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UK politics - Hamsterwheel

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UK politics - Hamsterwheel

Old 10th Jan 2018, 19:54
  #13441 (permalink)  
 
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Watching PMQs today became very tedious and a little nauseating. Whenever tricky questions were asked such as "what are you going to do about staff shortages?" or "why has this or that been cut?", responses invariably began with something along the lines of how much we all value our fabulous NHS staff etc. This was repeated over and over with the original question never being answered.
In the Opposition debate that followed on the NHS, I was quite disappointed at Caroline Spelman telling a lie in the chamber. One would expect better from the MP who seems to represent God in the House. She stated that the opposition were lying when they said the Tories planned to privatise the NHS. Well, tomorrow I am going for a 2nd spot of physio on a duff shoulder. Am I going to the brilliant North Hants Hospital's physio department? No. I have to go (note 'have to'; not my choice) to Virgin Healthcare. If I want my shoulder fixed that is my only choice since the local NHS group were forced to enter a deal with Beardy. Looking into this, I was disappointed to find Virgin have deals up and down the land and court cases seem to be growing around their disputes with the various health care providers they are contracted to.
And Dame Spelman tells me that Labour are the ones telling porkies!
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 10:11
  #13442 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
In the Opposition debate that followed on the NHS, I was quite disappointed at Caroline Spelman telling a lie in the chamber. One would expect better from the MP who seems to represent God in the House. She stated that the opposition were lying when they said the Tories planned to privatise the NHS.
I think she’s absolutely correct.

To accuse the government of “privatising” the NHS (which Labour do frequently) is thoroughly dishonest. And given the fact that the Labour Party themselves were responsible for handing over swathes of the NHS to the private sector, thoroughly hypocritical as well.

The public very clearly want a universal state backed health service, and no government of any colour is ever going to go against that sentiment – to do so would be political suicide.

There is, of course, a difference between privatisation and outsourcing. Perhaps a more valid and meaningful debate would focus on the extent to which outsourcing of NHS services is desirable and effective.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 10:27
  #13443 (permalink)  
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There is a private healthcare company in our building doing minor day procedures such as cataracts and the like for the local NHS - I gather that the idea is to free up consulting, theatre and recovery space in Mayday hospital for more complicated procedures such as heart surgey and so forth.

I don't know if they use the same surgeons as the NHS - I had a cartilage op done privately a few years ago and my consultant told me he worked two days a week at Mayday and three privately; there was no way Mayday could accommodate his specialism full time.

My operation was done through the company healthcare scheme at no cost to the NHS other than getting a referral from my GP, who had told me they were unable to fund the necessary MRI scan and I'd have to live with the problem. This under a 10 year old Labour Government!

In order to cope with burgeoning demands on its services, Mayday Hospital is in serious need of major redevelopment which would certainly require huge investment and, I suspect, a new site. PS, full marks to Mayday for the care they gave my late mum during the last three years of her life.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 10:30
  #13444 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Andy_S View Post
I think she’s absolutely correct.

To accuse the government of “privatising” the NHS (which Labour do frequently) is thoroughly dishonest. And given the fact that the Labour Party themselves were responsible for handing over swathes of the NHS to the private sector, thoroughly hypocritical as well.

The public very clearly want a universal state backed health service, and no government of any colour is ever going to go against that sentiment – to do so would be political suicide.

There is, of course, a difference between privatisation and outsourcing. Perhaps a more valid and meaningful debate would focus on the extent to which outsourcing of NHS services is desirable and effective.
Ah, so she was being "dishonest " was she ?...

True, no political party would dare to fully privatise the NHS, that as you say would be political suicide, but, lets not forget the Tory party have an unswerving allegiance to privatisation and, as such, are more than capable of introducing this by stealth.....



https://www.theguardian.com/society/...th-outsourcing

Labours PFI schemes were exactly the most astute piece of political policy either, but, they are correct in identifying the incremental and insidious effects process of privatisation.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 11:46
  #13445 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Prophead View Post
I would say the public just want it to be free at point of service. Which it currently is.

The public also want the following, which it mostly isn't.

Seen quickly when visiting
Not having to wait all day for a consultant to get round to seeing you so you can leave
modern facilities
Clean hospital
quiet ward with edible food if staying over night.
Well paid nurses.

It would seem to me that the funding side is the only part that needs to be government run and the actual medical side would benefit from being privatised. Surely there could be a way to make this work?
So what you're suggesting is something like turning the hospitals into the equivalent of a "Travel Lodge " where the Gov't pays for the room when you check in and thereafter you pay for everything else. That should have universal voter appeal.

And quite how would privatising the medical side suddenly transform the NHS ?

Of course, we could invest in training, and paying, medical professionals accordingly. And we could also take a long hard look, with a view to their disposal, of those involved in "management " roles within the NHS / Trusts and hospitals. It's generally the case most deficiencies within a system or organisation begin and end with administrators.

Last edited by Krystal n chips; 11th Jan 2018 at 11:57.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 11:47
  #13446 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps my memory is failing but I do remember times when the NHS, under Labour, were obliged to temporarily contract outside sources to relieve pressure on NHS services. I say 'outside sources' as I am sure some services were even contracted from European sources.
Anyway, while I agree that the introduction of PFI was a major cock up which our children will be paying for for some years yet, the introduction of temporary contracts in order to relieve huge backlogs (which may have been inherited from the previous crowd?) makes some sense.
On the other hand to deny that contracting out huge swathes of NHS services is privatisation should be membership qualification for the flat earth society. We are not talking about a few thousand quid here and there. To rub salt into any wounds, Virgin Care sued the NHS, Surrey Council and others for £2Million last year because they lost out on a contract that was subsequently awarded to an NHS consortium.
The answer to the whole thing is to stop donating NHS cash to Mr. Beardy and giving it to fund the salaries, developments etc that the NHS needs.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 12:10
  #13447 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Prophead View Post
I would say the public just want it to be free at point of service. Which it currently is.
But, it isn't.

For someone to get something for free, someone else has had to pay for it.

As long as people are offered, and accept this dishonesty, the downward spiral will continue.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 12:19
  #13448 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
On the other hand to deny that contracting out huge swathes of NHS services is privatisation should be membership qualification for the flat earth society. We are not talking about a few thousand quid here and there.
So what about all the drugs the NHS purchases? The expensive and sophisticated equipment? The hospital beds? GP’s surgeries? All procured from the private sector, which is therefore making money out of NHS funding, at a cost of billions……..

Let’s get real. The NHS depends on products and services purchased from the private sector. Does that count as privatisation?
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 12:19
  #13449 (permalink)  
 
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Of course it should be privatised look what private ownership has done for the railways and utility companies-all of which put the customer first. It is just what the NHS needs, after all, users of all those services are completely happy with the service and costs involved with those industries and the dedication shown to public service by their managements
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 12:22
  #13450 (permalink)  
 
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I dont get the issue. People are quite happy to take drugs supplied by the private sector or use an MRI machine supplied by the private sector but you cant use a Nurse from the private sector..

Last edited by Jet II; 11th Jan 2018 at 13:18.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 12:23
  #13451 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
Of course it should be privatised look what private ownership has done for the railways and utility companies-all of which put the customer first. It is just what the NHS needs, after all, users of all those services are completely happy with the service and costs involved with those industries and the dedication shown to public service by their managements
ah, we all miss the sunny uplands of British Rail

How sweet..
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 12:52
  #13452 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Jet II View Post
People are quite happy to take drugs supplied by the private sector or use an MRI machine supplied by the private sector but you cant use a Nurse..
This is the thing. Some people are totally wedded to the idea of an ideologically pure NHS. Which to my mind kind of ignores how the world actually works in the 21st century.

Originally Posted by Jet II View Post
ah, we all miss the sunny uplands of British Rail
Indeed. And I can assure you that my experience of the utility industry is much improved from the era when I had to physically visit (separate) gas and electricity offices and pay a deposit in order to apply for a connection…………
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 13:05
  #13453 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
On the other hand to deny that contracting out huge swathes of NHS services is privatisation should be membership qualification for the flat earth society.
Would you count the GP service, the vast majority of whom are contracted out private services, as a "huge swathe"?
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 13:05
  #13454 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Andy_S View Post
This is the thing. Some people are totally wedded to the idea of an ideologically pure NHS. Which to my mind kind of ignores how the world actually works in the 21st century.



Indeed. And I can assure you that my experience of the utility industry is much improved from the era when I had to physically visit (separate) gas and electricity offices and pay a deposit in order to apply for a connection…………
No doubt your experiences have improved.....these outlets were closed, erm, some considerable time ago, but that's only the perception of somebody who is, shall, we say. more contemporary than those who pine for the past on here.

Oh, and technology along with societal development may have made a small contribution as well.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 13:06
  #13455 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Andy_S View Post
This is the thing. Some people are totally wedded to the idea of an ideologically pure NHS.
Which we have never had.

Most of my interactions with nurses are with private nurses, as they work for my GP practice and are therefore not NHS employees but employees of the GP practice which is a private subcontractor.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 13:14
  #13456 (permalink)  
 
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Which leads back yet again to the "private companies but publicly funded" scenario of G4S, Capita etc, the revolving door of top managers between there and politics, a complete lack of accountability (it's all commercial in confidence) and a first duty to shareholders and not the customer. Plus innumerable layers of unnecessary change managers to make the unholy alliance work.
Oh, and a monopoly situation which is laughingly referred to as a "market".
It wastes more money than it saves, or gets sold off and the earnings go abroad.
Use private companies to cope with excess demand by all means, but don't create an expensive internal "market" in anything!
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 14:03
  #13457 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Prophead View Post
My point was, if we had real privatisation then you would be able to choose where you went rather than have it forced upon you. Having privatisation but zero competition is sometimes the worst possible case.
For a section of the population who have the time or inclination to research what's available when needing non-urgent elective surgery that could be a solution. However in any sort of emergency (not necessarily blue flashing lights, but maybe a cancer diagnosis that needs treating sooner rather than later) then it's not going to work so well, especially with most over 70s.

Many years ago when living in The Netherlands I was told I needed to see a specialist for an issue I was having at the time. GP advised that rather than waiting for an appointment to be sent as in the UK, I should phone up to ask for one. No problem - which consultant would I like to see said the person who answered. Not being all that familiar with the local Dutch medical community, I did what many would do, and asked who the options were, and chose the first one she said. Turned out the guy was the local big cheese in his field, and seemed a bit surprised that I hadn't seen one of the registrars first. Couldn't fault the treatment though it probably wasn't particularly efficient for the hospital.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 14:48
  #13458 (permalink)  
 
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Highlights of the May 2017 NHS England Staff breakdown: https://digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB30042

Total from the report - 1,186,298 (20,774 more than May 2016)
Breakdown from the included spreadsheet:
Doctors - 113,873
Nurses, midwives, ambulance, scientific and technical - 516,724
Support to clinical staff - 365,263
NHS Infrastructure - 188,832

Yes, well spotted, those spreadsheet numbers add up to 1,189,388 which is 3,090 more than stated in the body of the report.....I would have got a big slap for submitting a report that didn't match my support numbers back in the day!

So the Clinical staff are 53% of the total, support staff 31% and infrastructure 16% or Front Line = 53% and Admin = 47%

Based on an estimated population of England as 54.8million http://worldpopulationreview.com/cou...nd-population/ does having 481 people per doctor and 106 people per nurse, midwife etc seem reasonable?
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 15:03
  #13459 (permalink)  
 
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How does the UK health care budget by GDP compare to the EU countries and other nations? https://www.politico.eu/article/euro...blic-services/

It appears to be low compared to other countries but the surprise comes when you look at how the G7 countries fund their healthcare, the UK followed by Italy and Canada have by far the biggest level of Government funding. https://visual.ons.gov.uk/how-does-u...ternationally/

Maybe it's time to impose a line item on people's wage slips that says "1% contribution to NHS".....
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 16:28
  #13460 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LowNSlow View Post
Maybe it's time to impose a line item on people's wage slips that says "1% contribution to NHS".....
Glad to see you supporting a LibDem policy.
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