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More on the Naylor Report


  • The Naylor Review 2017.
    A broad response to this review should have an approach based on the
    A. The rushed sale of valuable NHS estate land and buildings. The
    NHS estate has taken generations to assemble, through purchases by
    public money and through centuries of charitable donations and
    legacies of money, land and buildings by public spirited persons. Before
    any sale of this precious NHS estate, the land that is likely to be
    required for the future development of the NHS, on a reasonable
    forward plan of at least 15 years, must be identified and safeguarded, to
    meet foreseeable patient needs, as part of a long-needed NHS estates
    strategy which should be open to public consultation and be agreed by
    Parliament. The NHS should not breach the trust placed in it by
    previous generations of donors and taxpayers.
    B. The offer of extra money to health authorities who sell quickly is a
    wholly inappropriate and wasteful incentive. It subverts their fiduciary
    duty of care to ensure that any sale, without undue haste, is able to
    achieve the full value of the land. NHS managers must not be placed
    under pressure to sell at an undervalue, causing financial loss to the
    public, merely to meet the unrealistic funding targets (ie cuts) of their
    current spending cycle. If this extra ‘incentive’ money is available, then
    it should now be added, unconditionally, to the budgets of the NHS
    C. NHS land was provided historically as a long-term capital
    investment. It should not be disinvested by frittering away sales
    receipts as short-term revenue payments to the detriment of future
    generations. Instead, such moneys should be safeguarded as capital
    investment to be used first, to purchase any other land and buildings
    needed for patient care and second, to fund other capital projects,
    including primary care facilities, for the NHS. Such projects should
    include the provision of affordable rented accommodation for NHS staff
    in all areas where a shortage or adverse pricing of housing makes the
    recruitment and retention of NHS staff difficult.
  • Questions.
    It is unfortunate that because of a lack of financial provision to the NHS, a
    need has been created: STPs must rapidly sell ‘surplus’ assets in order to
    continue the process of the transformation of health services and so attempt
    to meet stringent financial requirements. These assets belong to the people
    and their exploitation should be in our best interest. There is no long-term
    NHS Estates Strategy, rather a benchmarking exercise has been carried out
    by Deloitte to enable a powerful NHS Property Board to ensure rapid
    disposal. Rapid sales may be to the longer-term detriment of the public purse
    and, indeed, benefit private investors.
    Question 1: Rather than allowing the rapid sale of lands and buildings to
    private developers and investors, would it not be in our best interest to
    develop a longer-term NHS Estates Strategy, retain the buildings and land
    and exploit them for the benefit of Health and Social Care in North Central
    The Review believes that current low rates of return and the low risk profile of
    NHS investments means that there is likely to be no shortage of private
    capital finance available to the NHS. Government should borrow now for
    transformation and exploit our assets to the full in the longer-term.
    There is still some concern that a proportion of any capital released by the
    sale of ‘surplus’ estates may continue to be vired into running costs and
    disappear that way. Jeremy Hunt has recently made it clear that this practice
    will continue up to 2020.
    Question 2: Do we have any reassurance that money released from the sale
    of our assets will not be ‘lost’ in running costs but instead will be used for the
    development of our health service?
    Question 3: Do we have the skills required in our NHS Estates teams to
    make ‘good deals’ with any private investors or purchasers?
    There appears to be enormous pressure to strike deals quickly.
    Question 4: Do we have assurances that our NHS Estates team will walk
    away from any deal that is not in our best interest in the longer-term?
    Naylor states: ‘Even if the new models to be developed are fully successful,
    the STPs are likely to need the same level of hospital capacity (eg. in terms
    of bed numbers) as at present. The disposal of any estates must therefore
    not result in a reduction in bed numbers’.
  • Question 5: Do we have reassurance that hospital capacity (bed numbers)
    will not be reduced?
    There is a temptation, particularly in London, to want to increase the total
    national amount released from disposals to £5.7bn but this can only happen if
    the NHS agrees to adopt a “more commercial approach”. This apparently
    involves changes in the way planning consent is obtained; affordable housing
    quotas are negotiated; and value is maximised from the highest value sites in
    Question 6: What exactly does this involve that is different from a “less
    commercial” approach?
    Question 7: Does achieving more Capital mean losing ‘affordable’ housing
    needed for the benefit of NHS staff that is so important especially in London?
    The Review suggests that if STPs do not move quickly enough in the
    Government’s direction with provider plans embedded in STP plans;
    maximum possible disposals; addressing backlog maintenance; and
    delivering the 5YFV, then apparently STPs should not be eligible to access
    public capital funding.
    Question 8: If the STP plans do not hit targets and public capital funding is
    not given to or reduced for providers could this lead to unnecessary risks for
    the community? If so, then who has responsibility for any harm caused given
    that the STP has no legal status?
    There are plans for a ‘time limited offer, with a fixed funding pot and allocation
    on a “ first come first served” basis’, to match disposal proceeds with an
    equivalent amount of state funding. This is intended to encourage STPs and
    providers to act quickly and discourage them from holding on to any land.
    Question 9: Will the offer of extra funding for rapid sales undercut the NHS
    bargaining position because a fast deal may ensure twice the income, any
    purchaser slow to offer more money will put our staff in a bind (ie they would
    have to decide whether to go for the best deal with the purchaser or to speed
    up the process to get a ‘double deal’ from the Property Board)? Could this in
    effect mean sales on the cheap?
    The Naylor Review states that the creation of Accountable Care
    Organisations (ACOs) with population based ‘capitated’ budgets would be a
    way to overcome the conflicts of interest that currently exist between the
    “advisory” role of STPs and the statutory responsibilities of NHS provider
    trusts. An ACO would incentivise acute providers to invest property assets in
    primary, community and mental health services, alongside private investors,
  • and so enable more patients to be treated closer to home in line with the
    Question 10: As an ACO becomes a stand-alone, standardised, “public-
    private partnership”, will we not have then lost the sense of any National
    Health Service?
    Question 11: If Naylor is supported, will we not lose a lot of our public assets
    and public wealth into private pockets?
    The review recommends the creation of a powerful new NHS Property Board
    to address the challenges. In particular, the NHS Property Board should
    consider if it continues to invest in property or, given the direction of travel for
    greater local ownership, it divests to providers the residual assets it has
    inherited from the abolition of PCTs. But most providers are now, in effect,
    private businesses and the Secretary of State has no legal responsibility for
    the provision of the NHS.
    Question 12: Does the divesting of property to providers mean that our
    assets may in effect be handed over to become part of the portfolio of a
    provider and that such a provider may be susceptible to take-over if it “fails”?
    The Naylor Review will set up a bargain market of estate sales, healthy
    opportunities for matched-investments in integrated community services and
    create the managed-care environment of an ACO that is currently attractive to
    transnational corporations.
    Question 13: Is the Naylor Review the beginning of the end for any form of a
    National Health Service and therefore, as it presents us with an ACO, does it
    not also present us with enormous potential losses: the loss of any national
    pooled-risk, the loss of national equity of care and the loss of the enormous
    benefits of strategic and national planning?
    Question 14: Is the Naylor Review simply a means to bring about a structural
    change in the system of healthcare in England?
    It will also probably hasten the loss of publicly-owned healthcare paid for
    through taxation. All of this achieved without consultation with the public.


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Fw: Fwd: KONP Updates 01/05/2015
Hawley Ellen
To Dorothy Scarth len stevens gavin barker merril richards doug johnson and 78 more…
Keep Our NHS Public 01/05/2015


Gerada quits NHS England to be able to speak out on NHS privatisation. Former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada has quit NHS England to be able to speak out against what she calls the Conservatives’ ‘desperate quest for privatisation’. She told Pulse that running the primary care ‘transformation’ programme in the capital as chair of NHS England London’s primary care clinical board had been ‘fantastic’ but that she saw her ‘bigger role’ as a whistleblower on NHS policy – especially in the run-up to the general election. Professor Gerada, who has filled the time by adding more sessions of clinical work as a GP in Lewisham in south London, said it was ‘no secret now’ that people working within the NHS both at senior and junior manager level were ‘frightened of speaking out and whistleblowing’ and she had not wanted to ‘embarrass’ her employer by doing so. She said: ‘I think the big things that are wrong cannot be fixed by me [working for NHS England]. These are big things like restoring the secretary of state’s duty to provide a comprehensive health system, like ensuring that we have equity of funding across different areas. Those are the things that are being rapidly removed and being put into the hands of quangos, really.’ The former RCGP chair said that the ‘important thing’ is to bring the NHS ‘back to public ownership, back into proper finance to being properly delivered – and stop this desperate quest for privatisation’ She added: ‘Despite what the Conservatives are saying, as GPs we only need to look around us to know what is going on, and that is that people are no longer able to access the care that they need to because of serious problems with funding and a constant move towards tendering and all things like that.’ Professor Gerada’s NHS campaigning work in the election run up has included an open letter to the Guardian signed by 140 doctors casting a damning verdict on the Coalition’s NHS track record, but she faced a backlash when Tories seized on her membership in the Labour Party, calling the letter a ‘Labour-instigated stitch up’. Professor Gerada, who told the Telegraph newspaper that she was ‘not a Labour Party activist’, told Pulse that ‘as an outed Labour card carrier’ she hopes the party will win but she thinks next week’s election is too close to call.

CCGs issue 40% of contracts to private providers. Two fifths of NHS contracts have been issued to private providers since the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act by the coalition in 2013, the Labour Party has claimed. A Labour FOI of CCGs found that 40% of all contracts put out to tender by CCGs have been awarded to private firms, compared with 41% being awarded to NHS organisations. Labour’s findings contradict the Government’s line that just 6% of contracts go to private providers, and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham pledged to repeal the ‘market framework’ that was introduced by the HSCA and which he said had put the ‘founding NHS principles under threat’. A Labour statement said: ‘Labour will repeal the Health and Social Care Act to scrap David Cameron’s NHS market. This will include scrapping the rules that force services out to tender and repealing the competition regime that is tying up hospitals in competition law. ‘And where private companies are involved in delivering NHS-funded clinical services, Labour will cap the profits they can make from the NHS to ensure resources are spent on patient care.’

KONP Updates Part 2

Monitor could be asked to examine £350m contract. A decision by NHS England to hand more than half of the country’s PET-CT imaging services to one company could be the subject of a formal complaint to market regulator Monitor, HSJ has learned. News of the potential complaint comes after the government was asked in the Commons to reassure MPs that no “undue influence” was brought to bear over the £350m contract. The decision in January to award all four regional lots to Alliance Medical sparked fears over the long term impact of the decision on competition. Concerns have also been expressed by another provider over the near “monopoly” Alliance Medical will have over the provision of PET-CT services in England for the next 10 years, as well as the majority control of production and supply of a radioactive drug known as FDG, which is vital to the PET-CT imaging process. HSJ understands Siemens Healthcare, which is the only other producer of FDG in England after Alliance took control of two other companies in 2013-14, is taking legal advice over the decision by NHS England. The company was not a bidder in the PET-CT imaging tender but could be heavily affected by NHS England’s decision.

The Telegraph

Lancet condemns NHS for creating ‘culture of fear’ in wake of scandals. NHS reforms introduced following the disclosure of serious failings at the Mid-Staffordshire Trust have left staff feeling fearful of persecution, according to a respected medical journal. The stinging editorial in the Lancet criticises the NHS’ efforts to rebuild the reputation of the health service following a string of high profile scandals. The journal has taken the unusual step of publishing its own manifesto for health ahead of May’s general election. The article says: “The regulatory regime created in the aftermath of Bristol, Shipman, and most recently mid Staffordshire, has created a culture of blame, fear, and intimidation in the UK’s health system.” “Instead of regulation being a means to bring the best out of our health professionals, it is used as a tool to threaten, punish, and harm. The conditions we have created for health professionals in the NHS mean that few people are cherished. “Instead, they are seen as problems to be managed. An obsession with inspection has also blinded us from thinking about health as more than a health-sector issue.” The piece has been timed to create maximum impact ahead of the election, even carrying a distinctive ‘Election UK 2015’ logo, complete with a stylised ballot. An NHS England source said: “It’s a very interesting article. The bit that focusses on the regulatory regime, it’s the Government that sets that up. For us its business as usual, we deliver what’s set out by the Government. There should be an NHS voice in this. But as for why things are the way they are that’s Government policy.” The editorial calls for a more open-minded approach to the issues facing the NHS, demanding “immediate action to improve the interface between general and emergency medicine”, describing the current situation as “atrociously poor”.

The Guardian

Focus on targets in NHS poses threat to patient care, says thinktank. A “targets and terror” approach to ensure large hospital A&E departments in England treat, admit or discharge 95% of patients within four hours may undermine their care, a former senior NHS official has said. The micro-management culture within the NHS and Department of Health coupled with increasingly tight budgets will hasten the point at which entire urgent care system reaches breaking point, says Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust thinktank. Senior managers in hospitals are so busy collecting information on how they are doing each week to satisfy regulators, NHS bosses, health commissioners and politicians that they are not sorting problems on their own frontline, Edwards and two co-authors claim in a briefing paper. Major A&Es have not hit the 95% mark since summer 2013 despite all the attention paid to weekly figures in recent months, they say. But emphasis on the four-hour measure distorts the picture of how big hospitals are doing in the face of a 12% increase in attendances at their A&E units and a 27% increase in emergency admissions in a decade. The A&E rise is “entirely in line with what would be expected based on population growth”, according to the paper, which warns that 17,000 extra hospital beds could be needed by 2022 unless more could be done to treat people outside hospital. The NHS response was based “on the anxiety of the hierarchy rather than on the care of patients and the flow of patients through the system”, it said.

Hospital Doctor News

Extra A&E funding didn’t reach the frontline. Only 1% of the £700m allocated by the government was spent on staff or other resources in their emergency departments. This is the key finding of research by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine which surveyed 142 clinical leaders in emergency medicine across the UK – representing about two thirds of emergency medicine units. Off the back of the survey, the college has released a report – called Ignoring the Prescription – which finds that implementation of recommendations to reduce the A&E crisis has been patchy at best. Last year, four medical royal colleges and many other organisations met to discuss how to make the urgent and emergency care system more resilient. Their report Acute and emergency care – prescribing the remedy was published in June and was welcomed by the NHS confederation and the Department of Health in England. But progress has been slow despite an additional cash injection of £700m. Less than half of EDs in the UK have fully implemented co-located primary care out-of-hours facilities. Less than a third of departments have an appropriate skill mix and workforce in place to deal with their patient volumes and case mix. It also finds that more than half of departments are not assisted by senior decision makers from in-patient teams at times of peak activity. The College concludes that a combination of failure to implement consensus recommendations coupled with the failure to invest allocated monies in frontline services has led to extraordinary winter pressures which were largely avoidable.

Lancaster Guardian

Sneaky way to privatise. Greater Manchester to control £6bn NHS budget – Greater Manchester is to become the first English region to get full control of its health spending, as part of an extension of devolved powers. Chancellor George Osborne said the £6bn health and social care budget would be taken over by the region’s councils and health groups. Mr Osborne said it was a “really exciting development”. A Labour spokesman said NHS workers would “want to be persuaded of the case for a new layer of management”. The plan will come into force from April 2016. Mr Osborne added: “This is what the NHS wants to see as part of its own future. And it’s also about giving people in Manchester greater control over their own affairs in that city, which is central to our vision of the ‘northern powerhouse’, so it’s a very exciting development.” The plan would see local leaders, and ultimately Greater Manchester’s new directly elected mayor, control how budgets are allocated. The government hopes integrating health and social care services will ease pressure on hospitals and help to improve home care services for patients who need it. A shadow Greater Manchester Health and Wellbeing board will be appointed, which will work closely with existing clinical commissioning groups of GPs. The board is expected to run from April, before control of the budget is handed over a year later. Manchester City Council confirmed 10 local authorities, 12 clinical commissioning groups, 14 NHS partners, NHS England and the government are in discussions on a “groundbreaking agreement for health and social care”. What will happen if Greater Manchester over-spends? And if this ‘Grandiose Plan for the NHS’ is extended to other parts of the UK, who will provide health care, should Greater Manchester, other Health Trusts run out of money? Therefore it begs the question, does it not, that I firmly believe is this – privatisation of the NHS by the back door by the Tory Party, and the only people to benefit will be NHS consultants, GPs and medical manufacturers; and also not forgetting MPs, who will, no doubt, have their snouts in the trough with ‘interested parties’. Therefore, may I respectfully suggest that if David Cameron MP is elected Prime Minister in May will he please confirm his Electoral Pledge of many years ago – ‘that the NHS is totally safe in Tory hands’.


KONP Updates

Thursday 5th March 2015

Charities should be preferred NHS providers, says Andy Burnham.

Charities could get 10-year contracts to help deliver NHS services if Labour wins the general election, the shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, has told voluntary sector leaders. Not-for-profit care organisations would be given “a form of preferred provider” status under legislation that a Labour government would introduce to replace parts of the coalition’s 2012 Health and Social Care Act. The move would recognise their contribution to strengthening communities. The announcement came as Burnham sought to allay fears in the voluntary sector that his plan to restore NHS trusts’ preferred provider status for delivery of health services would hit charities as well as private companies.
Winsford Guardian

NHS campaigners rally on streets against privatisation.

Protestors in Winsford joined thousands around the UK in taking to the streets to help gather support to protect the NHS from privatisation. Around 170 people signed the ‘Save our NHS’ petition in Winsford. The petition asks each MP candidate to commit to protecting the NHS from privatization and to keep it out of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal with the US. The day of action, coordinated by campaign group 38 Degrees, was held across England with more than 10,000 people taking part.
Health Service Journal

Monitor could be asked to examine £350m contract.

A decision by NHS England to hand more than half of the country’s PET-CT imaging services to one company could be the subject of a formal complaint to market regulator Monitor, HSJ has learned.

Left Food Forward

The NHS has never been in more danger.

Kailash Chand OBE writes: In 2010 David Cameron’s coalition government betrayed pre-election promises to protect the NHS. Instead they imposed savage spending cuts and pushed through ‘reforms’ which put at risk the health of the entire population. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 has been described as so ‘complex, confusing and bureaucratic’ that the organisation of the NHS ‘is not fit for purpose’ as a result. The NHS is now at the brink of extinction. The public has been misled about the objectives and consequences of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. But the coalition’s repeated denials of NHS privatisation do not stand up to scrutiny. The 2012 Act has not just repealed society’s contract with the health service, it has put the NHS on the chopping block, ready to be sold in pieces to private corporations. The Health and Social Care Act raised the cap hospitals could generate from private income to 49 per cent from an average of around two per cent. Privatisation is an ideological luxury which wastes money and destabilises the NHS. It has no purpose other than diverting money to shareholders and enriching a privileged few. We all know people should always come before profit, but the current government thinks otherwise. In the past year, £9 billion worth of our NHS has been put up for sale, while thousands of jobs have been axed, including over 4000 senior nurses. Half of our 600 ambulance stations are earmarked for closure. 50 of the 230 NHS walk-in centres have been closed and 66 A& E and maternity units have been shut or downgraded. The coalition’s policies and privatisation mean the NHS as we know it will be gone in as little as five years if no one speaks up. The NHS will just be a logo; reduced from being the main provider of health services in England with one of the biggest workforces in the world, to a US-style insurance scheme, divorced from the delivery of care. Fewer treatments will be available as cuts start to bite. The ‘new’ NHS is now more fragmented than ever before. It has no primacy over provision, and money is squandered over lost causes such as procurement of contracts and fighting competition from within. There has been a proliferation of small and large providers in the NHS in the last two or three years and the other winners in this revolutionary reform are management consultants. The proliferation of private service providers spells serious problems for the future. For while the public sector seeks to maximise quality and coverage of services, the private sector aims to provide services in order to maximise profits. John Major attempted to suffocate the NHS by bringing in the internal market. David Cameron is fulfilling the dream of the ‘Tory right’ to privatise health care lock-stock and barrel.

Hunt To Supress the Rose Report


Toby Helm Observer political editor

Saturday 7 March 2015 21.16 GMT Last modified on Sunday 8 March 2015 00.09 GMT

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt faces allegations of a politically motivated cover-up after the Tory head of the health select committee said his department’s refusal to publish a damning report on NHS management before the general election was not acceptable.

Sarah Wollaston, a former GP who took over the chairmanship of the committee last year, said it was not reasonable or right that a report by former Marks & Spencer boss and Tory peer Stuart Rose, which was commissioned by Hunt a year ago and completed in December, was being kept from the public.

Senior government officials have made it known that Rose’s report is strongly critical of management systems in the NHS – findings that are potentially damaging for the Tories before an election in which the NHS is centre stage.

There are also suggestions that the report implies that the government’s own NHS reforms, steered through by Hunt’s predecessor Andrew Lansley, may have made matters worse.

Rose, who is said to be angry that the report has been put on the back burner until after the election, was unavailable for comment.

The Department of Health said it did not have a date for publication of the Rose report because its remit had suddenly been widened. “The remit of the Rose review has been expanded so that it takes into account the NHS’s own five-year forward view, which was published after Lord Rose’s work had begun. This means that further work is required before the final report is published.”

Wollaston told the Observer that reports which had been commissioned by government and paid for by taxpayers should be made available at the earliest opportunity on matters of such clear public interest.

“There is far too much of this going on, with uncomfortable information being withheld,” Wollaston said. “Just as with the Chilcot report into the Iraq war, it is not right that reports paid for out of public money are not made available to the public on such vital issues as soon as possible, particularly ahead of a general election.”

She said she was expressing her personal views, as she had not had a chance to discuss the issue with her committee. But she added that she would have liked to have been able to draw on the findings of the Rose report in an investigation of public expenditure in the NHS that is now being finalised by the select committee.

Rose, who is now chairman of the online retailer Ocado, was asked in February last year by Hunt to assess how NHS hospitals could keep “the very best leaders to help transform the culture in underperforming hospitals”.

But in a story that he has not denied, the Financial Times said recently that the peer had been dismayed by what he found and regarded the overall standard of management to be “totally shocking”.

Last night shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: “Jeremy Hunt likes to claim that he stands for openness and transparency but this looks for all the world like a politically motivated cover-up in advance of the general election.

“If he wants to dispel or dismiss this suspicion, he must make arrangements to publish this report without delay.”

Rose would not be alone in thinking that the Lansley reforms made the management of the NHS less effective and more bureaucratic. A recent report by independent thinktank the King’s Fund said the Lansley overhaul left structures so “complex, confusing and bureaucratic” that the organisation of the service “is not fit for purpose”.

It also said the changes wasted the time of NHS bosses, who were “distracted as they were required to re-arrange the deckchairs rather than navigate safely past the iceberg” of growing demand at a time of acute financial pressure.

It also said the reforms led to a loss of talented senior NHS leaders by creating an array of new organisations, each responsible for areas such as hospitals or public health, meaning that no one was in overall charge and that there was a leadership vacuum.
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A heartfelt thank you to the NHS | openDemocracy

e-affirming experiences don’t come much more convincingly than cancer. In June Mr Tim Duncan, with his steady gaze and infinite blue eyes, told me that I had cancer of the ovaries, bowel and possibly liver. I had gone to see my GP, a few weeks before, thinking that I was intolerant to wheat (feeling bloated is apparently a common symptom; ladies be warned). I can’t imagine what it is like having to tell people the news that they may not see their children grow up and alarmingly, these days, telling it regularly. I write to thank Mr Duncan for his gentle patience as my world crashed before me, and to sing from the roof tops praise for the NHS, with its incredible staff who have looked after me and my family through these five months.

I was admitted to Norfolk and Norwich hospital where I underwent an 11-hour operation performed by surely the most handsome team of surgeons (all the nurses agree), and after a short stay in the high-dependency unit I arrived at the wonderful Cley ward for 20 days. I can’t begin to explain my thanks and gratitude to the staff of Cley. My condition was at times frightening and harrowing, but I was cared for with such expertise and vigilance that I have to share my experience and rejoice in the knowledge that their support has meant that I am now walking in my favourite woods again.

It amazes me that I am alive. I fully intend to remain so. Most women in the world do not have access to this level of expertise. Even in the US, on my income, my insurance probably would not have covered the operation and I don’t have a house to re-mortgage or funds to cover this unexpected disease. The x-rays, scans, medication, food, cleaning staff, porters that have been given to me because I’m British leave me speechless. We all know someone who has had a baby, broken an arm or has been seriously ill. Do we consider enough how lucky we are to see our GP for free? ”

I really want to say thank you for the kind way my decrepit body was washed; how, in the middle of the night when I felt overwhelmed, a nurse stopped what she was doing and held my hand; the cake covered in Smarties the catering staff brought me for my birthday; the smiles and jokes with the staff to pass the long days; and Mr Burbos (one of the handsome consultant surgeons) who has been so generous with his time and care. Thank you. I will be supporting the strikes to get better pay for nurses. They are intelligent, helpful, kind people, not money-grabbers. If they say their pay is unfair, I believe them.

About the author

Gael Mosesson is a musician and songwriter, performing original music to diverse audiences, and an outdoor educator at Ringsfield Hall in Suffolk, helping people reconnect with nature. She has three beautifully crazy teenagers and is in love with Magnus.


Staffing and compassion

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via A heartfelt thank you to the NHS | openDemocracy.

Will MPs vote to right some of the NHS wrongs?

A private member’s bill that proposes undoing the worst excesses of Andrew Lansley’s unpopular NHS reforms has caught a mood
Former health secretary Andrew Lansley. If the bill to repeal his reforms went through it would be ‘a parliamentary mea culpa of historic proportions’. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
This week the same MPs who voted Andrew Lansley’s unpopular Health and Social Care Act through parliament, despite the warnings that it would distract, weaken and potentially even wreck the NHS, have a chance to undo at least some of the damage that both Westminster and the NHS’s equivalents of the dogs in the street know it has done. On Friday they will debate and vote on Labour MP Clive Efford’s National Health Service (amended duties and powers) bill, a private member’s bill which will receive its second reading.
Among what Efford regards as the many ill-advised, reckless or self-evidently negative changes the 2012 Act involved, he has one key target – the huge expansion in competition it brought to the NHS, with a concomitant expansion in the privatisation of clinical services previously provided by the NHS.
“The bill wouldn’t repeal the entire Health and Social Care Act. But it cuts the heart out of it. It would repeal some of the worst elements of it that impose market forces on the NHS,” explains the MP for Eltham in south-east London, who is better known as the shadow sports minister. For example, it would replace the health sector regulator Monitor’s duty to promote tendering with an obligation to promote integration of services.
Its 14 clauses would also repeal “section 75”, the clause in Lansley’s legacy that enforces the compulsory tendering of all NHS contracts, which came into force last year. It removes the ability of hospitals to earn 49% of their income from private patients. New figures last weekend showed that such income has risen 10% overall since 2010 with, for example, the specialist Royal Brompton and Harefield trust growing its revenue from that source from £24.3m in 2010-11 to £33.6m in 2013-14.
It would also exempt the NHS from the EU-US trade treaty, currently being negotiated in secret, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which could open up NHS services to competition permanently, including from US healthcare firms. The coalition’s refusal to seek such an opt-out would be trumped by the new law specifying that TTIP does not affect the NHS. And it would restore the health secretary’s responsibility for the NHS, something Lansley watered down. Crucially, says Efford, his bill would reassert parliament’s sovereignty over the NHS.
The Royal College of Nursing, a persistent critic of Lansley’s “unnecessary and chaotic reorganisation”, has welcomed the bill as an opportunity to undo the damage. Lord Owen, the ex-Labour health secretary who tried to pilot two similar bills through last year, praises its “imaginative and constructive proposals”. The British Medical Association is broadly supportive, though worried that an over-powerful health secretary could introduce even more political interference in the NHS.
If it became law – few private member’s bills ever do – Efford’s bill would amount to a parliamentary mea culpa of historic proportions. If the coalition had made meaningful rather than cosmetic changes to Lansley’s law at the time, Efford’s effort would not be needed. But the admission by an unnamed cabinet minister last month that the act was this government’s greatest folly (quoted on the front page of the Times) and the fact that 44% of the public think the NHS is under threat from private health companies suggests Efford’s bill has caught a mood.
Efford says: “There will be plenty of Labour MPs in the Commons on Friday [a day MPs are usually in their constituences rather than Westminster] and I’ve got no indication that there’s a whipping operation to stop it, so the government has accepted that it can’t win the vote”.
Are any coalition MPs who backed Lansley’s bill likely to now back Efford’s? “Not so far. I suspect that they are all too embarrassed that they supported this incredibly unpopular piece of legislation that people want repealed,” he says.