“I’m a civil servant – and we can’t make Boris Johnson’s no-deal fantasy into reality”

From The Guardian: “The civil service’s technical work relies on facts and evidence – not force of personality. If, for example, there’s no quantity or quality of analysis that could convince a new prime minister to avoid disaster, then collectively we’ll have normalised fanaticism or – even worse – the cynical appeasement or cultivation of it. Either way, having withstood Theresa May’s hostile environment for years, it’s a rotten and destructive place for officials to be at the start of yet another new premiership, with the hardest bit of Brexit still to go and countless other neglected policy areas needing attention. Things can get worse – just look across the Atlantic.

“Wasn’t it ever thus for civil servants? Not really. While the recent hardening of the Brexiteers’ macho resolve to secure a no-deal Brexit is frightening, it’s not that surprising. What’s new is the sheer destructive glee with which so many public figures have embraced magical thinking. We now know, thanks to YouGov’s poll of Tory party members, the full horrifying scale of the ruling class’s suspension of disbelief. Brexit must happen even at the cost of significant economic damage, the breakup of the UK or the destruction of the Conservative Party itself.”

[Read full column on the Guardian website…]

Furious GP Tells Jeremy Hunt: No One In The NHS Will EVER Vote For You

From LBC: A GP has called Jeremy Hunt‘s LBC phone-in to urge him to pull out of the Conservative Leadership Contest as no-one who worked in the NHS would ever vote for him.

Mr Hunt was Health Secretary for nearly six years and oversaw a number of Junior Doctors strikes.

Naomi, a GP from Hendon, labelled him the “most hated Health Secretary” she could remember and insisted he would never get the support of medical workers.

[Read full article on LBC website…]

Austerity and NHS cuts: wrecking our mental health

Dr Mona Kamal writes on Keep Our NHS Public: “Despite all the rhetoric by this government on prioritising resources for mental health and commitment to parity of esteem, the reality is that time and again they have been very willing to use mental health as an easy target for funding cuts with very little regard to the human cost this has on arguably one of the most vulnerable patient groups.

“We’ve come to expect the periodic announcements of ‘record funding’ from this government, but mental health trusts in England have in fact suffered budget cuts in real terms of just over 8% year on year since 2011. They have lost almost a third of all NHS mental health beds over the past decade and 6800 (15%) mental health nurse posts have gone.

“This means a frequent struggle for staff to find beds to admit patients into and has extremely serious consequences for those in crisis and whose illness carries a risk to themselves or others. It means patients, including young children having to be moved hundreds of miles away from their homes and families to get to the nearest empty bed and it forces unacceptable practices where acutely unwell patients who are detained on section are having to wait for days or even weeks in busy A&E departments while a mental health bed becomes available.

“Nowhere is this crisis more evident than in Child and Adolescent Mental Health where there have been years of negligent underfunding – most notably during the early years of the coalition government. By 2017 one third of children’s mental health services faced either downsizing or closure. This is causing completely needless suffering for young people who are not able to access care when they need it. Figures from the NSPCC indicate that an average of 150 children a day are denied access to mental health treatment.”

[Read full column on Keep Our NHS Public website…]

“I was trained to get Universal Credit claimants off the phone”

From Sky News: Former Universal Credit case manager Bayard Tarpley writes about his experience working in its Grimsby call centre for two years…

Have you ever wondered if the service person on the end of the phone is being deliberately being obstructive?

Well the answer is yes. And I should know – I worked as a Universal Credit case manager where agents were trained to get people off the phone without answering their query.

The answers were from a “deflection script”.

And they were not what you want to hear if you’re a single mother desperate to pay your rent or face being kicked out your home.

[Read full article on Sky News website…]

Creative subjects being squeezed, say schools

From BBC News: Creative arts subjects are being cut back in many secondary schools in England, a BBC survey suggests.

More than 1,200 schools responded – over 40% of secondary schools.

Of the schools that responded, nine in every 10 said they had cut back on lesson time, staff or facilities in at least one creative arts subject.

[Read full article on BBC News website…]

Met Police chief: It would be “naive” to think police cuts haven’t contributed to rise in violent crime

From The Independent: The head of the Metropolitan Police has said it would be “naive” to think cuts to the number of rank-and-file officers had failed to have an impact on the rising levels of violent crime.

[Read article on Independent website…]

Most DWP frontline staff “say Universal Credit should be scrapped”

From HuffPost UK: Two-thirds of frontline Department for Work and Pensions staff have said the roll-out of crisis-hit Universal Credit should be stopped, a Channel 4 investigation has revealed.

Some 70% of DWP staff say the roll out of Universal Credit should be stopped according to a survey carried out by a trade union.

The Public and Commercial Services Union poll found 79% of respondents felt there was not sufficient staff to meet demand from claimants.

The union, which represents frontline DWP staff, many of whom work in high street job centres, polled 550 of its members for a Dispatches documentary.

A whistleblower who currently works for the #DWP told the programme: “Sometimes we’ll have a couple of people on our team on leave or off sick and then the work really piles up at that point and these claims have not been given the due attention they deserve.

“A lot of [claimants] can miss their payments… It could mean that they won’t be able to eat for another couple of days, it’s very tough on them.”

[Read full article on HuffPost UK…]

Britain’s prison crisis caused by ‘poor political decisions’ by Conservatives and huge cuts, says former head of jails

From The Independent: The former head of the prison service has accused the Tory justice secretary, David Gauke, of attempting to shift blame for violence and disorder in British prisons from his own government to the spread of former legal highs among prisoners.

[Read article on Independent website…]

Charge increase providing cover for NHS cuts, say dentists

Press release from the British Dental Association: The BDA has branded the latest patient charge increases in England as a cover for cuts to state funding for NHS dentistry.

The third year of above inflation increases of around 5% a year will bring charges for a basic check-ups to £21.60, and charges for items like crowns or dentures to £256.50. According to the Government’s own estimates this amounts to patients paying in an additional £72.4 million over the course of the financial year.

Dental charges are increasing as a proportion of the NHS budget, while contributions from general taxation are in long-term decline. The BDA estimates patients will be contributing a full third of England’s NHS dental budget by 2020 – and are on course to exceed government spending by 2032.

Nearly 1 in 5 patients have delayed treatment for reasons of cost according to official statistics.

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Nurse given a year left to live says he will use time he has left to stop Tories ‘killing’ our beloved NHS

From Daily Mirror: Nurse David Bailey faces his own fight for survival, diagnosed with terminal cancer. Yet despite undergoing gruelling chemotherapy, he will take to the streets on Saturday with thousands of others in a day of protest against the Government’s destruction of the health service.

[Read article on Daily Mirror website…]

Nurse given a year left to live says he will use time he has left to stop Tories ‘killing’ our beloved NHS

From the Daily Mirror: For 35 years, David Bailey has worked as a nurse on surgical wards and in an overstretched A&E. Now he faces his own fight for survival, diagnosed with terminal cancer. Yet despite undergoing gruelling chemotherapy, David is determined to ‘do his bit’ to stop the Tories “killing” his beloved NHS.

[Read article on Mirror website…]

Former senior Met Police officer blames Theresa May for rising violent crime

Footage from Sky News: Former Met Police senior investigating officer Peter Kirkham tells it like it is about rising crime on Sky News…

The Tories Hate This Interview

This interview will never be shown on TV again___28 Aug 2018 – UPDATEWhen the Police Federation questioned Theresa May's policy of slashing police budgets and scrapping thousands of police jobs she furiously dismissed their expert concerns as "scaremongering" and "crying wolf".Last year's crime stats (England and Wales):Violent crime: ⬆️ up 20% in a single yearRobberies: ⬆️up 29% in a single yearRapes & sex offences: ⬆️ up 23% in a single yearStalking & harassment: ⬆️ Up 36% in a single yearKnife crime: ⬆️ up 21% in a single yearGun crime: ⬆️ up 20% in a single yearCrime in general: ⬆️ up 14% in a single year

Posted by BBC London Calling "Unofficial" on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

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From A&E Consultant Rob Galloway

Dear Journalists, as an A&E consultant I am writing to ask for your help. Up and down the country our A&E…

Posted by Rob Galloway on Sunday, December 17, 2017

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