Health News Blog

Edited by Ken Kirk

Copy of FUND OUR NHS (8)

30th March 2023

Bonanza for agencies supplying NHS staff
In 2021 the total cost of agency supplied staff was £3 billion, up 20%. One single shift for a freelance doctor at one hospital cost £5,200. Why then are the numbers of medical student places capped? Why was the student nurse training bursary abolished?

NHS's need of massive injection of staff
The NHS needs a massive injection of homegrown doctors, nurses, GPs and dentists to avert a recruitment crisis. A long-awaited workforce plan says it's already operating with 154,000 fewer full-time staff than it needs, and that number could balloon to 571,000 staff by 2036.

Why use management consultants?
Here's a short Radio 4 programme critically examining this. A professor in management says the acronym FEEL describes the reason. F for facilitate, E expert, E for extra (where you don't have enough people) and L for legitimate. Such is the hyped-up capability of "consultants" I'm persuaded it's the L.  Research only confirms our scepticism.

ICSs: "corporate control of our healthcare"
"...those assisting in the rollout of this deadly system. including MPs, may not even know they are growing the private healthcare industry."

Collapsed PFI firm sues NHS trust
The private finance initiative agreement between Whittington Facilities Ltd and Whittington Health Trust ended in August 2020 after the former went into administration. They claim the trust’s decision to withhold service payments following a fire in January 2018 caused the company to enter administration. Should litigation like this be involved in providing a national health service?

24th March 2023

Nurses seek no confidence vote over pay deal
Nursing staff are attempting to trigger a vote of no confidence in their union, it requires 1000 signatures. They would receive a one-off bonus and a rise of 5% in 2023/24. The rate of inflation is currently 10.4%.

"The offer does not boost pay significantly"
Normal pay increases are consolidated, which means they carry forward into succeeding years and apply to the pensions paid out at retirement. By contrast, “bonus payments” do not carry forward and do not contribute to pension. Failure to resolve the pay crisis will do nothing to retain staff or end the staff shortages.

Pay offer: "no new money...out of exisiting budgets"
Tory minister says: "...I am confident that we can find it, either within the NHS budget or wider government spending". So more NHS underfunding is on its way.

Tax break for the wealthy
There are fairer and better ways to deal with that problem than simply handing over a billion pounds of taxpayers’ money to fund a tax cut for the wealthiest 1%, 84% of whom aren’t doctors. The £4 billion tax giveaway will benefit the wealthiest people by dramatically increasing how much they can stash away in pensions while enjoying the full tax benefits.

Six billion unwanted masks, gloves and aprons
"‘Something has gone wrong" claims a Government procurement veteran. "Something has gone horribly wrong". "When supplies arrived staff found stickers covering expired use-by dates. One box of gowns was opened to reveal an infestation of insects. Treasury minutes show that, of the 37.9 billion pieces of PPE – aprons, gloves, visors, masks, gowns, goggles and the like – that were acquired at a cost of £13.1 billion.

We are the least likely to see a GP
An international study finds that people in the UK are the least likely to get an appointment with a GP.

17th March 2023

Proposed pay deal explained
1. NHS workers in England would receive a one-off non-consolidated award of 2 per cent of salary, and an additional one-off, non-consolidated payment, branded an “NHS backlog bonus”, whose percentage varies by pay band. Additionally, lowest paid workers will get a consolidated increase of 10.4%, with all other NHS workers receiving a flat rate of 5%.

2. The government has agreed to commit to a national evidence-based policy framework on safe staffing, focusing on registered nurses, and it will produce an implementation plan for the forthcoming NHS long-term workforce plan, including an intention to reduce reliance on agency staff.

Unions hail strike a success
After months of rolling strikes involving thousands of NHS workers including nurses, ambulance staff and physiotherapists, the government ditched its claim that this year’s pay deal could not be reopened.

Hospitals told to share data with Palantir
NHS hospitals have been ordered to share patient’s confidential medical records with an American spy-tech company owned by a billionaire Trump donor who claimed the NHS ‘makes people sick’.

500 deaths in 2022 after long ambulance waits
More than 500 seriously ill patients died last year before they could get treatment in hospital after the ambulance they called for took up to 15 hours to reach them. Here's an example.




8th March 2023

The NHS is being privatised!
Imported from the US, Intgrated Care Systems now run your NHS. From July to December 2022, over 2000 private companies received over £2 billion. NHS monies are flowing to private companies, including firms with a dismal track record in the UK and some whose US parents have faced multi-million pound penalties from state and federal authorities.

NHS crisis: demonstrate your anger this Saturday
We do not need to remind you about the unprecedented crisis in the NHS, but we do need to ensure our voice is heard. We also stand by NHS staff forced to take strike action and seek to expose the political choices this Government is making to underfund and privatise the NHS.

The corruption of US medicine by the quest for profit
"The perversion of healthcare, particularly medical care, by an explicit profit motive leads to the US having both the greatest cost and the worst health outcomes of the wealthy countries of the world." This, without a return to the founding principles of the NHS, is where we are headed.

The state of dentistry in the UK
Referring to the hypocrisy of Tory NHS policy, the author says "... you stoutly proclaim your undying commitment to the service while starving it of funds until it collapses."

Half ambulance workers seen patients die
Three-quarters of those surveyed said that delays had an impact on patient care every day. And over half said they had spent an entire shift waiting outside an A&E to hand a patient over to hospital staff.