Category Archives: Good News

A reversal of raioning for SE Londoners needing IVF

Jamie Bennett-Ness reports 24th Jan 2020 for Newsshopper: Discriminatory ban on single women in SE London getting NHS-funded IVF is reversed

NHS bodies in south east London have announced they are reversing a policy which denied single women from receiving funded-IVF treatment because of the burden created by single parents.

The policy, which saw single women denied funded IVF servies because of the “burden on society” caused by single-parent families, was branded “discriminatory and cruel” by one Labour MP.

NHS South East London, which includes the NHS commissioning groups for Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark, pledged to carry out a review of their IVF policy following criticism……


Bribery and corruption. We have a media led society and its the media’s duty to expose this.

As the two political philosophies polarise our society, the moderate voice of reason remains unheard, but still trying to occupy the middle ground. We did not like Mrs Thatcher but a majority voted for her, and the same could be true for Jo Swinson. The reason for the election is being forgotten by the left, and Jo is naive in thinking to “stick to the knitting” of Brexit. The shame for me, as a member of the Liberal party, is that they have not got policies that attract majorities. So many active members are so keen to represent minorities that they fail to address the votes that really matter. At least we will address the longer term, which might help issues such as cancer survival. But honesty and transparency, in all parties, does not extend to challenging the fundamentals on which Aneurin Bevan’s original NHS was founded.

The Bribery implicit is the competitive inflationary promises on health and social care will lead to perverse outcomes, and then to corruption. The more that is promised short term, the longer it will take to make the decision to ensure that health systems in the UK are founded in reality, rather than pretence, denial, and covert rationing. We have a media led society and its the media’s duty to expose this.

Dominic Lawson opines 24th November 2019 in the Sunday Times: A fresh maternity care scandal exposes the folly of nationalising everything

…why has the Shrewsbury and Telford report escaped all discussion in the electoral debate? Perhaps because both Labour and Conservative, though light years apart on almost every other matter, are united in declaring that they “love our NHS”, which is — all together now — “the envy of the world”. These fallacies — the Conservatives for sure don’t “love” it and medical outcomes within the NHS are definitely not the envy of the world — compound the difficulties facing those failed by it. They are dealt with as so many Catholics were when complaining about abusive clerics: since the NHS has been described as “the nearest thing the British have to a religion”, it follows that the local hospital is the cathedral, its staff are the priests it is deemed a disgrace to question, and whistleblowers are heretics. The brilliant best of the NHS is despite and not because of its godlike status.

Doctors in private practice are no less reluctant to admit error, but their patients are more prepared to make a fuss when things go badly wrong. This is partly because the well-to-do are more confident than the poor in challenging authority, but also when something is seen as “free”, people are thankful for what they get, even if treated badly. Obviously, the NHS is not free: we are charged for it in our taxes (even those who don’t pay income tax are financing it every time they buy a good on which VAT or excise is charged). But it feels free; so it would be ungrateful to complain. And since the NHS is a monopoly provider for the uninsured, there’s no competitor available for dissatisfied users.

Yet this is the model the Labour Party plans to impose on as much economic activity as it can, even in industries that are not natural monopolies. Thus it pledges to make internet broadband a “free” service, nationalising not just BT Openreach, but also (at a price to be determined by a future Labour government) the businesses of rivals such as Virgin and TalkTalk. This proposal has been criticised chiefly on the grounds that Labour has grotesquely understated the cost to the taxpayer in funding such a “free” service. But the more significant point is that it is only through competition that the best outcomes are provided to the consumer (imagine the futility of complaining about your broadband service to its only legally recognised provider).

That most essential of all human needs — food — provides the clearest example. In the 1970s Jeremy Corbyn’s mentor Tony Benn had a nationalisation agenda that threatened to put supermarkets into public ownership. Yet it is ferocious competition among such firms that has, in the past half-century, helped bring the percentage of income spent by the average British family on food down from about 30% to little more than 10%. I treasure the unintended irony of the solitary entry for 13 November, 2007, in Benn’s last volume of diaries: “Went to Tesco’s and spent £31, but I did get a mass of food for it — it’s very cheap.” Cheap food for the workers! What brought that about? The market economy — exactly what Benn’s would-be imitators at the helm of the Labour Party of 2019 regard as the enemy of the poor.

When Corbyn was asked last year by the BBC’s Andrew Marr to acknowledge that it was only since the Chinese government allowed private enterprise to flourish that billions of its people for the first time experienced prosperity, the Labour leader countered that this overlooked the great benefits of Mao Tse-tung’s Great Leap Forward. That was the period in which its agriculture was forcibly collectivised, resulting in the starvation of up to 45m Chinese. This chilling observation tells us all we need to know about the philosophy of Corbyn and his shadow chancellor, John McDonnell — the latter has actually boasted of his intellectual debt to Mao’s Little Red Book.

There is nothing in our history to compare to the suffering of the Chinese people. But I have been re-reading the historian Dominic Sandbrook’s book on the 1970s to remind myself of the period before Margaret Thatcher buried British socialism — or so she thought — partly by making “secondary picketing” illegal (on the BBC Today programme McDonnell refused to rule out reversing this reform)……

UK’s poor performance on cancer survival ( BMJ 2019;367:l6122 )

Laura Donelly and Patrick Scott in The Telegraph 11th September 2019: Britain slumps to bottom of cancer survival league tables …

The Sunday Times today 24th November: Boris Johnson will woo voters today with plans to tackle the cost of living, build new homes, help the environment and boost the NHS

Apart from all the other giveaways, here are those on the English Health System.

£33.9bn boost to the NHS by 2023-24. The party is also pledging £3bn extra to 40 NHS trusts, which would result in six new hospitals and dozens of refurbishments
End hospital car parking charges for NHS staff on night shifts, as well as disabled and terminally ill patients
50m extra GP appointments to be made available.

and ● Three-point plan for adult social care — including £5bn in additional short-term funding
● Build a cross-party consensus on social care to come up with long-term proposals to address the issue
● Guarantee that no social care user would have to sell their home to meet their costs.


Scotland calls for a new training philosophy and paradigm for General Practice. Its the shape of the job that matters, and it will take a decade to get enough GPs for 15 minute appointments.

The supply of doctors is finite, and has to be planned a decade ahead. Not only are doctors well paid (and regarded) but they are a moveable feast: transferrable skills mean they could work in one of many dispensations. The Commonwealth countries are particularly popular..

If the UK were to train 5 times as many doctors as we needed many more as a % would go overseas. There is a net 20% loss of all graduates from Wales, mainly to the UK, and a net 40-50% (my estimate) loss of medical graduates over 5 years.. SO it we don’t want the whole to be impractically expensive we have to persuade other countries to train enough doctors as well as the UK.

It would help if fewer women (more men) as a percentage of the total were trained. It would also help if there were a move to graduate as opposed to undergraduate entry. But even these changes, without insisting on 5 years “National Service” could fail unless the shape of the job is changed. 

The fact that Scotland suggests a new paradigm emphasises the 4 different dispensations, and the lack of a “National” health service.

Adrian O’Dowd for OnMedica 6th June 2019 reports: Call for new GP recruitment target

GP leaders in Scotland are calling for new recruitment targets to be set to boost the GP workforce north of the border and a 11% slice of NHS funding.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Scotland has published a new report called From the Frontline *, which draws on feedback from GPs across Scotland and their thoughts and experiences within the profession.

It has also launched a new campaign called #RenewGP, which calls for 11% of the Scottish NHS budget to make Scottish general practice “fit for the future”.

It also calls for GPs to be able to have minimum 15-minute appointments with patients in order to give them better care, but warns this would only be possible with more GPs in the system.

Tackling health inequalities was also crucial, said the report authors, who wanted GPs serving areas with high socio-economic deprivation to be appropriately resourced.

Central to all of the RCGP’s desire to improve general practice was planning for the future workforce and the report and campaign argue that as the population was living longer with more long-term conditions, Scotland needed more GP capacity to build and lead community healthcare teams………

There is no sustainable ideology – so leaders find their staff disengaged and that their job is impossible..

An exodus because of poor planning and the shape of the job. Deprofessionalisation….

Unreal manpower planning. It’s too late for a decade. GP services face ‘retirement crisis’. It’s the shape of the job silly.

Checklist will help decide if it’s time to die – as the shape of the job has reduced, recruitment has declined…

2014: Severe shortage of GPs is reaching crisis-point in Derbyshire – only 37% of GP training places filled – due political rationing of Medical School places 10 years ago, and the shape of the job

It’s the shape of the GP’s job that needs to change. The pharmacist will see you now: overstretched GPs get help…The fundamental ideology of the Health Services’ provision. Funding of this type admits 30 years’ manpower planning failure

2016: Martini GPs or Dead end jobs. The option is in the hands of politicians..

It was the best job in the world – for me 1979-2012 – but now there are not enough of us to cover the country

A GP in Milford Haven exposes the Inverse Care Law as applied by successive Governments, perversely and neglectfully..

fewer women should be allowed to train as doctors because men are ‘better value for money’… The answer is graduate entry to medical school.

Women perform better at 18, so change the age at entry to med school



Whistleblowing Champions – in Scotland only (for now). Apply through NHSreality, or Holyrood.

With permission (I assume) from Peter Gregson in Scotland, I can publicise the new Whistleblowing Champion, in Scotland only for now, then apply for the job through the link below. The other 3 UK dispensations may follow suit, but you never know: after all there is no National Health Service any more, except for emergencies. Congratulations to Pete for getting this success… Now we need to measure outcomes, especially longevity in post and unemployment rates..

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This is Pete’s e-mail to me:

Here is the video of the event at Holyrood  –

It lasts 90 minutes, but I think it’s good stuff.

The PA to the Health minister Jeane Freeman has asked for the link and says he’ll send it onto Jeane. I’d be impressed if she watches it.

I will send the link to the members of the Health Committee.

One of them, Alex Cole-Hamilton (LibDem) has asked to meet Rab and I. That should happen before the end of July.

Would any of you be interested in a new job? These are paid Whistleblower Champion posts.

Finally, if you know of anybody who wants to log a whistleblowing concern with us, give them this link  We’ll make sure the new Independent National Whistleblowing Officer, Rosemary Agnew, takes note.

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NHS Scotland must tackle bullying problems ‘head-on’ – Dr Lewis Morrison for the BBC News 25th June

Third high-level resignation from NHS Highland board in as many .. NHSH vice-chairwoman Melanie Newdick .Press and Journal 16th July

Surge in calls to Scotland’s NHS whistleblowing hotline – 19th April

Holyrood: NHS Whistleblowing champions ‘can come straight to me’, says Jean Freeman October 2018

Non-executive Whistleblowing Champions – NHSScotland – Apply here

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An increase in prescription charges encourages autonomy, but only in England. It also encourages movement between different systems… In Wales we already know we are second class citizens.

The recent announcement of an increase in prescription charges is “good news” for the English, because they will have more services of a higher cost and lower volume: the very services that Aneurin Bevan wanted to be available equally to miners and bankers. Unfortunately, with 4 / 5 health services, we are going to see more differences rather than les, in life expectancy (measurable) and in many services (unmeasurable) in the future. Wales and Scotland seem unable to discuss the subject of prescription charges without the emotion involved in a regressive rather than a progressive system. The short termism of this discussion, avoiding the “hard truths” and longer term financial issues means there will be more movement between different dispensations in future… But even this may become more within England, as different commissioners reduce the choices available to their patients. In Wales these choices have been severely limited for a decade, but then we know we are second class citizens.

There are already co=payments in eyes and dental services. Why not the drugs and appliances? We have to bring reality into the Health Services, and we need to challenge and “accuse” our governments of failing us with devolution.

In the current financial year in England:

If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 14 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC. The charge for a single prescription item is £8.80 (from 1st April 2018), whereas a three month PPC will cost you £29.10 and a 12 month PPC £104.00. They are free for many groups: children, retired, disabled etc. Why not charge according to means?

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The Pharmaceutical Journal 25th Feb 2019: Prescription fees set to increase to £9 from April 2019

Money Saving Expert 21st Feb 2019: NHS prescription charge to rise to £9 Feb 2019: Fury as NHS plans to raise prescription cost to £9

The cost of a surgical bra will rise from £28.85 to £29.50. And the charge for a full bespoke wig made of human hair will increase by £6, to £282.
NHSreality May 27th 2013: Prescription Charges and philosophy
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Bullying – we have to reduce it.

There is a grand collusion in politics and public services that bullying is uncontrollable, and therefore nothing is done. Large organisations have exit interviews, but the 4 UK Health services and the Irish have the same problem. The health services are chaotic, dysfunctional and one of the worst cultures to work in – and bullying is endemic everywhere. The recent article in the Times (Not available on line) indicates a soaring number of reports, is reproduced below. This illustrates the difference between prevalence (the total amount) and incidence (What comes to our attention). It may well be good news that more bullying is reported…. How about exit interviews then? No wonder GPs, who are self employed, resist being salaried and bought into the state culture!

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The Times in Ireland 28th Feb 2018: Beat Bullying

Public representatives should respond to claims of abuse and harassment in politics by leading the way to stamp out such behaviour in any workplace

Kieran Andres in Scotland 27th December 2018: Patients ‘losing out amid culture of bullying in NHS’ and even if you want to see him: The Minister is too busy to see you! (Jan 8th 2019)

Bullying costs the NHS more than £2 BILLION a year due to harassed staff quitting, making mistakes and resigningDaily Mail26 Oct 2018

and 8th November 2018:The number of NHS staff in Hull who say they’re being bullied

Health Service Journal 16th November 2018 by Laurence Dunhill: Full details: New NHS England and Improvement structure

Health service is chaotic and dysfunctional, says NHS chief Lord Prior of Brampton

The Times reports 25th Feb 2019 (Jonathan Ames) and not on line: Bullying and harassment claims in NHS soar by 40%.

Bullying and sexual harassment allegations in the NHS have risen by nearly 40% over the past 5 years, but only a fraction of claims result in disciplinary action.

Figures released yesterday showed that there were 585 reports of bullying and harassment9n the health service (presumably England only), up from 420 in 2013-14.

It was also revealed that two hospital trusts had imposed gagging orders on employees after settling claims.

Staff shortages and other work pressures were blamed for the rising number of reports, which include various forms of harassment including racism.

The figures emerged from a freedom of information act request submitted by the Guardian. A London surgeon, who asked not to be named, told the newspaper: “There are times when I have been operating and racist comments were used – this was when I was more junior, and it happens less now i am more senior.”……

Findings show sheer scale of issue, with only a fraction of cases leading to disciplinary action

Dr Anthea Mowat, British Medical Association representative body chair, said: “This is further evidence of the scale of bullying taking place in the NHS and it is essential that solutions are put in place immediately to eradicate unacceptable behaviour.”

This was too serious for another cartoon!







Plans for state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs in Wales

This is a piece of good news for GPs in Wales, but it should be National, not regional, and the ultimate solution is a “no fault compensation” scheme as in New Zealand. The scheme may give Wales an added attraction, which along with the inducement payments may help recruit and retain GPs.  There is a net 20% loss of graduates from Wales annually, and this may help correct, but it alone is not enough. Education is the big issue for doctors and their families, and addressing this is a longer term problem. Perhaps it will be extended to Hospital specialists as well?

Adrian O’Dowd for “onmedica” reports Friday 16th October in the BMJ: Plans for state-backed indemnity scheme for GPs in Wales

he Welsh government has announced its preferred partner to deliver the new state-backed scheme to provide clinical negligence indemnity for GPs in Wales from next year.

A medical defence body, however, has criticised the move, saying this was an untested scheme with insufficient detail and could remove GPs’ ability to choose an integrated indemnity and advice product instead.

Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething announced yesterday the NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership’s Legal and Risk Services, who currently indemnify GPs working out of hours, is the preferred partner to operate the Future Liability Scheme from April next year.

Mr Gething, speaking in Cardiff at the Primary Heath Care Conference, organised by the Primary Care Hub and 1000 Lives Improvement in Public Health Wales, said the scheme, which would be aligned to the scheme announced in England, would ensure GPs in Wales were not disadvantaged and that GP recruitment and cross border activity would not be adversely affected by different schemes operating in the two countries.

Mr Gething said: “This new scheme will provide greater stability and certainty for GPs in Wales. It will support GP practices and primary care clusters in their delivery of sustainable and accessible health care.

“The Future Liabilities Scheme will cover the activity of all contractors who provide primary medical services. This will include clinical negligence liabilities arising from the activities of GP practice staff and other medical professionals such as salaried GPs; locum GPs; practice pharmacists; practice nurses; healthcare assistants.

“I will make a final decision on the delivery of the Future Liability Scheme in Wales following further engagement with medical defence organisations.”

Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) chief executive Chris Kenny was sceptical, saying: “We are concerned that this untested state-backed indemnity scheme will be implemented in April 2019 when so little detail has been shared with MDDUS or GPs in Wales.

“We have been pressing the UK and Welsh governments to provide comprehensive operating and funding details of the new scheme for some time now yet little has been forthcoming.”

The existing medical defence organisation (MDO) model worked well, he argued, adding: “Writing MDOs out of a claims service is a false economy – and a threat to GPs’ professional standing.

“That’s why we expect the state-backed schemes in Wales and England to preserve these principles. If government want to offer a simple claims only service, then GPs should be able to choose the integrated MDO service at no financial disbenefit.

“We believe this is a high-risk approach which fails to protect GPs’ professional reputation, removes choice and, as independent contractors, GPs should have the option to choose an integrated indemnity and advice product as compared to the state-backed scheme.”

Dr Charlotte Jones, chair of the British Medical Association’s GPC Wales, said her organisation supported the Welsh government’s choice of preferred partner.

“The proposed scheme will address one of the biggest financial pressures on GPs and will help enable all GPs, practice teams and wider cluster healthcare professionals to work more closely together taking forward the transformation of Welsh primary care.”

Dr Peter Saul, joint-chair of Royal College of GPs Wales, said: “Indemnity is a real issue for GPs, which can affect the time they can spend in practice treating patients. The college campaigned for and supported the announcement of a state-backed indemnity scheme and it’s encouraging to see steps being taken to create a sustainable solution.”

Asbestosis report: BMA – Medical indemnity for GPs in Wales

2012 (6 years ago and it’s worse now!) : Medical negligence costs rise in Wales – NHS News

See the source image