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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, 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, Apr 22 2018 01:55PM

We are taking NHS England to court

As we make our way to Leeds Combined Court on Tuesday (24th April) this seems a good time to make that clear statement.

Not the NHS

We love the NHS - the one that used to exist before the (joke) fair-trade competitive market was allowed to sneak in back in the 80s and is now ripping its greedy claws into it since the 2012 Health & Social Care Act (2012 HSCA) gave it full permission to do so at every level.

NHS England is a QUANGO.

An arms length body (the lovely sounding ‘ALB’ abbreviation) that has NOTHING to do with delivering care just commissioning it. This means purchasing specialised NHS services and some Primary Care plus overseeing its Clinical Commissioning Groups which in turn purchase local health services from providers (sellers) of healthcare - thus creating that infamous phrase PURCHASER PROVIDER SPLIT.

NHS England was set up as an “independent body with executive powers and exceptional responsibilities” - part of the 2012 HSCA. Plans for it were prepped in 2011 and its full title is the The NHS Commissioning Board for England. The title says it all. Nothing to do with providing actual frontline patient care.

Interesting point to note is that the bill (Health & Social Care Act 2012) that created the demons NHS England, NHS Improvement - and the Clinical Commissioning Groups - was not mentioned anywhere in any party manifesto leading up to the 2010 election.

You could say there has never been a public mandate to carry out the massive top-down 2012 restructuring of the NHS that has resulted in administrative and bureaucratic chaos with over 200 Clinical Commissioning Groups purchasing healthcare from a wasteful and costly internal market involving a dazzling array of private companies and yet more accountants, lawyers and consultants all grasping the opportunity to make money out of the once world-leading public service NHS.

The NHS England Quango produced the 5 Year Forward View (5YFV) which gave birth to the Sustainability & Transformation Plans/Partnerships which in turn gave rise to the notion of (intended to morph into?) Accountable Care Organisations - encouraging the mantra of “integration” and “doing nothing is not an option” that has so successfully turned the heads of middle management, think tanks like the Kings Fund and Health Foundation, plus MPs and local councillors across the entire political spectrum.

It’s clear that “integration” in QuangoSpeak focuses on management integration (consolidating more control to one organisation and pooling or aligning budgets) and has very little to do with ‘joined-up’ delivery of actual patient treatment services. It’s about money and changing the shape and nature of the NHS which is seen by those seeking profit as “unsustainable” - QuangoSpeak means “makes no money”.

Campaigners all over the country are seeing the continued fragmentation and breakup of services. Management and finance are getting stronger, patient safety and care are being decimated.

What the Duck?

And don't be bamboozled by the everchanging NameChange Lingo Bingo that is going on. You know the saying - if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck...

So we are challenging NHS England the arms length QUANGO at Leeds Combined Courts on Tuesday 24th April. They have set the agenda to introduce an Accountable Care Organisation contract using what is known as a Whole Population Annual Payment (WPAP) which will dictate a whole new way of funding the NHS and a whole new way of behaviour by providers of care.

Take a minute to read this and think.

What’s your answer? We know what ours is: This will lead to a culture of care based on finance considerations and profit, forcing providers to act and think like insurance companies. It will also lead to a two tier health system based on the USA Medicare model - providing basic minimum treatments for those too poor or sick to be allowed private health insurance.

Talking of money do we know how much the QUANGOS are costing us? Take a peek.**Comes with a heart safety warning. THE SHOCKING COSTS OF QUANGOS

This is not the NHS we want. And right now nowhere in legislation does it say that NHS England can radically alter the NHS as we know it. If they and the government want to change the NHS to a more USA style setup then they need to publicly and democratically say so.

It’s time to explore the Q-FACTOR - the QUANGO - the Quasi Autonomous Non Governmental Organisation regime that has been allowed to grow on our political system like the fuzzy mould on that piece of cheese in the fridge that stays there in the hope you might use it in cooking. You know it should go in the bin right? Or at least cut the mould off!

We are proud to have so many campaigners from a round the country joining us at 9am on Tuesday for a rally before going into Leeds Courts. This is a case that really does affect us all.

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