Tuesday News Review

Cameron and Lansley criticised on NHS reform

The Prime Minister had been accused by Labour of insulting “millions of NHS staff” with his comments. Mr Cameron was defending the plans for reform of the National Health Service and the speed with which the shake-up is being introduced. In an interview, Mr Cameron said that patients should not have to settle for “second rate” healthcare. He corrected himself, fearing that health professionals would take a very dim view of his assessment. Labour seized on the slip with John Healey, the shadow health secretary, saying that improvements in the NHS were clear for everyone to see. He said: “David Cameron also seems to see the NHS as second rate when everybody else has seen big improvements by Labour in recent years and public satisfaction is now at an all time high. This is an insult to millions of NHS staff. – the Telegraph

The public will soon see for itself the dangers warned of by the medical profession, the Tory-led Commons health select committee, the royal colleges and the independent King’s Fund. The government has skilfully focused all attention on what seems most patient-friendly and easy to understand. Your trusted GP will be in charge of an £80bn budget for your care. Faceless bureaucrats in unknown primary care trusts will be swept away, half of all NHS managers sacked and replaced by your wise GP buying whatever you choose, with no diktats from above. In reality those commissioning services will be more distant from patients, as local PCTs are replaced by far larger clusters of consortiums – some run by the same managers expensively sacked and re-employed, but more by private companies. A survey by Pulse magazine found six out of 10 of the first consortiums are negotiating with private companies to run their referrals. It may or may not hold together, but at a time of famine the price tag is £2bn-£3bn: the real cost of these political re-disorganisations is never fully computed. – the Guardian

This document’s honeyed tones and warm aspirations are sweetness and light – but those expressions of good intentions will easily deceive those of us that are less well informed. The one thing that most health professionals agree is that the NHS does not need another reform. This is precisely why, when in opposition, Prime Minister David Cameron promised to halt the merry-go-round of organisational change inflicted on the NHS. And this promise, about to be broken, was effectively countersigned in a pledge by Nick Clegg, now the Deputy Prime Minister. We have already learnt about the trustworthiness of this Government. It is introducing great swathes of legislation as rapidly as possible, for which it had no mandate from the electorate. – the Mirror

The Health Select Committee said that uncertainty surrounding the “surprise” proposals to hand more power to family doctors is increasing costs and leading to poor decisions on care, while expertise is being lost as two tiers of management are scrapped. It claimed that operations are already being postponed or cancelled in some parts of England as a result of turmoil in local health bodies and attempts to cut costs in an “already high-risk strategy”. One member of the all-party group likened the unprecedented changes to be included in tomorrow’s Health and Social Care Bill to a “smash and grab raid” on the state health system, and said she feared it would leave GPs accused of breaking competition law if they worked too closely with hospitals. The MPs’ critical comments on the scale and the pace of the reforms have been welcomed by think-tanks and doctors’ leaders, as opposition grows to the “institutional upheaval” facing the NHS. – the Telegraph

Mulcaire: More than one reported knew

News Corporation’s defence that phone hacking at the News of the World was the work of a single “rogue reporter” was on the verge of collapse tonight after Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective at the centre of the case, said the paper’s head of news commissioned him to access voicemail messages. Mulcaire is understood to have submitted a statement to the high court this afternoon confirming that Ian Edmondson, the paper’s assistant editor (news) asked him to hack into voicemail messages left on a mobile phone belonging to Sky Andrew, a football agent. Andrew is suing the paper for breach of privacy. It is also understood that Mulcaire said in the court statement that several other executives at the News of the World were aware that phone hacking was taking place, although he does not name them. A spokesman for the News of the World said: “This is a serious allegation that will form part of our internal investigation.” Edmondson was suspended by the paper before Christmas after he was named in court documents in a separate case against the News of the World brought by the actor Sienna Miller. – the Guardian

A Matthew Norman gem in today’s Independent on Andy Coulson offering his resignation to the prime minister: “The first person in history to offer to resign twice for something of which he knew nothing.” Norman also refers to continuing speculation that News International is paying the legal bills for Glenn Mulcaire, the “private investigator” who hacked into phones on behalf of Coulson’s News of the World. Surely this allegation cannot be true. It is inconceivable that Rupert Murdoch would bankroll a man who was jailed for intercepting voicemails on behalf of a single rogue reporter who also went to prison. – the Guardian

One Response to “Tuesday News Review”

  1. Robert says:

    I’ve used the NHS more then a lot of people spending eighteen months laying on a bed on traction, then almost another year getting treatment for chronic pain.

    I saw the results of the private use by Blair of private cleaning staff, a year later MRSA broke out in my local hospital in which I nearly died and almost lost both legs.

    I watched cleaning staff being refused a wage rise because NHS cleaning staff were already getting above the Min wage, the owner of the company who cleaned the hospital had spoken out many times about the min wage.

    So yes we can expect this to end up again being another Thatcherite cock up, but hell all governments seem to enjoy doing this, we had Blair’s idea of NHS dentist.

    So we should get use to a bunch of morons who cannot run a country in both Labour and Tories and the lap dogs liberals trying again.

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