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Readers' letters

Letters to Health Service Journal's editor.
  • BMA cancels strike as government suspends imposition threat

    1 December, 2015 12:41 pm

    Totally predictable by Mr Hunt. Lets hope he makes some meaningful concessions or we will have this same circus repeated in January.

  • One less health minister: how Hunt can lead by example

    1 December, 2015 12:38 pm

    Only deep budget cuts can stem the inexorable progress of bureaucracy. To see the original text of Parkinson's law, together with his worked examples, go to Then think about your own workplace.

  • 'We'll struggle to meet pay caps on staff' say trust directors

    1 December, 2015 11:15 am

    Can someone please explain from where the figure of 55% has been imagined? If we compare to permanent staff on AfC: Annual leave and public holidays for someone with less than 5 years - 15.5% (rising to 18.6% for someone with more than 10 years experience) Employers NI - 10.4% (until April 2016 when the 3.4% opt-out rebate is lost increasing the cost to 13.8%) Superannuation - 14.3% (still massively subsidised and delivering benefits far greater than can be bought by agency staff for same £s) Agency take - 20% (per procurement framework and therefore very unlikely to be flexible) That doesn't cover cost of Life Assurance, Early Retirement and other benefits (phone, lease car etc.) and certainly doesn't include anything for the absence of guaranteed payment or sickness or maternity pay. Some rates have obviously been overblown and I don't want to pay those costs but, at a time when recruitment and retention is very highly scored on risk registers (and will be for some time) I would like to be confident that these measures will not eliminate an essential pool of experienced and flexible staff available to the NHS. What gives?

  • Selbie: Councils can absorb public health cuts

    1 December, 2015 10:51 am

    The councils in our area receive funding for services that they don't provide anyway - was a mess up by the former PCT cluster. So I suppose this is a way of getting the money back.

  • New tariff objection threshold faces Lords challenge

    1 December, 2015 10:24 am

    This debate takes place tonight in the Lords. NHS England should be thoroughly ashamed of the way they have manipulated the rules to stop NHS providers from using the tariff arbitration mechanism. Guy's and Tommies will be given equal weight to a private provider doing virtually no work for the NHS. Was this signed off by NHS England Board, I wonder?

  • First ambulance service placed in special measures

    1 December, 2015 10:00 am

    6:01 - Ann Radmore did a good job of working on rotas tailored to demand post-2011 rather than a blanket 7-7 shift pattern. As you say - it still needs work to get equality regardless of length of service. As per the first comment - the old boy's club needs disbanding to help that! Shame Ann didn't have a chance to tackle the subsistence policy. Hopefully Fionna will!

  • 18 weeks still on course for England-wide breach

    30 November, 2015 11:25 pm

    I wonder if there is a strong correlation between having the worst 18 week breaches & other governance problems? Seems many of the worst 20 have hit the press headlines.

  • Beware foolish efficiency targets

    30 November, 2015 10:57 pm

    I agree with everything in this article, except: "Quality, speed of access or financial balance: pick any two". There may be a funding imbalance, but that is not the same as arguing that any of these 3 performance indicators are mutually exclusive. Also, Julie's second point (changes to provision) makes no mention of the inherent, systemic inefficiencies & the cost to the patient and the health & social economy, caused by the continued split between physical & mental health systems.

  • Updated: While the CSR deal is a success, it is far from an unmitigated one

    30 November, 2015 9:26 pm

    The Vanguard sites will not be allowed to fail, although what their success looks like will likely be a constantly changing perspective driven by Osbourne through Hunt.

  • Lancashire faces £800m funding gap

    30 November, 2015 9:06 pm

    The £800m I guess reflects the massive challenge in Lancashire for both health and social care which at this point in time is already underfunded. With the care home sector crisis in Lancashire significantly impacting on capacity and demand I am sure the £800m could be considers by some as a fairly reserved estimate.