Tag Archives: NHS

Rachel Clarke: We should judge Coffey on her policies, not her appearance | The BMJ

Innumerable aspects of England’s new secretary of state for health and social care, Thérèse Coffey, could instil anything from disquiet to dread in an NHS doctor. I recoil at Coffey’s record on same sex marriage, for example: she voted against it in 2013 and 2019.1 Then there’s her record on welfare and poverty: she voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits some 52 times from 2012 to 2021, not to mention consistently voting against increasing benefits for people unable to work because of illness or disability.2 It’s a record likely to provoke deep unease in anyone committed to dealing with harmful consequences of socioeconomic gradients in health.

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I so agree for gender, looks, weight and size should never be a consideration, for it would never be done to a male and even if it was, it would be so wrong.

Competence and judgement should be how she is judged and on these aspects I am greatly worried for health and social care, which are so important to all of us, especially social care. For, while all of us might not need or come into contact with it, unlike health, the degree of association between them shows how important they are to each other, with, perhaps healthy needing social care more than social care needs health. for the lack of social care causes many problems to health being

  1. a greater need for health resources where social care is lacking

2. causing greater useage of health resources, thereby an insufficiency of resources being available in health

3. this then cauing problems for other relaled health resources such as ambulances not being able to transfer people from ambulances inti A&E

4. this then causing a shortage of ambulances to attebd to others requesting ambulances through ringing 999

All this because no Government is bothered to fund, sufficiently social care to anywhere to what is required.

In this aspect i certainly fear Coffey will not have the ability, the will and foresight to do so, thereby social care will further cease to exist and the eventuality that health, especially the NHS will desend to abject failure.

Source: Rachel Clarke: We should judge Coffey on her policies, not her appearance | The BMJ

Staffing crisis leaves many English care home residents’ basic needs unmet | Social care | The Guardian

It is nothing new that social care is in crisis, but as is usual if crisis is not attended to then the crisis gets bigger and bigger and this is what is occurring in social care, currently.

Previous Governments could have done much to avert the crisis and certainly stopped it getting worse, but they all decided to ignore the crisis. Hence the currently state of social care in the UK.

Unfortunately has always been the forgotten care service, unlike the NHS, but they are so dependent on each other. For lack of social care results in health deteriorations and then health deteriorations lead to more social care being required and the cycle is never ending, for one some become deceased more are coming forward to take their place.

It does not take Einstein thoughts to understand that ignoring social care is effectively ignoring  the NHS, But Governments can be so stupid, especially when they want to be.

Not only should Governments be aware of this, but in 2010 the Tory Government decided to bring in austerity cuts to local authority (LA) grants and while LAs initially tried to shield Social care from the cuts, because the cuts were very excessive and went on for at least 10 years and then followed by more costs due to COVID. Yes, this current Government have decided to do something, but nowhere near enough and while the action is being taken most of the money will go to the NHS and very little, if any at all to social care. Even, if all of the £5.1 billion was going to social care it would be and is a drop in the Ocean for what is really required.

But, funding is but one element of the crisis, there are ever extending shortages of staff, extremely poor rates of pay, very poor working conditions. Some of the shortage of staffing was reduced by workers coming in from the EU and some from other parts of the World, But Brexit stemmed some of the flow of workers from the EU and the current Immigration Bill did nothing to encourage any workers to come from outside the UK. In fact, it went out of its way to  try to stem the flow of care workers for the criteria to come fully excluded care workers.

This was known by the Government and initially stated that care workers would be an exception to the criteria, but when it came about, this was not so.

Immediate actions that the Government need to take,

 

  1. Reverse all austerity cuts to Las
  2. Ensure working conditions for care workers are greatly improved
  3. Allow more care workers to come to the UK
  4. Make the minimum wage for care workers to be at least £15 per hour

 

Source: Staffing crisis leaves many English care home residents’ basic needs unmet | Social care | The Guardian

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

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

Social worker shortages sector’s biggest concern in delivering cap on care costs – Community Care

In effect Social Care is already broken, but no one is prepared to fully state this as it will show it is failing extensively so paper is created to cover the extensive cracks already there.

This is not fully due to irresponsible Adult Social Care authorities, but due to this and every previous Government not ever funding social care to the extent that is and has been required. For no Government has ever fully committed to social care funding, if any have to any degree, for they deliver their requirements, but never give sufficient and appropriate funding to ensure the requirements can be achieved.

This has lead to virtually every Local Authority to under assess the needs for every persons that requires an Assessment of Need, only including needs that can be resourced and ignoring any that can’t, so the true cost of social care needs is not known and never will be.

This is leading and has led to many care needs not being met, which eventually leads to more urgent care being required under the NHS or resulting in unnecessary early deaths of persons in need of care.

Social Care has to be an urgent priority for this Government and every second delay will and is causing much unnecessary health inequalities and deaths, which may be the wish of the Government either by ignorance or design.

 

Source: Social worker shortages sector’s biggest concern in delivering cap on care costs – Community Care

Letter to Editor: It’s time to make a stand | Same Difference

Not wishing to detract from Catherine’s campaign, but similar could be said about Prostrate Cancer in males. Both should be much higher on the agenda.

 

Source: Letter to Editor: It’s time to make a stand | Same Difference

Doctors’ union votes to stop charging overseas patients for their treatment at NHS hospitals | Daily Mail Online

This is the BMA all over, as in the 1940s the BMA and Doctors and Dentists did not wish for the NHS to be formed as they still wished to continue with their private practices, which they believed the NHS would not allow them to do so. So to bring them onboard the Labour Government of the day put forward the proposition that if they allowed the NHS to be created they would be allowed to retain their private practices while still having NHS practices. This is why GPs are not employed by the NHS and are still self employed, while the practices are registered with the NHS.

This also explains why some GP practices do more NHS work than others, having OTs, Physiotherapists, etc.

Hospital consultants and some other medical professionals could also have some private practice works as well as their work for the NHS.

The NHS was formed so that all UK residents would be entitled to free health care at the point of delivery and it led to all primary care being free at the point of delivery, while hospital care would not be free for UK Non-residents.

Some reciprocal arrangements in some countries were eventually made for UK residents to be treated as though they were residents of that country and for hospitals to charge the respective country residents accordingly. for health treatment in the UK.

But, in reality, many non-UK residents were not charged in the UK, but UK residents were charged in non-UK countries.

All health treatments do have a cost and in the UK this cost is generally met through the Department of Health and Social Care, with money obtained from outwith the UK being offset.

Now the BMA appear to have decided that no one will be charged so no costs will be offset, thereby making the costs of the NHS much higher than they should be, how is this beneficial to the UK and its population.

Source: Doctors’ union votes to stop charging overseas patients for their treatment at NHS hospitals | Daily Mail Online