If anyone was expecting the Government to show its appreciation for the NHS in the latest Budget they would have been sorely disappointed. Rishi Sunak’s budget said next to nothing about the NHS, and nothing about social care, despite NHS England and many others pressing hard for spending increases to put the NHS back on its feet, tackle backlog maintenance and reward staff for their extraordinary efforts during the Covid pandemic.
Behind the smiles and the silence was the Chancellor’s decision to slash COVID-19 funding to NHS England from £18 billion this year to just £3bn for 2021-22.
Of course what most hit the news was the miserly pay offer of 1% to NHS staff, a real slap in the face for all their sacrifices and dedication!
‘DISCRIMINATION IN THE NHS’- ESON Campaign Meeting – TUESDAY 16TH MARCH:
It’s our monthly online meeting next Tuesday and we will be discussing discrimination in the NHS, hearing updates on the vaccine rollout, mental health campaigning, the Peoples Covid Inquiry and what’s happening in our local NHS.
GUEST SPEAKER: James Skinner from MEDACT
The Covid Pandemic has certainly exposed the huge health inequalities that exist in society so we are really pleased that James Skinner from MEDACT, which campaigns against health inequalities, will be talking about the impact of discrimination and charging migrants for NHS treatment, and the newly launched ‘Vaccines for All’ Campaign. This should be a stimulating and informative discussion and will begin with a short video.
We would love to see more people get involved and new ideas, so please think about joining us, you will be very welcome.
Tuesday 16th March, 7.30pm. PLEASE CONTACT US TO BE SENT THE ZOOM LINK
Alia Butt, who spoke so well at our last campaign meeting, has just written a very interesting article on the Mental Health Crisis, which you can read here –
This continues to be the good news story thanks to the fantastic dedication of so many NHS staff and volunteers and seems to be a major factor in reducing hospital admissions and deaths. About 22.8 million people so far have had a first vaccine dose and more than 1.2 million have had a second.
The number of first doses administered each day has been steadily climbing since December – reaching more than 400,000 a day mid-February but has fallen off to 300,000 a day in March possibly due to a limited vaccine supply.
Across NW London by 21st February, 559,000 residents had received their first vaccination.
The latest figures we have been able to obtain for Ealing show:-
Care home residents – 85% vaccinated
Over 80s – 86% vaccinated
75-79 year olds -92% vaccinated
70-74 year olds – 96% vaccinated
65-69 year olds -86% vaccinated
60-64 year olds – 67% vaccinated
The lowest rates of uptake of the vaccine continue to be among the Black community.
All residents aged over 50, residents with a long-term underlying health condition, adult carers for older adults & those with disabilities, and residents with a learning disability will be offered vaccination by 15 April 2021.
I% wont pay the rent – pay our NHS workers what they deserve!
Sometimes a picture says it all really.
Billions of pounds can be handed out to Government cronies for failed PPE, Test & Trace and the barely used ‘Nightingale Hospitals’ but only an insulting 1% is available for NHS Staff who have certainly been giving their all to look after us!
According to the TUC (Trade Union Congress) if you take in to account inflation, the 1% pay offer means that for 2021/22, nurses’ pay would be £2500 less than in 2010, its £3330 less for paramedics and £850.00 less for porters. What a disgrace!
Is it any wonder there are 100,000 NHS vacancies, 40,000 of which are nurses?
A huge Pay campaign is growing led by nurses and they need our support.
You can support them by signing and circulating the Petition calling for a 15% pay rise- already over 500,000 people have signed.
Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) has been holding a fascinating ‘Peoples Covid Inquiry’. KONP quite rightly does not think we can wait for the Government, who claim of course that “it’s not the right time”. However, the Government do think it’s the right time to hold yet another NHS reorganisation involving cuts and privatisation.
Like most of us, KONP believes the high level of UK deaths was avoidable. We all deserve to know what happened. How on earth could it be too soon to start learning lessons about this crisis?
The Peoples Covid Inquiry Panel Members are:
Michael Mansfield QC (chair), Professor Neena Modi, Dr Jacky Davis and Lorna Hackett Barrister (Counsel to the Inquiry)
The first two sessions asked: ‘How well was the NHS prepared?’ and ‘How did the Government respond?’ and were watched by thousands of people. They were absolutely riveting.
Two Thirds of the Public think Lives could have been Saved!
According to a recent ‘Survation Poll’ – commissioned by campaigning groups Keep Our NHS Public and We Own It, 66% of the public believe that some of the more than 100,000 lives lost could have been saved, compared to only 18% of those who disagreed. A total of 16% said they didn’t know.
The Polls also show that the public overwhelmingly believe the government’s privately run Covid test-and-trace system has been a failure. Just 29 % of the public think the privatised Test & Trace System has been successful, compared to 60 % who say it is going badly. The complete opposite is true for the vaccines, with 80 per cent of people saying the NHS vaccine drive is going well, compared to just 13% who say it is going badly.
The obvious difference is that the vaccinations are organised run by NHS and local authority staff, while the Test and Trace is ‘organised’ by cowboys from Serco etc.
49 surgeries (500,000 patients) have just been taken over by OPEROSE, who are the UK subsidiary of US health corporation – CENTENE. Operose have bought out ‘AT Medical’ a private company which currently runs these 49 London based surgeries. In the last 5 years ‘AT Medical’ made £35 million profit – money which should have been spent on patient care! The CCGs have to formally approve this change of ownership – but they are not known for their backbone!
In North West London ‘AT Medical’ have two surgeries in Brent, two in Hammersmith & Fulham and four in K&C.
In January 2020 Centene formed Operose bringing together its two UK companies, Simplify Health and the Practice Group. The latter were awarded Ealing’s Community Ophthalmology (eye disease) Services, so this means it is now also now run by Operose!
A coalition including Keep Our NHS Public’, 999 Call for the NHS, and Doctors in Unite has come together to try and get the change of control blocked by local CCGs and have written to Matt Hancock asking for a CQC investigation.
Making sense of the Government new Health & Care Bill?
Explaining and understanding the various NHS re-organisations is often quite a challenge! Certainly this is true for the latest shake up and the new ‘Integrated Care Systems’ which will control the budgets for all our local NHS services and possibly Social Care too!
Hopefully this article will be helpful in explaining these changes and the increased risk of privatisation.
170,000 Migrant NHS worker left without Immigration Security:
Our migrant healthcare workers who have been an essential part of the NHS during this pandemic and putting their lives at risk to help others are being treated appallingly by the Government. Most of the 170,000 migrants who work in the NHS have to re-apply every year for 5 years for a visa.
Due to the pandemic the Government extended all visas until March 2021 – but has made no further announcement to extend them further. That leaves these workers no choice but to leave the UK or spend hundreds of pounds and weeks applying for new visas. Now a widely supported Private Members Bill to remove the insecurity by giving these workers indefinite leave to remain has had its Second Reading cancelled by the Government.