The NHS: The threats are serious

Discussion in 'South East London General Discussion' started by SELPA, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. SELPA

    SELPA Lives for South East London

    Dear SE Londoners

    If you have some time, this film about the NHS and PFi, is worth watching, it explains why so many people, and people beyond the traditional are getting VERY concerned with the NHS. It's scandalous in many ways.
  2. Ben_Neverest

    Ben_Neverest Proper Local

    I can understand the video's portrayal of the scandalous appearance of healthcare economics.

    Essentially, we have a state operated healthcare system, which works very well with a fixed population number, for any given working % of tax contributors.

    With predictable population growth, ploughing more money into the NHS, does not increase efficiency beyond a plateau.

    At this point, already reached decades ago, the NHS is not the most competitive health care provider, compared to privatised companies.

    Technological advances in medicine, have led to evidence based approaches, which can be delivered by small specialist teams: sometimes better, via a private PFI, than a NHS Trust trying to manage everything.

    At this point, the economic argument for retaining a NHS Trust are very weak: offers of Foundation Status, that is, to upgrade and innovate; the reshape and reconfigure, to meet modern standards of healthcare, are offered as targets.

    However NHS related unions oppose change and modernisation, making the NHS even more inefficient; prolonging the decay rate of reconfiguring from a 1980's NHS to a modern NHS trust.

    There is no feasible workable solution on the table to retain the NHS as it stands, without doubling your tax rates to at least 40% base rate like the Danish or Scandinavian systems.

    How many UK residents would wish for this?

    As much as we can complain about the future of PFI's taking over NHS Trusts, there are few workable solutions without giving up something ... either quality of care for those in hospital (which has already been happening for decades, since the Staffordshire Hospitals Enquiries revealed), or the free component of the NHS.
  3. SELPA

    SELPA Lives for South East London

    Ben thank you for your response. It important that people are not ground down, by "TINA" rhetoric i.e. "There is no alternative" , that we have to do things, in a particular way, in this case privatise the NHS.
    Pfi's give you a spangly hospital or school but then eat away at the costs of the running the hospital or school, through repayments the eye wateringly high that have be made. This squeeze on costs can sometimes lead to efficiencies but when the easy costs have been made, it then leads to cutting to the bone; lower staff pay & deteriorating conditions, so you end up with overworked, demoralised staff and corners cuts and threats to care.

    We will come back to this thread when we have a little bit more time, to go into the points you've raised.
  4. Ben_Neverest

    Ben_Neverest Proper Local

    There's no question about the bankruptcy of the NHS going down the PFI route: this has already happened in the south east of London.

    What is the alternative business model for the NHS if it is not PFI?

    It's easier to dismiss the TINA rhetoric, but then to fail to articulate and substantiate an actual business model for the NHS ... to not go private .. to continue treating the current caseload at its current waiting lists ... is no better.

    Where this leaves incumbent government, is to sell out in the short term, use PFI to fund failing and flawed hospitals with undeliverable standards of quality of care, setting up future unmanageable NHS hospital debt. Simultaneously, grass level contribution from residents opposing the closures of A&E departments, creates larger economic burdens for maintaining current multiple hospitals to functioning standards, which protects the status quo of hospitals which are good, bad, or average. It points to one outcome: that is a need for a massive overhaul, akin to a completely revolutionising the whole concept of the NHS free healthcare delivery, a bit like what President Obama has done, in the opposite direction for American private healthcare.

    This kind of outcome has no current government strategy; is still muddy in its consultation. This is why PFI continues, much to the detriment of society and the NHS.
  5. SELPA

    SELPA Lives for South East London

    The Save Lewisham Hospital campaign, backed the Efford Bill, by Eltham MP Clive Efford which successfully passed its first hurdle last friday. The video explains what it's about.

    However there are concerns that the Efford Bill is not what it seems and though the bill only has a small chance of becoming law, it could well be part of some posturing by Labour to act as saviours of the NHS.
    Dr Lucy Reynolds who spoke at the #OccupyDemocracy event yesterday outlines why in this video

    Ben, thank you again, we still haven't got back to you properly about the specific points. We will when we get a chance!
  6. Ben_Neverest

    Ben_Neverest Proper Local

    That's great news about the Efford Bill.

    I agree in principle with all the tenets proposed by Dr Anthony Sullivan.

    The problem remains: no mechanism to achieve all of these proposals have been drawn up to support the Efford Bill. We have countless generations of governments promising better healthcare before they are elected, with no tangible method to deal with deconstruction what 'our NHS' means.

    'Our NHS' = free NHS for the United Kingdom, non-United Kingdom dependencies, plus EEC residents and visitors under reciprocal health agreements.
    'Our NHS' = free NHS for a increasingly ageing population; higher population numbers, unsustainable property prices for first time buyers in London already.

    The arguments for a free NHS [without PFI] are incredibly difficult to do, without either pushing us down the road of Danish healthcare: Danes pay an Income tax; a city municipal tax and a health tax contribution; the only protection they have from their government from ever increasing costs is that by law, they are not allowed to pay more than 51.5% of their income to taxes, in order to fund their robust health care system.

    How many of us would tolerate this level of taxation, in order to preserve the NHS as it is?

    Had our previous Labour government not engaged in excessive warmongering in Iraq and its legacy of enduring conflict and ongoing military spend, our health care system would at least have diminished in terms of providing aftercare and rehabilitation for wounded and traumatised servicemen, and reinvestment away from offensive international stage approaches, towards focussing on domestic policy.
  7. SELPA

    SELPA Lives for South East London

    The Save Lewisham Hospital are in the Guardian Newspaper today, March 26th with a letter that argues for a "care not competition" ethos at heart of the NHS.

    Key point
    For those that care about the issues surrounding the future of the NHS. Do read the whole article
  8. SELPA

    SELPA Lives for South East London

  9. SELPA

    SELPA Lives for South East London

    The privatisation and 'reforms' to the NHS will happen slowly, and sometimes quietly to deflect any community and political opposition.

    *A report in this week's Newshopper, local newspaper flags up a fresh threat to Lewisham's hospital services and the headline asks "Could it happen again?"

    It goes to say "A new document Our Healthier South East London was published this month, outlining general aims to "improve" healthcare in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Lambeth and Southwark - including integrating services and providing more care outside of hospital"

    Dr Louise Irvine is quoted as saying of the document: "The strategy does not explicitly talk of hospital closures but, worryingly, uses language and ideas very similar to the ones that were used by the Trust Special Administrator (TSA) and before that the Picture of Health reconfiguration."

    Disturbingly She adds: "London health chiefs have regularly referred to the failure to close Lewisham as 'unfinished business'. "

    Read the full article here:
  10. SELPA

    SELPA Lives for South East London

  11. SELPA

    SELPA Lives for South East London

  12. SELPA

    SELPA Lives for South East London

    A new year, and sadly NHS is beset by problems.
    Tomorrow- Thursday 12th January 6pm, there is an emergency protest outside the Department of Health.


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