Fate of NHS does not depend on next election

Dave Watts claimed the  NHS is under threat from the Tories

Dave Watts claimed the NHS is under threat from the Tories

First published in Letters by

I AM RESPONDING to the article about Dave Watts in the Star on August 7 where he claims that the result of the next General Election will decide the fate of the NHS.

In October 2012, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and treated with removal and radiotherapy. My treatment under what Watts claims is a “botched re-organisation” was brilliant from diagnosis at St Helens hospital, MRI scans at Whiston to surgery at Broadgreen and radiotherapy at Fazakerley.

Perhaps Watts needs to be reminded why the NHS needed to be re-organised at every level.

When Labour came to office in 1997, they embarked on an ambitious rebuilding programme for our hospitals – great news, we thought. But in a cynical move to keep the borrowing hidden, they handed control of the programme to the private sector under the PFI initiative, landing the NHS with crippling debts but lining the private investors’ pockets.

In 2004 Labour negotiated a new contract with GPs allowing them to opt out of evening and weekend work while at the same time increasing the average salary to more than £100,000 a year. More pay for less work and millions wasted on flying in locum doctors from Europe to provide out of hours cover.

During their time in office, the Labour Government saw a rise in the number of targets imposed on NHS staff, with valuable resources wasted on managers to ensure that these targets were met. The consequence was that targets became more important than patients and so we had the shameful tragedy at Stafford hospital where hundreds of patients died needlessly for lack of care and respect, and since they left office, further examples have come to light.

All in all Dave, your assertion that the fate of the NHS being dependent on the result of the 2015 election is at best laughable.

I seem to remember the private sector being used to treat NHS patients when John Reid was Health Secretary. While there is no doubt that the use of the private sector in the NHS is on the increase, it could be that they are providing a cost effective and efficient service.

Mike Perry, Prescot Road

Comments (7)

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11:26am Thu 14 Aug 14

Bill Bradbury says...

Mike I did comment but not sent in to be published. (see last week) Much of what you write I echoed which is one constant grumble I have with Labour that when elected they carry on Tory policies. PFI was a disaster in the NHS and in Education and the privatisation of both went on under Labour much to its shame. The answer I was given "well Bill we got two new hospitals" Yes at a price.

In the coming months I will look with interest on their policies on Education (do they have one?) and the NHS and over the Railway franchises on which they appear to be vacillating. I have little to add to my Star website comment it is all there.
Mike I did comment but not sent in to be published. (see last week) Much of what you write I echoed which is one constant grumble I have with Labour that when elected they carry on Tory policies. PFI was a disaster in the NHS and in Education and the privatisation of both went on under Labour much to its shame. The answer I was given "well Bill we got two new hospitals" Yes at a price. In the coming months I will look with interest on their policies on Education (do they have one?) and the NHS and over the Railway franchises on which they appear to be vacillating. I have little to add to my Star website comment it is all there. Bill Bradbury
  • Score: 2

12:30pm Thu 14 Aug 14

jumperr says...

The Labour Party has got to get labour thinking people in not of the yrs gone by but socialists with a view to fairness because if nothing happens this election the country is going to suffer for a long long while except them who are causing and will carry on leaving using bad place
The Labour Party has got to get labour thinking people in not of the yrs gone by but socialists with a view to fairness because if nothing happens this election the country is going to suffer for a long long while except them who are causing and will carry on leaving using bad place jumperr
  • Score: 0

3:18pm Thu 14 Aug 14

mikeperry109 says...

Bill Bradbury wrote:
Mike I did comment but not sent in to be published. (see last week) Much of what you write I echoed which is one constant grumble I have with Labour that when elected they carry on Tory policies. PFI was a disaster in the NHS and in Education and the privatisation of both went on under Labour much to its shame. The answer I was given "well Bill we got two new hospitals" Yes at a price.

In the coming months I will look with interest on their policies on Education (do they have one?) and the NHS and over the Railway franchises on which they appear to be vacillating. I have little to add to my Star website comment it is all there.
I read your comments, Bill. I think we agree on most issues, particularly PFI - you must be pretty frustrated with the ineffectual leadership and lack of coherent policies with regard to the Labour Party.
[quote][p][bold]Bill Bradbury[/bold] wrote: Mike I did comment but not sent in to be published. (see last week) Much of what you write I echoed which is one constant grumble I have with Labour that when elected they carry on Tory policies. PFI was a disaster in the NHS and in Education and the privatisation of both went on under Labour much to its shame. The answer I was given "well Bill we got two new hospitals" Yes at a price. In the coming months I will look with interest on their policies on Education (do they have one?) and the NHS and over the Railway franchises on which they appear to be vacillating. I have little to add to my Star website comment it is all there.[/p][/quote]I read your comments, Bill. I think we agree on most issues, particularly PFI - you must be pretty frustrated with the ineffectual leadership and lack of coherent policies with regard to the Labour Party. mikeperry109
  • Score: 1

1:10pm Wed 20 Aug 14

DrChan says...

I am a home-grown doctor in the NHS, and have been for 4 years. I have seen met and been a part of some patients' journeys that have turned out as best as they could, and also been a part of some patients' journeys that have been found lacking.

There are lessons to be learned. The successes would not have been possible without good managers either. I know a few, and they are unsung heroes, doing a hard job of shepherding money and trying to plan and anticipate to provide a solid foundation for healthcare to be delivered from. Many who comment on the NHS seem to speak from one perspective only and the voice of the hard-working health professionals and management professionals go unheard.

The NHS has been undergoing a lot of changes that sets in motion a gradual privatisation. This is dangerous. The private sector currently deal with the easy, profitable stuff at the moment, and as we can see with the care homes that they run, they're not fit to be running health and social care services at all. The NHS is not perfect, but it's more perfect than the alternatives - see Europe and USA for how much healthcare can cost. Look at what PFI (private finance initiative) is currently costing us. Thanks Labour. Ker-ching private construction companies.

Both Labour and LibDem/Tory policies have pursued the same track of privatisation. Many of the problems that come up in the NHS cannot be solved by political meddling, and will be exacerbated by the successful attempt to fragment the service even more.

It seems only the Greens want to see the NHS back under public ownership. The people of Britain should have a firm say in how our healthcare system is run, not some management firm balancing shareholders interests from around the world, deciding what should be on offer. Having big companies come in to run hospitals and care homes is not how an advanced civilised country should be running its healthcare system.
I am a home-grown doctor in the NHS, and have been for 4 years. I have seen met and been a part of some patients' journeys that have turned out as best as they could, and also been a part of some patients' journeys that have been found lacking. There are lessons to be learned. The successes would not have been possible without good managers either. I know a few, and they are unsung heroes, doing a hard job of shepherding money and trying to plan and anticipate to provide a solid foundation for healthcare to be delivered from. Many who comment on the NHS seem to speak from one perspective only and the voice of the hard-working health professionals and management professionals go unheard. The NHS has been undergoing a lot of changes that sets in motion a gradual privatisation. This is dangerous. The private sector currently deal with the easy, profitable stuff at the moment, and as we can see with the care homes that they run, they're not fit to be running health and social care services at all. The NHS is not perfect, but it's more perfect than the alternatives - see Europe and USA for how much healthcare can cost. Look at what PFI (private finance initiative) is currently costing us. Thanks Labour. Ker-ching private construction companies. Both Labour and LibDem/Tory policies have pursued the same track of privatisation. Many of the problems that come up in the NHS cannot be solved by political meddling, and will be exacerbated by the successful attempt to fragment the service even more. It seems only the Greens want to see the NHS back under public ownership. The people of Britain should have a firm say in how our healthcare system is run, not some management firm balancing shareholders interests from around the world, deciding what should be on offer. Having big companies come in to run hospitals and care homes is not how an advanced civilised country should be running its healthcare system. DrChan
  • Score: 10

4:54pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Judith H says...

I am pleased to hear that Mike Perry had such good treatment when he had serious health issues. He should remember that all that very expensive treatment he received, costing literally hundreds of thousands of pounds was completely free. He didn't have to worry whether his insurance would cover it or whether he would have to remortgage his house to pay for it. I acknowledge that services provided by all porganisations can can vary and that is as true of the NHS as it is true of banks, G4S or SERCO etc. The Labour Party achieved record satisfaction levels with the NHS at the end of their tenure in office and the NHS was deemed the most cost effective in the world. It is clear to me that the Tories are intent on selling off NHS services to private providers. Already billions of pounds worth of contracts have been sold to "virgin health care" etc. Already some private providers have thrown the towel in when providing GP services leaving communities without access to a doctor because it wasn't profitable enough. Another private provider falsified records to hide the fact that the whole of Cornwall was covered by ONE out of hours doctor, in breach of contract. Privatised ambulance services are crewing their ambulances with less well qualified staff. The list of failures in the private health sector will grow as more services are privatised and services are cut to the bone. When a routine elective operation goes wrong at a private hospital what do they Do? They ship that patient back to the NHS for intensive care. What happens when the NHS has withered away? At that point the private providers will demand more money for reduced services. They will advocate top up payments. A two tier lottery system will evolve. Those who can will opt for private health insurance and the rest of us will be left with a second rate fragmented system. Ill health can happen to anyone. It is such a joy to know that when you are at your most vulnerable you don't have the added stress of wondering how to pay for it. Isn't that worth preserving and fighting for? I certainly think so.
I am pleased to hear that Mike Perry had such good treatment when he had serious health issues. He should remember that all that very expensive treatment he received, costing literally hundreds of thousands of pounds was completely free. He didn't have to worry whether his insurance would cover it or whether he would have to remortgage his house to pay for it. I acknowledge that services provided by all porganisations can can vary and that is as true of the NHS as it is true of banks, G4S or SERCO etc. The Labour Party achieved record satisfaction levels with the NHS at the end of their tenure in office and the NHS was deemed the most cost effective in the world. It is clear to me that the Tories are intent on selling off NHS services to private providers. Already billions of pounds worth of contracts have been sold to "virgin health care" etc. Already some private providers have thrown the towel in when providing GP services leaving communities without access to a doctor because it wasn't profitable enough. Another private provider falsified records to hide the fact that the whole of Cornwall was covered by ONE out of hours doctor, in breach of contract. Privatised ambulance services are crewing their ambulances with less well qualified staff. The list of failures in the private health sector will grow as more services are privatised and services are cut to the bone. When a routine elective operation goes wrong at a private hospital what do they Do? They ship that patient back to the NHS for intensive care. What happens when the NHS has withered away? At that point the private providers will demand more money for reduced services. They will advocate top up payments. A two tier lottery system will evolve. Those who can will opt for private health insurance and the rest of us will be left with a second rate fragmented system. Ill health can happen to anyone. It is such a joy to know that when you are at your most vulnerable you don't have the added stress of wondering how to pay for it. Isn't that worth preserving and fighting for? I certainly think so. Judith H
  • Score: 0

5:07pm Fri 29 Aug 14

mikeperry109 says...

There has never been a suggestion that anyone would have to to pay for health care - free at the point of delivery is still the principle that underpins the NHS.
There has never been a suggestion that anyone would have to to pay for health care - free at the point of delivery is still the principle that underpins the NHS. mikeperry109
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Judith H says...

I think you are being naive.
I think you are being naive. Judith H
  • Score: 0

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