NHS

Proposed social care plan 'worse than US Medicaid'

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The Tory social care funding plans aim to extend to care in your own home, charges which individuals already have to pay if they move into residential care.

As it stood before the election, anyone with assets over £23,250 had to pay the full cost of their care if they move to a care or nursing home. Care costs in homes are high, with one in ten older people spending more than £100,000 in their lifetimes; £700 per week for residential care or an average of £1,000 per week for a nursing home place.

Tory NHS spending is a bung to privatisers

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In the days following the publication of the Tory manifesto the Telegraph trumpeted “Tories pledge £8bn rise in NHS spending.” It added, “Conservatives would also triple the fees charged to migrants for using the NHS, to help raise more funds from overseas patients.”

The overt racism of this proposal shouldn’t surprise us. But what of the £8 billion pledge? The figure is over the course of the next government, so roughly £1.6 billion per year.

Signs of recovery

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The junior doctors' dispute has combined with teachers’ anger and the Tory crisis to present new opportunities

The government has stumbled into a key trial of strength with junior doctors, who by the end of April had taken five rounds of escalating strikes, including a full walkout without cover. As the BBC’s health correspondent wrote after the full walkout, “this is going to be a fight to the bitter end…both sides have been briefing about how determined they are not to give ground. But who will break first? Ministers or doctors?” The answer will have far reaching consequences.

Junior docs strike again

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Junior doctors announced three 48 hour strikes as SR went to press: 9 to 11 March, 6 to 8 April and 26 to 28 April. As this comes after the imposition of the new contract it is a significant escalation.

A poll found 66 percent of people in England support for junior doctors’ strikes, with 41 percent saying they are strongly supportive. Only 16 percent of people say they oppose the walkout.

The BMA will also launch a judicial review as the government failed to undertake an Equality Impact Assessment before making the changes.

Solidarity is on call

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Junior doctors voted by a staggering 98 percent to strike over working hours. Doctor Ron Singer explains the long term issues and BMA activist Yannis Gourtsoyannis talks about the campaign.

The proposed strike by junior doctors is only the second in NHS history. The first was in 1975 over hours of work — then a usual 120 hours a week. The government does not think that the NHS works 24/7. The call for a “full” seven days a week service needed a way round the current junior doctor contract.

Barts Health crisis

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Barts Health, the largest NHS trust in England, is now in special measures following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report into Whipps Cross Hospital. The trust was formed as a result of a merger between Barts and the London, Newham University Hospital and Whipps Cross in 2013. The chief executive, Peter Morris; the chief nurse and the chair of the trust have all resigned with more likely to follow.

Radiographers and midwives join strikes

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The NHS unions have announced the next national strike date, Monday 24 November, for health workers across England. Unions taking part in the action are Unison, Unite, GMB, Royal College of Midwives (RCM), Society of Radiographers (SOR), UCATT, POA, British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT), British Dietetic Association (BDA), and Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association.

This follows an announcement that health workers in Wales will strike on 10 November.

NHS struggle of life and death

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Healthcare under capitalism has always been a contest between the needs of workers and desires of capital, and now the National Health Service faces its biggest battle ever.

The appointment of Simon Stevens, a top executive from the largest US private healthcare firm, United Healthcare (and former health adviser to Tony Blair), to be the new chief executive of the National Health Service (NHS) will do more than send a shiver down the spine of all 50,000 campaigners who marched magnificently in Manchester in September.

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