Wednesday, July 11, 2007

IT'LL BE ALRIGHT ON THE DAY...................OR WILL IT

The PCT got their way with the help from certain newspapers and a poorly action consultation which was nothing short of a sham.
With just short of 100 written responses and 500 leaflets I sent in, out of 165,000 people in Huntingdonshire this shows the level of response.
So don't blame me when your service gets worse and you have to travel to get treatment.
I was at Hinchingbrooke yesterday and while waiting for blood tests there were complaints that treatment was done at Addenbroookes or Peterborough and bloods were taken at Hinchinbrooke but the bloods taken get lost when at the oother 2 hospitals, clearly not a Hinchingbrooke fault.
So why are these folks not going direct to the other hospitals for their tests? or why are the tests not being done at Hinchingbrooke? and why are these samples being transported countywide and at what cost?.......................makes no sense and typical of the "it'll be alright on the day" attitude, muddle along etc.

The same is happening with the Community based services, clearly the PCT wont have spent the £2.3m set aside for the community services by this winter so they have set aside £37,000 to keep the elderly and vulnerable in Hinchingbrooke.
The £2.3m will be speent to set up the service with offices, managers, cars, phones etc. there might be some money left to find anyone bonkers enough to become a Social Care worker and to provide some care.
The Social Care worker will be a Homecare Plus worker, but not  a Nurse.
Obviously this raises concerns and also there are other issues with their personal safety as indicated in the news this last week and health workers being attacked and abused.
As for health issues, at  what point would a person who is being cared for in the commnuity be admitted back to hospital?should they need it.................
Who makes that decision?
A community midwife who was on call had to go out last week to a lady after she had been sent by the Labour ward, this midwife is very experienced, the midwife then sent the lady straight into Hinchingbrooke. This was a wasted journey and it is not isolated, this was supposed to save money but in reality it wastes it and the main reason for sending the community midwife out was because of  short staffing levels.
So..........will it be alright on the day............................

as it stands.................NO...............the PCT is a fragmented organisation with small offices scattered around the county and the main HQ on the Suffolk border.............DOH! as Homer Simpson says.
Time to relocate to the Hinchingbrooke site to save money..................
No Ida Darwin, no Priory, no Scott House etc. just one Hinchingbrooke HQ, centre of the County, access to secondary services on site..................job done and with this in place it could be allright on the day...............
Fears over revamp of London NHS

London needs a revamp of its health services to meet demands on the modern NHS, a government review has concluded.

Professor Sir Ara Darzi wants polyclinics - super GP surgeries - to support specialist hospitals, but critics say it will lead to closures.

The report, commissioned before Sir Ara was appointed a health minister, has prompted concerns this may become a blueprint for the rest of the NHS.

Sir Ara is in charge of carrying out a major NHS review for Gordon Brown.

Sir Ara was asked by NHS London, the body responsible for overseeing health trusts in the capital, to carry out a review on the future of healthcare in London.

It will act as a guide to London health chiefs who are planning a shake up in services as part of a wider reconfiguration of major hospitals across the country.

The clinics would incorporate a GP service alongside diagnostic tests, social care, mental health services and some minor surgery.

The review said that by 2017 a network of polyclinics throughout London could provide up to 50% of outpatient treatment currently carried out in hospitals.

He also said more care should be carried out at home, including rehabilitation and chemotherapy.

Wider ramifications

He said the blueprint would provide better care as evidence suggests specialist centres for serious conditions - such as strokes - save more lives than traditional district general hospital models.

And he estimated it would save an estimated £1.5bn a year as it is cheaper to provide care out of hospitals.

But Geoff Martin, of the union-funded pressure group Health Emergency, said it would pave the way for the closure or downgrading of nine hospitals.

"This review of services by NHS London is a package of cash-led cuts to local services dressed up as a rational planning process."
But doctors are also warning the review could have wider ramifications.

The national review Sir Ara has been recently asked to conduct was hailed as a "once in a generation" opportunity.

He has been given a wide-ranging remit, but some fear it could be used as a basis to justify cuts.

CUTS CUTS CUTS, ONCE AGAIN, THIS WILL BE PLAYED OUT ACCROSS THE UK

CLEARLY THE 30 YEARS THE HUNTS POST CLAIM FOR HINCHINGBROOKE ARE NOT WITH ANY SUBSTANCE UNLESS THEY MEAN THE TREATMENT CENTRE

THE REALITY IS THAT IN 2009 THE TRUST WILL BE DISSOLVED AND IT WILL BE TAKEN OVER BY THE THE CAMBRIDGESHIRE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION TRUST AND THEN EVOLVE INTO A POLYCLINIC WHICH WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR 4,500 BIRTHS PER YEAR  AND ROUTINE PROCEEDURES DONE IN THE TREATMENT CENTRE - WHAT REMAINS IS A RUN DOWN, DOWNGRADED DISTRICT GENERAL HOSPITAL THAT THE PEOPLE OF HUNTINGDON FOUGHT FOR AND A 2ND CLASS UNDERFUNDED HEALTH SERVICE FOR THE PEOPLE OF HUNTINGDON, WITH M.P'S WHO ARE NOT FIGHTING FOR THIS TO BE KEPT OPEN AND RUN WITH FULL FUNDING........................

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

NHS fears despite books balancing

Ministers have confirmed the NHS has balanced its books - although many hospitals and other parts of the service are still struggling with debt.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt staked her job on wiping out the debt in 2006-07, and the
figures show a surplus of £510m.

However, more than one in five NHS organisations were in the red.

The book balancing needed training and public health budget cuts. Extra cash due to the service was also held back.
In a speech on Wednesday, Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants' committee, will say the cuts have been "excessive".

"It takes weeks to cut, it takes years to rebuild trust. Morale is at an all-time low.

"The profession is angry because of this government's mishandling of the health service and has lost all confidence that the government can solve the problems it has created."

He will also warn ministers: "We will not stand by and let you decimate hospitals for purely financial reasons."

The latest figures show that the combined debt of the 22% of NHS organisations who failed to break even in 2006-07 was £911m.

In the previous financial year the NHS ran up an overall deficit of more than £500m, and the
gross deficit - the total of all those organisations which ran up deficits - was £1.3bn.

However, the NHS has only managed to balance the books in 2006-07 by taking money from elsewhere.

First of all, £1.8bn of the extra money due to the NHS in 2006-7 - about a quarter of the total increase - was held back.

And regional managers working for strategic health bosses have also made cuts to central budgets, such as training, to build up a £450m contingency fund.

'Excessive' cuts

That is on top of the thousands of job losses that have been forced on NHS trusts - 17,000 in the past 12 months, according to the NHS Information Centre.

And on the day the figures are announced the Times newspaper is reporting that it has seen a government memo revealing that more than half of patients are still waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment.

Ministers, due to publish full data on waits on Thursday, have pledged that by the end of next year all patients will be treated within this time limit.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "Cutting education and training and plundering public health budgets is not the way to manage the future of our NHS.

"No other business would be run on boom and bust and neither should the health service."

WELL DO THEY LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD?
HINCHINGBROOKE HAS A £13.9M DEBT AND CAMBS PCT HAS A £51M DEBT, WE ARE UNDERFUNDED BY £1,000 PER PATIENT, HAVE AN AGEING POPULATION, WITH 1,300 HOUSES PLANNED FOR HUNTINGDON, 2,000 AT NORTHSTOWE, 10,000 AT OAKINGTON, 1,000 AT CAMBOURNE AND THEY WANT TO RUN THE HOSPITAL DOWN

THE 2 "LOCAL" WELL 20 PLUS MILES AWAY, FOUNDATIONS ARE BURSTING AT THE SEAMS AND IN ALL HONESTY ONLY WANT THE "GOLD STAR" WORK AND NOT THE RUN OF THE MILL  STUFF...................

GET REAL AND INVEST IN HINCHINGBROOKE

Friday, April 27, 2007

Blair 'will not quit next week'

Downing Street has strongly denied press claims Tony Blair will announce his resignation before Scottish, Welsh and English local elections on 3 May.

He has been widely expected to announce a departure date in the days following the poll but
some reports suggested he was planning to go earlier.

In a rare comment on his retirement plans, Downing Street said speculation he would quit on 1 May was "wrong".

Mr Blair has urged voters not to give him a final "kicking" next Thursday.

LETS WAIT AND SEE...........................AND WHAT A LEGACY TO HAVE.............


UNJUST WARS IN IRAQ & AFGANISTAN.............

A CARVED UP HEALTH SERVICE WITH A CARVE UP SECRETARY OF STATE IN CHARGE

PFI THAT IS COSTING US THE TAX PAYER BILLIONS AND IS GOING INTO FAT CATS
POCKETS..........

HIGH FUEL COSTS...........

EXPLOITED EAST EUOPEAN WORKERS.........

PENSIONS THAT ARE WORTHLESS..............

UNFAIR FUNDING FOR NHS & COUNCILS.........
New scheme to improve quality and convenience of care closer to home

Accreditation process for GPs and Pharmacists with Special Interests


Health Minister Andy Burnham today published new guidance to help health bodies and practitioners deliver high quality convenient care closer to people's homes.

Under government plans, GPs and Pharmacists with special interests will need to go through a new rigorous and fair form of accreditation to ensure they have the necessary skills to deliver efficient and effective patient care in the community that was traditionally only available in hospitals.

By shifting services in this way, patients will wait less time and have shorter journeys for treatment, as well as having a greater choice and convenience about when and where they are treated.

Today's guidance, Implementing care closer to home - convenient quality care for patients, provides practical support to NHS commissioners for the provision of more specialised services delivered by PwSIs. It includes:

- an introduction to shifting services into the community;

- a step by step guide on the issues for consideration when redesigning patient care using PwSIs; and

- a new nationally recognised accreditation process for GPs and Pharmacists with special interests that can be delivered locally to ensure services and the individuals working within them are underpinned by excellent clinical governance.

THIS IS ANOTHER GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE THAT HAS FORCED THIS NEW
ACCREDITATION TO BE INTRODUCED.
HOW MANY OF THESE G.P'S WITH SPECIAL INTERESTS WILL BE UP TO OR PREPARED
TO GO THROUGH THIS ACCREDITATION PROCESS, THIS WILL PROBABLY KILL OFF
THE CHANCES OF PCT'S TO FORCE THE PUBLIC TO HAVE TREAMENTS DONE IN
THEIR G.P'S OR A G.P LED CLINIC.....................THANK YOU MR BLAIR...............
YOU WILL KILL OFF A STUPID SCHEME, PLEASE NOW FUND EACH PCT EQUALLY
ACCROSS THE U.K, YOU KNOW IT'S RIGHT AND KEEP THE HOSPITALS OPEN


REMEMBER MR BLAIR.............................................


PATIENT CHOICE IS THE KEY

THIS WILL COME BACK AND HAUNT YOU LIKE THE G.P CONTRACTS...............

Mixed news over NHS staff numbers

The debate over NHS staffing continues after independent data showed there had been a cut in posts, but more doctors and nurses were working full-time.

The NHS Information Centre has estimated that 17,000 posts have been lost in the year
up to September 2006.

But among nurses and doctors there was actually an increase in capacity as more staff were working full-time.

Ministers said it showed the NHS was strengthening frontline staffing, but critics said cuts were hitting hard.

Jobs cuts has been at the centre of controversy in recent months, with unions and opposition parties estimating thousands of posts have gone as the health service struggles with deficits.

The latest figures, which the NHS Information Centre said was a "best estimate", has given
weight to both sides of the argument.


Only last month, the Royal College of Nursing claimed 22,000 posts have gone in the last 18 months, reasonably in-line with the 17,000 figure over 12 months.

But shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "Staff across the NHS feel badly let down and threatened by the impact of lost jobs and financial deficits."

Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb said: "Government spinning and denial cannot conceal the fact that frontline medical jobs have been lost as a direct result of this government's appalling mismanagement of the NHS."


And Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said the figures confirmed fears deficits were having a damaging impact.

"When you dig below the surface... the headline increase in nurse numbers is made up of double counting existing nurses working extra shifts."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Community Rally 28th April 2007

Well it will soon be here, we are basing the rally/March around giving the information to the
public as to the proposals laid out in the PCT/Hinchingbrooke Consultation Document.

As the Local PCT meeting have been poorly attended and the fact that, out of 70,000 homes &
businesses in the affected Huntingdonshire catchment area, only 14,000 document have been
delivered we have decided to give the people access to the document and what it means to them
and their future Health care.

Many things have been said at many meetings over the last 6 months or so but there is  an
issue with how the people are seeing the situation.
Most locally, due to certain press reporting, think that everything is "business as usual" at
the Hospital when clearly this is not the case, there are sweeping changes afoot and  that
is not a political statement, just fact.............
So our aim at the weekend is to raise awareness of the Consultation and what it means..........

So come along and meet the people who know and the people who care..............

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Surgery 'should be done locally'

Eight out of ten operations should be carried out on patients in their local area, says the government's national advisor on surgery.

Professor Sir Ara Darzi said the remaining more complex cases should take place at specialist centres by highly skilled surgeons.

He said developments in surgery over the past 20 years have changed how operations can be carried out.

Bernard Ribeiro, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, welcomed the call.

In his report, Sir Ara said developments like lasers and keyhole surgery had led to a quicker recovery for patients and less risk of infection.

He said procedures such as hernia operations could now be done as day cases in local settings.

Sir Ara said: "Whilst I have been practising as a surgeon there have been major advances in surgical techniques.

"Yet we could be doing much more minimally invasive day case surgery.

"The NHS is not yet providing surgery in a way that makes the most of the progress in surgery over the last twenty years.

"I hope my report will be a step in changing that."

THIS IS WHAT WE ALL WANT, LOCAL HOSPITALS DOING DAY TREATMENT.............
HAVE WE GOT ONE....................
OH YES WE HAVE AND A DAY TREAMENT CENTRE TOO.................................AND THEY
STILL WANT TO CLOSE IT IN 2 YEARS TIME

Monday, April 16, 2007

Some comments from a Community Midwife's e-mail

These ladies workload has increased by 400% to save cash, now it does not take too many brains
to work out the stress of overwork that will happen and also the chances of errors being made,
the service will suffer as many will retire or leave the job....................... How can you run a service
like this on the Cheap...............you can't

read and weep, but take heed

* We already provide all round care, from pre-conception, ante-natal care (including being experts in ante-natal screening, parentcraft, child protection issues, and detection of the abnormal) to labour and birth in the home setting, plus full post-natal care, including supporting breast feeding.
 
* At present there is no two way traffic. The hospital midwives do not `integrate' into the community.

* I personally would feel extremely stressed at the prospect of working a shift on the delivery suite, where policies and protocols are constantly changing.

* My area of expertise is in the community. This helps to provide high quality, safe care to my women.

* The midwives who choose to work in the hospital also offer high quality care because it is their area of expertise.

* The government wants all women to be offered a home birth, and to have a named midwife. We can not achieve this if our numbers are going to be depleted by propping up the labour ward.

* Community midwives are going to feel increasingly undervalued and demoralised if their skills are not recognised appropriately.

* The down grading of community midwives has further increased our feelings of unhappiness at the lack of appreciation of our skills.
 
I'm looking at xxxxxx xxth to retire

what can be said apart from........

SAD BUT THE ACCOUNTANTS HAVE NO HEART, NO SOUL AND NO BRAINS
Cuts 'squeezing life out of NHS'

The NHS is having the "life squeezed out of it" by cuts imposed because of deficits, says the UK's nurse leader.

Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, congratulated ministers for tripling the health budget since 1997.

But he warned the progress made was at risk of being reversed as wards are closed, jobs lost and services slashed.

Nurses called for the law to be changed to introduced guaranteed nurse/patient ratios as a way
of preventing cuts.


Speaking at the RCN's annual conference in Harrogate, Lothian nurse Geoff Earl said evidence
had shown death rates increased by a third if the number of patients per nurse increased from four to eight.

"The lower the ratio the lower the rates of urinary tract infection and pneumonia," he said.

"It also improves recruitment and retention, reduces the use of agency staff and leads to less staff sickness. So it also makes financial sense - in the long term."

David Dawes, part of the RCN's body for nurses in senior management, said he supported the move as it would make many of the recent cuts - the RCN estimates over 22,000 post have been lost in the last 18 months - illegal.

And Lisa Leicester, a community mental health nurse from Gloucestershire, added: "Lets ensure appropriate staffing levels but also appropriately qualified nurses."

Nurses voted to pass a motion calling for new legislation to ensure appropriate staffing levels.

Ratios would vary depending the type of care a patient was receiving but could mean in some specialities (did not specify which one) one-to-one care would be guaranteed.

But Howard Catton, head of policy at the RCN, said: "The problem with minimum ratios is that they becomes maximums and that takes away from professional judgement. And if minimums can't be met, wards are closed."

Tough times

The debate came after the RCN's new leader set out the "tough" times the NHS was facing.

The former NHS trust chief executive, who took up the post in January, said: "Training budgets are being raided and public health programmes are being targeted.

"We've got workloads gong through the roof as jobs are lost and vacancies frozen."

He said the Labour government deserved credit for increasing funding, which has increased the workforce of nurses and doctors.

But he added: "The situation is so serious that the progress we've made could soon be reversed or, sadly, lost altogether."

NHS trusts are making cuts in a bid to balance their books after racking up over £500m of deficits last year.

Alluding to recent press reports, Dr Carter said it had got so bad that nurses were being asked to work for nothing and cutting down on the use of lightbulbs.

He also strongly criticised this year's 2.5% pay rise for nurses, describing the award as "shameful".

Commenting on the fact the RCN has not invited any politician to congress this year, he said: "It was pointless bringing someone from government in because of how badly they have treated nurses and other health workers."

ENOUGH SAID...............NOTHING I HAVE NOT SAID BEFORE......................
NHS 'will not be free in future'
The NHS is unlikely to be free at the point of use within 10 years, say doctors.

A British Medical Association poll of 964 young GPs and hospital doctors found 61% thought patients would have to pay for some treatment by 2017.

Nearly half of all young doctors also expect to leave the NHS within 10 years, according to the survey.

All three main political parties have ruled out bringing in a form of charging in the short-term.

The doctors questioned were members of the BMA's Junior Members Forum, which effectively represents the top doctors of the future as it includes those who have graduated within the last 12 years and students.

The poll also revealed 94% thought the role of the private sector would continue to grow


what a sad day when we have to pay and pay again
this is what happens when fat salary accountants
get involved in YOUR health care.........cant find
a dentist..........think 10 years ahead............
cant find an NHS doctor or Hospital........

Warning over surgery kit cleaning.
Plans to centralise the sterilisation of surgery equipment into 50 new "super centres" have been labeled "a recipe for chaos" by the British Orthopedic Association (BOA). Ministers insist thew move is needed to meet new standards of cleanliness. But surgeon Andrew Thomas, spokesman for the BOA, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme said it could delay operations. He added that the BOA had contacted the National Audit Office to see if centralising the services represented value for money for the NHS. In January, figures emerged that showed a large increase in the number of operations canceled due to a lack of surgical instruments. A total of 1,765 operations were canceled in 2005/ 06 - up 40% from 1,252 in 2002/ 03.

http:/ / news.bbc.co.uk/ 1/ hi/ health/ 6531979.stm
Health workers face job threat.
Health service workers across Norfolk and the East are preparing themselves for the full impact of a wave of restructuring of the area's NHS. The newly formed Norfolk Primary Care Trust has already shed almost 180 jobs in the process of streamlining the previous five PCTs
into one county-wide entity. In both Great Yarmouth and Waveney, and the rest of Suffolk, significant redundancies are expected, although so far job losses have been minimal. Morale is described as low by union bosses who say the trust's multi-million pound deficits are making
staff fear for their jobs as the inevitable efficiency drives take affect. Health workers were, under the reorganisation, guaranteed their jobs till June. However, as the trust fully implements its plans, redundancies are being described as inevitable. PCT Unison branch officer covering Norfolk, Nigel Burrage, said: "Staff morale is very low, people are insecure about job losses but also over the impact of workload on everybody else that remains. The job losses do not reflect a loss of activity and the workload for everybody else is increasing. It is a very difficult time and we do not know how many jobs will be lost." He added that Norfolk PCT's plans for intermediate care would see further job losses as community hospitals close and beds are lost. "From our point of view, we are concerned that the teams that remain are properly resourced," he said. "There is increasing insecurity across the whole organisation over this process. In addition we have a £47m over spend with turnaround teams from the Department of Health looking at that and it is clear they will be working to save money. The impact of that is more job losses."

http:/ / new.edp24.co.uk
85% of health cash 'goes to labour areas'.
Up to 85% of Government spending on health has gone to Labour areas, according to the Conservative Party. Details from parliamentary questions show that 33 of the 46 multi-million pound hospitals built since 1997 are in Labour areas. Government policy has been targeted at removing health inequalities and tackling problems in deprived areas, many of which are Labour strongholds. However the Conservative say they are waiting for an explanation of the rationale behind the placement of such projects. Andrew Lansley the shadow health spokesman, said:
"Four in every five of Labour's new hospitals have been built in the constituencies of their own MPs. Meanwhile, ministers are holding secret meetings with Labour Party officials to target up to 60 hospital cutbacks on the constituencies of Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs. These figures confirm what we suspected when Patricia Hewitt went against the advice of experts and ordered a new hospital to be built in a Labour constituency in south London. Last year, Patricia Hewitt launched a policy dictating that care should be provided at home and not in hospitals. Patients in Conservative and Lib Dem areas will be wondering why it is their hospitals that have to close in support of the policy, while patients in Labour areas benefit from virtually all the spending Labour is committing to building new hospitals which are, apparently, unnecessary." Andy Burnham, the health minister, angrily denied the claims and said that need was determining the location of new hospitals. "The Tories slashed capital spending in the early 1990s and left the fabric of the NHS in an appalling state, in many cases in the most deprived areas," he said. "Now they are having a go at us for putting things right. Over 100 major new hospital projects worth more than £10 billion have either already opened or have started construction since 1997 as we rectify years of under-investment." The Tories also drew attention to the long-term cost of these hospitals, which were revealed in a written answer last year to be £52.8bn over the lifetime of the PFI contracts under which they have been built.

http:/ / www.telegraph.co.uk/ news/ main.jhtml ?xml=/ news/ 2007/ 04/ 12/ nhealth12.xml
Health tops public priorities for next election.

A YouGov survey for the Royal College of Nursing has found that the public believe health should be the top spending priority for the next government. The survey of over 2,000 people also found overwhelming support for the NHS with 93% saying they valued it as an essential free public service.

http:/ / www.hsj.co.uk/ healthservicejournal/ pages/ HSJDailyAnnouncementsService
Health 'should be top priority'

A poll of nearly 2,400 people by the Royal College of Nursing found that health was ranked above law and order, defence, education and the environment.

And nearly half of those questioned agreed ministers should introduce a dedicated NHS tax.

It comes as the government is predicted to reduce the record increases in funding the NHS has been receiving in recent years.

The NHS budget will have trebled by 2008 after rises of over 7% a year in real terms since 2002.
Many predict the spending review in the autumn is likely to lead to increases of about half that from 2008-9.

Critics have said if this does happen it will actually feel like a budget cut.

A third of those questioned said they wanted to see funding maintained at current levels, while 59% said they wanted it to be increased.

Many said they feared services would be cut if this did not happen.

In total, 37% said health should be the most important spending priority, 23% law and order, 20% education, 10% environment and 2% defence.

When asked in more detail about their healthcare priorities, almost half of those surveyed ranked hospitals above other areas, such as reducing waiting times, more health services in the community, care for the elderly and public health.

The poll, carried out by YouGov for the RCN and published as nurses gather in Harrogate for their annual conference, also suggested there was an appetite for a specific tax for the NHS.

Some 46% said they would be happy for this to be introduced with 17% saying it should be levied from all taxpayers, 18% from higher rate tax payers and 11% from those earning over £100,000.



RCN general secretary Dr Peter Carter said: "This survey is proof that the public value and believe in our NHS.

"They want modernisation, not privatisation and that they demand increased investment in order to maintain the welcome progress made in recent years.

"The NHS is a unique public institution with a unique role in our national life and it should be supported and sustained.

"That's what the public believe and that's the message our politicians need to hear and act upon."

But health experts said a cut in the increases would not necessarily mean the NHS has to suffer.

A recent report by the King's Fund health think-tank concluded good planning and a better relationship between doctors and managers could avoid cuts in services.

And Henry de Zoete, a researcher at the centre-right think-tank Reform, added: "It is not like it is a pay-cut.

"I think what we will see is that it will focus people's minds and make the health service more efficient."


THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE ALL BEEN SAYING, WITH ALL THE SEVERE CUTS AND JOB LOSSES GOING ON AND
WITH ACCOUNTANTS RUNNING THE SERVICE IT IS DOOMED UNLESS CHANGES TO HOW THE NHS IS
RUN.............FOR PATIENTS AND THEIR NEEDS NOT FOR PROFIT............








Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fears over hospital readmissions

Hospital readmissions are on the rise, prompting claims ministers are pressuring the NHS to release patients early to help cut waiting times.

Government figures, obtained by the Conservatives, showed that the number of emergency readmissions had risen by nearly a third since 2002.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said hospitals were discharging people too early
because of NHS targets.

The government said readmissions were often unrelated to the earlier visit.

In the last quarter of 2002-3, 5.5% of patients were readmitted as emergency cases less than a month after being released.

By the last quarter of 2005-6, this had risen to 7.1%.

It comes as hospitals grapple with achieving the latest waiting time target - 18 weeks from GP referral to hospital treatment by 2008.

Patients are currently seen within six months, but that is from the point of diagnosis, which is
often months after referral.

Mr Lansley said: "On the face of it hospitals may be discharging patients sooner than they should be.

"High bed occupancy rates and the government's push to achieve waiting time targets may be responsible for compromising patients' safety in this way."


And Liberal Democrat health spokesman Steve Webb said: "The financial crisis in the NHS means that doctors and managers are being put under huge pressure to cut the length of time that people stay in hospital.

"These figures show what can happen when financial pressures get in the way of clinical priorities.


"It is a false economy to send people home too soon only to have them readmitted at a later stage."



Friday, March 23, 2007


GPs refuse to be OOH scapegoat.



Doctors' leaders and grass-roots GPs have warned that any attempts by ministers to extend GPs' working hours will fail if not properly funded. Struggling GP out-of-hours (OOH) services and overstretched hospital A& E departments could lead to pressure on GPs to open later in the evenings and on Saturday mornings. The warning follows the publication last week of a report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee that severely criticises the running of OOH services since PCOs took over responsibility for them in 2004. It says they are not serving patients well, with access to advice and treatment 'often extremely difficult and slow'. The report also describes the DoH's preparations for the introduction of the PCO-run services as 'shambolic' and 'thoroughly mishandled'. It is costing £70m more a year to run OOH services than expected. But GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said any back-door attempt by the Government to extend GPs' involvement in OOH would only be acceptable if it was properly funded.

http:/ / www.doctorupdate.net/ du_ news/ newsarticle.asp ?ID=17351

THIS OOH COVER THAT G.P'S PROVIDE IS RIDDLED WITH ERRORS, THERE IS ONE BEING INVESTIGATED LOCALLY, UNFORTUNATELY THE PCT ARE "DRAGGING THEIR HEELS" IN THIS PROCESS - WHEN THE DETAILS EMERGE, THEN THE PUBLICS TRUST IN THE PCT AND THE NOTION OF CARE BEING PROVIDED BY G.P'S OOH & TREATMENT IN THE COMMUNITY WILL GO OUT THE WINDOW..............IT WON'T WORK 
AND WONT BE ACCEPTED.........

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hospital car parks make millions

Campaigners say the money made by NHS trusts from car parking charges is shameful as some trusts' income tops £2m a year.

According to the list released by the Estates Return Information Collection, 30 trusts are making more than £1m each from their car parks.

But the top earners were Southampton University Hospitals at £2.41m and Cambridge University Hospitals, £2.26m.

Overall, the NHS took £95m in charges but 74 trusts did not supply figures.

WHAT A SCANDAL, ESPECIALLY - ADDENBROOKE'S..............SHAME ON YOU

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Social care hit by NHS deficits
By Branwen Jeffreys
BBC News, health correspondent


Social care for vulnerable people is being squeezed as a result of NHS deficits, according to the Local Government Association.

The LGA says costs are being shunted to social services departments as the NHS in England aims to balance its books.

A survey of 60 councils which run social services found two thirds say NHS debts are affecting them.

Forty per cent of the councils surveyed by the LGA said the knock on effect of the financial pressure in the NHS was worse than in previous years.

When the organisations were asked what the NHS had done in their area to affect them, half said beds had been closed, and a quarter said there had been a reduction in district nurse numbers.

Another 14% said there were increased waiting times for NHS services, such as admission to hospital while 13% said community hospitals had been closed.

In addition, more than a third of the councils in the LGA survey say they are having to take responsibility for more cases normally dealt with by the NHS.

IF THIS IS HOW THE PCT'S ARE GOING TO BALANCE THEIR BOOKS THE COUNCIL TAX PAYER WILL BE ASKED FOR MORE AND COUNCIL SERVICES WILL HAVE TO BE CUT..................
SHAMEFULL AND IF THE NHS WAS FAIRLY FUNDED FOR ALL THEN THIS WOULD NOT BE THE CASE..............COUNCILS PICKING UP THE NHS RESPONSIBILTY................SHAME ON YOU PATRICIA HEWITT............THE WRECKER OF THE NHS.............
Worry over NHS care in community


Moving care from hospitals into the community - a key government policy - will not always save money and may put patient safety at risk, a report warns.

The National Primary Care and Development Centre report is described in Pulse magazine.

The analysis raised concerns over GPs doing minor surgery, and the cost of specialist care in the community.

The Department of Health said the public supported moves to provide care closer to home.

A white paper published in January last year set out plans to move care away from hospitals and into the community by encouraging GPs to carry out more specialist services.

Doctors 'at war'

Professor Martin Roland, director of the centre, analysed the proposals.

He told the BBC: "While there were good examples where care was moved and a high quality
was maintained - such as diabetes care - there were also examples of things such as minor surgery, where there were significant quality problems."
In general, the report also says moving minor surgery out to GPs had "little impact on
waiting times".


GP specialists had not always been properly monitored or integrated into local health services,
said Professor Rowland
Initiatives such as having specialist clinics in the community or putting diagnostic equipment into GPs' surgeries might not be cost-effective because patients could be dealt with
more efficiently in hospital, the report warned.




Professor Roland said: "It simply relates to the greater economies of scale that can be achieved in hospitals."

He added that, because GPs' salaries are higher than that of the average hospital doctor, asking them to carry out work in their practices could be more expensive.

The report showed there was not a "one size fits all" solution, he went on.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NHS workforce 'falls by 11,000'

The number of people working in the NHS fell by 11,000 in the last quarter of 2006, official figures reveal.

Health unions said the loss across the UK, revealed in Office for National Statistics, would "inevitably have a negative impact on patient care".

James Johnson, head of the British Medical Association said NHS trusts were under pressure to balance their books, leading to posts being cut.

And nurses' leaders warned workforce cuts would damage patient care.

Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), added: "These alarming figures confirm what the RCN has long been warning - that deficits are leading to serious cuts in the NHS workforce.

"This can only have a damaging impact on patients and services. That's why we are urging the government to work with us to replace short-term cuts with a long-term recovery plan."

Mr Johnson added: "This is devastating for the staff who are made redundant and demoralising for those who are left to cover the work.

"Although the majority of job losses are non-medical, they will inevitably have a negative impact on patient care."

SHAME ON THE GOVERNMENT................HOW MANY MORE WILL GO?
Out-of-hours GP reforms attacked

The government "thoroughly mishandled" the introduction of the new system for out-of-hours health care in England, say MPs.

A public accounts committee report found that preparations were shambolic, and that only GPs had done well out of the new arrangements.

It said the service was now starting to improve, but performance was still not good enough.

The Department of Health said the changes had benefited most patients.

Prior to April 2004, GPs were responsible for providing out-of-hours care between 6.30pm and 8am on week days, and over the weekend.
Under the new system they were able to opt out of this responsibility in return for giving up an average of £6,000 per year.

Responsibility for out-of-hours care would then pass to the local primary care trust.

One leading member of the British Medical Association negotiating team has admitted that they were shocked at just how good the deal being offered was for doctors.

GOOD ON THE G.P'S FOR CATCHING OUT THE GOVERNMENT...............

IT IS DETRIMENTAL FOR PATIENTS AND DID NOT ALLOW FOR THE INTELLIGENCE
OF THE G.P'S IN THE UK
I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR MINE AND HE WORKS 3 DAY A WEEK NOW, NO OUT OF
HOURS WORK.............NICE IF YOU CAN GET IT
THERE IS AN OUT OF HOURS GP SERVICE BUT IT IS NOT REALLY UP TO SCRATCH,
IF A DOCTOR IS AVAILABLE TO BE SEEN, SO WHAT DO YOU DO..........GO TO A&E

IF THE GOVERNMENT HAS GOT THIS SO WRONG AND THE PCT CANNOT PROVIDE
A DECENT OUT OF HOUR SERVICE THEN...........

HOW CAN THE PEOPLE TRUST THEM TO PROVIDE THE "NEW" CARE SYSTEM OF
TREATMENT IN THE COMMUNITY..................THEY DON'T AND WON'T....................
BECAUSE THE SERVICE IS NOT AVAILABLE AND CAN'T BE AFFORDED ........

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hewitt hands over NHS decision


John Carvel, social affairs editor
Tuesday March 13, 2007
The Guardian

Patricia Hewitt, the health secretary, set up an independent inquiry yesterday into plans to axe NHS maternity units in north-west England that provoked a mutiny by her cabinet colleague Hazel Blears.

Ms Blears, the Labour party chair and a candidate to become deputy leader, is campaigning against a decision by regional health chiefs to close a maternity unit in her Salford constituency.
At least 13 members of the government who support the principle of reorganising NHS services oppose loss of facilities in their own back yards.

Ms Hewitt can approve or reject NHS reorganisations and usually takes decisions off her own
bat. But she would have provoked outrage among NHS managers in the north-west if she had reprieved maternity units in Salford and Bury, where Ivan Lewis, a junior health minister, is campaigning against closure.

And she would have caused dismay among Labour MPs if she had rubber-stamped the decision, leaving them no avenue to press constituents' concerns.

Ms Hewitt resolved the matter by referring all proposed changes in Greater Manchester to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, set up in 2003 to advise on the most controversial NHS changes. It will report by June 26.


WHATS THIS ALL ABOUT..................LETTING SOMEONE ELSE TAKE THE CAN FOR
CLOSING MATERNITY UNITS..............TYPICAL OF THIS WOMAN...........................
SHE RUINED MG ROVER WHILE SHE WAS IN CHARGE OF THE DTI........................
NOW THE NHS GETS THE SAME TREATMENT...........GET RID OF HER SHE IS
DANGEROUS.......
Well, it's been a few days since my last post, I have been really busy.
I was asked to organise a Rally/March for the Trade Unions at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, and also
there have been meetings to attend on behalf of these bodies too.
The Rally/March is going ahead and it starts at 11:00 on the 17th March 07, with speeches by
activists at 11:30 followed by a march to the hospital at 12:00
I was asked by the Police to restrict this event to Activists of all Trade Unions and we are basing this on the MHS Together framewaork, but the Police asked me to consider a Community March.

So the result of this is that I have one organised

The date is..................28th April 2007

The time...............meet at 11:00

Speeches ....................11:30

Marching starts..........12:00

This is being organised to allow the People of Cambridgeshire to have been to the Public Consultations and seen the Consultation document and hopefully digested and picked
out the flaws contained within.
The real deal is 99.9% services retained (by using consultants who network between hospitals)

25% cut in activity (38,500 proceedures/patients not seen)

20% job losses (400 staff)

Now the spin says that the patients/proceedures will be done in the community, but in reality
with the commisioning projections and the policy not to treat certain problems, it realy means that these won't be done at all and no community provision will be in place

The spin for Job losses is there will be no redundancies just Natural wastage, I'm sure there are not 400 staff members who will be retiring ot leaving their job in the next 2 years, what it
really says is we have no redundancy budget, so we will over work the current staff till they leave and then we should have the master plan in place for the staff that are left.

SO THE PUBLIC NEED TO HAVE THEIR SAY..........................
TELL THE PCT TO STOP CUTTING SERVICES AND LOBBY FOR THE RIGHT LEVEL
OF FUNDING..................WE CURRENTLY GET £1000 PER PERSON YET CAMDEN GET'S
£2000 PER PERSON..................AND UNFAIR SYSTEM THAT NEEDS A LEVEL PLAYING
FIELD, IF WE MANAGE OUR BUDGETS THEN WE CAN INVEST IN FUTURE HEALTHCARE OR OTHER AREAS AS SPECIALIST TREATMENTS, NOT MAKE THE PATIENTS AROUND HERE SUFFER BECAUSE THE CASH ISN'T AVAILABLE

SO.................... 28TH ARPRIL 07 IS ON...............

Friday, March 02, 2007

Full scale of NHS cutbacks revealed
By Graeme Wilson, Political Correspondent
The Independent


The full scale of impending hospital closures was laid bare last night as it emerged that three out of four trusts are already restricting patients' access to treatment as they battle soaring deficits.



Fears about the number of closures intensified as Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, sent NHS managers a guide on how best to handle decisions to shut down hospitals and units - a document that opposition politicians immediately branded a "spin" blueprint.

At the same time, a survey of NHS trust chief executives revealed the impact of the health service's financial crisis on front-line care.

The survey, published in today's Health Service Journal, shows that 73 per cent of primary care trusts, which run GP clinics and health centres, are already restricting access to treatments. Half are also delaying operations.

Seven out of 10 chief executives said "patient care will suffer" as a result of short-term financial decisions to cut deficits, while 61 per cent of acute hospital trusts said they were already closing wards.
Almost half of all trusts said that they had made, or intended to make, redundancies this year.

Morale appears to be at rock bottom, with 86 per cent saying that managers were "battered and bruised" by endless reorganisations.

Miss Hewitt published her guide on closures amid growing panic in Whitehall about the looming public backlash as trusts across the country announce plans to cut services over the coming months.

But the opposition immediately accused ministers of "a cynical exercise" in spin as it emerged that the guide includes proposals on "media handling" and urges trusts to use words such as "adapting" or "evolving" services when talking about cuts.

Dozens of accident and emergency units, maternity units and community hospitals are facing the threat of being shut down or downgraded as part of the Government's plans to "reconfigure" the health service.

Many Labour MPs fear the cutbacks will cost them their seats, prompting four Cabinet ministers to join local protests against planned closures in their own constituencies.

In a covering letter to the guide - which has been sent to all 10 Strategic Health Authorities in England - David Nicholson, the NHS chief executive, said it was vital that managers did not "shy away from major service changes that address financial difficulties".

Miss Hewitt's new blueprint on closures, written by Sir Ian Carruthers, the former chief executive of the NHS, stresses that trust managers must do more to sell their closure plans to local people. The report conceded that closures would "lead to a loss of public confidence" and that reconfiguration had "become a euphemism for closures and downgrading of hospitals".

It argued that NHS managers could limit the damage by developing clear media strategies, using the right language and trying to get some senior doctors to back their plans.

Managers are warned that the media can often run "damaging" stories on closure plans.

"Effective media handling plans, regular engagement of local journalists, care in explaining the case for change and a strong local voice to challenge misleading media stories that worry patients unnecessarily can help mitigate this," it said.

Language is crucial and managers are urged to use words such as "adapting, developing, evolving and specialising. If a service is changing to improve the health outcomes for patients and save lives, this isn't a downgrading of the service."

Managers are also advised to argue that closures will be compensated for by better services in local health centres or GP clinics.

The new guide was condemned last night by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, said: "Nothing in this long-winded document will offer any comfort. It is all about advising NHS bureaucracy how it can better sell decisions. It offers no real evidence for how services can and should be improved.

"The Department of Health should be less concerned with spin and more concerned with substance."

Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said: "This is a cynical exercise and their cover has been blown. It demonstrates that despite claims that decisions are made locally, everything is driven from the centre. Even the spin is sent down from Whitehall."

Dr Mark Porter, the deputy chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants' committee, said changes in services needed to be about improving patient care.

"The BMA is not opposed to reconfiguration if it is done for good, sound clinical reasons. But we have been worried that finances and not patients' needs have been the driving force behind some plans," he said.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

NHS closures approach challenged
By Nick Triggle
BBC News, health reporter

Questions are being raised about the NHS's ability to push ahead with plans to close services.
Many local councils are using their powers to object and asking the health secretary to intervene.

In the last two years, 23 have referred NHS plans to the government, with ministers fully supporting the health service in only eight of these cases.

It comes as the government publishes a report calling on the NHS to improve its approach to reconfiguration.

Department of Health official Sir Ian Carruthers, who was acting chief executive of the NHS before David Nicholson took up the post in September, has been touring the country in the last few months talking to staff involved in reconfiguration.

His report is expected to call on NHS managers to engage better with doctors and spend more time consulting with local residents.
Up to 60 NHS trusts are in the process of drawing up plans to strip some hospitals of key services, such as A&E and maternity services, and centralising them at super hospitals, while reshaping community services.

The proposals that have been put forward to date have prompted unprecedented opposition, with marches being organised up and down the country.

The dissatisfaction with the way the NHS has approached the issue can also be seen over the number of councils which have used their powers to try to influence decisions.

Where NHS bosses want to make significant changes to services, they need to consult councils.

And if local authorities are unhappy with the way consultations have been carried out or believe the plans are not in the interests of the health service, they can ask Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to intervene.

The BBC has learned that in the last two years, 23 referrals have been made by councils to Ms Hewitt - 16 in the past 12 months alone.

She has fully supported the NHS on eight occasions and five cases have not yet been decided.

In the remaining 10 cases, the heath secretary has asked the health service to rethink its plans, sided with the council's protests or the local NHS has withdrawn the plans.

LETS HOPE THE OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE LOOK AT THE CONSULTATION
PROPOSALS IN THE BROADEST SENSE AND MEANING.
THE DOCUMENT IS A STITCH UP FOR HINCHINGBROOKE AND I HAVE FOUND THAT
HINCHINGBROOKE ARE ASKING THE BOARD FOR SUPPORT FOR A £29M LOAN TO COVER THE DEBT, IT IS SAD THAT THE LOAN IS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, THE VERY SAME DEPARTMENT WHO PUT THE TRUST INTO IT'S CURRENT FINANCIAL POSITION DUE TO UNDERFUNDING AND THEM NOT PAYING BACK TO THE TRUST £11M OVERPAYMENT...............IT SUCKS............AND IF THE TRUST GET SOLD OFF TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER IN 2008/09 AS IN THE CONSULTATION DOCUMENT, WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WANTS TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH A LOAN AS THERE WILL BE 23 YEARS YET TO RUN........................
WHEN THE HUNTS POST BIGGED UP THE CONSULTATION THEY DIDN'T TELL THE PEOPLE ABOUT THE LOAN, THE SELL OFF, THE JOB LOSSES AND THE FACT YOU WON'T GET TREATED BECAUSE THE PCT IS CUTTING 38,000 PROCEEDURE AT HINCHINGBROOKE AND NOT FUNDING THOSE IN THE COMMUNITY AS A SUBSTITUTE..................IT'S JUST CUTS................ONE WONDERS IF THE PCT WILL GET A LOAN FOR THEIR £52.4M LOAN TO COVER THEIR DEBT..................YOU BET THEY WILL..........AND IT ALL LOOKS GOOD FOR THE MANAGERS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, THE HISTORIC DEBT IS WIPED OUT BUT ANOTHER DEBT IS CREATED...............MMMMM DUBIOUS PRACTICE AND MASSAGING THE FIGURES......

Friday, February 23, 2007

Health visitor numbers 'falling'

The number of health visitors in England has fallen to its lowest level in 12 years, a trade union says.

Amicus said there had been a 40% cut in training places for those workers and warned many cases of domestic abuse and post-natal depression may be missed.

The government has said health visitors have a key role to play in its policy of bringing healthcare closer to home.

ENOUGH SAID, CUTS IN HOSPITALS WITH NO COMMUNITY PROVISION YET IN PLACE,
LOOKS LIKE AN EMPTY PROMISE TO ME - HINCHINGBROOKE IS TO REDUCE THEIR
ACTIVITY BY 38,500 PROCEEDURES AS OF 07/08 YEAR BUT THE PCT CLAIM THEY ARE
GOING TO PROPOSE TO INVEST ONLY £2.5M IN COMMUNITY CARE, CLEARLY NOT
ENOUGH INVESTMENT AND IT IS NOT EVEN COMMITED TO DO THIS AS IT IS ONLY A
PROPOSAL...........
IN REALITY THERE WILL BE HOSPITAL CUTS, 60 TREATMENTS NOT PAID FOR, 400
JOB CUTS, 38,500 PROCEEDURES NOT DONE................YET THE HOSPITAL AND THE PCT
CLAIM THE HOSPITAL WILL KEEP 99.9% OF SERVICES, THAT MAYBE BUT AT WHAT
LEVEL AND EXCUSE MY MATHS BUT 99.9% OF SERVICES AND  A 25% ACTIVITY CUT DON'T RECONCILE.................

Thursday, February 22, 2007



ENOUGH SAID........................

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Leafy Cambridge struggles with debt
By Branwen Jeffreys
BBC News, health correspondent




The latest financial report from the NHS in England suggests it is on course to end the year in overall balance.

But some parts of the country will still be left struggling with big deficits.

In Cambridgeshire the primary care trust (PCT) is forecasting an overspend of £52.4 million by April.

Compared to many other parts of England Cambridgeshire is generally healthy and wealthy.

Despite pockets of poverty people live longer than average and suffer less from serious disease.

But these twin blessings of health and wealth are partly to blame for the financial crunch being faced by the NHS here.

Less funding
Poorer areas with more ill health get a bigger share of the total health service budget, so Cambridgeshire starts off with less money than some other counties.


But instead of spending less than poorer areas it has been spending more.

Patients here are more likely to be spent for expensive hospital tests and treatments.

The PCT is now on course for an accumulated deficit of more than £50 million on a budget of around £600 million.

Every aspect of its spending on patients is now being reviewed.

Meanwhile, Durham PCT, which looks after many deprived communities, is trying not to underspend.

Its patients include Tony Blair's constituents in Sedgefield.

Dr Guy Watkins is the chief executive of the Cambridgeshire Local Medical Committee, which represents GPs.

He said: "For every £1 the government spends on healthcare for the people of Durham we get about 70p. But the prices for treatment at set nationally."

So Cambridgeshire is getting a gradually smaller slice of NHS money and is trying to pay off its deficit at the same time.

That means tightly controlling drugs budgets and trying to bring down hospital admissions.

As Dr Watkins puts it, the level of health care provided in Cambridgeshire is "too good".

"We are going to have to level down."

Foot surgery

Oak Tree Health Centre runs a foot surgery unit where around 200 patients a year can be treated.

Scrubbing up for operations, surgeon Andrew Frances Flores expalined they can carry out complex proceedures that a decade ago would have been in hospital.

"Our costs here are roughly two-thirds of a big hospital for exactly the same treatment, because we don't have the same overheads."

To solve its financial problems the PCT will need to make similar savings many times over.

But other measures may be more controversial, like limiting access to new expensive drugs approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

But some GPs see the review of spending as a levelling down to less good care.

Dr Peter Bailey looks after patients in the new town of Cambourne.

This surgery sends a relatively high number ot patients on to hospital - he said his educated patients often come armed with internet print outs and a clear set of expectations.

Complicated message

Dr Bailey said: "Our patients are responding, if you like, to the advertising.

"The NHS is improving, waiting lists are coming down. Of course they're going to
ask for more. Now we're telling them you can't have that - it's a complicated message."


A complicated message indeed. County councillors have a watchdog role for local NHS services.

Geoffrey Heathcock, chairman of the health scrutiny committee, said there was a huge dissonance between the national NHS progress to financial balance and local experience.

He said: "Patients will say it's not in balance in my backyard, at my GP surgery, having to wait a bit longer if I need to go into hospital"

There is little doubt that further hard decisions face the NHS in Cambridgeshire as the PCT tries to live with in its means.

It is one area likely to be struggling with deficits long after the nhs overall has declared itself back in balance.

IN OTHER WORDS ...............CUTS..........CUTS.............CUTS..........AND A SECOND CLASS HEALTH PROVISON WITH 1ST CLASS PAID MANAGERS..............
Many NHS trusts face growing debt

NHS trusts in England are creeping deeper into debt, forecasts show.

Over one in three hospitals and primary care trusts, which pay for local services, are not expecting to balance their books this financial year.

But NHS bosses said overall the health service will break even - as promised by Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt.

Health chiefs have built a contingency fund by making savings from training and public health budgets, and holding back money due to the NHS this year.
The NHS budget grew by £5.4 billion to £75 billion in 2006-07.

But nearly £2 billion of this has not been passed on to trusts as expected.

Some £698 million was used to pay off deficits from previous years.

Regional health bosses have also top-sliced £1.1 billion of the extra money PCTs were expecting in a bid to off-set the deficits.

Added to this is the £450 million contingency fund.

These measures, coupled with those trusts expecting surpluses, will mean the NHS will finish £13 million in surplus overall, according the the three-quarter year forecasts.
Andrew Lansley, Shadow Health Secretary, said: "The government has held back what was intended to be growth money for the NHS of around £100 million and training budgets have been cut by about £350-400 million.

"But we have deficits in trusts across the country. It will probably be about the same situation as last year, with a deficit of around £1.3 billion."

However, Mr Lansley said using money from other parts of the NHS did not address the financial problems being seen in hospitals and primary care trusts.

"We have to ensure that those organistions in difficulties are being turned around, because otherwise we're just storing up problems for next year or the year after that."

Norman Lamb, for the Liberal Democrats, said a lot trusts were being forced to take very tough measures to get their finances back on track.

"The impact on patient care around the country could be very damaging."
IF THE HOSPITALS ARE BEING FORCED TO PERFORM 18 WEEK TURNAROUNDS AND
4HR WAITS IN A&E, YOU NEED TO PAY THEM..........NOT CUT THE SERVICES TO SURVIVE..............
NHS deficits progress report due



The government is due to announce what progress the NHS in England has made towards balancing its books by the end of the financial year.

It will use Strategic Health Authority data for April to December to predict what the NHS's financial position will be on 31 March.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has pledged the NHS as a whole will end the year without debt.

But half-yearly figures suggested a £94m shortfall in NHS funds.

That compares with a predicted £18m surplus three months in to the financial year.

Belt-tightening

Hospitals and primary care trusts, which are local health bodies in charge of community services such as GPs, accumulate the biggest debts.

But their financial problems are likely to be offset by funds from strategic health authorities' training and public health budgets.

HERE WE GO AGAIN..........ROBBING TRAINING AND OTHER BUDGETS TO PAY FOR DEBT, SAME OLD NHS TACTIC...............AND IT WILL SAVE PATRICIA HEWITT'S FACE AFTER SHE DECLAREDTHE NHS WILL BALANCE THE BOOKS, NOT SO MS HEWITT JUST ANOTHER EXERCISE IN MASSAGING THE FIGURES................GET REAL AND LET THE PEOPLE RUN THE NHS.................
THE CONSULTATION

I HAVE SEEN THIS PAPER EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT RELEASED UNTIL TODAY, HOWEVER IT IS A STOP GAP MEASURE TO PACIFY THE LOCALS BUT IT IS ALL ABOUT ONE THING.....MONEY.
IF THIS GETS THE NOD FROM THE PEOPLE AND PCT THEN HINCHINGBROOKE WILL CEASE AS A TRUST IN IT'S OWN RIGHT FROM 2008 AND IN REALITY WILL BE AS I
HAVE FEARED A SHELL OF A BUILDING THAT PROVIDES SPACE FOR DIFFERENT HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO PRACTICE THEIR AREAS OF TREATMENT..............TRAVESTY AND THOSE  WHO FEEL IT SHOULD GO THAT WAY SHOULD BE HELD TO ACCOUNT BY
LOCAL POLITITIANS AND THE PEOPLE
THE PAPER ALSO SAYS THAT THERE IS TO BE A SHOFT  TO COMMUNITY TREATMENT AND £2.5M IS PROPOSED, YES ONLY PROPOSED TO BE INVIESTED TO ACHEIVE THIS, WHERE WILL THE PCT MAGIC THIS MONEY FROM WHEN THEY ARE ALREADY £52.4M IN DEBT?
LAST WORDS FOR THE DOCUMENT...............WHITEWASH, SHORT TERM AND
 NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE
NHS 'pays too much to drug firms'
By Robert Peston
Business Editor, BBC New

The NHS is paying drug companies hundreds of millions of pounds too much for branded medicines, according to the Office of Fair Trading.

Since September 2005, the competition watchdog has been investigating the system by which
the Department of Health buys £7bn of branded medicines.

It has concluded the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS) should be overhauled, the BBC has learned.

The OFT has found the scheme does not allow the NHS to get the best prices.

The OFT will present its conclusions to the Department of Health and the prime minister on Tuesday.

Because they are likely to affect the share prices of the UK's leading drug companies, they will be released to the Stock Exchange at 0700 GMT.

Cap on profits

The Department of Health does not have to accept the OFT's recommendations, but it is highly unlikely to reject them, given that hundreds of millions of pounds of public money are at stake.

However there is likely to be a blazing row with the major drug companies, who frequently complain that the NHS does not spend enough on their products.


THIS IS NOT UNKNOWN BUT PERHAPS SOMETHING WILL BE DONE ABOUT IT TO SAVE THE NHS CASH, ONE WONDERS HOW MANY OTHER COMPANIES THINK THE NHS IS AN OPEN CHEQUE BOOK...........?....................PERHAPS DHL WHO ARE TAKING ON NHS LOGISTICS HAVE THAT THOUGHT TO BOOST THEIR PROFITS................THIS SHOULD BE A SHOT ACCROSS THE BOW TO PRIVATE COMPANIES WHO WISH TO PROFIT AT THE COST OF THE NHS

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hinchingbrooke review

I have seen the slides which is the agreed way forward for Hinchingbrooke, it makes for a different level of thinking than October 2006 and it still poses a threat to the Hospital beyond 2008, so we must campaign on to stop the local Foundations robbing services, however there is good news for Matenity as it looks like more work is  to be channeled towards Hinchingbrooke due to capacity and cost problems at Addenbrookes.............one in the eye eh!
I wait with baited breath the Local Delivery Plan for the PCT...............due out today 19th February yes the same day as Hinchingbrooke's and the same day Tony Blair says we should only wait 18 weeks for treatment..................mmmmm.............stinks if you ask me
The Consultation

The PCT public Consultation is upon us but it will be met with very mixed opinions no doubt. When the SHA implied that Hinchingbrooke Hospital could close or be downgraded, who would have thought we would be where we are now?

The Governments reconfiguration plans for the NHS suggested that there were 77 Trusts on their hit list and one was Hinchingbrooke, now because of that I chose to start a petition and following another idea I organised a well supported March through Huntingdon and onto the hospital , which gained great coverage, both locally and nationally.

Ultimately 55,000 plus signed the petition so how can a government who have preached the mantra of Patient Choice and a Patient led format, ignore the choice of those who marched and signed the petition to keep Hinchingbrooke open, fully funded and functional?

We need to consider whether the hospital closure or downgrading is for the reasons of quality and safety or merely cost and this is an area that is causing most problems for the Government and the SHA, for even though the aim is to transfer more Care into the Community, hospital attendances are rising year on year.

This is because of certain factors, one being that patients find it more difficult to access their G.P out of hours so choose to visit their local A&E where they can be seen within 4 hours.
Some G.P's are gaining special interests to reduce the hospital outpatient referrals and perform procedures in the primary care setting and with their new skills are uncovering more illnesses that require hospital visits.
Also there is an ageing population that is consuming bucket loads of blood pressure tablets and satins and they have other incurable conditions such as arthritis and dementia that also require expert care.

With Cambridgeshire being so rural and having heavily congested roads and a very poor public transport infrastructure then why should we consider downsizing, downgrading, losing services or closing this asset to the community?

One factor we should all be wary of in the next few years will be the proposed and, what will become financially burdened, PFI hospital in Peterborough, as they will be looking to cannibalise services from the likes of Hinchingbrooke to survive.

We might win a kind of reprieve this time but for how long, the fight will and needs to go on to help maintain a fully functional and accessible NHS for us all from primary care upwards and ALL sections of the NHS need to work TOGETHER, not fight for each others business as the government want them to do.

The Primary and Secondary Health care sectors need to form very close ties and cement long term agreements to enable quality healthcare for Cambridgeshire and its people
PM outlining '24/7 surgery' plans
"Round-the-clock" surgery could be introduced in England to help cut NHS waiting times to a maximum of 18 weeks, Tony Blair is to say.

He will suggest the idea of keeping operating theatres open "out of hours" during a visit to a London hospital.

The government wants the 18-week limit between GP referral and treatment to be met by the end of 2008 - 13 trusts are committing to hit it a year early.

The Tories said the target would distort priorities in the NHS.

'National campaign'

Next month a nationwide campaign will aim "to focus the activities of all NHS staff" on cutting waiting times.

Hospital bosses will also be encouraged to send more patients abroad and make greater use of the private sector.

Mr Blair hopes that with an extra push the average wait from referral by GP to treatment could be cut to seven or eight weeks.
Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb said in some areas it was primary care trusts (PCTs) not hospitals that needed attention.

"It makes sense to maximise the use of theatre space to treat patients as quickly as possible," he said.

"But the reality is that in many parts of the country PCTs deep in deficit are slowing down patient referrals to hospital, extending waiting times rather than reducing them."

The Conservatives said the waiting-time target would distort priorities in the health service and divert resources from where they are most needed.

WHERE IS THE FUNDING FOR THIS.................WHEN PCT'S ARE TRYING TO REDUCE HOSPITAL ACTIVITY DUE TO THEIR FINANCIAL PROBLEMS THEN HOW CAN THE 18 WEEK TARGET BE MET?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

UK firm chosen to run GP services

A UK-based company has been chosen to run a primary care centre in north Derbyshire, health officials announced.
ChilversMcCrea Healthcare was chosen as the preferred bidder to take over GP services at Creswell and Langwith by Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust.

The original decision to award the contact to US-based United Health Europe was made in early 2006.
However, a judicial review ruled in August that the consultation process was "flawed".



The Appeal Court ruled that Derbyshire County PCT should take a fresh look at its tender process.

 DANGER DANGER.................................THESE PEOPLE WON'T BE TRYING TO BALANCE BOOKS THEY WILL ONLY BE INTERESTED IN CREATING MARKETS AND OPPORTUNITIES TO RIP OFF THE NHS...........................

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nurses see red to cut drug errors

Staff at a Scottish hospital are testing out a simple idea to reduce the number of mistakes made when making up patients' drugs.
Nurses in charge of the drugs round at Gartnavel hospital in Glasgow wear red tabards when dispensing drugs.
Staff and patients on two wards at the hospital are told not to speak to them when they have got the garments on.
Nurses said the idea stopped constant interruptions and has proved a success with staff.

MAYBE THIS IDEA COULD BE USED HERE AND EXTENDED TO OTHER AREAS TO REDUCE ERRORS?
WHERE DISTURBING AN OPERATIVE WHILE THEY ARE CARRYING OUT A PROCESS COULD CAUSE AN ERROR AND POSSIBLITY OF DEATH, NEEDS A LOOK AT BY RISK MANAGERS...........GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO DO FOR A CHANGE.....


 
Patients left without medication

A number of patients in Cornwall were left without urgent medication when pharmacists were unable to contact the out-of-hours doctors' service.

Prescriptions which should have been faxed to chemists failed to arrive and pharmacists could
not contact Serco's Kernow Urgent Care by phone.

Cornwall Primary Care Trust (PCT) has apologised for the difficulties over the Christmas
and New Year period.



It said Serco now has a dedicated hotline for health professionals.



Contract review



It has revised the expected numbers of calls at certain times and is increasing staffing and phone lines.
Patients' watchdogs and a paramedics' union have called for the county's out-of-hours doctor service to be run by the local ambulance trust, following a barrage of complaints about the service provided by Serco.
Last week, the PCT said the company's contract would be reviewed in April, despite it having two more years to run.
Serco took over Cornwall's out-of-hours service in April 2006, replacing the GP co-operative KernowDoc.

 THE DANGERS OF PRIVATISING THE SERVICE SIDE OF THE NHS, PROFIT IS THE ONLY GOAL............

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hospital warning over pen orders

Workers at a hospital in Norfolk are being told to stop ordering stationery to help save money.


A newsletter for Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, Norfolk, told staff new pens and pencil orders could only be considered as a last resort.
The hospital said the stationery order restrictions would be in place until at least the end of the financial year.
A spokesman for the hospital said that managers must save about £580,000 a month to meet financial targets.

Savings needed

But last month the hospital, which is about £11m in debt, missed its target by £50,000.
According to the hospital spokesman, the deficit was caused by a drop in the number of operations and people requiring emergency treatment, meaning the hospital would receive less funding from the Government.
The spokesman said: "Over the course of the year we have to save £7m. "As we missed our target last month we have to make some economies as you would do with the normal housekeeping."
He added: "Some people might say it's an act of desperation, but it is just good housekeeping. We have got to make savings."

HOW MANY MANAGERS TO GET RID OF WOULD SAVE THE HOSPITAL ££580,000 PER MONTH?,
THIS IS THE HINCHINGBROOKE HOSPITAL'S INTERIM CHIEF'S PREVIOUS HOSPITAL THAT SHE "FIXED", MAYBE I OUGHT TO ORDER SOME MORE PENS FROM MY FUNDRAISING READY FOR HINCHINGBROOKE?

 

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cancer 'to become bigger burden'

diagnosis will put an increasing strain on health care systems across Europe, experts warn.
An Annals of Oncology study estimates there were 3.2 million new cases of cancer in Europe in 2006 - up from 2.9 million in 2004.
Lead researcher Professor Peter Boyle said the key factor was the increasing average age of the population.
He said urgent action, such as measures to improve diet, increase exercise and cut obesity and smoking, was needed.
Professor Boyle, who is director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, also called for widespread screening for breast and colorectal cancer.

 AND THEY ARE STRIPPING HINCHINBROOKE OF CANCER SERVICES, ONLY KEEPING "LOW" LEVEL TREATMENT AT THE HOSPITAL.....................HOW DARE THEY AND ALL FOR THE SAKE OF CASH, NEVER MIND PATIENTS LIVES, JUST BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE CASH....................

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Big shake-up for maternity care


Some English hospitals should be stripped of doctor-led maternity care and specialist children's services, a government advisor says.
Dr Sheila Shribman, the children and maternity tsar, calls for regional super-centres instead.
Hospitals that lose maternity units may get midwife-led services and more support for home births will be provided to give women greater choice.
Dr Shribman said the move would improve care, not damage it as critics say.

 Some have argued that hospital cuts are being driven by NHS deficits - the health service finished last year over £500 million in the red.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO PATIENT CHOICE?
IF WOMEN HAD TO GO TO THE ROSIE IN CAMBRIDGE THEN THEY WOULD GIVE
BIRTH ON ROUTE...................
NOT A PLAUSABLE PLAN, SHORT SIGHTED AND DONE FOR CASH REASONS ONLY
A&E wait figures 'being fiddled'

The four-hour A&E target is being "fiddled" by "dubious management tactics", academics say.


City University's Cass Business School said to meet the target the NHS needed to treat patients twice as quickly.
They said this was not achievable after using mathematical modelling and suggested hospitals were manipulating the figures.
But the government said it was "nonsense" to suggest the target was not being met 
Since 2004, 98% of patients in A&E should be seen within four hours. Latest figures show this is being achieved.

Researchers analysed data from 170,000 patients and used "queuing theory", a recognised model to predict people flow used by supermarkets and traffic monitoring systems.

The academics were then able to show how quickly hospitals could treat and discharge people to meet the target.

They found that patients would need to be seen and cleared from A&E wards within an hour.
Before the target kicked in, patients were seen in just under two hours.The researchers said this level of improvement was not achievable, although they did not doubt that waiting times had reduced.

Instead, they suggested hospitals were using tactics to stop the clock.
They said there was a peak of patients being discharged at the four-hour mark, and suggested hospitals may be discharging them and then readmitting them straight away.
The academics also said hospitals were moving patients to clinical decision units, a kind of half-way house between A&E and the rest of the hospital.
The current A&E target is simply not achievable without the employment of dubious management tactics.
The government needs to revisit its targets and stop forcing hospitals into a position where they look for ways to creatively report back, rather than actually reducing waiting times for real people.

I HAVE BEEN TOLD HOW THESE FIGURES ARE FIDDLED, THE REAL WAY TO ACHIEVE
EXCELLENCE IN A&E IS THE HINCHINGBROOKE MODEL, THE BIG TRUSTS SHOULD
SEE HOW THEY DO IT RATHER THAN HAVING PATIENTS WAITING IN AMBULANCES OUTSIDE OR PATIENTS WAITING WITH AMBULANCE STAFF UNTIL THEY ARE "DELIVERED", UNTIL THEY ARE HANDED OVER THE 4 HOUR WAITING TIME DOES NOT BEGIN, THE MAIN ISSUES HERE IS THAT THE WATING TIMES ARE FRAUD AND THE AMBULANCES ARE THEREFORE NOT AVALIABLE FOR EMERGENCY USE - SHAME ON YOU, SOMEONE NEEDS TO HELD TO ACCOUNT OVER THIS............

Friday, February 02, 2007

PCT CONSULTATION

Well the PCT consultation document is almost here, well the DRAFT is , 
the final is out on the 19th February, however.
It seems as if the PCT want to put the draft out, see what the reaction is and
 modify the document and release it as a "Final"


There have been reports in one of the local weekly newspapers that the Hospital is saved etc.
That is not yet the case, it is an piece of irresonsible reporting and lulls the public into a false state 
by giving them a view that everything is okay, when in reality it isn't

We were going to March on the 17th February 07 and we knew that the DRAFT was out on the 7th February 07 and would be able to still march with the subject & focus on what was contained
in the DRAFT, but now the FINAL is out on the 19th February 07, I feel we ought to wait until
we see the final document  before Marching again.

Keep looking here for more as it happens...................

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What happened to the Saturday surgery?

By Simon Cox and Richard Vadon

BBC Radio 4, The Investigation


What would you do if you were ill on a Saturday morning?

If you think you would go to your local GP's Saturday surgery we would advise you to check.

The Saturday surgery used to be a staple of British medical life.

It may have been just a few hours on a Saturday morning, but it helped fill the gap from Friday night until Monday morning.

Today finding a local GP whose surgery opens on Saturday is hard work.
f you go on the NHS website you can search for doctors who open their surgeries on Saturday.

According to the website there are 100 Saturday surgeries in London alone.

The Radio 4 series "The Investigation" called every one of the GPs on the list to find if they really did still open on Saturdays.

The results were clear: only eight of the surgeries actually did so. In total there are 1,300 GP practices in London.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO............................YOU GO TO A&E AT YOUR LOCAL HOSPITAL, THE GOVERNMENT WANT TO RECONFIGURE THESE, SO THEY COULD BE CLOSED AT WEEKENDS TOO, SO THE ANSWER...........................
DON'T GET ILL AT THE WEEKEND.....................................!

 
Dentists 'turning away patients'
By Nick Triggle
Health reporter, BBC News


Dentists are turning away patients because local health chiefs are running out of funds, dental leaders say.
A new dental contract started last year, but early figures suggest the government overestimated how much money would be taken in patient fees.
NHS trusts have begun to cut their budgets in response and the British Dental Assocation said this has led to some dentists refusing patients care.

A government memo has urged health chiefs to get to grips with the issue.
The memo and many trusts say dentists are treating more exempt patients than expected - children and those on low income do not have to pay for care.

Under the contract, many adult patients make a contribution towards the cost of their treatment.

The Department of Health said trusts should be making £630m from these fees, making up a quarter of their entire dentistry budget.

But health chiefs have now started warning they will not make enough, leading to cuts in budgets.

Health chiefs in Yorkshire, London, Surrey, East Anglia and the Midlands have all reported problems.

This has had two consequences - firstly trusts have not been able to expand services as much as expected and secondly dentists have been denied funds to treat patients.

The contract, which started in April, was designed to expand NHS services amid reports many patients were being forced to pay for treatment privately.
Cambridgeshire - Shortfall predicted to be £2.2m - 25% of what county expected to make in fees. Managers said "significant" problems being reported across country.

YET ANOTHER GOVERNMENT LED MESS UP
THE PCT SINCE IT'S MERGER HAS BEEN IN DEFICIT WITH LITTLE CHANCE OF BALANCING THE BOOKS
UNDER THE CURRENT FUNDING SYSTEM SO.........
CUTS &  SEVERE ONES ARE BEING MADE......

Ministers warned over NHS schemes
Ministers must keep a closer eye on big NHS building projects after incompetent local health chiefs caused the collapse of a £900m scheme, MPs have said.

The public accounts committee said the government had left the Paddington Health Campus project to local managers who were "out of their depth".

The project, designed to merge three north-west London hospitals, was abandoned after costs rose by £300m.

The government said it had already introduced tighter checks on schemes.


TOO LATE FOR HINCHINGBROOKE, THE NOOSE IS ALREADY AROUND IT'S NECK AND THEY ARE TIED UP IN A TIGHT CONTRACT FOR 30 YEARS.......HOW
MANY MORE TRUSTS WILL FIND THEMSELVES IN A SIMILAR POSITION?
 
BMA team 'stunned by GP contract'

GPs were so stunned by the terms offered to them when negotiating their new contract that they thought it was a "bit of a laugh", a doctor has said.

Dr Simon Fradd, who was one of British Medical Association's GP negotiators, said they were shocked by the approach taken by the government.

They could not believe it when GPs were given the chance not to do evening and weekend work for a 6% pay cut, he said.

Since the deal started in 2004, average GP pay has topped the £100,000 barrier.

While doctors now make less in basic pay - about £55,000 on average - they have been able to top-up their earnings by hitting targets under a performance-related bonus scheme
Opponents have often criticised the government, claiming they mishandled the contract, which is now contributing to NHS deficits.


Earlier this month, Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt admitted she wished the government had capped the profits doctors could take out of the practices because of the soaring sums.

Dr Fradd was part of the negotiating team representing the British Medical Association during the two years of talks between 2001 and 2003, although he is no longer on the BMA's GP committee.

Interviewed for BBC Radio 4's The Investigation, which will be aired on 1 February, Dr Fradd said doctors had never believed the government would be willing to allow them to opt out of out-of-hours care.

And when they did, he was surprised the NHS Confederation negotiating team, acting on behalf of the government, was only asking for a 6% cut in pay.

He added: "We got rid of it for effectively 6% of the value of the contract. It was just stunning. Nobody in my position had ever believed we could pull it off but to get it for 6% was a bit of a laugh."

Budget


Since the contract came in, nine out of 10 practices opted out of providing care.

NHS trusts have put alternative arrangements in place, but hospital A&E departments have reported an increase in patients.


In a separate interview, he told the BBC that he still thought the contract offered good value for money for patients as GPs were still taking up a relatively small part of the NHS budget.

"I think the government underestimated how much out-of-hours care was worth, but there are other parts of the contract, such as performance-related pay, which were harder to sell to doctors."

Looking back on the new contract, NHS Confederation chief executive Gill Morgan said she felt there were too many sweeteners in the deal offered to GPs. "I think it is always easy to underestimate how strongly GPs respond to an incentive that gives them money."

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the British Medical Association and a member of the BMA negotiating team, would not reveal how much the negotiators would have accepted when it came to the opt out although he said it was "not a sticking point".

"There were areas of the package where big concessions were made. We agreed to other providers in general practice and the other one was performance-related pay."

The Investigation, BBC Radio 4, 2000 GMT, 1 February, 2007.

 

Monday, January 29, 2007

Call to reform NHS charge system
By Nick Triggle

BBC News, health reporter


Health boss explains

Most NHS prescription charges in England should be scrapped and applied to 'ineffective treatments' instead, NHS public health chiefs say.

The Association of Directors of Public Health said rising demands on the NHS will lead to more rationing.

Their president, Dr Tim Crayford, said "If NHS charges should be applied at all, they should be applied to relatively ineffective treatments."

He gave tonsil removal and varicose vein surgery as examples.

"Medicine and treatment that people need for health reasons should be free. But where there's little proof of clinical benefit, the use of such treatments would reduce more quickly if they had a price tag attached," Dr Crayford added.

Doctors' representatives said more NHS care should be rationed, but they were against charging.
Dr Tim Crayford, president of the association, which represents NHS trust public health directors across the UK, said since 1998 spending on cataracts had increased by 40% to £200m, while the cost of hip operations had risen a third to £300m.
"What is wrong with asking people to contribute for some care which is not life-saving - much as we do with dentistry?.

"For operations such as cataracts and hip operations we need to decide at what point in people's lives these operations should be done.

"The Association is calling for a debate on issues such as this to allow the public to decide how the NHS's limited resources are spent.

"If the public agree a threshold what about people below the threshold? Our argument would be that below that threshold they should be allowed to contribute towards the cost as they would with a filling.

"The thing with hip and cataract ops is that they have become more common as waiting lists have fallen and surgery improved, so we have to ask ourselves is it better if patients are asked to wait until their level of pain or blurred vision is more acute.

"The NHS will not be able to do everything in the future."

Benefit



Dr Crayford also said the health service was currently carrying out a small proportion of care which had little medical benefit.

He said procedures such as certain types of plastic surgery, orthodontic surgery, and varicose vein surgery should not be widely available in the future.

"As the elderly population grows and more medical breakthroughs are made, it is clear we are going to have to think about what the NHS is there for and what it is providing."

The British Medical Association is currently drawing up proposals about what the NHS should be providing and will discuss the issue at its annual conference later in the year.

Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the BMA's consultants committee, said it was an important debate.

"We are already rationing the procedures we do, cosmetic surgery is not carried out on the NHS, and the drugs which are used are restricted.

"And I think there is scope to include other things such as varicose veins and hernias in that.

"But the question is how far do you go? If you include hips and eyes I think you are breaking with the traditional values of the NHS, I wouldn't agree with that."

But Professor John Appleby, chief economist at the King's Fund health think tank, said: "I do not buy into these doomsday scenarios. How much extra demand is there going to be on the NHS?

"I don't think there are any miracle drugs in the pipeline and as for the people living longer, what matters most is how close you are to death, not how old you are.

"We consume the most health resources in the last year of life whether that is at 50 or 80."

Professor Appleby also said it was likely there would be public appetite to increase the amount spent on health to keep pace with increasing demands.

Nigel Edwards, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said: "The issue is quite rational; after all, care is already rationed and we already make a contribution to dentistry, but it is a very emotive and political subject.

"In the end it is going to have to be decided by a public debate and it will be the public which should decide what the NHS does."

 

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Choose and Book and the Healthcare Commission's action plan.
The best and worst performing StHAs have given updates at their board meetings on progress towards the March target for 90% of outpatient referrals to be made through Choose and Book. NHS East of England, the country's worst performing StHA, revealed that it had booked just 20% of November outpatient appointments using CaB - significantly less than that month's planned trajectory of 70%. Meanwhile NHS North East, the country's best performer booked 39.5% of outpatient appointments with the system. It admitted its performance report that 'progress continues to be slow' and warned there was a 'medium risk' it will not meet the target.



http:/ / www.nursingtimes.net/ nursingtimes/ pages/ Home

THE ABOVE DOES NOT SURPRISE AFTER THE CATASTROPHE THAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED WITH CHOOSE & BOOK, SUCH AN ORGANISED CHAOS AND WASTE
OF TAX PAYERS MONEY YET AGAIN................THE G.P'S TELL ME OF THEIR PLIGHT
HAVING TO CHOOSE THE CHEAPEST TREATMENT BECAUSE OF THE PCT DEBTS
AND YET THE SHA CAN APPOINT A COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR ON £90,000 SALARY...............ABSOLUTELY PERVERSE
 
Bill to abolish patients' forums criticised as "disgraceful". A UK government bill to reform the way patients and the public participate in decisions about local health services had its second reading this week in parliament, where it faces opposition from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill will abolish patients' forums and replace them with local involvement networks (LINks). It will also modify the duty to consult the public about changes in health service provision. In the place of patients' forums, local authorities will be put under a duty to make contractual arrangements for the involvement of people in the commissioning, provision, and scrutiny of health services and social services. LINks will cover social care services as well as health, will be established for a geographical area, and will decide locally how members will be appointed and how others will contribute.



http:/ / www.bmj.com/ cgi/ content/ short/ 334/ 7586/ 177 ?etoc

THIS IS A BIT OF AN ISSUE BUT I AM INFORMED THAT THE NEW LINks BODIES WILL
HAVE MORE POWERS THAN THE PPI HAVE AND OVERALL MORE RESPONSIBILITY, WE
NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THE RIGHT PEOPLE ARE IN PLACE TO HELP SHAPE LOCAL
HEALTH CARE