Archive | February, 2013

The NHS Ripped Apart!

25 Feb


Not so very long ago I wrote a blog piece on the Clinical Commissioning groups, which come into effect on 1st April 2013.  (Open your eyes and see what is happening to our NHS!)  I haven’t written for a while, I have been busy campaigning, protesting and trying to battle my own health at the same time, but looking at social media recently, its prompted this post from me now.

I have warned many people over many months about the stark warnings on our NHS,  the issues South London NHS Trust were facing, and at the end of January 2013 Hunt rubber stamped Matthew Kershaw’s recommendations and the break up of our trust began.  Last week, actually it was Thursday 21st February 2013, I heard the news that Bexley are going to lose their Community Diabetic Nursing Team.  Diabetes is on the increase, and many have been discharged from hospital consultant care (save money) and put under the care of the community diabetic team, this piece of news will leave many in the area with no treatment at all, and will have a devastating impact on patient care and people’s lives.  With Clinical commissioning groups fast approaching on us patients won’t be able to expect the GP’s to be there to see or treat them.

The BMA  has responded to the government’s proposals to make sweeping changes to the English GP contract from April 2013.  As well as an analysis of funding implications for GP’s practices and  the workload the GP’s will be coping with after 1st April, the BMA submission contains interim findings from a survey of GP’s in England with nearly 8,000 responses.

The GP’s will be facing a range of targets that will divert time and resources from treating patients in their practices towards the work of the Clinical Commissioning groups, administrative work, tick boxing, and a increase in workload responsibilities in clinical areas, as more resources are placed in the community and away from a hospital setting.

A GP will be carrying out minor operations in the surgery, diagnostic testing (bloods etc) and this will take away from the time the GP can actually spend with a patient in a consultation, they simply will not have the time to give you, and as you are finding now, you can’t get an appointment with a GP for nearly a month in many areas, (well they are busy within the CCG’s a couple of days a week listening to the likes of KPMG, McKinsey and their staff showing them glossy brochures and telling them how it is going to be.) Hence why you cannot get an appointment with them. But,  the GP’s will not have much time to give to the CCG’s as they will be practising medicine, carrying out their new clinical roles in the surgery, thus paving the way for the private health care companies to make all the clinical decisions, (managers and civil servants, not doctors,) GP’s will not be included in the clinical decisions and will not be able to challenge the decisions companies like McKinsey make as these companies have a huge department of lawyers who will block every challenge the GP’s will make, and well these companies have a hell of a lot of money, and very deep pockets, and the GP’s cannot compete with that.  Everything will  be rubber stamped.  Deal done!

Don’t think that the GP’s will be able to talk about it, sorry, but no, under the clinical Commissioning Group Constitution that each GP practice had to sign up to, they had to sign legal agreements saying they had to get written permission from each person from the clinical commissioning board before they said anything at all, and, they have to all be in agreement as to what that person says about the CCG.   That will not happen as well they do not want bad press do they, so they have been GAGGED.  Don’t think for a minute that us minions (we are called patients/members of the public) can challenge the decisions the CCG’s will make as they will all make these decisions behind closed doors and bang, deal done, and by the time we find out, you will find they are well into the process of implementing their decisions from that meeting.

Now the CCG’s are going to be made up of non executive clinicians (civil servants to you and me, who do not have the foggiest what the patient requirements are, the GP’s, KPMG reps, and yes, your local councilor representative, and the least said about the local councilor who sits on my CCG the better really,  they are in the process of market testing supported housing for people with learning disabilities at this moment in time in my area  and sending it out sourcing it to other contractors and privatizing everything and closing these houses down and shoving over 40 people on to the streets and make them homeless  if they get their way.  I along with a group of other local campaigners are trying to stop them, and forced a full council meeting on this issue with a hard campaign, thank you local Unite for your support on this.

Another local councilor who shall remain nameless and I locked horns in November 2012 when I challenged the council over CCG’s and they thought “The Clinical Commissioning groups are a great idea”  Really?  What, gagging GP’s, privatizing our services, and stopping people from having treatment they so desperately need?  A good idea?  Well I always new the Tories lived on the furthest planet from the sun, and came down and invaded, and here it is confirmed along with many other disastrous decisions they have made since they came in.   No one in their right mind would see the CCG’s as a good idea, people with sense would be alarmed with their remit and stopping patients having treatment,  they are a disaster awaiting.  Don’t forget the government wants the NHS to shave £20bn off it’s budget by 2014, oh yes so you can see how many services we will lose and in swoop all the private companies, as the new NHS regulations bought in recently which will hand the private companies all contracts to the NHS on a plate in a come and get it the NHS is yours!  Privatise!

Let’s face it Bevan fought the Tories from the birth on the NHS, the Tories never wanted the NHS, and David Cameron called the NHS a “soviet style calamity” and wanted all staff  in the NHS on local pay and conditions.  The Tories hate the NHS, and let’s not forget shall we the vested financial interests that over 140 members of the House of Lords and over 60 MP’s in the House of Commons has in private health care companies, is it any wonder that the NHS and Social Care Bill went through on roller-skates?  Of course not!  They profit!  The NHS doesn’t make them money, private health care does…..its’ all about profits and money at the expense of your care, your treatment.  We are in a battle for the NHS survival, and within a month it will NOT be the NHS you know right now.

With the responses received from the survey that the BMA included as their response to the governments proposals here are some figures for you.  Almost six out of ten (58% of GP’s ) said they expected to have to make changes to the services within their practices to compensate for the government’s proposals.

Of this group, just over half (54% said the practice would have to reduce access to patients).

Of those respondents, nine out of ten (91%) said they would not be able to see patients for routine appointments as quickly as they currently do, (if they call waiting three weeks for an appointment quick), while seven out of ten (72%) thought they would have to reduce the number of consultations offered to free up time for their new responsibilities.

A similar number (75%) expected to reduce the range of services offered to patients.

In addition, out of this group, eight out of ten (82%) expected to make changes to staff working hours or employment.  Of these, roughly one in five (22%) expect to make clinical staff redundant and over a third (35%) would have to lay off admin staff.

Here is something for you to think about an average practice will lose £31,100 a year in funding from 2014/15 (remember earlier and the £20bn to come off the NHS Budget by 2014?) owing to changes that make it more difficult for practices to achieve funding through the QoF and other budgetary changes.

Some practices will see their budget cut even further as alterations are made to other funding streams designed to fund GP practices with complex patient populations (talked about this in my piece open your eyes and see what is happening to your NHS!  How a practice with say 6500 patients on their books can by stopping a patient from having any hospital treatment will get £4 a patient for doing so in some areas, and this money does not have to go to improving the patient care services, but oh no on GP salaries, so make sure when that GP denies you the trip to hospital, whose interests is it in?  Talk about a conflict of interest, again the lure of money will be too great, and they will have targets to meet so they can make more money if they meet their targets, and a GP is supposed to do no harm and not deny the patient the treatment and care they need, (that will be destroyed and so will the patient-GP relationship, who will trust a GP and whether they have your best interests at heart once this gets going?)

Dr Laurence Buckman, Chair of the GP committee, warned; “The changes will make it difficult for practices to maintain the level of care they currently offer while introducing an even greater focus on targets and tick boxing at the expense of holistic, patient-centred primary care.

Now you can see why I am worried, this is what this government are doing to YOUR NHS, Yes, your NHS, we all use it, we have to try and help defend it, before it is too late.  My fear is, am afraid it already is too late for the NHS!

Protestor Poet xx