Showing posts from 2013

NHS number 1?

This is just fantastic. Please click the link at the end of my message to listen to this fantastic musical tribute to the NHS. 
It has its foundations in the (successful) fight to save Lewisham Hospital in London. Details can be found here - . Jeremy Hunt and his pals are so angry about losing in the High Court that they are now trying to change the law to stop any future 'Lewisham protests' being successful. The affront to democracy is just astonishing – if you feel angry enough then sign this -
We have the amazing Dr Louise Irvine to thank for her leadership on this and many of her GP and consultant colleagues (plus thousands of local people) campaigned so hard and eventually won against all the odds.
It really is just amazing what they have done in Lewisham and I hope this song does make it as a Xmas Number 1 as they hope to achieve.
Watch the video and loo…

Taking Responsibility...

In recent months we have seen politicians take no responsibility for their own actions. Political point scoring seems more important than patients in Whitehall.

This has been played out in a very high profile way in the media. We have had the ludicrous situation of a Secretary of State blaming hospitals for 'coasting' because they focussed on targets - targets imposed by that very same Secretary of State; what a shocking set of double standards.

Nurses have been blamed for scandals that were due to senior management and political indifference. Managers in difficult spots get moved on and promoted with higher salaries - something all NHS staff know occurs in the mad management world of the NHS.

The latest group of professionals to be blamed are GPs whom Jeremy Hunt seems to want to criticise in his every waking hour. Hardly ever do we hear of the fantastic stories of the superb NHS care occurring in all parts of country in circumstances of financial penury and extreme managerial…


It has taken a year in the making but I was so proud to see the book I had contributed to on a shelf at WHSmith the other day.

Last year a few of us sat down and realised we needed to set the record straight on the betrayal that the NHS was subjected to by the coalition's Health and Social Care Act. We knew we all had knowledge that had to be imparted so that those looking back in years to come knew who had not acted as they should have done in defending our NHS.

There are many culprits. They range from the media who for whatever reason decided to give very little coverage to the NHS sell off to the leaders of the medical profession who 'critically engaged' with the coalition and allowed the government to say 'doctors are on board with this and engaging with us'. That was a truly disastrous policy that has led to the situation now where the NHS is being parcelled up and sold off to the private sector. It may well be too late to turn the clock back.

The chapters I w…

The Lords have done it again

Wednesday 24th April 2013 will go down as a very black day for the English NHS. You would have thought the NHS needed some TLC in its 65th year but instead it has been dealt a severe blow by our politicians.

Last week the Lords debated further legislation that will in effect put many more services out to tender - and we know when tendering occurs it isn't a level playing field. The large corporate companies are circling like vultures over the NHS - looking for the tastiest morsels to feed on. These companies have buildings full of lawyers, accountants, PR specialists and managers ready to put bids together for contracts that will deliver a tasty profit to their shareholders.

What chance have the small charities or not for profit organisations got against these big boys of the City? None at all.

The Lords had an opportunity to ensure that local clinicians could choose who was best to provide local services rather than be forced to put services out to the market. Local clinicians ar…

Lobbying MP over new NHS rules

The new NHS laws have many NHS workers and patients worried (including me!) about the direction of travel of the English NHS.

So it is time to write (again) to my MP asking him to support and defend a publicly provided NHS and not allow it be sold off to the highest bidder and fragmented into bite-sized privately owned chunks. This is so important in order to prevent care being fragmented and NHS money seeping away into the boardroom profits of the large City corporate companies.

Here is the letter I have sent and do feel free to copy and paste in order to send to your MP  - it may need a little tweaking as I wrote it as a GP constituent of Mr Morris.

Time is of the essence and the letter needs to be sent before 23rd April.

CLICK HERE for the letter.


The Role of the Royal Colleges

During the Health Bill's troubled journey through Parliament the Medical Royal Colleges played a vital role in lobbying political decision makers. They are trusted friends of Government and seen as apolitical sounding boards. Ministers and Peers often speak to the College Presidents and ask their views on whether policies are 'on track' or able to be pushed through.

This is why their role is vital when changes to the NHS are proposed by politicians.

We are currently seeing vital legislation proposed in Parliament that will force competitive tendering onto newly formed CCGs. Lobbying of MPs and Lords in the next 2 weeks is of huge importance to try and derail these changes. Many NHS workers do not wish to see large corporate companies take over NHS services in order to maximise their profits and boost their share prices.

I have decided to set up my 'Call on the College' website to ask ordinary Medical College members to lobby their College. I will collate the names …

When Amendments Amount to Nothing

Following on from the successful open letter on the dogs dinner that was the section 75 regulations - see my other entry below - the amended regulations have been released.

It isn't good news. The coalition may have changed the wording but the original intention remains. Local commissioners will in effect be forced to put services out to competitive tender in order to prevent legal challenges from companies wishing to muscle in on NHS contracts.

I have decided to launch a second open letter and get as many signatures as possible to pressurise the coalition and let them know that the public DO NOT wish their NHS to be franchised out and sold off to the highest bidder.

You can find my letter HERE and I would urge you to read it and sign it if you agree with its sentiments.

Thank you.

An Open Letter to Parliament

On Sunday 24th Feb I was discussing with colleagues about the latest attempt by the coalition to force privatisation of NHS services on local commissioners. I had an idea to gather names for an open letter to publish in the press and exert further pressure on both Houses of Parliament.

Little did I know that in 48 hours I would collect over 1000 names prepared to sign the letter (below) ranging from nurses, doctors, porters to Professors and senior consultants - staff from across the whole spectrum of the NHS. I wasn't surprised in a way because the NHS engenders such a feeling of support from the whole country and the wish to prevent it from being sold off to the commercial sector is huge.

I hope the Department of Health, Jeremy Hunt, David Cameron and Nick Clegg take heed of this huge groundswell of opinion that we do not wish our NHS to be sold off to the commercial sector. We did NOT vote for this at the last General Election and democracy must be seen to prevail.

The Daily Te…

Section 75

Urgent, immediate action required please
Secondary legislation under Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 We have only learned this morning that the deadline for writing to the clerk mentioned below is tomorrow Monday 25th February so please write NOW if you can. We would be grateful if you also ask your friends and contacts to do the same. The essential message is at the foot of this e-mail • On 13th February 2013 the Government published the regulations (SI 257) under Section 75 of the  Health and Social Care Act 2012 • Assurances were given by ministers during the passage of the Bill through Parliament that it did not mean the privatisation of the NHS, that local people would have the final say in who provided their NHS. • The regulations just published break these promises by creating requirements for virtually all commissioning done by the National Commissioning Board (NCB) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to…

Roll up! Roll up! The NHS sale continues...

CCGs are at the forefront of the huge NHS reorganisation that we were told by David Cameron would never happen under his watch.

There are three letters on the lips of everyone closely associated with CCGs at the moment - these three letters are CSU. These letters stand for Commissioning Support Units and you would be forgiven for not having heard much about them as they are quietly getting on with the job they have been tasked to do by the huge behemoth that is the National Commissioning Board.

CSUs have been set up and separate ones are running in every part of the English NHS. They were first described in late 2011 but not a great deal has been said about them, however it is vital we let more people know about them.

CCGs have been tasked to provide healthcare for local communities on an absolute pittance of a budget compared to what PCTs used to have available to spend on patients.

First mooted by the Dept of Health in late 2011 when the Health Bill was seeing more and more oppositi…