Tag Archives: NHS

NHS AIN’T AIR POLLUTION

bristoljam

The Reverend caused a minor scandal at a recent council meeting by appearing to ATTACK THE NHS when he responded to a petition from a couple of junior doctors DEMANDING ACTION on air pollution in the city.

He told the pair, “the NHS generates FIVE PER CENT OF ALL ROAD JOURNEYS IN THIS COUNTRY. This is from the NHS’s own numbers. They contribute 735 deaths through air pollution, they cost us 8,844 life years, contributing 85 deaths and 772 major injuries, and they create £650million-worth of demand on NHS services.”

The Reverend, presumably, is referring to such PLANET DESTROYING SPONGERS as health visitors, community nurses and occupational therapists. All NHS workers who regularly visit people in their homes to support, often complex, PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS. What’s the Reverend proposing here? That, in future, NHS patients crawl to their nearest health centre for treatment to reduce pollution?

If the Reverend’s concerned about the amount of car journeys made by public sector organisations, he could start NEARER TO HOME. How many car journeys are his adult care workers, social workers and OTs making? Is it significantly LESS THAN THIS ALLEGED FIVE PER CENT OF TRAFFIC courtesy of the NHS on our local roads? Maybe the Reverend could start targeting some of his own sick, dying and vulnerable and tell them to get on their bikes to lower the city’s pollution levels?

Alternatively, he could start with all those FREE PARKING SPACES he dishes out to fit and healthy COUNCILLORS and SENIOR BOSSES at the Council House. They all seem intensely relaxed about poisoning the rest of us because they can’t be arsed to walk, ride a bike or take a bus.

UNISON INACTION

AWP, the local NHS mental health trust, is SLASHING over 70 band 4 admin posts with a knock-on effect on the band 3 admin staff underneath them. AWP are predictably doing this to try and make up a funding deficit.

Targeting admin rather than clinical staff is a sneaky ploy from the bosses. They know that admin staff are less likely to be unionised and less likely to FIGHT BACK than the frontline staff. Make no mistake, though, admin workers are essential to the provision of services. These cuts will have a huge impact on the delivery of essential care in an already FAILING NHS trust.

Unison promised to FIGHT these cuts but, despite enthusiasm from the workers, their plans were underwhelming. They failed to adequately consult their membership on their plans and many of the affected staff were left feeling cynical, jaded and voiceless by the union that CLAIMS to represent them.

Unison promised a ‘DAY OF ACTION’ in early December against the job cuts. However, ‘action’ may be the wrong word here. What unison actually proposed was a TOKEN half-hour protest outside workplaces, with the not-insignificant caveat that members take this time out of their lunch breaks so that there would be no disruption to services and no stoppage of work. It is the staff – not the bosses – that are losing out.

This wasn’t an ‘action’ so much as a photo opportunity. One AWP employee described the ‘action’ as “like punching yourself in the face so you can show off the bruise”.

VIRGIN ‘CARE’

BARISTOLSAYS

After the suffering and sacrifice of World War 2 the British working class were determined not to return to the poverty, humility and ill health which were their lot before the war. Flexing their political muscle, the people achieved the nationalization of many industries, the establishment of a welfare state and a National Health Service providing free health care for all. Although not perfect, these were great advances for the British public. However, since the 1970’s the wealthy elite in this country have successfully fought a relentless war to overturn this social progress.

The Health and Social Care Act (2014) is the latest offensive in that war, designed to destroy one of the greatest achievements of that era – the NHS. Waiting to suck the lifeblood out of its destruction is today’s generation of profiteering spivs such as the smug, ego-maniac billionaire Richard Branson. As this issue of THE BRISTOLIAN highlights, Virgin Care (sic) are favourites to take over a large chunk of children’s health services in Bristol in the near future.

Virgin ‘care’ about siphoning off your money into offshore tax havens and into Richard Branson’s bank account, but they care little about our children’s health. By their nature, corporations such as Virgin exist for one purpose only – to make the maximum amount of profit possible. They achieve this by minimising every cost and maximizing every charge, regardless of the impact this has on human lives.

If we relinquish the running of our society to these uncaring organizations, then an uncaring society is the predictable outcome.

KIDS’ HEALTH SOLD TO WEALTHY HIPPY SHOCKER

branson
With the election safely out of the way, Tory efforts to privatise the NHS move smoothly up a gear.

Plans are now afoot by the North Bristol NHS Trust, who run Southmead Hospital,
to PRIVATISE the city’s Community Children’s Health Partnership (CCHP).

This is the part of the trust that runs Community Paediatricians, Children’s Therapists, Health Visitors, School Health Nurses and Children’s Mental Health Teams in the city and it’s a service crucial to the health and safety of our kids.

Not least because it is at the frontline of PREVENTION of ill health and abuse among children. Not that the Tories or their suited and booted wealthy little helpers running local hospital trusts give a toss about any of that.

The trust’s excuse for this privatisation is that they wish to focus on ‘acute services’. Although some very small bottom line savings and the awarding of public money favours to well-connected corporates also seem to underpin the plans.

Our information suggests that these services for kids in Bristol will be TENDERED OUT for about £28m over the next year and the favourites to get the contract are … Wait for it … VIRGIN Care!

Yes, that’s right, city health bosses want to make creepy billionaire weird beard RICHARD BRANSON responsible for your kids’ health!

Virgin describes 2014’s HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE ACT – which has opened the NHS to more private providers – as an “opportunity” and they are desperate to get their hands on this Bristol contract.

As the upstart private health business, despite having scooped 230 CONTRACTS worth £500m from the NHS already, is not yet showing signs of profit. However this could change if Virgin can achieve what’s called ‘market penetration’ and grab a large enough slice of a health market to benefit from economies of scale.

Virgin already has lucrative health contracts in Devon. So if they can expand into Bristol they’ll achieve the kind of regional ‘market penetration’ that spells cash and profit joy for Richard Branson and his family.

Adding to the sense of bargain basement RIP-OFF at the expense of our kids comes news that Virgin Care is not likely to be paying much tax on any profits made from NHS money any time soon either.

Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant at Tax Research UK, recently revealed that Virgin Care’s ultimate holding company, that’s dished out loans to the fledgling health company, is based in the Virgin Islands – a tax haven!

To be on the safe side and to ensure you avoid this toxic company, we strongly suggest readers make sure their kids don’t get ill in Bristol any more.

FRUIT & VEG SCHEME GONE BANANAS!

A reader has got in touch to tell us about the LUNACY surrounding the ‘Healthy Start’ programme, which is meant to ensure that less well-off mums can buy fruit, veg and milk.

To qualify you have to prove you’re not rich, that you claim certain benefits, and that you are either pregnant or have a young child. To do the last bit you need to get a signed note from your GP or health visitor.

Except thanks to CREEPING PRIVATISATION in the NHS, local surgeries can now charge you for this ‘service’, as our informant found out to her dismay.

The cost of a doctor’s note to claim £3.10 weekly vouchers? A whopping £30-£40.

“Outrageous!” is the polite way she put it…