Jeremy Hunt has considerably heightened expectations for the so called birthday present for the NHS later this month telling us to expect ‘significant’ investment. We know the NHS is experiencing the biggest financial squeeze in its history and on current projections the Conservatives are breaking their manifesto promise for real terms head for head rises every year of the Parliament. Public health and training budgets have been cut, and the capital budgets raided with the consequence we have a £5billion backlog for repairs. NHS Trusts ended 2017/18 with a deficit of £960million; £464million above the plan set for the year […]
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This has been written as a response to Baroness Julia Cumberlege’s Better Births in England: a Five Year Forward View for maternity care.  Baroness Cumberlege recently opened a ‘pop –up’ birthing centre in Seacombe , Wirral. As a health campaigner, although the centre appeared very good in many ways, it appeared to fall far short of providing the safest place for a baby to be born.  This centre is part of a trial of 3 centres in England, 2 of which are to be in some of the most deprived areas of Merseyside.   Wirral CCG was emailed about safety issues such as […]
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For so long now, the burden of providing a safe working environment has lain on the shoulders of a company and its management. Health and safety standards are becoming stricter and more steps are being taken to prevent workplace accidents from happening. In recent years, however, employees – the workers who are actually interacting with the work environment – have become more involved in maintaining sufficient levels of safety. Studies compiled by the Health and Safety Executive show better training and higher employee engagement in health and safety programs. There are a few reasons why this shift is a great […]
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Despite the legitimate protests against the continued fragmentation of the NHS in England and privatisation of services, a sensible look at the state of play confirms that we still have plenty of NHS to fight for and defend against further erosion. Against the clamour in some quarters that the (English) NHS has already been lost we would propose reasoned counter narrative: that campaigning has been largely successful, in ways not seen in other public services also under attack. Despite eight brutal years of virtually frozen funding, and legislation (the 2012 Health and Social Care Act) clearly intended to carve up local […]
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Stella Creasy’s proposal and its significance for the entire UK The decisive victory of the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland – which banned abortion unless necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman – has had a seismic impact in the UK. The 1967 Abortion Act, which made abortion up to 28 (later 24) weeks’ gestation legal in Britain was never extended to Northern Ireland, meaning that in order to access abortion, women must make long and arduous journeys to Britain. The Irish referendum result provoked immediate calls for reform north of the border, […]
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The investigation into the issues raised in the scrutineers’ report is ongoing.  All aspects are being looked at including sight impairment and employee and governance issues. Jos Bell, the Chair of London Branch raised the issue of disabled members not always being able to attend Central Council or needing support to do so.  The Officers have agreed a “buddy” system where CC members who are disabled and who attend will be the people who will vote, but if they are unable to be present, then a deputy, usually their “buddy” can vote on their branches’ behalf. This is in line […]
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Recent months have seen three debates in parliament about NHS privatisation. The first in Westminster Hall (23 April) the second and third in the Commons, on Subsidiary Companies (20 March) and in an Opposition Day debate (23 May). None of them mentioned the role of the private sector in determining the direction of travel of the NHS. Commissioning, regulatory and property boards have opened a space for the revolving door to operate, embedding private sector influence – and profit – at the highest levels of decision-making. Consistent parliamentary committee scrutiny of the Big Four Accountancy firms has raised serious questions […]
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The opening gambit for anyone criticising plans in health and social care was to mention at the first opportunity Stalinist Russia. That is of course a ‘cheap shot’. Would a rose by another name smell as sweet?  The Department of Health published in 2009 a dementia ‘strategy’ which set out important goals, and has published subsequently different documents under different names such as “The Prime Minister Dementia Challenge” or “The 2020 Implementation Plan”. It is perhaps time to face facts. Talk is cheap. It’s much easier to talk about ‘England is the best place to live with dementia’ than to […]
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On 18 May, in its property section, the Guardian ran an article entitled ‘NHS privately planning to develop Royal Free nurses’ home into luxury flats.’    A week earlier the HSJ (paywalled) reported that University College London Hospital Foundation Trust boasted a £76m surplus after asset sales and a Sustainability and Transformation ‘bonus’.      Most of the focus on privatisation of the NHS has been on the outsourcing of clinical services to private health providers. More recently the creation of wholly-owned private Subsidiary Companies has attracted attention and they have been debated in parliament. But there is consistently less attention paid […]
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On World Oceans Day 2018, Waterlogic is uncovering the water pollution and its devastating effect on our marine environment across America, Africa, Australia, Asia and Europe. It is time the world recognised the need for change – but is it too late? Or, do we have one more chance to put years of wrongs, to rights? Find out more with Waterlogic.

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To reduce the costs of old age, we must improve the entire life course Far from being predetermined, the course ageing takes is subject to a variety of influences throughout one’s life. This is something that policymakers have so far failed to appreciate, argues Alan Walker. He makes the case for a new strategy which focuses on the whole life course, with the intention of preventing many of the chronic conditions associated with later life. Policymakers and social policy analysts are guilty of neglecting ageing, despite the fact that it is now recognised officially as a ‘grand challenge’. However, it is […]
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My apologies for not providing a written report at the AGM in March. 2017-18 has been a busy and fruitful year for the SHA. Following my ‘baptism of fire‘ – day 1 as Chair involved welcoming shadow SoS Jon Ashworth to the 2017 AGM – I was very pleased to welcome Jean Hardiman Smith, Tom Fitzgerald, Alison Scouller and Tony Beddow as honorary officers and vice chairs. It has been a pleasure to work with them and I am equally pleased with the addition of two further vice chairs, Diane Jones and Andy Thompson this year. Membership The membership of […]
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