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READING THE PRESS, SPOTTING THE BS

By Steve Carne, Aug 4 2019 12:27PM

A reaction to a Guardian piece today. A prime example of why we should keep our BS ALERTS handy at all times... 999 comments in bold.


Boris Johnson promises (fingers crossed) £1.8bn to boost the NHS



Boris Johnson is to inject £1.8bn into the NHS as part of his pledge to upgrade 20 hospitals across the country, it has emerged.


Which twenty hospitals? and of these which are upgrades - physical building improvements, equipment maintenance - and which are 'sell-off the rather nice old building and build a modern centralised services hospital designed to support the removal of all good localised support services in a region'?


The new prime minister has used a boost in health funding as part of an attempt to build a domestic agenda beyond Brexit, with his team well aware that they could be forced into an election this year.


That is key. More “bullshit central” to sway tory dissenters.


But experts have already warned that the fund may not be enough even to cover the upgrades Johnson has already promised. Full details of the plan are set to be revealed on Monday, but it is understood the new funds will be directed straight to the front line for new beds and updated equipment. So keep your eyes peeled for that. Standby to contact your local ccg/stp and ask them where the money has gone.


It is also set to include upgrades to wards and some building repairs. Oho so definitely one to check...and what sort of beds will they be? Fully NHS funded or reserved for self-funding/private paying patients?Interesting to note that Simon Stevens, CEO NHS England, recently said that NHS England had cut too many beds – forgetting that now that NHS Foundation Trust Hospitals are required to make income to survive they actually need beds to do just that! SIMON SAYS...


The money is set to be made available immediately, though Downing St has not revealed where it will come from. Sigh... It comes from the public money the government can quite easily create if it wants to.


Johnson has already made clear he is willing to spend more money on public services, using the so-called “fiscal headroom” created by the previous government’s spending plan.


Pardon? So now the damaging cuts of so-called austerity are being described as the the saviour mechanism that is going to let this new prime minister spend “piggy bank coffers” on the nhs? The headroom was supposed to help the economy in the event of a no-deal Brexit.


A source said: “The prime minister has been clear since day one that the NHS is a top priority. This money will be felt by frontline services , by the doctors and nurses whose hard work is invaluable, and by the patients they care for.”


It will be interesting to see where on the “frontline” it is felt and how - more low level assistants? More funds for volunteer support?More funds to promote the idea of community care? Let's be clear there is always money when a government decides it needs it...




The Vote Leave campaign controversially argued that funds sent to the EU would be used to fund the NHS instead. Dominic Cummings, the Vote Leave strategy chief now overseeing Johnson’s Downing St plans, said such a pledge should have been one of the government’s first moves after the Brexit vote. Because manipulation is all... Keep politics simple and emotional and people will be swayed.




Researchers at the Nuffield Trust thinktank have suggested that Johnson’s promise to upgrade 20 hospitals would cost at least £3.2bn, based on an assessment of hospitals two years ago.


“Based on the conservative £160m cost estimate per trust, the total cost for upgrading all NHS services would be around £33bn,” tweeted Sally Gainsbury, a senior policy analyst at the trust. “That wouldn’t all need to happen at once – it takes time to build a new hospital wing after all. There have been calls to double the NHS budget for NHS investment – including from the NHS’s own regulator NHS Improvement. That would take investment to around £14bn next year.”


What’s needed is longterm vision and a belief that the NHS is worth having - morally, socially, economically. And - stating the bleeding obvious - all very well pumping money into the system but right now it’s like pumping air into a rubber dingy with holes in it...


Even if this media piece has some truth in it, any money pumped in now will head straight to the providers and do nothing but support and promote the restructuring and reshaping moves to the two tier American style Accountable Care system we are witnessing in our local areas.


The NHS needs proper funding and it needs to be reclaimed as OUR NHS - a publicly provided, owned and delivered health service for all. #NHS4ALL




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