Health News Blog

Edited by Ken Kirk

Copy of FUND OUR NHS (8)

18th August 2022

Scotland's nurses to be balloted for strike
Nursing and midwifery staff in Scotland are prepared to strike over pay. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Royal College of Midwives (RCM, Unite, Unison and GMB have all rejected the 5% pay offer from the Scottish Government, with the majority voting in favour of taking strike action in consultative ballots.

Wes Streeting's plan
Behind a paywall. In essence Labour will - "harness data and technology to transform the way patients get care", "publish a workforce plan", "fix the broken care system" but doesn't say how, "will recruit 8,500 extra mental health professionals", "use spare private sector capacity to get NHS waiting lists down while we set to work making the NHS so good that people never need private healthcare." But doesn'r say enything about increasing overall funding.

Covid heroes hardest hit by cost of living crisis
Losing their homes, struggling for food – cleaners, health and transport workers say strikes are their only option. Claire, 45, has worked as a carer for seven years. In April, she was evicted after falling into rent arrears. She now lives with her brother. Heart-rending stories like this are common place amongst low paid NHS staff and transport workers.

34 hospital buildings are unsafe
Health minister Maria Caulfield admitted that thirty-four hospital buildings in England have roofs made of concrete that is so unstable they could fall down at any time.

Privatisation linked to 557 treatable deaths
Researchers found that every additional 1% of annual CCG budgets that went on outsourcing was associated with a rise in treatable mortality. "These results suggest that increased outsourcing to the private sector could lead to a decline in the quality of care provided to patients."

9th August 2022

Anything rather than fund NHS adequately
As NHS staff battle to keep patients services afloat, right wing politicians and pundits see the worsening crisis that has been created by a decade of underfunding as a possible opportunity to rehearse more of their ideas for NHS “reform”.

Privatisation results in wasteful litigation
This is behind a paywall but tells of the overhead expenses that competitve tendering produces. The contract to the current provider of services in women’s prison in South Gloucestershire wasn't renewed and former Care UK now Practice Plus Group has lodged a High Court claim against the national commissioner.

Preoccupied by tax cuts Tory leaders ignore the NHS crisis
In 2010 Labour bequeathed an NHS with its lowest ever waiting times, highest patient satisfaction, lowest use of private operations and, yes, it almost reached EU levels of spending. Now starved of money since 2010, the NHS is failing as never before. 


28th July 2022

Most would support strike over NHS pay
55% the public believe that an above-inflation pay rise for NHS staff of more than 9% would be a fair increase. 58% UK believe health workers would be justified in taking industrial action if the government pay award in England is below inflation.

Staffing crisis putting patients at risk
Commons health and social care select committee asserts that the absence of a credible government strategy on NHS-wide understaffing. It says the NHS is facing the greatest workforce crisis in its history which is putting patients at serious risk of harm.

Presiding over a failing NHS
This HSJ article is behind a paywall but NHS bosses said the problem is the lack of an operating model for how NHS England should oversee the service, confusion over what integrated care systems should be responsible for, the lack of clarity on which standards providers should be seeking to meet.

24th July 2022

BMJ: "underfunding in the past decade"
The British Medical Journal and the Health Service Journal have written a joint editorial speaking of 2022 that was meant to be the year of full speed recovery. But the NHS is in crisis; "this brutal situation is the culmination of prolonged periods of underfunding in the past decade, lack of a workforce plan, and failure to undertake social care reform."

Test and Trace spent £450 million on consultants
You will remember that Johnson said the Test and Trace system is world-beating. Now it's announced by Jennie Harries on the Health Protection Agency that it spent more than £450 million on management consultants during the pandemic.

Government: fund pay rise from existing budgets
The pay rise described by workers as "disgusting" will give a 5% increase but the health service will be forced foot some of the bill, the Treasury will fund only 3%. This means cuts, possibly allowing posts to remain unfilled when workers leave and fewer hospital beds.

Ambulance hand-overs: NHSE says "take risks"
Behind a paywall but the essence is that NHS England is encouraging hospital trusts to take risks that will "involve the creation of observation areas" - in other words care in hospital corridors. I can imagine A&E nurses saying that they already do! Anything but fund the service adequately.

Covid inquiry: gov't spent £2m on legal advice
Does the government fear what the Covid inquiry will reveal? The Health and Social Care department has signed a £2.2 million contract with international law firm Pinsent Masons to provide additional resources and expertise to support "its contribution to the inquiry".