Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Reply To The NHS "Listening Exercise"

Below is my reply to the NHS listening exercise which closes today. I have no idea if they will publish my reply, so I am doing it here, I suspect it will not be published because it tells the blunt truth.

The Bill as drafted in its current state removes the duty of care from the Secretary of State to provide a National Health Service, thus turning the NHS into nothing more than a brand name. The onus of the duty of care resting with the Secretary of State is fundamental to the entire NHS and this could effect and undermine the whole concept and principle of the NHS being "free at the point of need". Take this away and the NHS will  be firmly on the road to privatisation.

The issue of "any willing provider" will become even more dangerous, as it will be able to proceed across the country, the NHS will lose out as a provider and in the end quality of care will suffer as  a result as then everything becomes about money and costs.  Private companies do not want to be part of the NHS for altruistic reasons they are doing it for profit and to please their share holders. For example private companies will not want to be taking on the treatment of people with strokes and hemiplegias resulting from their CVAs and as stroke are usually associated with  the aging process, hypertension, blood disorders or weak arteries etc and age can bring together more than one health issue, elderly people are expensive to treat as well as the patient taking a long time for their conditions to improve, private companies are not going to want to take these on, so the NHS will be left to pick up the bill. This is but one example, there are a great many more. How many patients with CVAs will one GP consortia be able to have on their lists without this causing serious difficulties in funding for their entire practice? The same with elderly people with other problems and disabled people of all ages and the chronically sick where the prognosis is not about to improve and may even exacerbate at times and show marked deterioration? These are the people that are going to be at a serious disadvantage under this new system.

These Reforms "Liberating the NHS" are not pausing and have not paused, they have been continuing at a great pace throughout this sham that Cameron, Lansley and Clegg tried to sell us and this in itself raises serious issues. How can we trust the government to be honest with us about the NHS when they have pulled a stunt like this and have already lied and lied and lied? It destroys trust and trust is the one thing we have to have in our government when we are changing something as the NHS so drastically.

How can you possibly change anything  in the reforms? Especially as part of these reforms are already in operation?  They are not interchangeable, one part relies on another to work and so on and so forth, the parts are like dominoes and  take one part away and the rest will not function properly or just come to a complete stop and the NHS quickly fall into serious trouble, magnify this across the country and we will soon have an NHS on its knees.

Mr Lansley reforms are an entire package and  comes as a package, I actually get that, but I do not think that the prime minister of the deputy prime minister do. Cameron and Clegg playing political football using the NHS as a ball are doing Lansley's reforms further harm. To me it suggests that the two do not understand the totality of the reforms in fact they seem to fail to grasp the whole concept of what it is Lansley is trying to do with the NHS. They are confusing and misleading people by telling them that these reforms can work simply by taking large chunks out of them here and there because the reforms simply cannot work like that and if this is allowed to happen then in my opinion the reforms will pose even more serious problems and issues than they do in their original form.

The package as a whole has very dangerous connotations for the future of the NHS as we know it. The government needs to be truthful and tell people what they really want to do with the NHS and exactly how much private sector involvement they actually want and from what I can make out Cameron and Lansley appears to be heading for an optimum of around 80% within a very short time and once that optimum has been reached total privatisation is just a step away. If the Conservative government want to privatise the NHS they must be honest with people and tell us exactly what it is they want to do and why.

Up until now this government has been totally duplicitous and disingenuous in the way they have tried to fool people and I really object to the way the Conservative government have treated the public like idiots.
There must be serious debate about the NHS and as it so wedded to us in this country almost part of our constitution and it involves absolutely fundamental changes to the our NHS is run now, in fact if these reforms go through then the NHS will be an entirely different service, unrecognisable for the service it is at present. So it must put  to the country in a referendum and to do anything less would be totally dishonest and profoundly undemocratic. If Nick Clegg can be given £100 million for his vanity AV system project, and if we can waste over as billion pounds every few months siding with one side of a civil war in Libya then we can afford to hold a referendum on the NHS and more I feel it is absolutely and fundamentally vital to the whole issue of NHS reform.

I also do not like the fact that the big five (H5) private hospitals are paying lobbyists and think tanks to get at the NHS and that many private health care companies donate heftily to the Conservative party. John Nash and Care UK donated £22000 to Lansley's office alone and then further thousands to the Conservative party coffers. Then we see the company awarded the NHS prison contract by the Conservative government and it opens up the whole issue of power, policy influence and corruption.

These reforms do not need tinkering about with because this cannot structurally happen with them, so in my opinion the whole policy needs scrapping. The NHS is perfectly able to progress evolve and change without all of this, we have been doing it since its conception quite adequately, the only time the NHS finds itself in trouble is when we have a Conservative government, who always seem to run it down with a view to telling people it is not working so needs privatising. This is exactly the tack that David Cameron used on the radio, the fact that he could not continue to portray the NHS in a false light is because the radio station was inundated with people protesting and he had to back down.  The NHS has never enjoyed such high satisfaction rates, so why is the Conservatives trying to portray it as needing fixing when it is NOT broken?
More Reading: NHS Reforms "Listening Exercise"


Anonymous said...

Did you see Panorama this week, thats Labour changes taking the disabled and sick out of NHS care and giving it to private contractors, if you did not see it then look now it was shocking but hell not unexpected.

Gracie Samuels said...

Of course blame labour, I mean they were last in government 13 months ago so it must be their fault. (everything else is - apparently) Nothing at all to do with the Care Quality Commission (regulator) who received several reports from whistle blowers about what was happening in that abomination of a place but chose to ignore each and every one of them. Nothing to do with the fact that it is a Conservative constituency and nothing to do with the LOCAL AUTHORITY being entirely run by the Conservatives either is it? You know the local authorities that are supposed to be overseeing these places and awarding private contracts? I wonder if the owners of the home are Tory donors too?

The Panorama programme is a clear indication of why we must not allow the private sector to make further inroads into the NHS.