Health News Blog

Edited by Ken Kirk

Copy of FUND OUR NHS (8)

21st June 2022

Palantir: the operating system for the NHS?
It doesn't tell you much, but gives the background to Palantir's owner, Peter Thiel, a billionaire Trump backer. Palantir develops surveillance systems, sold technology to the military, and developed predictive policing systems. It seems that the Tories are offering Palantir our unique NHS data.

Tories 'manager bash' to hide NHS crisis
NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor tells us they've been in charge of our health service for 12 years and now the mess they've made of it is blamed on NHS managers.

UK votes to maintain Covid monopolies
The UK government has sided with bid pharma's monopoly profits instead of the lives of people across the world. The Johnson government blocked a move to suspend monopolies on Covid vaccines.

NHS under winter pressure now
NHS England’s chief Amanda Pritchard admitted that cuts to the number of beds had gone too far. She blamed hospitals being left unable to admit a growing number of seriously ill people and patients being left stranded in the back of ambulances on inadequate social care.

Racism risks losing BAME staff
In a report on racism in the medical profession the British Medical Association paints an alarming picture of institutional barriers to career progression, dangerously low levels of reporting of racist incidents and a growing mental health burden on minority ethnic doctors.

14th June 2022

Corporate surgery owner accused of profiteering
Operose Health, owned by US insurance giant Centene, has been allowed buy up more than 50 GP practices across England. An investigation by the BBC’s Panorama programme found that Operose was using physician associates to undertake appointments because they are cheaper to employ than GPs.

Rundown hospitals a danger to patients
Health leaders are warning that without an urgent injection of capital funding, patient safety is at risk owing to lack of maintenance on hospital buildings. The NHS in England is facing a £9 billion maintenance backlog. Half of that sum is required to tackle failings classed as posing either a “high” or “significant” risk to patients and staff.

Yet Javid says NHS doesn't need more money
Despite the rundown state of our hospitals, see above, Sajid Javid said the health service already had the resources it needed and did not require more to care for patients effectively.

NHS faces funding cut in 2022-23
Every NHS health system has seen their core recurrent funding reduce in real terms in 2022-23. Public sector inflation, forecast to be 4 per cent this year, will wipe out the 3.3 per cent cash increase in the funding allocated to integrated care systems.

Private cancer treatment provider collapses
Rutherford Health runs four cancer hailing the game-changing’ elective recovery deal to treat NHS patients. Now we learn it's set to be liquidated. Rutherford is owned by Schroder UK Public Private Trust.

Demoralised nurses driven out of profession
According to the Royal College of Nursing most nurses warn that staffing levels on their last shift were not sufficient to meet the needs of patients, and that some are now quitting their jobs.


6th June 2022

'Impossible to improve hospital discharges'
Behind a paywall I'm afraid, but in essence, as is obvious to any sane person, there must be placements available in social care to permit the discharge of elderly hospital patients. Targets to reduce delayed discharges “will not be met” unless the government “invests in domiciliary care wages,” amid high numbers of vacancies in social care.

ICSs face £1 billion gap in first year budgeting
Integrated Care Systems face a financial gap of more than £1 billion 2022-23, even after factoring in additional inflation funding provided by NHS England, even when the extra £1.5 billion announced recently is included. NHS England has instructed ICSs to find efficiency savings to close the gap and deliver a breakeven position for the year.

10 year decline in beds causes A&E crises
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine said the huge loss of beds since 2010-11 was causing “real patient harm” and a “serious patient safety crisis”.  What will the government, who caused the problerm in the first place, do about it? Nothing.

Standards commissioner launches investigation into Tory peer
You may remember Peter Selwyn Gummer. In 1990 he fed his daughter with a burger in the Mad Cow Disease crisis and was also embroiled in the parliamentary expenses scandal. Here he recommended to the government a company that was part of a group in which he was a director and shareholder.

Virgin Care contract cancelled after private equity take-over
Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Bath and North East Somerset Council have cancelled an extension to the contract whereby it has been providing NHS and council commissioned health and care services since 2017.


27th May 2022

Is your health data at risk?
The government has become acutely aware of the commercial value of our personal data, especially our sensitive health data. This raises concerns that existing protections for sensitive patient data may be undermined by new measures to allow greater commercial access.

Ambulance service will collapse in August
This is behind a paywall, but in essence a struggling ambulance trust could face collapse entirely this summer if the region’s worsening problems with hospital handover delays are not taken more seriously.

'Barn theatre': what about staffing?
This is being hailed as a fantastic idea, but does it address the root cause of waiting lists at all? Does having a larger theatre achieve anything when there's a shortage of staff?

Thousands of NHS workers may quit
Health leaders fear significant numbers of lower-paid workers will leave for higher wages in the private sector amid rising food and heating bills and soaring inflation.

Nurse fined over pay protest wins compensation
A 61-year-old mental health nurse who worked throughout the pandemic, received a £10,000 fixed penalty notice for organising the protest on 7 March 2021 over the government’s proposed 1% pay rise. Manchester police has now accepted that the fines were unlawfully imposed.