Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tory Coalition Playing Politics With Our Lives!

Get Used To Seeing This
As The Tories & Liberal Democrats
Get Ready To Axe Our Hospitals
Maternity Units and Accident Service Departments
As Part Of Their Creeping Privatisation
During the 2010 General Election campaign, the Tories reacted with fury when Labour accused them of plotting to axe targets for cancer test waiting times. The then shadow spokesman for health Andrew Lansley, led demands for Labour to withdraw their comments.
So can David Cameron, George Osborne and Tory tea boy Nick Clegg explain why within a few days of slithering their way into office, did the Tories Coalition government abolish targets, in Accident Service waiting times, out patient appointments and waiting list appointments for operations? Among these abolished targets was a whole series of "cancer test" targets placed there by the Labour government and which were aimed at ensuring people suspected of having cancer were seen within 2 weeks and treatment commenced within one month.

Andrew Lansley must come to the House and explain why he did this, because the result of his political interference in these targets, has been a catastrophic rise in the number of people waiting for these tests, which could mean the difference between life and death.

When Labour were in Government, there were regular complaints from the Tories about these targets, accusing Labour of being overly bureaucratic, but as is plainly obvious now, the targets were in place for this vitally important and genuine reason, *they helped save lives*, by ensuring people were seen quickly.

Latest figures show that 5,583 people were kept hanging on for more than six weeks before they are sent for, for a test requested by their GP - a rise of a huge 128% on the 2,439 figure of a year ago.

The times waiting for MRI scans and other diagnostic scans for cancer and heart disease have rocketed since the Con-Dems came to power and abolished waiting times last June.

Make no mistake, this move is claiming lives and causing unnecessary suffering and distress to thousands of families.

Lansley's department blames this rise on "seasonal variations", that is ridiculous, the seasons have no bearing on people who may be suffering from cancer and it is a poor excuse to explain why he has ordered the end of the Labour government's target that people must be seen within 18 weeks, from referral to commencement of treatment.

This is yet another clear cut case of this blundering government, blundering in and changing things for the sake of changing them, not only to try and save money, but changing things often for no other reason than because Labour had put them into practice and they were working, the Tories and Liberal Democrats are showing scant regard for people's lives and well-being. It is blatant ideological politicking.

Patients groups, doctors, consultants and nurses are extremely worried about this attack on our services at one of the most devastating and distressing times in peoples lives.

Thousands of job losses at NHS hospitals, including 500 staff to go at a trust where cancer patients recently suffered  delays in diagnosis and treatments because of staff shortages and scrapped waiting time targets.

Another Side To These Cuts

There is also another side to the abolition of targets in the health service. Lansley has also scrapped the cap on the number of people each hospital can see and treat privately. This means that hospitals will be able to treat as many private patients as they want. The proceeds to be put into the hospital, but is this before or after the consultant takes his fee for private consultancy and surgery or medical treatment out?

Equally, this also means that private fee paying patients will be seen and or treated in NHS hospitals taking up appointment times and also the beds of NHS patients. They will be nursed and treated by NHS nurses and seen by NHS registrars and housemen. They will be given precedence over NHS patients for time allocation bookings for MRI and CT scanners and ordinary x-rays etc etc, they will be seen and treated by NHS technicians and radiographers and no doubt should they need it, NHS physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

While all this is increasing, this will force up the times of those on NHS waiting lists who are waiting for treatment or surgery and beds will be taken up by private patients.
Some of the most common operations — including hip replacements and cataract surgery — will be rationed as part of attempts to save billions of pounds, despite government promises that front-line services would be protected.
Patients’ groups have described the measures as "astonishingly brutal"
No wonder we have people like Sir Peter Gershon helping the Tories, Sir Peter Gershon chairs General Healthcare Group, the largest private sector health firm in the UK, who  openly admitted during the 2010 General Election that they stood to gain massively from NHS spending cutbacks.

When Andrew Lansley was opposition Health spokesman he accepted a £21.000 donation
for his private office from John Nash, chairman of Care UK.
Last night he was accused of a direct conflict of interest because Care UK makes 96 per cent of its money from the NHS.

Mr Nash runs several other firms that provide services to the NHS and stands to gain hugely from Tory plans to increase private sector involvement.
There are also foreign healthcare providers (many of them American) waiting for the creeping privatisation of our health service to begin, they are circling now like vulchers, waiting to pick the most lucrative contracts up.

The UK NHS is fast heading for creeping privatisation and an American healthcare style system.

Corruption ~ Corruption ~ Corruption

Tories and Liberal Democrats Cuts Affect Children's Hospitals

Proposals to change the way hospitals are paid will mean a "top-up" fund which is paid to specialist paediatric centres would be slashed by two thirds.
The head of one children's hospitals said if the plans went ahead, the implications were "extremely serious," threatening the future of services.
Currently, centres which provide specialist children's services receive 78 per cent more than the standard "rate" paid to other hospitals carrying out the same procedures

A Department of Health memo, dated September 30 proposes reducing the top-up to just 25 per cent, as part of plans to make hospitals more "efficient".
It is understood this would mean a loss of more than £70 million in funds for England's specialist children's hospitals, with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Sheffield Children's Hospital and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital worst affected.
The drastic cuts would reduce the level of top-up by two thirds, meaning the total payment for such operations subject to the top-ups would fall by one third.

More Than 30 Maternity Units & Casualty Departments To Face Axe Under Tory and Liberal Democrat Plans

More than 30 hospitals have either closed major services since the General Election, or are making plans to do so, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found.
In addition, five NHS trusts are in talks about centralising units at hospitals in their areas, but have yet to say where the axe will fall.
Patients' groups said the scale of the closures was "unprecedented," and would threaten public confidence in ministers' pledges to protect the NHS frontline. They warned that lives would be put at risk by the drastic cuts.

Since May's General Election:
  • Six hospitals have decided to downgrade Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments, in four cases permanently. The downgrade means they can no longer take the most serious cases.
  • Seven maternity units have suspended or agreed closures of services, or said they will only be able to take "low-risk" cases.
  • Decisions on plans to downgrade a further 19 maternity and A&E units and to centralise emergency surgery at other hospitals are expected within months.
The disclosures are likely to prove an embarrassment for the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, who in the run-up to the May election promised a "moratorium" on any decisions on hospital closures.

Mr Lansley said that all proposals for major changes to services must be reviewed by next month, and only allowed if they have the backing of local people, including GPs.

Katherine Murphy, from The Patients Association, said: "Despite everything this Government said, this shows that the NHS is ploughing ahead with closures of major services, on an unprecedented scale.

"We know the NHS faces financial pressures, but drastic cuts like this will put lives at risk."

Prof Cathy Warwick, General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said:

"We would be very worried if reconfigurations were being driven through because of the economic circumstances.
"Any decision taken about the future of maternity services needs to be in the interests of the women they serve."

She expressed particular concern about maternity services being suspended, or closed for parts of the day, making it impossible for women to rely on them, and making the units vulnerable to full closure.

David Cameron Breaks Promise to Provide 3000 Extra Midwifes

The Prime Minister made the promise to provide funding for 3,000 Extra Midwifes before the election.
Midwives say the demands for the service are growing due to the increasing number of complicated births caused by factors such as older mothers.
Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the RCM, said the service is at "cracking point" but the government had reneged on its promise to create more midwifery posts.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Before the election both David Cameron and Nick Clegg pledged more midwives. As recently as January David Cameron had an article in the The Sun where he talked about the importance of midwives to mothers and said that if he was in power he would give us 3,000 more midwives."
She explained: "We've now had a meeting with Andrew Lansley the Secretary of State for Health and they are clearly not prepared to fulfil that commitment."

Mr Cameron made the promise in an article he wrote for the Sun Newspaper in January 2010. All attempts to retrieve that article in that newspaper have failed, it appears to have been taken off.

Wonder why?

Still think the NHS is Safe In The Tories Hands?

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