Thursday, March 11, 2010

Privatise everything says UKIP

UKIP will privatise all services and scrap PCTs and SHA replacing them with elected boards. Scary stuff, thankfully they won't get into power! Not sure about their concept of democracy either. This is the quote from the Health Service Journal:
    The draft health manifesto, seen exclusively by HSJ, says PCTs and SHAs would be replaced with elected county health boards made up of health professionals. They would tender all services through franchise agreements, which private companies, charities, cooperatives and legally recognised organisations could bid for, but all state owned assets would be retained. Patients who wished to opt out of the NHS would be given “health credit vouchers” to spend on a private healthcare plan.
The voucher thinggumy is bizarre too. If the services are privatised why would a voucher to go private be of use?

Of course, as everyone knows the private sector is expensive, unaccountable and inefficient. Let's hope people will understand the damage UKIP could do to our national treasure!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

NHS market reforms are not linked with better care

This headline is in this week's Health Service Journal:
    Analysis concluded that although waiting times have shortened, and patient access and provider efficiency have improved, much of this can be attributed to greater funding and the use of targets, rather than the introduction of the purchaser/provider split.

Of course the Greens have been saying this for years, health care is a service not a commodity...

Time to the purchaser / provider split!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Should nurse pledge the allegiance to compassion?

Yesterday's announcement by the Prime Minister's Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery which calls for nurses and midwives to "renew their pledge to society to provide compassionate care" is patronising, insulting and inappropriate. The pledge is designed to restore public trust in the NHS, but as the public are very aware it is the over emphasis on targets, finance and privatisation which is destroying public trust. Last week's Mid Staffordshire report highlighted a lack of governance at board level far more than a lack of desire to care by nurses.
Nurses and midwives do not need to renew a pledge to society, they need to be allowed to do the job they were trained to do. This means ensuring that there are enough of them to cope with the increasing demands in hospitals and in communities - something that Labour have failed to do.
Calling for nurses to pledge compassion will alienate many committed and hard working staff. Nurses understand the value of care and people trust nurses to deliver care compassionately. People do not trust the over emphasis on targets, they are losing trust in managers' ability to provide adequate support and they do not trust Labour's drive to commercialise the NHS.
If the NHS is to restore trust in its service, it needs to provide assurance that public and staff concerns are listened to at the highest levels - and that they are acted on. It also needs to kick the increasing commercialisation and treat health care as a service not a commodity.