for their own re-training on returning to the profession.

To cut GP waiting times UKIP will also free GPs from the burden of unnecessary data collection, target chasing, revalidation and appraisal work that actively prevents them from engaging with patients.

These measures will ensure GPs can meet UKIP’s requirements to open surgeries at least one night a week and one weekend a month in order to meet demand.

UKIP will:

  • Increase funding for mental health services to improve and speed up access to treatment for both adults and children as part of our £3 billion injection into the NHS.
  • Ensure there is capacity for all pregnant women and mothers of children under the age of 12 months to have access to specialist mental health treatment.
  • Make sure clinicians take a ‘whole person’ approach to physical and mental health, signposting patients diagnosed with debilitating long-term conditions to local mental health services, and ensuring those diagnosed with a mental illness are given support.

We will cut bill for health tourism by insisting migrants, students and visitors to Britain must have approved medical insurance.

UKIP will integrate health and social care, bringing both back under the control of the NHS with funding merged into one ‘social care fund.’

We will initiate pilot programmes in English hospitals to put at least one GP on duty in every A&E department during the week, and provide additional weekend GP cover, to ease the burden on A&E staff who need to treat more seriously ill patients. If this pilot succeeds in its aim to ease pressure on existing A&Es, then we will roll the programme out across the country.

UKIP expects home care agencies to pay the minimum wage to their staff, and to pay them on duty or in training. There is no excuse for a big care company to hire anyone on a zero-hours contract, or to not pay them when they are travelling between appointments, or ‘on call.’

We will scrap the Care Quality Commission and put its remit into local County Health Boards with the power to do unannounced, spot checks across all local NHS and social care services.

We will fund a ‘Coordinating Service for Older People’ unit in every local authority. This service will cross the boundaries between the NHS, Social Services, Community Agents and the voluntary sector. It will be responsible for ensuring that these organisations work together effectively, it will help charities seek out volunteers to join be-friending schemes, it will be pro-active in identifying people who may need support or company, it will make sure they know what is available, and, where there are gaps, it will find ways to fill them.

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The political parties have not yet produced their manifestos for 2015.  This is a round up of  their current statements about health policy.

Labour’s Health and Care Policy is in detail on this site.

The Conservative Party website doesn’t seem to say anything about health at all, and nobody in the Conservative Party now wants to talk about the Health and Social Care Act of 2012.

Liberal Democrats say  Tories and Labour have put the NHS at risk. It was Liberal Democrats who stopped Conservative privatisation plans and reverse some of Labour’s policies which meant private health companies got special favours. In fact, Labour paid private companies £250 million for operations they didn’t even perform. Liberal Democrats have made sure that can never happen again.

The Green Party produced a very lengthy policy statement in 2010, which has been recently amended.  It deals at length with health as well as with treatment.

It’s difficult to work out what UKIP policy is.  Their website isn’t very helpful. What it says about health is:

  • Open GP surgeries in the evening, for full-time workers, where there is demand.
  • Locally-elected County Health Boards to inspect hospitals – to avoid another Stafford Hospital crisis.

But next to them there is this rather ambiguous graphic:

Approved Health Insurance

Louise Bours, the UKIP candidate in Heywood is quoted as saying: ‘UKIP will ensure the NHS remains free at the point of delivery and need. A two tier national health system, where those with money can opt to pay for enhanced services will never be acceptable’.  The party would abolish Monitor and the Care Quality Commission which regulates hospital care quality and replace them with  local health boards run by clinicians.

The Scottish National Party stresses:

  • Protecting the health service
  • Shorter waiting times
  • One stop cancer diagnosis
  • Cleaner and safer hospitals
  • More flexible access to healthcare

Plaid Cymru, like Andy Burnham, believe health and social care should be merged and provide a fully integrated service.

In summary – apart from the Tories, who are keeping quiet – all politicians are signed up to the NHS as the national religion. Everyone wants to see a free comprehensive service. They all want to protect the NHS and every building it’s ever used. But with the possible exception of Labour, nobody wants to talk about the problems facing the NHS.  However, on the bright side, most political parties are prepared to talk about mental health – which was not the case a few years ago, and more are prepared to talk about wellbeing and public health than used to be the case.

 

 

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This article was first published by Open Democracy

The new Immigration Bill introduces hefty charges for migrants to use the NHS. It is a costly, wrong-headed insult to the migrants on whom the NHS has always relied.

My father was an immigrant. He came to London at the age of 10 from Bombay in 1927. Having trained as a doctor at Barts in the years running up to the Second World War, when war broke out, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. In the immediate post war years, he campaigned for Nye Bevan, helping win the argument amongst GPs that we should set up an NHS, and that it should be free for all. He spent the rest of his working life as a GP in Plumstead giving back what he had been given by this country.But if he had arrived today, if the current Immigration Bill goes through, he would have no entitlement to use the NHS he was going to spent his whole life serving.
Dr Roointon Boomla

Dr Roointon Boomla

Home Office ministers Theresa May and Mark Harper are responding to UKIP’s dog whistle. They talk tendentiously of the UK having “a national health service, not an international health service”. They propose charges of between £200 and £400 a year for all migrant workers, right up until they achieve permanent residence status in the UK. This takes at least five years. Ministers create the spectre of health and benefit tourists, illegal immigrants and spongers, to justify an attack on migrants. Mark Harper writes he will “clamp down on those from overseas who try to abuse our public services”.What is the cost of this abuse of the NHS, this problem that the new Immigration Bill is meant to solve? Last year the NHS says it spent £33 million treating foreign nationals. This is 0.03%, three hundredths of one percent, of the total NHS budget of £110 billion. To put it another way, just two hours of the annual NHS spending per year. This £33m compares with the £16.3 billion migrants and visitors contribute to the UK economy.Migrants form a large proportion of those working in health and social care. Many work at little above the minimum wage. These are the people Theresa May wishes to charge because she feels they do not already contribute to our country. And at the top end of the wage spectrum, one in three hospital consultants was trained overseas. We have a government that is parasitic on medical school training in countries much poorer than ours, but rather than say we are indebted to India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Egypt, it proposing a double robbery by introducing these charges.The harm is not simply financial. Charges will deter people from seeking treatment. If only those with their papers in order and who have paid their annual fees can register with the NHS, there will be a pool of the impoverished who dare not seek medical treatment when they are ill. This will undo years of work getting marginalised people to come forward for HIV testing. As a GP myself I know that stopping people coming to see me for routine care of their asthma will only result in those same people presenting in crisis and at greater expense in A&E. As Diane Abbott correctly points out, stigmatising foreigners accessing the NHS creates a public health risk. What price xenophobia?

But also we need to think how this will be enforced. To ensure visitors to the UK have paid their health tax, GPs will be forced to check ID and immigration status on all those who register on their lists.

Nye Bevan, the architect of the NHS, considered these issues. He named those who called for charges for foreign visitors “ill informed” or “deliberately mischievous”.

“How do we distinguish a visitor from a British citizen?” he wrote. “Are British citizens to carry means of identification everywhere to prove that they are not visitors? For if the sheep are to be separated from the goats, both must be classified. What began as an attempt to keep the Health Service for ourselves would become a nuisance to everybody.”

It is GPs who are likely to carry the burden of this policing. And I am certainly not prepared for my surgery staff to become the enforcement agency of the Home Office. For this to work, it is clear there would need to be a link up between NHS computer systems and those of the Home Office. This is sure to undermine confidence in the confidentiality of computerised patient records.

My father is now 96. He worked for the Royal Army Medical Corp and then the NHS from his early 20s till the age of 70. What right does immigration minister Mark Harper have to say those following in his footsteps do not contribute enough and are out to “abuse our public services”?

As Nye Bevan concluded on the same issue:

“The whole agitation has a nasty taste. Instead of rejoicing at the opportunity to practice a civilized principle, Conservatives have tried to exploit the most disreputable emotions in this among many other attempts to discredit socialized medicine.”

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