Labour lies and broken NHS promises:
Free elderly care expansion promises spark row over affordability
Thu, 11 Feb 2010- Plans to expand free home care for the elderly sparked furious exchanges at Prime Minister’s questions yesterday as a new report said “radical changes” were needed to maintain the care system in the face of increasing demands.
Labour’s plans for elderly care put essential services at risk
Tue, 19 Jan 2010- Frontline services such as social work, meals on wheels and road maintenance may have to be cut to cover the cost of controversial plans for elderly care at home, local authority leaders have warned.
Labour delays free hospital car parking again
Mon, 11 Jan 2010- Andy Burnham has outlined more proposals to phase out hospital parking charges for in-patients and some out-patients which he says have caused “great resentment”.
David Cameron sets out policies to boost NHS
Tue, 5 Jan 2010- David Cameron has pledged to protect spending on the NHS as he set out twenty policies to boost Britain’s health services if the Conservatives win the forthcoming general election.
Labour doesn’t want you to have a High Christmas as more legal drugs are banned
Thu, 24 Dec 2009- More legal high drugs are banned in UK by the nanny state as several drugs known as “legal highs” has come into force.
NHS hospitals face four year spending squeeze after labour’s cuts
Mon, 14 Dec 2009- NHS hospitals are to face a four year spending squeeze in an attempt to drive up their productivity.
Rich list reveals 80 NHS chiefs paid more than Gordon Brown
Tue, 8 Dec 2009- At least 350 NHS executives in hospitals and primary care trusts were paid more than £150,000 last year, according to new research.
Winter NHS deaths rise a national scandal
Tue, 24 Nov 2009- The highest winter NHS deaths figures in almost 10 years should act as a “deafening wake-up call” for the labour Government, charities said today.
The evidence in favour of Prof Nutt- Financial Times Editorial
Wed, 18 Nov 2009- The UK government published a policy document committing itself to independent scientific advice in all departments, with an introduction by the prime minister proclaiming the “international respect” earned by the UK for “its thorough and professional approach to the use of evidence”. Only two days later Alan Johnson, home secretary, put that respect in jeopardy with an act of political clumsiness.
Labour’s drug policy up in smoke as scientists resign from drugs Council
Wed, 11 Nov 2009- Five scientists have now resigned from the labour Government’s drugs advisory body Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD)in the wake of the sacking of Professor David Nutt, its chairman.
Science minister calls on Brown to reverse Johnson’s big mistake
Wed, 4 Nov 2009- The labour Government was bitterly divided last night over the sacking of the Home Office’s chief drugs adviser after its Science Minister said that he was appalled by Alan Johnson’s decision.
False waiting time figures probed
Wed, 21 Oct 2009- A hospital has apologised and launched an inquiry after hundreds of patients’ records were altered to suggest NHS waiting time targets were met.
Cancer sufferers face delay of weeks before receiving the test results in postal strike backlogs
Thu, 15 Oct 2009- Thousands of cancer sufferers will have to wait weeks for the results of diagnostic tests because of the likely national postal strike, patients’ groups said.
NHS dental crisis- can the rot be stopped?
Thu, 8 Oct 2009- New figures reveal over 40 per cent of the population has no NHS dentist. Can a new review finally fix the system once and for all?
Patients to be able to choose GP in new labour spin
Mon, 28 Sep 2009- Patients will be allowed to register with the GP of their choice within the next year, Andy Burnham the health secretary, announced.
Jack Straw wants legal heroin as Health Sec’s son is charged for cocaine possession
Tue, 22 Sep 2009- Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, has called for the NHS to give out heroin on prescription to addicts where other forms of treatment have failed whilst the former health secretary Patricia Hewitt’s 21-year old son Nicholas has been charged with possessing cocaine.
Health Direct applauds labour U Turn as NHS to end premium rate telephone call charges for patients
Tue, 15 Sep 2009- Health Direct has long campaigned for the end of a stealth tax on booking doctors appointments through the use of premium rate sex charge telephone calls.
2 Health Petitions- via the Number 10 website
Wed, 9 Sep 2009- Two petitions for you kind consideration- the abolition of sex rate charge numbers to book doctor appointments and to prevent the closure of a thriving hospital:
NHS health debate is more heat than light
Mon, 24 Aug 2009- There are moments when politics and healthcare collide and all that is generated is heat. With absolutely no light.
Health secretary attacked over move to call in regulator of NHS trusts
Wed, 12 Aug 2009- Andy Burnham was accused of undermining the principle of the government’s health service reforms – by the NHS itself.
Labour Ministers unprepared for swine flu second wave Lords warn
Fri, 31 Jul 2009- The labour Government appears to be unprepared for an expected second wave of swine flu in the autumn, according to a report by peers published this week.
Swine flu- labour ministers blamed for chaos
Mon, 27 Jul 2009- The labour Government will be criticised over its handling of the swine flu crisis by a powerful parliamentary committee this week.
Cherie Blair suffering from swine flu
Tue, 21 Jul 2009- News that the former prime minister’s wife had become Britain’s most high profile victim of the virus came as figures emerged showing that the number of swine flu cases jumped by nearly 50 per cent in a week.
Swine flu vaccine not ready for months says World Health Organisation
16 Jul 2009- The head of the World Health Organisation, Dr Margaret Chan, has cast doubt on the labour Government’s claims that a reliable swine flu vaccine will be available to the public by next month.
Public want NHS protected from funding cuts
Fri, 10 Jul 2009- Sacrifice other departments instead of the NHS, say three out of four people in British Medical Association poll.
Labour admits it cannot increase NHS funding
Tue, 30 Jun 2009- Labour has admitted that it cannot commit to increased funding for the National Health Service after 2011, in a move the Tories claim is an embarrassing reversal of their policy.
Patients with suspected cancer forced to wait so NHS targets can be hit
Wed, Jun 24, 2009- Patients rushed to hospital with suspected cancer are having their treatment delayed so that managers can meet labour Government targets, an NHS investigation has found.
Health Secretary Andy Burnham promises NHS targets massacre
Mon, Jun 22, 2009- The target culture that has driven NHS reforms over the past dozen years will be dismantled in a “deep clean” that removes alienating bureaucracy, the Health Secretary pronounced.
Second UK swine fever death as baby dies after pregnant mum
Tue, Jun 16, 2009- The partner of the first person in the UK to die of swine flu suffered a second loss last night when his premature son died in hospital.
Andy Burnham is the new health secretary in emergency cabinet reshuffle
Mon, Jun 8, 2009- Cabinet reshuffle- Andy Burnham moves from “best job in the world” to the hospital ward
Labour fights to keep abortions secret
Fri, Jun 5, 2009- Data on the number of abortions performed for conditions like club foot and cleft palate must remain secret, labour government officials argue.
Swine flu vaccine supplies secured and costed
Thu, May 28, 2009- Fresh hope of protection against the H1N1 flu outbreak emerged when the labour government said it had signed a £450m agreement to reserve scarce manufacturing capacity for 90m doses of vaccine by the end of the year.
Health minister to repay £41,000 expenses
Mon, May 18, 2009- Phil Hope, the Labour health minister, has agreed to pay back more than £41,000 he claimed in expenses to refurbish his second home.
Baby Peter died becasue of systemic NHS failings
Thu, May 14, 2009- Health workers missed dozens of opportunities to identify abuse being suffered by Baby Peter before his death because of “systemic failings” in the care given to the child, an official report has found.
Swine flu- nanny state launches mass advertising campaign as ministers step up fight
Thu, Apr 30, 2009- Labour ministers will blow more taxpayers’ money as a mass advertising campaign will be mounted to try to contain the growing swine flu outbreak in the UK.
NHS and healthcare to bear the brunt of 2009 budget cuts
Thu, 23 Apr, 2009- The NHS and the Department of Health took the biggest hit yesterday as the labour government allocated its £5bn cuts in public spending for next year, which it claims will be made up by efficiency savings.
Labour stops asking the uncomfortable question- is your hospital OK?
Tue, 14 Apr, 2009- National Health Service staff are no longer being asked whether they would be happy to be treated in their own hospitals, because the answers don’t match labour’s spin.
New Care Quality Commission watchdog quango pleads for patience
Tue, 7 Apr, 2009- The new watchdog for health and social care called on politicians to put an end to a decade of regulatory turmoil in hospitals and social work.
Poll reveals public distrust of NHS governance
Tue, 31 Mar, 2009- As Health Direct posts that the majority of British voters want an independent inquiry into the supervision of NHS hospitals today- over the rest of the week we will examine the chronic state of paperpushing, targets fixation and waste under labour’s maladministration.
Hospital was upgraded in spite of deaths
Mon, Mar 23, 2009- A Staffordshire hospital was granted flagship status despite providing such “appalling” emergency care that “there is no doubt that patients will have suffered and some of them will have died”, the health service’s quality watchdog said last week.
Labour’s NHS targets may have led to 1,200 deaths in Mid-Staffordshire
Wed, Mar 18, 2008- NHS managers have been accused of putting targets and cost-cutting ahead of patients as a report found up to 1,200 people may have died needlessly due to “appalling standards of care” at a single hospital.
Labour U turn on data sharing your medical records
Tue, Mar 10, 2009- Labour’s Justice secretary Jack Straw has dropped controversial proposals that medical bodies had warned could see patients’ confidential medical records being passed to anyone who asks.
New labour top up rules for cancer drugs creates more red tape as fear of litigation mounts
Mon, Mar 2, 2009- The labour government is having to rewrite its guidance on implementing cancer czar Mike Richards’ recommendations for top up payments.
Lord for hire Moonie, the Labour peer, is caught up in NHS fraud inquiry
Wed, Feb 25, 2009- Police have been asked to investigate the involvement of Lord Moonie, the Labour peer, in a company at the centre of a National Health Service fraud inquiry.
Labour closing maternity increasing, say Conservatives
Tue, Feb 17, 2009- Labour closes maternity services increasing, say Conservatives with nearly 50 per cent of hospital trusts having to close to maternity admissions at least once in 2008.
NHS Minister orders fatties to follow the Dancing Pig
Fri, Feb 13, 2009- Fatties of Britain prepare to foxtrot. The nanny state health secretary Alan Johnson wants you to hit the dance floor to counter the obesity epidemic.
NHS constitution is bitter pill to swallow for critics
Tue, Feb 03, 2009- A National Health Service “constitution” that sets out rights and responsibilities of patients and staff was published last month to wildly divergent reactions.
Labour has broken mixed sex wards promise admits Health Secretary Alan Johnson
Wed, Jan 28, 2009- Labour has failed to end mixed sex NHS hospital wards despite promising to do so for 12 years, the Health Secretary Alan Johnson has admitted.
NHS constitution is no defence against commercialisation
Thu, Jan 22, 2009- Responding to the signing of the new labour NHS constitution, Health Direct and the NHS Support Federation are warning that it is too weak to protect the core ideas behind the NHS against the impact of commercialisation.
Unemployment will put pressure on health services, RCN warns
Thu, Jan 15, 2009- The Royal College of Nursing has called on the labour government to work to prevent health services being “swamped” because of rising unemployment.
NHS patients mixed sex indignity continues on hospital wards
Fri, Jan 9, 2009- Men and women in hospital are still being treated on mixed-sex wards with little or no segregation, despite government promises to improve privacy for patients, the Conservative Party says.
One in 20 midwife positions unfilled
Wed, Dec 31, 2008- One in 20 midwife positions in NHS hospitals are unfilled despite a labour Government promise to would recruit 1,000 more midwives.
NHS top-up confusion grows after labour’s U turn on funding
Fri, Dec 05, 2008- Campaigners are demanding clarity over whether patients using non drug-based NHS services will be able to “top up” their care.
Drug addicts on incapacity benefit up 12 per cent in four years
Fri, Nov 28, 2008- The number of people on incapacity benefit due to drug addiction has increased by more than 12 per cent in the last four years, figures show.
Labour’s organ donor fiasco grows
Tue, Nov 18, 2008- A change in the law on organ donation may yet occur, in spite of an expert advisory body rejecting the idea.
Top up fees- why equality is a cruel doctrine in the NHS
Wed, Nov 12, 2008- It has taken an inexcusably long time, but last week, the labour Government finally recognised that it was both cruel and unfair to deny NHS patients who decided to buy themselves drugs that the NHS would not purchase for them.
Labour U turn on NICE’s cancer drugs postcode lottery killing policy
Fri, Nov 7, 2008- The rule preventing NHS patients from “topping up” their treatment is cruel and vindictive. Under just axed guidelines, anyone paying for drugs with their own money may be deprived of any further free health care.
NHS data breaches hit 75 in a year
Fri, Oct 31, 2008- Seventy five breaches of data security rules by the health service have been reported to the information commissioner’s office in the past year, new figures reveal.
Two thirds of patients fail to get a GP appointment within 48 hours
Thu, Oct 23, 2008- Two thirds of NHS patients cannot get an appointment with their GP within 48 hours, a wide ranging report by the healthcare watchdog has found- and the situation is getting worse as last year 80 per cent of patients could see their GPs within 48 hours.
NHS complaints system too bureaucratic for patients, says MPs’ report
Mon, Oct 13, 2008- Only a tiny fraction of patients unhappy with the NHS make a formal complaint because of a bureaucratic, confusing system which changes little, according to a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO).
Phil Hope takes over social care brief at Dept of Health
Thu, Oct 9, 2008– Phil Hope has been appointed as a minister in the Department of Health, replacing Ivan Lewis
Cancer drugs prescription charge move by Stalinst Brown is bizarre
Wed, Oct 1, 2008- Health economists and opposition politicians have expressed bemusement at Gordon Brown’s decision to exempt cancer sufferers from prescription charges when patients are having to pay thousands of pounds for cancer drugs that the NHS will not fund.
King’s Fund- labour’s NHS top up payments strategy is untenable
Thu, Sep 18, 2008- The King’s Fund believes the current policy and practice on top-ups, which prohibits people from privately purchasing drugs not available on the health service while continuing a course of NHS care, is untenable.
NHS surplus prompts health funding row
Mon, Sep 08, 2008- A political row broke out over health funding as the National Health Service forecast a £1.75bn surplus for the current financial year.
Labour targets created £90,000 NHS smoking fraud
Thu, Aug 28, 2008- A man defrauded nearly £90,000 from the NHS by working as a stop smoking adviser and signing up non smoking strangers to exaggerate his success rates and income.
Top up payments for drugs are fair says voters
Thu, Aug 21, 2008- Patients should be given the chance to pay extra for the best available drugs in addition to their NHS treatment, according to a Sunday Times poll.
NHS co-payment ban in disarray
Mon, Aug 11, 2008- Labour’s ban on NHS patients paying for medicines the health service does not fund is in disarray. Figures obtained under freedom of information legislation show that NHS hospitals were allowing dozens of patients to top up with private drugs before the government warned them it was not allowed under NHS rules in July last year.
NHS spurns gift of free cancer drug
Mon, Aug 4, 2008– Bosses in the National Health Service have refused to administer a drug to a patient with advanced kidney cancer even though the medicine is being provided free.
Tensions grow over cancer treatments as NICE blocks drugs
Fri, Jul 25, 2008– The new generation of cancer medicines raises delicate and potentially explosive issues for the labour government’s medicines advisory body National Institute for Curbing Expenditure (NICE).
Too high a price- Financial Times’s review of labour’s drug denials to cancer patients
Wed, Jul 16, 2008- Doctors’ leaders became the latest group to demand change to labour government guidance that refuses National Health Service care to seriously ill patients who seek to prolong their lives by paying for drugs that the NHS will not provide for them. The policy is so clearly unjustifiable that legal or political pressure looks sure to force ministers to concede the point eventually. But any delay will be damaging.
Health Direct- top up health service care is fair
Fri, Jul 11, 2008- Health Direct points out that when some complication arises after private surgery, many patients land in the NHS and are treated, not sent away. Equally NHS dental services- when one can find them, require additional payments from patients.
NHS at 60- Labour no longer trusted on National Health Service
Mon, Jun 30, 2008- NHS at 60- On the eve of the NHS’s sixtieth aniversary a new poll shows that Labour is no longer the party trusted to bring in the health reforms that are needed to safeguard the NHS for future generations.
NHS hospitals lose 32,000 beds in a decade
Thu, Jun 19, 2008- More than 30,000 hospital beds have been lost since Labour came to power, with record cuts in NHS wards last year- which Health Direct chronicled.
NHS constitution- another bad labour idea says FT Editorial
Fri, June 6, 2008- The key test of any health reform should be whether it will actually improve the quality of care that patients receive.
NHS 18 week waiting list promise likely to be broken
Mon, Jun 2, 2008- A milestone in the labour government’s drive to ensure that no one waits more than 18 weeks for hospital treatment looks set to be missed, suggest latest figures from the Department of Health.
Cannabis U Turn as labour again disregards scientists
Tue, May 20, 2008- Cannabis is to be reclassified as a class B drug, Jacqui Smith has said. The home secretary’s statement to MPs came despite the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs’ review – commissioned by Gordon Brown – saying it should stay class C.
Labour breaks promise to care home residents funding
Thu, May 15, 2008- A high profile group of organisations have written to Care Minister Ivan Lewis after the Department of Health reneged on its promise to consult on increasing the Personal Expenses Allowance (PEA) for more than 250,000 care home residents.
NHS fails to dent private insurance
Fri, May 9, 2008- Private medical insurance has remained robust in the face of competition from supposedly falling National Health Service waiting times.
Polyclinics ‘will hit most vulnerable’
Fri, May 2, 2008- Closing GP surgeries to replace them with “polyclinics” will hit the most vulnerable members of society and damage the fabric of local communities, David Cameron said.
Statistically speaking, 100% of us are fed up with dodgy data
Thu, Apr 17, 2008- The majority of 25 to 34-year-olds have sex three to four times a week,” Health Direct reads. There I am, minding my own business on the train and a statistic attacks. Four times a week?
Vital year of reform for healthy looking NHS claims nhs spin boss
Mon, Apr 07, 2008- The National Health Service faces a critical year that will shape its performance over the next decade, according to David Nicholson, its chief executive.
Pressure to reveal ex-ministers’ outside pay
Fri, Apr 04, 2008- Pressure is mounting on the authorities at Westminster to overhaul the rules that allow MPs and peers to avoid disclosure of earnings from outside interests.
Two in five trusts turn away women in labour
Thursday, April 03, 2008- Women in labour were turned away by 42 per cent of trusts last year, figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show as labour’s maternity promises look stillborn.
Gulf in health between rich and poor widens under Labour government
Thu, Mar 27, 2008- Health inequalities between rich and poor have widened since Labour came to office in 1997.
Terry Pratchett funds Alzheimer’s study as labour wouldn’t fund treatment
Thurs, Mar 20, 2008– Best selling fantasy author Terry Pratchett is to donate £500,000 for research into Alzheimer’s disease. Pratchett, announced the pledge at the Alzheimer’s Research Trust annual conference.
Average NHS waiting times up under Labour
Thu, Mar 13, 2008- Average hospital waiting times have risen under Labour, figures show. Before Labour came to power in 1997 waits of more than 18 months were not uncommon, but now few people wait longer than six months in England.
Hugh Grant calls for terminal care funds and labour to keep it’s promise
Tue, Feb 26, 2008- Hugh Grant accused labour ministers of breaking a key commitment to the terminally ill as he called for extra funds for their care on Tuesday.
Row erupts over NHS health trusts in centralist health dictats
Thu, Feb 21, 2008- A battle for the soul of NHS reform has broken out after accusations that the labour government has usurped key hospitals’ independence.
Health Minister defensive over Cerner NPfIT NHS progress
Mon, Feb 18, 2008- When advisers to ministers write replies to Parliamentary questions they have no legal duty to be candid. Within reason they can say what they like. So for them answering written Parliamentary questions may be no more challenging than playing tennis with the net down.
Alan Johnson scraps with GPs over pay and opening hours
Thu, Feb 07, 2008- The 2004 general practitioner contract which the labour Government is now messily trying to unpick set a new benchmark for ineptitude by the Department of Health, whose weakness in contractual negotiations is legendary.
Single sex wards are broken promise Lard Darzi a Health Minister warns
Tue Jan 29, 2008- Lord Darzi believes that labour’s 2002 election manifesto to promise single sex NHS wards are impossible to achieve without considerable new investment.
Labour units failing to meet maternity guidelines
Fri Jan 25 2008- More than four in ten maternity units in England offer poor or below average care, a report by the healthcare watchdog concludes today.
Deaf aids postcode lottery scandal breaks 18 week waiting promise
Mon Jan 07 2008- Some people in England are facing waits of nearly two and a half years for an NHS hearing aid, the RNID charity says.
Labour U turn on mixed sex hospital wards
Fri Dec 28 2007- Labour has abandoned its key manifesto pledge to eliminate the controversial practice of mixed sex wards, it has emerged.
Patricia Hewitt cashes in on health post
Fri 21 Dec 2007- Patricia Hewitt, the former health secretary who left the government six months ago, has been offered jobs with at least five companies with links to the health sector
NHS patients face humiliating treatment- whatever happened to Dignity?
Thu 6 Dec 2007- Hospitals are still failing to treat people with dignity and respect as complaints reveal patients left unwashed, in soiled bedding and in humiliating open-backed gowns, the Healthcare Commission has said.
UK among Europe’s worst for cancer funding and cancer deaths
Tue 4 Dec 2007- The UK is lagging behind “nearly every other” European country when it comes to investment in cancer services and has some of the poorest survival rates for the disease.
Ward cleaning is reassurance spin admits Alan Johnson
Fri 30 Nov 2007- The £50m a year that the labour government is to spend on routinely deep cleaning hospital wards is being spent to reassure the public rather than as a provenly effective way to tackle hospital acquired infections like MRSA admitted Alan Johnson the Health Secretary.
NHS must keep taking the tablets- Financial Times Editorial on labour’s costly private sector U turn
Mon 19 Nov 2007- The Financial Times last week criticised labour’s health services incompetent U Turn. Health Direct reproduces the Editorial.
Private sector role in pioneering healthcare scheme to be slashed
Tue 13 Nov 2007- A pioneering £700m a year labour government scheme to buy surgical treatment centres and diagnostic services from the private sector is set to be more than halved by ministers.
Labour tries to move 18 week hospital waiting promise goalposts
Fri 9 Nov 2007- Ben Bradshaw is trying to break the labour promise that no patient should wait more than 18 weeks from seeing their GP to completing their hospital treatment as new figures confirm that they will fail to keep their word.
Only 44pc recall hospital choice watchdog finds
Wed 31 Nov 2007- Further evidence that the Labour’s “choice” policy is struggling as a means of driving reform in the National Health Service has come from the latest Healthcare Commission survey of how far it is being offered to patients.
Ministers bury bad news report on MRSA, C Difficile superbugs since May
Wed 24 Oct 2007- Once again Health Direct learns that labour’s ridiculous health targets are resulting in many NHS patients having an early death and or unnecessarily pain. The Financial Times discovered that there is a direct correlation between be occupancy rates and incidents of patients contracting MRSA, C Difficile and other superbugs.
James Purnell fake photo- new labour spin controversy
Mon 1 Oct 2007- James Purnell, the Culture Secretary, came under increasing pressure over a fake photo last night, after two Labour MPs revealed they planned in advance for it be altered. The MPs, who featured alongside Mr Purnell in the doctored photograph, revealed that they had discussed how he would be merged into the shot after he failed to turn up for a photocall on time.
Stalinist Brown’s superbug plans ignore scientific evidence claims Lancet
Fri 28 Sep 2007- Labour government plans for tackling superbugs, such as MRSA, have been condemned by a leading medical journal for not being based on scientific fact. The Lancet said there was little evidence to support hospital “deep cleans” or short sleeves for medical staff as recently mentioned by Health Direct.
Stalinist Brown bounce wanes on public services says another poll
Fri 21 Sep 2007- Labour’s “Brown bounce” in the polls has receded as far as public services are concerned, according to polling by Ipsos Mori.
Ben Bradshaw is still confident of achieving 18 week target
Fri 14 Sep 2007- Ben Bradshaw was forced to defend the incompetence of his Department of Health this week after a detailed analysis by the Financial Times found that fully a quarter of the population would have to wait longer than the basic 18 weeks between referral by a GP and treatment which labour promised.
NHS to miss 18 week treatment waiting times targets- by the proverbial country mile
Mon 10 Sept 2007- The National Health Service is set to fall well short of its target of ensuring that no one waits more than 18 weeks from seeing a family doctor to completion of treatment, latest official figures predict.
Measles cases triple with no backup MMR vaccine stocks
Fri 31 Aug 07- Parents are being urged to give their children the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab before the start of the new school year after an unprecedented surge of measles cases was recorded over the summer holidays.
GPs given ultimatum to open at night and weekends as DoH bullies BMA
Tue 21 Aug 07- Having disastrously fouled up the GPs’ service contract last year the Deptartment of Heath is now aggressively bullying GPs to work weekends again. Family doctors have been warned that unless they agree to open at evenings and on Saturdays, private companies will be contracted to take over their practices.
Private surgery deal shows Labour hypocrisy
Wed 8 Aug 07- A London hospital is to become the first in Britain to privatise all surgery, prompting charges of “rank Government hypocrisy” from supporters of the NHS. Kingston Hospital, in south west London, is to hand over control of its operating theatres to a private firm under a 10-year contract which has alarmed staff.
Hypocrite Stalinist Brown cuts £50m from drugs rehab budget
Wed, 1 Aug 07- The flagship labour government scheme for treating drug addicts faces swingeing budget cuts of £50 million. Plans to slash total funding by more than 12 per cent, outlined in an email leaked to The Sunday Telegraph, come less than a fortnight after Stalinist Brown tried to show off his anti-drug credentials by signalling his desire to reclassify Cannabis from Class C to the more serious Class B. The Conservatives accused the Prime Minister of hypocrisy.
MTAS disaster- Labour’s botched NHS plan
Fri 27 Jul 07- The Medical Training Application System (MTAS) junior doctors appointment fiasco still produces fury in the health profession. Why? And how did labour’s defective system get passed in the first place?
Hospital cases treble since labour’s extended drinking pub hours laws
Thu 19 Jul 07- Overnight visits to hospital emergency departments for alcohol related problems have trebled since the introduction of new licensing laws, according to a scientific journal the Emergency Medicine Journal. The EMJ has published research showing that significantly more people have needed hospital treatment for alcohol-related issues since pub hours were extended in November 2005.
Cynical Stalinist Brown cut budget for English hospitals- but kept Scottish health budgets
Mon 2 Jul 07- Gordon Stalinist Brown quietly slashed by a third this year’s hospital building and equipment budget in one of his last acts as chancellor. Prompted by the tightness of the public finances, the new prime minister, who has placed the NHS as his “immediate priority”, cut the capital budget of the English NHS for 2007-08 from £6.2bn to £4.2bn. The move could delay the labour government’s hospital building and reconfiguration programme in England.
Stalin Brown’s new Health Secretary Alan Johnson signals a union friendly approach
Fri 29 Jun 07- Stalin Brown’s appointment of Alan Johnson as the new Health Secretary appears to signal a more union friendly approach to the management of public services and possible disappointment for companies looking to offer healthcare services.
GPs have no confidence in Patricia Hewitt
Fri 15 Jun 07- Family doctors delivered an overwhelming vote of no confidence in the labour Government’s handling of the NHS yesterday. GPs accused ministers of “wasting a golden opportunity” to transform the health service by “squandering millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money”.
NHS trusts fail on waiting times as more than half wait over 18 weeks
Fri 8 Jun 07- Less than half of NHS patients are receiving hospital treatment within the labour government’s flagship waiting time target of 18 weeks, new figures revealed. Only 48% of patients in England are treated within 18 weeks and 12.4% have to wait more than a year for treatment, according to figures published by the Department of Health.
Private slow down expected as NHS prepares for Gordon Stalin Brown
Tue 29 May 07- Less emphasis on the use of the private sector and a slow down in market based reforms could be the hallmark of Gordon “Stalin” Brown’s premiership for the NHS, according to a review of health experts by Health Direct.
Hewitt battles for survival in Commons after day of criticism over MTAS flawed dreadful mess
Thu 24 May 07- The health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, battled for her political reputation, if not her survival, yesterday in a packed Commons debate on a Tory motion of no confidence. It came at the end of a day which featured severe criticism from a high court judge over the junior doctors debacle, and angry scenes at the annual conference of NHS midwives
Doctors MTAS online application system may be ditched in another Hewitt U turn
Wed 16 May 07- Channel 4 interviewed the Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt over the crisis surrounding the appointment of thousands of junior doctors. The new Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) was heralded by the government as an ‘agent of change’, designed to establish a fairer, more transparent system for recruiting the next generation of specialist medics. But for months now it’s been ridiculed within medical circles for effectively deselecting some of the brightest junior doctors.
Health Direct asks did tony “purer than pure” bliar save the NHS?
Fri 11 May 07- With the long overdue announcement that tony bliar is finally to stand down as our Great Leader, Health Direct asks did he save the NHS in 24 hours? Our taxes went up to pay for extra funding for the NHS- indeed total NHS spending went up 124%. The question is then- has the service doubled in value/ productivity or service availability and the answer is clearly no.
Tony Bliar’s NHS legacy- Health Direct reviews 10 years of wasted opportunities
Fri 4 May 07- In the week that Tony Bliar celebrates his 10 years in charge of the NHS, Health Direct along with the political parties looks at what damage he has done to our national treasure. The three main political parties have come out fighting over what 10 years under a Labour government has meant for the NHS.
Labour cuts are squeezing life out of NHS- RCN
Tue 17 Apr 07- 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, warned the NHS was at risk as wards are closed, jobs lost and services slashed. “The situation is so serious that the progress we’ve made could soon be reversed or, sadly, lost altogether.”
Labour voting areas get most PFI NHS cash
Fri 13 Apr 07- Questions have been raised about hospital building projects as it emerged 85p out of every £1 spent has been invested in Labour areas. Many hospital build projects have been funded through PFI. Official figures showed that of the 47 hospitals built since 1997, 33 served areas represented by a Labour MP. That compares to 10 in Tory and two in Liberal Democrat territories.
Hewitt’s home births promise is premature, warn Tories
Thu 5 Apr 07- Labour’s promise that healthy women who choose to can have their babies at home was undermined yesterday by fears of a shortage of midwives and lack of funds. Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, announced that from 2009 all women would be able to choose where they had their baby – in hospital, in a midwife-led unit or at home. But the Conservatives said there was “no substance” behind the plans and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said that the plan would need an extra 3,000 midwives.
Reckless NHS recruitment blamed for cash shortage
Wed 28 Mar 07– NHS planning has been a disastrous failure, leading to an uncontrolled boom in the workforce followed by a bust in budgets, a report by MPs says. The health service set out in 1999 to recruit 20,000 more nurses by 2004 but hired 67,878 — 340 per cent over target. It also recruited twice as many GPs as planned and 69 per cent more health professionals, such as physiotherapists.
MPs expose lack of control over NHS billions
Thu 22 Mar 07- A devastating insight into financial mismanagement at all levels of the NHS- from Labour ministers down to hospital bureaucrats- is provided by a committee of MPs. The report by the all party Public Accounts Committee exposes how billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being poured into a health system with inadequate financial controls and low levels of accounting expertise. The MPs conclude that NHS structures are so inadequate that the Department of Health has no idea what the effect of last year’s total deficit of £570 million is having on patient care.
Hypocrite Brown bitten over his private dental work
Tue 15 Mar 07- The chancellor has been accused of spurning the National Health Service by paying hundreds of pounds for routine dental work to a private dentist known for his celebrity clients. Gordon “Brother” Brown had root canal work done by Mervyn Druian, who runs a surgery in north London. He charges up to £650 for the procedure, compared with a standard NHS cost of £42.
Doubts over bid to charge foreigners for NHS care
Fri, 9 Mar 07- A fresh drive to charge foreign nationals, including illegal immigrants, for National Health Service care has been announced by John Reid, the home secretary – but well ahead of the health department being able to say how that will work in practice. Mr Reid announced pilot schemes to be run in three unidentified trusts in which hospitals and GPs will be able to check patients’ eligibility for free treatment against data held by the Border and Immigration Agency. Labour still claims that from 2008 all foreign nationals will have to have identity cards with records held on a national database.
Why the NHS’s finances will never add up under bliar’s crooked books
Thu 1 Mar 07- A short letter published in the Telegraph this week highlighted the contradiction inherent in the Labour Government’s attempts to improve the cost-effectiveness of the NHS. NHS hospital surgery is paid for on an ill thought out tariff basis that could cripple the health service.
Barking Bliar’s latest drive to cut waiting times for NHS operations
Tue 20 Feb 07- Tony Bliar yesterday stepped up the drive to define his legacy by declaring that he wanted to see “the framework” in place to ensure that by the end of 2008 no one waits more than 18 weeks for an operation after seeing the GP. The target- originally announced two and a half years ago implies an average wait of eight to nine weeks. How he intends to achieve this breakthrough without providing any extra money was not explained.
Bed closures healthy sign for NHS, says Patricia Hewitt
Fri 9 Feb 07- Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, was criticised yesterday for claiming bed closures were a sign of “success” as new figures showed NHS trusts will end the year more than £1 billion in the red. The scale of the health service’s financial crisis emerged as Miss Hewitt delivered a presentation to the Cabinet on NHS “reconfiguration”— plans which will lead to the closure of dozens of maternity units, casualty departments and community hospitals.
Only 9% want medical treatments decided by MPs
Mon 29 Jan 07- The public wants politics left out of treatment decision, says survey. Decisions on NHS treatments should be made by clinicians, public representatives and managers – and not politicians, according to a MORI poll for the NHS Confederation. Asked which groups people felt should decide on the availability of NHS medicines 70 per cent said clinicians. Just 9 per cent thought MPs should make judgements, while 6 per cent thought councillors should be involved.
Bliar effect is hurting Labour a new ICM poll confirms
Thu 25 Jan 07- Declining public trust in Tony Bliar is dragging down wider public support for Labour, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published this week. It shows that the Conservatives have secured a lead in policy areas that once helped Mr Blair win three commanding general election victories.
Labour accused of omitting research that shows public sick of spin
Fri 19 Jan 07- Labour was accused yesterday of glossing over criticisms about its performance made in a public opinion poll. A 21-page document on the poll’s findings, published on the Cabinet Office website as part of Tony Blair’s policy review, revealed concerns over state interference in people’s lives. But the Conservatives claimed that almost 90 pages of the more critical findings by Ipsos MORI had been “deleted” from the text.
Labour “rising star” Andy Burnham promoted to tackle NHS reforms
Tue 9 Jan 07- Andy Burnham, the health minister responsible for delivery and quality, was pitched into the heart of the battle over the labour government’s health service changes last week as he took over responsibility for system reform, following the departure of Lord Warner.
Public mistrust of labour’s statistics remains high
Thu 4 Jan 07- Seen as curmudgeonly bearers of bad tidings, statisticians are rarely top of anyone’s Christmas card list. As the joke goes, a statistician loves to work with numbers but lacks the personality to be an accountant. Yet those who can bring themselves to cast aside their trademark gloom can identify positive trends in 2006: the economy is growing, alcopop consumption is declining, we are recycling more, and we are giving more to charity.
Labour leader defends hypocritical charges over NHS closures in her constituency
Tue 2 Jan 07- Cabinet minister Hazel Blears has defended her decision to take part in a protest over plans to close part of a hospital in her constituency. The proposals for Hope Hospital in Salford, Greater Manchester, are part of the controversial NHS shake up throughout the country. Ms Blears, Labour chairwoman, said: “My first and foremost job is to represent Salford and the people of the area.” It is very rare for a minister to directly oppose labour government policy.
The sad end to the National Health Service occurred when
A private firm is awarded total control of NHS hospital in final erosion of National Health Service
Wed 27 Dec 06- The first NHS hospital to be put under the total control of a private company was announced last week by the Department of Health. In a final erosion of the health service’s role as sole provider of healthcare for NHS patients, labour ministers have awarded a five year contract to manage the new Lymington New Forest Hospital in Hampshire to the Partnership Health Group, a partly owned subsidiary of Care UK. Doctors and nurses will be seconded from the NHS to work alongside staff employed directly by PHG.
Patricia Hewitt’s U turn as she breaks her NHS finance promises
Wed 13 Dec 06– The NHS in England has been told it must achieve a £250m surplus next year. The service ended the last financial year £512m in deficit, but Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt had pledged to balance the books this year. However, the latest predictions are that the NHS will have a £94m shortfall this year. In January and again in November, Ms Hewitt told the Health Select Committee she would take “personal responsibility” for bringing the NHS out of deficit this financial year.
Bliar still thinks that his reforms will improve NHS
Thu 7 Dec 06- Tony Bliar has defended his “changes” in the NHS, and predicted that they will lead to better patient care. In a speech to the NHS Confederation, he called on managers and doctors to sell reforms to the public in England. “The best is yet to come with more lives saved, stopping more pain and distress”.
Labour continues to pay the price for it’s NHS cutbacks and closures with the voters
Tue 28 Nov 06- The public remains deeply sceptical over the government’s ability to improve public services and the economy, according to the latest findings from Ipsos Mori’s public delivery index. A mere 19 per cent of adults believe the National Health Service is getting better, against 46 per cent who believe it is worsening. Just one person in 100 believes the NHS will get better over the next few years, against 13 who believe it will get much worse. (Which proves the adage that you can fool some of the people some of the time- but eventually people will see through the spin and lies.)
Hewitt defends extra NHS cash for Labour voting areas
Wed 22 Nov 06- Patricia Hewitt sparked new controversy over NHS funding last night after insisting that it was “absolutely right” that spending per head on health care was at least 35 per cent higher in many Labour areas than wealthier Tory ones. The Health Secretary told MPs that people in more prosperous areas had the “good fortune” to be in better health and as a result needed less allocated for their care.
Asked by a Tory member of the health select committee, Mike Penning, if it was fair that people in her Labour constituency of Leicester West received £1,300 per head in NHS spending, compared with £960 in his Hemel Hempstead seat, she replied: “I am satisfied that funding allocations are fair. I believe that reflects the very real differences in health areas, in the prevalence of disease between our two constituencies.
Another lying labour health minister- Rosie Winterton- a brief biography by Health Direct
Fri 10 Nov 06- Following on from Health Direct’s brief biography earlier this week of the Lying Lord Warner we thought that it would only be fair to do likewise for the Minister for Health in the House of Commons. Rosalie Winterton, known as Rosie Winterton, was born on August 10, 1958 in Leicester and she is the Labour member of Parliament for the South Yorkshire constituency of Doncaster Central. She became a Minister of State at the Department for Health in June 2003 and in January 2006 her responsibilities were changed to Health Services.
Commons misled by another Labour Minister over NHS tattoos answer
Thu 9 Nov 06- The Department of Health has apologised for misleading MPs by giving incorrect figures on tattoos removed on the NHS. Health minister Rosie Winterton said in October that 187,063 tattoos had been removed last year. Some experts later estimated this could have cost £300m. But the department now says the figure was a mistaken estimate and that the true amount was not known. The error was uncovered during a debate in the Lords and condemned by Tory Lord Tebbit as “extraordinary”.
Labour’s lying Lord- Baron Warner health minister- a brief biographical overview of his “achievements” by Health Direct
Tue 7 Nov 06- Norman Reginald Warner- Baron Warner (PC) was born on 8 September 1940 and is a Labour member of the House of Lords. One of “Tony’s Cronies” he was created Baron Warner of Brockley in the London Borough of Lewisham on 29 July 1998 and has been a Minister of State at the Department of Health since the summer of 2003. He was appointed to the Privy Council in June 2006, and was sworn in on 19 July 2006- coincidently the hottest day in British history.
Labour’s Health Minister admits lying- Lord Warner lies to Parliament
Mon 6 Nov 06- A Labour minister has admitted that he misled parliament about paying for the use of life coaches in Whitehall departments. “I didn’t tell the truth over paying for life coaches”, admits health minister. Lord Warner, the Labour health minister, was forced to apologise after falsely denying that his department was employing psychologists to mentor senior staff.
Labour support at lowest level since Thatcher’s last election victory
Wed 25 Oct 06- Support for Labour has dropped to its lowest level in almost 20 years with the Conservatives opening up a potentially election-winning 10-point lead, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today. Labour has the backing of only 29% of voters, equal to its lowest-ever level of support in a Guardian/ICM poll – recorded in May 1987, a month before Margaret Thatcher won a third term.
Only 14% of voters think the money invested in the NHS since 1997 has been well spent, against 72% who agree that “a lot” has been used badly. Even 58% of Labour voters think the extra money has been misspent. As a result only 25% of voters think that the NHS has improved since Labour came to power in 1997, against 30% who think it has got worse and 39% who think Labour has made little difference. When one reads yesterday’s blog is it any surprise that Labour gets the bird?
NHS cuts twice as likely in Tory and Lib Dem voting areas
Tue 24 Oct 06- Following Health Direct’s lead on Sept 25, 2006 NHS closures rigged away from Labour voting constituencies and the Times last week: Oct 16 Hospitals in Tory seats are ‘targeted for closure’ the Sunday Telegraph has now come to the same conclusion: that hospitals in Conservative and Liberal Democrat constituencies are more than twice as likely to suffer from NHS cuts as hospitals in Labour voting seats.
NHS does not know how many jobs axed in recent cutbacks and closures
Thu 19 Oct 06- The newly appointed chief executive of the National Health Service admitted on Tuesday that he did not know how many jobs would be lost this year as a result of budget cuts and reorganisation. David Nicholson was challenged on the impact on jobs of English NHS trusts plunging £523 million into the red at a press conference called by the Prime Minister to highlight health service reforms. “Out of touch” bliar claims “only a few hundred” NHS jobs were axed.
Hospitals in Tory seats are ‘targeted for closure’
Mon 16 Oct 06- Health Direct warned last month that NHS closures rigged away from Labour voting constituencies, now the Times has come to the same conclusion: Community hospitals that lie in Conservative or Liberal Democrat constituencies will bear the brunt of the Government’s closure programme, reigniting accusations of political interference in the NHS.
The Times has learnt that seven times as many community hospitals have closed or are under threat in constituencies held by opposition MPs. There are 62 closed or at-risk hospitals in Conservative constituencies and 8 in Liberal Democrats seats, with 11 in Labour areas.
NHS direct result- Cameron 2 Brown 0
Thu 5 Oct 06- Health Direct is pleased to report that at long last the Conservatives have produced a positive set of proposals for the future of the NHS. Coming hard on the heels of brother brown’s bonkers plan for the NHS at last week’s Labour conference, it looks as though politicians are finally waking up to the plea of millions of voters for a proper health service.
Brother Brown’s plans for the NHS are bonkers
Wed 27 Sep 06- One word sums up Brown’s big idea for the NHS- bonkers. When a local hospital is closed by Labour’s managers with no right for politicians to intervene, ask who is accountable? On Monday at the Labour conference, Brother Brown raised the idea of hospital closures being removed from the labour politicians with the introduction of yet another layer of bureaucrats taking the blame.
NHS closures rigged away from Labour voting constituencies
Mon 25 Sep 06- Last week saw the outcome of consultations over £40 million worth of NHS cutbacks and closures in Gloucestershire. Labour voting Gloucester sees new hospital facilities and Labour voting Stroud saw it’s maternity hospital remaining. Lib Dem voting Cheltenham saw the closure of it’s maternity, vascular surgery, urology and gynaecology departments with the aim of closing the A&E department as well as the closure of Delancey Hospital. Conservative voting Tewkesbury, Forest of Dean and Cotswold constituencies see the likely closure of their local hospitals in Winchcombe, Dilke and Lydney. Coincidence? Health Direct doesn’t think so.
Hewitt claims private companies’ role in NHS healthcare is ‘to be set locally
‘Wed 20 Sep 06- An end seemed in sight to the era of big, centrally negotiated contracts between private healthproviders and the government yesterday when Patricia Hewitt said patients, primary care trusts and family doctors would decide the extent of private sector involvement in the National Health Service.
Labour targets NHS hospital cuts away from marginal constituencies
Fri 15 Sep 06- Labour may be trying to target hospital cutbacks in areas where rival parties have seats, the Conservatives claim. The Tories have seen leaked emails detailing meetings between ministers and Labour party officials. Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said there also seemed to be a deliberate attempt to cut fewer services in Labour constituencies.
Labour conceals NHS criticism by NAO of NPfIT
Mon 21 Aug 06- Labour faces allegations of trying to undermine the independence of the National Audit Office after it successfully toned down the findings of an inquiry into the £12 billion NHS computer system. Documents released last week show how key passages in the NAO report were changed after interventions by Department of Health officials. These included removing warnings about the difficulties of creating computerised records for every patient in the country.
Extra billions for NHS largely wasted by Labour-
Tue 15 Aug 06- The massive increase in government expenditure on the NHS has not resulted in anything like the level of improvements in the service which might have been expected, according to a study from independent social-policy think-tank Civitas. Total public spending on the NHS in England has increased from £44.9bn in the first year of the NHS Plan (2000-01) to £76.4bn five years later (2005-06). This represents an increase of just over two thirds in cash terms (70%). In spite of this, according to James Gubb, author of The NHS and the NHS Plan: Is The Extra Money Working?, ‘service improvement has in too many areas resembled a country stroll, whereas expenditure has increased at a sprint’.
You have neither God nor Love on your side as 6 Chaplains are sacked to save money
Thu 10 Aug 06- Health Direct paraphrases the Thompson Twins’ song title as Labour’s NHS closures and cutbacks policy reached new depths of despair with the announcement that the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is to sack it’s team of six chaplains purely to save money.
Hewitt visits cutbacks anger and ignores Kidderminster effect.
Tue 25 Jul 2006- Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt was visiting Gloucestershire amid widespread anger at NHS cutbacks. About 500 health jobs and 240 hospital beds are threatened as the county’s three PCTs and NHS provider try to claw back a £40m deficit. Last Saturday, thousands of health service workers and union members marched through Cheltenham in protest. Ms Hewitt visited Cirencester hospital on Tuesday as part of a nationwide tour of health services. She tried to justify the cuts as she has already given her backing to closure of in-patient facilities in Fairford and Tetbury. The savings are part of moves to reduce an NHS deficit across England, which has reached £512m.
Using 18 pieces of legislation, this Government has taken a sledgehammer to our rights
Mon 17 July 2006- By way of a change, with a “little light reading” Health Direct highlights the excellent Rory Bremner’s Opinion article in the Sunday Telegraph. The parallels between Labour’s lying incompetence with managing the voters’ security and freedoms and also the health service is the other sorry reason for Health Direct’ readers’ attention.
Waiting times- NHS patients still face long delays for treatment
Thurs 13 July 2006- Half of NHS patients are waiting longer than the Government’s 18-week target for treatment after seeing their GP. Some people have waited more than two years before receiving treatment, a Department of Health study found, but the department said this involved only 1 per cent of patients. The figures come from a study of patient “journeys” in eight pilot areas to look at whether a series of government targets is delivering faster treatment times.
Waiting times up as DoH publishes latest figures
Mon 3 Jul- The latest figures from the Department of Health show waiting times rose in England. On inpatient waits, the number of patients waiting more than 13 weeks rose by 600 to 198,600 between April and May 2006. However, year on year the number fell by nearly a quarter (23 per cent).
NHS reform falters as Labour ministers pull advert
Sat 1 Jul- The sense that the Labour government is losing its grip on plans to reform the National Health Service gathered momentum yesterday as ministers pulled a procurement notice inviting the private sector to bid to purchase NHS services in the face of all-out opposition from unions. Patricia Hewitt, the health secretary, and Lord Warner, minister for NHS reform, said there had been “drafting errors” in the advertisement.
Last brick in the wall for the new look NHS health insurance
Tue 20 Jun- The decision by the Department of Health to open up the purchasing of NHS care, as well as its provision, to the private sector amounts to the last brick in the wall in the Labour government’s construction of the new-look health service.
NHS Trusts feel the impact as PFI and Payment by Results (PbR) processes collide
Sat 10 Jun- Health Direct repeats the analysis by HSJ below of the current conflicting Labour strategy for “saving” the NHS as it eloquently explains how the Payment by Results (PbR) system of financial planning one year at a time conflicts with the up to 30 year planning cycle that the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts which are drawn up by the Treasury and bind new health service facilities:
“Imagine buying a house for a family with four children. Over the next few years you know you will need a lot of space to accommodate noisy teenagers. But in 10 years’ time your needs are not so clear cut: children may leave, elderly relatives may come to stay or you may be on your own. Your income is also uncertain and not under your control: your boss has just refused a pay rise to reflect your high accommodation costs and says you can have the same as everyone else.” PbR v PFI NHS conflicts, more
“Half-baked” NHS reforms could harm patients, says think-tank
Wed 7 Jun- Patients could suffer from reforms to introduce choice and competition in the NHS unless the government gives a clearer commitment to establishing a full-blown market for the supply of healthcare, according to a leading think-tank.
Labour’s targets are triggering NHS staff bullying
Wed 17 May- The “target ethos” in the NHS is adding to a “survival of the fittest” culture where bullying is common, doctors leaders have warned. The British Medical Association says one in seven NHS workers has been bullied by colleagues. The organisation is calling for “zero tolerance” of bullying in the NHS.
Voters turn against Labour’s NHS cutbacks and closures
Fri 12 May- Local opposition to NHS reorganisations provided the catalyst for single-issue party candidates standing in last week’s local elections. GP Dr Jacqueline Gunsell was elected to Kirklees council on the Save Huddersfield Health Campaign ticket. She was one of three candidates standing in protest at plans to move services from their local hospital in Halifax.
NHS pay deals add £7bn to black hole in public pensions
Mon 1 May– Overspending on National Health Service pay settlements has deepened the black hole in the Government’s public sector pension plans – by £7 billion. Taxpayers will have to cover the cost of the enormous shortfall, caused by a Whitehall “miscalculation” as the Labour Government last week admitted that the overspend on new contracts for general practitioners, nurses, consultants and health workers was £610 million.
Angry RCN nurses drown out health minister
Thu 27 Apr– Infuriated nurses stopped Patricia Hewitt in her tracks yesterday as they interrupted her speech and demanded their voices be heard. The Health Secretary, who was addressing the Royal College of Nursing conference in Bournemouth, had been met by more than 2,000 stony faces, a sea of white and yellow campaign T-shirts, and a welcome somewhere between cool and frosty.fd
Health deficits are symptoms of a deeper failure
Wed 19 Apr- Tony Bliar once remarked that Labour’s record spending increases and reform were the last chance for the National Health Service. If they did not work, the prime minister warned, waiting in the wings were politicians who would dismantle the NHS. The reality is somewhat different. There is no ideological difference between Labour and Conservative. The real difference, in Rumsfeld- speak, is that Labour ministers know what they don’t know while the Conservatives don’t know what they don’t know.
Bliar pushes health reforms amid cash crisis
Thu 13 Apr- The Labour government on Wednesday announced changes to the structure of the NHS as Tony Blair and Patricia Hewitt brought together health chiefs to discuss the cash crisis affecting the nation’s hospitals.
Gordon Brown to blame for NHS crisis- new poll finds
Mon 3 Apr– Gordon Brown is being blamed for the financial crisis in the National Health Service, which has resulted in hospitals laying off staff and closing wards, according to a YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph. His credentials as prime minister-in-waiting are being undermined by a growing impression that he is not spending enough on the health service, and his own personal popularity ratings are falling.
Wed 15 Mar– A suspicious silence is blasting out of Whitehall. We hear about the National Health Service (NHS) in deepening financial crisis; we know its chief executive has quit; we read the hospital wards are closing to save money – but no minister is explaining why. Scanning the headlines, it is reasonable to conclude that Tony Bliar’s NHS “reform” programme is sinking – and that, soon, someone will have to bring this sorry adventure to an end if financial crisis is to be averted.
Wed 1 Mar– A report of a joint study by the Healthcare Commission, the National Audit Office and the Audit Commission warns that “Without clearer leadership from Departments there is a risk that the Labour Government’s target to halt the rise in obesity in children under 11 will not be met.” The report investigates the strength and efficiency of that part of the delivery chain that aims to reduce obesity in children between the ages of 5 and 10.
Wed 15 Feb– Tony Bliar has broken another manifesto promise as his MPs voted last night to ban smoking in all pubs, restaurants, private clubs and most workplaces across Britain by the summer of next year. Ironically, care homes and hospitals will be exempt.
Mon 6 Feb– Tony Bliar admits that billions poured into the NHS have not made it the world class service he promised. He reveals that where people live still affects the kind of treatment they get.
Fri 3 Feb– Health campaigners and doctors insisted more money was needed if the Government was to succeed in meeting its ambitious pledges to improve NHS services in the community. Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said a new generation of modern, NHS community hospitals would be created in efforts to provide more care to patients closer to home.
Mon 30 Jan– Patricia Hewitt, the health secretary, will call for the end of the “handout culture” in the NHS this week and demand that financial management be put ahead of clinical objectives. Under the new financial regime, health trusts will sink or swim on their ability to attract patients under a system of payment by results that threatens the income of poor performers.
Thu 26 Jan– Labour government targets and badly costed pay schemes are largely to blame for the financial problems in the NHS, chief executives believe. Eighty-four per cent of respondents to HSJ’s survey agreed with the statement that the government was trying to dodge its own culpability for the financial problems by blaming it on a small number of poorly performing trusts.
“Hugely disruptive, appalled, extremely concerned, illogical, false economy and flawed”- Health Select Committee’s views of the new Labour health plans
Mon 16 Jan– Health Direct is copying below the House of Commons Health Select Committee’s conclusions and recommendations on the Labour Government’s new set of proposals for the NHS and health care in the UK. “Hugely disruptive, appalled, extremely concerned, illogical, false economy and flawed” are just some of the comments by the Labour dominated committee
Mon 9 Jan– A new ‘bribe’ to encourage GPs to take up practice-based commissioning will doom the whole policy to failure, according to the leading pressure group for GP commissioning. The National Association for Primary Care said the new nationally set financial incentive will mean PBC will ‘sink before it has even got going’.
Labour ministers’ ambitious promises on 18 week maximum wait for surgery will fail on current spending rates
Fri 6 Jan– The Labour government’s promise to get the maximum wait for a non-emergency operation on the National Health Service down to 18 weeks by 2008 is ambitious. The 18 week process involves moving patients through three stages. From the initial visit to the GP, the patient has to go to a first outpatient appointment, then through any diagnostic tests that are needed and finally on to the operation itself once a decision to admit has been taken.
Mon 2 Jan– Most patients in England gain a historic new right this week – to be treated in a private hospital at National Health Service expense. The arrival of “patient choice” – the right to choose, initially from at least four hospitals, and by 2008 from any hospital prepared to meet NHS standards and prices – is a symbolic moment in the Labour government’s endeavour to use market forces to drive up health service performance.
Fri 30 Dec– A survey by leading cancer information charity CancerBACUP has shown wide varieties in the services offered by Regional Genetics Centres testing women for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer genes. The CancerBACUP survey shows: * Up to 9 month wait for first appointment with geneticist in some Genetics Centres
* Women waiting up to 2 years to find out if they have breast cancer gene in some centres
* Only half of UK genetic laboratories testing 100% of BRCA genes
* Variety of approaches to consent and communication with women on retesting
Wed 21 Dec– Tony Bliar’s pathetic deal on the European Union budget has thrown the Government’s future spending plans in Britain into jeopardy, it emerged. Treasury officials confirmed that the agreement hammered out by the Prime Minister in Brussels, which saw Britain pledge to hand back around £10 billion of its rebate over seven years, would have a direct impact at home on health and educational services.
Mon 12 Dec– At least three strategic health authorities have partially suspended “payment by results”, a cornerstone of the Labour government’s NHS reforms. The authorities covering Hampshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire say they fear the payment system will further destabilise hospitals and NHS purchasers that are already in financial trouble.
Thu 8 Dec– Tony Bliar has recalled Paul Corrigan, one of the architects of the Labour government’s supplier market in healthcare, to be his health adviser in Downing Street. The move is a sign that the prime minister is deeply worried that no one in the Department of Health appears to be able to keep a full grasp on the complexity of the government’s health reforms.
Wed 23 Nov– Labour Ministers are being blamed for shortages as Britain is facing a serious shortage of flu vaccine less than a month after ministers assured the public that it had enough supplies to inoculate everyone at risk from the virus.
Fri 11 Nov– The Labour government’s policy on primary care provision has become ‘fatally flawed’ because of poor handling, a poll of primary care trust chief executives suggests. More than three quarters of respondents to an HSJ survey agreed with the statement that ‘a badly communicated policy has now become a fatally flawed policy due to government panic’.
Mon 7 Nov– A fast- track scheme to provide drugs on NHS runs into a funding row. Health ministers have approved a fast-track system to decide which new drugs the National Health Service should provide, but have found themselves locked in a row over funding.
Mon 31 Oct– David Blunkett is in trouble again, for holding shares in a biotech firm that offers paternity tests (a special interest of his). Is the minister as unlucky in business as in love, or is he unfit for office? .
Tue 25 Oct– The Labour government has failed to make a decision on whether foundation trusts will have to offer patients the choice of a different provider for a scan if they have been waiting over 20 weeks, according to the Foundation Trust Network.
Wed 12 Oct- The NHS: a national health sham- Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) as the public used to know it— a centrally managed, publicly owned, government- financed health system— is no more. The end of the NHS was confirmed last week by health secretary Patricia Hewitt, who pledged to continue with plans to introduce market-based contestability (the Government’s byword for competition) into primary care, despite strong opposition from many health workers.
Fri 6 Oct- Britain has again been accused of breaking its promise not to poach nurses from developing countries. Percy Mahlati, deputy director-general of the South African department of health, said the National Health Service was continuing to recruit nurses indirectly through private agencies.
Thu 29 Sep– The Labour government has been defeated in a vote on its plans to expand use of the independent sector for NHS patients. A fierce debate ended with a vote by show of hands which officials said was so close that a card vote was required.
Mon 19 Sep– UK cancer patients are waiting more than two years for some vital cancer treatments to become widely available on the NHS, says cancer information charity CancerBACUP.
Thu 25 Aug– The troubled national health helpline NHS 24 has not yet “turned the corner”, Scotland’s health minister Andy Kerr said yesterday as an action plan to save the service, including the setting up of new call centres and an internet site, was laid out.
Tue 23 Aug– Not content with measuring the performance of doctors and hospital managers, the Department of Health has begun publishing statistics on the output and perceived “slant” of the journalists writing most frequently about the condition of the NHS.
Fri 19 Aug– Every doctor’s surgery in Britain will next month be sent official instructions on how to handle an outbreak of bird flu as ministers step up their preparations for a global pandemic that, if the worst fears are borne out, could kill up to 50m people.
Tue 16 Aug– The government’s blueprint for primary care trust reform was this week slammed as ‘incoherent’, ‘ill thought out’ and ‘an incredible way to treat important organisations’ by senior NHS managers and policy analysts.
Fri 5 Aug– The government fight to end hospital waiting times is far from over, warns King’s Fund report. The government now needs to broaden its focus from driving down waiting times to ensuring that the NHS delivers equal treatment for patients in equal need of it, according to a new report from the King’s Fund.
Thu 4 Aug– Five years ago the government launched its latest NHS Plan. The 10 year programme of reform set out a series of measures to overhaul the health service. Has the prescription worked?.
Mon 25 July– The side-effects of targets need to be monitored to ensure they do not lead to distortions in patient care, according to Healthcare Commission chief executive Anna Walker. Speaking at the launch of the commission’s annual State of Healthcare report, Ms Walker said NHS services were improving, but mainly in areas where there were targets or a national service framework.
Tue 7 June- The number of patients waiting for an NHS operation in England has risen by almost 6,000, new figures show.
Tue 24 May- Hundreds of patients were inappropriately removed from a trust’s waiting list at a time when staff were under pressure because of a lack of capacity, an independent review has found.
Wed, 11 May– Patients should be refused treatment because of their age in some cases, government advisers have proposed. Where age can affect the benefits or risks of treatment, discrimination is appropriate, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said.
Fri 29 April- Tony Blair is facing claims that GPs are not allowing advance appointments because of government targets. The Labour leader said he was “astonished” when the complaint was raised on the BBC’s Question Time.
Tue, 26 April- Staff ‘lack power’ to up cleanliness- hospital matrons still do not have real power to influence the standards of cleanliness in hospitals despite the Matron’s Charter published last year by the Department of Health, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
Thurs, 21st April– A petition to save a children’s ward found in a skip- the protest about partial closure of paediatric unit discovered in recycling skip along with confidential letters to Blair and Reid
Wed, April 18- Labour’s lost our vote- most doctors backed Blair in 1997. But now many believe his NHS policies have failed. Catherine Blake explains how she and her fellow medics lost the faith.
Thu, April 14– Doctors ‘never dreamt Labour could do this much damage’. Many who backed the party say that increased management and red tape is damaging the health service
Mon, April 11- An investigation by The Telegraph today lays bare how the health of hospital patients up and down the country is put at risk by direct Downing Street interference in the NHS and Labour’s obsession with targets.
Tue, March 29- Labour orders MP to keep quiet over Milburn scan deal. The Labour Party has attempted to gag one of its own MPs who strongly criticised a 90 million pound deal between the NHS and a private health company linked to Alan Milburn, Labour’s general election supremo
Five more hospitals have ‘hidden’ mixed-sex wards– Monday, February 21, – An investigation by The Telegraph has discovered that five more hospitals have mixed-sex wards despite claiming that they do not, increasing the pressure on the Government to end the degrading practice. Labour first promised to close all mixed wards in 1997 and again in 2001 but so far three separate deadlines have been missed. The Government has claimed that mixed wards persist in older buildings awaiting refurbishment. Yet one of the five uncovered this week is Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, which is one of the country’s newest. ”
The end of sleaze and spin?
The referendum on European Constitution?
The end of boom and bust?
Certainly the end of Prudence.
The biggest Ponzi scheme in history- the unfunded UK public pension system.
Tony Bliar- “Purer than pure”
Where does one start- to paraphrase a previous Prime MInister who EARNED his Congressional Gold Medal: never in the field of human conflict have so many been deceived by so few:
The WMD that were supposed to be ready to attack us in 45 minutes?
The illegal invasion of Iraq?
“The UK rebate will remain and we will not negotiate it away. Period.” June 8th 2005
Our democtaric right to vote on Europe?
Tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime?
Choice in the NHS? Why ban the single MMR jabs
A pretty straight kind of guy?
Improving travel- like our ripoff railways or car park- like roads?
Since Tony Bliar became Prime Minister in May 1997, he has been remarkably consistent in his promises. The reason is… they just haven’t been fulfilled
Then: NHS debt stood at £304 million, and hundreds of hospitals had suffered cuts. 1.1 million people were on hospital waiting lists.
April 1997: “24 hours to save our National Health Service.”
December 1997: “Over time, we can reform and improve the NHS so that, in three or four years, we no longer talk about saving it, but talk about the massive changes and improvements brought about by a Labour Government.”
March 1999: “We believe that the answer to Health Service problems is the £21 billion that we are allocating to the NHS.”
March 2001: “An enormous amount of change and investment is necessary.”
October 2002: “Yes, of course there are still big problems in the Health Service, but massive investment and improvements are also going on.”
November 2004: “We are well on the way to the renewal of the National Health Service.”
March 2005: “Yes, there are problems in our National Health Service — there are in all health-care systems — but any reasonable person looking at our health-care system today would see exactly where the money is going.”
July 2006: Urges British voters to take more responsibility for their own health, to relieve pressures upon the NHS. “What we are part of is a revolution and change in the way people are looking at health care.”
Now: NHS debt has spiralled to a record £1.2 million, hundreds of hospitals face cuts and closures. More than 750,000 people are on hospital waiting lists.