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999 Call for the NHS

A grassroots NHS campaign. Not affiliated to any of the political parties.

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By 999 Call for the NHS, Oct 26 2015 11:46AM


Campaigning for the NHS would be so much easier if it were easy to point out to the general public the tactics employed by NHS England and the government of

funding starvation

impossible targets that NHS Staff can only fail in attempting to reach

encouraging public frustration and confusion

deploying a distracting stage show of participation groups

mixed messages about health and wellbeing

blaming the public for being old, fat and mad

(ageing population, obese with dementia)

tactics that are doing a grand job of killing off our NHS. It's all part of the plan.

And that's the hard bit. How do you tell the public that the government and the corporate world behind them, the MPs with interests in private health firms, WANT the NHS to fail? THis is Britain. Not even Tory MPs would do that surely? Believe it. They want it gone and they want a private healthcare, USA insurance style health system in its place.

How do we inspire the public to take action without alarming, scaring the bejeezus out of them that this plan is real, the tactic of "there's no money and we're doing our best to make the savings" is having its planned effect? Well we have to try and an article by Caroline Molloy (clcik on logo at end) is a good start. At last we are beginning to lose our worries about the British sense of decency. Let's start really telling it the way we see it. If we are wrong let them prove it.

They're here...
They're here...

Once you've had your eyes opened to the reality of what is going on - the moving in of American "experts" and consulants to "support the failing NHS" - it is damn near impossible to un-see it. But the trouble is once you've got your head round one attack plan NHS England and government forces are rounding up another attack - Five Year Forward View, Devo, Vanguards, Care Closer to Home, Lean Management, NHS Citizen, NHS Choices... it is endless right now. And that is why we have to keep it simple. Bring the NHS back in to public ownership, management and funding. It's the only way to protect it not only from our own government destruction but also TTIP Trade deals and EU complications.

The Tories and many others with vested interests (in surprising places I might add) will fight back with the obvious "The NHS cant take another top down reorganisation" - right now the NHS is suffering nothing but top down management DISORGANISATION. It needs our help. We don't see putting the NHS back together as a shared, valued public service after 20 years of planned dismantling, disruption and destruction as another top-down reorganisation. It's a rescue plan. Dragging the public body from the bloody jaws of privatisation dogs.

Thanks to Caroline Molloy for the OUR NHS article. Have a read and then think what you might like to do.

To read a fabulous article that says what we all need to know... CLICK HERE

By 999 Call for the NHS, Aug 1 2015 10:15AM

In August last year, BBC News at One broadcast the following statement:

“In the wake of the scandal at Stafford Hospital where hundreds of people died unnecessarily (my italics), Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says he is taking steps to improve patient safety and ensure doctors are held to account for poor care.”

When the package was re-run in subsequent broadcasts, the word ‘died’ had been changed to ‘suffered’. This was, say the BBC in a beautifully laconic phrase, ‘an editorial refinement’: the original statement didn’t need to be corrected – it was sufficient merely not to repeat it on this occasion to ‘rectify’ it.

The BBC also concluded that “the events at Stafford, which were inaccurately represented, nevertheless amounted to only half a sentence of general background information.”

So hundreds died, then didn’t again, and no correction was required because:

It was only said once,

It was short, and

It was ‘background’.

That’s some refinement.

But more was to come. Responding to a complaint about this, the BBC made the following remarkable admission:

“…the Editorial Standards Committee concluded that there was a high probability that a large number of patients amounting to hundreds had died unnecessarily at Mid Staffs.”

So they died again.

The idea that the number could be ‘hundreds’ comes from discredited statistics called HSMRs. These statistics have been savaged by the academic community. A major study authored by Prof Hogan, Senior Lecturer in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found that “the lack of a statistically significant association between hospital-wide SMRs and the proportion of avoidable deaths was confirmed” and “hospital-wide SMRs do not provide a useful indication of the proportion of avoidable deaths in a trust.”. Similar concerns have also been raised in the USA, Canada and Australia. The BBC’s own statistics programme, More or Less, ran a report in which Nick Black, Professor of Health Services Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, compared their efficacy to that of dowsing. “They should be ignored. I don’t know any academics who think HSMRs are a valid form of rating hospitals. They are a nonsense,” he told The Guardian. The BBC also reported his findings. The sole remaining academic champion for their use is now their inventor, Prof Jarman of Imperial College: the company that funds and exploits his research, Dr Foster Intelligence, was seamlessly merged into NHS England in 2006 in a £12m deal with the Department of Health, which the National Audit Office described in a brutally critical report as ‘borderline dodgy.’

Prof Hogan’s large-scale study confirms what was already known to the BBC about these statistics: that they do not, and cannot, distinguish between ‘excess deaths’ (i.e., more than would on average be expected, which could be the result of any number of factors), and ‘avoidable deaths’, (i.e., deaths as a result of poor care). The only reliable way to determine whether a hospital death was caused by poor care is by a detailed review of the case notes.

And yet these are the figures upon which a non-expert BBC committee bases its belief that there were hundreds of avoidable deaths: the BBC chooses to ignore the best available evidence, and instead insists that these almost universally derided statistics are a sufficient basis to ‘conclude’ that hundreds died from poor care.

The lack of consistency and clarity here is striking: the initial statement was ‘an inaccurate representation’, but was never corrected, just not repeated on this occasion. But the same ‘inaccurate representation’ turns out to be, in fact, what the BBC ‘concludes’ to be the right one.

If you’re struggling with all this, believe me, you’re not the only one.

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