Anger as NHS hospitals scrap free parking for the sick and disabled

From Welfare Weekly: Union bosses and the Labour Party has responded angrily to news that hospitals are abolishing free parking for sick patients and people with disabilities.

The Mirror reports that Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust introduced the controversial policy just days before Christmas, with dialysis patients and carers among those will be affected by the cruel decision.

And Nottinghamshire University Hospitals Trust, which the Mirror claims made £3.6million from parking charges last year, are scrapping free parking for Blue Badge holders from January next year (2019).

[Read full article on Welfare Weekly…]

Meet Ben Baddeley: facing a life of pain due to Tory NHS cuts

Amy Rose Baddeley writes… “My son Ben is 14 & sufferers from cerebral palsy. He needs crucial treatment that unfortunately is NOT funded on the NHS due to [Tory] funding cuts, leaving us to pick up medical bills of between £1,000 & £2,000 every month.

“My husband & i are trying everything we can to fundraise, work overtime & find the funds to pay for Ben’s crucial treatment because without it his muscles & nerves can’t develop correctly as he grows leaving him in pain on a daily basis.

[Donate to crowdfunder] [Ben’s Facebook page]

#ToryBritain #ToryNHSCHRISTMAS APPEAL from Amy Rose Baddeley…"My son Ben is 14 & sufferers from cerebral palsy. He…

Posted by Stop The Tories Channel on Sunday, December 2, 2018

Drug companies are ripping the NHS off of billions of pounds, new stats reveal

From the Morning Star: Drug companies are ripping off the NHS to the tune of tens of billions pounds a year, statistics from management body NHS England have revealed.

They showed that companies supplying medications charged the NHS £20.2 billion last year — an increase of 10.9 per cent.

The increase far outstrips inflation and is around three times higher than extra cash given to the NHS by taxpayers.

[Read full article on Morning Star website…]

Women over 34 are being refused IVF treatment

From BBC News: Women over 34 are being automatically refused IVF treatment on the NHS in 12 areas of England.

IVF should be offered to women until age 42, guidelines say, but new figures show around 80% of areas are failing to do this.

Campaign group Fertility Fairness said it “penalises women who take longer to find a partner”.

Couples in Wales and Scotland are offered IVF until they are 42, as long as certain criteria are met.

One 38-year-old woman, Charlotte, told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme she was considering moving house to a different area, having been told she was too old to qualify for the procedure in Southampton.

Tory underfunding has just forced an NHS trust to privatise surgeries to free up bed space for impending winter crisis

From Evolve Politics: The University Hospitals Plymouth Trust has been forced to move its entire elective orthopaedic service to the private provider, Care UK, in a desperate attempt to free up extra bed space in time for the now routine underfunding-induced winter NHS crisis.

[Read article on Evolve Politics…]

NHS £20bn boost risks being spent to pay off debts, experts warn

From The Guardian: Theresa May is being urged to write off almost £12bn in overspending by hospitals or risk her £20bn NHS boost being spent on debt repayment rather than improving healthcare.

NHS experts are warning that promised expansions of cancer and mental healthcare will prove impossible because a large amount of the £20bn that the prime minister pledged this year will go to the NHS by 2023-24 will be used servicing historic debts.

The debts “are a millstone which has to be removed from around the neck of the NHS”, said Peter Carter, an ex-chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing. “Having to service the debt will significantly compromise the impact of the 3.4% [annual NHS budget rises May has pledged until 2023] to such an extent that new money will not enable the NHS to modernise; it will in effect help the NHS to stand still.”

“The impact of writing off the debt will have minimal effect on the national debt but will have a major impact on the ability of the NHS to maximise the new investment the government is promising”, added Carter. The NHS in England overspent by £4.3bn last year, while the 240 NHS trusts owe the Department of Health and Social Care £7.4bn in outstanding historic loans. NHS finance experts from the King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust thinktanks blamed the debt pile on persistent NHS underfunding of the NHS.”

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Mental health patients sent 300 miles from home due to lack of beds

From The Guardian: Patients with serious mental health problems are being sent more than 300 miles away from their home areas because of widespread bed shortages across the NHS, figures show.

Adults in mental health crises were sent as far as 307 miles from home last year, where they were denied easy access to family and friends for many months – a situation NHS chiefs have admitted reduces chances of recovery.

Dorset Healthcare University mental health trust sent patients to a Priory mental health hospital in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, 246 miles from the south coast, because of a lack of beds. The year before it had sent patients even further afield to a Priory unit in Durham, 325 miles away.

Last year, Lancashire Care NHS foundation trust had to place patients 299 miles away in a mental health unit in the village of Ticehurst in East Sussex, while people from Norfolk ended up being cared for at Arbury Court in Warrington, 239 miles away. Oxleas mental health trust, based in Dartford, Kent, sent patients for care – including in a psychiatric intensive care unit for those whose lives were at risk – up to 232 miles away in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

End to nursing student bursaries sees numbers keep falling

From Morning Star: The nursing profession has been left in “managed decline,” the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said today, responding to a further drop in student numbers due to bursaries being replaced by loans.

The number of nursing students from England taking university places has fallen by 4 per cent from last year and 11 per cent since 2016 when bursaries were axed, according to data from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

The RCN said the decline could jeopardise the future supply of nurses at a time when the NHS is dire need of such staff.

[Read full article on Morning Star website…]

‘Worst ever’ July A&E performance shows collapse in NHS standards under Theresa May

From Morning Star: Latest figures on A&E waiting times reveal the “astonishing” collapse in NHS standards under Theresa May, Labour said today.

Monthly statistics for July 2018 published by #NHS England show that just 89.3 per cent of people attending A&E were seen within four hours, well below the 95 per cent target.

That dismal performance means NHS England has consistently failed to meet the 95 per cent four-hour target — lowered from 98 per cent by the coalition government — since July 2015.

The number of people attending A&E in July 2018 also hit a record 2.176 million people in July 2018, the highest figure since records began in 2010.

[Read full article on Morning Star website…]

Smokers forced to quit on their own after funding cuts

From The Observer: Thousands of smokers are being left without the support they need to quit after prescriptions of products to help them stop plummeted by 75% over the last decade, according to a report.

GPs are the most common first port of call for smokers who want to beat their addiction in England – 38% of smokers choose this route.

However, primary care prescriptions of nicotine replacement patches and gum and the smoking-cessation drugs bupropion and varenicline fell by three-quarters in England between 2005-06 and 2016-17.

In Worcestershire, where 15% of the population smokes, the local authority decommissioned its stop-smoking services, and local clinical commissioning groups advised GPs not to prescribe stop-smoking aids for new patients in April 2016, the report reveals.

Read more

NHS operation waiting lists reach 10-year high at 4.3m patients

From The Guardian: The number of patients waiting for an operation on the NHS has reached 4.3 million, the highest total for 10 years, official figures show.

Growing numbers are having to wait more than the supposed maximum of 18 weeks for planned non-urgent surgery such as a cataract removal or hip or knee replacement.

In May, for example, 211,434 patients had been on the waiting list for more than six months, up from the 197,067 who were in that position a month before and up by almost half compared to a year earlier, the NHS England data shows.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

IVF services slashed in England as NHS bosses cut costs

From The Guardian: A growing number of areas in England have axed IVF treatment on the NHS and the proportion offering the recommended three cycles of treatment has fallen to just over one in 10, the Guardian can reveal.

The data, gathered by the Fertility Network UK, also show that a further one in 10 are considering restricting or axing fertility treatment, amid widespread NHS cuts and the rationing of services in an effort to save money.

Despite guidance from the NHS group Nice (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) that women under 40 should be offered three cycles if they have been trying to conceive for two years, the number no longer offering any cycles has increased from four to seven in the past 15 months.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

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