Ministers have ignored a strident “winter warning” from NHS Providers – the body that represents NHS and foundation trusts. The government is determined to stick to their plan to freeze NHS budgets for the decade to 2020 even as costs and population rise. England’s hospitals and other NHS providers warned that if an extra £350m were not found by August at the latest, we will face another winter crisis even worse than the situation last year. It’s the middle of September, and there’s no extra cash, and none promised. Nor is there any let-up in the brutal 8 years of frozen or […]
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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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Much of the reporting about the NHS is dubious to say the least. Both the government and those that oppose it are prone to making false claims and also whipping an anecdote into a major issue. Experts are no longer regarded as necessary or valuable. As we move out of the era of markets and competition into what should be a better future we have to find better ways to communicate, to make more effective use of a wealth of actual evidence and also to challenge those peddling false news on social media – even if it means hate mail […]
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We need better policy for the NHS. But we are not going to get it if the entire debate is a Manichean point scoring contest conducted entirely in shibboleths and lacking reasonable analysis of alternatives. Too many serious people seem to believe that everything in the NHS would be fine if we undid the Lansley act and spent a bit more money. That analysis is naive, is stopping serious discussion of what the real challenges are and is distracting people from improvement that could come right now. I went to the recent Royal Society of Medicine event (the one where Stephen Hawking […]
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“Almost every day now the media carries stories about inequality and its effects. In the past few weeks, the Department for Health has confirmed that the health gap between rich and poor in England is growing. Reports by Lloyds Bank and the Social Market Foundation have drawn attention to our disparities in wealth, with a tenth of adults owning half of the country’s wealth while 15% own nothing or have negative wealth. Respected independent ‘thinktanks’ like the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Resolution Foundation have repeated their warnings that, at a time when wages generally are only growing slowly, […]
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We call for protection of women’s rights: Guaranteeing family friendly employment terms and conditions affecting morale, recruitment retention of women including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people. Fertility control In Vitro Fertilisation, contraception and abortion access: thus protecting women’s mental health, finances and family stability Safe childbirth for every woman. Risk assessment for home births (evidence of deaths increasing) Reverse the outsourcing of maternity services. Increased support for carers, to improve health and protect people from poverty. Integrate the care system with the National Health Service to be free at the point of use, paid for by taxation. Employ nurses in care […]
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Healthcare and the National Health Service (NHS) budget were a key element of the Brexit referendum narrative: Vote Leave infamously promised that savings from paying into the EU budget could be spent on health, a pledge from which campaigners have since disassociated themselves. Indeed, the NHS is unlikely to benefit from Brexit – very much the contrary. Indeed, Brexit weakens the financial sustainability of the NHS. According to estimates from the King’s Fund, in 2015–16 the NHS had the largest deficit in its history. NHS funding has been unable to keep pace with a growing demand for services. These financial constrains come at a time […]
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A seminar on Sustainability &Transformation Partnerships in London, held at the King’s Fund on September 12th, voiced the most serious concerns yet from within the political elite about the viability of STPs. As I understood it the King’s Fund’s report contained seven warnings (as well as a job description for a London Mayor with an interest in the NHS). The warnings were: Providing more community-based care is right but the NHS needed to be realistic about what could be achieved in a short time with limited resources. The expected impact of new models of care on hospital use should not […]
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This is a draft programme drawn up by the SHA. It remains under development and does not yet represent our final set of recommendations. However, it follows much work and consultation and we see this as a conversation with our members, the party and the public. We want and expect that such discussions will change aspects of this document and we welcome that debate. We shall be holding a workshop on Public Health which will feed in to this work. We want to present conference with a challenging set of practical and theoretical ideas. They are summarised here, but there […]
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The 2017 Labour manifesto for health, like the road to hell, is paved with good intentions. Its pledges include improving children’s and mental health services, more funding for NHS and social care, tackling obesity and other public health prevention initiatives. However, unlike the Beveridge report of 1942, which considered the social determinants of health in the round, with its plan to slay the five giants of want, disease, ignorance, idleness and squalor, this manifesto for health has no public health framework. It is puzzling to see the issues of tackling unhealthy foods, obesity, physical activity, smoking and alcohol tucked under […]
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This is a draft policy not yet agreed. All NHS bodies must be under clear obligations and duties: To work to reduce inequality To cooperate with other public bodies To promote shared decision making and community development To be open and transparent and to involve public and patients in all major decisions and plans. Mergers and other organisational changes should be subject only to local agreement. NHS bodies should have boards of directors with a majority of NEDs and governing bodies set up to reflect a balance between patients, public, staff and other local stakeholders. The procurement and contract management […]
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This is a draft policy not yet agreed. Addressing the social determinants of health is an important foundation for the health and wellbeing of our citizens. The fundamentals of life such as access to clean water and safe waste disposal; housing which provides enough space, clean air and efficient heating; education to achieve universal literacy and numeracy; jobs that protect health and ensure adequate income; and an environment which promotes healthy transport, green spaces and public amenities should all be assessed and developed as a holistic approach to public health. Local and national democratically accountable governments need to hold these […]
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