Sunday, 6 March 2011

Another round up-sort of.

Real life is still impinging on blogging time, so once again a quick whizz through the “news”.

I suppose that everyone has heard about the Woman who has had to sell her home to pay for cancer treatment, probably old news by now but it does make you think about “what is important” to the pointy heads at the DOH, and NIHCE (NICE).

Prolonging terminally ill patients’ lives obviously isn’t high enough on the agenda.

And Reform seems to think that cutting a quarter of Hospital beds will “save money and improve care”, it said advances in technology and rising rates of conditions like diabetes meant the focus should shift towards more community services.

The government said local health chiefs could decide, while the British Medical Association said cuts made for purely financial reasons would be "immoral".

The hospital bed count has been falling for decades, but Reform's call represents a more rapid programme than has been seen in recent years.

There were just under 300,000 beds in 1987, but by last year that had fallen to 160,000 as advances in treatment have meant patients do not need to spend as long in hospital.

They also seem to think that fewer Hospitals and more competition is what we need in our NHS.

They obviously all have private healthcare, and does that mean that as beds are decreasing the “Management” salaries will decrease in proportion, after all there will be less work to do.

And apparently we don’t believe what the “experts” tell us regarding ‘cancer scares’, no surprises there then, blackdog as usual explains it all in his usual clear and understandable fashion.

The knobs have finally decided that the system of vetting “foreign” Doctors needs ‘improving’, Urgent changes must be made to the system of vetting foreign doctors offering out-of-hours GP care, MPs say.

The Health Committee warned NHS trusts "were not doing their jobs" by failing to check language and medical skills.

That meant patients risked being treated by doctors who were incompetent or were not fluent in English.

Lives were at risk due to a reliance on overseas doctors in weekend and night GP shifts, the MPs said. The government said improvements were being made.

There are no exact figures for how many foreign doctors are employed for out-of-hours work, although ministers said in evidence to the committee that it was a "limited" problem.

So how do they know it is a “limited” problem? Limited to what? How many people go to the media and tell their “horror stories”? Or limited to the amount of information that their one brain cell can contain.

Tell that to David Gray, oh sorry they can’t because Mr Gray was killed by a “foreign” Doctor who was incompetent and couldn’t speak English.

And last but certainly not least:

The “Powers that be” have a small problem, well actually it is a bloody great big one; The NHS has more than 34 million unused doses of swine flu vaccine despite agreeing deals to break its contracts.

The UK government had signed deals with two firms - Baxter and GlaxoSmithKline - for more than 120m doses of the jabs.

But just 44m will now be bought as cases have petered out since December. Of these, 6m have already been used and 3.8m is being sent to help Africa.

Estimates have put the value of the stockpile at between £100m to £150m; although the government has refused to confirm cost saying it was commercially confidential.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said: "I am pleased we have reached an agreement that is good value for the taxpayer and means that the department has retained a strategic stockpile to protect the UK population without incurring a cancellation fee."

“Good value for the taxpayer”, interesting statement from Andy Burnham and how many nurses would £125 million pay for?


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