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By 999callfornhs, Mar 17 2017 02:27PM

And I'll cry i want to...



Right now not one of the three mainstream political parties has the answers for our NHS, education, public services or our country as a whole, they have no sense or understanding of a good society where equality, fair play and justice exists for all. Austerity has not reduced the National Debt it has increased it and has only served to make the rich even richer whilst the poor get what they deserve - poorer.


Politicians make the right sounds, the right facial expressions and hand gestures but behind their smiles and expressions of sincerity they're either lying at worst, or at best, confused, deluded that they can promote and deliver a better future for our kids to grow up in by delivering the same old tired economic policies that have blighted the nation since the 80s. They've become stuck in the groove of "money is running out, we're just going to have do without".


And in turn we, the nation, having been encouraged to step back from political process have learnt to believe the scenario and we've become addicted to suffering, tightening our belts and closing our wallets because the money trees are running out of fruit. We now take a strange comfort in the assumption that "Times are hard and the world is changing" and we just have to put up and shut up and suffer the consequences.


Such is the limiting, controlling logic of Austerity, the philosophy invented by corporate mindsets determined to destroy public services, public wellbeing and public benevolence because it means they are denied the opportunity to make money. The economic philosophy that is the raison d'etre of those with wealth that is unimaginable for most of us and ultimately utterly pointless for all of us.


Economy is not how much money we have


...it's how much money is circulating between us as wages, profits, taxes. How much is recycled, reintroduced and reused as purchases, mortgages, savings. If millions are now disappearing into offshore tax havens (they are we know it) when will that money enter back into our economy? When will it circulate freely back into our society and maintain the UK as the world's 6th largest economy? The answer? Slowly at best, most likely never.


Soon, as the corporate machine takes over all our public services and filters out our public budgets to offshore accounts (Branson's vast Virgin Island accounts for example) our economy will begin to shrink, the government will shout louder "there's not enough money!" and we will all be told we'll need to be even more careful with money, more resilient in our outlook and tighten our belts even further. A self satisfying philosophy of starving an economy to create a starving economy and a nation of grateful supplicants. A sort of sick economic Stockholm Syndrome as we learn to love the pain of living without the basic rights of health, education and jobs.


So where's the hope in the future ahead?


It lies in us, ordinary people putting ourselves back into politics with courage and determination and some decent honest rethinking of what is needed to provide a healthier future for our children and generations ahead. After decades of being “encouraged” to sit back, feel unworthy and let "others more fitting" take the lead, it's time for a return of ordinary people into the world of decision making and political strategy. Ordinary people with the ability to question not only their opponents but themselves too, the ability to explore and research new monetary thinking,  new methods of international relations, new and trusted methods of educating the nation and how to best deal with the ingrained corporate mindset that is entrenched within the corridors of power, the media and virtually every aspect of our daily lives.


Hope lies in our ability to look back at recent social history and discover what worked well in our past welfare state, the vision at its core, its beginnings and why it sometimes failed, mostly through no fault of its own but through longterm resistance by the established upper classes, the corporate business class and their struggle to remain in control and grow their own wealth. Hope lies in our ability to see that The Austerity Myth began long before it acquired its name. 


Hope lies in talking, sharing ideas with no hidden selfish agenda. It lies in not being afraid of a new political system that creates allies of those who share ideals and can reach beyond the limited tribal habits of current political behaviour patterns. Hope lies in breaking the cultural void of critical thinking in politics, encouraging voters to analyse all of their allegiances, to question their emotional ties to political parties they have remained faithful to out of habit or fear or apathy.



The time is now for voters on all sides of the political spectrum to ask if their MP is truly representing their needs, their desires and their hopes. And if their party is failing them to search for or create an alternative force for political good.


The time is now to demand MPs from all parties declare where they stand on healthcare, social care, private companies taking over our NHS, schools, prisons, public services and where they stand in regard to the dark looming shadow of Austerity. The time is now for ordinary people to step up and create an opposition to the lies and cultural brainwashing of 30yrs of the Austerity mantra.


Hope lies in ordinary people putting themselves in extraordinary circumstances.


That time surely is now.





By 999callfornhs, Apr 30 2016 09:46AM



I am struggling to write my blog this week, hence the delay. This is because my feelings about the NHS and what is happening within it are all over the place.


As a practicing nurse, for me some of the issues within the NHS that I face every shift are about funding, resourcing, and patient safety. These issues are all interconnected and deciphering them into an understandable collection of sentences and arguments is a difficult job. In the words of many a person in a difficult relationship: it is complicated! And this week I’ve struggled to find my place in all of the arguments, the issues, the demands, and the politics.








Firstly, I need to just say that I believe recent struggles to save the NHS ARE political. This will not make me popular amongst some people, lots of who try to keep politics out of the NHS. I don’t think this is possible and a couple of my reasons are these: some political parties appear to be more protective and supportive of the NHS – all political parties have neglected the NHS in some measure – but some are downright obstructive, preferring instead to invite the heads of multi-national private health providers to debate which bits of the NHS they would like to buy; and the NHS is rife with ‘politics’ – I’ve lost count of the number of nursing colleagues who have told me ‘I left because I couldn’t stand the ‘politics”. The NHS is embroiled in politics in both minor and major ways.


However, I always struggle to write my blog. I have a professional code of conduct that means I have a responsibility towards my profession, amongst other things, and I cannot just write in an irresponsible way, no matter how tired or disillusioned I might sometimes feel. However, like my colleagues, I work in the reality that has become the NHS and it can be a very challenging environment. It sometimes seems monolithic, it is an immovable object that will sometimes not countenance change, and its disciples sometimes seem locked in ways of working that have become obsolete. It has its faults.



As a nurse, I see that change is an inevitable part of progress and I want to embrace it and see it impact in a good way on my practice – I am not a nurse who will always just do something that way because ‘that’s the way it’s done’. But the current issues and challenges being faced by the NHS are not about change for good – they are not about unpalatable truths, necessary improvements or cutting wastage. These issues are about castigating and dismantling our NHS. Be under no illusions.


As a nurse, my professional ‘place’ within any of these issues is always to keep my patients safe and advocate for them. Within the context of increasing pressure, this is not as easy as it sounds. In the NHS, I feel under almost constant pressure to see more patients, to do more, to work harder. And, put simply, I cannot do more than I am. Not only is the NHS taking its dying breaths but, I believe, the goodwill of the staff is running out too. Last week I was offered a new job and I turned it down. I turned it down because I couldn’t bear the thought that, by seeing patients, I would be earning money for someone. But I considered it.


This week I witnessed the junior doctors withdraw emergency cover. I worked one of the strike days so I saw first hand what resulted from their action: senior doctors saw patients, assessed, cannulated, monitored and made decisions; they developed plans of care, did take-home prescriptions, and liaised with other practitioners. They cared for our patients. They ensured patient safety was of the highest standard. They went that extra mile. This is not unusual. As a team, our NHS does this daily – reduce the numbers and we will just fight harder for our patients.


Because this is where we are today – we are in a fight for the NHS. We are shouting to be heard amongst the detritus that is now journalism in this country. We are struggling to be heard because there seems to be an apathy towards the NHS, a certain belief that it will always be around and a part of our lives. A lot of the public do not seem to believe that a prescription for an antibiotic could cost them much more than a prescription charge currently does and they do not seem to believe that they could be paying that in the coming years. Without the NHS, the public will be paying for the care they are currently freely given. That’s why I believe this is everyone’s fight, the NHS belongs to us all, and I cannot understand why all the public are not shouting from the rooftops that the NHS is theirs and they are taking it back.


In my blog I have tried to convey a number of things: my love of nursing, some of the current issues surrounding the NHS, and the danger the NHS is in. This danger is current and real – the NHS is dying. It is gasping for air. The shouting of some of the public, the marches, the lobbying, these things are what the NHS needs to continue breathing. Without us, it will die. As a nurse, I love the NHS. Yes, I love it; I hope I have conveyed this. Put simply, I love it because it helps people and, as a nurse, this is always my aim too. The NHS and I are therefore good friends.


I am doing my bit. I am shouting, if not from the rooftops!


I am marching.


I am organising.


I am delivering last breaths.


Are you?


Read more at #nursesroar and #twitternurse


Follow @NursesRoar





By 999callfornhs, Mar 19 2016 09:24AM


Where were Labour?
Where were Labour?


Friday 11th March

Caroline Lucas presented the NHS BILL (formerly NHS Reinstatement Bill). It was an opportunity for the Labour Party to get behind something that (no matter how imperfect it might technically as a Draft Bill) set out clear aims to bring back the NHS into public hands again. Taking the private market culture out of it and making it impossible for private corporations to control - as they are doing now in our understanding.


Deborah Harrington gives us this brilliant thought as to why Labour chose not to support it with MPs attendance at the debate - despite over 42,000 signatures on a 38 Degree petition.


Thanks Deborah.


Some context for those who don't get the point of the NHS Bill and think there is no problem with Labour not turning up to support it.


The first problem of note is Simon Stevens.


Simon Stevens was an NHS manager. He became a health policy advisor to Alan Milburn, in 1997, along with Mark Britnell and Penny Dash. He was also a Labour councillor in Lambeth.


He introduced the first privatisations into the NHS, including the Foundation Trusts (making them arm's length business units, rather than publicly owned services), PFI, and bringing United Health in to run the first privatised GP practices, among many other things. (Hansard evidence click)


In 2006 he went to work for United Health (the US's largest private healthcare corporation) in their Europe division, and in 2008 as president of global operations.


(Mark Britnell went on to KPMG and Penny Dash to McKinsey, where her role has included being a Trust Special Administrator - a role created by Labour)


In that role Stevens led a lobby group, lobbying the US Trade Dept to use trade laws to break open public health services worldwide to create access for US markets. United Health also lobbied against Obama's affordable care act.

In 2014 the Coalition brought him back as NHS England's CEO. Within a few months he had produced the 5 Year Forward View, which is what all your hospitals are suffering under, all the closures, reductions in service, land sales.


The 5YFV is completing the implementation of the H&SCA (2012). Labour calls Lansley's Act the reorganisation of the NHS, as if it is done and dusted and behaves as if everything else is just a consequence of the de-funding. It isn't. It is the constant restructuring of the 5 YFV. The money is being used as a lever to get the changes made - comply and you'll be bailed out, is the message.


Labour welcomed Stevens' appointment and support the 5 YFV. You can't oppose privatisation of the NHS and simultaneously support Stevens.


The second problem of note

is private sector involvement in the NHS and public ownership.


No matter what the Labour Party says, it appears to have no intention of renationalising the Foundation Trust hospitals, which is essential if they are not to be sold off as hospital chains to foreign investors (one of the next privatisation steps).


It is impossible to get the Labour Party to commit to Bevan's principles. Efford's Bill was not a proper 'NHS' bill. They refuse to support the actual NHS bill on the grounds that it is another 'top down reorganisation'. This is based on three things: 1. that the NHS staff don't want any more reorganisations. This is not true. Staff know the NHS is in a broken up mess. They need it to be put back together. But Simon Stevens says, in the 5YF that staff do not want another reorganisation (as he downgrades, closes and restructures all our services), and Simon is god like in the infallibility of his pronouncements according to all the main Parliamentary parties. 2. That everything is just settling down after Lansley's Act. It isn't, as explained above. 3. They don't understand the bill's provisions for returning to Bevan's NHS, because they don't understand anything about the nuts and bolts of health provision.


And Labour is quite happy to sell off our public land and assets. They also had no problem with massive restructuring for the purposes of privatisation. It is only restructuring to bring it back into public ownership they object to.


The Bill itself was totemic. In the face of piss poor opposition to date from Labour to the Coalition's and now the Tories' brutal destruction (they would have had to confess -and renounce- their role in the privatisation to successfully oppose) their support for the bill would have been a marker of intent on their part. And, with the SNP support + Lucas herself would have indicated the start of a progressive alliance that might have posed a real threat to the government. Unfortunately that's of little interest to a large section of the PLP.


It should be a matter of concern to the Corbynistas that John McDonnell was happy for Labour MPs to attend and vote in favour of the bill. He thought any problems could be dealt with in committee stage. But Labour Central issued the standard reply to be sent to constituents by all MPs, presumably against his will? - and Corbyn's? - on Thursday, saying they all had constituency duties, when they had had months of notice and could have rearranged their schedules for the day.


You have to understand that this is a story of corporate capture of our democratic processes, not a question of party political purity. United Health, McKinsey, KPMG, PwC and others are making the decisions about our NHS - on behalf of both the Tories and Labour. New Labour introduced New Public Management - the idea that government is about management of an entrepreneurial culture, not about political ideology. They brought think tanks and management consultants in to take the place of the civil service. The same management consultants whose major clients are global corporations. We need to fight this corruption of our democracy. Then the Labour Parliamentary party might return to the values most of its supporters old and new hold dear.



By 999callfornhs, Jan 7 2016 09:18AM




Veronika Wagner makes it easy to understand


How many hospital visits can you remember where the ward or department was fully staffed with nurses, nurses got their breaks and had time for patients?


We have a shortage of nurses in the UK (just for starters 1200 matrons/ very senior nurse posts were cut as was reported recently). So one would think that the government would do their best to attract more nurses and get more people to train as nurses.


If you or I wanted to get people to choose a particular job or career, would we treat them well and make them feel welcome? Or would we – like the government—effectively block a lot of nurse recruitment from abroad, make those from outside the EU leave if they earn less than £35,000 per year, and scrap student nurses’ bursaries, making it financially impossible for many people to train as nurses, especially for mature students with families?


To anyone with common sense, these measures seem like a sure fire way to make sure as few people as possible train as nurses.


Now this is where government spin comes in: these policies are being sold to us as “recruiting more nurses and student nurses”, as having a lot more nurses than we used to have, and as all being well with the NHS. NewSpeak rules supreme, Black is White, nurse shortages are more nurses, financial hardship for student nurses will attract more people to become nurses.


Clear as mud?


If you and your loved ones wish to be cared for and treated in a publicly owned and funded and accountable NHS now and in the future then please get behind the student nurses’ bursary marches which are happening all over the country this coming weekend 9th and 10th January 2016.


In London (the main march and UK info page) Facebook Event Page


Newcastle Facebook Event Page


Middlesborough Facebook Event Page


Manchester Facebook Event Page


See you on the streets!



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