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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, May 22 2018 10:10PM

There is nothing more painful that Hypocrisy in Action.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement is a positive-thinking bullshit machine that captures health and social care managers who, despite seeing the NHS fall about under their feet due to excessive layers of private company consultancy management and corporate strategy, seem hellbent on pursuing yet more consultancy and management blue-sky thinking as a solution!

Because this is all about the MANAGERS personal development and driving change to improve health and well-being for all through quality management. For all? Seriously? Everybody but the patient. Today saw their conference - The Integrated Care Expo - take place at 28 Portland Place, Marylebone, London.

A collection of eager speakers all ready to spout the positive can-do shit. Here we go...

"A fresh, innovative and practical event to explore solutions to delivering integrated care. With short, punchy presentations from a variety of original speakers, combined with a facilitated workshop at which delegates discuss the ideas presented, this promises to be an exceptional evening. A report to be authored by Richard Vize and using the solutions presented during the expo will be published subsequently.

Confirmed speakers include Norman Lamb MP, Samantha Jones (ex Vanguard NHSE), Ed Smith (previous Chair of NHSI), Michael Adamson (Red Cross), Ewan King (Social Care Institute for Excellence) and representatives from HC-One Care Homes, Local Government, Royal Society of Public Health, and NHS England."

Makes you proud doesn't it?

Touted as an EXPO but really only 3 hours in a posh room in Marylebone - the curtains look nice and I'm sure they had more than a cup of tea. Bit like an after school club for NHS Manager and Health/Thought Leaders.

But what is galling is to see a collection of supposed NHS Improvers being sponsored (through an educational grant says Roy Lilley with no trace of a giggle) by Swiss Pharmaceutical Corporation NOVARTIS.

Novartis - in their opening gambit on the UK site - is a healthcare company which strives to change the practice of medicine and aspires to approach things differently. We are passionate about what we do and the impact we have on patients and societies. We are Novartis, and we are re-imagining medicine.

Yes I bet they are. Imagining a day when the last elements of the old public service NHS hsa beend drained away and private commerce reigns supreme opening up the medical profits wider and deeper than ever before.

The company likes to make a bold and bright picture of itself. But there are (as always) darker shades to its portrait. Just a couple

In addition in 2010, Novartis agreed to pay $422 million to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from charges that it engaged in illegal marketing of its epilepsy drug Trileptal, including the payment of kickbacks to doctors to get them to prescribe the medication for off-label purposes.

In 2013 European antitrust officials accused Novartis of colluding with Johnson & Johnson to delay the availability of a less expensive generic version of a pain medication used by cancer patients.

In 2016 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Novartis would pay $25 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when its China-based subsidiaries engaged in pay-to-prescribe schemes to increase sales.

So this is a company sponsoring an EXPO supposedly looking to improve our NHS and continue to house an Academy of Fabulous Stuff (another bullshit machine for NHS Managers). And here is the best and most recent shadow from the dark side. A recent report that Novartis - was among a handful of large corporations that made questionable payments to President Trump’s personal fixer Michael Cohen. Novartis, which initially struggled to come up with a plausible explanation for its $1.2 million contract with Cohen, ultimately admitted it was a “mistake.”

Great. Educational Grants to NHS manager conferences by a Swiss Pharma Company who don't see anything wrong in making a few good will payments to a Trump fixer...


And just look at the subjects that were being covered.

Surely at least one manager or near the top Exec in the NHS who had the unfortunate luck to be there must have thought "what a load of dangerous shite". If you are out there please get in touch.

We can help you and managers like you escape the mindfuck that is modern corporate thinking.

Let's reimagine healthcare again - a proper National Health Service funded properly, managed by a public sector with an ethos of proper human care, delivered by well paid and respected clinical staff, and provided by state run and organised management in a coordinated and coherant service - not private companies fighting for contracts and profits in a tattered chaotic and fragmented market.

Bring the NHS back into public hands. Renationalised and Reimagined.

By 999 Call for the NHS, Aug 28 2017 02:28PM

Simon Maginn ponders the pros and cons of writing to your MP.

I’ve always been the kind of person who writes to public figures. I used to have a special pot of green ink and a venomous quill specially for these letters, though of course now it’s emails instead and the green ink is mostly used for dying the cat.*

Is there any point writing to an MP? Is it worth it? Don’t MPs just do whatever they like, and do they pay any attention to these letters? These are questions that rarely trouble me greatly, I have to confess.

I write to my MP because I’ve got a head full of steam about whatever it is and I need a way of discharging it that saves the cat from any further cruelty. So a letter to an MP can be a form of therapy, a way of releasing tension. That alone would be reason enough to do it. But there’s more.

MPs vary hugely, of course, as to how they respond to constituents’ letters.

Some will simply append a death threat and then run weeping to the press about the wickedness of the world (yes, I’m looking at you, Lucy Allan, Con, Telford, majority 720).

Others will take a more dignified approach and wittily tell the writer to “f**k off back to Scotland” (take a bow, James Heappey, Conservative, Wells, majority 7,582). But in my experience, an MP will always try to answer a polite and sensible email with a polite and sensible reply.

It may not be the reply you want, but it will be a reply. You will have made contact with your representative on a subject which is important to you, and they will have read it and been forced to consider it, if only for the length of time required to decide which of their five stock answers it deserves. Even though you may not get that reply that reveals the big secret - knowing that your words have injected a drop of guilty conscience or interrupted the lobbyist's narrative that is forming an MPs opinion makes it worthwhile (Dont forget corporate lobbyists are inside Parliament and our letters are there to combat their poison).

And on rare, joyous occasions, you may even get a reply which answers your question.

Those are gala days, to be celebrated with fireworks and hot air balloons and displays of athletic prowess. Most letters will fail to achieve anything concrete. MPs are in receipt of a staggering quantity of mail, and much of it will be some winning combination of the incoherent, the abusive, the repetitious, the vexatious, and the just plain mental.

But if you can craft a letter which is none of these things, which raises a concern which you feel deeply about and have taken some trouble to research, which is polite and businesslike in tone, which asks for something which can be delivered and doesn’t demand impossible instant solutions to complex and intractable problems, and which is succinct and - ideally - written in comprehensible English, you are immediately ahead of the pack.

Your letter will shine in comparison to the garrulous maundering that are its fellows, and will demand - demand! - a considered reply. This is the very essence of democracy, the essential bargain: MPs are representatives, neither gods nor servants, but people who owe you an obligation to at least pretend to care about whatever it is you care about. So write to them. Be polite, be clear, be reasonable, be accurate, and be brief.

And have the hot air balloon and the fireworks on stand-by. Because you never know…

*The ink/cat is obviously intended as a sort of joke, but do please feel free to inundate me with emails complaining about the senseless cruelty of my ink/cat related activities. All such communications will of course be ignored, unless they’re particularly indignant, in which case they will be pitilessly mocked.

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