TITANIC HEALTH BILL –THREATENS TO SINK OUR NHS?
Health Bill is a disaster of “Titanic proportions”
warned UNISON, the UK’s largest union, on 19 January 2011. But
do they or the Government have it right? The union is
calling on the Government to heed warnings from health
professionals, MPs, staff, patients, charities, think- tanks and
unions that the massive upheaval will destabilise the NHS. It will
turn it into little more than a brand name that can be bought and
sold, not a much valued public health service. Karen Jennings,
UNISON Head of Health, said:- “This Titanic health bill
threatens to sink our NHS. The only survivors will be the private
health companies that are circling like sharks, waiting to move in
and make a killing. Lansley has turned his back on the warnings from
across the medical establishment that these changes are unnecessary,
undemocratic and unlikely to deliver improvements in patient care.
We need a U-turn from the Government. It is time to turn up the heat
on the public debate. These changes are undemocratic, they were not
in any party manifesto and no one has been given the chance to vote
on them. The NHS is a service that many take for granted now, but
will not be able to in the future. As more private companies pile in
to grab their share of the £80bn in taxpayers’ money the NHS will
change from a publically run and accountable service, into a
conglomerate of competing private companies outbidding the NHS for
patients. We can already see this happening. We have KPMG being
brought in to work with consortia across London and foreign
companies like the American United Healthare being used by consortia
in the South West and Hounslow. Unlike David Cameron, UNISON doesn’t
believe the NHS is “second rate” – we believe it is second to none.
And recent reports from the Commonwealth Fund and British Social
Attitudes surveys confirm this.”
According to UNISON the changes will undo all the good that has been
done in recent years, seeing:- waiting times shooting up; clinical
networks (like cancer networks) that advise doctors on the best
treatments will be lost; NICE will be undermined.
UNISON’s key concerns include:-
► The reforms will be hugely expensive to implement at a time when
the NHS is being told to save £20bn.
► Money that should be used to improve patient care will bleed out
of the system into the hands of private companies.
► The reforms will open the NHS up to EU competition law – once
services have left the NHS, there is no going back.
► Turning the regulator Monitor into a utilities style watchdog like
Ofgem or Ofwat is completely inappropriate for a service built on
care and compassion. The NHS needs to be regulated for quality of
care not for the sharpness of privateers’ elbow.
► The massive structural upheaval and institutional chaos could
leave the NHS unprepared to cope with crisis situations such as the
swine flu pandemic.
► A postcode lottery will be allowed to develop – with no guarantee
that your local NHS will continue to fund treatments
that are not sufficiently profitable. We are already beginning to
see cash-strapped PCTs cutting back on important cataract, knee and
► NHS patients will be pushed to the back of the queue, as hospitals
will be able to raise unlimited cash from private paying patients.
► Even NHS chief executive David Nicholson has warned of the perils
of price competition and commentators from across the political
spectrum agree than competing on price will mean that quality of
care inevitably suffers as it did when the Tories last tried this in
you agree with UNISON or do you have other views? Let us know what
you, our readers, think really by emailing our news room via:-
Planned operations resume at Southport and Formby Hospital
have been thanked for their hard work over the past month as planned
operations begin to get back to normal at Southport and Formby
District General Hospital.
NHS trusts across the North West were asked to postpone these
operations towards the end of December to ensure they had enough
critical care beds to deal with a spike in the number of people
being admitted with complications due to flu.
The Trust was able to operate Ormskirk District General Hospital
normally during this period but a number of urgent and non-urgent
operations were postponed at Southport. The hospital is now
beginning to return to normal although patients may still experience
some short-term delays.
Jonathan Parry, Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital
NHS Trust, said:- “I would like to thank the public for their
support and understanding during what has been a difficult time. We
will do all we can to ensure that those appointments that had to be
postponed are rescheduled as soon as possible. I particularly want
to thank staff for their outstanding professionalism in meeting the
challenges of the past month, for example, in helping cover shifts
to ensure patients always have the best care we can provide. I know
from what patients and their families tell us that this dedication
to the care of our communities of Southport and Ormskirk is very
Award Wining group to
hold an "Information & Awareness Event"
DID you know that Practice Makes
Perfect who are the winners of "The Spirit of Merseyside Award
2010" are holding a free awareness and information day at
the Lakeside Leisure centre on The Promenade, in Southport?
The event will take
place on Saturday, 26 March 2011 from 11am to 4pm. Fairways car
parking is just over the road for just £1 a day. "To raise
awareness to what our voluntary group has to offer for people of all
ages:- classes, training, workshops introducing the basics of finger
spelling, lip-reading, and sign language etc at minimum cost. Also
we hope to raise awareness of the many services, groups,
organisations, training and support groups that is available for
people who have a sensory impairment and also to support their
hearing families and friends. We want services, teaching and
communication skills groups that support people with a sensory
impairment to be involved. We are also still looking for businesses
that supply equipment etc... If you know of or run a group or
service that could be included in our event please contact me..."
You can contact
Maureen via calling:- 01704 546626 or using Text/mob on:-
07960984306. Also you can find lots more information by visiting:-