Health News Blog

Edited by Ken Kirk

Copy of FUND OUR NHS (8)

17th September 2023

Dilapidated hospitals regularly shut
NHS England’s deputy chief executive told the House of Commons public accounts committee that some hospitals are so dilapidated that they regularly have to shut wards and operating theatres to safeguard patients’ safety; such are the problems caused by hospitals being left structurally unsound.

Rational approach to NHS funding
"What works? Comparison with other healthcare systems shows that the (pre-underfunded) fundamental NHS business model is the gold standard, the pre-eminent healthcare system in the world. What went wrong? The evidence shows that the principal reason for the current fall-off in service levels is chronic and severe underfunding." A report by a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

"Improve mental health funding or children die"
A coroner says unless mental health services are funded better more children will die. Mental health has sufferd cuts in funding since 2010.

NHS funding the private sector is senseless
"...taking NHS staff away, diverting NHS funding, cherry picking non-complex care and using the NHS to send back complications from private treatment. It is NHS capacity that must urgently be rebuilt."


7th September 2023

Tax the rich for good public services
Labour's ultra low risk approach to policies if in power will not supply the services the public want. Here the Guardian's economics editor discusses fiscal options for Labour. Tax expert Richard Murphy identifies ways for Labour to raise tax revenue.

More funding is the only answer
"In 1997, there was a change of government. The voters demonstrated decisively that they wanted their politicians to put the NHS back at the top of their priorities, and taxpayers’ money flooded in. Morale among doctors, nurses and allied professionals began quickly to rise, and patient satisfaction, too."

GP vacancy rates reach record levels
Nearly one in five GP positions in the UK are unfilled according to a survey, the highest since the data has been collected. "The recruitment crisis is a culmination of a few things: secondary care passing back work and refusing referrals; lack of investment in the GP contract, making partnership unappealing to newly qualified GPs; and a torrid working environment that encourages earlier GP retirement."

Government is not fully funding the nurses pay award
Organisations contracted by the NHS that use the Agenda for Change pay scale - charities, primary care services, social enterprises, independent healthcare providers, nursing and care homes – will have to cover costs from tight budgets already stretched to the limit. Also there's a funding gap for NHS staff employed by trusts working to deliver key public health contracts commissioned by local authorities.

Hospital waiting list deaths double in 5 years
The number of NHS patients that die while waiting for treatment has doubled in 5 years.

26th August 2023

There isn't enough staff!
Barclay's announcement that the private sector will be used to cut waiting lists received a retort from the BMA. "We do not have enough staff working in the NHS or the private sector,” said the BMA's Dr Latifa Patel. ".... there is no guarantee that diverting more patients to the independent sector will cut NHS backlogs.”

Recovery Taskforce packed with privateers
Independent Healthcare Provider Network boss David Hare, Dr Paul Manning of US-owned Circle Healthcare, owner of the UK’s largest chain of private hospitals, Darsjak Shah from private eye health firm Newmedica and many others are directing a privatisers dream way to cut waiting lists. And a dream is what it really is!

Millions at risk: Universal Credit falls far short
In a letter to Rishi Sunak 32 health organisations tell him "many people are routinely going without the essentials.... it poses a serious risk to the UK’s health. The BMA: "When people are having to choose between paying for the very basics needed to sustain themselves and families – whether that’s to eat nutritiously; to power, heat, clean and maintain their homes; or for transport to get to work and NHS appointments – their health and wellbeing suffers."

Palantir was always a certainty for data contract
An email exchange in which senior NHS executives discussed the budget for a new national data platform reveals that Palantir was always expected to be the winner of the contract. The firm’s clients include the US army, which uses its surveilling software to conduct drone strikes.

Concern about Data Protection and Digital Information Bill
The introduction of so-calld "integrated care" relies on a data-driven methodology To identify the high-risk, potentially high-cost individuals who may benefit from interventions that may prevent expensive hospital admissions. All Integrated Care Systems are required to explain why they collect our health data and who they share it with. It is claimed that health data is currently protected by legislation, in practice existing safeguards can be trumped by what is argued to be the broader "public interest".



3rd August 2023

GP workforce crisis deepens
Despite government rhetoric GP numbers continue to fall. There were 27,153 FTE fully-qualified GPs last month, down from 28,129 at the end of 2019. The Royal College of GPs warns of ‘intense workload and workforce pressures’.

ULEZ and public health funding
Yes this is an opinion piece, but it says it how it is. Air pollution is the biggest killer, between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths every year are due to human-made air pollution.

"Not enough time with patients"
As an example of the worrying picture of the intense pressures being felt at the NHS frontline, a poll across a range of NHS professions shows they have too little time to help patients and the quality of care the service provides is falling.

Mental health callouts: no new cash
Health services will not get any new funding when they take over responsibility for mental health emergencies from police next month, increasing pressure on ambulance and A&E services already in crisis.