Saturday, June 30, 2007

Peak Oil and health care

Peak oil, where the supply of oil plateaus in contrast to continually rising demand, should be exercising politician's mind across the world, however we hardly hear about it. We are probably hitting peak oil now and the Australians (ASPO) have released and excellent paper on the effects on health care.

One of the key concerns is the centralisation of services and will affect access by patients in the face on increasing costs of transport.

This is a quote from ASPO:
"There has been for years an increasing trend to centralise services which is driven by:
• The cost of resources, the need to minimise duplication and to extract maximum use from equipment and institutions with huge capital and operating costs.
• Medico-legal pressure to have as many services as possible provided in centres of excellence with expertise in uncommon conditions.
• Shortages of qualified staff

This process is continuing and gathering pace, it must be reassessed in the light of peak oil. The NHS in the UK is currently proposing to downgrade facilities at a wide range of hospitals and relocate them to Super- Hospitals to save money. Even at present levels of fuel prices and within the existing limits of mobility, this proposal is causing alarm. The added impact of peak oil will tragically show this to be a lethal and short sighted error of judgement."

Dr Paul Roth has an excellent blog which is a must read.

Friday, June 22, 2007

NHS Emissions

The New Economic Foundation have got their teeth into the NHS. From the BBC:

"Each year, the UK's health service spends £400m on energy and emits about one million tonnes of carbon, think tank New Economics Foundation said.
"Its NHS Confederation-commissioned report said 5% of UK road transport emissions were from NHS-related trips.
"Staff, patients and visitors travelled almost 25 billion passenger miles in 2001, predominately by cars and vans.
"Waste was also an area for concern: "One in every 100 tonnes of domestic waste generated in the UK comes from the NHS, with the vast majority going to landfill."

5% of journeys are related to the NHS... yet the NHS continually moves towards centralised services in the name of clinical safety and operational efficiency.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A New Prescription for the NHS?

Keep Our NHS Public

A New Prescription for the NHS?
Public Meeting

Can Gordon Brown solve the problems of the NHS once and for all?
As Prime Minister he will confront a service in the midst of major reform, much of which is controversial and lacks any evidence to say that it will work. So what are the alternatives for the NHS? We are all crying out for a lasting solution.

What is working and which polices should be scrapped?
How can we make the most of the strengths of our NHS?
Are we heading in the right direction, and what can we learn from other countries?

Speakers include...
Frank Dobson MP
Stuart Jeffery (Green Party health spokesperson)
Norman Lamb MP (Liberal Democrat health spokesperson)
Neal Lawson (Compass)

The time and the place...
July 24th 2007, 7.00pm, Grand Committee Room, House of Commons

To register simply email your registration request and details to us (see below). There is no charge, but if you can, we ask you to make a donation towards the cost.

Please tell us the following...
Organisation/group (if applicable)
Post code
Number of places required

Email your registration request to... or

Or send your details to...
NHS Support Federation
Community Base
113 Queens Road

Tel: 01273 234822