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999 Call for the NHS

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By 999 Call for the NHS, 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




By 999 Call for the NHS, Jul 15 2016 05:00PM

Is the Labour Party taking the NHS seriously at last?


That’s a very good question. And one we should be asking continually it seems. And it’s a reminder why 999 Call has always fought to be independent of ANY political party.


In the midst of the current Parliamentary Labour Party madness nothing is certain other than the lunatics really have taken over the asylum, locked themselves in and given the front door keys to the high-risk security inmates who are now romping in the red rose garden with rather large shiny razor-sharp hedgecutters. There’s a lot of dangerous pruning going on...


This week, on a day where all the mainstream media focused their tired lens on Count Cameron’s departure and the landing of Saint Theresa like an elegant hungry vulture into the post of unelected Prime Minister, an important item was passing into the Commons almost unnoticed. The 3rd presentation of the NHS (Reinstatement) Bill - the only piece of proposed legislation in the political arena that talks our language - a return to a fully nationalised NHS run and owned by us.




Caroline Lucas, the well respected solo Green Party MP, championed it twice before and fought hard to gather a small, enthusiastic group of cross party MPs to support her but at it’s 2nd Reading on March 11th 2016 a noticeable lack of Labour MPs in the Commons meant the Conservative “rent-a-gob” MPs filibustered her and the NHS Bill fell. . The Bill was the only catalyst that saw campaigners nationwide join forces over the winter in a way we have not seen before.


This week MP Margaret Greenwood, (Labour, Wirral West) took up the reins and presented it as a Ten Minute Rule Bill. It passed through to its 2nd Reading on November 4th 2016. Outside a rally of noisy campaigners were joined by newly appointed Shadow Health Secretary Diane Abbott who turned up to take a turn on the megaphone and share her “support for the principles of the Bill”. It was beginning to look sort of good... then a post online by Diane Abbott later that afternoon had a few campaigners raising a Roger Moore Raised eyebrow...



“Of course, no-one wants yet another top-down reorganisation of the NHS.

NHS professionals and staff that I speak to hold up their hands in horror at the prospect. The NHS has already had more than one reorganisation too many.”


Uh-oh here we go... in two difficult meetings with her predecessor Heidi Alexander, Support the NHS camapigners were confronted with this mainstay argument as to why she was NOT a supporter of the NHS Bill (and that Simon Stevens was a nice man doing his best with a very difficult job) so to hear Diane Abbott repeating almost verbatim the statement is a bit of a worry. The whole point of the NHS Bill is to bring a final end to the continual top-down DE-Structuring that is going on right now, creating havoc and distress with staff and patients alike.


And it is not a mistake. The Five Year Forward View is a cold calculated plan designed by NHS CEO Simon Stevens who has learnt all he knows about reconfiguration and redesign to “pay-as-you-get-sick” healthcare from the world’s largest Medical Insurance corporation United Health of America. He spent several years as their Global Strategy President so he should know a great deal about private healthcare. The Five Year Forward View is demolishing any thread of accountable, open, democratic control within the NHS and creating a virtual apocolypse with the breaking up of the NHS into 44 Footprints and their imposed Sustainability & Transformation Plans.


Driven by “effiency savings” Simon Stevens is like a dangerous blood-hungry surgeon with a very sharp scalpel. He knows where to cut, slice, remove and bleed in order to force the infrastructure to reshape itself so it mimics and operates like the USA model he knows so well. Whilst wielding his scalpel the process of his deliberate chaos and destruction NHS Trusts welcome in the likes of McKinsey, Deloitte, Price Waterhouse Coopers, KPMG, Ernst & Young and under the guise of “helping and supporting”, consultancy is draining even more public money into the bank accounts of the global businesses that seem to be dominating politics worldwide.


And Theresa May has shown clear consent to the blood letting by keeping Jeremy Hunt in place as Health Secretary. Make no mistake. As far as the Conservatives are concerned this is the endgame. Hunt is there to make sure Simon Stevens and the corporate machine seals the fate of the NHS by introducing charges, reduced care and top-up payments. Their deceitful and manipulative “transformation”, using positivity and new age corporate ethics to improve the service, is nothing more than the final moves on the chess board to bring the game of privatisation to an inescapable “check-mate”.



“Of course, no-one wants yet another top-down reorganisation of the NHS.

NHS professionals and staff that I speak to hold up their hands in horror at the prospect"


Funny that politicians find one group of staff who can’t cope with the idea of a top-down reorganisation yet we and other campaign groups continually talk to NHS Staff who laugh, shrug their shoulders and say “we wouldn’t notice the difference, it’s being reorganised on a weekly basis!”. (Ask teachers and they will say the same thing about schools).


The NHS Bill is not about another top-down reorganisation - it’s about a fundamental restoration, reinstatement and restitching together of a public service that has been fragmented, ripped apart by the internal market processes that both parties since the 1990’s have allowed to steal from us. If we want to save it, restore it for the generations after us we have to fight for nothing less than making it a 100% public service, there to provide health and wellbeing for all based on making our society a better place not providing profit for offshore accounts and corporate machines.


So Diane Abbott, if the Labour Party genuinely wants a return to a publicly funded, owned, delivered and managed NHS with the private health firms removed from any influence in shaping the health of our nation, our kids’ futures you really are going to have to start saying so clearly and begin talking seriously about bringing it back into public hands. Simple. No compromise. There isn’t time now for any doubts.


Perhaps, given the current red rose pruning carnage, the Shadow Health Secretary is playing it safe, hiding in a quiet cupboard somewhere waiting for the mayhem to die down. The sad thing is that Diane Abbott and the entire Labour Party are missing a trick. Full genuine, open, transparent and strong fierce support for a renationalised public service NHS would be an election winner as far as we are concerned.


Having worked with the authors since 2014 999 Call for the NHS know there are problems with The NHS Bill. The NHS Landscape is continually shifting like quicksand and any proposed bill is going to have weak areas that need development and securing like how to deal with PFI (Private Finance Initiative), Social Care. The one thing we can all be clear about is the ethos behind it. Make it Public. Bring it Back to Public Hands.




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