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@NHSApathy

Improving General Practice

The Royal College of GPs and the BMA have declared that family practice is “in meltdown”. Budget cuts and a severe shortage of GPs have caused access problems and a breakdown of continuity of care. Hospital services are being pushed into primary care with no resources to support them. Moral is poor and GP training places are not filled. There …

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Strengthening maternity services

Safe delivery for women and good outcomes for new born babies are two of the important measures of a properly functioning health service. Budget cuts and midwives leaving the profession due to low morale have led to a shortfall of 4,800 midwives. Almost half (47%) of UK hospitals claim they do not have enough consultant obstetricians. These staff shortages coincide …

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Supporting Mental Health Services and ensuring “parity of esteem”

For too long mental health services have been at the bottom of the healthcare agenda. Despite all the Coalition’s promises for ‘parity of esteem’ for people with mental health problems, there is clear evidence that mental health services have suffered the most significant cuts. Bed numbers and staffing levels have been slashed and vulnerable patients are being sent hundreds of …

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Listening to patients and staff to improve the NHS

Patients and public must have a real say in how local services are developed and delivered by strengthening the powers of patient representative organisations at local and regional level. A complete reform of the NHS Complaints process is essential and urgent. The current system is toothless and not helpful for patients or their relatives. The government has failed to come …

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Fair pay for NHS staff

NHS staff pay has been frozen at 1% or less over the past 5 years amounting to a real terms reduction in pay of 15%. Some NHS staff are on the minimum wage and have to claim in-work benefits just to make ends meet. This is unacceptable and will undermine recruitment and morale. We call for Minimum staff: patient levels …

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Hospitals: Safe staff-patient staffing levels

Permanent or ‘establishment’ staffing numbers have been cut as part of the drive for hospitals to meet their budget targets. As more experienced specialist staff cost more their roles are being cut disproportionately. In many hospitals and health services staff:patient ratios often drop to levels which reduce the quality of care or jeopardise safety. To make up the shortfall the …

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Hospitals: Defending our hospitals

The UK already has one of the lowest ratios of hospital beds per head of population in Europe. One third of all hospital bed losses have occurred over the last two decades – at a time when the population has significantly grown. Now, under the continuing cuts and closures programme across England more beds are being lost. When A&E departments …

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NHS Funding: Using the Procurement Power of the NHS

Evidence and experience strongly suggests the NHS has not used its scale to procure goods and services at best prices. We believe we need effective reduction of expenditure in appropriate, non-front line services. We would leverage the size and position of the NHS to secure the best value from all suppliers.

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NHS Funding: Opposing Prescription Charges

Prescription charges raise less than £500 million a year (less than 0.5% of the NHS budget) but also create a costly administrative bureaucracy. There is evidence that prescription charges lead to inappropriate self-rationing and prevent access to clinically necessary medications. The consequences of self-rationed treatment include more time off work, lower educational attainment, detrimental effects on career opportunities and early …

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NHS Funding – Ending PFI

Since 1997, hospitals and facilities worth £11bn have been built with private funding under the Private Finance Initiative, with index-linked contracts repayable over 25-40 years or more. The latest Treasury estimate of the full costs of these contracts is just short of £80bn. This includes support services which in many PFI schemes offer another profit stream for the private consortia …

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