60 HOSPITALS ON THE BRINK

60 HOSPITALS ON THE BRINK

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More than 60 hospitals cannot afford the rising cost of private finance initiative schemes and are being left “on the brink of financial collapse”, says Health Secretary Andrew Lansley – in a convenient bit of grandstanding just prior to the Tory party conference.

He is telling is that trusts are now unable to pay for their schemes – believed to be worth more than £5.4 billion in total – because the payments of their “NHS mortgages” have inflated during the recession.

But at least there the trusts get something of value from PFI – albeit at greater cost than necessary – not so the £6.4 billion (some say more than £12 billion) that has been spent on the NHS National Programme for IT. Like the regional fire centres – only at far greater cost – it too has been abandoned. Local health trusts may now choose their own IT systems. It is being left to them to ensure that their systems are linked nationally.

And so another grandiose government scheme hits the dust. But there will be no resignations. No one will be fired – not one of the many people still in office, responsible for the failed system, will be tarnished. Many have been promoted and will continue with their glittering careers, then to retire in comfort on their inflated pensions.

And we are expected to pay. Not only that, if we so much as hesitate in giving them what they demand, draconian fines are levied at a national level while local tax defaulters face prison.

This is the politics of madness. The continued profligate wastage, and the contemptuous attitude of public officials in their duty of care for public money, almost beggars belief. Their attitude and their staggering incompetence makes rebellion not only necessary, but a duty. A parallel might be the duty to withhold drink from an alcoholic. In terms of public finance, the system has overdosed on our money and, as long as it is given more, it will continue its binge spending.

Nevertheless, we cannot take on the state full frontal. We must fight clever, effectively resorting to guerrilla tactics. And with the state consuming ever greater amounts of the national wealth, with no end to the waste, this is not an optional extra, but a matter of survival.

The more we give the machinery of state, the more it will want – its appetite is insatiable. We have to find ways of saying “no”.

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I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

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If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
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Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar. You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help.
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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01291 – 62 65 62
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More disobedience in fortress NHS

More disobedience in fortress NHS

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The NHS is a fortress. Too big to be managed, too big to be accountable. And the unaccountable managers mismanage with impunity.

Thus we had the Daily Mail telling us that “family doctors have been ordered to ration the number of patients they send for life-saving cancer scans to save money”.

Now, as the article explains, this contradicts government policy.

The cuts are being brought in despite Government pledges to give GPs better access to cancer tests in the hope of saving 5,000 lives a year…. But it has since emerged that a quarter of Primary Care Trusts are actively discouraging GPs from sending patients for these tests.

And five Primary Care Trusts have actually banned family doctors from sending patients directly for scans. These delays will doubtless kill some people.

As usual, the Department of Health didn’t know what was going on inside the fortress it supposedly controls.

Now Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has ordered NHS chief executive David Nicholson to write to every single trust telling them they must not impose such ‘blanket restrictions’.

13% of GPs had been told to reduce the number of patients they sent for MRI and CT scans – commonly used to diagnose cancer.

Who gave these instructions in the first place? How many of them will be sacked?

Guess.

While we wait, there’s more. New research shows that thousands of patients are being denied hip and knee replacements, cataract operations and IVF as PCTs try to save money.

A survey of 300 family doctors by Pulse magazine found that many had been told to ration certain procedures not deemed urgent, which also include hernia operations and blood-testing for diabetes.

How many of those anonymous, unaccountable managers will be hauled up and sacked?

Guess. 

To view the original article CLICK HERE
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I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
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Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar. You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help.
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YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01291 – 62 65 62
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Was This Why My Scan Delay Put Me On DEATH’S HIGHWAY?

Was This Why My Scan Delay Put Me On DEATH‘S HIGHWAY?

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Hi,
one is forced to wonder if this is the reason why a scan I should have had in the first 2 weeks of 2011 was delayed until 04-Apr-2011 thus necessitating Chemo & Radiation!

Had Chemo been needed it could have commenced by the end of January – yet at that stage a simple coin (cuff) cut around the tumour on the bladder wall MIGHT have been all that was required.

It can be argued that due to NHS Wales dishonesty and crass incompetence CLICK HERE a deliberate policy decision was taken to withold treatment by ensuring there was insufficient Radiography facilities for early detailed diagnosis of cancer.
Or was my cancer the result of an even more sinister decision making process as revealed in the article below. Do the numerous QUANGOs feeding parasitically off of The NHS and the excess of management directly cause the inadequacy of the direct clinical budget to deliver the service Lord Beverridge defined before the bufoon Aneurin Bevan politicised the set up of The NHS when given the job of implementing the NHS Plans of Beverridge’s.

GPs ordered to ration cancer scans: Lives ‘being put at risk’ by bureaucrats’ new cost-saving directive

Last updated at 12:26 PM on 8th September 2011

Slashing scans: GPs are being ordered to refer patients to a hospital doctor, who will decide if a scan for cancer is needed - but experts warn late diagnosis mean it can be too late for cancer sufferers

Slashing scans: GPs are being ordered to refer patients to a hospital doctor, but experts warn late diagnosis mean it can be too late for cancer sufferers

Family doctors have been ordered to ration the number of patients they send for life-saving cancer scans to save money.
They are being told to slash the number they refer to hospital for tests including ultrasounds, MRIs and CT scans commonly used to spot tumours.
Last night experts warned the cost-saving measures increased the risk of patients being diagnosed too late and dying unnecessarily.
Britain has one of the lowest cancer survival rates in Europe, and experts say late diagnosis is to blame.
The cuts are being brought in despite Government pledges to give GPs better access to cancer tests in the hope of saving 5,000 lives a year.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley promised to set aside £750million to help family doctors send patients directly for scans instead of having to refer them to a consultant to decide whether or not they should have a scan.
This process could add several weeks on to the diagnosis by the time patients have waited for an appointment and a slot for a scan.
But it has since emerged that a quarter of Primary Care Trusts are actively discouraging GPs from sending patients for these tests.
 

The figures were obtained through a freedom of information request by GP Newspaper. Of the 116 PCTs which responded, a quarter said they had policies to reduce ‘inappropriate’ referrals by GPs for scans.
And five – Bury, Salford, South West Essex, Southampton and Stockport – have banned family doctors from sending patients directly for scans, flying in the face of the Government’s pledge.
Order: Family doctors have been told to stop sending people for MRI scans to save money

Order: Family doctors have been told to stop sending people for MRI scans to save money and instead send them to consultants to decide whether they need the tests and scans

Instead they are being encouraged to refer patients to hospital doctors who will decide whether or not they need a test.
Dr Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, warned that stopping GPs from sending patients for scans will delay diagnosis of cancer.
Doctor: A quarter of Primary Care Trusts are actively discouraging GPs from sending patients for cancer tests

Out of my hands: A quarter of Primary Care Trusts are actively discouraging GPs from sending patients for cancer tests

She said: ‘This is about money and finances, not about putting patients first.
‘How can a junior doctor in a hospital refer for an ultrasound while I – with 25 years’ experience – have to refer a patient to a specialist?’
Lindsay Wilkinson of Macmillan Cancer Support said: ‘Earlier diagnosis makes a huge difference to the chance of surviving cancer. It is vital that GPs are given direct access to diagnostic tests so that those with suspected cancer are diagnosed at the earliest opportunity.
‘Stopping GPs directly accessing scans could be a false economy if GPs have to refer to a hospital specialist who orders the scan anyway.’
Sarah Woolnough of Cancer Research UK said: ‘It is very worrying to hear of PCTs setting referral targets and decommissioning direct access to tests that could speed up a cancer diagnosis.’
Millions of patients a year are referred to hospital for scans including MRIs, ultrasounds, CTs and colonoscopies. They are often used to check for tumours but also to diagnose heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s Disease and problems with joints.
PCTs have to pay a hospital for every patient referred for a scan. A CT scan can cost up to £600, an MRI around £500 and an ultrasound about £100, on top of the cost of a patient seeing a specialist.
Last year a major study showed that the UK had consistently lower survival rates for some of the most common cancers compared with Australia, Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

PATIENTS TOLD TO ‘TREAT THEMSELVES’

Patients with conditions such as heart problems, lung disease and diabetes will be encouraged to treat themselves at home rather than seeing a GP. 
Under guidelines from the Royal College of GPs, 15million sufferers could be taught to carry out tests such as measuring their blood sugar, before giving themselves the correct dose of drugs.

It is hoped it could save the NHS millions of pounds in unnecessary appointments.
But critics have warned that relying on patients to look after themselves is ‘unsafe’ and could put lives at risk.
In January Andrew Lansley promised to ensure Britain’s cancer survival rates were ‘the best in Europe’ by giving GPs better access to tests.
Professor Sir Mike Richards, National Clinical Director for Cancer, said: ‘Early diagnosis of cancer is a very high priority for the Government. That is why the Cancer Outcomes Strategy, which we published earlier this year, put an emphasis on improved GP access to diagnostic tests.
‘We are working to improve access to relevant diagnostic tests for GPs and will shortly be publishing guidelines which have been developed by GPs working with radiologists and other specialists.’
Although the NHS has been protected from the Coalition’s programme of spending cuts, in reality it needs big above-inflation rises every year just to ‘stand still’.
This is because of factors such as the ageing population and rapid medical advances.
Many workers in the NHS argue that the 0.1 per cent real terms annual rise in the NHS budget is, in reality, a fall.
Health trust bosses have also been told to make £20billion in efficiency savings over the next few years.
To view the original article: CLICK HERE
 .
 Please Be Sure To
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To Spread The Facts World Wide To Give Others HOPE
I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar.
You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help. . YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01291 – 62 65 62
of: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com DO MAKE USE of LINKS & >Right Side Bar<
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Palliative Care – 100,000 terminally ill Miss Out! 01-Jun-2011

Palliative Care – 100,000 terminally ill Miss Out! 01-Jun-2011
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100,000 terminally ill ‘do not get proper palliative care’

Almost 100,000 terminally ill people do not get proper care, according to a Government review which concluded that a new funding system would save millions of pounds and better serve individuals.

100,000 of terminally ill 'do not get proper palliative care'

Far more people die in hospital than wish to, and experts estimate that more than 90,000 people are not having their palliative care needs met.  Photo: ALAMY

A national payment structure would cut variation around the country in what the state pays for and what it does not, and support far more people to be cared for in their own homes, it said.
Experts behind the report say the move could reduce deaths in hospital by up to 60,000 a year by 2021, translating into savings of £180 million annually.
At the moment, the amount primary care trusts (PCTs) in England spend on end-of-life care varies widely, from £186 per patient in one area to £6,213 in another.
Access to services, including round-the-clock nursing care, also depends on where people live.
Far more people die in hospital than wish to, and experts estimate that more than 90,000 people are not having their palliative care needs met.

The Palliative Care Funding Review, ordered by Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, last summer, proposes a “fair and transparent” funding system where the money is linked to the individual patient.
Under the scheme, people would receive an initial assessment of their needs, which would then be combined with other factors such as their age and capabilities. 
This “needs classification system” would have 25 separate classes (13 for adults and 12 for children), each with its own pot of funding. 
The funding would take account of things such as personal care needs, including help with washing and eating, the provision of 24/7 nursing care to support people at home and a co-ordinator to help patients work out their state entitlements as well as access to local charitable services. 
At present, some end-of-life care providers are paid regardless of how much work they do, offering poor value for money across the service, the review said. 
Meanwhile, 97% of hospices do not receive all the funding they need for the NHS services they provide, and some patients are victims of “rationing” towards the end of the NHS financial year.
These latest proposals would guarantee funding regardless of where patients live and whether they are in a care home, hospital or in their own home. 
Thomas Hughes-Hallett, chair of the review and chief executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care, said: “No other country in the world has introduced such a system for both adults and children, so the step is both a bold and necessary one.”
Professor Sir Alan Craft, adviser to the review, said: “The Government must act on the recommendations contained in the review because evidence shows us that incentivising the provision of palliative care leads to better outcomes for patients, supports choice and is the most cost effective way of using NHS resources. 
“We need to remove the barriers within the current system to enable this to happen.”
Between 56% and 65% of adults would like to die at home but only 20% do so, with 55% dying in hospital. 
The ageing population and the increased complexity of needs towards the end of life mean 90,000 more people than at present could be dying in institutions by 2030, the review said.
Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said people wanted a choice over where to die. 
“Twenty-four hour community nursing services are crucial to the delivery of choice and to the realisation of these ambitious recommendations. 
“It will be up to the Government to ensure that these services are standard across the country.
“We need to see a massive improvement on the 56% of PCTs who currently provide 24-hour community nursing.” 
Simon Chapman, director of policy and parliamentary affairs at the National Council for Palliative Care, said: “It is vital that the Government acts on the review’s recommendations and creates a fair funding mechanism that will ensure people get high quality end of life care where and when they need it. 
“We only get one chance to get it right for dying people, which is why it must be a priority to ensure everyone who needs it can access palliative care round the clock.” 
Susan Munroe, Marie Curie Cancer Care’s director of nursing and patient services, said: “Far too many people at the end of their lives are still not getting the care and support they need nor do they know what they are entitled to.
“We welcome the recommendations of the review as the next big step. 

“We now want to see these recommendations implemented by the Government as a matter of urgency.”

To view the original article CLICK HERE
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I Have Been Fighting Cancer since 1997 & I’M STILL HERE!
I Have Cancer, Cancer Does NOT Have Me
I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar.

You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help. . YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01291 – 62 65 62
on: http://GregLanceWatkins.Blogspot.com  
TWITTER: Greg_LW  
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6-Apr-2011 – NHS Modernisation – The Boy King – Dave’s Speech!

6-Apr-2011 – NHS Modernisation – The Boy King – Dave’s Speech!

Wednesday 6 April 2011

PM’s speech on NHS Reform

The Government has today launched a “listening exercise” to hear the public’s views on NHS modernisation.

Read the transcript:

[Check against delivery]
We’re here today to talk about the NHS and its future.
What our reforms mean, why we’re doing them and how we want to involve NHS professionals in making them work.
Before we get into the detail I want to say this.
I believe passionately in the NHS.
And for me – I make no apologies about this – this is a very personal thing.
I know what it is to rely on our health service, to put the people you love in the hands of our brilliant doctors and nurses, to arrive at a hospital in the middle of the night and know there will be people there to help.
We all know why the NHS is our most precious national asset.
It’s because in this country we don’t take our credit cards along to A & E.
We don’t have the poorest dying of treatable diseases because they can’t afford medical insurance.
No. We have an institution – a precious idea – that says we are in this together.
So let me say this again: I am in politics not to take risks with the NHS, not to threaten the NHS, but to safeguard and improve the NHS.
Now to some people this might beg a question: if you love the NHS so much, why are you so determined to change it?
There are two big reasons why we need change.
The first is about how the NHS is doing today.
We enjoy healthcare in Britain that is the envy of billions around the world.
But if our NHS was performing at truly world-class levels, we could save literally hundreds more lives every week.
It’s estimated we would save an extra 5000 lives from cancer every year.
An extra 2000 lives from respiratory disease every year.
These facts alone compel us to modernise and improve our NHS.
And the second reason we need change is not about what’s happening today but what’s coming up tomorrow.
Every hour more than 25,000 people walk through the doors of a surgery or hospital to get treated and with our population ageing, those numbers are set to rise dramatically.
Already the cost of advances in treatments and medicines alone put around £600 million of extra funding pressure on the NHS every year – and those costs are set to rise too.
Taken together these pressures threaten a squeeze on NHS resources down the line.
So if we want to keep a health service that is truly free at the point of use, not just this year and next year but in the decades to come, then we have got to make the NHS more effective.
Pumping in a bit more money and sticking with the status quo just isn’t going to cut it.
So no change is not an option and this coalition has set out what we believe the change should be.
Shifting money from the back-room to the frontline.
Passing decision-making power from bureaucrats to doctors and nurses.
Giving patients more choice over where they get treated.
And already these changes are having a positive effect.
In under a year the number of managers in the NHS has fallen by 3000.
The number of doctors has increased by 2500.
Thousands of people are able to access life-saving drugs thanks to a new cancer drugs fund.
So we are making progress.
But we also recognise that there are some big questions about what we’re doing.
Doctors and nurses are asking what our plans will mean for them.
We hear that – and we want to work with you, not against you.
Now that the Health and Social Care Bill has passed through committee stage in the House of Commons, we’ve got a natural break before this legislation reaches its final stages in Parliament.
We’re taking this time to pause, listen, reflect on and improve our NHS modernisation plans.
Let me be clear: this is a genuine chance to make a difference.
Where there are good suggestions to improve the legislation, those changes will be made.
But let me be equally clear: the status quo is not OK.
Modernisation is not just a good idea to save money and build a better health service it is essential to a strong future for the NHS.
I believe passionately in the changes we have set out – but I also know we need the people who work in our NHS to get on board.
We will listen and make any necessary changes.
So this is my message to you today: let’s work together for a stronger NHS.

I just want to say sorry for copping out at times and leaving Lee and friends to cope!
Any help and support YOU can give her will be hugely welcome.
I do make a lousy patient!

.
If YOU want to follow my fight against Cancer from when it started and I first presented with symptoms see The TAB just below the Header of this Blog. called >DIARY of Cancer< just click and it will give you a long list of the main events in chronological order.
.
Thoughts and comments will be in chronological order in the main blog and can be tracked in the >ARCHIVE< in the Right Sidebar.
You may find the TABS >MEDICAL LINKS< and also >CANCER LINKS< of help.
.
YOU are welcome to call me if you believe I can help in ANY way.
.

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 01291 – 62 65 62