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Date(s) - 30.11.2012


Birmingham and Midland Institute


There are various opportunities for lay people to be involved in the running of the English NHS.

There is local Healthwatch – to be launched in April 2013

You can be a member, or be elected as a Governor, of  Foundation Trusts

Local councils have increasing involvement in the running of the NHS, taking over Public Health responsibilities in April 2013 and establishing health and wellbeing boards as well as the existing Health Scrutiny arrangements

Clinical Commissioning Groups have various arrangements for involving patients and the public, and so increasingly do local GP practices.

UNISON guide to influencing the new NHS

This seminar will consider what the possibilities for using these mechanisms to defend the NHS .

Report of proceedings by Dr Rob Ryckborst     of Worcester

The Socialist Health Association has organized an informative late-afternoon session on the historic facts & figures of the nhs as a complex organisation.  Altogether it was a well prepared but certainly not pre-cooked supper. It was thanks to the input of the the attendants at the meeting that the facts got larded with anecdotes and extra insight. All attendants seem to have been directly linked to the nhs.  Thanks to their varied medical experiences as well as the varied age-representation, from early twenty until my age of 98, we were able in togetherness to share our views and add vital information.

 We were told that though from the beginning the nhs should not become a government run institution, but a plc, we all know what it is now: a highly bureaucratic organization which’ infrastructure gets smothered by political interference by a hang for costly control-systems as if it was still the stalinistic era. with the capital difference that Stalin did not pay up a penny to the people who were forced to be working, whereas the nhs gets drowned by highly paid bureaucrats who’ s control function very often is, say it mildly, dubious indeed.

The example of shame: how could and still can the Stafford scandal be justified when there are so very many controllers on highly paid jobs in doing nothing but shielding off their responsibility ?  In the end we will never see a Stafford-report, because the costly benefitting lawyers keep on goingly telling us that it is such a complex case….  we all wait now for the CQC to being victimized and thrown into the bin: a quango, not fit for any purpose.

1912, 1930, 1948, 1975, 1984, 2007 and now 2012 are all years when the NHS got structured or prepared to be structured, re-organized, thrown literally from one point of view into another. It shielded main health cores off from the private sector, kept deliberately a few corners in private hands: dentistry, pharmacies, the ophthalmolgy in general. strangely enough, the aspect of social care was never a structured nhs-task.

What now happens is that the secretary of state does not want any longer to be accountable for mishaps in nhs-service-provision, therefore the department of health will be pushed aside as a separate body amongst all the other departments of government.

The new structure that will start in april 2013, is based on CCG s being the regulators for the nhs-service buyers. Tesco as a company came up in the discussions quite often, as there are comparable issues, as well as just their opposites. Payments and the organization for those payments for health services has always been an issue of shady politics throughout the nhs-history.

With the now political promise that the patient’ s choice will be central to all the changes, that virtual image will certainly not see the light of the real image. because the boundary of this promise for health-care lies in what service has been bought by whom and from whom and for whom.

GP s have always been wary of the organization of the nhs, they have never been part of it, just privately structured, working for it. The highly controversial situation however is that the nhs is paying up for their more than generous pension pot, thereby killing the nhs-budget.

 Throughout the meeting, the position of the public & patients input on decision-making in the nhs structure, has been pivotal. We got explained how from 1948 onwards, there has always been the intention of sharing views amongst the organisation and it’ s users. As we all know, every other few years the piag gets changed, but the idea of sharing decision making is somewhere present. Within the health-structure, there are governors, ppi’ s and members of health trusts. They all do have their say. Whether being effective is another matter, though with governors: their position has become more important: they are able to halt decision-making on the spot. Most probably, by some political interference that’ s going to be limited anyhow, anyway, anytime !

Healthwatch will have a greater area to look after. The social aspects of care have more than ever become their remit. through links, that task started with the enlarged duty of looking at how social care is delivered. The truth is that by the financial crisis, this issue has all of a sudden become a bit of a bombshell as it all felt in tatters.

Last note: from the start, the NHS did not categorically imply mental health in it’ s remit. Throughout the years it has.

More of a similar care could be possibly discussed, however, we had two hours of conversation, I think we had enough material to fill for another two hours.

n.b. if mistakes have been made in this annotation, they were not made deliberately !

I am only a non-speaking immigrant…..




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