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Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Destruction of the NHS

continues apace....

From today’s Sunday Telegraph:

An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered widespread cuts planned across the NHS, many of which have already been agreed by senior health service officials. They include:
* Plans to cut hundreds of thousands of pounds from budgets for the terminally ill, with dying cancer patients to be told to manage their own symptoms if their condition worsens at evenings or weekends.
* The closure of nursing homes for the elderly.
* A reduction in acute hospital beds, including those for the mentally ill, with targets to discourage GPs from sending patients to hospitals and reduce the number of people using accident and emergency departments.

Dr Peter Carter, the head of the Royal College of Nursing, said he was “incredibly worried” about the disclosures.

Dr Carter said: “Andrew Lansley keeps saying that the Government will protect the front line from cuts – but the reality appears to be quite the opposite. We are seeing trusts making job cuts even when they have already admitted to being short staffed.

How disgusting. We have a government that is prepared to spend £4bn a year on an unwinnable war in Afghanistan, but not prepared to properly support the NHS.
On the contrary, they are actually planning for its destruction.

But while the vast majority of Britons will be adversely affected by the destruction of the NHS, we can be sure of one thing. That this government of multi-millionaires will never have to worry about their own health care needs.


Robin Carmody said...

And remember, this is a *Tory* paper - one whose most natural objection to the current government would be that it has Lib Dems in it - saying this.

Surely that must show the neoliberal fanatics that they don't even have most of their own natural supporters onside?

Mr. Piccolo said...

"Plans to cut hundreds of thousands of pounds from budgets for the terminally ill, with dying cancer patients to be told to manage their own symptoms if their condition worsens at evenings or weekends."

This is especially disgusting. I guess this is part of Cameron's "Big Society" platform. I suppose the government will soon expect volunteers to perform surgery on their kitchen tables with utility knives.

How can the government have such gall to dress these and other cuts up with a happy, populist face? How can they preach austerity as "personal responsibility" and "power to the people" while the failed bankers and war profiteering companies feast at the public trough?

richard.blogger said...

These are the sections of the white paper you have to be wary about:

1.22 We are very clear that there will be no bail-outs for organisations which overspend public budgets.

5.12 Prices will be calculated on the basis of the most efficient, high quality services rather than average cost.

When you pay at the cheapest rate this means two things:

1) no hospital can make a surplus (for example to pay off the deficit from providing a service at more than they payment)
2) if the payment is the very cheapest then all but a handful of hospitals will go into debt.

The combination of these two sections means that hospitals will close.

#1 is concerning, but there is a solution. At the Health Select Committee last week chair Stephen Dorrell said that the government is working on a plan for co-pay. This means that if your hospital cannot provide a service at the rate that the NHS Commissioning Board gives them then they will be allowed to ask the patient for the difference.

Their plans for "competition" in the health system are truely frightening.

I warned people about this before the election on my blog.

Anonymous said...

The NHS engages in neglect of the elderly and euthanasia. There's more eating at its heart than the left/right corporate charade.

Fix that and the people will defend it with torches.