Futures Forum: Stowford Lodge Health Centre: the background
Futures Forum: Stowford Lodge Health Centre: the views
Futures Forum: Stowford Lodge Health Centre: the proposals............... meeting Wednesday 30th October
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Victoria Hospital refurbishment
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Library: revamp £600k or £100k
But what of the wider picture: the changes happening and being proposed within the NHS itself?
The Blackmore Gardens Health Centre has several printouts and website references on display in the surgery waiting room:
The Telegraph produced a critique earlier in the year:
NHS reforms: From today the Coalition has put the NHS up for grabs - Telegraph
The editor of the Lancet has reviewed the book "NHS SOS" by veteran health writers Raymond Tallis and talks about a 'revolution':
Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet: Cowards, betrayers and appeasers have destroyed the NHS
NHS SOS by Jacky Davis, Raymond Tallis | Oneworld
NHS SOS: How The NHS Was Betrayed – And How We Can Save It: Amazon.co.uk: Raymond Tallis: Books
The BMA website is advertised on the wall of the surgery as a reference for what our doctors think.
It seems very critical:
The NHS has to continually adapt to meet the changing needs of patients and the introduction of new technologies and medical treatments.
Doctors are at the forefront of these changes, driving service improvements and clinical innovations across the UK.
But many doctors are really worried about several aspects of the latest changes to how the NHS is run and to how the financial pressures are being managed.
Here are the main concerns of the BMA, representing UK doctors and medical students:
The Health and Social Care Act
The Health and Social Care Act, which came into full effect on 1 April 2013, is the legislation setting out changes to how the NHS is run in England.
The BMA was worried about many aspects of the Act and lobbied Parliament not to let it pass. We remain worried about its impact, especially in the longer term, and we are monitoring its implementation on the ground carefully.
Three of our biggest concerns with the changes are:
· the BMA is very concerned that increasing competition could make it harder to offer patients ‘joined-up’ services and that local NHS providers could be left with the complex services, making it harder for them to balance their budgets. There are also concerns that when profit-making companies with shareholders win contracts, money will leave the NHS unnecessarily
· we are concerned that decision-making will not always be passed to local clinicians and communities. Doctors are still finding that they have to meet new centrally set targets rather than having the autonomy to focus on local priorities
· the transition to the new system is costing over £1 billion of taxpayers’ money. This is a very expensive and distracting, top-down reorganisation at a time when the NHS can ill afford it
So far, around £3 billion of the £20billion savings expected of the NHS have been found by freezing the wages of many of its staff, including all doctors.
While doctors are clear that we need to play our part in continuing to improve quality while increasing efficiency, just cutting staff pay is not going to be a realistic or sustainable solution.
We are very worried that the current financial pressures are driving a range of local cost-saving initiatives that will be damaging in the long term.
We believe service change is important when it will improve quality as well as save money. NHS managers and staff need to be allowed to work together to find ways of improving care and saving money.
We also need to do much more to reduce demand, not by quick-fix solutions like offering rewards to GPs for fewer hospital referrals but by tackling the big public health challenges – alcohol misuse, obesity and smoking.
Despite recent government promises to “take the politics and politicians out of the day to day management of the NHS”, the NHS continues to be used as a political football.
Recently, for example, pressures on emergency services have been the subject of arguments between the political parties.
NHS England is now supposed to work independently on the basis of a three-year mandate set by the government, but there is still day-to-day interference from politicians.
Finally, County Cllr Claire Wright, who has worked for the NHS, is a member of the DCC Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) - and gave this report last month:
CommentsClaire Wright - Your Independent East Devon District Councillor for Ottery Rural
Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny (Minutes) - Fri Sep 06 2013
Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny - Minutes & Agendas