Health News Blog
Edited by Ken Kirk
Midwife shortage: home births suspended
A severe shortage of midwives has led to home birth services being closed or reduced by a number of hospital trusts across the UK.
Javid refuses to acknowledge staff burn-out
Ministers are playing-down what staff are saying, that they are physically and emotionally exhausted by constant pressure. Sajid Javid refuses to acknowledge the scale of the crisis; otherwise he would have to admit that it's down to Tory underfunding, particularly 2010 to 2018 .
GPs vote in favour of industrial action
GPs have voted in favour of taking limited forms of industrial action to protest against the government’s drive to force them to see patients face to face. The chronic shortage of GPs is the reason patients are facing long waiting times.
Why market doctrine in NHS doesn't work
This article is behind a paywall but you see enough. Privatisation failures are exposed yet again by the pursuit of financial gain by private interests. 15 CCGs are being sued by a French firn over the awarding of an £85 million contract.
Call for inquiry into PPE contract
Although she denied it, it seems that Tory peer Michelle Mone did act on behalf of PPE Medpro Ltd over two contracts for face masks and surgical gowns valued in total at £203 million.
One million pounds a day of your taxes
That's how much management consultants are costing in the privately-run "NHS" Test and Trace system. At the end of October it employed 1,230 consultants. Test and trace has average daily contractor rates of £1,100, costing us £1,353,000 a day.
Patients stuck at surgeries due to ambulance delays
Patients experiencing life-threatening emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes or major breathing problems are becoming trapped for many hours in GP surgeries, unable to get hospital treatment because ambulances are taking so long to turn up.
Record 5.8 million waiting for hospital treatment
Many hospitals can now cope only with patients coming through emergency departments. A total of 5.8 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of September. This is the highest number since records began in August 2007.
A coming winter crisis?
Underfunding throughout the 2010s meant that the service was increasingly ill-equipped to cope with the rising prevalence of chronic illnesses. Even in November 2019, several months before Covid-19 hit, NHS England was described by senior leaders as being "on its knees". No wonder, now, the CEO of the NHS Confederation, which represents trusts, said that “many hospitals are only able to cope now with people coming through emergency departments”.
Renationalise the NHS
Here's a petition to rid our NHS of a bloated bureaucracy of commissioners, accountant and lawyers, and of private profit-hungry healthcare firms, and allow most funding to get to the medical frontline, to pay for more nurses, doctors and hospital beds. For all our sakes, sign it.
Warnings of impending NHS crisis
A number of news sources have issued a warning that the NHS is on the verge of collapsing. Firstly, a respected CEO of a trust said his trust was in a “profound crisis”, and that it “was ceasing to function as a hospital”. Another said "This is far worse than January". A survey of NHS leaders confirmed this; it found that patient safety is being put at “unacceptably high” risk.
Bed occupancy already at winter levels
The CEO NHS Providers said the situation was unprecedented and “very worrying” as exhausted hospital staff prepare not only for higher levels of Covid but other respiratory infections such as influenza. Bed occupancy is generally above 90%; a recommended level to avoid cross infection is no higher than 85%.
NHS is being "deprofessionalised"
Here's further evidence of on-going Conservative plans to cut funding at all costs regardless of health outcomes by lowering professional standards of healthcare workers. Senior nursing roles are being advertised to those with no nursing qualification.
Hour-long ambulance waits quadruple
A leak reveals that ambulance waits for hand-overs at A&Es are rapidly getting worse. The number of waits over one hour has quadrupled in the last year.
Next NHSE chair is former Centene boss
This HSJ article has a paywall but it tells us that among the job requirements is “maintain strong business relationships with key private sector stakeholders". Just what an NHS privatising government needs, a chair who ran the US insurance company that took over 49 surgeries, .
Governemnt ignores NHS staffing crisis
There's likely to be a “mass exodus” of GPs from the NHS, 1 in 5 nurse posts are unfilled, NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, said staff shortages were “the health service’s biggest problem”. Yet Javid delays his staff plan until the Spring of 2022.
Covid contract win-win for private hospitals
Government spin said the multi-billion-pound plan for private hospitals gives "vital buffer capacity". It turns out that the private sector cared for just 0.08% of the national total of COVID patients. On average, the private hospital sector cared for eight COVID patients a day while the NHS averaged 10,000.
NHS test-trace contractor cuts pay
Mitie, who employ 1,000 people at mobile testing sites, has told workers that from 8 November they will be guaranteed pay for an 8 hour shift rather than the current 12 hours, slashing secure pay to £80 a day from £120.