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  • KONP calls for taking hospital catering back in-house A blast of sound policy from Keep Our NHS Public, which points out that we need to unpick over three decades of privatisation and disintegration of services:
    "The process of outsourcing food production from hospitals has been ongoing since the 1980s. Most of the new-build PFI hospitals were only provided with kitchens suitable for reheating pre-prepared meals, not cooking from scratch. The drive has been to cut costs. Staff in private food production firms are frequently paid only the minimum wage. They do not receive NHS pay and conditions. They are not part of the NHS family and cannot be expected to have the same loyalty, and understanding, of the NHS that directly employed staff do."

  • Martin Plackard’s implementation framework Great antidote to the mega serving of bullsh*t in NHS England's Long Term Plan and more recent Implementation Framework. You may weep, but from laughing rather than the straight-faced nonsense that passes for planning.

  • You Tube video of ground-breaking NUJ meeting in Oxford An important meeting challenging secrecy and threats of legal action in NHS England's efforts to privatise specialist PET-CT scanning services in Oxfordshire, Milton Keynes and Swindon

  • 'Abysmal': Patient in SEVEN-HOUR wait for ambulance in Shropshire Shropshire Star article with self explanatory headline: with a change of chief executive in the acute hospital trust it must now be time to drop the plan to axe one of the county's A&E units.

  • Special report: How Oxford’s cancer scanners are being handed to a profit-seeking company More splendid reporting from the Banbury Guardian makes you wish more of the local news media had the staff, resources and know-how to get stuck in and investigate scandals like this.

  • Boris Johnson vows to FREEZE sugar tax on fizzy drinks to reduce food bills for poorest families Daily Mail predictably lining up enthusiastic support for a policy that can shorten the lives of its readers, describing Jonson's questioning of the effectiveness of the sugar tax as "one of his most significant policy announcements to date."

  • Efficacy of population‐wide diabetes and obesity prevention programs: An overview of systematic reviews on proximal, intermediate, and distal outcomes and a meta‐analysis of impact on BMI Ideal answer to Johnson on sugar and prevention.

  • 'Sin taxes': Boris Johnson vows to review sugar levy Sugar Daddy Johnson revealing a combination of ignorance and reactionary politics that can cost lives

  • One in five councils face drastic spending cuts within months The Guardian picks up the latest bad news from the Local Government Association, revealing not even social care and children's services are safe:
    "The deteriorating financial prospects for local government mean that within months nearly one in five councils in England may be forced to impose drastic spending controls to stave off bankruptcy, council leaders have warned.
    "The Local Government Association (LGA) said councils had little confidence that they would be able to deliver the already tough savings targets they had set themselves for this financial year, and would have to go back for extra cuts to meet their legal requirement to balance their budgets.
    "A further one in three councils surveyed said prospects were so bleak that within three years they would be unable to meet their statutory obligation to provide an adequate service in core areas such as adult social care, child protection and homelessness prevention."

  • SARNIE BUG CALL Matt Hancock urges NHS trusts to hire their own chefs after ‘killer sandwich’ listeria outbreak The Sun reports "An exhaustive review of hospital food will be launched in a matter of days as the Health Secretary urges management to end a reliance on outsourcing companies - and cooking back in-house." Great idea - first floated recently by Jonathan Ashworth, shadow health secretary: but obstacle is the number of hospitals left without full kitchens after 35 years of privatisation and 22 years of PFI hospitals being largely built without them. Let's have NHS kitchens staffed by NHS cooks: and let's see the government money up front to make this happen!

  • NHS oncologists are being offered shares in private hospitals. This must stop CHPI's David Rowland on the important new report showing the conflict of interest for hundreds of NHS consultants with shares in private medicine.

  • NHS consultants can refer patients to private hospitals in which they have a stake Good Guardian plug for report from independent CHPI think thank which has found that:
    "Almost 400 NHS consultants own shares in private hospitals to which they refer patients, exposing them to a potential conflict between their income and patients’ best interests, new research reveals.
    "In all, 371 senior doctors have a stake in some of the private hospitals that are earning more than £1bn a year from NHS trusts. These doctors are referring growing numbers of patients because understaffing and the soaring demand for care means the NHS is struggling to treat people quickly enough."

  • NHS patients will be able to log anonymous complaints via smartphones under safety plans Telegraph with more uncritical guff on so-called digital solutions, which are leaving millions of poorer, less confident and less able patients on the outside looking in. When will there be an app that properly records people's impatience with NHS apps?

  • UN rapporteur: tax cut plans of Johnson and Hunt 'a tragedy' Guardian reports comments from the Tories' least favourite UN representative telling the real grim story of austerity and mounting inequality since Cameron first took office in 2010.

  • Norfolk and Suffolk mental health trust crisis care 'not safe' BBC reports yet another critical CQC report of the failing Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust, with yet more empty words of response from managers who have done nothing to improve things.
    "A mental health trust in special measures has been told its crisis treatment team is "not consistent in providing safe care".
    "The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an unannounced inspection at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.
    "Staff told inspectors they were unable to keep up with demand and failed to visit patients as planned."

  • Bedford Hospital accused of risking hygiene standards in order to save money More on the impending privatisation of cleaning services at Bedford -- privatisation with a track record since 1984 you could smell a mile away.

  • High-Performance Health Financing for Universal Health Coverage (Vol. 2) : Driving Sustainable, Inclusive Growth in the 21st Century World Bank, which spent two decades at least attempting to screw down public spending on health care and force through maximum privatisation and user fees in developing countries now laments insufficient government spending!

  • Bedford Hospital chief exec ‘unable to sign pledge’ to protect cleaners’ jobs Another sign of desperate times for NHS managers in the Bedford Independent, where domestic staff look set to be privatised as part of the overhead cost to care as the Bedford Trust is set to merge with "i.e. be taken over by) the much larger Luton & Dunstable FT -- where cleaning is already privatised. 'Harmonisation' the wrong way!

  • Care for the elderly is a scandal – but don’t expect a solution from Hunt or Johnson Polly Toybee in the Guardian gets stuck in to the two unsavoury front runners for the Tory leadership and PM post.

  • Patients are being routinely cared for in ‘temporary’ beds as hospitals are ‘full-to-bursting’ Nursing Notes picks up on a BMA report on inadequate numbers of front line beds.

  • Social care chiefs: funding crisis puts tens of thousands at risk Guardian picks up on hard-hitting report from directors of social services warning that:
    "In a withering assessment, Adass said social care in England was adrift in a “sea of inertia” caused by years of budget cuts and Brexit-related Whitehall policy paralysis. “The system is not only failing financially, it is failing people,” it concluded."

  • Information released does not explain OUH’s U-turn over PET-CT Banbury Guardian continues to lead the charge seeking the real facts and hidden correspondence and documents to explain NHS England decision to privatise specialist scanning services in Oxford.

  • CQC rates private sector Cygnet mental health hospital in Colchester as inadequate on safety The location Cygnet Hospital Colchester is a 57-bed hospital for men and women aged 18 and above.

  • Children's mental health: Is Suffolk getting a raw deal? East Anglian Daily Times report warning follows on CQC report:
    "Vulnerable youngsters are being "failed by the system", a parent group is warning after a watchdog identified disparities in children's mental health provision across Suffolk and Norfolk."

  • Scrap upfront NHS charges for migrants, says BMA Guardian report of important decision of BMA conference and correctly points out that
    "The British Medical Association has become the first body representing medical staff to call for the complete abolition of the charges, which have been heavily criticised by MPs and health charities.
    Delegates gathering in Belfast for the annual conference of the union, which represents 155,000 doctors, overwhelmingly backed a motion which called for “the policy of charging migrants for NHS care to be abandoned and for the NHS to be free for all at the point of delivery”.
    Medical bodies such as the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges have previously only demanded that the regulations be suspended pending an inquiry into how they were working."

  • We need a social care system that is as much a source of national pride as the NHS (£) Ambitious BMJ blog by Health Foundation's Anita Charlesworth.

  • Four CCGs looking at 1 million population merger (£) HSJ report on one of the bigger plans for merger of CCGs outside of the mega mergers proposed in NW, SW and SE London. In each of these mergers the big issue is the loss of any local voice for the communities affected as they are lumped into bodies covering much larger populations, and showing little concern to hear local public views.
    "A paper which will be considered by the three Surrey Heartlands CCGs tomorrow says: “After 18 months of working closely together across the ICS, the question of a merger seems to be the logical next step.”
    East Surrey CCG joining the three – Surrey Downs, North West Surrey, and Guildford and Waverley – in a merged organisation would also be “logical,” it says. East Surrey CCG’s governing body is expected to discuss the potential merger on Thursday.
    The three existing Surrey Heartlands CCGs already work closely together, including holding governing body meetings in common and sharing a joint accountable officer, Matthew Tait."

  • NHS pays firms £181m to care for patients with serious mental illness Guardian highlights figures from a BMA report, noting:
    "The NHS is paying private firms an “eye-watering” £181m a year to look after people with serious mental health problems in units often hundreds of miles from their homes.
    A shortage of NHS mental health beds in England means it is being forced to hand companies such as the Priory and Cygnet Health Care larger sums each year, official figures show.
    The amount those firms receive to provide residential rehabilitation for those with high-level mental health needs has risen from £158m in 2016-17 to £181m last year – an increase of £23m. Their share of the money spent by NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) on such care has also grown from 54% to 57% over the same period, a British Medical Association (BMA) investigation found."

  • District nurses are the hidden heroes of the NHS – so why are they being cut? Independent long read on district nursing points out that:
    "The Queen’s Nursing Institute and Royal College of Nursing have warned that district nurses, the hidden heroes of the NHS, are under siege. Numbers in the profession have fallen by almost half since 2010 (from 7,055 to 4,031)."

  • Food safety inspectors have failed 439 hospitals, care homes and nurseries (£) Times flags up shocking statistics on scale of poor food hygiene
    "More than 400 hospitals, care homes and nurseries have failed food hygiene and safety inspections, a Sunday Times investigation reveals. Reports obtained by this newspaper show inspectors found out-of-date chicken, dirty fridges and mouldy food in hospital kitchens. The findings were released last week under information laws after a listeria outbreak caused by chicken sandwiches killed five hospital patients."

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