Links to important new information on other websites
- NHS Improvement pays McKinsey £500,000 to advise on 'purpose and model' A truly shocking story from HSJ, revealing that the NHS regulator NHS Improvement has not got the vaguest idea what it's supposed to be doing, and has to part for a second time with a shedload of cash to management consultants in an effort to find out. More than £1m so far flushed down the PWC to useless consultants to advise equally useless and clueless overpaid NHS executives, while they crack the whip on hard-pressed trusts to slash services to balance the books. Disgusted? You bet!
- Trust chief calls for review of STP after extraordinary winter Another (£) paywalled HSJ news story highlighting the unravelling of another STP, with a new hospital chief exec in Nottingham pointing to bed shortages and black alerts.
- KONP tribute to the late, great Prof Stephen Hawking A timely tribute highlighting Hawking's consistent support for the NHS and his role in supporting the JR4NHS challenge to the imposition of ACOs without proper scrutiny by MPs or public consultation.
- Private firms are not expecting to run ACO contracts (£) paywalled HSJ exclusive that should give some people pause for thought: Jeremy Hunt for one, and many who see ACOs as the threshold of doom. Problems cited by the private sector include the public's political resistance to privatisation, and the level of financial risk to the private sector. Rather than take on ACOs, they are keen to cherry-pick, offering future organisations "elective capacity, access to capital, analytics and diagnostic services".
- Not a winter crisis but a political crisis Tony O'Sullivan's excellent summary of the gathering storm for Labour Briefing
- 15 Trusts at 100% occupied, 34 with 99% of beds full on last day of winter crisis reporting NHS England's latest statistics confirm that 8 years of frozen funding since Cameron took over in 2010 have made it winter most of the year round in our NHS. Urgent need to scrap further bed cuts and boost funding & staffing levels
- Oral evidence on dangers for the NHS of Accountable Care Systems and Organisations Evidence given to the committee by 3 leaders of JR4NHS and KONP co-chair Tony O'Sullivan
- 'It was like an Arctic expedition’ - paramedics battle through snow for nine hours to reach stranded patient Every day story of NHS dedication -- a 3-mile trek by East Anglia ambulance staff to save a patient
- Judge's ruling recognises privatisation of one service threatens the whole local NHS Interesting written ruling on plans by Lancashire County Council to hand over children's services to Virgin, highlighted by Calderdale and Kirleees 999callfortheNHS.
- NHS Dis-integration: Unaccountable Care Excellent short read and up-sum on ACOs/ICOs and the shifty arguments of NHS England, from KONP's Tony O'Sullivan
- Ambulances' three hour wait outside Worcestershire A&E BBC report points out: "According to national guidelines, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is expected to deal with 95% of patients who attend A and E within four hours, but the BBC understands on Friday it dealt with 47% in four hours and 49% on Saturday."
- Yes, the NHS is fractured. But competition won’t heal it Polly Toynbee bangs home some hard points in this Guardian analysis.
- NHS brings in three month minimum waiting times despite warnings patients will suffer Further proof that underfunding has drastically undermined NHS capacity to meet targets for timely care.
- Single payer health care cuts costs View from an Oregon doctor, pointing out that waste and corruption arise from the US system
- Concerns over Shropshire's maternity services aired in open letter to health bosses
Hundreds sign open letter to NHS chiefs
- Government admits it could reprivatise Carillion work it took in-house just weeks ago. Mirror story shows they have learned and forgotten nothing.
- Answers to House of Lords Questions on Accountable Care Organisations Lord O'Shaughnessy offers the memorable assurance that "An ‘ACO’ is not a new type of legal entity, neither is it a body created under delegated legislation; instead it is a service provider that holds an ACO contract." But he goes on to state that "The Government will not bring forward legislation until the NHS England consultation [due to begin in March] has concluded."
Does anyone feel reassured?
- NHS trusts transferring staff into subsidiary companies to cut VAT Guardian story points out that transferring thousands of NHS support staff to "special purpose vehicle" companies may be argued as cutting VAT costs, but " Labour and trade unions have warned that they open the door to driving down wages, pensions and conditions of thousands of NHS staff – and therefore service standards."
- Third letter to the GMC regarding Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba (reply to Professor Terence Stephenson) Nick Ross in another letter in the BMJ bangs home the outrageous GMC behaviour:
"To put it bluntly (and forgive me but I am a journalist at heart) she was abandoned by her consultant, shafted by her employer and then tormented by the courts and finally persecuted and made unemployable by you. I wonder if you looked behind the court decision at the staffing levels and the work load on that fateful day – an absent consultant, a woeful shortage of trained nurses, no rest break and so on - and whether you would consider them to be prudent and acceptable. If so, perhaps you would be kind enough to publish them so that we can all see what the GMC regards as a safe working environment. "
- [US] National Health Expenditure Projections, 2017–26: Despite Uncertainty, Fundamentals
Primarily Drive Spending Growth Article in Health Affairs magazine using official projections to warn that US spending on health care is set to increase from 18% GDP ($3.6 trillion) in 2017 to 19.6% (£5.7 trillion) by 2026, with out of pocket personal spending increasing over 50% from $360 bn to $555 bn.
Not a system anyone with sound mind would want to copy or import.
- Written evidence submitted on behalf of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine calls out the failures of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans to take account of objective reality, and refutes the notion that there is a "surfeit" of hospital acute beds.
The RCEM notes that: "In simple terms the nature of demographic change means that the number of ED attendances is rising as the population grows and the average age of the population increases.
"This being the case, rather than planning for reductions in Emergency Department demand that are unlikely to materialise, it would surely be more sensible to plan for increased ED demand based further population growth and an increasingly elderly population."
- Migrants aren't a threat to the NHS -- Losing the migrants who helped build it is John Lister's article in The London Economic promoting the One Day Without Us event in solidarity with migrant workers on February 17.
- Department of Health and Social Care increases raid on the NHS capital budget to almost £4bn BMA article highly critical of the latest Treasury grab for the limited pool of NHS capital notes:
"Treasury papers, released last week, reveal that £1bn was switched from the DHSC’s £5.6bn capital budget to revenue in 2017/18.
"This year’s switch comes on top of £2.79bn of annual raids since 2014/15 at a time of heightened demand for rebuilding projects and with the NHS facing a £1bn bill for ‘high-risk’ repairs."
- Fake News about the NHS An excellent blog by Colin Leys of CHPI exposing common misleading facts retailed without critical comment by ignorant mainstream media news: a case for proper training in health journalism.
- "With strings attached: taking a closer look at the new NHS money" Sally Gainsbury's latest brilliant Nuffield Trust comment Sally Gainsbury untangles the contortions, deceptions and confidence trickery of last November's budget "increase" -- and why the "extra" money means LESS spending per patient, and the Sustainability & Transformation Fund is now renamed the "Provider Sustainability Fund".
- NAO report on adult social care workforce Hard facts on the growing crisis in social care.
- NHS England abandoned 'forward view' for community services
(£) HSJ Exclusive, drawn from a leaked document, reveals NHS England has abandoned plans to create a “forward view” for community services, despite arguing that sustainability and transformation partnerships need one to achieve their full potential.
- Ian Dalton criticises 'unrealistic' A&E plans Another (£) HSJ exclusive on NHS chiefs in retreat on controversial plans reveals that the latest retreat is from many wildly over-optimistic STPs and other reconfiguration plans assuming large reductions in emergency caseload:
"The chief executive of NHS Improvement has called for an end to “unrealistic” planning for emergency admissions to hospital, arguing that new money for the NHS will not “make it to patients” if demand is underestimated."
Where will this leave plans such as the closure of Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, planned closures of Ealing and Charing Cross Hospitals in North West London, and many similar schemes around the country?
- 30 years ago - the first moves to marketise the NHS
Extract from John Lister's book The NHS After 60 - for Patients or Profits, looking at the daft ideas being punted around by backwoods Tory MPs – many of them still familiar names – after Thatcher launched her "review" of the NHS in January 1988. see how many of the same ideas are still living a zombie existence in 2018.
- Annual charge paid by migrants for using the NHS to double
Guardian report of latest anti-migrant moves by Theresa May's brutal government -- quoting fears from doctors and others about the potential consequences.
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