Sunday, 21 February 2016

Cameron treating doctors and NHS with contempt

David Cameron has been the Prime Minister since 2010. Every policy has his authority stamped on it.  He is ultimately responsible for the policies of government.

In 2010 his government introduced one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in the history of the NHS. It was so unpopular it saw every type of NHS worker oppose that piece of government NHS policy - which is unheard of. Called the Health and Social Care Act the government eventually got their way because of the voting support of the Liberal Democrats.

Back then the Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley (eased into the House of Lords now as Lord Lansley) knew his legislation was in trouble so he wrote a letter to all GPs on 16th Feb 2012 to try and smooth the way to the looming vote in the House of Commons.

An extract can be seen here on a vital point of allowing GPs control over who they wish services to be run by - something the profession was very concerned about with many private companies seeking to win NHS contracts.

The full letter can be read HERE

Specifically Lansley said 'I know many of you have read that you will be forced to fragment services, or to put services out to tender. This is absolutely not the case. It is a fundamental principle of the Bill that you as commissioners, not the Secretary of State and not regulators, should decide when and how competition  should be used to serve your patients interests.'

Roll the clock forward to 2016. Virgin Care have just driven a cart and horse through the promises of the Prime Minister and Secretary of State in that important letter and over ridden the desire of a local GP led CCG. They have successfully challenged Hull CCG who expressly stated they wanted local NHS GPs to provide general practice from eight of their surgeries. Virgin didn't like this and went to the courts to challenge the CCG desire for local GPs to run the surgeries. They won. The whole process will now follow a costly and time consuming tendering process which Virgin Care will be at the forefront of bidding for. The letter from Lansley isn't worth the paper it is written on. Cameron's promises are worthless. An extract from the article is here

The full article can be found HERE

This quite clearly shows how the profession was misled and how subsequent legislation passed by Cameron allows private companies to challenge decisions of local GPs on CCGs.

It is a disgrace and shows once more how the Conservatives treat the NHS and medical profession with contempt - much like they are doing with the junior doctors at the moment.

There will be more of this to come under the Conservative's NHS which is being slowly parcelled up and sold off to the big corporate companies of the City.

Write to your MP. Quote this article and challenge them and tell them you don't want this happening to your NHS

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Cameron is doing what Thatcher never dared

History tells us many things.

When it comes to the Tory Party their action in the 1980s should present a clear warning to us now in 2015. Back in the 1980s the Tories spent most of the decade selling off public services. Tory belief is that the 'state should be kept small' which actually means selling off the assets we owned as a country to the private sector.

In the 1980s we saw British Gas, British Steel, Water, Electricity, British Rail (1990s), British Airways, Rolls Royce and British Airways sold off very cheaply to the City investors, large pension funds and a small percentage of shares sold to the public (who owned all the assets beforehand!). We got the crumbs from the table where the corporate beasts were feasting.

In the past 6 years the Tories have sold off RAF Search and Rescue to an American firm, the Royal Mail has gone to the City investors, East Coast Rail (profitable and giving millions back to the Treasury) handed over to Richard Branson and banks that we bailed out with billions of our taxes and actually making profits sold off at a loss to the taxpayer. We actually give tax payers money (called 'subsidies) to Virgin Trains to run the service and they also get to keep all the profits too. You couldn't make it up.

Often we hear the refrain 'but these were dreadful services in the 1980s and thank goodness the private sector was brought in'. The reason they were struggling services was precisely because they had been starved of funding and allowed to wither on the vine. British Rail was a fine example of this. Starved of investment for over a decade it became a national joke. This then allowed the Tories to justify the huge sale of public assets to 'rescue the service' and thus handing millions of pounds in profits to the City bankers overseeing the sale and further profits for City investors.

One thing Margaret Thatcher didn't try and privatise though was the NHS. She had a shrewd mind and knew this was one privatisation too far which could seriously damage her electoral chances. As Nigel Lawson wrote 'the NHS is the nearest thing the English have to a religion'.

The sale of the NHS is now going full steam ahead though in 2015. It was enabled by New Labour and the likes of Alan Milburn who eased the private sector into the NHS but it has been allowed to occur much more widely with the passage of the Health and Social Care Act in 2012 and the desire for Tory politicians to parcel up the NHS and sell it off. Many MPs and Lords have interests in private health care companies so it suits them that more of the NHS is sold off.

Of course the Tories will say they are not privatising the NHS but the World Health Organisation is clear that the involvement of the private sector in providing and financing health care to patients is most definitely privatisation.

We see our Junior Doctors fighting for a safe and fair contract. They see the erosion of their contract to bring in more weekend working as a way of syphoning off easy, profitable routine operations to the private sector. The City investors will be swooping in on these contracts like vultures round a decaying carcass. Junior doctors see the erosion of the ethos of the NHS as one final nail in the coffin and they are standing up and saying NO.

Leopards don't change their spots. The Tories despise public services. They sell them off to their friends in the City and they are now doing the same with the NHS.

Support your doctors and fight for the NHS before it is too late.