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Obama Pushes Regulations: UK Eyes Privitizing Healthcare
2 years ago

Filmmaker Michael Moore glorified the United Kingdom’s National Health Service in his 2007 documentary ”Sicko,” making a cult film argument that socialized medicine works. But Prime Minister David Cameron, the Tory MP who heads a coalition government in England, is apparently not a Moore fan: He is working to partially privatize the NHS, beginning a massive outsourcing of medical services to private health care providers throughout the U.K.

 

Britain’s media, in particular the Washington Post–Huffington Post hybrid The Guardian, is publishing near-panic-attacks alerts daily about the conservative plan, which comes as the British government scales back on entitlement spending, hoping to avoid a Greek-style financial meltdown.

 

But in the United States, left-wing enthusiasts of socialized medicine don’t seem bothered at the loss of a role model. Many won’t even acknowledge it.

“I handle media and public relations for the Catholic Health Association,” Fred Caesar told The Daily Caller. “We will pass on commenting.” Caesar is special assistant to the president of the CHA, a vocal advocate of President Obama’s health care overhaul.

 

Major U.S. media are also ignoring the story. As Cameron’s own health reform bill gathers momentum and heads for a vote in Parliament, online searches show no coverage at all of Britain’s move in The Washington Post or The New York Times.

 

 

‘Taken out and shot’

Contrast this with U.K. media, which is pressuring Cameron to drop his plans. Major medical societies — including the Royal College of General Practitioners — and the rest of Britain’s medical establishment is shouting for Cameron to cease and desist.



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/17/as-obama-pushes-new-regulations-uk-eyes-privatizing-its-health-care/#ixzz1mllo4l00
2 years ago

Quite a message, is it not.  One that we should look at carefully.  You see, the difference is that their physicians are used to government compensation; they have never had to consider free enterprise in their health care.  

NHS changes: Critics 'not invited' to PM's meeting
2 years ago

NHS changes: Critics 'not invited' to PM's meeting

David Cameron addresses staff at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey on 6 April 2011
The prime minister is convinced that changes to the NHS are needed

Some of the fiercest critics of the planned NHS reforms in England say they have not been invited to a meeting about the changes with David Cameron.

 

The British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing, which want the bill to be withdrawn, say they have not been asked to Monday's event.

 

Labour leader Ed Miliband accused Mr Cameron of failing to listen to the experts.

 

Downing Street would not disclose who had been invited to the meeting.

 

A spokeswoman said only that it was "a range of national healthcare organisations and clinical commissioning groups".

 

The BMA said in a statement: "If there is such an event, it would seem odd if the major bodies representing health professionals were not included."

 

The prime minister is insisting he will press ahead with the reforms despite widespread criticism.

 

Under the proposals, family doctors will have more control over their budgets and there will be a greater role for the private sector.

Dr Clare Gerada, Royal College of GPs: "Not to invite us... I'm very surprised" [ Video ]

 

But the government has had difficulties getting the bill through the House of Lords and - despite offering more than 100 concessions - still faces strong opposition.

 

Among the bodies calling for the bill to be withdrawn is the Royal College of Nursing, which said it was not aware of having received an invitation to Monday's meeting.

 

The Royal College of GPs also says it is not invited, which its chairwoman, Clare Gerada, said was a great shame given it represented the largest body of GPs in England.


'Work together'

 

She said: "I'm surprised because at this sort of time we need to work together.

 

 "We've all got to work together to make the NHS better and whatever happens to these reforms, we have to work to make sure our patients continue to get a very good service from their health care."

 

Mr Miliband said at the Welsh Labour conference: "You don't get progress on the NHS by shutting the door of Downing Street on doctors, nurses and patients' groups. It's not the actions of a prime minister to exclude from an NHS meeting the people who are the experts on the health service."

 

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: "This has all the hallmarks of an event thrown together in a last-ditch desperate bid to shore up collapsing support for the bill."

 

He suggested the prime minister had snubbed some of the groups because he "wouldn't like what they've got to say".

 

However, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: "This forms part of the government's ongoing dialogue with health practitioners about the implementation of these reforms."

 

 

Page 1

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17083357

 

NHS changes: Critics 'not invited' to PM's meeting
2 years ago

On Friday, members of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health joined several Royal Medical Colleges, including the Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of Radiologists, in calling for the bill to be scrapped.

 

Unions, including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives are among those who also want it to be withdrawn.

 

Earlier this week Downing Street insisted ministers were fully behind the reforms and rejected suggestions that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley should be sacked.

 

Mr Cameron said on Sunday he strongly supported the founding principles of the NHS, including "health care for all, free at the point of use, unrelated to the ability to pay".

 

More than 142,000 people, including footballer Rio Ferdinand, have signed an e-petition calling for the bill to be dropped.

 

A controversial bill

  • The Health and Social Care Bill is one of the flagship pieces of legislation from the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government
  • GPs and other clinicians are to be given much more responsibility for NHS spending in England and greater competition with the private sector encouraged
  • The plans were put on hold last spring after opposition from MPs and peers. Labour warned of privatisation at the expense of patient care.
  • After a "listening exercise" some changes were made and the revised bill cleared its next Commons stage
  • But when the bill was in the Lords before Christmas it faced mounting opposition and the royal colleges of nurses and midwives joined those who opposed the bill outright
  • Labour is calling for the bill to be dropped, but a series of fresh amendments have been put forward aimed at tackling critics' concerns.
Page 2
2 years ago

England is full front, Ray.   They are the adults in the room IMO among the countries.   They are civilized and caring but your country is not a fool.   If countries are going to be sustainable in their present form they must make the necessary adjustments to that sustainable end.   Nothing is ever done quickly in England....they ponder and ponder again until they feel they have it right.

2 years ago

There is good in that, Ray, the pondering, but then sometimes it might be better to just jump in and go for it.  However, if you are going to err, better to err on the side of caution.  Wish I had learned that a few different times in my life.  I need to constantly curb my impuslive nature and remember to give things a little more time.

NHS changes: PM to host talks on implementing plans
2 years ago

 

NHS changes: PM to host talks on implementing plans

Prime Minister David Cameron visits the Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital in Newcastle last week
Downing Street says it is engaged in an "ongoing dialogue with health practitioners"

The prime minister is to convene a meeting of healthcare professionals later to discuss the government's highly contentious changes to the NHS.

 

Opponents of the bill including the British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing complain they have been excluded from the event.

 

Labour accused David Cameron of closing the door of No 10 to its critics.

The government said Monday's event was one of a series of meetings and a range of groups had been invited.

 

A Downing Street spokeswoman said it was being held "to discuss implementation of the health reforms with representatives from a range of national healthcare organisations and clinical commissioning groups".

 

The Health and Social Care Bill proposals include giving GPs control of much of the NHS budget and opening up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

 

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham criticised the prime minister for discussions about the implementation of plans not yet on the statute book.

 

"It may sound like a small point to David Cameron but I wish to remind him that he doesn't yet have Parliament's permission to implement reforms nobody wants and for which no-one voted," Mr Burnham said.

 

"This has all the hallmarks of an event thrown together in a last-ditch desperate bid to shore up collapsing support for the bill.

 

"It would appear to be so last-minute that a number of important organisations have been left off the invite list, or maybe it's because the PM wouldn't like what they've got to say.

 

'Constructive talks'

 

On Friday, members of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health joined several Royal Medical Colleges, including the Royal College of GPs, in calling for the bill to be scrapped.

 

Unions, including the British Medical Association (BMA), the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives are among those who also want it to be withdrawn.

 

In a statement about Monday's meeting, the BMA said: "It would seem odd if the major bodies representing health professionals were not included."

 

BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said: "The government are confident the health bill - albeit in a much amended form - will survive its passage through Parliament; but it will be a trickier procedure to put it into practice."

 

The description of the meeting as "constructive talks" was "not very encrypted code for saying there's little point holding discussions on how to implement changes with groups, such as the BMA, which are already implacably opposed to them".

 

But our correspondent added: "Even amongst some of those who in principle support the reforms, there are worries."

 

He said the NHS Confederation would be attending the talks and would warn the prime minister he could face "severe difficulties in bringing about a complex reorganisation of the NHS unless he has the support of more health service staff".

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17093082



This post was modified from its original form on 19 Feb, 22:32
2 years ago

This is going to be something to watch closely, Ray.  It has to be a rough time for the people of the UK; how do you change?  However, the economy the way it is for your Country is like ours in that Government has to find ways to cut back; raising the debt is certainly not the solution at all.  Please keep us informed as to how this is playing out as it has an additional message to the U.S. regarding Obamacare, too.

2 years ago

Linda and Diane, what Cameron is doing is given back the NHS back to the people, but he must do it step by step, he can't rush into the reforms he wants to make, as yourselves maybe aware any form of reforms mustbe debated in both Houses the Commons and the Lords, and as I said before the reforms can go back and forth between to the two Houses until the Government have got it right.

 

I am posting a further 3 reports that I have not long received, this will give yourselves a bettter understanding.

 

In relation to Obama Care, and  Filmmaker Michael Moore glorified the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, I stress any Public Health Care been put in place must be carefully thought out, it is not a matter of setting the system up and thats the end of it, there is more to it, as I am showing yourselves.

 

When I was born in 1955, the NHS in the UK was already set up, so for me I just accept this as part of my life, in short I was born into it, for American's this is not the case, this why American's have to be very careful about any Public Health Care,

 

Diane in one way hit the nail on the head, on another thread when she referred to the Tax's that the working American's may have to pay, indeed the Tax Rate in the UK was running at 35% before and into the 1980's  

 

I would also add, should Obama get his way, his Health Care System may end up been abused by other Countries not far from America been Countries like Mexico, so the hard working American's like yourselves would not be just paying for your fellow American's Health Care but you may end up paying for the Health Care of Illegal Immigrants also. 

 

If you want my own personal opinion, I would stay with what sort of health care American as to offer.

 

NHS changes: The picture now
2 years ago

NHS changes: The picture now


GP groups get ready to manage budgets  
GP groups get ready to manage budgets

 

The law behind the largest reorganisation in the history of the NHS is still making its way through Parliament.

 

To meet various deadlines set out in the government's plans significant change is already underway.

 

The government says the bill will provide a sustainable structure and stability for the health service.

 

Labour and other critics say the bill could be dropped, but certain changes kept.

 

GPs get ready to take on budgets

Across England almost every GP practice has joined with neighbouring surgeries to form what are called Clinical Commissioning Groups, or CCGs. GPs were told they either had to form their own local groups or be allocated to one.

 

In some areas they had already been working together to spend small amounts of NHS money, so structures emerged quite quickly. There are currently around 240 CCGs but that number may decrease.

 

In the acronym-heavy world of the health service it is easy to get confused, but these groups will play a crucial role, taking over legal responsibility for an estimated £65bn a year of NHS spending from April 2013.

 

They will have to plan and buy healthcare for their local community, everything from paying for routine operations to meeting the drugs bill for patients.

 

Whether they are happy or not with the health bill, many GPs have taken a pragmatic view that they have to get on with the job.

 

Not all CCGs will be ready to take on budgets in 2013, and they will have to be centrally authorised before they take control.

 

Local NHS trusts merge

The 152 local NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) that currently manage most of the NHS budget in England still hold legal responsibility for that money but - faced with abolition - have lost staff.

 

These trusts have merged at a senior managerial level to form 51 clusters.

 

Some staff will stay on after the PCTs are due to be abolished in 2013 in organisations that will continue to advise the new GP-led groups on how to plan and buy healthcare.

 

These commissioning support services are meant to exist as organisations outside the NHS by 2016.

 

In the long term it will be up to GPs whether they continue to use these former NHS managers or buy in advice from elsewhere.

 

National Commissioning Board prepares

Some specialised care will have to be planned at a national level, and that job will fall to a new National Commissioning Board.

 

The NCB exists already in a shadow form and David Nicholson, the current CEO of the NHS, has been appointed as its first chief executive.

 

A chairman and directors have also been appointed and the board has held its first couple of meetings.

 

At this stage its role is mainly to get up and running so there is a smooth handover as the health service goes through this upheaval.

 

While the existing regional level of the NHS is going, the board will have regional offices.

NHS changes: Lansley heckled in Downing Street protest
2 years ago

NHS changes: Lansley heckled in Downing Street protest

Andrew Lansley
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley arrives outside Downing Street

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has been heckled and jostled by protesters as he arrived at Downing Street for a meeting on the future of the NHS.

 

He was greeted by shouts of "shame" and one woman refused to stand aside, saying: "I've had enough of you."

 

Prime Minister David Cameron called the meeting to push the case for changes to the NHS in England.

 

Groups including the British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing say they have been excluded.

 

Proposals in the Health and Social Care Bill include giving GPs control of much of the NHS budget and opening up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

 

These have proved controversial.

 

On Friday, members of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health joined several Royal Medical Colleges, including the Royal College of GPs, in calling for the bill to be scrapped.

 

'Not sensible'

Unions and professional bodies, including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Royal College of Midwives, are also among those who also want it to be withdrawn.

 

The government said the Downing Street meeting was designed for those "constructively engaged in implementing the modernisation".

As he arrived, Mr Lansley was shouted at by several protesters waiting by the gates of Downing Street.

 

One woman barred his way, telling the health secretary: "I'm not getting out of the way."

 

Mr Lansley told her that the NHS was not being privatised and said waiting lists were down.

 

She also appeared to prod Mr Lansley, who was forced to walk around her to get to a gate to enter Downing Street.

 

Earlier Peter Carter, from the RCN, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We really don't think it's a sensible way forward to think that you can have a meeting which has been called an emergency summit to take things forward without involving many of the key organisations that are intrinsic to making sure the NHS is successful."

 

In a statement on the meeting, the British Medical Association said: "It would seem odd if the major bodies representing health professionals were not included."

 

And Sarah Gorton, the senior national officer for health at the public sector union Unison, said: "Health workers should have their voices heard when major changes to the health service are being discussed."

 

A Downing Street spokesman said the prime minister had no plans to meet health groups opposed to the NHS changes, but added that he was "listening to health professionals about how we can implement the reforms we have set out".

 

 

Page 1

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17093082

 

2 years ago

'Outcomes'

He said the government had held "countless meetings with health professionals and would continue to do so".

 

At the meeting the prime minister is expected to point to evidence that emergency hospital admissions have fallen year-on-year for the first time.

 

Department of Health figures show a 0.5% decline in 2011, compared with a 36% increase between 2001 and 2010.

 

Mr Cameron will stress that, at the same time, GPs have taken a more central role in shaping care for patients and the NHS has moved away from Labour's "targets" culture to the coalition's emphasis on "outcomes".

 

The BBC News Channel's chief political correspondent, Norman Smith, said the government felt the time for "tweaking, amending and altering" the health bill was over and that there was no point continuing to "talk to those health groups they felt were pretty much decided against the changes".

 

Labour opposes the bill and party leader Ed Miliband said: "This bunker mentality is the wrong way to run the NHS...

 

"It's not too late to start listening to the doctors, the nurses and the midwives. It's not too late to listen to patients."


WHO'S GOING AND WHO'S NOT

GOING:

  • NHS Confederation
  • Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Royal College of Physicians of London
  • Royal College of Surgeons of England

NOT GOING:

  • British Medical Association
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • College of Occupational Therapists
  • Royal College of Midwives
  • Faculty of Public Health
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Royal College of Ophthalmologists
  • Royal College of Pathologists
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Unison
  • Unite
Page 2
2 years ago

Ray, 26 states have stepped forward and denied ObamaCare.  These governors deserve the credit if ObamaCare is thrown out by the higher courts.  

 

Your response here was excellent IMO.   America should be at an advantage watching how national healthcare has worked in other countries.   However, not every country is the same and therein lies the issue with many Americans not understanding why ObamaCare will destroy our country.   Our country's largest "fixed" expense every month are our entitlements...healthcare!   53% of our fixed expenses belong to healthcare costs.   Now we are going to see that go up under ObamaCare.   So, naturally, our taxes will have to pay for it.   Blended in this cost is medicaid for the poor so the next thing we can expect is that they will lower the income qualification which will again bring more people on board with "free" healthcare at the expense of the taxpayers.     This will go on and on until there are no longer anymore rich people to pay for the healthcare for the entire country.    Result:   socialism    

Healthcare around the world
2 years ago

 

Healthcare around the world

 

Healthcare figures

 

 

United States - Private system

Private sector funded, with more than half from private sources. Private health insurance available through employer, government or private schemes.

 

Volunteers offer free medical services in sponsored event in Los Angeles
Millions of people in the US are not covered by health insurance

15.3% of population (45.7 million people) do not have health insurance.

 

Federal government is largest healthcare insurer - involved in two main schemes, Medicaid and Medicare, each covering about 13% of population.

 

Medicaid - joint funded federal-state programme for certain low income and needy groups - eg children, disabled.

Medicare - for people 65 years old and above and some younger disabled people and those with permanent kidney failure undergoing dialysis or transplant.

 

Most doctors are in private practice and paid through combination of charges, discounted fees paid by private health plans, public programmes, and direct patient fees.

 

 

In-patient care is provided in public and private hospitals. Hospitals are paid through a combination of charges, per admission, and capitation.

 

UK - Universal, tax-funded system

 

Public sector funded by taxation and some national insurance contributions.

Ambulance
Emergency ambulances are part of free NHS service

About 11% have private health insurance. Private GP services very small.

 

Healthcare free at point of delivery but charges for prescription drugs (except in Wales), ophthalmic services and dental services unless exempt.

 

Exemptions include children, elderly, and unemployed. About 85% of prescriptions are exempt.

 

Most walk-in care provided by GP practices but also some walk-in clinics and 24-hour NHS telephone helpline. Free ambulance service and access to accident and emergency. In patient care through GP referral and follow contractual arrangements between health authorities, Primary Care Trusts and the hospital.

Hospitals are semi-autonomous self-governing public trusts.

 

 

France - Social insurance system

All legal residents covered by public health insurance funded by compulsory social health insurance contributions from employers and employees with no option to opt out.

 

Most people have extra private insurance to cover areas that are not eligible for reimbursement by the public health insurance system and many make out of pocket payments to see a doctor.

 

Patients pay doctor's bills and are reimbursed by sickness insurance funds.

Government regulates contribution rates paid to sickness funds, sets global budgets and salaries for public hospitals.

 

In-patient care is provided in public and private hospitals (not-for-profit and for-profit). Doctors in public hospitals are salaried whilst those in private hospitals are paid on a fee-for-service basis. Some public hospital doctors are allowed to treat private patients in the hospital. A percentage of the private fee is payable to the hospital.

 

Most out-patient care is delivered by doctors, dentists and medical auxiliaries working in their own practices.

 

Singapore - Dual system

 

Dual system funded by private and public sectors. Public sector provides 80% of hospital care 20% primary care.

 

 

Financed by combination of taxes, employee medical benefits, compulsory savings in the form of Medisave, insurance and out-of-pocket payments.

Patients expected to pay part of their medical expenses and to pay more for higher level of service. Government subsidises basic healthcare.

 

Public sector health services cater for lower income groups who cannot afford private sector charges. In private hospitals and outpatient clinics, patients pay the amount charged by the hospitals and doctors on a fee-for-service basis.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8201711.stm

2 years ago

Ray, excellent information and graphics.   This is so easy to understand and many of us have little or no understanding of healthcare in other countries.

 

 

2 years ago

Be a bit careful when trying to compare countries on health care results since there are differences in how various countries report results and death stats including what is considered a "live birth" and how violent deaths are recorded (if even included in death rates). In addition, countries with more homogenous populations, different demographics, different life styles, and different exposures to risks (like auto accidents - not many miles of road in Singapore) make comparisons difficult. As to costs, mandated coverages, availability of leading edge technology, uninsured populations (like illegal "immigrants'), "defensive medicine" to protect from law suits or medical board oversight, cost shifting from government to private insurance, what is included in "health care" (like the current birth control controversy here), and the like make comparisons a problem.

2 years ago

Hi John nice to speak to yourself again, after reading your kind post, I feel that I must advise in relation to the thread, the threads does refer to the different systems of health care that we know about.

 

the post that your kind self is referring to is the post named "Healthcare around the World" and the Chart on the post,

 

I would stress the chart is Data from the "World Health Organization" (WHO) therefore I cannot disagree with the Chart, but ask you kindly refer to the link below that will take to their web-site will tell you abit about who "WHO" are and do through out the world, I believe, they are part of the UN.

 

 WHO | World Health Organization

http://www.who.int/about/en/

 

Referring back to the thread, the thread should give yourself and other American's a better understanding of Public Health Care, and how it pay for, I pick the NHS because I live in the UK, so I know the NHS like the back of my hand and I know the problems that having a Public Health Care can cause, for instance, NHS Post-Code Lottery  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/7563701.stm

 

2 years ago

No trust in government's handling of NHS, poll suggests

Protesters holding NHS sign
Almost a third of people said they don't trust any political parties with the health service

Related Stories

Over two-thirds of people do not trust the government's handling of the NHS, a poll commissioned by BBC Radio 5 live'sVictoria Deryshire programme suggets.

Only 18% of the 1,005 adults surveyed in England think Andrew Lansley is doing a good job as Health Secretary.

 

Health Minister Simon Burns said the government's plans for the NHS are safeguarding it for future generations.

 

The poll was conducted by independent body ComRes.

 

When asked which political party they trusted most with the health service, one-third (32%) of people surveyed said they trusted none of them.

 

Labour received the highest vote of confidence at 37% and less than one in ten people said they trusted the Liberal Democrats.

Eighty percent of people did not feel the government had done enough to explain its planned reforms of the NHS, which hand control of budgets to GPs and other staff and open the service to more competition from private and voluntary sectors.

 

Mr Burns said: "Reform is never easy, but patients are already benefiting from GPs designing local health services and a renewed focus on improved results.

 

"Around the country they are being treated in more convenient places, pressure on hospitals is reducing and we are safeguarding the NHS for future generations."

 

Some 58% of respondents said they did not understand the government's planned changes to the health service.

 

Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: "I'm not surprised at the poll findings. This bill is the largest piece of legislation that has ever hit us. It is phenomenal and very, very complex.

 

"But the one thing it won't do, and let's be very clear about this, it won't reduce bureaucracy."

 

On Friday, members of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health joined several other Royal Medical Colleges, including the Royal College of GPs, in calling for the bill to be scrapped.

 

Unions and professional bodies, including the British Medical Association (BMA), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Royal College of Midwives, are also among those who want it to be withdrawn.

 

ComRes conducted the survey of 1,005 adults across England between 17 and 19 February 2012, weighing data to be representative of the population.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17112846

NHS 'will be Cameron's poll tax', says Ed Miliband
2 years ago

22 February 2012 Last updated at 20:04

 

NHS 'will be Cameron's poll tax', says Ed Miliband

David Cameron produces Labour briefing on NHS bill during PMQs

 

Labour leader Ed Miliband has told David Cameron he risks making NHS reform "his poll tax" - in noisy Commons clashes over the health bill.

Mr Miliband repeatedly accused the PM of refusing to listen to medics' concerns about the controversial bill.

 

But the government defeated, with a majority of 53 votes, a Labour bid to make it release an internal register of risks linked to the bill.

 

Mr Cameron said Labour refused to publish a register when in power.

 

The two leaders clashed at Prime Minister's Questions, ahead of the Labour-led debate calling for the publication of the government's risk assessment of the impact of the NHS shake-up in England.

 

Two hundred and 46 MPs voted for Labour's motion, compared to 299 who voted against following the Commons debate.


'Not fit'

 

The controversial Health and Social Care Bill has passed through its Commons stages but has been amended several times by the House of Lords.

 

Crossbencher Lord Owen is expected to put down an amendment to the bill which would delay its passage through Parliament until after a Freedom of Information ruling on the "transition risk register" on 5 and 6 March.

 

Among the risks believed to be outlined in the document include South Central Strategic Health Authority's warning that "the pace and scale of reform, coupled with savings achieved through cost reduction rather than real service redesign could adversely impact on safety and quality".

 

In the Commons, Mr Cameron said Labour frontbencher Andy Burnham had blocked the publication of a risk register in September 2009 - when he was health secretary.

 

Mr Cameron said it showed Labour "absolutely revealed as a bunch of rank opportunists, not fit to run opposition and not fit for government".

 

But Mr Miliband accused the PM of having excluded the "vast majority" of health workers from a "ridiculous summit" on the Health and Social Care Bill on Monday.

 

Having previously said he wanted to listen to NHS workers "now he can't even be in the same room as the doctors and nurses" - suggesting he had "lost the confidence of those who work in the NHS".

 

He told the PM "nobody believes him and nobody trusts him on the health service" and claimed the bill had become a "symbol of his arrogance".

 

Referring the hugely controversial policy seen as helping hasten the end of Margaret Thatcher's leadership of the Conservative Party, Mr Miliband added: "This will become his poll tax. He should listen to the public and he should drop this bill."

 

Lib Dem support

 

The government is appealing against a Freedom of Information ruling that it should be published in the public interest. The appeal is due to be considered on 5 and 6 March.

 

Labour chose to use its opposition day debate to demand that the government "respect" the information commissioner's ruling and publish the report. The vote is not binding but does increase pressure on the government. An early day motion on the same issue has been signed by 15 Lib Dem MPs - including Duncan Hames - an aide to Energy Secretary Ed Davey.

 

Mr Burnham told MPs there had been "crucial differences" between the document whose publication he had blocked in 2009 - the strategic risk register - and the one Labour was now pressing the government to publish.

 

He said he had not initiated what he described as the biggest ever top-down re-organisation of the NHS at a time of its biggest ever financial challenge - and the information commissioner had not ruled in 2009 that the paper should be published.

 

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said it would be "completely misleading" to publish the register, which was put together before changes were made to the bill and had been intended as an "internal mechanism".

 

Page 1     http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17125002

 

2 years ago

Past requests

In the Commons he quoted back Mr Burnham's own words from 2007, when he was a health minister, following a similar request for a risk

register to be published - when Mr Burnham said that it would "be likely to reduce the detail and utility of its contents" which would "inhibit the free and frank exchange of views about significant risks".

 

Mr Burnham repeated that it was not a "comparable situation" as it had referred to a different document.

 

Lib Dem Andrew George, who is a member of the Commons Health Select Committee and had signed the early day motion, said he acknowledged that if the register was published it was "unlikely to change a single mind on the issue" but he said it was better not to take on the biggest reorganisation ever of the NHS "in the dark".

 

The bill has also been criticised by various bodies representing healthcare professionals and Lib Dem activists are preparing an emergency motion for their party's spring conference next month, urging the party to work towards defeating the bill.

 

But Mr Cameron said on Wednesday the bill would "abolish the bureaucracy that has been holding the NHS back".

 

He argues reform is needed to deal with the challenges of an ageing population and the rising costs of medical treatments and long term conditions.

 

Accusing Labour of opposing changes it had once backed, he said: "You don't save the NHS by opposing reform, you save the NHS by delivering reform."

 

Page 2   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17125002

Ghost patients: GPs overpaid says Audit Commission
2 years ago

Ghost patients: GPs overpaid says Audit Commission

GP talking to patient
Patients could be on two GPs' lists if they have moved house
GPs have been paid for thousands of patients on their lists who have moved practice, died or been forced to leave the country, according to a report by the Audit Commission.

 

Their report identified more than 95,000 patients who needed removing from GP lists in England and Wales.

 

Deleting these records has saved £6.1m, the commission said.

But the British Medical Association warned against removing genuine patients from GPs' lists.

 

The National Duplicate Registration Initiative (NDRI), undertaken by the Audit Commission, looked for anomalies in patient lists across England and Wales for 2009-2010.

 

They compared GPs' patient lists with those of other GPs and with other lists to find "matches".

 

The duplications they found included almost 30,000 patients who had moved to another practice.

 

There were more than 32,000 who had died years before, and almost 10,000 failed asylum seekers.

 

Nearly 20,000 patients were also removed from lists after investigators found high numbers of people registered at the same property.

Of those patients who had died but were still on GP lists at the time of the review in 2009/10, 157 had died before 1980.

 

Inaccurate GP lists can mean some practices receive more than their fair share of funding, while others miss out.

 

When patients move to another practice, two GPs can end up being paid for one patient's care if they are not removed from an old list.

 

GP practices are paid £64.59 on average per year for each patient's care.

 

'List cleaning'

 

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the British Medical Association's GPs committee, said it was important that lists were as accurate as they could be.

 

"'Ghost patients' should be routinely picked up by primary care organisations (PCOs) and removed as a matter of course.

 

"However, we have been concerned by reports from some areas of over-zealous list cleaning initiatives, where patients still validly registered with a practice have been removed against theirs and their GP's wishes, often without their knowledge.

 

"Often these are vulnerable patients - either elderly or non-English-speakers.

 

"It is important for PCOs and practices to work together to make sure that 'ghost patients' are correctly identified and genuine patients are not disadvantaged."

 

Overall, the 95,000 patients whose names had to be removed from lists represent 0.16% of the population.

 

The Audit Commission said in their report that the NHS and GPs generally managed patient lists well, considering the millions of records which had to be monitored.

 

Health Minister Lord Howe said 55 million people were registered with a GP although only 52.5 million people lived in England.

 

He said: "Identifying 'ghost patients' will ensure that practices are fairly funded only for the patients they are responsible for.

 

"The NHS needs to make the best use of the funds it has available and avoid giving GPs extra income for patients who have moved away or died."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17138584

NHS prescription costs to increase in England
2 years ago

NHS prescription costs to increase in England

Drugs on prescription
The cost of NHS prescription charges and dental treatment will rise in April

Related Stories

The cost of NHS prescriptions in England will rise 25p to £7.65 from 1 April, the government has announced.

 

Charges for basic dental treatment will rise 50p to £17.50, with rises of up to £5 for more complex work.

 

The changes in charges were outlined by Health Minister Simon Burns and will be put before Parliament soon.

 

Doctors' leaders say the current system is unfair and needs to be reformed in England.

 

This latest announcement means NHS prescription charges increase again in England, while in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland charges have already been scrapped.

 

But the cost of a prescription payment certificate (PPC), which is valid for three months, will remain at £29.10 and the price of an annual PPC will be held at £104.

 

Mr Burns said: "PPCs offer savings for those needing four or more items in three months or 14 or more items in one year."

Charges for elastic stockings and tights, wigs and fabric supports supplied by hospitals will also be increased.

 

The value of vouchers for glasses for children, people on low incomes and those with complex sight problems will increase by 2.5% overall.

 

A BMA spokesperson said that the current system needs reforming.

 

"It's unfair for patients as whether you pay depends not only on what part of the UK you live in, but also on what kind of condition you have.

 

"The bureaucracy to administer the charging and exemption regime is also cumbersome and costly. The BMA believes it would be best to abolish prescription charges in England altogether."

 

Fillings to crowns

 

The announcement also means an increase in charges for dental treatment.

 

The dental charge payable for a "band 1" course of treatment - examination, diagnosis and advice, includes X-rays, a scale and polish and planning for further work if necessary - will rise 50p to £17.50.

 

Band 2 charges, covering fillings, root canal treatment and extractions, will rise by £1 to £48.

 

For band 3 work, such as crowns, dentures and bridges, the cost will increase by £5 to £209.

 

Mr Burns said: "Dental charges represent an important contribution to the overall cost of dental services.

 

"The exact amount raised will be dependent upon the level and type of primary care trusts and the proportion of charge-paying patients who attend dentists and the level of treatment they require."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17139908

Abortion: Gender claims probed by Department of Health
2 years ago

Abortion: Gender claims probed by Department of Health

Woman with her head in her hands
Health officials have been asked to carry out an investigation "as a matter of urgency"

Related Stories

The Department of Health has launched an inquiry into claims that doctors agreed to carry out abortions on the grounds of the sex of unborn babies.

 

The Daily Telegraph said it had secretly filmed doctors at a number of British abortion clinics.

 

The doctors are said to have agreed to terminate foetuses when women did not want their baby because of its gender.

 

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said sex selection was "illegal and morally wrong" and he had ordered an inquiry.

 

"I'm extremely concerned to hear about these allegations. I've asked my officials to investigate this as a matter of urgency," he said.

 

The Department of Health also said it would be asking the General Medical Council to investigate individual clinicians and that the chief medical officer for England would be writing to all abortion clinics to "remind them of their responsibilities".

 

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (Spuc) said sex-selective abortion was an "inevitable consequence" of easy access to abortion.

 

n its report, the Telegraph said doctors had admitted they were prepared to falsify paperwork so the illegal procedures could go ahead.

 

'Too inconvenient'

 

The newspaper said undercover reporters had accompanied pregnant women to nine clinics in different parts of the country.

 

In three cases, the Telegraph reported, doctors were recorded offering to arrange terminations after being told the women did not want to continue with the pregnancy because of the gender of the unborn child.

 

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley vows that the claims will be investigated "urgently and thoroughly"

 

In a statement, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said it "takes extremely seriously the allegations made against one of its consultants" and was "investigating these very serious allegations as a matter of urgency".

 

Another of the clinics named by the newspaper, Pall Mall Medical in Manchester, said it had "suspended clinical contact" with a doctor.

 

 

Page 1        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17136213

2 years ago

A spokesperson said: "The clinic does not condone in any way the referral for termination on the grounds of gender. Our policy makes that completely clear.

 

"As soon as this concern was brought to our attention the clinic took urgent action to stop any further appointments for terminations."

 

Spuc communications manager Anthony Ozimic said: "This investigation confirms the reality of eugenics in modern British medicine, in which some innocent human beings are deemed too inconvenient to be allowed to live.

 

"Sex-selective abortion is an inevitable consequence of easy access to abortion, a situation to which the pro-abortion lobby has no convincing answer.

 

"The government needs to cut its ties to private abortion providers and to abortion rights organisations, as they are complicit in sex-selective abortion domestically and internationally."

 

In England, Wales and Scotland, abortions are allowed before 24 weeks of pregnancy if it is believed that:

  • Continuing with the pregnancy would be a greater risk to the woman's life or physical or mental health than ending the pregnancy
  • Continuing with the pregnancy would be more of a risk to the physical or mental health of any of the woman's existing children
  • There is a real risk the unborn child would have a serious physical or mental disability

Two doctors have to agree to the abortion, or one in the case of an emergency.

 

Conditions are stricter for abortions carried out after 24 weeks.

 

In Northern Ireland, abortions are illegal unless the mother's life is at risk.

 

Dr Gillian Lockwood, the medical director of the Midland Fertility Clinic and a former vice-chairwoman of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology's Ethics Committee, told the BBC the reports were "disturbing".

 

She said: "There have been reported cases where women have had a long run of boys or a long run of girls, or this peculiar new notion of 'family balancing' where couples decide they just want two children and the want one of each.

 

"A foetus being the wrong gender according to the prospective parents is not grounds for termination of pregnancy under any circumstances."

 

Dr Tony Falconer, president of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said: "Anecdotally, there are social and cultural reasons for preferring one gender over another and we need to know more about why these occur.

 

"The issues are complex. For instance, women may be coerced or threatened with violence into having an abortion. The priority would be to identify who these women are and to provide them with support.

 

"Abortion is already heavily regulated in the UK and sex selection is only allowed in very specific conditions such as in the case of hereditary disease as stated in the HFEA Act 2001. Doctors must work within the law."

 

The Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has campaigned for the government to provide independent abortion counsellors for women considering terminations.

 

She said clinics needed to be regulated more effectively: "What we also need is the CQC - the Care Quality Commission - who are supposed to ensure that abortion clinics operate according to the law... what they need to do is get on top of this situation as soon as possible.

 

Page 2   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17136213

2 years ago

Ray, this is great information on the UK.   I've always felt the UK was ahead of the US in policy making but I also believe that the UK has gone liberal for decades and it has nearly broken the system.   What I see now in your threads and excellent research is that the UK is trying to get back to some semblance of normalcy that is right for everyone.   It's the "too far left and too far right" that has destroyed common sense social programs.   It's out of control.  The liberals saunter in with their "absurd" political correctness and it has distorted what is actually good for the citizens.   I absolutely abhor political correctness.  Here in the US political correctness was responsible for 13 innocent people being murdered at Fort Hood.   All of this ties in to the liberal beliefs.   The results are being seen every day here and in the UK.

 

Thanks for all you do, Ray.   I read every thread you put up trying my best to sort through because the political arena in your country is very different from the simplicity of what we have here yet both of our countries are experiencing serious financial issues because of the entitlement programs.   Something has to give....and I beleive that means the UK privitizing healthcare.   People should have some skin in the game and that means they need to pay for their healthcare.  

Longer cancer referral times for young, women and ethnic minorities
2 years ago

24 February 2012 Last updated at 02:25


Longer cancer referral times for young, women and ethnic minorities

GP surgery
More than three-quarters of patients were referred after one or two appointments
Related Stories

Cancer patients who are young, female or from an ethnic minority face a longer wait to be diagnosed and referred to a cancer specialist, researchers say.

 

Overall, 77% of people were referred after one or two visits to their GP, according to data from 41,299 cancer patients in England.

 

Researchers said some groups faced more visits before referral.

 

Cancer Research UK said making the right decision could be challenging.

 

The vast majority of cancers are detected after patients go to their family doctor, screening and emergency hospital visits are the other routes.

 

Data from the 2010 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey in England showed that a quarter of patients needed to visit their GP at least three times before being sent to a cancer specialist.

 

Dr Georgios Lyratzopoulos, lead researcher from the University of Cambridge, said: "There is so much we can learn from studying this quarter.

 

"The biggest value of the study is to inform and guide future research."

 

Mixed message

 

The analysis in The Lancet Oncology showed 16- to 24-year-olds were more than twice as likely to have at least three hospital visits than the over 65s, which the researchers speculate may be down to doctors not expecting to find cancer in younger patients.

 

Those from ethnic minorities were also less likely to be referred quickly than white patients. Dr Lyratzopoulos said "the older you get the more ethnicity matters, particularly in middle and older age".

 

The data comparing men and women were more mixed with women being referred more quickly than men for some cancer types. However, overall men were referred to specialists after fewer visits to the GP.

 

It also said patients with some cancers were more likely to be referred sooner, possibly as they were easier to detect. Out of 8,408 breast cancer patients, 7.4% had more than three appointments before referral. For pancreatic cancer, which is harder to detect, 41.3% of 467 patients had more than three appointments.

 

Dr Lyratzopoulos told the BBC that harder to diagnose cancers "clearly have to become a bigger research priority".

 

"No fair-minded person would want to go six times, if they can go once," he said.

 

Jessica Harris, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "This study highlights some of the difficulties in diagnosing cancer in primary care.

 

"A GP will see only around eight cases of cancer a year, on average, among hundreds of people with symptoms that might indicate cancer, so making appropriate referral decisions can be challenging, especially for rarer cancers or those with symptoms that are vague or common to other diseases.

 

"It's also very important for people to get to know their body and what is normal for them, and go to see the GP if they notice any persistent or unusual change and do go back if your symptom has changed, not gone away or got worse."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17138692

2 years ago

Diane, what I am doing is showning the Obama Care how it may work in time, The NHS as you known is the longest public health care in the world, there is so many thing that can go wrong and these have to be put right, this why you need this information to address the Obama Care is it worth the risk in oneway American's are in a very good position, with Brits like myself we where born into this sort of healthcare so we did not have the options that American's have.

 

I, for one, will not accept Micheal Moore opinions of the NHS due to the fact, if he had been living in Britain, he would be under BUPA a private healthcare system and not the NHS.

 

when the reports come through I will post to keep yourself and other American's informed of how Public Health Care works. 

2 years ago

"you may end up paying for the Health Care of Illegal Immigrants also"

 

Ray, sadly we already have been for a long time now through taxes.

 

Michael Moore is a hypocrite. 

 

Michael Moore- Worst hypocrite in the world

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/middle-class-guy/2011/oct/4/michael-moore-worst-hypocrite-world/

 

"he would be under BUPA a private healthcare system and not the NHS."  No, of course not.  He's not one of the 1% the OWS rails on about, is he?  He's just an average Joe (note the sarcasm)...

 

Great Healthcare in Cuba Sicko Style

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-8TcpOz6A4 

Save the whale: Michael Moore checks into exclusive fat farm

http://www.ihatethemedia.com/michael-moore-checks-into-fat-farm

2 years ago

Sandra,

 

thank you for the links, Michael Moore he has no idea of good health care, and my opinion of him is not good,

 

with regards to the Illegal Immigrants, it is not a case of 'you may be', it is more of a case, 'you will be'. under their human rights, and there is nothing any American can do about it.

 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 25 

1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/b1udhr.htm


once the Obama Care comes in, it is upto You American's to Stop it, as we say in Britain, 'Nip in the bud'.

 

If you don't, all your Tax's and Insurance will go to pay for the Illegal Immigrants Health Care, as I stated in one my posts the Tax Rate in Britain was for years 35% until the middle of the 1980's and then it only went down too 30% 

"Nip in the Bud" ??
2 years ago

Lol Lol: Hey Ray, looks like you've been a busy busy person today. Wow. There is so much information to digest, I'm going to have a belly ache. LOL.

Just to let you know though, the saying "Nip It In The Bud" is certainly not limited to the Enlish as I personally have been using it for probably 50 or more of my 69 years on this planet.
There is one possibility as to how I came across it though as I used to work very closely with a young lady, who was the NIGHT TIME HEAD CASHIER at a Super Market that I worked for while I was still in school and she had the most beautiful ENGLISH ACCENT and some of the cutest sayings that I ever heard. I don't know that I ever fell in love with her, but certainly liked her an awful lot, and she broke the rumor that the English were a "cold" breed and difficult to get along with. I personally found that she was one of the easiest people in the world to get along with and am ever thankful for having known her. Perhaps I picked up on some of her sayings>???

As to NIPPING IT IN THE BUD, it's an expression that Doctors use frequently if they think that you may have a problem. A year and a half ago, I had what I thought was an ingrown hair on my face, but my doctor thought differently, and he told me that if the soreness, didn't clear up within 10 days to go to a dermatologist to make sure it isn't a form of skin cancer. And his finishing statement was "with something like that you want to NIP IT IN THE BUD AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to prevent future problems." So it is rather common here too. Fortunately, my little problem did clear up in a matter of days, but that was just one example that I could think of.

Mechanics who hear strange noises coming from your automobiles, will often tell you to have your car serviced for whatever ails it and they too will say "Nip it in the Bud" meaning to take care of the problem before it becomes something very serious and expensive to repair.

Thanks for all of your insightful information.

Jim

Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust boss quits job
2 years ago

Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust boss quits job

Tony Halsall
Tony Halsall was a former nurse

Related Stories

The chief executive of an NHS trust being investigated over the deaths of a number of babies is to resign.

 

Tony Halsall, a former nurse, has been in charge at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust since 2007.

 

Deaths at the baby unit at Furness General Hospital, in Barrow, Cumbria, are being investigated by detectives.

 

Health regulators have also criticised standards at Royal Lancaster Infirmary's A&E unit.

 

"This has been an extremely difficult time for me personally and professionally," said Mr Halsall.


'Great antipathy'

 

His statement added: "I believe that considerable progress has been made in recent months to address a number of issues the trust faces, but I recognise that it is now appropriate for the lead to be taken by a new chief executive."

 

The trust' s interim chairman Sir David Henshaw said Mr Halsall had led the trust through difficult times, adding: "He has often found himself in the position of taking responsibility for issues when others should have been alongside him."

 

Barrow and Furness Labour MP John Woodcock said it was only a matter of time before Mr Halsall resigned.

 

He added: "I understand why many who have been badly let down by the trust feel great antipathy towards the man at the top, particularly grieving families who have found it so hard to get justice.

 

"For my part, Tony Halsall has always struck me as genuine in his commitment to the health service, but the failings he has presided over make his departure inevitable and right."


'Red rating'

 

Earlier in the month Monitor, the regulator for NHS foundation trusts, said the trust would be "red rated" until further notice.

 

Monitor appointed clinical experts to review maternity services at Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust in October 2011.

 

It followed the deaths of a number of babies and mothers at Furness General Hospital in Barrow-in-Furness.

 

The Royal Lancaster Infirmary has been warned by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that its A&E unit could be closed unless standards improve by 16 March.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-17154801

2 years ago

24 February 2012 Last updated at 15:50


Give way on NHS competition, urges Lib Dem president Tim Farron

Hospital nurse dispensing drugs
The health bill calls for the NHS to be opened up to greater competition

Related Stories

Lib Dem president Tim Farron has urged the government to make more concessions on the controversial health bill.

 

The bill, overhauling the NHS in England, is having a difficult passage through the House of Lords where peers have tabled a number of amendments.

 

Mr Farron told ITV the bill should have been "massively changed" or dropped earlier and he wanted plans for more competition in the NHS to be dropped.

 

Ministers say the bill will empower doctors and increase patient choice.

 

The Health and Social Care Bill's proposals include giving GPs control of much of the NHS budget and opening up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.


'All to play for'

 

These have proved controversial, with critics - including some Lib Dems - warning of "back-door privatisation".

 

Lib Dem activists are preparing an emergency motion for their spring conference next month, which calls for the "whole competition chapter of the bill" to be defeated.

 

Mr Farron, who is president of the junior coalition party but is not a minister, echoed those concerns in an interview with ITV Granada's Party People on Friday.

 

He said: "What I want is for the Lords to introduce changes that will remove the new competition elements from the bill and I would like the government to give way on those things. It's all to play for."

 

The bill has passed through its Commons stages but its progress has been delayed in the Lords, despite the government tabling more than 100 amendments. Peers will continue to debate the bill next week - with competition in the NHS expected to be a sticking point.

 

A series of groups representing medical professionals has come out against the bill - most recently the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

 

'Abolish bureaucracy'

 

Mr Farron told the programme: "Lots of us are guilty for allowing it to get as far as it has done now. Basically this should have been dealt with far earlier in the cycle."

 

Asked if he meant it should have been dropped, he replied: "Dropped, massively changed."

 

Another senior Lib Dem backbencher, the party's deputy leader Simon Hughes, has also raised concerns about the bill, telling the BBC that, even with Lords' amendments, it was still "not the bill we would have wanted".

 

Continued criticism of the reforms from the health profession has led to speculation about Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's position - although he has been backed by David Cameron.

 

Labour leader Ed Miliband has warned the prime minister the issue threatens to become "his poll tax" - a reference to the hugely controversial policy seen as helping to hasten the end of Margaret Thatcher's leadership of the Conservatives.

 

But Mr Cameron said on Wednesday the bill would "abolish the bureaucracy that has been holding the NHS back" and said reform was needed to deal with the challenges of an ageing population and the rising costs of medical treatments and long-term conditions.

 

In an interview with Parliament's House magazine, Earl Howe, the minister responsible for piloting the bill through the Lords, acknowledged there were "worries about the competition law which we've got to sort out, and I believe we can".

 

But he said much of the concern about competition was "unnecessary and unwarranted".

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17156756

 

 

Doctors to decide on industrial action ballot
2 years ago

25 February 2012 Last updated at 00:14


Doctors to decide on industrial action ballot

Doctor in ward
Doctors last took action in 1975

Related Stories

Doctors' representatives are holding an emergency meeting to decide whether or not to ballot for industrial action.

 

If the British Medical Association council decides to go ahead, it will be the first time doctors have been balloted for action since 1975.

 

The dispute is over pension changes, which would see the highest earning doctors' contributions rising to 14.5%.

 

The BMA says anger is "running deep". Ministers say the current scheme is unsustainable.

 

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said the NHS pension scheme is "amongst the best available anywhere".

 

'Some form of action'

 

The BMA says it "very much wants" to reach an agreement through negotiation and to avoid industrial action "if at all possible".

 

But a survey of 130,000 BMA members in January found almost two-thirds of the 46,000 who responded said they would be prepared to take some form of industrial action if the government did not change its offer.

 

However, that could range from withdrawing non-emergency care to taking all breaks - or simply "working without enthusiasm".

 

Under the government's plans, the final salary scheme would close and be replaced by a career average scheme for all doctors. The normal pension age would rise to 68, and contributions could reach 14.5% for the highest earners by 2014.

 

Talks over the deal between unions and the government reached a standstill in December.

 

The BMA says it has requested further talks with the government, but that it has had no response.

 

Earlier this month the Unite trade union said it was considering holding a fresh strike ballot of its 100,000 members in the NHS over their continuing pension dispute.

 

'Fair deal for staff'

 

The BMA formally became a union in 1971, and has only taken industrial action in 1975, when consultants suspended goodwill activities and worked to contract over a contractual dispute.

 

Junior doctors also worked a restricted 40-hour week because of a separate dispute over contracts.

 

Since then, industrial action has been a possibility, but doctors have never been balloted.

 

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the proposed changes are "a fair deal for staff and taxpayers".

 

He added: "Doctors and consultants are among the highest earners in the NHS and have benefited hugely from the current final salary scheme arrangements compared to other staff groups.

 

"The biggest part of the cost of their pension is paid by the taxpayer - for every £1 that doctors pay into their pensions, they will get between £3 and £6 back.

 

"It is fair that higher earners pay greater contributions relative to those on lower and middle incomes. Lower earner members should not be footing the bill - that is why we have protected those on lower salaries."

 

 

Ministers deny GlaxoSmithKline claims of drug delays
2 years ago

Ministers deny GlaxoSmithKline claims of drug delays

Sir Andrew Witty from GSK said drugs were being "systematically delayed" from introduction and reimbursement


Related Stories

Ministers have rejected claims by the UK's biggest drug firm GlaxoSmithKline that new cancer treatments are being delayed to save money.

 

"Strategic thoughtfulness" was being lost in the "stampede" to cut costs, GSK chief Sir Andrew Witty said.

 

It was a Europe-wide problem as governments coped with austerity and got more anxious about debts, he added.

 

But the Department of Health said the approval process was getting faster and it had increased spending on new drugs.

 

Mr Witty, the head of the pharmaceutical giant, told the BBC: "We're seeing oncology drugs being systematically delayed from introduction and reimbursement.

 

"We're seeing a variety of the more innovative, and yes more expensive medicines, being delayed in a whole series of different diseases across Europe."

 

"Ultimately it's one of those situations where the drift will be imperceptibly happening, but when you look back in five or 10 years, a huge gap will have opened up."

 

He also said the government had cut prices by 5% a year as it got more and more anxious about its debt position - costing the firm £300m a year.

 

New drugs are referred to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) by the government, where their cost-effectiveness are assessed.

 

'Increased health spending'

The DoH said the government had increased spending on health, including new drugs, with thousands more patients getting access to the most advanced treatments.

"The need for careful assessment of drugs' effectiveness by Nice is particularly important for patients and taxpayers during a time of economic austerity," it said.

"The government has not changed any assessment processes relating to cancer drugs.

 

"Furthermore, drug companies need to look hard at the high costs they are asking of the health service for their latest treatments."

 

But Prof Jonathan Waxman, professor of Oncology at Imperial College London, said Nice had blocked a number of new cancer drugs offering "significant benefits" to patients.

 

"Unfortunately, the committee that regulates their availability in the UK has ruled against many of them," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

 

"And they've ruled against them on the basis of what many oncologists, many doctors, many cancer doctors believe are unfair grounds."

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham also accused the prime minister of breaking his general election commitment to cancer patients.

"With a great fanfare, he said he would deliver quicker access to drugs for cancer patients," said Mr Burnham.

"Today we hear that his government is in fact delaying new treatments to save money.

"If true, this is a shameful state of affairs and a false economy. The prime minister must be kept to his pre-election promises."

 

But Alan Maynard, a professor of health economics, argued drug firms were demanding much higher prices than were reasonable, and the economies were justified.

 

"Nice are looking for good evidence and the industry is rather poor in doing good trials and telling us about the full effectiveness - which is often marginal," he said.

 

"I think it's quite inevitable that in a period of austerity there will be downward pressure on the introduction of new drugs that are not demonstrably good in terms of improving patient health and which are extraordinarily expensive."

 

GlaxoSmithKline reported pre-tax profits of £1.9bn during the three months to the end of December 2011, up from a £193m loss during the same period in 2010.

 

For the whole year, the firm reported pre-tax profit of £8.2bn, up from £4.5bn in 2010.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17163958

GPs 'to prescribe health apps'
2 years ago

GPs 'to prescribe health apps'

Smartphone with apps
Apps can help patients keep a check on their health

Related Stories

GPs could soon offer their patients free smartphone apps to help with managing health conditions.

 

The Department of Health says its initiative is the "next step" in the drive to give patients more control over their own health.

 

The apps could help diabetics keep a check on their blood sugar and patients monitor their own blood pressure.

 

Details of how this will work will be in the government's Information Strategy expected this Spring.

 

It may be that GPs will be able to prescribe apps that would normally involve a cost to the individual to buy.

 

At an event showcasing the best ideas for new and existing health smartphone apps, the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "So many people use apps every day to keep up with their friends, with the news, find out when the next bus will turn up or which train to catch.

 

"I want to make using apps to track blood pressure, to find the nearest source of support when you need it and to get practical help in staying healthy the norm.

 

"Information about your health is a service - just like the GP surgeries, Walk-in Centres and hospitals that millions of people access every week. With more information at their fingertips, patients can truly be in the driving seat.

 

"Innovation and technology can revolutionise the health service, and we are looking at how the NHS can use these apps for the benefit of patients, including how GPs could offer them for free."

 

One app that has already been trialled by GPs and community nurses as well as hospitals, including Great Ormond Street, is called Patients Know Best.

This enables each patient to get all their records from all their clinicians and controls who gets access to them.

 

Using the app, patients can have online consultations with any member of their clinical team, receive automated explanations of their results, and work with clinicians for a personalised care plan.

 

Last summer the Department of Health invited people to name their favourite health apps.

 

It received nearly 500 entries and over 12,600 votes and comments.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17111092

NHS bill: Lib Dem peers urge rewrite
2 years ago

27 February 2012 Last updated at 04:49


NHS bill: Lib Dem peers urge rewrite

Nurses dispensing medication
The bill aims to give GPs control of much of the NHS budget

Related Stories

Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords are launching a new attempt to rewrite the government's controversial plans for the NHS in England.

 

The peers have drawn up amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill, which returns to the Lords for debate later.

 

They want to scrap plans to allow the Competition Commission to review the development of competition in the NHS.

 

One source told the BBC that ministers were not minded to accept the requests for changes to the bill.

 

BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins said the source told him that ministers would not lose sleep over the proposed changes.

 

The government says its plans will modernise the NHS, improve services and reinvest savings in front line care.

 

The Health and Social Care Bill gives GPs control of much of the NHS budget and would open up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

 

It has completed its Commons stages but is having a difficult passage through the House of Lords and is being opposed by many groups representing medical professionals.

 

'Drop the bill'

Liberal Democrat concerns about the government's plans for the NHS in England helped lead to a pause in the health bill's progress, and plenty of amendments.

Last week the party's president Tim Farron called for the whole section dealing with increased competition to be dropped.

Ed Miliband visiting an A&E department
Ed Miliband says the bill would create a "vast structure of Byzantine complexity"

Now, the party's peers also want plans for Foundation Trusts to get permission from their governors before carrying out extra private work to be axed.

 

Our correspondent said the Lib Dem leadership was expected to seek support for those changes in the Lords and the Commons.

 

Writing in the Times, Labour leader Ed Miliband has renewed his call for the government to drop a bill which he says would create a "vast structure of Byzantine complexity".

 

He wrote: "Even at this late stage the government should drop the Bill and adopt an approach that will drive the reforms that the NHS really needs."

 

On Sunday Lord Crisp, a former NHS chief, said the bill was a "mess" and would "set the NHS back".

 

A Department of Health spokesman said: "Our plans will harness the expertise of local doctors and nurses, who know better than anyone what their patients need.

 

"The proposals promote health in partnership between the NHS and local communities and put local authorities in the driving seat alongside clinicians for improving the health of their communities.

 

"Improving integration between all health and care services is a crucial part of modernising the NHS."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17175495

NHS bill: Nick Clegg outlines changes aimed at Lib Dems
2 years ago

27 February 2012 Last updated at 18:10


NHS bill: Nick Clegg outlines changes aimed at Lib Dems

Nurses dispensing medication
The bill aims to give GPs control of much of the NHS budget
Nick Clegg has set out changes to the NHS reforms which he says should mean the bill can be passed into law.

 

In a letter co-signed by Lib Dem peer Baroness Williams, the deputy prime minister sets out amendments he wants to see which would limit competition and the role of the private sector.

 

Downing Street said they were "not significant amendments - they are areas where reassurance is required".

 

Labour called it a "face-saving exercise" for Nick Clegg and his party.

The letter has been sent to all Lib Dem peers and MPs as the House of Lords debated a fresh series of amendments to the government'sHealth and Social Care Bill for England.

 

The Lib Dem leader and Baroness Williams - a key figure in Lib Dem efforts to reshape the NHS reforms - said competition and diversity in the NHS must be in the "interests of patients and not profits".

 

"Given how precious the NHS is, we want to rule out beyond doubt any threat of a US-style market in the NHS," they wrote.

 

"That is why we want to see changes made to this bill that have been put forward by our Liberal Democrat team in the House of Lords to make sure that the NHS can never be treated like the gas, electricity, or water industry."

 

Mr Clegg said he supported five "final" changes to the bill which aims to give GPs control of much of the NHS budget and would open up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

 

The changes suggested are:

  • Reducing the remit of the Competition Commission
  • Watchdog Monitor to require Foundation Trusts to put patients' interests first
  • Insulating the NHS from the full force of competition law to prevent private takeovers of hospitals
  • Members of new care commissioning groups to have to declare financial interests
  • Foundation Trusts required to get permission from their governors before carrying out extra private work.

Liberal Democrat concerns about the government's plans helped lead to a pause in the health bill's progress last year and many amendments.

 

Mr Clegg said Lib Dem activists had begun the process of altering the bill when raising objections at their 2011 Spring conference, adding that "once these final changes have been agreed, we believe conference can be reassured that it has finished the job it started last March and the bill should be allowed to proceed".

 

The Lib Dem leader told the BBC he wanted to make it "crystal clear that competition is the servant of the NHS, never its master". He said he had discussed his letter with the prime minister before sending it and was confident that the suggested changes would now get through the Lords and the Commons.

 

Conservative MP Stephen Dorrell, chair of the Commons health select committee, said the proposals were "uncontroversial" and had been "part of the policy mix" for some time, suggesting they were a "response" to internal Lib Dem concerns.

 

Downing Street said the prime minister did not think the bill needed further amendments, but they were happy to provide "reassurance and clarity" on the issues.

 

Health minister Simon Burns told the BBC it was right that the Lords had a "full discussion" about the bill but "the government and cabinet as a whole" fully supported it.

 

"What is being proposed is the best opportunity for the NHS to continue to be able to evolve to meet the challenges of an ageing population, a huge increase in the drugs bill and advances in medical science which means patients are being treated more effectively and those with long-term conditions looked after better," he said.

 

Page 1   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17175495

 

2 years ago

Labour peers were expected to force two key votes on the health bill in the Lords on Monday - one on the potential conflict of interests between the commissioning boards' financial and medical interests and one on an "integrated" NHS and providing a unified health service.

 

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said Mr Clegg's letter was "stage-managed" and "part of a face-saving exercise for Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. It is a panic move in advance of the Spring conference and will convince nobody".

 

Meanwhile more of the medical Royal Colleges have been reassessing their position.

 

The Royal College of Physicians - hospital doctors - met on Monday afternoon and has agreed to survey its membership about the bill.

 

Last week the Royal College of Paediatrics, which also attended last week's No 10 summit, withdrew its support.

 

The Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Obstetricians are both now due to hold extraordinary meetings next month to consider their position on the bill.

 

NHS BILL - THE STORY SO FAR
  • The Health and Social Care Bill is one of the flagship bits of legislation from the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government
  • GPs and other clinicians will be given much more responsibility for NHS spending in England and greater competition with the private sector encouraged
  • The plans were put on hold last spring after opposition from MPs, peers and some health groups - Labour warned of privatisation at the expense of patient care.
  • After a "listening exercise" some changes were made and the revised bill cleared its next Commons stage
  • But when the bill was in the Lords before Christmas it faced mounting opposition and the royal colleges of nurses and midwives joined those who opposed the bill outright.
  • Labour are calling for the bill to be dropped, but David Cameron says the changes are needed to make the NHS better for patients.
  • A series of amendments were put forward aimed at tackling critics' concerns. But peers again amended the bill a fortnight ago - prompting a session of parliamentary "ping-pong" as MPs reversed those changes last week.
  • The bill is now back before the House of Lords, with peers expected to once again vote through changes to the legislation.
Page 2       http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17175495
Can we keep this Going????????????????
2 years ago

Get a look at this one................ This is without a doubt the best video that has come out and apparently 6 Million others think so too because there have been 6 million hits in 4 days.

Please watch it again and again and send it on to others. I believe the pendulum has started to swing so let's keep it going.This is very well done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=JVAhr4hZDJE&vq=medium#t

Over 6 million hits in 4 Days pass it on!

2 years ago

Jim, this is an outstanding video!!!!    I'm sending it around to my friends/family group.   So beautiful!

2 years ago

Jim, lovely video, download it for myself, then send the link to my friends and family to view, thank you so much. 

2 years ago

Jim, this has been around my non-PD friends group and family about 3 times and so I sent it again and have been getting responses that they want to keep seeing it anytime; need to be pumped up and this does it.

NHS changes 'won't be a market free-for-all'
2 years ago

28 February 2012 Last updated at 19:49


NHS changes 'won't be a market free-for-all'

Andrew Lansley said the bill would not mean any more charges for NHS patients

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has insisted that the government's plans to overhaul the NHS will not mean a "market free-for-all" in healthcare.

 

He told MPs that the Health and Social Care Bill, which has met large-scale opposition in Parliament, was about driving up standards in England.

 

The comments come after Deputy PM Nick Clegg published a letter suggesting changes to allow the bill to pass.

 

Labour accused the coalition of being in "complete disarray".

 

Mr Lansley later said his belief in the benefit of competition in the NHS has changed since he first became shadow health secretary, seven years ago.

 

Asked by BBC political editor Nick Robinson if he had changed his mind since saying in 2005 that "the first guiding principle is to maximise competition", he replied: "Yes I have, I have, because competition is a means to an end - not an end in itself."

 

But he said the amendments he was working on with the Liberal Democrats did not represent a change to the legislation's underlying principles.

 

'Foolish'

 

If passed, the bill would give GPs control of much of the NHS budget and opens up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

 

It has completed its Commons stages but is having a difficult passage through the House of Lords, which has tabled a number of amendments, and is being opposed by many groups representing medical professionals.

 

Labour opposes the bill and several Liberal Democrats have raised objections.

 

On Monday, Mr Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, and his party colleague Baroness Williams published a letter putting forward further amendments for the Lords to discuss, which they said would limit competition and the role of the private sector and allow the legislation to pass into law.

 

In the Commons on Tuesday, Labour asked an urgent question on the progress of the bill.

 

Mr Lansley told MPs: "We know change is essential and we will not let the NHS down by blocking change."

 

He added that the bill would "put patients' interests first" and would not mean "any extensions of charging" for NHS services.

 

Mr Lansley said doctors and nurses "know that competition on the ground is in the best interests of their patients".

 

He went on: "Competition can play a role in driving up standards. We will not see a market free-for-all or a US-style insurance system in this country."

 

For Labour, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: "The deputy prime minister called for changes to a foolish bill that he has supported all the way.

"The government appears in complete disarray.

 

What's going on?

 

"The NHS matters too much for you to allow it to be carved up in the unelected House (the Lords) in cosy coalition deals."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17192715

Free HIV treatment on NHS for foreign nationals
2 years ago

28 February 2012 Last updated at 05:44


Free HIV treatment on NHS for foreign nationals

Combination HIV drugs
Ministers say treating people with HIV means they are unlikely to pass the infection on to others
Foreign nationals are to be offered free treatment for HIV on the NHS under plans backed by the government.

 

Campaigners say the move in England will reduce the risk of Britons being infected and cut the costs of more expensive later treatment.

 

Currently only British residents are eligible, which excludes migrants.

 

The Department of Health said it would bring England into line with Scotland and Wales, and there would be safeguards against "health tourism".

 

Extend treatment

 

There are an estimated 25,000 people with undiagnosed HIV in Britain, many of whom were born abroad.

 

People from overseas cannot be treated for the condition unless they pay, which is not the case for other infectious diseases.

 

This group of people includes failed asylum seekers, students and tourists.

 

Conservative former cabinet minister Lord Fowler, who headed the government's Aids awareness campaign in the 1980s, has called for an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill currently before the Lords.

 

This would extend free treatment to those who have been in Britain for six months.

 

The proposal will be introduced by the government in a Statutory Instrument rather than as part of the legislation.

 

'Good news'

 

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: "This measure will protect the public and brings HIV treatment in to line with all other infectious diseases. Treating people with HIV means they are very unlikely to pass the infection on to others."

 

Yusef Azad, director of policy at the National Aids Trust, said: "If someone is tested and treated early, it is much cheaper than them presenting themselves in hospital with a much more serious, complex condition that can cost tens of thousands of pounds to treat."

 

Professor Jane Anderson, chairwoman of the British HIV Association, said: "This is good news for people living in the UK who are HIV positive and also for public health in general."

 

Critics claim the decision could prompt so-called health tourism and put the NHS under further financial pressure.

But the government pledged tough guidance to ensure the measure is not abused

 

The Department of Health said it would be difficult for somebody to come to the UK specifically for treatment as the process took months to administer and monitor.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17187179

Cameron and Miliband clash over NHS bill
2 years ago

29 February 2012 Last updated at 14:11


Cameron and Miliband clash over NHS bill

Ed Miliband said MPs behind the bill were "digging their own burial" at the next election

David Cameron and Labour's Ed Miliband have clashed over the government's plans to overhaul the NHS in England as the Lords prepare to debate them again.

 

In the Commons, Mr Miliband said it was hard to keep track of opposition to the health bill for England as every week more professional groups opposed it.

 

He said the prime minister had lost the confidence of GPs he wanted to be at the heart of his reforms.

 

But Mr Cameron accused Mr Miliband of taking an "opportunistic position".

 

If passed, the Health and Social Care Bill would give GPs control of much of the NHS budget and open up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

 

It has completed its Commons stages but is having a difficult passage through the House of Lords, which has tabled a number of amendments, and is being opposed by several groups representing medical professionals.

 

'Imposed'

Labour opposes the bill and several Liberal Democrats have raised objections.

 

At Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Miliband said that, in the last week, the Royal College of Physicians, the British Geriatrics Society and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health had withdrawn their support.

 

He accused MPs who support the bill of "digging their own burial" at the next general election.

 

He also argued that changes had been "imposed" on GPs.

 

But Mr Cameron defended the bill, saying there were 8,200 GP practices covering 95% of the country implementing the health reforms, which was "what they want to see happen".

 

He added that, of the 44,000 members of the Royal College of GPs, just 7% had responded opposing the bill, and of the 50,000 Royal College of Physiotherapists members, that figure was 2%.

 

To laughter from the benches, he said: "I know that's enough for the unions to elect you leader of the Labour party but that's about as far as it will go."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17202395

Andrew Lansley: NHS bill better because of coalition
2 years ago

Andrew Lansley: NHS bill better because of coalition

The government's controversial plans to overhaul the NHS are "better" because of the inclusion of Liberal Democrat and Conservative ideas, the health secretary has said.

 

Andrew Lansley said that the Health and Social Care Bill is "stronger" as a result of the two parties working together, and there was consensus as to the aims of the legislation.

 

Video 

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/9701069.stm

Minister rejects US comparison to English health bill
2 years ago

Minister rejects US comparison to English health bill

 

A Conservative health minister dismissed suggestions the Health and Social Care Bill would lead to an American-style health system in England.

Simon Burns told the Daily Politics: "There was never any intention, ever, from day one for a US-style insurance system."

 

He said the NHS would remain free at the point of use - as it had for its 64 years.

 

Mr Burns was asked about Nick Clegg's letter to Lib Dem peers and MPs setting out the amendments he wants to see, with the Deputy PM claiming it was "now undoubtedly a better bill because of the Liberal Democrats".

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17193388

NHS changes unavoidable and urgent, says David Cameron
2 years ago

NHS changes unavoidable and urgent, says David Cameron

David Cameron said cuts were because the Conservative government cared

Prime Minister David Cameron has made a robust defence of the government's controversial plans to shake-up the NHS in England.

 

He told Tory activists he did not mind taking "a bit of a hit" on the issue.

 

The need for change was "unavoidable and urgent," he said, and claimed the NHS was in "the party's DNA - and that's not going to change".

 

He also told the party's spring conference he wanted to make Britain "stronger and fairer".

 

Under the NHS plans, GPs and other clinicians will be given much more responsibility for spending the health service budget in England, while greater competition with the private sector will be encouraged.

 

Mr Cameron said it would have been easier not to address an "invisible crisis" in the National Health Service in England.

 

"We could have just protected the NHS from the cuts, as we have, we could have just put in the extra £12.5bn, as we have, and we could have just left it there.

 

"That would have been easy, but it would have been wrong, because sooner or later the cracks would have started to show; the queues would have grown, patients would have been let down. So, frankly, I don't care about taking a bit of a hit on this issue."

Mr Cameron said the government was building on work that had been started by the Labour Party "because they, too, knew that we had to modernise our NHS".

 

Various bodies representing specialists across the NHS in England have expressed a range of concerns about the government's Health Bill outlining the changes.

 

Among them, the Royal College of GPs - with 42,000 members - wants the bill killed, the Royal College of Physicians of London has concerns about it, while the Royal College of Surgeons of England is generally supportive but with a few concerns.

 

Mr Cameron also told the party members gathered at the private event in central London that "fortune favours brave governments".

 

'Caring' Conservatives

"Tough and bold action" would make the UK "stronger and fairer", not by playing it safe," he said.

 

And he said the government cuts were being made because Conservatives "care".

 

"We didn't campaign for 13 long years just to get into government then stick it on cruise control.

 

"We came in to change the country we love in many ways, we came in to save the country we love.

 

"And there is only one way of doing that, taking tough action, putting country first, striving to the last."

 

BBC political correspondent Carole Walker says Mr Cameron also took on critics of his welfare plans and work experience programmes, saying there must be no right for those who can work to choose to live off the state instead.

 

She says Mr Cameron was defending decisions he knew had been far from popular, telling activists "when you've inherited the largest deficit in the country's peacetime history you can't just pick off the low hanging fruit and prune back a little here or a little there. You've got to look at the big items".



Page 1                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17245193 

2 years ago

Mayoral backing

Mr Cameron also urged party members to help Boris Johnson win another term as the mayor of London, describing him as "a brilliant mayor of the best city on earth".

 

Mr Johnson later told the conference that voters in London would have to choose between modernisation or a return to the "irresponsible and unaffordable approach of 1970s Labour".

 

Former Mayor of London Ken Livingston will be challenging Mr Johnson in the mayoral election on 3 May.

 

"Do you want to let Livingstone in and take London backwards?" Mr Johnson asked.

"Or do you want to go forwards and another four years of sensible, moderate, no-nonsense, Conservative administration in London?"

 

Mr Johnson detailed a nine-point plan for London that included council tax freezes, job creation, putting more police on the beat and cutting Tube delays.

"I feel like a guy who has built half a bridge," he said. "I can see the other side. I can see what needs to be done."

 

Mr Livingstone has pledged to cut transport fares by 7% if he is elected. He has also said he would reinstate the Education Maintenance Allowance in the capital.

 

Page 2                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17245193

2 years ago

Don't think he's going get this reform or bill passed by Parliament, I don't know for sure, but Cameron may meet his Waterloo with NHS.

2 years ago

Ray, I like it when you respond with your own opinions.   The NHS will eventually bankrupt England....it's about the illegal immigrants....milking the hard earned taxpayer's dollars.   It can only destroy the system.  

2 years ago

Yes, because, like in the U.S., when people are used to one system where they feel they are getting care for free (even though their taxes pay for it) they are going to resist a system where they have to pay; even though they would not pay through taxes any more and that money would just shift to the new system.

 

Great information and lots of it, Ray.

NHS bill: Risk register publication would be 'insidious'
2 years ago

5 March 2012 Last updated at 12:34

 


 

 

NHS bill: Risk register publication would be 'insidious'

Nurse and patient
Plans to overhaul the NHS in England have met stiff opposition
Publishing the document where officials "think the unthinkable" about what might go wrong with NHS changes would be "insidious", a tribunal has heard.

 

Una O'Brien, Department of Health permanent secretary, issued the warning at the start of an appeal against a Freedom of Information ruling that it should publish the "strategic and transitional risk registers".

 

Labour, which put in the request, says ministers should "respect" the ruling.

The case is expected to last two days.

 

On the first morning of the case Ms O'Brien said the Department of Health had a good attitude and record on transparency.

 

But she said it was important to have a "safe space" where civil servants could "express themselves in a very forthright way" in giving advice to ministers.

 

If the risk register was published too soon, she said, it would be "insidious" and "you would not know what is not being raised" or what was being toned down because of fears about how it might be "viewed externally".

 

She said: "Out of context I think my own judgement is they would lead to a very distorted and very speculative interpretation of risk."

The government says publishing risks is "seriously damaging the quality of advice given to ministers".

The FOI request relates to documents prepared for the controversialHealth and Social Care Bill which is currently having a difficult passage through the House of Lords.

 

'Likely and unlikely'

 

The registers were drawn up to calculate the risks relating to the implementation of the bill - which aims to give GPs control of much of the NHS budget and would open up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

 

The government says the registers look at "likely and unlikely risks" - some of which, it says, are already in the published impact assessments.

 

 

But last November the information commissioner ruled the government had been wrong to refuse FOI requests that the documents be published because "the public interest in maintaining the exemption does not outweigh the public interest in disclosure".

 

The government appealed and the case is being considered by the Information Tribunal. If the government loses, it could choose to take the case to the High Court.

 

Former Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell and Labour's former shadow health secretary John Healey - who put in one of the FOI requests - are due to speak at the hearing.

 

The issue was the subject of a debate in the Commons last week initiated by Labour, although four Lib Dems voted with them to urge the government to publish the register.

 

But Prime Minister David Cameron accused the current shadow health secretary Andy Burnham of "rank opportunism" - because he had blocked the publication of a risk register when he was health secretary in the previous Labour government.

 

'Withdraw bill' call'

 

Mr Burnham hit back that there had been "crucial differences" between the document whose publication he had blocked in September 2009 and the one Labour was now pressing the government to publish.

 

He also argued that he had not initiated what he described as the biggest ever top-down reorganisation of the NHS at a time of its biggest ever financial challenge - and the information commissioner had not ruled in 2009 that the paper should be published. The NHS bill has been criticised by various bodies representing healthcare professionals and has been the subject of Commons clashes between Mr Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband at prime minister's questions for the past four weeks.

 

Lib Dem activists are preparing an emergency motion for their party's spring conference next week, saying the bill should be "withdrawn or defeated". But Mr Cameron says it is "vital to reform our NHS" by increasing choice for patients, better integrating services and putting more decisions into the hands of GPs rather than "bureaucrats".

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17239992



This post was modified from its original form on 06 Mar, 3:17
Ministers promise NHS bill concessions
2 years ago

6 March 2012 Last updated at 15:27

 

Ministers promise NHS bill concessions

Nurse and patient
Government plans to overhaul the NHS in England have met stiff opposition

The government is to introduce further concessions on its controversial health bill for England, in an effort to calm Liberal Democrat concerns.

 

It is promising "further safeguards" over the use of the private sector and the role of the NHS regulator, Monitor.

 

The Health and Social Care Bill has met resistance from Lib Dem members of the House of Lords.

 

The government said the amendments would give "ongoing reassurance" on the NHS. Labour called them a "fig leaf".

 

The bill aims to give GPs control of much of the NHS budget and would open up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

 

'Clarity'

 

But opponents say this will mean "privatisation" of much of the service.

 

They argue that the government has failed to win over the public and health professionals, and that this would be disruptive while the NHS is having to make big savings.

 

Liberal Democrat activists are attempting to hold a vote on axing the bill - which is opposed by Labour - at the party's spring conference later this week.

The bill is currently being debated in the Lords.

 

One government amendment would give Monitor power to performance-manage hospitals which become foundation trusts, for example by removing directors.

 

The bill raises the limit on how much a foundation trust can earn from private patients to 49% of its total income.

 

Another government amendment says no trust should increase the amount it earns from private patients by more than 5% a year - unless it puts it to a vote of the governors of the Foundation Trust, some of whom are lay people.

 

The BBC understands that both Tory and Lib Dem whips believe most Lib Dem peers will back the government, not least because senior party figure Baroness Williams is now backing the bill.

 

Health minister Earl Howe, a Conservative, said: "The amendments we have brought forward today will provide ongoing reassurance that the NHS will always operate in the interests of patients.

 

"They clarify Monitor's transitional intervention powers over foundation trusts and introduce further safeguards about foundation trusts' ability to earn non-NHS income."

 

'Face-saving'

 

He added: "The principles of our modernisation plans - doctors and nurses making decisions, patients being at the heart of the health system, and less bureaucracy - have always been at the core of the bill.

 

"These principles are widely accepted according to the independent NHS Future Forum. We will continue to work with peers to provide the reassurance and clarity necessary as the Health Bill progresses through Parliament."

 

But, for Labour, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: "It has all the hallmarks of a behind-the-scenes coalition deal designed as a fig leaf for Mr Clegg to cling to at a difficult spring conference this weekend.

 

"It leaves the coalition's plans to turn the NHS into a free market firmly in place and does not address the profound concerns of health professionals.

"Lib Dem activists will not be convinced by Nick Clegg's posturing and face-saving amendments."

 

Labour has also tabled several amendments relating to Monitor. One calls for it to act "on the principles of universality and social solidarity" and another to continue as independent regulator of hospitals.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17265515

Extra cash found for new NHS units and equipment
2 years ago

Extra cash found for new NHS units and equipment

Hospital corridor
The extra money has been found from efficiency savings

Related Stories

A host of new building projects, including upgrades to maternity and A&E units, have been unveiled by ministers.

 

The schemes are being funded after £330m was found through efficiency savings.

 

Some of the cash will also be spent on equipment such as scanners and diagnostic services.

 

But the extra funds still fall well short of the cuts to the capital budget that were announced in the autumn 2010 spending review.

 

The budget, which is used to pay for new building projects and investment in major pieces of equipment, is being reduced by 17% in real terms over the next four years.

 

This year it was cut by £700m to £4.4bn before this extra money was found.

 

Among the projects this extra money will be used to fund is a new A&E unit at North West London Hospitals Trust, a paediatric unit in Scarborough and an expansion of maternity services at Birmingham Women's Hospital.

 

New scanners will be bought for hospitals in Dorset and East Sussex, while cancer services in east London will get new breast screening equipment.

 

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The government is investing in the NHS to ensure the very best care is available.

 

"It will ensure millions of people see better buildings, better equipment and brand new facilities and services, as well as saving thousands of lives."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17277040

House of Lords backs health bill compromise amendment
2 years ago

6 March 2012 Last updated at 21:23

 


House of Lords backs health bill compromise amendment

Nurse and patient
Government plans to overhaul the NHS in England have met stiff opposition

The House of Lords has backed an amendment to the government's health bill aimed at assuaging Lib Dem concerns over commercialising the NHS.

 

Ministers agreed that the Competition Commission, which normally deals with business, would not have to conduct reviews of competition between providers within the health service.

 

The amendment, first suggested last week by Deputy PM and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, passed without a vote.

 

Three Labour amendments were defeated.

 

The Health and Social Care Bill aims to give GPs control of much of the NHS budget and would open up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

 

'Clarity'

 

 

But opponents say this will mean privatisation of much of the service.

 

They argue that the government has failed to win over the public and health professionals, and that this would be disruptive while the NHS is having to make big savings.

 

Liberal Democrat activists are attempting to hold a vote on axing the bill - which is also opposed by Labour - at the party's spring conference later this week.

 

The government amendment was suggested in a letter written last week by Mr Clegg and senior Lib Dem Baroness Williams.

 

It is aimed at bringing the bill into law without further delay. Ministers have lost several Lords vote on the issue in recent weeks.

 

Labour said the government's concessions were little more than a "fig leaf" and would not win the support of the wider Lib Dem membership.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17265515

 

 



This post was modified from its original form on 07 Mar, 6:30
NHS risk register: Ministers lose Freedom of Information appeal
2 years ago

9 March 2012 Last updated at 15:59


NHS risk register: Ministers lose Freedom of Information appeal

NHS logo

The risk register was compiled ahead of the introduction of the Health and Social Care Bill

 

Ministers have been ordered to publish a risk assessment of the NHS shake-up under Freedom of Information laws.

 

The Department of Health had appealed against an FOI ruling that the transition risk register, requested by Labour MP John Healey, be published.

 

But it lost, despite civil servants' warnings that to publish confidential advice could have a "chilling effect".

 

Mr Healey said the ruling gave "strong legal support to a full and open debate" about NHS plans for England.

 

"The judgement backs the public's right to know about the risks the government is taking with its NHS plans," he said - accusing the government of having "dragged out" the process for 15 months.

 

Section 35 defence

 

The government still has the option of a further appeal to the "upper tribunal".

 

Meanwhile the controversial Health and Social Care Bill, which introduces an overhaul of the way the NHS is run in England, is in the final stages of its passage through Parliament.

 

The government had used the "section 35" defence under the Freedom of Information Act, which exempts information used in policy formulation and development from having to be released.

 

But it must be weighed against the balance of public interest - and in an earlier ruling the information commissioner had said in this case, that was "very strong".

 

'Insidious' effect

 

A two-day hearing in central London this week heard evidence from Labour MP and former shadow health secretary Mr Healey, Una O'Brien - the top civil servant at the Department of Health - and Lord O'Donnell, who until recently was the UK's top civil servant before retiring as cabinet secretary.

 

Ms O'Brien told the tribunal that civil servants, who compile the risk register, needed a "safe space" to be able to advise ministers on controversial policies in "frank" language.

 

She argued that publishing the information would ultimately have an "insidious" effect as people would hold back in what they were prepared to write down.


'No real evidence'

 

Lord O'Donnell argued that the document itself was unbalanced - focusing more on the negatives than positive outcomes - and predicted the way they would be compiled in future would change, if they were published.

 

But the Information Commissioner's QC told the tribunal that there was "no real evidence" that previous FOI rulings on internal government documents had had a similar effect.

 

And he said this case was exceptional - because of the scale of changes being made, the controversy around them and the inherent risks in the nature of the reforms.

 

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner's office welcomed the tribunal's ruling and said they would "consider the full details of the tribunal's decision once it has been made available".

 

And it was welcomed by the Royal College of Nursing - which is among medical professionals' groups calling for the Health and Social Care Bill to be withdrawn.

 

Crossbench peer Lord Owen said Lib Dem peers should not now "go along with any attempt by the coalition government to continue with the third reading of this bill" in the Lords, until they have had time to consider the risk register.

 

The government's appeal against the broader "strategic risk register" requested by Evening Standard journalist Nicholas Cecil - was upheld by the committee.

 

The government has accused Labour of "rank opportunism" - because shadow health secretary Andy Burnham blocked the publication of a strategic risk register. But Mr Burnham argues there are "crucial differences" between the two documents.

 

A Department of Health spokesman said: "We are still awaiting the detailed reasoning behind this decision.

 

"Once we have been able to examine the judgement we will work with colleagues across government and decide next steps."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17312611

 

Lib Dems: Party activists reject holding NHS protest vote
2 years ago

 Lib Dems: Party activists reject holding NHS protest vote

 

Nick Clegg: "Making GPs more responsible... is not a sort of outrageous idea"


Related Stories

Liberal Democrats have decided against holding a debate calling for changes to the NHS in England to be dropped.The party voted at its spring conference in Gateshead not to take an emergency motion urging the withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill.

 

Instead it backed Baroness Williams's rival option supporting the changes.

The controversial bill, which aims to give GPs control of much of the NHS budget, has changed "out of all recognition", leader Nick Clegg said.

 

In a question and answer session, the deputy prime minister said: "I'm determined to make sure the government reaches out to all the family of professions within the NHS, not in a spirit of rancour but in a genuine spirit of co-operation." And he said of the amended bill: "If I felt it was privatising the NHS or tearing it limb from limb, it would never have seen the light of day." BBC correspondent Norman Smith, at the conference, said Mr Clegg would be drawing a huge sigh of relief that a vote for the bill to be dropped would not now go ahead.

 

In the first round of voting, the motion urging the party to drop the bill won 270 votes to 246 for Baroness Williams' motion. But second preference votes put the "kill the bill" motion on 280, compared with 309 for the motion supporting the reforms.


'Cynical leadership'

Dr Charles West, who proposed the defeated motion, said he was "very disappointed" the party would not get the chance to state its view.

"I think it's astonishing that the leadership has been so cynical as to label it the Shirley Williams motion, she didn't actually write it," he said."They've pulled a national treasure out to support them - but in my view the NHS is even more of a national treasure."

Business secretary Vince Cable told the BBC: "We recognise reform has to happen. There are still a few issues to address, but by and large reforms that the party argued for have now been met." It was "very difficult" to see why any Lib Dems should now object, he added.

 

Mr Clegg said earlier on Saturday that he believed members would be "comforted" by the large number of amendments made to the bill since it was originally published.

 

"I think it's a really good thing that Liberal Democrats worry as much as we do about something as precious as the NHS," he said. "I think it would be a dereliction of duty if we didn't really really examine hard whether the changes we've introduced in the NHS are the right ones." The bill aims to give GPs control of much of the NHS budget and would open up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.Some critics argue that the changes will amount to the privatisation of the NHS.


'Big exaggeration'

Last year discontent expressed at the conference about the NHS shake-up was followed by a "pause" on the bill - something Mr Clegg puts down to Lib Dem intervention. This year's "emergency motion" says the Lib Dems "opposes the further commercialisation of the NHS" by "working together to achieve the defeat of this deeply unpopular bill". Baroness Williams said: "The facts are the Lib Dems have hugely altered this bill to make a way that makes an acceptable, genuine health service.

 

"I am sorry about how we got here. But now we're here, we've done huge amounts to reform the bill and make it back to something that supports and doesn't undermine the NHS." Labour's Andy Burnham had urged Lib Dem activists to help stop the NHS bill, in an open letter on a Lib Dem website.

 

On Thursday, the government offered a fresh concession to critics who complained that lifting a cap on the number of private patients treated in NHS hospitals would mean work was undertaken at the expense of NHS patients.

Health ministers moved amendments promising "checks and balances".

 

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said support for the Lib Dems was now at an "all-time low" and it was "electoral suicide" for the party to support the bill.

 

 

 

Page 1   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17323504

2 years ago

We need to take a page from the UK; isn't easier to never start something like socialized medicine rather than to find the government can't afford to keep it going and have to fight to take it away?  

 

 

2 years ago

Linda, you can see now the problems state healthcare may have when things go wrong and need to be put right, it is reforms on top of reforms, there will be more to come yet, this is only the start of sometihng bigger, by the way the welfare state benefits are also been reformed. 

2 years ago

Ray, that is what the U.S. needs to do and it will be one horrible battle, I am sure.  But we can no longer support the illegals on welfare, let alone our own citizens.  It is time for us to eliminate big government.  There are many agencies that can better meet the needs of those that should have assistance and this is where it can be better regulated with less fraud.

NHS reforms: Clegg says bill 'better' despite defeat
2 years ago
11 March 2012 Last updated at 17:51
NHS reforms: Clegg says bill 'better' despite defeat

Nick Clegg and Baroness Williams
Nick Clegg had urged members to back Baroness Williams' motion supporting the NHS changes
Nick Clegg has said he remains committed to seeing through changes to the NHS despite being defeated by Lib Dem party members over the issue.
The Lib Dem leader told the party's spring conference that reforms to the health service in England were "highly controversial" but his party had made them "better" and put "patients first".
He was speaking after activists in Gateshead failed to back government concessions secured by the Lib Dems.
They opposed them by 317 votes to 270.
Mr Clegg has argued his party has secured major revisions to the Health and Social Care Bill and it should now become law.
But party activists rejected the proposed changes championed by Mr Clegg, including safeguards on the role of the private sector and the extent of competition in the health service.
'Strong weapon'
Party members voted to delete the section of a motion put forward by Lib Dem peer Baroness Williams expressing support for the government's NHS concessions - effectively signalling their opposition to the bill as a whole.
The decision is not binding on the government, but BBC correspondent Norman Smith said it was a major setback for the Lib Dem leadership.
While the deputy PM intended to see the changes through in the face of significant political and medical opposition, our correspondent said it would put Lib Dem peers in a tricky position about whether to continue supporting the bill when it returns to the House of Lords next week.
One prominent Lib Dem critic of the bill, Dr Charles West, told the BBC that the vote would "empower" Lib Dem MPs and peers to reject the bill completely.

"This bill was never in the coalition agreement," he said.

 

"Nick Clegg has now got a very strong weapon in his negotiations with David Cameron. So we've actually empowered Nick Clegg, we've empowered our MPs and peers, and we've empowered Liberal Democrats."

 

'Better bill'

In his keynote speech to the two-day conference, Mr Clegg did not mention the defeat directly but acknowledged the issue was "highly controversial and difficult".

 

But he said Lib Dems in Parliament had significantly improved the government's proposals.

 

"Because this is a coalition government, the health bill was stopped in its tracks and rewritten," he said.

 

"Because this is a coalition competition will be the servant of health care, not the master because this is a coalition government. Because it is a coalition government, this is a bill for patients not profits. It is not a Liberal Democrat health bill but it is a better bill because of the Liberal Democrats, a better bill because of you."

 

A host of groups representing medical professionals have called for the bill - under which GPs and other clinicians will be given much more responsibility for spending the budget in England - to be axed.

 

However, ministers have said changes to the way care is commissioned are needed to address the rising costs of drugs and an ageing population, and before Sunday's vote had suggested they would not accept any further major changes.

 

Page 1    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17330939



This post was modified from its original form on 12 Mar, 11:25
2 years ago

'More to do'

The party leadership believed that it had seen off a potential rebellion on Saturday when activists chose to debate Baroness Williams' more supportive motion on the health service rather than one urging the party to reject the bill entirely.

 

But after the defeat, Lib Dem MP Andrew George urged the government to "reflect" on the views of Lib Dem members and take action.

 

"The bill needs to be withdrawn...and to start with a blank sheet of paper," he said.

 

Health Minister Paul Burstow, who is a Lib Dem MP, said there had been major changes already to the proposed legislation ensuring patients' interests came first and services remained integrated. But he acknowledged the government still had "more to do" to convince critics of its proposals.

 

"Conference made up its mind yesterday not to adopt a 'kill the bill' strategy. We had a debate today about concerns conference still has about this bill and that is understandable.

 

"That is why we listen very carefully to those concerns and why we are continuing to make improvements to this legislation."

 

'Listen to country'

But Labour said Mr Clegg was passing up an opportunity to "break away" from the Conservatives over the issue.

 

"Nick Clegg can tell his party to be proud of what they've achieved all he likes - the only people with a reason to be pleased that the Lib Dems are in government are the Conservatives," said the party's deputy leader Harriet Harman.

 

"Nick Clegg should listen to the country, listen to his members and tell the Conservatives to drop this bill."

 

In his keynote speech, Mr Clegg also pledged to do more to reduce the tax burden for the lowest-paid, saying next week's Budget must have "fairness" at his heart.

 

The UK's economic recovery would be "long and hard", he argued, but the Lib Dems and their Conservative coalition partners were determined to help those facing tough times.

 

Page 2       http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17330939

 

 

'Locked-in syndrome' man to have right-to-die case heard
2 years ago

'Locked-in syndrome' man to have right-to-die case heard

Tony Nicklinson: 'It is no longer acceptable for 21st Century medicine to be governed by 20th Century attitudes'

 

 

A paralysed man who wants a doctor to be able to lawfully end his life can proceed with his "right-to-die" case, a High Court judge has ruled.

 

Tony Nicklinson, 58, from Melksham, Wiltshire, has "locked-in syndrome" following a stroke in 2005 and is unable to carry out his own suicide.

 

He is seeking legal protection for any doctor who helps him end his life.

 

The Ministry of Justice argues making such a ruling would authorise murder and change the law governing it.

 

"Locked-in syndrome" leaves people with paralysed bodies but fully-functioning minds.

 

The judge's ruling now means that Mr Nicklinson's case will go to a full hearing, where medical evidence can be heard.

 

Following the judge's ruling that his case can proceed, Mr Nicklinson's wife Jane read out a statement from her husband on BBC 5live.

 

It said: "I'm delighted that the issues surrounding assisted dying are to be aired in court. Politicians and others can hardly complain with the courts providing the forum for debate if the politicians continue to ignore one of the most important topics facing our society today.

 

"It's no longer acceptable for 21st Century medicine to be governed by 20th Century attitudes to death."

 

 

'Stressful' wait

 

Mr Nicklinson, who communicates through the use of an electronic board or special computer, said before the ruling that his life was "dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable". During the radio interview, Mrs Nicklinson passed on questions to her husband, using his letters board to spell out his response. When asked what he hoped would happen next, he replied: "I will be able to access a doctor when the time is right."

 

He went on to spell out: "I can just about cope with life at the moment, but not forever." 

 

Mrs Nicklinson said she was "really pleased" with the judge's decision. "It's been quite stressful waiting for this decision. "It's really good to know that the judge thinks that we have a case that needs to be argued."

 

Earlier, Mrs Nicklinson said that her husband "just wants to know that, when the time comes, he has a way out".

 

"If you knew the kind of person that he was before, life like this is unbearable for him," she added. She said she did not know when her husband might actually want to die.

 

"I suppose just when he can't take it any more," she said.

 

Mr Nicklinson has two grown-up daughters and had his stroke while on a business trip to Athens. The High Court heard Mr Nicklinson's first statement in the proceedings, in which he said his stroke "left me paralysed below the neck and unable to speak. I need help in almost every aspect of my life."

 

"I cannot scratch if I itch, I cannot pick my nose if it is blocked and I can only eat if I am fed like a baby - only I won't grow out of it, unlike the baby.

 

"I have no privacy or dignity left. I am washed, dressed and put to bed by carers who are, after all, still strangers. 

 

 

Page 1  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17336774

 

 

2 years ago

"Am I grateful that the Athens doctors saved my life? No, I am not. If I had my time again, and knew then what I know now, I would not have called the ambulance but let nature take its course."

 

His legal action was launched to seek court declarations that a doctor could intervene to end his "indignity" and have a "common law defence of necessity" against any murder charge.

 

But David Perry QC, representing the Ministry of Justice, told the High Court that Mr Nicklinson "is saying the court should positively authorise and permit as lawful the deliberate taking of his life".

 

He added: "That is not, and cannot be, the law of England and Wales unless Parliament were to say otherwise."

 

Following his ruling at the High Court, Mr Justice Charles said the case's issues "raise questions that have great social, ethical and religious significance and they are questions on which widely differing beliefs and views are held, often strongly".

 

He said the issues before him only related to whether Mr Nicklinson's arguments "have any real prospect of success or whether there is some other compelling reason why these proceedings should be tried".

 

Mr Nicklinson's solicitor, Saimo Chahl, said the next step was for the courts to examine "in great detail what the individual circumstances of the case are before authorising any steps to be taken".

 

"It would all be extremely carefully controlled and vetted before any doctor were given permission - were we to be successful.

 

"And you have to bear in mind actually that this is a case which is likely to go further, which is likely to end up in the Supreme Court one way or another, before the law is changed."

 

"Right-to-die" campaigner Debbie Purdy, who has severe multiple sclerosis, said Mr Nicklinson was an intelligent, vibrant man who should be able to make his own choices.

 

She said he was not asking to die "tomorrow" but to improve the quality of the life he's living at the moment by "knowing that if it becomes too much for him, he will be able to... to end it".

 

BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman said the case went beyond assisted suicide as Mr Nicklinson's paralysis is so severe it would prevent him from receiving assistance to kill himself and he would have to be killed - and that would amount to murder.

 

He said Mr Nicklinson was seeking a court declaration based on his right to respect for private life under Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention - in effect saying that in his circumstances, his right to life included the right to end his life in a humane manner of his choosing.

 

Page 2   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17336774

 

 

NHS bill: Rebel Lib Dem MPs fail to derail plans
2 years ago

NHS bill: Rebel Lib Dem MPs fail to derail plans
Surgeons at work
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the reforms to the NHS in England were "the right idea"

Related Stories

A Commons motion by rebel Lib Dem MPs calling for the government to drop plans to overhaul the way the NHS is run in England has been defeated.

 

The government won the vote on the Health and Social Care Bill by 314 to 260 - a majority of 54.

 

A second Labour-led motion also calling for it to be scrapped was defeated by 314 to 258 - a majority of 56.

 

The bill also cleared another hurdle in the House of Lords after Labour attempts to delay its implementation.

 

Labour had supported rebel Lib Dem leader Andrew George as he urged ministers to hold a summit with medical and patient groups to discuss fresh changes to the NHS.

 

'Very confident'

He said as it stood, the bill had "many failings" and the amendments the government had accepted made it "less bad but not sufficiently good enough" to pass through Parliament.

 

But Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the changes were "the right idea".

 

Earlier he said Labour's call for the bill to be abandoned was "a desperate ploy from a desperate party".

 

Health Minister Simon Burns told the BBC he was "very confident" it would become law by the spring.

 

The bill faces a final major test in the Lords on Monday, before being sent back to the House of Commons.

 

The bill gives GPs and other clinicians much more responsibility for spending the NHS budget in England, and encourages greater competition with the private sector and charities.

 

The government says changes are needed to make the NHS more efficient and better equipped to deal with challenges such as an ageing population and the rising costs of new drugs and treatments.

 

But many groups representing medical professionals have come out against the plans, and Labour says such a huge reorganisation should not be forced on the NHS when it is under intense financial pressure.

 

Meanwhile the Royal College of GPs, which opposes the bill, has indicated it is willing to work with the government on implementing the changes.

 

Plaid Cymru's health spokesman at Westminster, MP Hywel Williams, said that the bill - which applies to England - would have "significant effects" on Welsh patients who used specialist NHS services in England.

 

He said longer-term funding problems could arise - because there could be a cut in Wales's funding under the Barnett formula, if health spending in England were to fall.

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17351686

 

 

More on This Story

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2 years ago

Ray, is the opposition from the Royal College of GP's due to the fact that they are so used to getting a flat salary for the care they provide and they are scared of the fact that they will now have to "compete" so to speak for patients and their pay will be more dependent on competitive pricing and all and that it could, at first, cost them money?  Or is it purely that they think there will be people that won't be able to get care?  

 

You know, Ray, one thing that we here in the U.S. all the time is that people without insurance are denied care, etc.  I can tell you that if they are truly sick there is no hospital in the U.S. that would deny them treatment and most would write off the cost; I have seen it done over and over and both in Washington State, Utah and Virginia.  Of the 3, Virginia has some of the best programs to help the uninsured that I have seen.  If you need medical care, insurance or no insurance will not stop that from happening; there is a law that protects people.  

 

I just wondered if you could clarify for me why the GP's are against the reforms.  As stated before, change is hard for people and I do appreciate that the U.K. is going into this carefully and you are right, it is easier to stay with privatized than to turn to socialized medicine only to find you can't afford it and then try to remove this from what people are used to having.  Kind of like getting a rasise in pay; once you have it your budget adjusts and it becomes the new need so to have it taken away is not something that is easy to adjust to in the budget you have now established.  So, better, sometimes, not to get it in the first place.

2 years ago

Linda, every time a GP's see one of his Patient he is paid, every time a GP prescribed medication the GP is paid, for years now GP's have been claim money for their Patiients who have moved or died, with these reforms GP's can no longer do this as they must account for every penny they spend.

 

in addtion, GP's will be responsible for their patients stay in hospital, for a long time now the NHS have been using the private sector for healthcare, indeed many time patients have been sent abroad for treatment due to other Countries may offer the treatment cheaper then the NHS, so bring in the private sector is not new.

 

Reading about Obama-Care American's will see that their Tax's that will pay for the Obama will go up, indeed you will working for 2 or 3 days without been paid, this would due to you paying that much in Tax's to pay for Obama-Care, the highest rate of tax that I known in the UK was 45% that is 45p in the pound almost half you weekly wage, the lowest I seen was 25% so American's would still be paid for only 3/4 of you weekly wage.

 

another way that must looked at, the UK is a very small Country, looking at the size of Texas, you could fit the UK in the corner of Texas and you would not even notice Britain,

 

Looking at America this country is far to big to bring in Country healthcare, 

I know that each state in America have their own laws, so would this mean that each state would have their own healthcare system should Obama Care be set up, in America.

 

there is another part of the NHS that has been over looked by ObamaCare the Medical Equitment, over the years the British Public have collect funds themselves to buy Medical Equitment for the NHS,

 

the collecting of funds/money has been done in a number of ways, appeals is just one way  The Royal Surrey Appeal, sponsing is another way, I have always said, if it had not been for the British Public there would be very little medical equitment in the Hospital today.

 

So looking at the overal picture for Obama Care, it would not be just the Tax's American's would have pay, but also further monies from American's also in donations and appeals that hospitals set up to raise funds for equitment.

 

Prescriptions in the NHS in the 1970's a NHS Prescription was 20p today the prescription costs £7.40 Prescription costs that's if NICE agree to bring the drug on the NHS, looking at the web-site of NICE  the first impression by any stranger would have, is that NICE is a very carring Government Department in the NHS, but this is not the truth, many of times a number patiens have been refused medication Cancer man feels 'cheated' by NHS there is many more case of this nature,

 

so what is the job of NICE; Q&A: What is NICE? these are all matter that need to be looked at with any healthcare.

 

in the 1960's GP's in Britain gave out Valium like sweets so the GP's would be paid for seeing the patient and prescribing the drug, a month later, the patient see the GP again again the GP is paid and paid for prescribing the drug, this goes on month after month, the reason for this, the patient does not know that what the GP has done is looked after his pocket in the long term, I know this due to mywife been on Valium for many years and went through hell coming off them.

 

The GP's know that Valium is very addictive so the GP have been given out these drugs over years and pocketing the money from the NHS with disregard for their patients, this would seen aa a breach of duty of care, however, the GP's protect theirselves with the GMC this department should be a department that regulates GP's, but, the GMC is made up of GP's and Professors so the GP's regulate themselves in Council Members of Council 

 

so it would hard to bring a claim against a GP, unless you have the money to do so privately through a out of town legal firm.

 

you see Linda, the GMC is the Union that protects GP's and the first place a GP goes to when the GP is facing a complaint is the GMC.

 
2 years ago

No wonder they don't like this.  They have it completely to their benefit with the current system.  It is time they wake up and see what the real world is about I would think.  It can only be better for the people of the UK, Ray.  

 

With our system we do have the problem where people can sue a doctor for malpractice where it appears in your system the doctors are protected with the Union (GMC).  That has pros and cons, Ray.  In our system, unfortunately attorneys get greedy and they will encourage people to sue a doctor over any little thing and then if the person wins the suit, the attorney takes a huge percentage of it, so they benefit more than even the person they represent. That also means the cost of the physicians' malpractice insurance is astronomical and then the cost of medical care goes up, as well.  Some doctors change specialties as the areas where there are the most suits are in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pedicatrics; makes it hard to encourage medical students to study in either of these specialties.  

 

Frankly, the worst culprits in high cost of medical care are the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and the lawyers, the lawyers one of the worst.

 

So your system has it's plus in that you would eliminate the lawyers and insurance companies; but what guarantees fair consideration when a doctor is neglegent?

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