The BMA have begun to ballot GPs in response to the Tower Hamlets motion passed at LMC conference in May which said: “That conference believes that the GP Forward View is failing to deliver the resources necessary to sustain general practice and demands that GPC ballot GPs as to whether they would be prepared to collectively close their lists in response to this crisis.” It is beyond doubt that General Practice is in meltdown. Despite the best efforts of GPC Executive all we have been offered is a totally inadequate GP Forward View and a couple of other sweeteners such […]
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The National Audit Office (NAO) investigation into NHS continuing healthcare funding published on 5 July 2017 shines a light on the largely hidden and little-known operation of this area of long-term care. Amidst all the brouhaha around paying for care that surfaced during the general election campaign, mention of continuing healthcare was conspicuously absent, yet the interface between health and care is never sharper than where the two systems collide around long-term care. Continuing healthcare (CHC) refers to a package of care that is arranged and fully funded by the NHS for people with significant, complex ongoing healthcare needs. As the NAO remarks, funding […]
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Delivered to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health  11 July 2017 Good morning and can I start by paying tribute to the Royal College and to thank you for hosting me today. It is a pleasure to be at this great Royal College. A Royal College embarking on celebrating 21 years since granted a Royal Charter, 21 years where you have spoken out for children and ensured the voices of children are heard at the very highest level. It was Nelson Mandela who told us: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in […]
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An announcement by Justine Greening, Minister for Women and Equalities, on 29 June indicated that Northern Irish women will no longer have to pay to access terminations in England. Motivated by the proposed amendment of backbench Labour MP, Stella Creasy, the government avoided a vote in the Commons on the issue and declared instead that they will pay for Northern Irish women who travel to mainland UK for abortions. Such an announcement is to be welcomed. Northern Ireland was never covered by the 1967 Abortion Act which allows for terminations in England, Scotland and Wales. Although there has been a […]
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The always excellent ‘Health Service Journal’ (HSJ) analysed potential care reforms under a future Conservative Government in its 30 May 2017 issue. At the time the HSJ article was written and published most observers predicted that the future Conservative Government as of 9 June 2017 would have a huge majority. This turned out not to be the case so some of the controversial reforms detailed and picked over below may be delayed or may not now come about. The article led on the fact that NHS England (NHSE) is preparing to announce the first set of the newly christened ‘Accountable […]
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How Labour built the NHS On the 5th July 1948, a young girl was admitted to Park Hospital in Manchester, to be treated for a liver condition. Little did she know, she was at the focal point of a political and social revolution. Her name was Sylvia Beckingham and she was the first patient to be treated on the NHS. She would later recall: Mr Bevan asked me if I understood the significance of the occasion and told me that it was a milestone in history – the most civilised step any country had ever taken. I had earwigged at […]
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The NHS (Private Members) Bill, which once again is looking for a sponsor in Parliament, sets out proposed legislation to return the NHS to the organisational structures that were in place in the 1980s. That was before the purchaser/commission/provider split, before the increase in NHS clinical services being provided by private sector, before the quasi internal external market and before external governance and regulation It is difficult to debate the value of the NHS Bill. It anticipates the closure of hundreds of existing organisations and the creation of hundreds of new ones, across the NHS and local authorities – with […]
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On this day, 69 years ago, Aneurin Bevan founded Labour’s proudest achievement – the National Health Service, which was set up to provide universal healthcare for all, on the basis of need, free at the point of use. Nearly 70 years on, and the NHS is still a precious institution, with over a million dedicated, hardworking staff. In government, Labour prioritised investment in our health service, bringing it back from the brink after 18 years of Tory neglect. Thanks to the last Labour government, over 100 new hospitals were built or refurbished; between 1997-2010 there were 89,000 more nurses, 44,000 […]
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Privatisation in its various guises is “spreading across Europe’s health services like a rash”, writes John Lister of Keep Our NHS Public and Health Campaigns Together. EU member states’ health systems are broadly split between those based on employment-related health insurance and those financed via general taxation. But both have been subject to political and policy pressures, including from the EU-level, that have created conditions conducive to a growing role for private sector companies in this traditionally public service. The threats to public healthcare Squeezing profits for shareholders out of health services risks deteriorating working conditions; worse pay, reduced staff levels, greater workloads, more stress, all […]
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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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We are so used to the attacks on the NHS from the Daily Mail that we forget that it can be merciless to private medicine too. A critical article by Lois Rogers for the Mail’s on-line edition on June 12th provoked a defensive response from the Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations (AIHO). Rogers’ attack begins with the story of a man (a Director of a high-end car company) who underwent surgical removal of the prostate (no small procedure) in a private hospital, only to be told years later that the surgery had not been necessary. According to the Mail’s journalist […]
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