Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Tory Bastardry - Patients told to Suffer in pain for governments mishandling of NHS.

Callous witch and unelected prime minister 'Theresa May' backed an NHS rationing scheme yesterday that would condemn people needing a new hip or knee operation to suffering pain for a longer period.

Surgeons have criticised Theresa May after she became the first prime minister to back Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) plans to ration treatment to patients who smoke or are significantly overweight. NHS patients are told to lose weight and quit smoking or face operation delays, event though they've paid insurance to cover them for such events.

In July this year the Vale of York CCG claimed it was going to begin efficiency savings by restricting surgery for patients with a BMI index of over 30 and patients who smoke.
See my previous BLOG post on this here..

At the time, the York CCG was in special measures and was taken over by the unelected Quango NHS England (NHSE) run by Private entrepaneur Simon Stevens, ex president of the U.S. based private healthcare insurer' UnitedHealth.

No sooner as NHSE had taken over the CCG it looked again at the rationing policy and implemented it forthwith. Now who says callous b@stards don't exist?

It's understood the GP-led CCG was taken over by NHSE and that the decision will only encourage more CCGs in England to follow suit.


from the Guardian

The Royal College of Surgeons said Downing Street was endorsing an “arbitrary” scheme that would condemn people needing a new hip or knee to suffering pain for a longer period.

The college, which represents 14,000 surgeons in England, said the controversial money-saving policy in the Vale of York, which will force patients to wait up to a year for operations they require, would cost the NHS more in the long run.

Dr Richard Vautrey, a GP in West Yorkshire and the deputy chair of the BMA’s GP committee, said: “I’m most concerned that NHS England has approved these proposals to effectively ration services as a method of cost-cutting, but dressing it up on clinical grounds.

“This is further evidence of a postcode lottery with care simply being based on an area’s ability to fund services, rather than real clinical need applied consistently across the country".

Friday, 25 November 2016

Private sector setup CCGs to sell-off NHS

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are simply rubber-stamping decisions made by private sector influenced support units. GPs sat on CCGs heavily influenced by the private sector, many who sit on the CCG groups AND have voting rights.

In fact, GPs are more than 'guided' when it comes to making decisions such as which private company they sell NHS contracts to, which services to provide and so on.

To add more private sector influence into the mix, GP led CCGs give away many of their powers to their Commissioning Support Units (CSUs), who, as you can guess, are in turn heavily influenced and lobbied by the private sector.

Commissioning Support Units - CSUs
Clinical commissioning is a complex activity requiring, for example, legal knowledge, expertise in running contracts and on-going monitoring of contracts, as well as back office support such as IT, human resources and financial services. Most GPs don’t have the time or skills to carry out all the work of commissioning.  So, while CCGs will retain legal accountability for this work, many of the functions of commissioning have already been taken over by Commissioning Support Units (CSUs).
In November 2015 a new Department of Health document about commissioning made it clear that most key commissioning functions would be performed by ‘commissioning support units’, contracted by CCGs and to be outsourced to the private sector by 2015.
Hence, although CCGs are supposed to be 'GP led', nothing could be further from the truth. In terms of private sector influence and lobbying, everything is stacked against GPs who sit on Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Most of the advice and lobbying is done by strategists and other CCG officers in the group. To stack the odds further, these strategists also have voting rights. To make matters worse, CSU's are heavily influenced and have forged links with the private sector. Now add 'NHS England' to the list, run by privateer 'Simon Stevens' and we have a recipe for disaster for the publicly run NHS.

As CSUs evolved, they have increasingly allowed the involvement of private firms in the commissioning process itself, and are able to decide, for example, which services will still be provided, who will provide them – and even what NHS England calls the ‘transformation and service redesign’ of the NHS.

Each CSU covers a number of CCGs and they are already forging links with the private sector. Take a look at 'Contract Finder'. Note that the NHS contracts up for sale (tender) to private companies are tendered by MIDLANDS AND LANCASHIRE COMMISSIONING SUPPORT UNIT. This is the CSU for CSR CCG & GTR Preston CCG.

Finally, let's take a further look at what the book 'NHS for Sale' says on the issue..

CCGs are likely to find they have little to do apart from rubber stamp their decisions and those coming down from NHS England, and take the blame for problems. The majority of GPs now believe that they have been set up to take the blame for rationing health care.
Some of the GPs remaining on CCGs have interests in the private health companies bidding for their CCG services, giving rise to conflicts of interest hitherto unknown in the NHS.

At the heart of Andrew Lansley’s 2012 Health & Social Care bill legislation were two attractive and important promises. One was that patients would be at the centre of the NHS, their choices paramount, a promise encapsulated in the repeated undertaking that there would be ‘no decision about you without you’.

The other was that GPs would be given the majority of the NHS budget to buy care for patients as they and their patients saw fit. GPs knew best what patients needed and were to be given the power and the money to deliver it. Time and again GPs were told they would be ‘in the driving seat’, with control of the NHS budget, and that they would be calling the shots on behalf of their patients. These promises have turned out to be worthless, a deliberate deception of GPs and the public.

Unaccountable Commissioning Boards
GPs are supposedly elected to their roles on Clinical Commissioning Groups by their locality GP peers for a period of three years, although many posts are uncontested.

Recent research by Pulse magazine found 95 per cent of CCG board members had not faced any electoral process.
Board members have a say in the policy and commissioning decisions of the CCG, but these GPs can often spend as little as one or two half days per week on CCG business. This leaves much of the real day-to-day work to be undertaken by full-time managers, many who are ex employees of private companies or management consultancies, or by Commissioning Support Units, run by NHS England and its 22 sub-regional units.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Why England must NEVER adopt the American Healthcare System (Part 2)

The current' NHS reforms' being secretly rolled-out across England are founded on U.S. insurance-based private Healthcare models designed for profit, not patients.

The NHS is funded by the State via general taxation, it employs hundreds of thousands of people and keeps the whole population healthy thus enabling them to contribute to the economy.

It is an alternative to the Insurance based U.S. healthcare system which drives many into bankruptcy, frequently provides extremely inadequate cover, only covers those that can afford it, generates maximum profits from sustaining suffering and pain and ultimately leaves many unable to contribute to their country's economy.

Having a State funded National Health Service used by everyone also allows for the government to receive very fast and reliable statistical information from which useful medical information can be obtained.

If the USA were to implement such a service, as a replacement for their outrageously expensive schemes, then they would benefit from having a much healthier population, higher tourist revenue and a significant reduction in the number of unemployed that have to endure the nightmare existence of living on welfare.

But a completely 'healthy' population generates no profit for those in the healthcare 'industry'. The healthcare industry in the UK, and of course in England, is the largest of all industries which is WHY the NHS is under attack from the private sector, who for decades have been lobbying successive governments to denationalise the NHS and introduce more of the private healthcare sector.

  • The current secret plans proposed to 'transform' the NHS in England are based on a document titled 'Five year forward view' co-authored by Simon Stevens, the ex Vice President of the U.S. based UnitedHealth, one of the largest private insurance-based healthcare companies in the world. Stevens was appointed boss of NHS England by the health minister Jeremy Hunt.
  • Steven's has recommended the secretary of state for health (Jeremy Hunt) adopts the U.S. models of care in England, and has told all healthcare authorities in England to come up with 'Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STP) in-line with the U.S. model based 'five year forward view' document.

Our NHS is being 'transformed' into a private insurance-based system as that seen in the United States. If we introduce such a system as that in America, here in England, we will be denying many people, including children and the elderly, much-needed healthcare

Ask yourselves these questions:

  1. If National Insurance (N.I.) contributions aren't enough to sustain our NHS, then why haven't the government proposed to increase contributions? even 1p would help massively.
  2. If private finance initiatives (Pfi) are crippling hospital finances, then why haven't the government offered alternative solutions to settling the finances? (there are many available).
The answer is simple. They do not want a publicly-run 'national' Health service. In fact, to many Tories the thought of any infrastructure being 'publicly run' is repugnant and will not be tolerated. Jeremy Hunt is one of these and openly published his vision of 'denationalising' the NHS in a book titled 'Direct Democracy'.

The current global misconception that the NHS was introduced to benefit the people is very difficult to alter. In reality the NHS was created not just to benefit the people but also our country's economy, which is something that it does 'extremely' well. In any insurance based health-care system, a citizen is only a broken leg away from bankruptcy, with a subsequent life of absolute poverty.

Links to articles mentioned in this post..

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Plans to privatise NHS in Lancashire & Cumbria revealed

The recently released Lancashire & South Cumbria STP plans aren't 'plans' at all. Here's PROOF that the plans to transform the NHS in England are based on the American model of private healthcare.

Page 21 of the Lancashire & South Cumbria STP titled "The Future – What would great services look like? states:

"We do not have any predetermined solutions or options at this stage".

NHS England have asked all regional leads to submit 'sustainability & transformation' plans on how their region could reduce healthcare trust deficits and introduce (transform) different models of care that are more sustainable for the future.

Yet the best Amanda Doyle, the lead officer of the Lancs & South Cumbria STP can come up with is "we don't have any options or solutions at this stage".

And we're supposed to accept that as a plan for the future of our healthcare.
Even as a 'Draft' this so-called 'plan' has fallen at the first hurdle leaving residents baffled as to where we go from here.

Page 21, says it all really. Based on the submitted 'draft', future healthcare services in Lancashire will look uncertain, and devoid of any input from the people who use those services. The 'draft' certainly didn't involve input from the public. That's because all those involved have been told by NHS England not to reveal 'too much' about the overall plan due to them being highly contentious and politically toxic.

One thing is certain from reading the STP: it contains all the signs of transforming a publicly funded universal healthcare system into a U.S. style insurance-based private system.

So it's hardly surprising the New STP NHS reforms are headed by boss of NHS England 'Simon Stevens', the previous vice president of the largest private healthcare company in the U.S.

To confirm the plans are based on the U.S. model here's an excerpt from page 25, one of the "must-do's"...

"We will roll out the best of new models of care from the vanguards to other areas starting now and over the next 12 months, to include risk assessment, patient segmentation, moving care out of hospitals, MCP /PACS or ACOs, learning from the accelerator site for population based capitated budgets, and Enhanced primary care".

OK, the above paragraph is a real mouthful so let's break it down..

Vanguards are 'trial' areas in England where STP care models are being rolled-out without public consultation. There are 50 vanguard sites scattered around England and about 4 care models, all based on private sector healthcare provision. These are the 'accelerator sites' mentioned above.

Risk assessment & patient 'segmentation'
Each customer (patient) has a 'profile' assembled based on their health condition, age, medical record etc. A risk assessment then places them in a category of how likely they are to be admitted to A&E and how this can be avoided. Those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, COPD etc are allocated personal health budgets (PHB) enabling them to 'choose' which services they would like to spend their money on. Once the budget is exceed the customer has the option to 'top-up' their budget using an insurance based plan. *Capitated budget means 'budget allocation per person'.

Moving 'care' out of hospitals
the Private sector are only interested in high-turnover lucrative procedures so it's crucial they separate Emergency activity from elective and routine procedures. Hospital based routine procedures will be moved into clinics called 'multi-speciality community provider' (MCP) clinics. This ensures private healthcare companies profit, leaving Acute emergency expensive treatment to the NHS. This method of moving services 'out of hospital' is a disaster for the NHS since the tariff for routine services pay for bulk of the emergency service activity. This method will leave a huge hole in the NHS budget resulting in its demise very quickly.


Primary Acute Care System - basically the U.S. model where a single group of providers are responsible for delivering primary, community, mental health and hospital services for their local population. A federation of GPs are needed to form the MCP clinics and these will join up with hospital trusts to utilise funds coupled with patient records to prevent customers progressing to the 'emergency stage' thus keeping them out of hospital and in future paying into the primary system via their PHB or other future plan.

ACO - Acountable Care Organisations
If anyone is in any doubt, the ACO confirms the models being rolled out in England are based on the American insurance-based healthcare model.
The primary vanguard sites for this care model are Morecambe Bay & Northumbria.

The ACO attempts to monitor, predict, and control the patients journey through the system by integrating services such as social services and primary services. In effect, to reduce the private healthcare budget by sourcing money for part of the healthcare from the local authority budget for social care.

As such, this model caters more for the elderly and is based on the U.S 'medicare' model.

We can see from the above breakdown of a single paragraph that the proposed STPs  are directly related to NHS England's plan to turn the NHS in England into an 'insurance-based' system based on the American private healthcare model.

If anyone needs any proof of what's being proposed in these 'STPs' simply show them the above.

We can see now that STP is actually an acronym for 'Slash Trash & Privatise' the NHS in England.

The U.S. healthcare system has no place in England or anywhere else in the modern world. It is based on profit, not  need, for shareholders not patients.

The fightback has begun, it is now our responsibility to orgnanise the downfall of these plans before they erode our NHS further.

Considering you've read the above to this point, it's clear YOU want to do something about it. Spread the word, it will take more than pens and letters to save what's left of our NHS. The fightback is on, the gloves are off, this is a battle for our children's future, we must do all in our power to save our NHS.


Lancashire & South Cumbria Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP)

Thursday, 17 November 2016

NHS rationing, personal health budgets, and the death of A&Es

Patients in Chorley & South Ribble are about to receive letters from private companies who wish to control their lifestyles. Your GP practice could be be distributing your personal medical records without your knowledge.

No Public Consultation Required

Personal or 'self-centred' care encompasses many areas, including the STP 'Prevention' program and the 'personal heathcare budget' (PHB).

There have been some very important changes over the last few months that although included in the STP plans do not necessarily require public consultation to roll out. At least that's what NHS England believe.

A few of these non-consultation changes include rationing some drugs & treatments, contracting private companies to undertake personal health checks and advise on how patients with chronic conditions might manage their medications, weight and so on or provide advice on how to lead an active healthy lifestyle. Personal Health Budgets (PHB) have now also been extended by CCGs to people with long-term conditions.

Many GP practices in Chorley & South Ribble have already sent forms to companies such as the Bolton based ABL Ltd without the patient asking for the service or even knowing about the referral. ABL claim to "support people to be ‘active participants’ in the healthcare system and build imaginative and responsive services around their needs". And they're claiming a large chunk of the NHS budget to do it!

All this activity is the beginning of a patient 'familiarisation' of an insurance-based health system and in the U.S. is the mainstay of Health Maintenance Organisations (HMO). The boss of NHS England 'Simon Stevens' wishes to introduce the American private insurance-based healthcare system over here in England. That is no secret (google 'five year forward view') * See also Accountable Care Organisations (ACO) as currently being trialled in Morecambe bay.

It's important to remember that the objective of the STP is to separate routine procedures from emergency procedures so that the routines can be undertaken by the private sector 'in communities closer to home' in dedicated clinics that 'integrate' (bring together) different skills (specialties) and practitioners. Hence the term 'MultiSpeciality Community Provider clinics' (MCPs) as defined in local STPs. *Initially these clinics will be a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with GP confederations eventually becoming employees of the private companies (e.g. see VirginCare).

The problem is the money generated form these routine procedures goes towards supporting the A&E procedures and without that money A&Es simply cannot survive. Ultimately, and again as with the U.S. based system, the A&E activity will become pay per visit and only very basic life saving treatment provided (as with the U.S. Medicaid which is a government insurance program for people of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care).

Private sectors want nothing to do with Emergency treatments since they are high-risk and expensive making little or no profit. For example, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust constantly state in their board reports that the A&E activity is "driving all their deficits". ALL of their losses come from the A&E department which is why they are so adamant their Urgent Care model works and people choose wisely about which treatment centre they attend.

For LTH trust the STP is an opportunity to reset their finances and bring in additional income, but this comes at a very high price, especially for patients.

But that hasn't deterred the Lancashire trust board from teaming up with the local CCGs to roll-out the STP plans. The care models, which haven't been released in the STP yet, are an ideal way for the LTH trust to offload their debts and reduce overcrowding in their hospitals.
Yet the hospital trust can't begin to roll-out their part of the STP until they meet the 'financial reset' forced upon them by NHS England. *Each trust is given money from the Sustainability & Transformation Fund (STF) to roll-out its part of the STP. The trust only gets the STF funding if it brings down its deficit significantly.

This month the trust missed out on £4.4m of STF funding, no wonder they kowtow to the CCGs.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Tory NHS privatisation plans force disabled to 'work for nothing' under workfare scheme

The Tory government now want those on welfare to work for nothing or lose benefits. Employers told to give employees private healthcare insurance, leaving those on welfare fighting for NHS healthcare.

The Conservative 'Nasty Party' are currently in the process of consulting on Health & Welfare reform. Workfare and employee health insurance are now on the agenda.

What is 'Workfare' ?

"workfare" refers to current Tory government welfare policies whereby individuals must undertake work in return for their benefit payments or risk losing their benefits.

As such, workfare is a modern form of slavery and applies mainly to the poor and worse off in society, including mentally ill people and the disabled.

 So how does this tie-in to the STP plans?

Universal Credit.  The STP ties in with the universal credit system in the form of 'workfare'. This means that those in work will be insured for Healthcare services they wouldn't be entitled to if they were on welfare benefits.

Effectively, those on welfare, including the disabled and those with long-term illnesses, will be made to work for their benefits or face a life of destitution.

The government survey on Health & Welfare (which I've just read through) clearly shows the Tories intend introducing private medical insurance for employees.

The N.I. contributions will change and those on benefits/welfare will only receive very basic Healthcare services as those seen in the U.S. Medicaid scheme (the U.S. Medicaid insurance program is for people of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care).
Remember, in 2013 it was the Tory-led coalition who shut down the state-run Remploy factories that employed disabled people.

The fact that the disgraceful Tory 'workfare' scheme directly relates to the NHS privatisation reforms should only strengthen our resolve to hasten its demise.

The news that this tory government is even considering sanctioning the disabled and forcing people to accept a U.S. style unfair and ineffective health system is abhorrent.

Spread the news, tell everyone what is happening and hopefully they will open their eyes and join us in preventing modern day slavery along with the destruction of our NHS.

We are approaching upheaval and unless you act, England will no more be a proud country.

Prepare for battle, there is now no other option.


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Key Tory MPs backed call to dismantle NHS

Tory 'forward view' NHS transformation document is a direct import of the U.S. health system.

Little did the Guardian know in 2009 that those MPs plotting away would lead to a Tory document in 2014 titled 'the Five Year Forward View' which effectively allows the NHS to be dismantled and replaced with a U.S. Style insurance based health system. Let's take a closer look...

At the time of the above 2009 headline, David Cameron was facing a battle to restore party unity behind his health policy after it emerged several of his key shadow cabinet members put their names to a 'manifesto' criticising the NHS and calling for it to be dismantled.

The 'Observer' also revealed that leading Tory MPs at the time included Cameron's close ally Michael Gove – amongst others all listed alongside controversial MEP Daniel Hannan as co-authors of a book, "Direct Democracy", which says the NHS "fails to meet public expectations" and is "no longer relevant in the 21st century".

The book Direct Democracy was published shortly after the 2005 general election.
So let's take a look at the joint authors of the book:
  • Michael Gove
  • Daniel Hannan (MEP)
  • Jeremy Hunt
  • Greg Clark
  • Robert Goodwill
As we now know, Jeremy Hunt as secretary of state for Health has been instrumental in imposing an unsafe and unfair contract on junior doctors. But he must now be jumping for joy as he also has an ideal opportunity in these times of 'Austerity' to implement the ideologies in his book about dismantling the NHS.

Michael Gove was also one of a group of more than 20 Tory MPs and MEPs who at the time are cited as supporters of Hannan's views in another book, The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain, published in December 2008, in which Hannan and Tory MP Douglas Carswell describe the NHS as "the national sickness service".

Both books call for the NHS to be replaced by a new system of health provision in which people would pay money into personal health accounts, which they could then use to shop around for care from public and private providers. Those who could not afford to save enough would be funded by the state. *This is essentially the same principle as the five year forward view published in 2014.

The revelations follow a furious row over Hannan's recent appearance on US television, in which he told Fox News that the NHS was a "60-year-old mistake" and urged Americans not to adopt a similar system if they wanted efficient, effective healthcare.

The American Connection

Simon Stevens, a health policy advisor to the then warmongering PM 'Tony Blair' was quite keen to jump over and 'advise' the Tories on health policy if need be. Stevens had spent considerable time as vice-president of strategy at California based UnitedHealth, one of the largest health insurance companies in the world.

As soon as Jeremy Hunt took over Health at the DoH he set to work dismantling the NHS. He began by dreaming up an independent body calling it 'NHS England'. He promptly put Simon Stevens in charge.

But again remember this: before Hunt recruited Stevens to run the NHS, Simon Stevens worked in the US for 10 years for global health firm UnitedHealth – where he helped lobby for the TTIP trade deal that would help US health firms take over European healthcare.

Hunt and Stevens sat around the table with lobbyists from private companies plotting the best way to implement the policies and ideas from Hunt's co-authored book on how to dismantle the NHS. The result was another manual released in October 2014 titled the 'Five-Year-Forward-View' (FYFV).

The FYFV is nothing more than an almost exact replica of how the American insurance-based private health system works.

There's only one reason why anyone would wish to implement such an inefficient and expensive Health system into England. Profit.

Health & Social Care Act 2012

Up until the election in 2010 the NHS seemed to have protection from full-blown privatisation under the Health & Social Care (H&SC) Act. But as soon as the Tories were elected under a joint Lib Dem coalition they set to amending the H&SC act to include the private sector in taking over NHS contracts.

IN 2011 a bill went through parliament and 2013 the H&SC bill became an Act which included section 75 allowing 'ANY QUALIFIED PROVIDER' to bid on NHS contracts.

Stevens as CEO of NHS England shot into action telling all NHS Authorities they must draw up a plan by mid 2016 to bring their deficits down or face penalties.

He divided England into 44 regions called 'footprints' and gave NHS bodies the FYFV and told them they must come up with their own 'Sustainability & Transformation Plans' (STPs) using the FYFV as their framework template.

At the same time, over 200 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England, supposedly GP led but with private lobbyists sat at the groups helm advising, began implementing measures such as rationing of drugs and NHS services. They began closing much-needed hospitals and tendering out £Billions of NHS contracts to the private sector.

GPs sat on CCG boards were given sweeteners to do Hunts bidding, some Chairs of CCGs earning over £120,000 for the part-time roll of signing away NHS contracts and implementing the cuts.

Ever since its inception, the NHS has come under attack from all political parties. But no more so than the Tories who's ambitious plans to import the U.S. Style health market into England have no evidence base or enough funding to even be plausibly included to run side-by-side with the NHS.

That's because they are not meant to.
The Sustainability & Transformation Plans are NHS England's version of American style private healthcare insurance. The overall objective was made clear in the book 'Direct Democracy' where Jeremy Hunt stated the NHS must be replaced.

The Five Year Forward View should be renamed the 'Five Year Backward View'.

But until we stop it in its tracks, it will continue forward decimating our NHS.
That we must not allow to happen at any cost.

Key Tory MPs backed call to dismantle NHS

Hunt and Stevens - leaving their dirty footprints all over the NHS
Sustainability and Transformation Plans - the biggest attack on the NHS you've never heard of.

Radical hospital cuts and job losses needed to 'reform' NHS