Showing posts from 2015

A Letter to Professor Steve Field

14th December 2015

Dear Professor Field
I noticed the Daily Mail printed your latest comments on a Monday – what is usually a crushingly busy day of the week for UK GPs.I am not sure if you work as a GP on a Monday but if you did you would see what pressure GPs and their staff work under due to the failings of those working from comfortable offices in London – politicians and senior managers like yourself. The comment that hit the headlines was that ‘GPs have failed as a profession’ and you were 'ashamed to be a GP'. My jaw dropped when I read this. I just couldn’t believe someone who had once led the profession as Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners could say this. I had to read it again for it to sink in properly. UK GPs saw this comment you made and their morale sank even lower than the subterranean depths it is now at. As they battled with their 12-14 hour day seeing around 60-70 patients or more they wondered why you were beating them with a stick again. …

A World Leading Hospital Fails - why is this

We have just seen a world leading hospital fail according to the NHS regulator CQC.

I co-wrote the article below to explain why - there is more to this than meets the eye. Please do read it and see what you think

Click here for the article

Panorama and the NHS - the perfect missed opportunity

Last night’s Panorama on the problems facing the NHS was public service broadcasting at its most disappointing. The programme - ‘NHS – The Perfect Storm’ had been due to air in early June but was postponed at the last minute by the BBC, prompting speculation that the politicians needed a look at the final edit before it was aired. When it did surface last night, the programme undoubtedly packed an emotional punch. How could we not be moved by patients’ touching stories and the dedication of our NHS staff? But – lacking any real insight into what’s really going on in the NHS - the overall effect was sensationalist, with the narrator's fatuous comments adding nothing. There was just one brief mention of the situation I see many of my patients struggling with - left ‘stuck’ in hospital or struggling on at home in worsening health, hit by 40% cuts to the home support they used to receive from care assistants and social workers. The programme's talk of 'care in the community&#…

A 7 point plan for Cameron's 7 day NHS

The media called this the “first major speech” in this brand new Conservative majority government. Prime Minister David Cameron, with five years of power ahead of him, decided to focus on the NHS, and, in particular, he focused on one particular aspect—seven day working. Trailed in the Tory manifesto and now offered to the nation it sounds appealing, but as is usually the case with many things Mr Cameron does, most of it doesn’t stand up to proper scrutiny. Here is my seven point plan for Mr Cameron’s seven day NHS: 1. Get the five days right first—If the government wants to make the NHS work safely and efficiently seven days a week, then it might be a good idea to get the five days of Monday to Friday working well beforehand. At the moment the NHS is in dire straits, struggling financially with medical, nursing, and allied staff leaving or retiring early in their droves. What was the adage Mr Cameron likes to use—fix the roof while the sun is shining? Well, the sun isn’t shining much i…

Manchester - the birth and death of the NHS

On July 5th 1948 in Manchester Labour Secretary of State for Health Aneurin Bevan announced the birth of the NHS .
On March 27th 2015 in Manchester Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne signed a piece of paper that would bring about the end of a National Health Service.

These two events are 67 years apart but signal huge differences in how health care would be provided to the population.

In a surprise announcement just weeks before a General Election the Tories signed a deal with the Greater Manchester Authorities - which includes Manchester, Bolton, Salford, Oldham, Stockport, Wigan, Tameside, Trafford, Rochdale and Bury Council - a huge area. The actual deal can be read here. It hands over £6bn from central government to a new organisation to run health and social care services for 2.7 million residents in the Greater Manchester area. On the face of it this may sound attractive - no longer having Whitehall poking its nose into local health issues, but there is much…