Speak up even if your voice breaks

Speak out for the NHS. Speak out for proper funding, proper staffing, decent buildings and for democratic control. Democracy means the government of the people, for the people by the people, with the right to speak out and speak up. The NHS, it is said, will last as long as there are people prepared to fight for it. Good care is still provided in may aspects of the NHS but the system is suffering significant damage. If enough of us speak out and mobilise in our workplaces and communities, we can save and improve the NHS. This is no time for despair or helplessness.

Join a camapign to save the NHS, raise it in your union, talk to family and friends.

The NHS needs more doctors, midwives, nurses and other medical professionals and we need to treat those we have much better. The health of the nation and the health of our health workers both matter.  Good health care is good for our health, happiness, and well being. Good health care pays back expenditure three times over. We challenge anyone who still believes we as a county can’t afford good health care system to debate with us in public.

In Maternity care, we need much more work to be done to reduce stillbirths and miscarriages, to reduce maternal deaths and reduce unpleasant and painful labour and birth, to reduce birth injury, to provide much better postnatal care to mother and baby, improved support in breastfeeding and maternal mental health provision. We also need more democracy in the NHS, with the right to speak out and make a difference. So its much more than staff, funding, bricks and mortar but these are essential building blocks. It is from public support, good staffing, buildings and good admin that a great health service is born.

We need good well-maintained buildings and building projects that don’t cost a fortune

We need staffing planned over decades and we need urgent immediate action to retain the staff we have.

Speak out for the NHS because the people who gave us PFI and Carillion are running our NHS and can make just as big a mess of our health care as they have of the building of hospitals

We need a good capital programme to allow for refurbishments, improvements and rebuilds, planned over time and not involving the utterly scandalous waste on PFI as typified by the Royal Liverpool Scandal.

Public investment pays back into the economy in jobs and in its final product. Its not a waste and it can well be afforded.

Women’s health in this country must be improved. Women live longer than men but with many years of ill health, and this is getting worse and it is worst of all in poorer areas like Liverpool. “When compared with the earliest period 2009 to 2011, HLE ( Healthy Life Expectancy) at birth has increased by 0.4 years for males and reduced by 0.2 years for females in the UK.”

For all our babies. More babies are dying under one in Liverpool. Poverty is significant in this but quite well off babies die too. This is not neo natal deaths, but babies under one Neo natal deaths are rising too. Babies born to Black or Black British parents had a 50 per cent increased risk of neonatal death compared to babies of white ethnicity. according to Bliss

Babies are so precious . Speak out for good health care for every baby.

Investment in the NHS should come from government. PFI costs 40% more than using government investment and is costing the taxpayer hugely ” Taxpayers will be forced to hand over nearly £200bn to contractors under private finance deals for at least 25 years“,

Schools in Scotland built on PFI had major problems, and of course in Liverpool, we have the ghost school in Speke. We covered PFI scandals this in detail in another post and there is more here There is a font of information here too

Where was the supervision of these contracts from the NHS?

There is more to the PFI scandal than just money. The construction of the hospitals was not adequately supervised and major construction faults resulted. Carillion was far too big and badly managed to carry too many roles previously run by government bodies. When it collapsed, who was held to account? Who went to prison? Where are they working or “investing” now? We know that workers lost their jobs, lost pensions and apprenticeships.

There should have been clerks of work from the customer, the NHS, checking every stage. Clearly, this did not happen. A hospital company was even set up in Liverpool, but even then the scandal was not averted. One new Scottish hospital has huge structural problems and might need to be demolished.

When will the Liverpool Royal New Building actually open? Is it 2022 as mentioned at a board meeting?

Meanwhile, how can the old building be kept safe? How can the electricity be kept working, the water kept working? the heating and cleanliness sustained?

Liverpool’s Royal hospital is the epitome of this scandal, a PFI that campaigners warned about in detail, even to the extent of trying to stop it in court and then having labour councillors challenge their right to legal aid Veteran campaigner Sam Semoff was told to “Bog off Semoff” by Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool on the front page of the Liverpool Echo

Sam camapigning with the junior doctors

Many hospitals are struggling with all of these problems, with revenue and capital funding and with staffing shortages and the poverty of their patients and many of their staff. The Health Service Journal reported  that a Trust in Cambridge, whose capital bid to improve its maternity services have been repeatedly turned down by government has been told by the Care Quality Commission to make urgent improvements to the obstetrics department after an inspection prompted by three serious incidents.

Pregnancy-and-loss-stats-Jan19
life and death issues

The national maternity crisis rumbles on. Shortages of doctors and midwives are significant problems These problems are well known and have been studied in detail.

There are solutions to these shortages but they will take time. A pay rise would be a good start. The end to the internal market to reduce utterly unproductive admin and competition would be a help in improving the staff shortages. Let’s try to retain the staff we have, and treat them well. This means Spanish staff being able to go home to see their mum without risking being stopped by paterls nonsense of the end of free movment. A democratic management structure in the NHS where people can speak out freely would also help.

Brexit, of course, is a major barrier to solving this by recruiting from the EU and Priti Patel’ s nonsense about not allowing migrants to come into the country if they earn less than £36 000 per year will rule out a fair few nursing posts. The NHS is trying hard to recruit new nurses from abroad but much as we welcome overseas nurses we must train and retain staff in the UK too

Bring back bursaries for midwives and nurses. We need fully paid re-entry courses for those who might want to return to nursing. We need a major recruitment and support programme for the staff who teach these courses

The NHS should be much better funded. Our very lives depend on it. How can any government committed to the needs of the people deny that? Already poverty is stalking the land, and life expectancy is falling. Poverty is well known to make people ill, less able to recover from illnesses, and the poor have worse access to health care.

Sadly our NHS is being shaped up to be handed over to global health care corporations on the US model and Trump doesn’t even mind us knowing that.

Simon Stevens head of the NHS worked for US health care before he came to the NHS and the model he is driving is based on that for-profit model No doubt he sincerely believes in the market model but it has resulted in an NHS in dire difficulties

Revenue and capital funding

There are two streams of money going into the NHS, one is revenue which is for day to day spending, and the other is for capital which is for longer-term building programmes like the multi-million-pound Neonatal Unit being built at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

Since the demise of PFI and its thunder of profits running into private business, capital spending has been restricted in the NHS. Some hospitals have diverted smaller capital spends to day-to-day maintenance, but very many hospitals are physically run down. Some hospitals, unlike Liverpool Women’s, are a mish-mash of buildings some a century-old, some portakabins, some in very poor repair.

The poor physical buildings should not affect doctors numbers, but doubtless a nice environment helps staff as well as patients

Democracy and transparency in the NHS should be introduced. The current sytem is so complex and convoulted few lay people understand its structures. One thing most people know is that the Care Quality Commission inspects hospitals and other NHS bodies and care homes for safety. However one patient in Warrington was asked to leave her practice because she posted a public CQC report on facebook

NHS camapigns are already a social movment with its own newspaper but this social movment needs to grow. We need politicians to stand with us and to move legisaltion to reinstate the NHS, to refuse to cooperate with the formation of ACOs and othe privatisation structures at local level.

The Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign opposed the creation of a PFI to “rebuild” the Women’s hospital. We were absolutely correct to do this. We objected to the move to the Royal site. We were proven correct. That Royal building site will be a work in progress for years to come We want money spent on improving the buidling on site.

 Join us in camapigning for good maternity care across the country.

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