Posts Tagged ‘NHS’

The facts don’t lie, and nor do I – An open letter to Jeremy Hunt MP

June 13, 2017

NHA - South West Surrey Group

Dear Mr Hunt

On Thursday night, in your acceptance speech, you accused me of “falsehoods”.

In your words, you accuse me of lying about “both our record with the NHS and also our motives”. You were clearly rattled that over 12,000 people in South West Surrey showed their concern for the NHS and voted for someone who questioned your record, but that is what democracy is all about – holding the government to account.

The truth is that I haven’t lied for the simple reason that I haven’t needed to. The facts speak for themselves.

When I talked about your record, I drew out many facts:

  • The number of people lying on trolleys waiting more than 4 hours to be admitted to a hospital bed increased from 387,737 in 2015/16 to 560,108 in 2016/17 – that’s a 45% increase in one year. I’m sure…

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38 Degrees loses the plot

December 23, 2015
Lewisham choir

Lewisham choir

38 Degrees urge me to buy a single promoting the NHS, apparently if enough fools can be pursued to part with their money, it will make the Christmas No 1 spot. Does anyone actually care what is the No 1 spot?

It’s going to be close. In just three days time, the battle for Christmas number one could be won by a group of NHS doctors and nurses who have recorded a song about the NHS.

The Christmas charts are usually dominated by whichever X-Factor song Simon Cowell chooses. But this year, there’s just 2,000 record sales between the NHS song and Justin Bieber. And there are millions of 38 Degrees members. If just 10,000 of us spend the 79p to buy the song, we could make sure the NHS gets to number one.

It’ll mean millions of people will hear that the NHS needs saving over the festive period. The song will be announced on Christmas Day and it’ll raise lots of awkward questions for Jeremy Hunt as every radio station and TV chart show plays the song.Please can you stand with the NHS this Christmas and help get the NHS to the top spot? Just click one of the options below to buy the single and bump the NHS up the charts.

The winner will be announced on Christmas Day at 1pm. Imagine the NHS nurses and doctors switching on the radio during their shifts and hearing the nation has decided the NHS deserves the top spot this year. It might bring an extra smile while they’re looking after our loved ones this Christmas.

Putting the NHS at number one this Christmas will send a powerful message to the staff who make our NHS something to be proud of: thank you. And a ripple through government as millions of people hear the message that the NHS is in trouble. Can you help bump the NHS single to the number one spot and prove Britain loves the NHS?

I do not buy rubbish. Not when there is music around worth buying, musicians worth supporting.

And where do they release this festive  jingle? Er, tax dodging Google and Apple.

Methinks  38 Degrees has lost the plot and scored a massive own goal.

I can see their logic, but not directing to iTunes or Google Play.

Why not direct to bandcamp?

It is also on Amazon, and beggars belief being streamed on Spotify.

Full marks to Justin Bieber for directing his fans to buy the NHS festive jingle, not his own offering. And anything but the garbage promoted by Simon Cowel.

Dear Mr Hunt

December 2, 2015

Junior doctors voted 98% in favour of strike action.

The first of tree days of strikes was to have been held this week.

Cancelled because finally Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has agreed to talks, but too late for many whose operations were cancelled.

Do we wish to see the Health Service privatised from within, as that is what is happening?

Buggy protest at loss of Lewisham A&E

January 23, 2013

As part of the ConDem government slash and burn of public service and privatisation of the NHS, it is proposed that the Accident and Emergency Department at Lewisham Hospital be closed.

Today, parents mounted a buggy protest.

My own experience health care of the last week, five hours in A&E last Wednesday and a visit to a private clinic today, is that we have seriously dysfunctional health system with medical professionals not a clue what they are doing.

Dysfunctional NHS

January 15, 2012

Sometime last summer, my dentist smashed up a tooth. You will have to go to hospital she said. What now, I asked? No, they will contact you. What, they will call me? No, they will write to you.

Months later, having spoken to my dentist several times about the long delay, I get a letter from the hospital. Great, I think, I will be going in next week. No, an appointment for some weeks hence.

On the appointed day, I turn up at my local hospital. I check the paperwork to double check where I have to be, and shock horror, wrong hospital, I have not been referred to my local hospital but one some distance away, with no easy way of getting there by public transport.

I check with my dental practice, to learn that they, not just they but all GP and dental practices, have received instruction that patients are to be referred to hospitals in Hampshire, anywhere but the local hospital, which happens to be just across the county border in Surrey.

Frimley Park no longer local hospital for Farnborough and Aldershot
Farnborough patients denied patient choice

But we have patient choice, it is we the patient who decide where we are going. In theory yes, in practice no, budget considerations decide.

I broke a tooth, another trip to my dentist.

It will have to be taken out, and no, in light of what happened before, I will be referred to hospital. No way, I say, am I going miles away, I am to go to my local hospital. My dentist agrees, and says she will see what she can do. She then explains what is going wrong.

Up until April 2011, she would refer me to a consultant to do the necessary work. Now she has to refer me to a committee, it is the committee who decide where I will go, a committee that is not made up of dentists.

Many things wrong with this:

  • It breaks the working arrangement between local practitioner and specialist consultant.
  • It introduces a layer of useless bureaucracy that is simply wasting money and adding additional costs.
  • The decisions of the committee are being made on budgets not on medical grounds.
  • For the patient the inconvenience and cost of not being referred to their local hospital.

Early December I receive a letter inviting me to call the Royal County Hospital in Guildford. Not my local hospital, but better than Basingstoke.

I call, make an appointment. I ask why Guildford? They do not know. I could be referred to my local hospital, but then I would be at the end of the queue. I decide to try Guildford, be seen, then maybe get referred to my local Hospital Frimley Park.

Friday 13, I turn up at the Royal County. Bad design, obliged to walk the length of the hospital to find the entrance. Why is it not at the front of the building? I walk in and I am nearly knocked out by the oppressive heat. I find the relevant department. Instructions on reception tell me to sign in on a touch screen, instructions on touch screen tell me to to report to reception! Someone is making money out of a contract for unnecessary equipment. I report to reception and hand in registration form. Receptionist ask me have I used the touch screen to register. I say yes. She takes my registration form, crumples it up, and throws in the bin.

Consultant is pleasant and helpful. She looks at my recently broken tooth. I ask about the tooth the dentist smashed last summer. She says she knows nothing about it, asks me which tooth. Looks in the file and tells me there is no paperwork. I explain that I have been waiting since the summer and passed around the houses. She asks is it painful? I say no, but occasionally a dull ache. I say I am not waiting any longer, can she not deal with that one too? She agrees and sends me off for an x-ray.

My head is clamped in a machine, an x-ray machine rotates around my head. I am called back in to see the consultant. An impressive x-ray picture, a couple of inches high and several inches long. Four teeth to be extracted. I turn white. I only know of two. She then shows me a back tooth, wobbles it to make the point it is loose, and tells me it has infection all around. It does not have to come out, but will eventually have to come out. If nothing else, explanation for occasional dull pain. Surprisingly, the one the dentist has smashed up could be rebuilt. Another could be rebuilt, lot of work, a post and a crown. I say I do not mind, better than losing a tooth. The one the dentist said had to come out, yes, will have to come out.

Will it be done now? No, the hospital will contact me to make an appointment. Will she do it? Maybe, but will see on the day. Why not my local hospital? They only do under general anaesthetic and this can be done using local. She will write to my dentist and explain the teeth that can be rebuilt.

It can only get worse.

With the massive privatisation of the NHS the ConDem government is trying to force through against the strong opposition of the public and those who work in the NHS, it can only get worse.

Farnborough patients denied patient choice

October 11, 2011

This institution belongs to the people and the people do not want it run on a competitive model. — Baroness Bakewell

The NHS is an icon for British people. If you sign the death warrant of the NHS you will not be forgiven. — Baroness Billingham

The British public fear losing an altruistic health service to one which is market based. — Baroness Williams of Crosby

There is a failure towards any responsibility of equality. — Baroness Williams of Crosby

Patients living in Farnborough are being denied patient choice, they are being told they have to go to Basingstoke not Frimley Park which is just up the road.

Patients are not being told they have a choice. If they try to exercise patient choice they are told no, you have to go to Basingstoke. If they really push hard, they may get referred to Surrey PCT but not Frimley Park which means they could be sent anywhere in Surrey.

Instructions have been handed down from Hampshire PCT telling local doctors and dentists they must send their patients to a hospital in Hampshire, not their nearest hospital Frimley Park.

This instruction has nothing to do with medical needs or what is convenient for patients but to satisfy the market.

This is a farce. It is claimed Hampshire PCT has told doctors and dentists in Hampshire they must refer patients to hospitals in Hampshire. This is to ignore medical need and convenience of the patient.

This is market forces determining patient care!

Frimley Park no longer local hospital for Farnborough and Aldershot

It begs the question why local doctors and a dentists are going along with it when it is not in the best interest of their patients.

I have requested a copy of the instruction that Hampshire PCT has issued.

Is what we are seeing a sign of things to come, the final destruction of the NHS?

Block the Bridge

Block the Bridge

October 10, 2011
Save our NHS - Westminster Bridge

Save our NHS - Westminster Bridge

Block the Bill - Westminster Bridge

Block the Bill - Westminster Bridge

Sunday afternoon people from all over the country occupied Westminster Bridge in protest at cuts and privatisation of the National Health Service.

On the eve of the protest I thought, why not the police let protesters occupy the bridge, it is after all public highway. For once intelligent policing, and that is what happened. Maybe because the police facing 20% cuts and in the same boat. Sadly though they did blot their copy book later by directing protesters off the bridge into a kettle on Lambeth Bridge.

Coverage of Block the Bridge by BBC Radio 4 news was a disgrace. A brief mention on a couple of on-the-hour two-minute news bulletins and that was it.

No mention on the garbage Westminster Hour. The real world occupies Westminster Bridge and yet not a mention. Nor a mention on the midnight news.

We won’t take this lying down: Thousands of demonstrators force Westminster Bridge to close with protest over Government health reforms

I recall my grandmother talking about days before the NHS, dreading anyone falling ill and a visit from the doctor and having to pay the doctor. We do not wish to see a return to those grim days.

I remember a pre-NHS Britain. I don’t want to see a post-NHS one

But already, in Yorkshire, patients are being charged for minor surgery. They are referred to a private company which surprise surprise, they find is owned by their own company.

In Farnborough, doctors and dentists have been told to refer patients to a hospital in Basingstoke, not the nearby Frimley Park. Patients are being denied patient choice and when they try to exercise that choice are being told they have to go to Basingstoke.

Farnborough patients denied patient choice

Yes, there are need for reforms. Consultants should be stopped from using the NHS to tout for business. Sorry a three month wait, but if you wish to bribe me, oops I mean pay me, you can be seen next week as my private patient.

National Health Service Reforms

April 6, 2011

I can’t stand rap, but there are exceptions. The Andrew Lansley Rap is brilliant. Do I detect hints of House of the Rising Sun?

The so-called reforms of the National Health Service have nothing to do with improving the service provided to patients, it is about privatisation by the back door.

When you go to see your local doctor and he or she recommends a course of treatment or gives you advice, you hope that your doctor has your best interest at heart, not that you are prescribed a drug with one eye on the conference in Barbados that Big Pharma has promised. Now you wil have an additional worry, is that course of treament because the doctor or his practice profits from it, that he has referred you to a consortium in which your doctor has a stake.

There is a need for reform. Currently patients are getting a better service from walk in clinics than they are getting from their own local practice.

It should not be necessary to sit on a long waiting list when you need to see a specialist at a hospital.

Waiting times for knee and hip surgery is growing. Those in need of an operation wait in pain, the outcome is not as good as it would have been without the long wait.

The biggest refom needed is of consultants working within the NHS for whom the NHS is a gravy train. Either they work in the NHS (for which they are paid for 20 hours) or they work in the private sector. But they cannot be allowed to use the NHS to tout for private business, to use NHS services for their private patients. It is insulting to be told by a consulant, well there is a long wait, but should you wish to see me privately ….

Pressure works. The ConDem governement is already backing down on NHS reforms.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg say they are listening. If they are listening then heed the message, scrap the NHS Reforms!

But it is not only on NHS reforms where Andrew Lansley is at odds with public health. He attacked Jamie Oliver for trying to improve school meals, he can see no reason to control what goes into junk food or restricting sales, and as for respected medical journals, well these can be dismissed out of hand.

So who does Lansley listen to? Maybe the private health care industry who will benefit from his back-door privatisation, who have already had the windfall of juicy government contracts. A mere coincidence of course that Lansely and the Tory party have been in receipt of donations from the self-same sector!

I was poorly whilst in Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife. I had no problems seeing a doctor the same day. The first visit I had to return in the afternoon, the second time wait 20 minutes until the doctor was free. The consultation was not rushed, the prescription was free.

Yes, the National Health Sevice is in need of reform. Back-door privatisation where the only ones to profit are private care providers is not reform. We do not want a US-style health service where the patients suffer and the only beneficiaries are the private health care companies.

Shock doctrine: Use the Budget Deficit as an excuse to push through slash and burn of public services.

Approval ratings for the NHS are the highest they have ever been, waiting times have fallen. What problem therefore are these reforms designed to solve, other than to syphon public funds into the private sector?

More information from Big Society NHS, UK UnCut and False Economy on why ConDen NHS Reforms are bad for our health, bad for our pocket.

Captain SKA – Liar Liar
Tax dodger Boots turned into a field hospital
We are all in it together
Andrew Lansley on Food and Obesity
Far from cutting debt, Osborne’s plans will make it soar
Surgeons raise alarm over waiting
– Cuts are not the cure
Why austerity is not common sense
Will the cuts work? Just look at Ireland
Ireland the Model
Why cuts are the wrong cure

Tax dodger Boots turned into a field hospital

January 30, 2011
Boots field hospital

Boots field hospital

Boots: We won't buy your cuts

Boots: We won't buy your cuts

Ambulance for protesters attacked by police

Ambulance for protesters attacked by police

A man washes his eyes after police used CS gas on tax protesters

A man washes his eyes after police used CS gas on tax protesters

Tesco on Oxford Street

Tesco Every Fiddle Helps - tax dodging brands taken off the shelves

We don’t want a meal deal, we just want a fair deal! — Boots chant

The staff at Boots were fantastic and took us inside and gave us free treatment. My eyes were really streaming and my face hurt but I was most struck by the violence used by the police. I have been on a lot of demonstrations and have not seen anything like this before. — Gordon Maloney, UK Uncut protester attacked by police

In the last weekend of January we saw the first big weekend of action of the New Year against tax dodgers. Sunday dawned with The BSRC knocking on the doors of Tesco, Boots, Vodafone and the Arcadia Empire of Sir Philip Green. The last big protest was last year on the busiest shopping weekend in the run up to Christmas.

Boots was turned into a field hospital.

Why Boots? Boots is a tax dodger. Boots is owned by a hedge fund. The head office for Boots is in Switzerland. On further investigation the head office is a letter box, but that is sufficient for Boots to dodge UK tax. False Economy estimates that the tax they pay on their profits has fallen from around 33% to 3%.

Why a field hospital? The ConDem Government are planning massive changes to the NHS (National Health Service), changes the public has made clear they do not want. But the ConDems seem as deaf to the wishes of the public as the repressive regime in Egypt.

The field hospital came into its own when police officers decided to pepper spray protesters. The Met must learn tactical policing from the Security Police in Egypt. What did they do, watch the coverage from Egypt then decide they too wanted a bit of the action? An ambulance had to be called to give medical aid to those assaulted and injured by the police.

Well done PC CW 2440 who thought it a clever idea to spray peaceful protesters with pepper spray, but such an idiot was he that he pepper sprayed himself in the face!

But thanks to the Boots staff who were so appalled by the police tactics that they went to the aid of the injured protesters. Thanks also to Ben’s Cookies next door who gave milk to wash eyes and help neutralise the burning.

Tweeted by @BootsMealDeal:

We at Boots are disgusted by police behaviour today.

Why did Boots then remove all their tweets from twitter?

If nothing else the police thugs who used pepper spray on peaceful protesters should be charged with assault. Since when has posting leaflets through a door been criminal damage?

If you were a witness to the pepper spray incident, then please write down what you saw as a witness statement and send a copy to UK Uncut and

Anna Williams who saw the incident said:

I condemn the violent behaviour of the police who have attacked a peaceful protest against tax avoidance, with three people being taken away in an ambulance.

This is yet another example of political policing that is about protecting corporate interests and not those of ordinary people. We will not however be intimidated off the streets! We have a right to protest when the government are making unnecessary cuts that will hit the poorest in our society the hardest.

What is wrong with the Met? If there ever was a need for an inquiry into a police force, then it is the Met.

– unlawful killing of an innocent bystander at G20 protests
– cover up of the G20 killing
police brutality at student protests
police infiltration of activist groups
sexual violation of activists by undercover cops

Before today’s protest, Sir Hugh Orde, president of Acpo, had warned that police could adopt more extreme tactics to counter the growing wave of protests. It would appear he was true to his word!

Orde has criticised the lack of willingness of new protest groups that have sprung up around the internet, such as UK Uncut, to engage with police before protests. He said if they continued to refuse to co-operate, then police tactics would have to become more extreme. He seems to fail to understand that in this country we have policing by consent. Or does he think he is in Northern Ireland? The role of the police in a democracy is to safeguard the right to protest. The only violence on the day was when one of his thug officers decided to assault peaceful protesters who posed no threat to his officers.

It is not good enough to throw our hands up in the air and say ‘Oh, we can’t negotiate because there is no one to negotiate with’. There are lots of people we can talk to, but they need to stand up and lead their people, too. If they don’t, we must be clear that the people who wish to demonstrate won’t engage, communicate or share what they intend to do with us, and so our policing tactics will have to be different … slightly more extreme.

Brutality was not limited to the police. A security thug attacked a protester. The security thug refused to give his name, was not carrying ID as required by law. If anyone was a witness to the attack, has film footage, or knows who he is, please contact UK Uncut.

Vodafone (£6 billion unpaid tax) were targeted and their stores occupied. Their Oxford Street store in London was once again occupied.

Vodafone acceded to the repressive regime in Egypt and shut down their network, giving yet another reason to shut down Vodafone shops. When the Egyptians finally take back control of their country they should seize the network from Vodafone and hand to another network operator. I suggest Grameen Bank in Bangladesh who operate the largest mobile network in Bangladesh. It can then be run as a social business for the benefit of the Egyptian people, not as a cash cow for tax dodger Vodafone.

Tax dodger Tesco Every Fiddle Helps, were targeted. Not content with destroying our towns, leaching money out of the local economy, Tesco dodge their taxes. Tesco avoid over £100 million in tax despite making £3 billion in profit

In Lincoln a small Guerilla action emptied the shelves of Tesco.

– Kraft owns Cadbury’s and have moved HQ to Switzerland to avoid around £60m in tax, despite Kraft making £590m in profit in 2010
– Walkers crisps: potatoes, workers, factories & Gary Lineker. All British, except the profits held in Switzerland to avoid tax

Please note Green and Black chocolate are now owned by Cadbury’s. The leveraged buy out of Cadbury’s by Kraft was financed by the taxpayer-owned bank RBS.

Shame on the BBC who once again had a news black out on the day of action. But space could be found for an item on a has-been boy band who will be at the Eurovision Song Contest!

In the Lake District thousands of people turned out to oppose the sell-off of our woods and foreests.

Yesterday was a day of protest in Manchester and London by students and trade unionists. The action in Manchester was notable for the carpetbagger NUS President Aaron Porter being chased down the street by fellow students! And police please note: No kettles, no violence!

UK Uncut will feature on Newsnight BBC Two at 2230 GMT Monday 31 January 2011.

Note: An edited version of this article posted on Indymedia UK was censored raising once again questions as to the credibility of Indymedia UK. Indymedia UK has already been exposed as bunch of liars with their false claims that they do not retain the IP addresses of those who use the site.

We are all in it together
Bringing the Hospital to Boots
Press release: UK Uncut condemns political policing at peaceful protest
CS spray used on UK Uncut protest
Police use CS spray on tax protesters
Video appears to show police using CS spray on tax protester
Clamping down on UK Uncut
UK Uncut strikes high street stores
UK Uncut protesters force closure of Boots store in Oxford Street
Poll reveals widespread suspicion of NHS reforms
UK Uncut: The Twitter Network Revealed
Pics: #ukuncut shut Ox st Boots in NHS cuts action
Police pepper spray #ukuncut protesters
UK Uncut, the start of something beautiful
MPs’ defiance at Grizedale forest protest
Britain’s woods and forests for sale
Bailgate Pound

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