Life in austerity-hit Hastings as its MP Amber Rudd dismisses UN report on poverty

From the Daily Mirror: Amber Rudd has been busy dismissing concerns about poverty in the UK and the cruelty of the Universal Credit system. While she addressed the Commons as Work and Pensions Secretary for the first time, the Mirror gave some of her battling constituents the chance to speak up themselves.

[Read article on Mirror website…]

Woman who needs to inject life-saving medication three times daily denied an NHS prescriptions for syringes – “due to cutbacks”

From The London Economic: A woman who needs to inject life-saving medication three times daily has been denied an NHS prescription for syringes – ‘due to cutbacks.’ Charlotte Bonwick, from East Grinstead, West Sussex, was told by her doctor that she cannot have a NHS script for hypodermic syringes any longer due to cutbacks – and she says they advised her to go to a needle exchange.

[Read full article on The London Economic…]

GPs offered cash to refer fewer people to hospital

From The Guardian: GPs are being offered cash payments not to refer patients to hospital, in a move which leading family doctors have criticised as ethically questionable and a risk to health.

NHS bodies in four parts of England are using schemes under which GP practices are given up to half of the money saved by sending fewer patients to hospital for tests and treatment.

The disclosure by the GP website Pulse about the controversial “profit share” initiatives operated by the four NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) has triggered a row. Critics said the schemes were the latest example of NHS bodies increasingly resorting to the rationing of care to help them operate within their budgets.

NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG has offered to give groups of practices working together in its area 50% of savings made from GPs referring fewer patients for dermatology care, ear, nose and throat treatment in the community, and minor surgery and wound closure.

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Tories will ‘override the public’ on fracking

From The Argus: Oil and gas drilling would be “railroaded” through against the wishes of residents if Conservative manifesto pledges come into law, environmentalists have warned.

Friends of the Earth have warned eight Sussex constituencies could be affected by Tory proposals to remove the need for a planning application to allow non-fracking drilling.

The environmental campaigners are also critical of plans which could take decisions on fracking applications away from accountable locally elected councils and hand it to the Planning Inspectorate.

The warning comes as controversial drilling has begun this week in the Sussex countryside.

[Read full article in The Argus…]