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  • Dear SHA member, I stood for Chair of the SHA to progress a socialist approach to health and care. We have made great strides in a short time. After taking up the role, I found that I had inherited a range of difficulties that will take some time to sort out. In the meantime, I want to keep you up to date. Making Positive Change Social Care Campaign SHA has an agreed policy on Social Care and Carers. We have also agreed a campaign, jointly with KONP, for social care free at the point of use, supporting independent living, brought […]
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    There has been too much reliance on the private sector when it comes to laboratory testing for coronavirus and not enough investment in long-established NHS facilities, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 16 September). Unite’s stance is underpinned by its Biomedical Scientist Covid-19 survey, launched today, which highlights the under-use of NHS science facilities and resources as the crisis over the nationwide gaps in the Covid-19 testing regime escalates. The survey reveals Unite members’ unhappiness at the government’s reliance and priority given to the seven Lighthouse Laboratories, with private sector involvement, while long-established NHS facilities are being […]
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    This is SHA Scotland Secretary Dave Watson’s contribution to a Jimmy Reid Foundation paper; ‘Reconstructing Scotland after COVID-19: learning further lessons from the pandemic.’ A Scottish Care Service Even before the pandemic, it was clear that the social care system in Scotland was in urgent need of reform. The current system is underfunded, lacks capacity, and has major workforce recruitment and retention problems with fragmented delivery through a discredited commissioning process. When former Conservative ministers are openly talking about the nationalisation of care homes, there is widespread recognition that there is a problem (even if not agreement on what should be done […]
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    Today HIV i-Base (where I work part-time) and the UK-CAB (of which I’m a member) joined with more than 70 other organisations sending a joint statement to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Health, and the interim leadership of Public Health England regarding our concerns of the restructuring of public health in England. Over 70 health organisations unite to raise serious concerns with Government about plans to reorganise the public health system Today over 70 health organisations and alliances have sent a joint statement to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Health, and the interim leadership of […]
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    At this stage a debate about the post-Brexit UK Internal / Single Market is unlikely to generate much heat or light – expect for possibly amongst a select band of constitutional lawyers and academics and the most committed of political anoraks. And yet the UK government’s July white paper on the subject has the potential to radically re-fashion how public services are delivered across the UK and to finally precipitate the disintegration of the United Kingdom. The implications of the Northern Ireland Backstop will be small beer compared to the possible fallout from these UK Internal / Single Market proposals. […]
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    Joint response to the announcement of the National Institute for Health Protection and the future of public health, published today 18 August 2020: Terrence Higgins Trust, National AIDS Trust (NAT), British HIV Association (BHIVA), British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), the UK Community Advisory Board (UK-CAB) HIV treatment advocates network – Tuesday 18 August 2020 Following today’s announcement regarding the National Institute for Health Protection, and the implications for the future of public health, five of the nation’s leading HIV and sexual health organisations have issued a joint response. The Secretary of State’s speech today leaves us with […]
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    The Local Government Association, on behalf the broad leadership of the social care sector including the Association of Directors of Social Services, has published a set of 7 principles to guide the future of adult social care post Covid. But they show the sector’s leadership continuing to be high on rhetoric, but empty on substance. They are bankrupt of ideas to make the rhetoric a reality. The 7 principles talk, for the umpteenth time, of social care needing to be based on ‘what works for people, not what works for systems or structures’. They seek to emulate the person centredness […]
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    This week the Government is expected to announce that it will scrap the pandemic response function of Public Health England, and merge this with NHS Test and Trace to form an agency “similar to the German Robert Koch Institute”. It is also particularly distressing that the news was leaked to the press before PHE staff could be told. The SHA warns the reckless decision to restructure and defund public health services in the midst of a pandemic will result in further avoidable deaths. The public health service, nationally and locally has already been severely starved of funds as a result […]
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    Public Health England (PHE) and its dedicated staff are being lined up as ‘the fall guy’ for ministers’ bungling over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Monday 17 August). Unite, which is the lead union for employees at PHE, said that instead of merging PHE into a new body charged with preventing future pandemics, the PHE should continue in its present role – and the money cut from its budget by the government should be restored. Unite also said that there should be proper consultations with the unions about the future of […]
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    The Camden New Journal (CNJ) have published the sixth article about the NHS written by Susanna Mitchell and Roy Trevelion. You can see it on the CNJ website under ‘Forum’ published on 16 July 2020 here. Or you can read it below: Neglect and inadequate excuses lie at the heart of the government’s failures, argue Susanna Mitchell & Roy Trevelion It is understood that there will be a public inquiry into the UK’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. This should begin now, and not when the current crisis is over. Criticisms will be focused on the government’s disastrous response: Its […]
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    A deserved boost in pay for NHS staff, who have battled through the pandemic, is ‘the elephant in the room’ in the latest plan for the health service in England, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Thursday 30 July). Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock today welcomed the launch of the NHS People Plan as a new bureaucracy busting drive, so staff can spend less time on paperwork and more time with their patients.   Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that the aims of this latest plan for the NHS would be […]
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    On Friday 24 July 2020 HIV i-Base published the sixth COVID-19 supplement to HIV Treatment Bulletin (HTB). Please see this link. All i-Base reports are free to copy and i-Base encourages wide distribution. Please credit i-Base when distributing these reports. This is a slightly expanded issue of HTB that covers both AIDS 2020 and related virtual meetings plus a fair number of COVID-19 developments that seemed too important to leave out. It is a mixed compilation, but hopefully useful. This edition of HTB includes reports from the virtual AIDS 2020 conference and linked satellite meetings on COVID-19. The main heading […]
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