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'Our' NHS

Post by Kitkat on Mon 30 Jun 2014, 13:32

What's going on here?   surprised 

'Wildly generous' rewards for NHS executives exposed ...

'Investigation reveals that a hospital with a desperate shortage of nurses has hired dozens of temporary managers on rates of at least £100,000 a year'

A failing hospital has paid at least ten senior managers annual rates of more than £200,000 despite providing unsafe care and suffering from a major shortage of nurses.

An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph can disclose that Medway Foundation trust has hired more than 30 interim managers on six-figure packages over the last few months. The most highly paid are receiving annual rates of up to £540,000 a year.

However, the hospital is about to be branded "inadequate" by regulators – the worst possible rating – while its own reports admit that the trust needs 120 more nurses in order to provide patients with safe care.

The trust was put into special measures last year after an investigation into high death rates found dangerously low staffing levels in Accident & Emergency and in wards caring for the seriously ill.

Since then it has hired an interim chairman on a £200,000 package to work as little as one day a week, and a temporary chief executive on annual rates of £360,000 for a four-day week, as revealed by The Telegraph last week.

This newspaper’s investigation has now revealed that they are just two of dozens of "interim" administrators who have been awarded such packages by the trust, with ten managers receiving pay equivalent to more than £200,000 each a year.

Nurse leaders last night urged the Government to get a grip on the scale of excess in parts of the NHS and said "wildly generous" packages for some administrators were starving frontline services of funds.

Among the highly-paid managers, some of whom are paid via private companies, are a banking specialist who costs the trust more than £45,000 a month, which is equivalent to £540,000 a year.

Robert Griffiths received the package for acting as "treasurer" for the trust, while his assistant James Mitchell, has been paid £25,000 a month.

Both men come from consulting and restructuring firm Red Clover Partnership.

Mr Griffiths’ entry on its website says "his experience, in particular as a restructuring banker, provides him with a unique insight into the different requirements and mindset of all stakeholders in stressed and distressed company negotiations."

It can also be revealed that the trust has now just appointed a temporary finance director Tim Bolot, a barrister and accountant who charged £40,000 a month for previous NHS placements, with funds paid via his company, which specialises in "turnaround programmes".

Interim director of operations Mark Morgan costs the trust around £28,000 a month.

The trust’s chief executive Nigel Beverley, who was hired in February on a £30,000 a month package, left the trust last week, several weeks before his contract as an interim was due to expire, leaving the trust’s medical director to act in the role.

The disclosures come after The Telegraph revealed last week that in February, Christopher Langley, the trust’s chairman, was awarded a package worth £190,000 a year for one or two days’ work a week.

The funds are paid to his private company, and under the deal, he can claim £17,000 in expenses a year, without any proof of how or whether the money was spent – a deal which patients’ groups described as "indefensible".

However, despite the large sums being spent on mangers, latest figures show that the trust is spending almost £1 million a month on agency nurses, while a report to the board says 120 more nurses are needed to provide a "safe establishment."

Figures published earlier this month suggest the worst shortages of nurses and healthcare assistants are occurring at night.

Board papers from this month warn that the trust is currently "being challenged to deliver a clinically safe minimum staffing levels".

Last night nurse leaders said the revelations were an outrageous example of a wider problem in the NHS, with senior managers being given "wildly generous" rewards, while frontline services were desperately overstretched.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing urged the Government to "get a grip" on the situation.

He said: "Frontline staff and patients alike will be shocked that interim managers are receiving such wildly generous payments while the trust is in desperate need of more nurses.

"The NHS faces massive financial challenges and what’s been happening at Medway is an outrageous example of a wider problem in the health service."

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: "It’s a disgrace. These are vast sums being spent bringing in all these senior people, yet meanwhile the shortages of staff are risking patient safety and compromising care."

Monitor – which regulates foundation trusts - ordered the appointment of Mr Langley as chairman in February.

It justified his salary by saying the trust "needed the right people in place to make urgent improvements needed for its patients."

A spokesman for Medway Foundation trust said: "Use of interim staff with appropriate skills has been necessary during a period where the trust faces significant challenges. A key priority for the board is to recruit permanent staff for all key roles throughout the organisation."

He said the trust was trying to recruit more nurses, and had held several open days and intended to search abroad for more staff.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "We have been absolutely clear that while executive directors and senior managers, like other staff, deserve to be paid fairly for the important work they undertake, we do not believe in a culture within the NHS where high pay is normal."

and here:  wtfcat
38 Degrees Team

Your medical records

Post by 38 Degrees Team on Fri 07 Nov 2014, 13:58 - the scheme that would give our personal medical data to private companies. It's being rolled out in just a few weeks' time. [1]

But 92% of 38 Degrees members think we should get the scheme stopped until we can make sure our health data won’t end up in private hands. [2] So let’s get going!

The scheme’s being tested in 6 pilot areas before it goes nationwide. [3] We’ll need to throw everything at stopping it in these areas if we want to stop the roll-out. We’ll have to show NHS England that thousands of us will opt out of the whole scheme, if they won’t let us decide who gets our personal data.

So here’s the plan:  

  • First we let everyone know it's happening. Thousands of us could call people living in the areas where it's being rolled out first, to tell them about We could flyer every house, buy local advertising space and do lots of other things.
  • Next, we help people opt out. We could build a website where people can opt out of easily until NHS England fix the scheme.

But we’ll need money to make all that happen. Will you chip in to help fund a massive campaign to get stopped in the pilot areas? Please click here:

Done right, could be used to make our NHS better. Our data could be used by researchers to develop new treatments and improve public health. [4] But right now, NHS England won't let us decide who gets our data: NHS doctors and researchers, or private companies.

If the pilot goes well, will be rolled out across the country. Together, we need to stop it now - and get it fixed - before it goes national. NHS England could change the system so that we can opt out of private companies getting our data. So let’s make sure they do.

Can you chip in now to fund a mass opt-out of Please click here to make sure our data doesn't end up with private companies:

The last time NHS England tried to sneakily hand our medical records to private companies, thousands of us threatened to opt out. So they ‘paused’ the project, and it looked like they’d backed down. [5] This time, not much has changed. Their version of still stinks.

We need to show NHS bosses that we want an NHS that works for us, not private companies. If they don’t change, the public will opt out.

But we’ll only be able to do this if enough of us chip in. Can you chip in a few pounds now to stop until it's fixed?

Thanks for being involved,

Rachel, Susannah, Blanche and the 38 Degrees team

PS: In case you missed it, on Wednesday evening our forests were saved - again! And together we played a huge part in that.

The government was trying to sneak through plans which would have paved the way for our forests to be sold-off. Forest campaigners have been working on this for months. But at the very last minute, after over 150,000 members of 38 Degrees signed a huge petition and thousands of people tweeted at peers, they backed down.

The government u-turned and made changes which mean our forests will be protected – in law. Yay! More info here:

[1] Computing: NHS England to forge ahead with 'unchanged' plans:
[2] 38 Degrees blog: 38 Degrees members vote to stop until it's fixed:
[3] The NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) taking part in the pilot are: Leeds North, Leeds West and Leeds South and East, Somerset, West Hampshire and Blackburn with Darwen
[4] NHS England: The programme - better information means better care:
[5] The Telegraph: NHS medical records database halted amid concerns:
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Post by Kitkat on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 12:49

I received the following email today from the 38 Degrees team:

(The link for signing the Petition covers my area and goes directly to my locally involved MP - but inside that link you will find another link which will assist in locating the relevant MP for your own area.
Alternatively, you can use this link:  arrow

Urgent: on Friday, MPs will vote on a new law to rein in NHS privatisation. If it passes, it would scrap the worst parts of the Health and Social Care Act - the terrible law which is forcing the steady privatisation and break-up of our health service. [1]

The new law will also keep the NHS out of TTIP - the US-EU trade agreement that threatens to lock privatisation into public services. [2] It’s simple: this new law would be great for our NHS.

Can you sign a petition to your MP asking them to turn up and vote the right way on Friday? MPs aren’t used to being the target of petitions: the last thing they want is hundreds of their constituents banding together. So the bigger this petition is, the more likely your MP is to listen.

Click here to tell your MP to vote to save our NHS on Friday:

Since the Health and Social Care Act passed in 2012, 38 Degrees members have watched in horror as health privatisation has gathered pace. In just one year, over £10bn of NHS funding ended up in the hands of profit-hungry companies. [3] Our health service is under threat. [4]

And now, with the government refusing to keep the NHS out of TTIP, it’s in even more danger. If TTIP goes through, and the NHS stays in the deal, it’ll be open season for private healthcare companies. [5]

It’ll be a hard vote to win. But our NHS is worth fighting for even when the odds are against us. And win or not, politicians need to know that 38 Degrees members haven’t given up or gone away - we’re still here, we still care, and we’ll take every opportunity to get rid of privatisation in our NHS.

So let's send each and every one of our MPs a clear message: we believe in a public NHS that provides decent care for everyone, whenever we need it. We will never sit back while our health service is under threat - and we will take every chance we have to try and save it.

Please click here to sign the petition to your MP now, calling on them to turn up this Friday and vote to save the NHS:

Thanks for being involved,

Susannah, Elizabeth, Rachel, Blanche and the 38 Degrees team

PS: This Friday's vote is on a "Private Members' Bill" - a law proposed by a backbench MP. In this case, it's proposed by a backbench Labour MP called Clive Efford. That means it will be particularly hard to get enough Lib Dem or Conservative MPs to vote for it! But public pressure has persuaded MPs to break ranks with their own party before, so let’s give it a go. Please sign the petition to your MP now:

[1] Clive Efford, Labour MP for Eltham, is tabling a Private Member’s Bill for debate in the House of Commons on Friday 21st November. It’s called the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill 2014-15, and it would amend some of the most controversial bits of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Every year, a small number of backbench MPs have the opportunity to introduce their own legislation to Parliament. Their attempted laws are called Private Member’s Bills. If Clive Efford’s Private Member’s Bill passes, it would reverse many of the worst changes to our NHS. Labour backs bill to repeal NHS reforms:
You can see the bill’s passage through Parliament here:
[2] International Business Times: TTIP: Labour Vows to Push Bill to Protect NHS from Privatisation:
[3] NHS for sale?: Private providers reports:
NHS for sale?: Contract Alert Report (Apr 2013 -Apr 2014):
[4] The Telegraph: Care Quality Commission: ‘Four in five NHS hospitals not safe’:
[5] OurNHS: On TTIP and the NHS, they are trying to bamboozle us:

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Re: Our NHS

Post by Kitkat on Fri 21 Nov 2014, 11:21

Response to The People’s NHS campaign about TTIP

Department of Health’s response to The People’s NHS campaign about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The government believes that the inclusion of health in the TTIP does not threaten the public nature of the NHS, but provides an opportunity for European businesses, including improving access to the US market for the UK’s world-class pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors.

Decisions about the commissioning of NHS care will remain with local GP-led commissioners, who will continue to act solely in the best interests of patients.

The European Commission has explicitly ruled out public services from the scope of any market liberalisation in the TTIP. The agreement will not require participating EU members to open up their national health systems to private providers. Following the most recent round of negotiations, both EU and US negotiators have confirmed this position.

The rules on investment protection for the TTIP will be negotiated carefully to preserve the right of the government to regulate in the public interest, whilst offering international investors access to justice if they feel they have been discriminated against unfairly. This agreement is not new, and the UK has over 90 similar agreements in place.

The European Commission carried out a public consultation on the investor protection provisions earlier this year. The consultation sought stakeholder views on what modern investment provisions should look like in the TTIP.
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Re: Our NHS

Post by Kitkat on Fri 21 Nov 2014, 17:34

From 38 Degrees:

Breaking news: MPs just voted in favour of the plan to roll back privatisation in the NHS. The law’s through to the next stage in parliament.

241 MPs voted for it and only 18 MPs voted against. It looks like the government told their MPs to boycott the vote. Maybe they realised they couldn't win..?

38 Degrees members brought incredible pressure to bear on today's debate. Big "Save our NHS" petitions were started in every constituency. Hundreds of thousands of messages were sent to MPs by email, Facebook, Twitter and phone. Thousands of us chipped in for full-page newspaper adverts telling MPs we are watching them.

There’s a very long way to go before this plan to kick privatisation out of the NHS becomes a proper law. The government's boycott today was odd and unexpected. Does it mean they've got a trick up their sleeve to block it further down the line?

This week we sent a very powerful message to MPs: our NHS is precious. We're not going to stand by and watch it get privatised or broken up. We want everyone in Britain to have brilliant health care - wherever we live, young or old, rich or poor.

Getting this anti-privatisation, anti-TTIP plan into law remains a long shot. But winning today's vote means we’ve still got a chance. And our NHS is so important - it's worth giving it all we've got.

If you want to find out how your MP voted today, or whether they were there to vote at all, you can check here. The results will be posted as soon as they're publicly available:
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Re: Our NHS

Post by Kitkat on Fri 13 Feb 2015, 14:17

The NHS privatisation experiment is unravelling before our eyes

As Circle Holdings, the first private firm to manage an NHS hospital, looks to leaving its contract, we have a depressing example of how privatisation can go badly wrong.

What a difference (less than) a year makes. In a press release back in February last year, private healthcare company Circle Holdings spun that it had, “transformed services at Hinchingbrooke”. The hospital, it boasted, “is now secure for the future”.

Which would make the news today that it was walking away two years into a 10-year contract to run Hinchingbrooke – the UK’s only privately-run NHS hospital – a shock, were it not for the sheer, abject predictability of it.

The fact that Circle is dumping the contract on financial grounds, citing a lack of funding and pressure on the casualty department, is certainly no surprise to many, not least the National Health Action Party founding member and Save Lewisham Hospital veteran Dr Louise Irvine.

She says: “This is exactly what we warned and predicted would happen and illustrates the folly of private sector involvement in our NHS. When the going gets tough, the private sector gets going - and dumps NHS patients. The privatisation experiment has lamentably failed”.

readmore  arrow
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From 38 Degrees

Post by Kitkat on Fri 13 Feb 2015, 14:20

At 11am on Saturday 28th February, thousands of 38 Degrees members are coming together in town centres across England to stand up for our NHS.

This government has pushed our NHS to breaking point: selling parts off to private companies and cutting funding in important areas. [1]

NHS doctors and experts over the last few weeks have made one thing clear: if we want an NHS after May’s general election, we need to be campaigning now. [2] Together, we can run a huge campaign over the next two months - with a simple message to MP candidates everywhere: ‘Save our NHS’.

In two weeks' time, 38 Degrees members are meeting on high streets to gather thousands of signatures on local ‘Save our NHS’ petitions. We'll remind people that our NHS is a precious, life-saving service - and ask them to join us in saying no to cuts and privatisation.

Once you RSVP you’ll be able to chat to other 38 Degrees members in your area, and talk about your plans for the day. You’ll also be sent a parcel with everything you need to make the day a success - petition sheets, leaflets and more!

Can you come along and help gather signatures for your local ‘Save our NHS' petition?

As the election draws near, your local petition will be delivered to each and every candidate who wants to win our votes. Together we can make sure every politician in every constituency knows that if they intend to run down or sell off our health service, they've got a fight on their hands.

Click here to RSVP and register for your pack:

We need the NHS at our best and worst moments in life. It belongs to all of us and we’re all proud of it. Helping get more signatures on the petition in your area would be a massive boost to our nationwide push to protect our NHS for future generations.

Please RSVP today, so 38 Degrees members in your area can collect as many signatures as possible:

PS: There’s a lot going on at the moment, 38 Degrees members are meeting up in our communities like never before! Following on from our big election survey, we’re meeting up to discuss the results and plan actions together. If you’d like to see if there’s an election event near you click here:

[1] The New Statesman: The NHS privatisation experiment is unravelling before our eyes:
[2] The Guardian: England’s biggest hospitals veto NHS budget over patient safety fears:
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Re: Our NHS

Post by Kitkat on Sat 14 Feb 2015, 00:14

Hospital's A&E Consultants ALL quit!

The entire consultant team running Accident and Emergency services at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch has resigned.

A further consultant has resigned from the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Their reasons for leaving are "continuing uncertainty about the future of Redditch Hospital", according to BBC Midlands Today health correspondent, Michele Paduano.

All five have been offered jobs at Warwick Hospital, the BBC understands.

"I am reliably told that the relationship between management and consultants has completely broken down. They had identified problems in the department and solutions, but weren't listened to," said Paduano.

"I am told that they are very close to their teams and so would not have taken this decision lightly. One said it wasn't because he didn't love his job."

Neil Stote, from the Save the Alex campaign group, said the news was "devastating" and that local people would have grave concerns.

"It shows that something is not right, the failure to retain staff is shocking, something's not right," he said.

"The best outcome for the whole county would be for a [new] trust with a proven track record to take over. To have five consultants leave in one day is a damning verdict of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust".

A spokeswoman from Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust said an urgent transition plan will be put in place and emergency care will continue as normal.
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Greater Manchester to control £6bn NHS budget

Post by Kitkat on Thu 26 Feb 2015, 12:21

I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or not(?)  It'll be interesting to see how it pans out:

Greater Manchester is to become the first English region to get full control of its health spending, as part of an extension of devolved powers.


Nick Triggle is the BBC Health correspondent, with a vast knowledge in the goings on with the NHS.
He has written a response to the above article here:

Greater Manchester: The start of something big?

25 February 2015

Greater Manchester is pooling its health and care budgets. Nick Triggle asks whether this could this be a milestone in the drive to join up the two separate systems.

More related articles from Nick Triggle:
(Go to link link  to find out more on any of the below mentioned articles):

  • NHS privatisation: Why the fuss?
  • Does the (care) cap fit?
  • The cost of being unhealthy
  • How hospitals have reached gridlock
  • Does missing the target matter?
  • NHS set for a bumpy start to 2015
  • Is the obsession with NHS targets justified?
  • Why are hospitals under so much pressure?
  • Why the care sector is green with envy
  • NHS strike: A walkout with a difference
  • Why the NHS is facing a tricky winter
  • Is there really a crisis among GPs?
  • Joined-up care: The elephant in the room
  • The NHS plan: Five things we've learned
  • Mental health: A start of a long journey?
  • NHS budget: What we aren't being told
  • The battle over GP opening
  • Labour bares its teeth on the NHS
  • What is the NHS there for?
  • E-cigarettes: Debate - and confusion - is natural
  • Failing GPs: A Pandora's Box?
  • Cancer drugs row: A sign of things to come?
  • NHS waits: Getting the excuses in early?
  • The secret to transforming a failing hospital
  • Failing hospitals: Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
  • How many nurses short is the NHS?
  • What can the NHS learn from phones?
  • Why the NHS must heed the lessons of Savile
  • GP access: A story that is here to stay
  • Nursing: Are we facing a trade-off?
  • Dropping the 'N' in NHS
  • A&E: Are we asking the right question?
    The NHS and 'cradle to the grave'
  • Watershed moment for nurse numbers?
  • Care homes: The known and the unknown
  • Should we expect more on cancer?
  • Routine operations: Is a crisis brewing?
  • So which nation has the best NHS?
  • Why cigarette packs are the 'silent salesmen'
  • What's in the new NHS boss's in-tray?
  • Did the NHS get lucky this winter?
  • Is water fluoridation the next big thing?
  • Hospitals feeling the pinch
  • NHS pay: A Catch-22 situation
  • A Sliding Doors moment for the NHS?
  • How did it go so wrong?
  • What is the Francis effect?
  • Are your medical records in danger?
  • Are hospitals fiddling the waiting times?
  • Obesity: Cause for concern?
  • Will you be lonely this Christmas?
  • Are we missing a trick on A&E?
  • 2013: NHS annus horribilis?
  • Are we being fair to the NHS?
  • A&E: Straw that broke camel's back
  • Why cancer costs as much as a mortgage
  • Let's talk about sex...
  • Are there enough nurses in the NHS?
  • The secret is out: not all A&Es are equal
  • Is it right to pay people to be healthy?
  • Colchester General: The key questions
  • What the latest scandal says about the NHS
  • Will it be a bleak winter for the NHS?
  • Sifting through the data mountain
  • Hospices: The forgotten pillar of elderly care?
  • Elderly care all sorted? Think again...
  • Are GPs better value than hamsters?
  • GP opening: A reinvention?
  • The return of the D-word
  • Power to the patients
  • Nurses: The engine of the NHS
  • A lot to shout about?
  • Cut crime, boost health
  • Smoking: Glass half full or empty?
  • Did Olympics boost health?
  • Is A&E bailout a drop in ocean?
  • Yet another NHS review
  • Healthy life expectancy issues
  • NHS leadership problem
  • Five ways NHS is changing
  • Are more hospitals failing?
  • Will austerity harm health?
  • Why are doctors so angry?
  • Do we need a 24/7 NHS?
  • The rotten side of the NHS
  • Is four-hour A&E target key?
  • Children 'failed on grand scale'
  • Bad news for healthy lifestyles?
  • Free leisure services impact
  • Is the NHS really over-managed?
  • Is nurse training plan stupid?
  • Is the NHS really untouchable?
  • Death rates not exact science
  • Five ways the NHS is changing
  • Are the patients the problem?
  • Mixed reviews for alcohol stance
  • Reforms row is warning
  • Ministers walk NHS tightrope
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Re: Our NHS

Post by Kitkat on Fri 13 Mar 2015, 17:47

More from Nick Triggle (the BBC's Health Correspondent):

A&E in England misses target for whole of winter

This has been the most difficult winter for the NHS for a long time. Wherever you live in the UK, local services have been under strain.

The four-hour target to be seen in A&E has been missed in each nation - and that has had a knock-on effect on other parts of the hospital system.

The BBC has been following how the health service has been doing through its NHS Winter project, which has tracked the performance of each hospital trust since November. Friday marks the last day we will be publishing the detailed breakdown.

Check out  for the full story - and to see how your NHS Trust area is doing.
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Southern Health boss Katrina Percy had new job 'created for her'

Post by Kitkat on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 10:48

BBC reports today in a special BBC South documentary, "Broken Trust", on BBC One in the South of England at 7:30pm:

The chief executive who resigned as the head of a troubled mental health trust had a new £240,000-a-year job created for her, the BBC has learned.

Katrina Percy faced sustained calls to resign over Southern Health's failure to investigate hundreds of deaths.

The BBC has now discovered her new job did not exist previously and she was the only candidate for it.

Ms Percy faced months of criticism for the way her trust failed to investigate patient deaths.

In June, the trust accepted responsibility for the death of 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk, who drowned in a bath at Slade House in Oxford.

Ms Percy resigned last week but went straight into a new role at the trust on the same salary of £240,000 a year, including pension benefits.

Trust Chairman Tim Smart, who has been in his post for four months, said it did not advertise the role but that the work the job entails - giving strategic advice to GPs - "needed to be done", describing Ms Percy as "uniquely qualified".

Dr Maureen Rickman, whose sister died while in Southern Health's care, called the move "completely outrageous".

"She should be axed from Southern Health altogether, end of," she said.

"There shouldn't be a sideways move, that shouldn't be an option at all."

Southern Health said it had addressed the failings highlighted in a series of reports and that patients were now safe.

Mr Smart said: "I can unequivocally look you in the eye and say every member of staff that I have met who works on the front line is putting patient safety and the quality of care first."

The trust is currently being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive over the earlier deaths of patients.

'Very strange'

Mark Aspinall, who resigned as one of the trust's 13 public governors following a critical report by the Care Quality Commission in April, said it seemed "very strange" the new role for Ms Percy had been created.

"The health service is usually very rigorous in terms of recruitment, so the idea that a new role has been created purely to move Katrina sideways seems very surprising.

"The whole board has to look at itself and the policies it has put in place that have led to reports that have slated leadership at the trust, and the failures to investigate the deaths of patients in its care.

"But Katrina should have taken responsibility for this a long time ago."
Former health minister Norman Lamb has already called for Southern Health to reconsider its decision to create the role.

"I don't have a difficulty with someone being well paid for a highly-responsible job, but on the proviso that there is accountability with it and that, if things go wrong, you take responsibility for that and you step down ultimately."
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Re: Our NHS

Post by Kitkat on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 15:36

NHS Health Check: 'How NHS changed our lives'
BBC Report: 7 February 2017

The NHS has come under intense pressure this winter, with record numbers of patients facing long waits in accident and emergency units among other challenges.

We asked some of those who have fallen ill, and the families of others, to share their experiences of winter 2016-17.

Related articles:
A week of coverage by BBC News examining the state of the NHS across the UK as it comes under intense pressure during its busiest time of the year.

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Re: Our NHS

Post by Kitkat on Fri 24 Mar 2017, 08:55

A cheery and welcome NHS article - for a change. sunny

Let them eat cake! The new approach for hospital food:
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Re: Our NHS

Post by Kitkat on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 11:42

Latest article by BBC Health Correspondent, Nick Triggle, is headlined:
Over 1,700 patients at risk in 'colossal' NHS mail blunder

Why am I not surprised to read this?

Because it's a situation I've been harping on about - and myself been a victim of - over the past few years... missing notes, administrative blunders, etc (see

At least 1,700 patients may have been harmed by a 'colossal' blunder that meant thousands of patient records were left to pile up in a warehouse.

The number at risk is likely to rise as only two thirds of the 700,000 notes found had been checked, officials said.
Cancer test results and child protection notes were among the documents that were missing in England.
The National Audit Office also said there were questions to answer about the handling of the incident.
Its review of the issue looked at the role of the government and the company responsible for the mix-up, which is part-owned by the Department of Health.

The company, NHS Shared Business Services (SBS), was employed in the East Midlands, South West and north-west London to redirect mail for the health service.
It was meant to pass on documents that had either been incorrectly addressed or needed re-routing because the patient had moved to a new GP surgery.
But between 2011 and 2016 a backlog of 709,000 pieces of correspondence piled up in a NHS SBS warehouse.

'Colossal' blunder

The issue came to light in February after the Guardian newspaper reported it.
Now the NAO has reviewed what exactly happened and found:

  • The company had become aware of a risk to patients in January 2014, but senior managers had not developed a plan to deal with it or tell the government or NHS England for another two years
  • A label with "clinical notes" on it had been removed from the room where the files were stored. A manager had apparently said: "You don't want to advertise what's in that room"
  • In August 2015, a member of staff raised concerns the records were being destroyed
  • NHS SBS finally told NHS England and Department of Health of the problem in March 2016, but neither Parliament nor the public were told
  • The episode suggested there had been a conflict of interest between the health secretary's responsibility for the health service as a whole and his department's position as a shareholder in NHS SBS
  • NHS England said the company had been "obstructive and unhelpful" when it had tried to investigate issue

The report by the NAO found the cost of dealing with the incident was likely to be in the region of at least £6.6m.
A spokeswoman for NHS SBS acknowledged there had been "failings".
She added: "We regret this situation and have co-operated fully with the NAO in its investigation."

A Department of Health spokeswoman said it was committed to being transparent over the handling of the issue and was working to make sure this did not happen again.
It said it was given advice not to raise the alarm publicly until it had a better understanding of the problem, concerns about patient safety would always outweigh its role as a shareholder in the company and as yet there had still been no proof of harm to patients.
Individual investigations - overseen by NHS England - are taking place into the 1,788 cases of potential harm identified by GPs who have reviewed the missing notes.
On top of that over 200,000 records have still to be reviewed by GPs in the first place to determine if there was a potential for harm to have happened.
All investigations are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Dr Richard Vautrey, of the British Medical Association, said the "disastrous" situation should never happen again.
"The handling and transfer of clinical correspondence is a crucial part of how general practice operates, and it's essential that important information reaches GPs as soon as possible so that they can provide the best possible care to their patients."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron described it as "colossal blunder".
And shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the whole episode was a "scandal" that ministers needed to answer for.
"This is a staggering catalogue of mistakes on this government's watch," he added.
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Re: Our NHS

Post by Whiskers on Thu 29 Jun 2017, 16:49

All that along with reports of more hospitals closing down their A&Es and other deptartments. 
Its frightening.

    Current date/time is Sun 18 Nov 2018, 21:19