Tag Archives: Andrew Lansley

New party?

NHA PartyYesterday, the National Health Action Party launched.

The idea behind the NHA Party is one I support: since the Labour Party is unable and unwilling to properly defend the NHS against the Tory attacks – unable because it is at present a minority party with an unpopular leader, unwilling because properly doing so would involve backtracking and acknowledging that the Labour Party itself went hellishly wrong during the Blair years – there must be political pressure on Labour to force them to act when, as I hope, they win the next election.

Founded by a group of health professionals, our party strongly opposes the Health and Social Care Act. We believe the Act is wrecking the NHS in England by allowing it to be broken up and sold off. We intend to put up around 50 candidates in carefully chosen general election constituencies, and we will urge the Labour party to repeal the Act. We’ll also field candidates in local council elections.

Party co-leader and cancer specialist Dr Clive Peedell said: “For generations we’ve trusted the NHS to be a safety net for everyone in times of need. Putting the values of business and the markets ahead of those of patients and communities will ruin the NHS. This destruction is being fast-tracked by Tory and coalition policies. We hope our new party will halt this process.”

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How can an NHS Trust go bankrupt?

In May 1997, back in those lovely days where we were sure we’d got rid of the Tories and now had a Labour government, Tony Blair put Alan Milburn in charge of the Department of Health, where he stayed for about 18 months until Peter Mandelson first got caught in a dodgy money deal, whereupon Milburn was reshuffled to the Treasury and in 2003 resigned from government to “spend more time with his family” and with Bridgepoint Capital, a venture capital firm with clients including Alliance Medical, Match Group, and Medica.

Between the Treasury and the NHS, Alan Milburn – an enthusiastic supporter of Blairite policies – set in train everything needed to make an NHS Trust go bankrupt.

George Monbiot, on The Biggest, Weirdest Rip-Off Yet:

When Labour took power in 1997, it told public servants that there would be no alternative to PFI. “When there is a limited amount of public-sector capital available, as there is,” the health secretary Alan Milburn announced, “it’s PFI or bust”. After 12 years, the policy hasn’t changed. A leaked email summarising a meeting with the current health secretary, Alan Johnson, in January this year [2009] revealed that “PFIs have always been the NHS’s ‘plan A’ for building new hospitals … There was never a ‘plan B’.” If you apply for public funds, you won’t get them: to build a new hospital or school or prison, you must PFI it.


South London Healthcare
runs three hospitals in Orpington, Sidcup, and Woolwich. The Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich were both built using Blair’s darling and Milburn’s favourite: Private Finance Initiative. Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup was built in 1974.
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Lyall Duff, Facebook, and the Telegraph

Talking on Facebook is like having a conversation in a busy cafe. You have a reasonable expectation of privacy, if you’re an ordinary person talking quietly to a friend, but of course you can be overheard – and if you’re a political candidate for a non-Tory party and the person at the next table works for the Telegraph and you’re making [expletive deleted] comments that the Telegraph thinks they can use…

Lyall Duff is standing for election on 3rd May for the SNP in North Lanarkshire. Duff made the comments in January and February that the Telegraph chose to report today, so the timing is politically motivated: the SNP have the choice of backing Duff or sacking him, but it’s too late for them to invite him to stand down and let them find another candidate. If you are a candidate running for election it is sensible, to say the least, to make sure that your social media accounts say nothing that you would not wish to see quoted in the newspaper of your worst enemy.
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Teach children lying liars lie

On 23rd March, the Guardian broke the news that SPUC (the “Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child” to give them their full, misleading name) had a presentation for schoolchildren that wasn’t so much anti-abortion as anti-science. The headmaster who invited SPUC into his school to give a prolife presentation to the children says he provided “balance” by asking a feminist group along too, but this showed a real lack of interest in the children’s scientific education and wellbeing.
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Abortion

There are a set of moral, ethical, and medical issues around abortion.

[Also about use of Care Quality Commission staff for a politician's personal prejudices. More of that in the update below.]

The Telegraph does not appear to be interested in any of them, in its latest US-style article about “abortion clinics”.

First and most importantly: Is the person who is having the abortion being coerced in any way? It would be immoral and inethical for a doctor to perform an abortion on anyone unless she wants to have her pregnancy terminated.
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What does the NHS mean to me?

What have the LibDems accomplished, says this bright infographic. It doesn’t reference the coming privatisation and breakup of the NHS in England.

(Not in Scotland or Wales, thanks to devolution – neither country has a Tory government.)

My father is alive and well (fairly so) at 85 because of the NHS. (In the past ten years, he’s broken his wrist and his hip – he has osteoparosis – and had eye operations for a cataract and for glaucoma. He has a pacemaker to keep his heart beating.

My mother’s diabetes was diagnosed promptly (at the age of 77) because of the NHS.

Myself, my brother and sister, my nephew, we were all born on the NHS.

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He’ll hold his nose.

One unamed “loyal senior Lib Dem MP” said: “I’ll hold my nose and vote for it [the NHS bill].”

That’s nice for him, whoever he is. He’s probably rich enough that he thinks he can do without the NHS. Perhaps he even thinks he can leave enough money for his children that they’ll always be able to afford private healthcare.

I read in Cake and Morphine’s blog a few days ago a hopeful assumption that if Tory MPs had only experienced the kind of shattering “lifestyle choice” of devastating illness or injury, they wouldn’t have voted in the Welfare Reform Bill.

But two or three years ago, Iain Duncan Smith’s wife had cancer. IDS took six months off work to care for her (and claimed thousands from the taxpayer while he was doing so). David Cameron had a disabled child, but Cameron doesn’t give a damn about the disabled children of families who aren’t, like himself, wealthy enough not to care what’s the price of services. Continue reading

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Santa Lansley’s NHS

Whether you walk or are pushed into a NHS A&E department, there is one question that the staff will always ask you if you are able to communicate, or the person with you if you’re not:

“Are you allergic to anything?”

If and when there’s time, they’ll ask you other things, like “Describe where it hurts” and “What brings you here?” and “Can we have your name and your date of birth?” plus “Are you registered with a GP?” but those are low-priority. If you’re in too much pain to speak, they want to know if you’re allergic to anything before they give you painkillers.

Here’s what your time in hospital will look like once Andrew Lansley’s got his way:

I told Lori that over the last 10 minutes or so, Emily’s pain had grown tenfold, that it seemed like an appendix situation or maybe a tiny elf she swallowed was now trying to shoot his way out. So you know, we could really use someone down here right away to at least try to get that pain under control. Lori looked at me in a way that made me think she was going to reply in Russian, and said instead, “I’m just here to get some registration information.”

I focused all of my frustration into a very violent sigh and said, “Sure, I understand. However, she should have been on the road to the hospital an hour before we finally did. It’s a 35 minute drive. Then once we got here, she’s been laying in this bed, unseen by anyone at all for over an hour. If you can’t get someone in here yourself, at least point me in the right direction so I can.”

She then promptly ignored everything I just said and started asking Emily about her address and insurance information.
(5 Unhelpful People You Meet in Every Hospital)

The author’s girlfriend survived a ruptured appendix, but only just.

As was pointed out six months ago, Andrew Lansley’s reaction to massive public criticism of his attack on the NHS was to step up the spin rather than change the attack. In appreciation of the immense profits that are about to be made, John Nash (Care UK, etc), one of the private healthcare tycoons who look upon the NHS as a barrier to their just profit gave Lansley £21,000 in November 2011.

Andrew Lansley’s Christmas present to the private healthcare sector was huge:

NHS hospitals in England will be free to use almost half their hospital beds and theatre time for private patients under government plans.

These are hospitals, beds, and operating theatres that were paid for by the taxpayers, for the free use of all. As I saw posted on Twitter, this isn’t so much privatisation as welfare for the rich: private companies aren’t being asked to buy 49% of NHS hospitals in England: they’re being allowed to make use of our resources and we’ll have to pay them if we want the same level of access as we had before Santa Lansley filled John Nash’s stocking.

£21,000? Cheap at the price. Andrew Lansley is giving away what isn’t his. Ho ho ho.

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