Skip to main content

Broken pledges and the crisis in the NHS

There was the fanfare, not exactly trumpets, but soothing, calming, reassuring...reassuring. The date is Monday January 4th 2010. A week is a long time in politics, three years is an age, so we may not remember; and if we do we may be inclined to ask so what, who believed them anyway?

It was the day Mr Cameron, launched the Tory party's draft manifesto for the NHS. It was that speech in which the then Leader of the Opposition pledged there would be no top down reorganisation of the NHS. It  was also a speech in which he said the Tories would not make the sick pay for the debt crisis.

Three years on we have major top down reorganisation, £20 billion cuts in NHS funding through 'efficiency savings' which all health bodies including the BMA say have pushed the NHS to a crisis point. NHS England inform us that unless funding levels are increased the NHS in England is heading for a shortfall of £30 billion by 2020. That translates into real cuts that will affect the ability of the NHS to meet patients needs.

In making his pledge David Cameron said that "With the Conservatives there will be no more of the tiresome, meddlesome, top-down re-structures that have dominated the last decade of the NHS." This pledge was reiterated as part of the Coalition agreement.  The Liberal Democrats and the Tories have reneged on this pledge; they have failed to listen to the concerns of leading bodies representing health care professionals; they have failed to listen to the concerns of patient bodies.

Privatised provision has created a problem for commissioning bodies with many serving on the new bodies being potentially compromised through pecuniary interest. This problem is of great concern to the doctors organisation the British Medical Association. The potential for diverting funds from 'in-house' services provided by the NHS is also a concern leading to more private provision as the in-house service is allowed to deteriorate. 

It is no surprise that coupled with creeping privatisation of provision the issue of payment at the point of delivery is brought into question for initially some services. The divisive question is raised, why should the taxpayer pay for your therapy, hearing aids, or whatever it is? It is the same kind of divisive question applied to the changes in welfare provision. The attack on universal benefits turns to an attack on universal health care provision. Let's not say we cannot heed the warning signs. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Maternal depression can impact child mental and physical health

Maternal depression has been repeatedly linked with negative childhood outcomes, including increased psychopathology.  Now, a new study shows that depression in mothers may impact on their children's stress levels,  as well as their physical and mental well-being throughout life.

In the study, published in the journal  Depression & Anxiety,  the researchers followed 125 children from birth to 10 years.

At 10 years old, the mothers’ and children’s cortisol (CT) and secretory immunoglobulin (s-IgA)—markers of stress and the immune system (see below)—were measured, and mother-child interaction were observed.
Psychiatric assessment  The mothers and children also had psychiatric diagnoses, and the children's externalising and internalising symptoms were reported.



Internalising disorders include depression, withdrawal, anxiety, and loneliness. They are often how we 'feel inside', such as  anger, pain, fear or hurt, but may not show it.  In contrast, externalising symptom…

Palm Oil production killing the planet

Bad trade and bad products are killing our planet. We have said this before on The Thin End. There is no better example than that of palm oil. It is used ubiquitously in so many products, and its production is a major factor destroying rainforests and threatening precious species.

Demand for palm oil is 'skyrocketing worldwide'. It is used in packaging and in so much of our snack foods, cookies, crackers, chocolate products, instant noodles, cereals, and doughnuts, and the list goes on.
Bad for the planet So, why is this so bad for the planet?

The oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palms native to Africa. It is now grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, but is also expanding across Central and West Africa and Latin America.

Palm oil production is now one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction, and this is impacting adversely some of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like t…

Clear blue lakes turning murky in USA

New research reveals that many lakes in the continental United States are becoming murkier, with potentially negative consequences for water quality and aquatic life. These are the findings of a study published in Limnology and Oceanography.

From blue, clear lakes to greenish brown In the 5 years between 2007 and 2012, the dominant lake type in the United States shifted from clear, blue lakes to greenish-brown, murky lakes. Blue lakes declined by 18% while murky lakes increased by 12%. 



Overall, “blue” lakes decreased by ~ 18% (46% of lakes in 2007 to 28% in 2012) while “murky” lakes increased by almost 12% (24% of lakes in 2007 to 35.4% in 2012).  So, the majority of lakes are now murky.

Regionally, murky lakes significantly increased in the Northern Appalachian, Southern Plains, and Xeric ecoregions.

In the Northern Appalachians, blue lakes decreased by 41.4%, brown lakes increased by 17.8%, and murky lakes increased by 26.8%. In the Northern Plains, green lakes significantly increas…