Category Archives: Health

Huge rise in GP expenses could make some practices unviable within two years | The BMJ

It is well-known that the NHS is in crisis and little is being done to remedy it, lack of staff, abundance of patients, lack of funding and a major crisis in Social Care for similar reasons, but the Social Care crisis could be much more serious than that in the NHS. However, while the Government and all previous Government have been prepared to look at the NHS, but by doing so, they have in some respects added to the crisis, the Social care crisis is totally with the Governments due their  considerable inactions and apparent indifference to Social Care.

But, while Social Care is a major factor in the NHS, lets just look at Primary Care and GP practices.

I should mention that Dentistry is also a problem and could well be as bad, if not more so than GP practices for trying to find a NHS Dentist is like ‘looking for a needle in a Haystack’, which could well be so for GP practices if the problems can’t be sorted.

There is a major shortage of GPs and newly qualified doctors are reluctant to become GPs, in fact many, while qualifying in the UK, leave the UK when qualified. This is due to the finance of GP salaries and GP surgeries and the stresses caused within practices.

Trying to obtain GP appointment even virtually by telephone, let alone face to face are very difficult and this is causing a massing of patients for GPs attending A&E instead, causing even more lengthy delays in A&Es making it impossible to meet ‘targets’, especially the 4 hour wait and thereby creating problems for ambulances having to wait outside hospitals as they are unable to transfer their patients into A&E.

But GPs in short supply in GP practices are not the only problems as obtaining other staff are also problems, as there are insufficient receptionists, practice nurses and others. So major stresses for all concerned.

Then with practice expenses increasing, not only staff salaries, but there are also energy price increases and price increases for products used in the surgery, such as cleaning and PPE and others.

In fact, instead of stating the problems, it could be easier to state what is going right or not a problem.

Well, just the NHS, as with all the problems the NHS is still better than health services in other countries, especially as it is, mostly free at the point of delivery, with the exceptions of Dentists, Opticians and prescriptions, but they are still heavily subsidised.

The NHS was and still is a great concept and one that we need to maintain and have much less privatisation, which is creeping into the NHS.

But the Government, when we eventually have one, needs to sort out the finances, before the NHS and also Social Care disintegrates into nothing.

Source: Huge rise in GP expenses could make some practices unviable within two years | The BMJ

If we were getting proper care and support, there wouldn’t be premature deaths happening.

So true, and while the NHS is beginning to show some signs of understanding learning disability (LD) and autism there is still a very long way to go.

Until persons with LD and autism are given the priority they should always have had, then early deaths will occur. But, it is not just the NHS, but also social care and mainly the Government.

Unfortunately, this and previous Governments have done very little to address LD and autism. You only have to look at the COVID pandemic to see how persons with LD and autism were not on their agenda. Fir while it should have been obvious that in the vaccine programme that they should have been treated within the priority categories they were not dome so, initially.

For, to some extent, there still is the ‘out of site, out of mind’, as can be seen with persons being referred to specialist hospitals. If the resources were there then these referrals would not be necessary, but that would require a fully funded social care system as well as appropriate housing be available, not just in a few places but in every part of the UK.

Just in the last few days has there been a Select Committee report, which this Government is apparently ignoring. well they have other apparently more urgent priorities in electing a new leader of the Tory Party and Prime Minister. Not once as Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss made any comments on learning disability and autism, so that is proof as to how they view its importance.

But, it is not just this Government but all previous Governments who have not taken learning disability and autism seriously and in doing so, have ignored the extreme crisis in Social Care and only looking at the NHS when it suits them.

To effectively alter how LD and autism is dealt with not only have resources need to be made available directly to those with LD and autism, but the whole of social care needs urgent financing, then in doing so, could the extent of needing the NHS be eventually reduced, so ensuring not only the crisis in social care is resolved but also the NHS.

It will take time and any delays will only extend that time and in doing so the crisis in both social care and NHS will continue to escalate.

 

Source: If we were getting proper care and support, there wouldn’t be premature deaths happening.

Unless Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak act fast on the NHS, the Tories risk losing the next election

Yes, Truss and Sunak need to act fast on the NHS, but if they continue to ignore Social Care, no matter what they act on the NHS will be a waste of time as to fully act on the NHS urgent action is also required on Social Care for they are and will be forever need to work as one.

For, if the NHS has been neglected, then Social Care has been completely abandoned by this Government and many, if not all previous Governments

So, ignoring Social Care means the NHS will be ignored also, so Truss Sunak ignore Social Care at your peril.

Source: Unless Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak act fast on the NHS, the Tories risk losing the next election

Adult social care vacancies up 52% over past year – Community Care

As it has been said, vacancies and recruitment have been problems for some many years, but it has become much worse recently.

However, pay is not the only reason as Brexit and UK immigration policy have also had their impact. but there are also others being

1. travel including travel expenses, fuel is a major problem, certainly with its current high costs, but travel expenses for care workers are not generally available, except that mileage may be paid as expenses, but not always but travel time should also be paid.

2. unsocial hours should also be a factor in pay

3. as should working Bank Holidays while, as well as being given back the day worked, extra pay should be paid for doing so

4. sick pay is also an issue as there should be a recognised sick pay scheme for care workers, as with the low pay rates, being sick and having to rely on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is not realistic, especially when the first 3 days are not paid at all when on SSP

5. as to the pay rate £15.00 would be more realistic than the current National Living Wage of £9.50 or even the Real Living Wage of £9.90,  or even the £12.77 quoted in the article

6. Care work needs to be recognised as a profession and its public perception greatly improved, as is the case for social care in general

But for any or all of the above to be achieved the Government needs to take onboard the crisis in social care and not ignore it as has been so for all previous Governments.

Yes, this Government did promise a fraction of the £5.1 billion, supposed to be funded by the NI surcharge, but none of this is guaranteed, which it has to be and much more, to £12 billion. But that would only bring the funding back to 2010 levels which, then, was totally inadequate.

Social care needs to be adequately funded, which it has never been and until it is persons in need of care will be left to suffer or much worse, even death and this lack of recognition and funding is seriously adding to the NHS crisis.

Some will say bring all social care back to Local Authorities, but it was not a real success when it was and it would remove choice from the system completely, which has to be maintained for the choices of persons in need of care should always be respected. So all the above 1-6 and more needs to be done and done urgently so that people in need of care and their families are safeguarded.

While Local Authorities have to be made accountable, even more so should the Government be and be blamed for all that is occurring though years of inactions and ignoring the problems.

Source: Adult social care vacancies up 52% over past year – Community Care

NHS / Worst staffing crisis in history putting patients at serious risk, MPs warn | The Guardian

Yes, there is a staffing crisis in the NHS and it could well be the worst in history, but that is not the whole story.

Over the years the NHS has had to overcome many problems and maybe not overcome them completely for one is ‘Successive Governments’ interference for virtually every Government there has been since 1948 has interfered in the NHS to some extent, reorganisations here and there, in many instances with no or relative communications with the NHS, but interference for political motives.

Then there is fund of the lack of it or the right funding. As currently there is an issue of pay in virtually every sector of the NHS, but when Hospitals or Foundation Trusts form their budgets they will write in a pay percentage increase, but this will be well before the actual pay percentage has been agreed and in many instances really thought of. So a pay percentage increase is eventually agreed, but the budgets will only have included a fraction of the actual percentage. While the pay increase is directed by the Government, they will not, in most instances provide further money to increase the original budgets, so the balance of the [ay increase will have to be found from other areas in the budget, so some areas will not receive the amount of funding they expected and will have to provide the forecasted service with much less money available. This is not the fault of the NHS or the hospitals, but the hospitals will still receive the blame, when the blame should firmly rest with the Government.

Then we have targets created by the Government, which in many instances are not met and meeting these targets, could, in some instances release slightly more funding. So, the targets tend not to be realistic for many reasons, some mentioned above. What is the point in having unrealistic targets in fact, why have targets at all. Well targets are used as a measuring tool to define quality and quantity care

Another problem is the pricing of equipment and other resources from associated organisations, many of whom will be the central NHS recognised suppliers, but are these suppliers still competitive or have they over the years increased their pricing more than they needed, so in effect imposed a NHS Surcharge because they know they will get it.

But another major factor is the state of Social Care, which has been in crisis for as long as the NHS and maybe even longer, and while the NHS has been regularly funding, albeit, not to the required levels, social care has not been, in fact over the last 12 years or more as had its funding drastically reduced as social care is funded by local authorities. (LAs) who receive most of their funding from Government for all the services they provide and over these last 12 years have been subjected to extreme austerity cuts. This has required that the quantity of social care has had to be reduced and in doing so some of the quality has also been reduced. You also need to be aware that social care is not just for the elderly in care and nursing homes, for it includes home care, supported living, respite for all children and adults.

So, when patients are due to be discharged, bit are not sufficiently able to look after themselves at home and will require some social care input, due to the lack of social care available this required input may not be available, hence the patient can’t be discharged. This means beds in hospitals which should be available for new patients are not available so this causes problems in A&E and thereby they become overcrowded and eventually can’t admit more persons into A&E.

This causes problems for to be patients to be admitted to A&E and they are retained on ambulances, thereby causing ambulances to be waiting outside A&E and so are not available to attend new patients. This in turn affects the set targets for ambulances, who are then blamed for not meeting their targets.

There is also a lack of suitable social housing and in fact good quality social housing, which in turn creates more health issues, which could well add to the problems for the NHS. Now social hosing is either the responsibility of LAs or Housing Associations, who may well be funded by LAs, which brings us back to the extreme underfunding of LAs by Governments.

In all of this the respective organisations are blamed, while the Government escapes all or most of the blame, when in many instances they are totally to blame. But Governments and especially Government Ministers are not held accountable, when they should be. Unfortunately politics has much to be blamed for and in many respects the Treasury is behind the lack of funding policies, so the responsibility and accountability should be placed not only on the respective department ministers, but also the Prime Minister and certainly the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The current policy to not fund social care and for many previous years is such a major factor in the current crisis in the NHS. But Social care is not on the Government agenda and if it is mentioned it is not to sufficient degree and urgency.

Yes, there was or is, to some extent the £5.1 billion to be funded by the 1.25% increase in NI contributions, but this falls way short when looking at Social Care. It was also and still is, if the NI contribution was the best way to fund it, when there would be other means available, the surcharge on Energy companies, no pay rises for MPs and Ministers and other means.

Until Social Care becomes the major priority for this or any Government, then funding for the NHS will never be sufficient. The NHS and Social Care have to work together, for one can’t exist without the other and this Government and others need to take this on board and do it urgently.

Source: NHS / Worst staffing crisis in history putting patients at serious risk, MPs warn | The Guardian

Covid-19: High prevalence and lack of hospital beds putting “intense pressure” on ambulances | The BMJ

All 11 ambulance services in England are working under extreme pressure because of rising rates of covid-19 and a lack of available hospital beds, and leaders are now asking the public to take extra precautions in the hot weather to avoid adding to the already overwhelming workload. In a statement issued on 12 July, Martin Flaherty, managing director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives said that the NHS ambulance sector was “under intense pressure” and was now operating at the highest level of their local resource escalation action plans, which is normally reserved for “major incidents or short term periods of unusual demand.” In their Resource Escalation Action Plan there are four levels used to describe the pressure that ambulance services are under, with level 1 being “steady state” and level …

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Well, COVID-19 and the heatwave are not only causing pressures on the Ambulance services and also hospitals, but so is the lack of sustainable social care.

For, if, there was sufficient social care, then this would create more bed space as patients ready for discharge could be discharged into care homes on a temporary basis or direct to their own homes with suitable social care input. But, there is a lack of social care due to the insufficiency of persons being able to work in care. In many respects this is down to the abysmal rates of pay in social care and this is due to the extreme lack of finance in social care. This is caused by Government policy over many years and even more so since 2010 due to the austerity cuts then imposed on Local Authorities, thus not allowing them the funds to make the extremely long awaited financial input, thereby allowing care providers the ability to increase the rates of pay for care workers. This also includes, Individual Employers who employ Personal Care Assistants to undertake their care needs and is funded through Local Authorities by Direct Payments.

So to provide the required help to the NHS, firstly this Government needs to solve the financial crisis in social care, otherwise any funding into health will not solve the issues. This Government needs to do this and will be the first Government to act on Social Care, as every previous Government as done all they can and more to fully ignore Social Care.

 

Source: Covid-19: High prevalence and lack of hospital beds putting “intense pressure” on ambulances | The BMJ

NHS services on black alert as hospitals struggle to store medicines | The Independent

Yes, another crisis, but where are the solutions and from where and who is really sorting out each and every crisis.

Unfortunately, in the UK and maybe many other countries the rich are getting richer, while the poor, disabled and those in poor health are getting much poorer. None of this is new, as it has been occurring for as many years as I can remember and that is spread over, at least, 70 years, but has been occurring for many years before.

In the UK, many inventions where started, but in most they were progressed out of the UK as the structures to gain the required investments were not readily available within the UK.

We started railways, but our infrastructure suffered from lack of investment in British Railways and still under British Rail, which was a National Institution, but previous Governments did not attend to the investments and the rail structures were left to age, similar with aviation and much of the UK manufacturing base.

The NHS is also a case in point, its creation in 1948 was great and while some new hospitals were built there were never enough. Many staff, while well thought of never did receive, on a regular basis, the financial investment they richly deserved. When you look at Social Care this is even more so, for the investment was never there and in many instances the care staff did not and still do not receive the appreciation they also deserve, in fact, in many instances it was the complete opposite, for successive Governments and many of the UK public have never thought well of care staff, except for those who are in receipt of social care.

Now, of course, they are saying the intense heatwave is creating ‘black’ alerts, but it could have been COVID, lack of investment, lack of finance and more than likely, lack of Social Car or a mixture of anyone or all and others.

Every crisis needs sorting but, where is the Government, well engrossed in the Conservative leadership challenge and the eventual Prime Minister, which should be sorted by September 2022. You may well asked, where is the ‘Opposition’ The Labour Party, well they want a new General Election, which would further delay for a new Government to say October or even November and all the while, no effective Government.

A Government is needed now, not a ‘lame duck’ Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, MP, so the UK goes from one crisis to another, strikes after strikes, while inflation goes up and up with the poor, disabled and sick getter poorer by the second and no one lifting a finger and the rich will get by.

 

Source: NHS services on black alert as hospitals struggle to store medicines | The Independent

Boris Johnson resignation raises questions over social care policies – Community Care

Political disruption and inactions which have been plaguing Social care for as long has it has been around and in doing so, is not only creating a major crisis in Social care but this also transcends to health services as one can’t exist without the other.

Both need to be working together in all and every respects, both working to place the individuals requiring care and support at the centre, so that the systems fit directly to each individual, rather than each individual having to fit the systems, which are extremely lacking in appropriate direction.

The lack of funding, especially in social care is causing many critical needs to be unmet, as well as moderate needs not even being considered. This eventually leads to moderate needs to transform into critical needs, causing much more expense than if the needs had been dealt with when they were originally assessed as being needed.

Funding for social care can’t be left undone and needs to be dealt with as a matter of extreme urgency, as one more second delay, with cause many avoidable consequences and if left much longer lead to many deaths, which will be laid at the door of the respective Social Care authorities when it should be at the door of the Government and current and many past Ministers of State, who should be made accountable, rather than the extremely over worked and extremely stressed social care officials.

Families are already doing more than they should reasonably need to, causing families to be in need of additional health care, which, if the funding was made available would not have occurred to the degrees it is doing.

Safeguarding is already reaching critical levels and will continue to get worse.

Human Rights are being infringed.

Saying there is no money is not an excuse.

Place the blame where it should always have been placed, at Government.

 

Source: Boris Johnson resignation raises questions over social care policies – Community Care

Long-awaited report into widespread grooming of children in Telford due to be published today | UK News | Sky News

Yet another area within the UK where children have been let down by numerous authorities, including Police, Schools, Local Authority, health services and more, where was and is safeguarding, over all those years this abuse of children occurring.

The children were being looked as criminals, instead of being victims of grooming, sexual abuse, intimidation, etc.

How many more children and areas of the UK are still to be uncovered.

The safety of children should be a main priority of all these authorities and to not do so, means, the required ‘Duty of Care’ which these authorities should be exercising is being ignored.

Has anyone in these authorities been arrested or sanctioned for not exercising their required Duty of Care and, if not why not.

Justice needs to be done and seen to be done.

 

: Long-awaited report into widespread grooming of children in Telford due to be published today | UK News | Sky News

Thousands of disabled people’s deaths linked to DWP’s failure to act on benefits flaws – Mirror Online

It would be no surprise if this current strategy of ignoring disabled people and apparent actively discriminating against them in benefit assessment was not a Government/DWP ploy to increase situations where people can’t cope in the hope that they do take their own lives as this is a permanent method of reducing the Welfare costs.

Especially with the inability to fund, sufficiently, Social Care, on top of the inadequacy of Welfare benefits, no wonder that deaths and safeguarding concerns are rising.

But it is not just Conservative Government, although they appear to be worst, but also the Labour Governments of Blair, who appeared to do nothing to rectify the situations.

 

 

Source: Thousands of disabled people’s deaths linked to DWP’s failure to act on benefits flaws – Mirror Online