For other updates see the Keep Our NHS Public News roundup
Shocking report of poor care from Hitchingbrooke, the first privately managed NHS hospital Guardian comment from HeronsFlight 9:09
The Latest Casualty of Health Reform: Casualty Allyson Pollock Guardian
Healthcare: The New American Sadism. NY Times blogs
Where is the Spirit of ’45 in 2013? A terrific blog by an NHS lung specialist about what being able to offer free healthcare means to her and her patients.
This latest cure for the NHS could really kill the patient. Polly Toynbee. Guardian
Last Wednesday the Department of Health quietly released regulations  that open up England’s National Heath Service to competition on an unprecedented scale. Open Democracy
Greenwich LINk response to the Securing Sustainable NHS Services consultation The future of SLHT. with comments from Lucy Reynolds
Response to Lord Ashcroft by Clive Peedell Bevansrun
The BBC & the health bill: Director general, Lord Patten’s voting record on the health bill: & his private healthcare business interests
The Treasury has clawed back half a billion pounds that was allocated for health spending this year, prompting fears that the punishing NHS savings drive will go towards “general deficit reduction. HSJ
The Fight for our NHS goes on. Red Pepper
A good day to bury a bad bill. Badmed
Beyond the Bill: will the Health and Social Care Act ever be repealed? the most contested and disputed part – Part 3 – of the Health and Social Care Act is I think the most irreversible MHP blog
A Drum Beat on Profit Takers. Arnold Relman and Marcia Angell on the Medical Industrial Complex NY Times
How MPs voted on the Health bill. Going to Work
NHS Activism What you can do. NHS Vault
Balancing the risks shouldn’t stop us taking the medicine. Dr Sarah Wollaston MP blog. (My comment after post)
NHS 1948-2012 Killed by the Coalition. Mirror front page.
The cost-effectiveness of public health interventions. The majority assessed were highly cost effective. Journal of Public Health
Short post: On healthcare professionals’ threat to stand in next election. Dragon’s best friend
Patients need a doctor, not someone whose primary consideration is to satisfy them. Nuanced look at the difference between the care we want & the care we need. Science based medicine.
The economics of choice. Lessons from the US healthcare market. The risks to elderly, vulnerable patients of market choice in healthcare.
The government has lied and sold the public a pup over the idea that patients will be able to challenge doctors and hospitals over treatments, according to Labour’s health team. In “unusually unparliamentary language” Lady Thornton, Labour’s health spokeswoman in the Lords, said the bill was a triumph for Tory ministers who had seen Liberal Demo. Guardian.
The future of the NHS? Cough up fleshbags Charlie Brooker, Guardian.
While in public they have been presenting themselves as the future of the NHS, a Corporate Watch investigation into the accounts and finances of five of the major private healthcare companies has found widespread use of tax havens,* including the British Virgin Islands, Luxembourg, Jersey, Guernsey and the Cayman Islands, and tax avoidance schemes Barclays or Vodafone accountants would be proud of. Corporate watch
An unprecedented coalition of nearly 250 doctors launches a campaign today to unseat liberal democrat & conservative MPs at the next election in revenge for their backing of the Health Bill. Independent on Sunday
The professional case for opposing the Health Bill. Video feat. Allyson Pollock (12mins)
Public Health risk register. Risk-assessment-Bill-FINAL copy
Competition-Based Reform of the National Health Service in England: A One-Way Street? Social Science Research Network
Association between low functional health literacy and mortality in older adults: longitudinal cohort study BMJ Important article because over 30% of older adults have low health literacy, which explains why the emphasis on ‘patient choice’ threatens to increase health inequalities
Government Forced to Bail Out Private Health Firm
The Guardian, Tuesday 26th August 2014 (comment)
NHS reform in England. Where is the public interest? David Hunter BMJ
The healthbill will put commissioning of anything bigger than a verruca out of a GP’s reach. Roy Lilley. Note: Lilley says: ” The Beast’s masterpiece is the Commissioning Support Service organisations. They are not in the Bill, have no statutory authority or position. They are not a Lala Creation. They are a Big- beast chimera.” This statement is wrong. They are a Lansley creation. A key purpose of the Bill is to privatise commissioning. The Labour government tried it with the World Class commisioning initiative of Mark Britnell and the PCTs would not take it up. The Tories decided, in that case to abolish PCTs and impose a system whereby the FESC multinational companies would do the job of commissioning.
This was not the brainchild of David Nicholson. If you read the transcripts of his interviews to the Health Committee, he was keen to use expertise from PcT managers. He had to be persuaded “to see the light”.
Allyson Pollock’s studies of the Bill have pointed out that the Bill enables CCGs to have all their commissioning functions performed by private companies.
Lilley yet again hides the real drive of this coalition, to hand over the NHS to huge private corporations. ( McKinsey after all is writing the script and drafted the Bill. )
NHS Activism What you can do. NHS Vault
Lansley’s barking spider. The Independent, the BBC & the RCGP. Badmed
Corporate capture of the NHS prize. Guardian letters
The real reason health insurers won’t cover pre-existing conditions. Wisdom of the Ailing.
A maverick’s lonely path in cardiology. The deadly mix of medicine, markets and patient choice. Coming to the NHS soon.
6 reasons the NHS bill should be dropped. Ian Greener
Your one-click kit for saving the NHS Green Benches
Definition time. Fall our from the Lib dem conference by Roy Lilley
The Doctor and the Market: About the Influence of Market Reforms on the Professional Medical Ethics of Surgeons and General Practitioners in The Netherlands Market reforms mean Dutch surgeons “pay more attention to patients with relatively minor afflictions“
The healthcare industry, where is it taking us? A warning from Arnold Relman, writing about the medical-industrial complex in 1991
How Corporations Corrupt Science. Union of Concerned Scientists. PDF
The Health bill as a failure of democracy. Ian Greener.
NHS reform: Understanding the evidence base. London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine blog.
A plan B for the NHS (youtube)
3 posts about the Libdems and the Health bill:
1. Libdem phantasy world. Socialist Health
3. A bullshitometer reading of the Clegg-Williams letter to Lib Dems in Parliament. Health Policy Insight
Who would vote for this NHS bill? Excellent short summary from Roy Lilley.
Despite recent amendments to English health bill in response to opposition, Allyson Pollock, David Price, and Peter Roderick argue that it will enable charging for health services that are currently free: Pollock, Price & Roderick, a legal basis for charging and providing fewer services (pdf)
The independent view from a consultant paediatrician “I am a consultant paediatrician* (I am writing under a pseudonym to protect family, colleagues and patients) with over 20 years experience. I work with parents, many of whom have problems with mental health, substance misuse or learning difficulties. My job is to help protect their children and prevent them from following a similar life path.”
“We’ll never re-elect you if you wreck our NHS” Ringtone downloads:
“We’ll never re-elect you if you wreck our NHS!”android version
“We’ll never re-elect you if you wreck our NHS!”i-phone version
‘You promised not shake it up but launched this bloody mess” android version
‘You promised not shake it up but launched this bloody mess” i-phone version
Bad science concerning NHS competition is being used to support the controversional Health and Social Care Bill Pollock, Greener, McFarlane. LSE Blog.
The health and social care bill is an unholy mess, drop it now. Prof. David Colquhoun
Why next week is the most important in the history of the NHS. The Green Benches
Making NHS hospitals compete does not save money: Healthcare audit competition costs
Seven reasons for worry. Great summary of the bill from a GP
What are the NHS reforms for? Ian Greener
Social investigation. Links between Lords, MPs and private healthcare organisations.
8 Myths about the Health Bill. Ian Greener
NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar has warned the health service’s capacity could be reduced to “dangerously low levels” by proposals to halve the number of managers in key areas of NHS commissioning and planning. HSJ
Rethinking Non-communicable diseases. Chatham House
NHS reforms are killing efficiency savings Flip Chart Fairy Tales
Why Andrew Lansley is absolutely right and his opponents are completely wrong. Health Policy Insight
The argument for a publicly funded and (mostly) provided healthcare system, not based on competition. Ian Greener’s academic blog.
Health Professionals for NHS. A repository of analyses of the Health Bill
The politics of NHS market reforms. Clive Peedell. Bevan’s Run. Essential, detailed analysis of why we’ve got the reforms we have.
John Denham, Labour MP and former cabinet minister, quoted in the Chartist in 2006
New briefings from Professor Allyson Pollock on clauses 1, 4 & 12 of the healthbill. The Bill would transform the English NHS from a nationally-mandated public service required of the government under primary legislation into a service based on commercial contracting, underpinned by ministerial and local discretion and secondary legislation, and exacerbated by non-accountability to Parliament of commissioners and providers. Abolition of the duty of the Secretary of State to provide or secure provision of health services is the seminal change which brings this transformation about. The Constitution Committee’s amendments fall short of preventing it.
The privatisation of NHS commissioning. Richard blogger, NHS Vault The Government’s plans for NHS commissioning are inconsistent and ill-thought out. The new, untried clinical commissioning groups will deliver neither more localised commissioning nor are they likely to be any more financially viable than the PCTs they replace. The smaller “pathfinder” CCGs will have to merge with other groups, resulting in instability at a time when the NHS needs more stability. Commissioning will be carried out by private companies like KPMG, UnitedHealth and McKinsey, and a collection of Commissioning Support Organisations made up of former PCT commissioners”
Double D C*ck Up. Dr No, Badmed.net This a story with more ironical twists in it than a trotter’s tail, and enough inbuilt innuendo to fuel a full-on Carry On film. Carry On Busting, perhaps, featuring Sid James as the maverick French silicon oil salesman, Kenneth Williams as the overweening surgeon, Hattie as the hapless patient who got the implant from Hell that she never even needed, and – naturally – the wonderful Babs, as the babe for whom the bust tolled
PIP breast implants saga: a glimpse of the future NHS, “The use of market mechanisms to improve the provision of healthcare is not evil thing, or in itself unworkable. However, the saga over PIP implants has shown the challenges that come with it. This should be a warning to Lansley, as it is a glimpse of what is to come. The health bill proposes a massive market and addresses none of these challenges associated with it“
Data and Nursing numbers (Paul Clarke) … the most important statistic I’m interested in about a hospital has changed. It’s not the “mortality index” (whatever that may tell me). It’s not the individual performance of a surgeon who might operate on me (though that’s clearly interesting).
It’s the ward-level ratio of Registered Nurses to patients.
What Health Economists think of the Health bill. The academic health economists blog.
Monitor and CQC: Unfit for purpose. NHS Vault
La La land: Dr No’s blog
Ten questions for Malcolm Grant NHS commissioning board chair Health Policy Insight
Join the student protest against Malcolm Grant 1pm 19.10.2011 Coalition of Resistance
The health and social care bill and the negation of democracy. Colin Leys. New Left Project
The end of the NHS as we know it. Colin Leys Guardian CIF
Without doubt this signals the end of the NHS as we know it. Max Pemberton Telegraph
Secretive think tanks are crushing our democracy. George Monbiot. Guardian
Healthbill, let’s see some real transparency. False Economy/ Richardblogger
Personal healthcare budgets NHSVault
Over to the Lords NHS Vault
The nonsense that is cutting NHS admin NHS Vault
The pongs of privatisation, how can views on the question of privatisation be so diametrically opposed?. Badmed
What your MP must know before they wreck the NHS next week. Polly Toynbee. Guardian
Time to abolish payment by results. Prof Alan Maynard
The Orwelian language of NHS reform Guardian
Private companies taking over NHS hospitals can lobby Monitor for higher tarifs Health Policy Insight
Liberating the NHS: Source & direction of the Lansley Reform. The most comprehensive, up to date summary of the NHS reforms by Alex Scott Samuel, Martin McKee, Lucy Reynolds, John Lister. LSHTM, Coventry & Liverpool University
NHS plans will mean putting wealthy first says doctors’ leader Hamish Meldrum BMA Guardian
GP leaders attack plans to increase competition in community services Pulse
Investors using tax havens to cash in on PFI contracts Guardian
The Royal Marsden Foundation Trust, Britain’s biggest specialist cancer trust, is planning to increase its private patient income by 20 per cent this year HSJ
The head of the RCGP has warned that rhetoric urging the closure of NHS hospitals is ‘unhelpful’ and damaging to attempts by GP commissioners to integrate care Pulse
The National Hospital Service strikes back against the concept of a commissioning-led NHS Health Policy Insight
Measuring NHS performance 1990-2009 Interpret with care. JRSM
Private health providers are banking on NHS reforms driving patients into their hands FalseEconomy
NHS needs fewer hospitals and consultants says Lord Nigel Crisp ex NHS chief exec Telegraph
Who wants responsibility for the NHS? Not Andrew Lansley Prof Alan Maynard Guardian
The risks to our NHS NHS Alert
The NHS reforms and the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Health Ian Greener’s Academic Blog
Atos healthcare action against CarerWatch forum. HealthPolicyInsight
Evidence from the US: Administrative costs of managed care over 38% (compared to approx 14% for NHS) Minnesota Physician Patient Alliance
We need to beware of prophets bearing simple solutions to NHS reform Ian Greener’s Academic Blog
NHS bill will let Lansley ‘wash his hands of the NHS’ Guardian/ 38 Degrees
Did we need a legal opinion to point out the bleedin’ obvious? Dr No
GPs respond to government’s claim that the majority of health professionals support NHS reform Pulse
Adopt a peer and write to the about NHS reform before they debate the bill Going to work
Middle class flock to private antenatal classes as NHS cuts bite Guardian
The Government are deliberately misusing the number of GPs ‘signed up’ to Clinical Commissioning Groups to imply support for the whole NHS and Social Care Bill. If you’re a member of a Commissioning Consortia/Group or a member of a practice that’s involved with Consortia/Groups, please sign our petition
The power stuggle at the heart of NHS reforms Pulse
Senates to be watered down Pulse
How can we trust hospitals that don’t file complaint data? Guardian
London amitions for stroke and cancer care Guardian
SAGA frighten older people into buying their health insurance over NHS waiting time increase and NHS reform. Newspaper advert. See also this SAGA puff-piece enthusing about NHS reform from the Telegraph in May
Rival factions (BMA/RCGP Vs NHS Alliance/NAPC) fight for Future Forums second coming. Health Service Journal
How patient choice can work. Ian Greener’s Academic blog
Some thoughts on choice and competition. NHS Vault
NHS Queues spell cash for private health providers Morning Star
Keep pressure on MPs over NHS reform, doctors urged BMA news
Sign up to the NHS Big Weekend Sept 3rd/4th NHS Alert
Morrisons supermarkets developing plans for in-store GP surgeries. Pulse
Tackling health inequalities restructured into a luxury. Kate Thomson, Healthy Policies
ATOS legal thereast take down critical carer-watch forum. ECDP
The case against healthcare choice and competition Health Economics, Policy & Law
Does studying economics inhibit cooperation? GNU philosophy
Should there be more GPs? BMJ
Ex-GP peer, Lord Rea to table amendments to ‘wreck’ the health bill. Pulse.
NHS waiting times soar as doctors blame cuts in hospital budgets. Guardian
Competition between systems for pride is effective and essential Muir Gray BMJ
NHS Support Federation Improving the NHS for patients, not profits
Govt right to keep listening on NHS reform NHS confederation.
Campaigners step up campaign over doomsday NHS reforms Pulse
Lansley selective hearing on NHS ‘listening exercise’ UNISON
Is the NHS a good bet for investors? Roy Lilley, Squaring the circle.
Trust holds back pay rise from lowest band staff. Nursing Times
Darzi Centre paid 7 times more per patient than GP practices GP online.
Irresponsibilty in health care media coverage. The Academic Blog
David Cameron launches second phase of listening exercise HSJ
Department of Health guidelines falsely inflate NHS costs False Economy
How Lansley is fiddling hospitals Payment by results (PbR) system False Economy
A&E waiting times and BBC headlines. DoOgle
Atos threaten legal action against disabled campaigner. Morning Star
Christie hospital, Manchester plans national ‘chain’ of cancer centres. HSJ
UK healthcare system is one of the most efficient in rich countries. BMJ
PCTs clamour to put entire care pathways out to tender.Pulse
Calls to MPs to right NHS reform plans Lynn News
What exactly is the problem with NHS reforms? The Academic Blog
Unacceptable face of General Practice. Vulnerable patients dumped. Roy Lilley
The NHS IT nightmare Lancet
What would the NHS have to be like for markets to work? The Academic Blog
Tory NHS reform enthusiast says he cannot afford to care for 48 vulnerable patients GP news
Health insurers take advantage of NHS cuts and put pressure on govt for more employer insurance. Health Insurance and protection
Rank Hypocracy. Government go back on NHS pledges over privatisation and choice. NHS Vault.
Prof. Alan Maynard (health economist) on alternatives to NHS reform. Health Policy Insight
We all need to get behind the anti-Health Bill campaign Clive Peedell NHSCA
An NHS manager defends GP commissioning cynics (or sceptics) Jon Restell
Health insurers sacrifice Americans for profit. Michael Moore blog
DH rejects competition expansion claim HSJ(£)
The difficulties with patient waiting lists explained by expert Rob Findlay
Health is global, what does that mean for the UK? JRSM
NHS funding cuts in poorer areas will take decades. GP news
Analysis: Are the most deprived areas losing NHS funding? Factcheck
More NHS hospitals experience financial problems under Tory NHS cuts Telegraph
PCTs must deliver 4% efficiency savings per year for 4 years , under plans set out by NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson. But data from 76 PCTs show that 45 (59%) are not hitting this target. GP news
NHS creaking at the seams as waiting lists rise (says health insurance website)
The lip-service paid to patient involvement in the NHS Roy Lilley, Decorating
England expects. Can we imagine an NHS without a purchaser-provider split? Dr No
Time to allow cash for Kidneys? Guardian
Are we prescribing too many antipsychotic drugs? The risk of NHS efficiency savings is that drugs to treat psychosis will be used to treat anxiety, depression, personality disorders and so on instead of providing more expensive human support. The new valuim? Antipsychotics not effective in PTSD
DoH scraps health inequalities task force in cost-cutting drive. GP news.
Judge us on inequalities, DoH says. Don’t worry, we will. GP news
Responses to Oliver Letwin who said, “You can’t have room for innovation and the pressure for excellence without having some real discipline and some fear on the part of the providers that things may go wrong if they don’t live up to the aims that society as a whole is demanding of them” The Academic blog. Lisa Says this.
NHS watchdog plan a recipe for disaster for patient involvement as Health Watch bodies that replace LINKs are cut: Telegraph
Last chance to stop the health bill. Wendy Savage co-chair Keep Our NHS Public. Guardian Letters
Pop ups. The growing behemoth that is Payment by Results consuming 20% of the NHS budget (and rising) Jobbing Doctor
Southern Cross exposes flaws in the choice agenda Guardian
Why hospitals (or GP surgeries) are not like coffee shops. The Academic blog
The Department of Health, the Competition and Cooperation Panel and the art of avoiding the bleedin’ obvious. Roy Lilley, Governance for Begininners
GPs, commissioning and conflicts of interest. See comment from Richardblogger #2 under article
Surgeons, perverse incentives and vested interests. BUPA accuses surgeons of performing uncessary operations. ‘Whatsoever you reap …’ Guardian.
Competition doesn’t save lives. Responding to Zack Cooper. Ian Greener The Academic Blog
A GP responds to a Daily Mail journalist’s complaint that she cannot be seen as an ‘emergency’ for travel vaccinations. Brian Kellet
Video: Reel News, The battle to save the NHS.
Cost of NHS refrom rising by £1m a day. Guardian
Co-Operation and Competition Panel elective care AWP report pro-choice; anti-commissioning Health Policy Insight
Responses to Cooper:
- NHS competition study into heart attack survival splits academic community (or does it?) See excellent comment (#5) by Dr Evan Harris. Guardian.
- ‘Competition doesn’t save lives’ The Academic Blog.
- My blog post about the risks of competition noteably absent from Cooper’s work.
- Lucy Reynolds: Two issues with competition in healthcare BMJ
- What the Competition and Cooperation Panel think about competition. Policy Projects report. (“Beyond satire” Andy Cowper, Health Policy Insight)
- Is there evidence that competition in health care is a good thing? BMJ debate. Links to comments from myself and Lucy Reynolds and others.
- FullFact analysis of the day’s debate
- What you need to know: 1. There is no evidence that the patients in Coopers study were choosing which hospital to go to. They had an MI (heart attack) and went to hospital as an emergency by amublance without being offered a choice. 2. There is no evidence to suggest that the hospitals were competing with eachother to provide the best MI treatment or to attract patients. 3. Cooper does not show that competition is more effective than collaboration and/ or professionalism at improving quality.
“This bill is a buggers muddle”. Thoughts on working with NHS heart czar Roger Boyle by Roy Lilley.
Cost of NHS changes rising by £1m a day Guardian
NHS delays operations ‘as it waits for patients to die or go private’ – Telegraph
I’ll cut the NHS and raise the deficit. NHS Vault
Having cancer is an education and this is what I learned. Guardian
Andrew Lansley is wrong, GPs do not support this health bill. Ron Singer, Guardian.
Health bill should be amended or withdrawn. Clare Gerada, Chair of Royal College of GPs. Pulse.
Two issues with competition in healthcare. “the current NHS reform was delineated in 1987-8, in papers by MPs Redwood, Letwin (both ex-directors of Rothschilds’ Privatisation Unit), Willetts, and Peet. All asserted without evidence that competition would benefit UK healthcare. In 2005, Lansley proclaimed “maximising competition” as the “principle of NHS reform,”and now he prescribes competition for every NHS ill. Lucy Reynolds BMJ
The difference between Any Willing Provider (AWP) and Any Qualified Provider (AQP) Lucy Reynolds BMJ
Failure in public organisations especially healthcare. Ian Greener
Messing with Medicare. Paul Krugman New York Times
Sir Roger Boyle: “It’s horrific the NHS’ future is being threatened” Govt’s heart czar has his knuckes rapped by Lansley for criticising NHS reform. Independent.
Talk of markets in the NHS is a failure of clinicians and managers – a provocation. Ian Greener, The Academic Blog
Dr Theresa Eynon: vested interests, pressure to prescribe and GP commissioning
Dr Jacky Davis: Do you hate the Russians more than you love your children? BMJ letter.
Draft of a new book by Valerie Iles. She is currently director of the National Leadership Programme of The Royal College of General Practitioners, Honorary Senior Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Fellow of the Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter: ‘Why reforming the NHS doesn’t work, the importance of understanding why good people offer bad care‘
Labour briefing, “we are very concerned that the government’s post-pause changes will be more complex, more costly and less likely to help …”
Dodgy Dossier, the extraordinary new Department of Health document: ‘Impact Assessment of the Extension of Any Qualified Provider ‘. “It is an insult to management, an affront to the concept of the independent public servant and little short of a party political broadcast. It is witless, evidence free, and drained of intellect”. Roy Lilley
The day they signed the death warrant for the NHS. Max Pemberton, Telegraph.
If markets aren’t the answer to NHS reform, what is? Ian Greener.
Healthcare reform and … Hayek. Ian Greener.
GP Petition from Unite: We the undersigned are GP members of shadow Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) or belong to practices that are members of shadow CCGs. We are involved in Clinical Commissioning in order to protect our patients’ future interests if the law changes. Participation in shadow CCGs is not – and should not be claimed as – support for the Health and Social Care Bill, which we do not support. We support BMA policy that the Health and Social Care Bill should be withdrawn.
Five reasons to scrap the bill: Excellent fact sheet from UNISON
Roy Lilley: “There can be no one, save the bluest of blue-rinse Tory, with a BUPA gold-card, who can say we are in anything other than the Mother of All Mess” Chorus Time
Dr Margaret McCartney: The NHS opened up to devastation.
Dr Clive Peedell and Dr Lucy Reynolds with Debbie Abrahams MP explain how competition has been Lansley’s plan since 2005 and remains at the heart of the Bill. Left Foot Forward
Dr_no explains the implications of private providers like Southern Cross and Circle taking over NHS services. Badmed
Dr Jacky Davis on why the overhyped ‘pause’ means that the privatisation and competition agenda is pushing on regardless. Guardian CIF.
Richardblogger on what the Open Public Services White Paper has to say about the NHS and privatisation NHSvault
Private providers have no reason to fear NHS reform with Steven Bubb on the Future Forum. Spinwatch