Showing posts from 2014

NHS for Sale - Myths, Lies & Deception

In early 2015 a new book written by Dr Jacky Davis, John Lister and myself will be published.

It will be an expose of the ongoing sale of our English NHS and the privatisation of many contract and services. It will tell the truth about what has happened to our NHS since the coalition came to power - how they have acted in their own interests and been economical with the truth. You will not read this information in any political manifesto or think tank pamphlet. No politician will ever utter what is in the book and will use weasel words to deny it all. We have researched the evidence and presented it all together.

Here is a link to the publishers website - pre-orders can be made there with free P&P and a reduced cover price.

All profits will go to the campaigning group Keep Our NHS Public - the authors will take no income at all from the book.

We hope you will find it an interesting read - though it may raise your blood pressure!

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

In April 2014 this press release was sent out
Full of the usual fluff about ‘integrated, seamless services’ making ‘a huge difference to patients' . the contract winners Circle made out this was the best thing since sliced bread. 
Roll forward a few months and the article below was in the Health Services Journal (paywalled so copy and pasted). 
It transpires Circle have tried to subcontract the service back to the local hospital (grab the money and let someone else do the work) and the hospital now has serious concerns over the viability of A&E and orthopaedic services due to patients being seen by Circle and removing vital income from the hospital. Often hospitals rely on such income to keep it financially viable and support very costly departments like intensive care units. 
This is reprehensible behaviour by the private sector. Another blow to the NHS at the hands of the City - Circle is own…

GPs are NOT private companies - and this is why...

‘All you GPs are private providers anyway’ I often have this charge thrown at me when I speak at NHS campaign meetings. Those who level this charge at me are often those arguing in favour of a privatised NHS. They will say that ever since 1948 GPs have been private companies, so not much is changing. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that GPs are self employed and have been since 1948. They often own the GP surgery that they work from and the NHS pays the GPs to allow them to employ the staff, pay for the electricity and lighting in the surgery and take home their own income too. GPs do earn a good income. But the vast majority earn nowhere near the telephone number salaries the Daily Mail talk about. But GPs cannot sell or advertise our surgeries or set up a practice wherever we like.  And GPs stay at their surgery through thick and thin. They invest in a community. Even during the bad times they stay with their patients and ensure their surgery is the best it can …

Privatisation behind an Invisibility Cloak

I was a guest speaker last night at a packed meeting in central Newcastle where we discussed and debated the changes to the NHS. Everyone in the room was very concerned and indeed very angry at what they heard. A lot were unaware of the scale of the issue over privatisation in the English NHS (Scotland has committed to having no private companies running NHS services).

Time and again I hear 'we didn't vote for this at the last election - it wasn't in any manifesto' or 'the coalition have no mandate to make such huge changes to our NHS - no single party won the election'. And I agree with them. The coalition have been very clever in making out GPs were on board with the NHS changes (they weren't) and that it was what the NHS needed (it wasn't) and that the NHS is in a massive hole (it isn't) and their coup de grace is that they are selling off many services to the private sector hidden behind the well trusted and well respected NHS logo. It is privat…

Standing up Against NHS Privatisation

The BMJ have published an article I have written about the ongoing privatisation in the English NHS.  The onslaught is relentless and appears to be speeding up - perhaps to get as many contracts sold off prior to the General Election in 2015.
Every campaigner and patient I speak to about this privatisation are opposed to it. No one has been asked whether they want their NHS to be sold - remember it wasn't in any election manifesto for the 2010 General Election and no party won a majority. The Health and Social Care Act was sprung upon a surprised medical profession and electorate.
We must continue to fight for our NHS - it is too precious to lose.

You can read my article in the BMJ here.

The Complicity of Cameron and Clegg

They've done it again.

The Tories and LibDems have once more voted together to push through a law that dramatically affects our English NHS. The 'hospital closure clause' - Clause 119 of the Care Bill - has been voted through Parliament. The law was only passed because of the Parliamentary arithmetic of the LibDemsvotingwith the Tories to bring about a majority against the opposition. Clause 119 allows any hospital that is near a struggling one to be closed with just 40 days consultation period - yes that's right just 40 days!Any talk by the LibDems of extricating important amendments from the Tories can be dismissed as hubris. They only say this to justify their voting habits.
It beggars belief that Liberals can vote for something that diminishes the power of a citizen to have their say. The same goes for the Gagging Bill the Liberals voted for recently which removes the right to free speech for many citizens who feel passionately about a subject. The dictionary definit…

Window Dressing - Clause 119

You may have noticed Clause 118 has morphed into Clause 119.

This is just window dressing. As so often happens in Parliament amendments are made as legislation moves through both Houses and clauses are re-numbered. This has happened here and the changes are superficial but play their role because politicians can say 'we have listened to you and made some vital changes so please vote for this now'. NHS campaigners have studied the amendments and believe they make no real difference to this 'hospital closure clause'.

The reason hospitals are in financial trouble are twofold. One is due to the completely unnecessary £20bn cuts to the NHS budget we are seeing between 2010-2015 - the so called 'Nicholson Challenge'. Secondly hospitals are crippled by PFI debt - in effect huge mortgage payments that they have to pay to private developers sometimes for periods of 30 years. This PFI debt needs to be removed from the hospitals so they can concentrate on patients and not…

Clause 118

I have circulated an open letter via Twitter seeking support against Clause 118 - the link can be found by clicking here. I hope to get as many names as possible and then seek to get the letter published in the press.

Clause 118 is being rushed through Parliament in an attempt to allow Whitehall bureaucrats to close any hospital they wish in England. This follows on from the coalition's humiliating and very expensive defeat (at the tax payers expense) in the High Court when they tried to close Lewisham Hospital.

Further information on Clause 118 can be found here at the excellent Open Democracy website.

This is another battle for the English NHS. Attacks on the NHS seem to be a daily occurrence now but this latest 'hospital closure clause' means any English hospital could be closed with very little meaningful local consultation.

It is an affront to democracy and I urge you to sign the open letter here.


Another action you can take is to send …