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  • Unite NHS members will be at the forefront of a march to Downing Street tomorrow (Wednesday 29 July) to show their anger at being overlooked in the latest round of public sector pay rises – despite more than 500 NHS and social care staff dying from Covid-19. The Unite branch at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital will be marching to Downing Street at 18.00 tomorrow from St Thomas Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7EH to protest at the government’s decision to put off a pay rise for NHS staff until April next year – when the three year pay deal […]
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    This is our twentieth weekly blog the series where we have commented on the course of the pandemic and the political context and implications from its impact on our country. The SHA has submitted our series of blogs to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), Chaired by Layla Moran (LD, Oxford West and Abingdon), who are taking evidence to learn lessons from our handling of COVID-19 in time for the high risk winter ‘flu season’. The Labour MP Clive Lewis is on the group This is an edited version of the seven main points we have submitted: Austerity (2010-2020) This […]
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    The threat to cut health visitor and community nurse jobs in County Durham, while Covid-19 is still widespread, has been branded as ‘incomprehensible’ by Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, today (Friday 24 July). Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT), which is taking over the County Durham 0-25 family health service contract from 1 September, wants to axe about 37 whole time equivalents (WTEs), while the coronavirus is still widespread across the country. Although the HDFT also says it wants to employ 21 WTE new posts, there will be a net loss of 16 WTEs out of a workforce […]
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    The BMA is urging the Government to ensure more people take advantage of routine vaccinations after a concerning fall in coverage rates in recent years. In a report published today, the Association says that many immunisation programmes have been disrupted because of the pandemic as the NHS focused on responding to immediate health concerns and now it’s imperative that they are re-started and that people are encouraged to be immunised. It also notes that childhood vaccination in particular has plummeted during this time – dropping by around a fifth in total – despite advice that childhood immunisation should continue during […]
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    The contact tracing programme in Wales is called “Test, Trace and Protect” (TTP) which emphasises the purpose of the exercise i.e to protect individuals, families and communities. This provides a better focus that “Test, Track and Trace” in England which seems to focus on the process rather than its purpose. The Welsh programme is firmly based on a partnership / public service model. The population of Wales is about 3.1 million people ( approx. 55.5 million in England ). The internal market have been abolished in the Welsh NHS over a decade ago. Health care is delivered through seven unitary […]
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    At a time of heightened public interest in the future of social care, what would be the way forward guided by the principle of social justice? Some of it is in plain view and takes the form of immediate funding shortfalls. The only issue is the political will to find the money. Important as these issues are, their resolution will do nothing to redress what many believe is the most painful injustice of all. The system used to identify ‘need’ and allocate resources – based on the eligibility ‘needs test’ –  is not only inherently inequitable but works in a […]
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    In this week’s blog we will look again at the emerging Blame Game which is attempting to divert attention away from the PM and Health Secretary, raise again the unbelievable issue of the national Test and Trace scheme not sharing information on test results with local Directors of Public Health, salute the letter to the National Audit Office about PPE procurement and applaud the Vaccine Research group at Imperial College for creating a Social Enterprise company committed to sharing the vaccine globally. Blame Game The Prime Minister’s innate self-interest is exercising his mind at present and with the support of […]
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    Kay Marshall (from AVAC) and Richard Jefferys (from TAG) call on organisations working in health and social care to sign in support of their statement on human challenge studies for COVID-19 vaccine development. Richard Jefferys writes: TAG and AVAC are circulating this statement and seeking endorsements from organizations that agree with our position:  https://forms.gle/xatyJBaePmbh25Pw7 As background, challenge trials involve deliberate exposure to a pathogen in order to test vaccines. Typically they involve pathogens for which treatments are available (malaria challenge studies are probably the best known example). A human challenge with SARS-CoV-2 would obviously be very different given the lack […]
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    On Saturday July 4th, the day before the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the NHS – we demonstrated, jointly with Manchester Trade Union Council, with Unison, Unite and any other unions involved, with Keep Our NHS Public and with Health Campaigns Together (with PPE and social distancing) against the privatisation of the Department of Reproductive Medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Manchester. NEXT EVENT VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING: No privatisation of Manchester’s fertility service! Monday, 20 July 2020 from 19:00-20:30 Details at the end of this article Women in the Labour Movement have been campaigning for at least 100 years on […]
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    Week 18 In this week’s blog we urge the government to stop dithering and clarify the guidance on face masks; to get on with sharing all test results with local Directors of Public Health; and to stop shifting the blame for our world-beating COVID death rate onto Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS. Facemasks The important point to note with facemasks, which gets lost in translation, is that face coverings help prevent the wearer from transmitting the virus to others. Remember in the COVID-19 pandemic we have learnt that people without symptoms can pass on the virus to others […]
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    The UK-CAB is the UK’s HIV treatment advocates network.   A couple of weeks ago four UK-CAB members spoke to Dr Rageshri Dhairyawan from Barts Health NHS Trust. It was a chance for HIV positive people from BAME communities to voice their concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The strong focus was on questions from people living with HIV and the communities they work in. Watch via YouTube: https://youtu.be/Cy7d7FD2ro0 The recording is about 40 minutes long. It covers a wide range of questions in relation to COVID-19. Discussion covers inequalities in health care, sexual health, mental health, research, stigma and HIV treatment.    We hope […]
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    HIV charities, community groups, health professionals and activists have today written to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. They write to express their profound concern at the decision to roll back the Secretary of State’s commitment on PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV) in England. Last week it was announced that the budget provided to local authorities for the implementation of PrEP would be reduced from £16 million to £11 million. The letter says this budget cut for PrEP jeopardises the ability to fully roll-out the most powerful prevention tool to help fulfil Mr Hancock’s commitment to […]
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