Ambulance crews’ anger over shifts

November 15, 2010

By Scott McPherson, Swindon Advertiser

ALMOST 100 per cent of Ambulance crews in Wiltshire have indicated that they would be prepared to strike over changes being made to their shift patterns.

Crews in Wiltshire, Avon and Gloucestershire have indicated that they would take industrial action over sweeping changes being implemented by Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Read the rest of this entry »


Industrial action threat by ambulance staff

November 4, 2010

Wednesday 3rd November 2010

By Charly Morgan, Swindon Advertiser

Ambulance staff could take industrial action in a dispute over changes to their working conditions.

The Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) says it needs to change the shift system to handle increased demand from 999 calls.

Read the rest of this entry »


NHS jobs to go in Secretary of State’s Constituency

June 28, 2010

Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge is very likely to cut 500 jobs – including 170 nurses – over the next financial year and a further 200 over the following two years. The hospital has been told to make ‘efficiency savings’ of £35 – £40 million over three years. There is a recruitment freeze, but compulsory job losses seem likely as an appeal in April only produced 51 volunteers for redundancy.

Geoff Heathcock, the (Liberal Democrat) chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council’s health and care scrutiny committee said, “”It is appalling that within weeks of a new government promising to protect frontline posts in the NHS this is announced. It doesn’t get more frontline than nurses.

Ironically, Addenbrooke’s MP is Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley.

From the TUC Cuts Watch


The Review of Prescription charges supports the case for abolition of charges in all of the UK

June 17, 2010

Dowload a PDF here: prescrev

The Review of Prescription Charges which Professor Ian Gilmore was asked to carry out by the Labour government has finally been published.

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_116366

His remit was to look at how free prescription charges might be progressively given to people with ‘long term conditions’. The government, under pressure because of the anomaly of English patients having to pay for prescriptions when they were being phased out in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, extended exemptions to cancer payments and committed to extend them to patients with ‘long term conditions’, based on savings from the NHS drugs budget.

Read the rest of this entry »


What is “Limited clinical benefit”?

March 30, 2010

The South West Strategic Health Authority document, “Progress report on plans forimproving quality, innovation, productivity and prevention ”, dated January 7th this year, makes estimates of how cuts in funding would be shared out in the South West. One of the potential areas of saving was listed as “reducing procedures of limited clinical benefit”. The document estimated a saving of £40-44 million. What were these procedures “of limited clinical benefit”? The document said this would involve “savings from decommissioning a standardised list of low priority procedures of limited clinical benefit without prior approval – i.e. minor skin procedures, liposuction, removal of tattoos, cosmetic orthodontics, minor ear procedures, varicose veins etc.”

Read the rest of this entry »


End the market in Health care

March 28, 2010

This is a letter to the Swindon Advertiser

Faced with a cut in funding of between £15-£20 billion by 2013-14, Strategic Health Authorities are drawing up plans for passing these cuts down to Primary Care Trusts and to individual trusts below that. The South West Strategic Health Authority’s document, “Progress report on plans for improving quality, innovation, productivity and prevention”(January 7th 2010), explains how it is aiming to implement these “efficiencies”.

Like all NHS structures they are struggling with the consequences of the government’s ‘health market’. Their aim, which is roughly akin to turning base metal into gold, is to carry out cuts in expenditure, improve safety, and improve service to the patients, all at the same time.

Read the rest of this entry »


Great Western Hospital may face £2m cuts

March 18, 2010

Great Western Hospital could lose £2 million a year under a new £20 billion efficiency savings bid by the NHS over the next four years.

That is the concern of Swindon Trades Union Council which claims that, while the exact implications of the budget crisis for Swindon are not yet known, new treatment centres which have come on stream could mean Great Western Hospital losing out on £2 million annually.

Swindon TUC Secretary Martin Wicks said the South West Strategic Health Authority – in which Swindon is included – estimates that its share will be between £1.5bn and £2bn and over a six year period it will have to save £9.45bn “in cumulative cash terms”, or 34 per cent on its projected spending.

Read the rest of this entry »