Tag Archives: NHS

Record 350,000 patients waited over 12 hours at A&E last year

  • Figures reveal 1,000 patients left waiting 12 hours or more in A&E every day in 2022
  • Analysis shows shocking rise in long A&E delays since 2015, when just 1,300 people waited 12 hours or more
  • Lib Dems set out plan to tackle NHS crisis including recruiting more GPs and allowing pharmacists to prescribe more medicines

A record 350,000 patients, equivalent to the population of Leicester, waited more than 12 hours to be admitted to hospital from A&E in 2022.

The figures were uncovered in new analysis by the Liberal Democrats showing a staggering rise in 12 hour delays at A&E since 2015.

Liberal …

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

19 January 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Record ambulance delays reveal NHS “horror show”
  • Latest NHS figures on delayed discharges reveal “living nightmare”
  • Levelling up: Rural and coastal communities taken for granted

Record ambulance delays reveal NHS “horror show”

Ambulance response times in Wales have fallen to a record low in December with a staggering 60.5% of red calls (those deemed most life-threatening) being above the official target times. This figure is the highest on record and beats previous numbers in December 2021 and 2020, the latter of which was at the height of the pandemic.

Figures have also shown that a shocking 78% of amber calls, which include heart attacks and …

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , , and | Leave a comment

We really must stand up for the NHS

The NHS is once again in the news and not in a good way. It is fast becoming a basket case with ambulances unable to deliver critically ill patients to hospital in anything like acceptable times, operations often delayed with unacceptable waiting times, people unable to make GP appointments and now a series of strikes because the Tory Government cries crocodile tears instead of funding the NHS and its staff properly.

There is a dangerous myth that has been around in our politics for far too long that the public sector is inefficient and that as much of it as possible …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

Davey: Sunak asleep at the wheel

Listening to Rishi Sunak speak today, you wouldn’t think that the country is in the grip of economic turmoil and crisis in the NHS. You don’t have to go far to read of NHS trusts and boards calling major incidents, or London Ambulance saying they will only wait 45 minutes before leaving patients in hospital corridors. Everywhere there are accounts of traumatised, stressed nurses, doctors and patients in A and E departments up and down the country.

It is all very grim.

Sunak’s five priorities would fail the SMART objective test on any work training day.

He could claim he had done them without alleviating much suffering. I mean what does “NHS waiting lists will fall” actually mean for someone who has been told that they can have an appointment for their hernia in mid 2024? What does “the economy will grow” mean? A tiny decimal point which makes no measurable difference? Reduce national debt – to what, how and what will that mean for public services? And a piece of red meat for the xenophobic right about getting rid of asylum seekers. The one specific pledge, to halve inflation, seems to be going to happen anyway according to the Bank of England forecasts.

It’s all very cynical.

Ed Davey was unimpressed, saying:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 14 Comments

Only 40 armed forces paramedics are qualified to work in the NHS

Embed from Getty Images

There are only 40 paramedics in the armed forces who would be qualified to work in the NHS, figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

The government has admitted in response to a parliamentary question that the armed forces have 107 paramedics, of which 40 are confirmed as meeting the qualification requirements set out by the Health and Care Professions Council. These are the qualifications needed in order to practise as a paramedic in the UK.

The figures were uncovered through a parliamentary question tabled by Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP.

It comes as the government has set out plans to bring in military personnel to drive ambulances and support the NHS during the strikes due to take place this month.

Daisy Cooper said:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

NHS Strikes – view from the back of an ambulance

It is the season of goodwill, the season of health services being stretched to the limit and this year, the season of strikes, including amongst some of our most dedicated health professionals. Nurses and ambulance crews. The government having applauded nurses, health and care professionals on their doorsteps during the pandemic is spoiling for fight over wage increases. Promising no money.

That is one reason strikers are taking action. The need for some of them to go to food banks. The struggle to pay the rent or mortgage because pay has not caught up with the cost of living.

The other reason is the working conditions. The constant pressure in an understaffed, poorly managed health service. It never copes with demand. It is forever being reorganised but never seems to get out of crisis mode. It never has enough money.

Let me illustrate the issue through the case of Susan. Obviously not her real name.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

NHS workers will strike to protect patients not harm them

LDV editor Charley Hasted writes in a personal capacity on the reasons that dedicated NHS workers have voted to strike and the pressures that have led them to vote for industrial action.

Tuesday brought the news that Unison Members in North East, North West, London, Yorkshire and South West Ambulance Service Trusts have voted for industrial action. They were joined by their colleagues in the GMB Union where members in South West, South East Coast, North West, South Central, North East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Welsh and Yorkshire Ambulance Service Trusts. Unite the Union members in Ambulance trusts have also voted to join Unison, GMB and our colleagues from the RCN in threatening industrial action.

As an Ambulance Dispatcher and Unison member I spent a lot of time thinking about how to vote. I didn’t sign up to stop people getting help when they need it after all. Nor did any of my colleagues. The NHS has spent years being staffed on goodwill and our desire to help people. We’ve put up with underfunding, insulting pay rises and being alternately sainted and damned by the government depending on which way the wind is blowing on any given day.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 27 Comments

19-20 November 2022 – the weekend’s press release

Barclay interview: Jumble of jargon can’t hide Conservative failures

Responding to Health Secretary Steve Barclay’s interview on the Laura Kuenssberg show this morning, Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

This Conservative Government cannot continue to blame the coronavirus pandemic for years of neglect and mismanagement of our NHS.

Patients are being failed as waiting times skyrocket and hospitals crumble. Health workers are on their knees struggling to keep up with growing pressures and shrinking budgets.

Social care is in dire need of drastic reform and consecutive Conservative Governments have proved time and time again that they will not deliver it.

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

9-10 November 2022 – the press releases…

Apologies, press release fans, as I got rather caught up in the drama of the US midterms yesterday. So, without further ado…

  • Gavin Williamson anti-bullying video exposes ‘rank hypocrisy’ of Conservative Government
  • Lib Dems: Strip Gavin Williamson of his knighthood if found guilty of bullying
  • Sunak failing the next generation as he refuses to protect education budgets
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats respond to Nurse Strike Action
  • The Government have failed cancer patients
  • Home repossessions increase significantly as budget sets off a mortgage ticking time bomb

Gavin Williamson anti-bullying video exposes ‘rank hypocrisy’ of Conservative Government

Responding to the resurfaced Government anti-bullying video recorded by Gavin Williamson MP during his time as Secretary of State for Education, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education, Munira Wilson MP, said:

This exposes the rank hypocrisy and double standards at the heart of this Conservative government.

Gavin Williamson himself admitted that bullying is never acceptable.

Schools rightly have a zero tolerance approach to bullying. But once again it seems it’s one rule for Conservative ministers and another for everyone else.

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 5 Comments

Ed Davey calls for legal right to see GP within 7 days

Getting a doctor’s appointment is becoming more and more of a challenge. Whether it means explaining in detail to a non-qualified receptionist who triages requests, or having to grapple with an inflexible online booking system, or having to join a phone queue at 8am exactly, or even filling in an online form just to be put in another triage queue – the processes seem designed to make you think it’s not worth it. They are particularly trying for anyone who is elderly, sick or in pain, or who has a chronic medical condition, and these, after all, take up a large proportion of appointments.

During the pandemic we got used to phone and video consultations, but we all knew these were not the most effective way to make a diagnosis, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that serious conditions were missed. It may still make sense for a doctor to hold an initial remote conversation, but only if an in-person appointment can be made speedily if needed.

But the delays in getting appointments is very real. Years ago no-one would have been offered a GP appointment in two weeks’ time for a new condition, and yet that is what is happening now.

Ed Davey is announcing plans to give us all the legal right to see a GP within a week (or 24 hours if urgent). It is certainly an indicator of the stresses within the NHS if a week’s delay is seen as an improvement. He has unearthed data which shows that 25% of people in some areas have to wait over two weeks for an appointment.  This is in the context of the two week target for suspected cancer cases to be seen by a specialist, where the clock only starts once someone has actually seen their GP. That wait could be doubled if they can’t get a GP appointment immediately.

The proposal is that this right would be enshrined in law, thus putting a duty on the Government to ensure that it happens.  Of course, it can only be achieved if the recruitment and retention of GPs is improved, and that requires action at the highest level.

So watch out for the announcement in Ed’s major speech at the weekend – designed to replace the missed Conference speech. Ahead of that he has said:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 29 Comments

Why aren’t we talking about Nursing?

It’s difficult to imagine our healthcare system without Nurses, particularly after the past few years of the COVID-19 pandemic. We all stood on our doorsteps back in 2020 and clapped for the NHS staff on the frontline, putting health and care first, yet so quickly ‘the clap turned to a slap’ and consciousness of the vital work faded. Nursing is an essential service, part of the fabric of healthcare that no one realises they need until suddenly you do.

As a challenge, how much do you think about nursing? I would imagine unless you know someone who is a registered nurse, probably not much. Does the word nurse make you think of someone working on a hospital ward, or do you recognise that nurses are present across all spheres of society, in general practice, prisons, industry, the armed forces, research and academia, schools, local and national government to name just a few.

The previous Health Secretary’s under-developed ‘ABCD’ plan for the NHS didn’t even mention nursing, it doesn’t feature highly on the government agenda or to be honest in policy discussions. There is little understanding across Government and perhaps society of the complex education and skills developed to be an effective nurse, and yet this is the largest profession within the health service, the backbone of the NHS.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 10 Comments

26 October 2022 – today’s press releases

Apologies for the lateness of the hour – I was trawling through my ballot paper for the Party’s internal elections…

  • Braverman appointment: Lib Dems call for Cabinet Office inquiry
  • Cancer diagnosis postcode lottery revealed as over 60,000 wait more than two weeks in August alone
  • Fiscal plan delay leaves families in a cloud of uncertainty
  • Concerns Over Welsh Government Housing Targets
  • PMQs: PM refuses to commit to 40 new hospitals
  • Scrapping triple lock would be a betrayal of pensioners

Braverman appointment: Lib Dems call for Cabinet Office inquiry

The Liberal Democrats have called for a Cabinet Office inquiry into the appointment of Suella Braverman to Home Secretary after she was sacked for breaching the ministerial code.

Liberal Democrats Home Affairs Spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael MP said:

Suella Braverman’s appointment makes a mockery of Rishi Sunak’s claims to be bringing integrity to Number 10.

There must be a full independent inquiry by the Cabinet Office into her appointment, including any promises Sunak made to her behind closed doors.

If it is confirmed that Suella Braverman repeatedly broke the ministerial code and threatened national security, she must be sacked.

A Home Secretary who broke the rules is not fit for a Home Office which keeps the rules.

Cancer diagnosis postcode lottery revealed as over 60,000 wait more than two weeks in August alone

  • 108 NHS trusts miss the two week cancer referral target (72% of all trusts).
  • Top 10 worst places for cancer referrals revealed.
  • Lib Dems call on the Government to bring forward an urgent plan to improve cancer care after NHS targets missed.

New analysis of the latest NHS data by the Liberal Democrats has revealed the worst places in the country to see a cancer specialist within two weeks after being referred by a GP.

A staggering 62,360 people had to wait more than two weeks to see a cancer specialist after a GP referral in August alone.

Despite the Government setting a target of 93% of patients seeing a cancer specialist after a referral, just 30 NHS trusts met the target. Some trusts only managed to see one third of people in time, as a post-code lottery is revealed.

The Liberal Democrats have revealed the top 10 worst places for cancer referrals in the country. Norfolk and Norwich NHS Trust is the worst, where only 34% of people were seen within two weeks of a referral.

Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

This grim postcode lottery is a national scandal. The evidence tells us how critical a speedy cancer diagnosis is yet thousands of people are left waiting far too long. The sheer number of people anxiously waiting is completely unacceptable.

Our health services cannot be ignored any longer. The Government must prioritise resources to clear record backlogs, slash dangerously long ambulance waiting times, and solve the healthcare postcode lottery.

All we’ve had from this Government is broken promise after broken promise. It is time for real action.

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 7 Comments

20 October 2022 – today’s press releases

You don’t expect press releases to become obsolete quite so quickly but the past forty-eight hours have been historic (or hysterical, depending upon your perspective), so these, published in chronological order, perhaps sum up the events of the day…

  • Trevelyan refuses to back Truss: Conservatives way past their sell by date
  • NHS waiting list in Wales hits three-quarters of a million as health service “brought to its knees”
  • Truss resigns: Conservatives must do patriotic duty and back election
  • Welsh Lib Dems – Conservatives must do patriotic duty and back election
  • Conservative MPs must block Boris Johnson’s return
  • Deny Truss the £115k a year taxpayer dividend offered to ex-PMs, say Lib Dems

Trevelyan refuses to back Truss: Conservatives way past their sell by date

Responding to the latest Conservative chaos, with Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan failing to to answer whether Liz Truss will lead the Conservatives into the next election, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain said:

Liz Truss and the Conservatives are way past their sell by date. This is a government that can’t govern, led by a prime minister whose authority has been totally shredded.

People worried sick about how to pay the bills are looking on aghast at this never ending chaos and incompetence. The Conservatives must stop clinging to power and give the country the general election it needs.

NHS waiting list in Wales hits three-quarters of a million as health service “brought to its knees”

Responding to the news that the NHS Wales backlog has now hit 750,000 Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

Behind these figures are countless human tragedies. In every corner of the country people are frightened, suffering and waiting in pain because our NHS can no longer cope.

Labour is letting the NHS fall to its knees and patients are paying the price. Wales routinely has the worse health figures in Britain despite all nations facing similar challenges. This cannot go on.

The Government must come forward with a proper plan to bring down waiting times and recruit and retain more NHS staff. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to call for greater investment in primary healthcare facilities, GPs and social care.

We must prevent people from getting so ill they require either treatment in A&E or complex treatment paths if we are to reduce pressures on the system, this starts at ensuring people can access their GP easily. We also need to ensure patients can be discharged safely once their treatment is finished.

Truss resigns: Conservatives must do patriotic duty and back election

Responding to Liz Truss resigning as Prime Minister, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

NHS crisis: Never have so many been ignored by so few

The NHS is in an unparalleled crisis and the whole system seems at the edge of breakdown. Everything from care primary from ambulances, A&Es, staffing of hospitals, through to discharge to care is in crisis. Yet, the NHS is being almost ignored in the leadership debate and by the zombie government.

Last night, ITV news ran a short item on the crisis ahead of tonight’s report on the crisis on Tonight (ITV 8.30pm). Ed Davey said the item was “hard to watch”:

Many might find the leadership debates, or perhaps I should say leadership debacle, hard to watch. The economy is vastly important but it is not the only game in town. The NHS should not be a sideshow in the pursuit of politician’s ambitions.

Never have so many been ignored by so few.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

Welcome to Obs and Gynae

The camera follows a man on a hospital trolley. He gurns at the audience and is wheeled away with his hand up to some unfortunate woman who is screaming.  “Welcome to the NHS” he opines to the audience. We all laugh. It’s the opening of the series “This is going to hurt”. About an obs and gynae ward. We all laugh. Women. Women down there. Women and their unmentionable bits. All intrinsically funny. Apparently.

Not so funny is that during the pandemic the waiting list for gynaecological procedures grew by 60%. During the pandemic many more women who suffer extreme bleeding during their periods or bleed all the time had to go in for emergency blood transfusions because major surgeries like hysterectomies were suspended.

This is not women waiting for something cosmetic or with a few aches and pains. This is about women who cannot work, cannot care for their children or in some cases for themselves they are in so much pain or bleeding so heavily.

The average diagnosis time in the UK for the excruciating condition of endometriosis is an appalling 8 years.

My local trust, for instance, knocks you off the gynae waiting list and sends you back to your GP after a year even if your symptoms are worsening! You then have to have more unnecessary intimate examinations to prove you should have been on the waiting list in the first place.

Of course there are pressures on every single part of the NHS.  However, a recent report from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is adamant that gynae waiting lists are growing faster than other waiting lists and that gynae conditions are often labelled as “benign”. Babies don’t wait to be born so quite obviously the obstetric ward is ever open; gynae is often the first to close its doors when pressures become too much.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

17 August 2022: Ambulance Domesday in West Midlands

If you live in the West Midlands and are going to fall ill, you better get on with it. Certainly, don’t leave it until 17 August because if you want an ambulance, you may not get one. That’s the apocalyptic prediction from a director of the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS).

Ambulance provision in the West Midlands, as in many other areas of the country, has been struggling for a couple of years. There are endless stories of delays in ambulances reaching patients. Handover delays from ambulance paramedics at the county’s two hospitals, both maintained by the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust (SaTH), are among the longest in England. There are far too many reports of patients dying during these delays when they might have survived. Too many patients with worse health outcomes because they could not get to specialist treatment quickly enough.

Mark Docherty, Executive Director of Nursing and Clinical Commissioning at WMAS, this week told the media and the board members of the ambulance service that the whole West Midlands ambulance service could fail by mid-August.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

The NHS is dying … it’s about the  workforce

While everyone is focused on the very real and acute cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine the NHS is quietly imploding, more staff leaving than joining and therefore services collapsing.

It’s not simply a matter of throwing more money at it, we are way past that stage, and as we learned from the Nightingale hospital fiasco, you can build all the hospitals you like but if there is no workforce to staff them, they are just so many white elephants.

The workforce is on its knees and many who stayed on or returned during the Covid crisis are now leaving or returning to retirement, others simply leaving because they are exhausted, increasing the strain on those left behind. The crisis is particularly acute in psychiatry and general practice, where services are collapsing just when they are needed most to deal with the fallout of Covid.

So the fact that there are 10 new medical schools should be good news, except that they will only add about another 1,000 doctors to the workforce annually and only in 5 years’ time, against a calculated shortfall of 15,000 annually. So you may be as surprised as I was to learn that 3 of those new schools; Chester, Brunel and Three Counties, will only be accepting private students from overseas this coming October, and why is that? – simply that the Treasury has not made funds  available to support home grown medical students, £35,000 each annually for the 3 clinical years of undergraduate training; yes, medical training is expensive. The government’s solution being to let these new medical schools admit overseas students instead, who bring with them £40,000 each a year in overseas fees.

Whilst that may be an attractive business model for the medical schools concerned it does nothing to address our own needs and exacerbates the workforce crisis into the future. Meanwhile applications from home-grown candidates have soared and many are being turned down, even though they have top grades and should have been able to expect medical school places.

I think you can agree with me that students coming from countries such as Australia, Hong Kong, Canada and India with that kind of money at their disposal, are most likely to be from wealthy, well-connected families, and are unlikely to be planning to make a long-term contribution to the NHS workforce or make the UK their permanent home. They may stay long enough to complete their postgraduate training but my guess is that they will be returning to privileged positions back home just as soon as they can.

Posted in Op-eds | 7 Comments

Dodds: GPs could be forced to leave Wales

Yesterday in the Senedd, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds requested that the Welsh Government issues a statement on the possibility that 80 or 160 overseas trainee GPs in Wales may be forced to leave the country.

The request came as the Lib Dems revealed that across the border in England, 6.2 million people waited over eight days for a GP appointment in February, up 9 per cent on the previous month.

A report by the Welsh BMA GPs committee earlier this year highlighted that current Home Office rules implemented by Priti Patel and the Conservatives mean that individuals must have worked for five years under a Skilled Workers Visa in order to be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILTR).

This could result in 80 out of this year’s 160 GP trainees in Wales not being eligible to stay in the country under ILTR because of limited work opportunities at Welsh GP practices that serve as established Skilled Worker visa sponsors.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Cooper: NHS rocked by mental health tidal wave

The Liberal Democrats have warned the NHS is at breaking point after new figures uncovered a mental health crisis sweeping through staff across health services in the UK.

A Freedom of Information Request tabled by the Party to all NHS Hospital Trusts has revealed that there have been at least 8.3 million mental health sick days since 2017.

The number of mental health sick days has increased every year since 2017, with some Trusts seeing large increases during the pandemic years.

The terrible revelations show that in 2021 alone more than 2 million days were taken off sick by staff suffering from mental health issues – the equivalent of 6,041 years. Liberal Democrat analysis of the data taken from 67 Hospital Trusts shows that Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust has been hit, with a staggering 591,254 working days lost to mental illness.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Mandatory staff vaccines – No apology to sacked care home staff…

Embed from Getty Images

Not even an apology! – And I’m not referring to Boris Johnson’s statement on Sue Gray’s Report.

Boris did at least say the word “sorry”, even though it was an inadequate, half hearted “apology”. But Sajid Javid made no apology at all, when he made his statement in parliament announcing that the government was scrapping the policy of mandatory vaccines for NHS staff, and for staff in care homes and other care workers.

Around eighty thousand NHS staff would have been told, on February 3rd, that they would lose their jobs. Not for any wrongdoing or incompetence – many had an exemplary record over many years’ service – but just because they had declined to be vaccinated. Just for exercising their right to bodily autonomy, which had previously been accepted as a basic principle of medical ethics.

Around forty thousand care home staff had already been sacked, in November 2021. Care home managers were forced to sack excellent, much valued staff members, for no other reason than that they had made a decision not to be vaccinated. These care home staff found themselves without any income, just a few weeks before Christmas. Most of these people had been on very low incomes, and were unlikely to have much in the way of savings to fall back on.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 41 Comments

Javid snubs meeting with West Midlands ambulance trust – highlighting Tory neglect of North Shropshire NHS services

Embed from Getty Images

The Health Secretary Sajid Javid has ignored requests for a meeting with his local ambulance trust in the West Midlands, despite warnings that record delays are posing a “catastrophic risk” to patients in the region.

Board documents from the trust reveal that the Health Secretary was invited to a meeting over four months ago but has still not replied. It comes despite the local trust warning that record handover delays at the region’s hospitals are putting patients at risk of severe harm or even death, as it moved its risk rating to the highest possible level for the first time ever. The trust recently apologised to one 95-year old woman who was left waiting for 11 hours on the floor of her home for an ambulance with a suspected broken leg.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

Nearly two-thirds of Shropshire ambulances delayed at A&E – second worst performance in country

I am a health assistant in a GP practice in south Shropshire. We are working flat out to get everyone jabbed and catch up with the backlog of patients who had not recognised or reported their conditions during the long periods of lockdown and shielding. Further north in the county, the situation is no different and the county is getting worse with the onset of winter pressures.

GPs are overstretched across Shropshire. Hospitals are at capacity with 93% of adult general and acute beds occupied. Ambulance arrival times and transfer times are growing. Nearly two-thirds of 999 ambulances must wait for 30 minutes or more to hand over patients outside the county’s two A&Es. On one day recently, there were no ambulances available in the county. This is much worse than elsewhere and much worse than last year.

I am getting frightened by the growing delays in ambulances picking up patients transferring them into A&E. People in Shropshire needing time critical treatment have died while waiting for an ambulance or hospital transfer. This is a major issue in the North Shropshire by-election.

The handover times at the Royal Shrewsbury and Princes Royal Hospital A&Es are the second longest in England. Sixty three per cent of ambulances must wait for more than thirty minutes outside our A&Es before they can handover their patients.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Daisy Cooper: Ambulances are on high alert across England

A month ago Daisy Cooper submitted a question to the Government, and she has only just received a reply. Her question was:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many ambulance trusts have moved into REAP Level 4 in the last six weeks; and how many in total are at REAP Level 4 as at 22 October 2021.

REAP = Resource Escalation Action Plan. Level 4 is the highest level and indicates Extreme Pressure.

The response did arrive after this prompt:

In the last six weeks, all 11 English ambulance trusts have been at or moved to REAP Level 4. On 22 October 2021, all 11 ambulance trusts were at REAP Level 4.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

Moran: Introduce Health Data Trust to protect private medical data

Today, at their Conference, the Liberal Democrats have backed ambitious plans to safeguard private health data.

The party is calling for the establishment of a five-point ‘Health Data Charter’, which will set out key tests for whether data sharing is in the interest of the public and the NHS.

They also propose a ‘Sovereign Health Data Trust’, which would bring together experts, clinicians and patient representatives to oversee the implementation and observance of the new charter.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

No need to break any election pledges to fix social care

So, the Government is to pour more and more money into the first aid camp at the bottom of the cliff rather than building a fence at the top.

Yesterday’s announcement on the funding for social care does nothing to enhance the quality of life of older people or reduce the demand for hospital treatment or long-term care. 4/5th of the expenditure of the NHS is on older people, there are 1.8m older people living in poverty, with a correlation between income and demand upon the NHS in all age groups.

When campaigning for the abolition of the “retirement age”, which was responsible for a great deal of depression amongst older people many of whom were forced into retirement and condemned to spending the rest of their lives in poverty, I advocated that people should go on paying National Insurance whilst ever they were working, not to squander on more of the same as the Government now intends, but to increase the basic State Pension to enhance the lives of older people and reduce the demand for long term care.

The Netherlands with the highest pension in Europe spends 60% of its health budget on older people: Britain, with one of the lowest state pensions spends 80%. Increasing the basic state pension in line with many other European Countries, could be self-financing (needing only upfront pump priming) with no need to raise National Insurance or any other tax, by reducing demand for both hospital treatment and long-term care and enabling those who do need long term care to contribute more from their income, whilst still retaining their personal allowance, with no need to take savings or capital into account.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

That 3% rise for NHS staff in England

Lib Dems have been quick to respond to pay rise of 3% to NHS staff in England. Munira Wilson is our Health & Social Care Spokesperson and here she is challenging the Government in the Commons BEFORE the pay rise was announced:

Only a hour later she was tweeting:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 38 Comments

Hancock: Emergent class of rulebreakers are undermining government

Will he go or will he stay?

Can Hancock survive a sneaky snog and buttock fondle that took place at a time when he was telling us all to social distance?

Matt Hancock survived Dominic Cumming’s torpedoes and hell has no fury like a political adviser scorned. Hancock has the prime minister’s backing. Well, Johnson has had his own jolly japes.

But the media are howling for Hancock’s resignation. His behaviour and his future is bound to dominate tomorrow’s political circuit. As Ed Davey said yesterday, the real issue is Matt Hancock’s competence in his role as health secretary. Agreed. But there is growing anger among those told to obey pandemic isolation rules while ministers and advisers routinely ignore them.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

NHS pay rise of a measly 1% is too little to reward the health heroes of our nation

We have stood on the streets and applauded our front line NHS staff. We have wondered at their resilience in the biggest health crisis of our lifetimes. We have sympathised with them when they have fallen ill and with their families when they have died.

The reward health service workers will get for their efforts is a measly 1% pay rise. Ministers seem not to recognise that those who have worked themselves into exhaustion, taken on extra shifts, faced danger every working day need a boost. With tax allowances frozen, the lowest paid staff and frontline nurses should at least get the 2.1% pay rise they were promised.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 17 Comments

Waiting for the all clear

It’s great news that our wonderful NHS staff and volunteers are storming forward with the UK’s vaccination programme. Still, I worry about people being lulled into a false sense of security once they have had their first and even second jab.

Most of us will have had, or be getting, the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine. It has an efficacy rate of 70 percent compared to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s 95 percent. These efficacy rates are based on the trials and mark the difference between those who had the vaccine and those who had a placebo (a solution that wasn’t the vaccine). If there’s no difference between the vaccine and placebo groups, the efficacy is zero. If none of those who became sick had been vaccinated, the efficacy is 100 percent.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 55 Comments

We need to talk about the Healthcare workforce – again

So what’s changed since my last piece for LDV on this ten months ago? – nothing and everything, in a phrase, it’s got much worse.

Last March the fear of an unknown, rapidly spreading and possible deadly virus, the prospect of the NHS being overwhelmed; inadequate ventilators and ITU beds, terrifying pictures from Italy of a modern health system crumbling in front of our eyes and our own government indecisive and floundering, with no plan and even less preparedness, galvanised the NHS workforce as never before in living memory. Things happened fast; the NHS workforce rose to the challenge, found the energy, carried on under almost impossible odds, and paid the ultimate price.

I won’t recite all the twists and turns, everyone knows them very well, except to say that you can build all the Nightingale hospitals you want, but if you don’t have the skilled workforce to staff them, they are pretty useless.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Paul WalterPaul Walter
    Come on, Ed has poured his heart out in the most extraordinary way and the response is mainly mean-spirited stuff with no acknowledgement of the human side of E...
  • Russell
    If the tories have trashed the economy it's due to brexit, and more particularly the hard brexit imposed. Truss's mini budget certainly hurt the tories reputati...
  • Steve Trevethan
    Might the frequent/consistent use of overt and unstated “Austerity” be an indicator of the power of Neo-Liberal Socio-Economics? Ditto the policy of redu...
  • Mel Borthwaite
    Strange figures in this article - Shell made profits of £32.2 billion in 2022 (and not the £68 billion quoted). Worth pointing out that only 5% of Shell’s...
  • Andy Daer
    Regulators of the privatised utilities set allowed revenues (the price they can charge customers) for the water companies, but these are conditional on meeting ...