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Readers' letters

Letters to Health Service Journal's editor.
  • Burnham's politics will have an instant impact on CCGs' policy

    30-Jul-2014 10:35 pm

    Good politics maybe, but also risky politics. How far will this 're-nationalisation' of the NHS go? Will it cover all clinical activity? What about NHS funding for nursing in care homes the great majority of which are now in the private sector (70% of residents publicly funded)? If not, what is the rationale for excluding them from the policy? Leaving aside the argument about GPs running private businesses, there are also the many commercial out-of-hours clinical services to consider; will they have to be re-nationalised too? Good rhetoric, but perhaps needs more thought to ensure a consistent and coherent position.

  • Stevens calls for NHS staff slimming drive

    30-Jul-2014 9:41 pm

    Funnily enough, the fact that I am visibly overweight means that I start conversations with patients about their weight at a very collegiate point. Everyone knows what should be done. They can't look at me and think that I don't understand how difficult it is. I get a very good response when I raise it sympathetically.

  • CQC to slow inspections amid staff pressures

    30-Jul-2014 9:03 pm

    Inspection works and is important. But only when there's enough staff at the CQC. Time for inspection to end - if we can find enough staff to wind the CQC down. Volunteers?

  • Exclusive: NHS England to cut hundreds of posts in restructure

    30-Jul-2014 7:05 pm

    Anon11:53 I'm not criticising anyone, just asking if the evidence is there to justify the work being done. Just a little example, but a little while ago one HSJ commenter was concerned that they no longer had the time to validate every remittance (QOF claims?) & feared some GPs may be claiming reward for work not done. I don't doubt their concern was genuine, but why do they think 100% audit is the only solution? Why can't they assume GP's act with integrity & honesty, but do statistically based sample tests & if the evidence is there, prosecute the culprits under criminal law for fraud & get them struck off i.e. do far fewer tests with more powerful consequences?

  • Burnham: Prime minister 'misleading public over NHS'

    30-Jul-2014 6:03 pm

    As an NHS provider I have to say I would prefer to keep work within the NHS and not lose the profit from the system but there is no doubt that much of the innovation has come from the threat of losing work to the private sector. I wonder how many NHS pathology departments would have considered partnering with neighbours and delivering significant savings if they hadnt worried about losing the service through a procurement. I suspect they would have spent even more years arguing about the best bit of kit to standardise on (or why not to) and why they couldn't work with colleagues down the road. If the NHS wants to keep its work it needs to get better at finding best practice (within and without), implementing it speedily and using the private sector when they can support with real value add e.g. logistics etc.

  • NHS England strategy director joins GP and urgent care provider

    30-Jul-2014 5:15 pm

    remember he is a multi millionaire from his past business interests so he can make moves like this a little more freely than most. Very able bloke.

  • Removing the NHS ringfence: the next stage for healthcare rationing

    30-Jul-2014 4:04 pm

    £30bn at current levels is around 1.7% of the UK GDP - assuming this hasn't grown by 2020. An increase in spend by this amount would put us in line with current GDP health spend in Germany and France and would still be significantly less than the amount spent in the US. Why is this a problem if it is what surveys suggest the public want? Sounds like flimsy rhetoric to justify continued austerity to me.

  • Manchester trust calls for suspension of Healthier Together consultation

    30-Jul-2014 3:51 pm

    Anon at 4.48 hits the nail on the head. The irony of the apologists for UHSM talking about self-interest is delicious. People who don't want their jobs to change and those attached to buildings rather than services will support change programmes right up until their own hospital is impacted. Healthcare for London, until Lansley stepped in, was the trailblazer for major reconfigurations, it transformed stroke, trauma and cardiac care for the better and provides ample evidence that the approach works. The choice is really between a national health service which is planned for the benefit of all or a series of competing businesses fighting over patients and defending their own interests. We can't continue trying to be both.

  • 50 million patients 'will be turned away' by GPs

    30-Jul-2014 3:18 pm

    All the GPs I have asked this morning earn over £150k and it's all from the Practice not from other sources such as OOHs etc. The problem is the ridiculous variation in practice level incomes that can be anywhere between £64 to £135 per head of population. Urgently needs sorting out but it will mean winners and losers and the winners don't want to lose!

  • Election 2015: Let GPs set up 'free school' style clinics

    30-Jul-2014 2:06 pm

    The authors of this article demonstrate breath-taking ignorance of the regulations around setting up GP practices and in all honesty I'm astonished that such an incompetent piece managed t slip through your editorial net. Medical Practice Committees including input from local medical committees were abolished decades ago; far from the setting up of a new practice "requiring the approval of local GPs", the matter is entirely within the hands of NHS England. It is not " GP cartels" that are the problem, but the scandalous lack of adequate funding for NHS general practice ( just £11 per patient per month for unlimited GP care) for it to provide a service safely meeting the essential needs of sick patients, let alone the wants and demands of politicians with alternative motivations.

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