NHA Party unveil 10-point plan to protect the NHS


4:18 am - July 13th 2013

by Newswire    


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Suspending the closure of A&E departments, repealing the government’s NHS reforms and reinstating the NHS as the preferred provider of health care are among the measures in a 10-point plan announced this week by the National Health Action Party.

The new political party, launched by doctors and health care professionals, will be fielding candidates at the 2015 general election.

The say the 10 point plan is to re-instate, protect, and improve the NHS.

1. Repeal the Health and Social Care Act to restore the NHS as a publicly delivered and publicly accountable comprehensive healthcare system. The most practical solution is to back Lord Owen’s NHS re-instatement bill, which we fully support.

2. Re-instate the NHS as the preferred provider of healthcare. This will protect the NHS as a public service by minimising private sector takeover of NHS services

3. Abolish the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Renegotiate and buy out contracts at realistic value.
Any publicly owned banks must cancel PFI contracts before re-privatisation. Stop and reverse the outsourcing of clinical and support services related to PFI projects.

4. Moratorium on A+E and hospital closures. Any reconfigurations must be clinically, not financially driven, and must show they have won public and professional support for alternative, improved services

5. Reduce the Department of Health’s reliance on expensive external management consultants who have too much influence on health policy. Instead the DH should re-engage with the representative bodies of frontline NHS professionals, as well as patient groups, to develop and plan future NHS policy in the most clinically effective and sustainable manner

6. Ensure evidenced-based adequate staff to patient ratios in order to maintain safe, effective, and high quality patient care

7. Improve accountability and transparency of the NHS by: a) bringing back Community Health Councils (CHCs) and combining them with external peer review of hospitals and GP practices; b) Reviewing and strengthening the NHS complaints process and improving the ease of access, and protection for whistle blowers

8. Use the purchasing power (monopsony status) of the NHS to improve NHS procurement practices in order to reduce costs of drugs, medical devices and general supplies.

9. Strongly focus on dealing with the social determinants of health, such as poverty, wealth inequalities, unemployment, poor housing, social exclusion, lack of child care etc. Prioritise public health and social care.

10. Exempt the NHS from the EU/US Free Trade Agreement, which otherwise threatens to open up our healthcare system to irreversible privatisation by large multinational corporations

Longer term plan – abolish the destructive, divisive and expensive purchaser-provider split

More info on their website: www.nationalhealthaction.org.uk

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Reader comments


A bit late, an uphill struggle, but very welcome. If they can do politics they could displace a few MPs in marginal seats.

And what would it cost? Would it be 10% cheaper or 10% more expensive? If it will cost more, where will the money come from?

3. the a&e charge nurse

[3] ‘what would it cost’ – less than the US, Germany, France and Switzerland as it always has.

Are you the sort of person that would like to introduce a taximeter whenever a patient receives dialysis, or goes under the knife.

@4

Do you have the costings to support your claim? Will it cost more or less than the NHS does currently?

I think no.s 3 & 10 are going to be difficult to implement. Do any publicaly owned banks actual run PFI contracts?

5. the a&e charge nurse

@5

You have provided a report on health spending in 2012. The question asked by JC was whether the Op’s proposals would cost more or less than the current cost of the NHS.

That has still to be answered.

7. Churm Rincewind

@ 6: These proposals must, by definition, cost more.

See point (4) “Moratorium on A+E and hospital closures. Any reconfigurations must be clinically, not financially driven, and must show they have won public and professional support for alternative, improved services.”

So in an area of declining population, the proposal is that services must not be cut because that would be a financial not a clinical decision, and it presumably goes without saying that services must be increased in areas of increasing population.

8. Charlieman

I reject the propositions because they are just a new form of managerialism. Let’s take:

“8. Use the purchasing power (monopsony status) of the NHS to improve NHS procurement practices in order to reduce costs of drugs, medical devices and general supplies.”

There is a presumption in that statement that some NHS purchasers are foolish/incompetent/corrupt which causes them to buy overpriced goods. But what if the central command structure of the NHS denies the possibility to make appropriate decisions?

It is common for a public body to issue a tender which requires that a potential supplier has already served a contract of equal value to another organisation. In other words: to do a £500,000 deal with me, you must have done a £500,000 deal with somebody else. How do you get inside such a structure, or is it that you should always be outside?

“6. Ensure evidenced-based adequate staff to patient ratios in order to maintain safe, effective, and high quality patient care”

When the evidenced-based staff/skill distribution of carers doesn’t work, when an unfortunate family loses a member, what is to be said?

Option 1: Government calculated the odds, accordingly distributing experts across the UK. One expert is allegedly replaceable by another. For the deceased person and family, premature demise is regarded as a statistical blip.

Option 2: Treat health/social care workers and patients as human beings. Allow hospital managers to make decisions that are appropriate to the locale. Do not treat doctors and nurses as fungible objects. Use stats carefully and recall that NHS care should be about people.

Options 1 and 2 are exclusive.

9. the a&e charge nurse

[6] JC did not identify a comparitor against which to measure any increase or decrease but it is well known the NHS costs less, and always hs done compared to most other states in western europe.

Assuming we are still committed to a universal and equitable system the trend on health care spending is almost certainly going to increase given the advent of medical technologies, patterns of chronic diseases and increased life expectancy.

[8] Charlieman – better staff/patient ratios does not guarantee ideal care in all cases but whenever a NHS horror story emerges lack of skills, or adequate staff numbers is a common theme.

10. the a&e charge nurse

According to our Andy “Too many hospitals across England are sailing dangerously close to the wind by operating below safe staffing levels” – Burnham urged ministers to accept the recommendation of Robert Francis QC’s report into Mid Staffs that the NHS should introduce benchmarks on staffing.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/apr/18/nhs-staff-levels-risk-scandal

Mind you, the DoH prefers ‘voluntary’ staffing levels – now given the invidious relationship between demand, cost and competition it is perhaps not surprising that minimal ratios, augmented by agency staff seems to have become de rigueur in many struggling Trusts?

11. Charlieman

@9. the a&e charge nurse: “better staff/patient ratios does not guarantee ideal care in all cases but whenever a NHS horror story emerges lack of skills, or adequate staff numbers is a common theme.”

I acknowledge your profession and acquired knowledge of how the NHS works. I’m very pleased that you discuss NHS change in a positive way. But the NHA Party idea seems to be about carrying on as before, with more money to do so.

NHS managers try to solve any problem by applying more experts. By definition, an expert is a rare individual, 20 of them in the UK at a guess. If 200 people have the same ability and knowledge, the expert signal is diminished. The 20 greatest will either retire or raise the admission qualification for club membership.

The number of experts is fewer than of hospital trusts. Outside London, it is improbable that a trust employs an expert in every discipline. If you are treated by a specialist, care will most likely be provided by a member of the 200 member club (or the 500 member club).


Care for the elderly concerns NHS managers. And us citizens. The problem with old people is that they don’t normally contract measles, which might be treated as a singular complaint for young people. Old people, treated at home and in hospital, suffer from several conditions. Medics have to understand all of them a bit (sufficient to go home and read a text book). Treatment of old people requires skilled generalists.


The most general medical study is veterinary science. Should you wish to become a vet, it is best that you pick your parents to be vets. Entry qualifications for the degree study require that participants were locum vets: how did you deliver the foal?

So loads of young people study human medicine, which was not their first choice. The positive aspect is that they identify as generalists.

12. the a&e charge nurse

Who’dve thunk it – ‘hospitals at the centre of a major review into the safety of NHS care all had “inadequate” nursing staff levels. Sir Bruce Keogh was tasked with reviewing care at 14 hospitals which had higher than expected mortality rates. The report said: “Statistical analysis performed showed a high correlation between in-patient to staff ratio and a high hospital standardised mortality rates score”. When the review teams visited the hospitals, they found frequent examples of inadequate numbers of nursing staff in some ward areas.’

The 14 organisations were all now carrying out “urgent reviews of safe staffing levels” – ha, ha, ha, urgent review ….. dear, oh dear, what would any of us do without the likes of Lord Keogh to tells shit really is shit.
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/low-nursing-staff-levels-to-blame-for-high-hospital-death-rates-reveals-report-8711125.html

13. Planeshift

“Will it cost more or less than the NHS does currently?”

As the plan involves spending more on public health and social care then in the long run no. It is cheaper to keep people out of hospital, and it is cheaper if when they do need hospital treatment the patient spends a week in hospital rather than a month in hospital (which will happen if infections start rising because of low staffing levels).

The problem most right wingers and tories have is they are too thick to see the health service as part of a wider service that involves social care, the quality of housing, and wider social policy that impacts on the health of people.

Even in the more direct sense, the health service can only function properly when social care services are adequete and enable people to be discharged into the community. Otherwise you get bed blocking, flow through the system is reduced and you store up problems for later when people are kept inactive inside hospitals rather than help them to live independantly (aboliton of DLA also comes under this false economy) . Hence it is absolutely pointless to protect the health budget whilst inflicting devastating cuts on local authorities which inevitably translates into poorer social care. Indeed the cuts to local authorities is a major reason why the health service has experienced massive demand. Either you protect spending on health and social care as a combined budget, or you are not protecting health full stop.

So the answer is that in the long run the NHA will be cheaper than if we continue the pointless and futile policy of protecting spending on hospital treatment and drugs manufactured by tory donors at the expense of social care and wider public health measures. (which also should include unemployment seeing as long term unemployment has the same effects on somebody’s health as smoking 40 a day).

14. PottyTraining

“D-DAY FOR THE NHS Tomorrow is D-Day for the NHS. A damning 1500-page report on failings at 14 NHS hospital trusts will be published. Written by Sir Bruce Keogh”

DD=44 Masonic symbolism for skullduggery!
Where the D-Day landings were near Cherbourg, is the home turf of Robert The Bruce > Bruce Keogh (symbolism

Robert the Bruce > Saltire > St Andrews (Andy Burn-em symbolic of)>Scottish Masons

Extrapolate > Bruce is also spelt Brusse, Brux

>> European Masonic rip-off is carried out from
Brux-elles, Brusse_ls > sprouts > “greenest Govt ever”

They designed all this to happen to force privatisation of NHS.
They Kill thousands in Hospitals cos they are Satanist Zionist-Masonics-Common Purpose(management layers inserted)
They hate you with every vile breath in thei bodies. They treat the population like animals-Cattle as out of faux-Jewish Tal-mud(feet(foundation) of clay)

15. PottyTraining

“D-DAY FOR THE NHS Tomorrow is D-Day for the NHS. A damning 1500-page report on failings at 14 NHS hospital trusts will be published. Written by Sir Bruce Keogh”

DD=44 Masonic symbolism for skullduggery!
Where the D-Day landings were near Cherbourg, is the home turf of Robert The Bruce > Bruce Keogh (symbolism

Robert the Bruce > Saltire > St Andrews (Andy Burn-em symbolic of)>Scottish Masons

Extrapolate > Bruce is also spelt Brusse, Brux

>> European Masonic rip-off is carried out from
Brux-elles, Brusse_ls > sprouts > “greenest Govt ever”

They designed all this to happen to force privatisation of NHS.
They Kill thousands in Hospitals cos they are Satanist Zionist-Masonics-Common Purpose(management layers inserted)
They hate you with every vile breath in their bodies. They treat the population like animals-Cattle as out of faux-Jewish Tal-mud(feet(foundation) of clay)


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