Category: NHS

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The doctor won’t see you now

Anthea Simmons

“It’s a scandal worse than the Post Office Horizon debacle,” says the retired consultant radiologist who contacted me, urging West Country Voices to look into the use of Physician Associates in the NHS. Plenty of us think we know what’s going on in the NHS. We’ve seen the charts detailing the systematic underfunding. We’ve read […]

Sick note Britain: really, Prime Minister?

Emma Monk

In mid-April 2024, the Prime Minister got himself a juicy front cover on the Daily Express: PM tells sick Note Britain: Get a grip and get a job. He then put out a thread on X (formerly Twitter) claiming “We now spend £69bn on benefits for people of working age with a disability or health […]

Remodelling primary care: an uphill struggle

Sophie Olszowski

In the bleak landscape of today’s NHS, a ground-breaking service in a Somerset GP practice is seeing patient and staff satisfaction running at unprecedented highs while reducing pressure on local hospitals. Why, then, is it closing at the end of May, after only four months, and what does the future hold? The GP Urgent Assessment […]

Physician associates – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor Re: Physician Associates I am writing to give my perspective on the role of physician associates( PAs).  I am a recently retired Consultant Physician who was  involved in the initiation of a PA programme in Devon over 10 years ago. Workforce planning in the NHS is notoriously difficult and an issue that central […]

Without migrants, we wouldn’t have the NHS

Jon Danzig

Our NHS would collapse without migrants. Almost 20 per cent of the staff in NHS England are from overseas. Out of 1.5 million NHS staff in England, around 265,000 reported a non-British nationality as of June 2023. That’s 45,000 more than the previous year. What’s more, since Brexit, data indicates that the proportion of EU citizens working for the […]

Save Seaton Hospital!

Editor-in-chief

Why this petition matters The petition was started by Seaton resident, Martin Shaw, who explains why it’s needed: The Seaton area community paid half of the cost of building the Hospital in the 1980s. The NHS agreed to own and run it with NHS services for the local community. In 1991, a new wing was […]

Virtual Ministers…

M I Birtwhistle

Greetings, South-westerners! Now you see him… The news that Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health, was meeting the Prime Minister for discussions about the NHS refutes the widespread belief, supported by the press and social media, that he is a Virtual Minister.   Virtual Ministers are the result of a dire shortage of genuine […]

The problem with the NHS? Capacity!

Dr Dan Goyal

The problem with the NHS is very simple: there isn’t enough capacity. There aren’t enough GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, physios, OTs, lab techs, radiographers, etc. We currently have less hospital bed capacity than Mexico. We have the second lowest in Europe.  On all metrics, the UK is way behind comparative nations and no where near […]

What the change to cancer targets means

Dr Dan Goyal

The change to cancer targets is a big deal! The issue is the 28-day to diagnosis versus the 2-week wait target. That is, if your GP suspects cancer, from the point of referral, 75 per cent of patients should be diagnosed or given the all clear in 28 days. Currently, if your GP suspects cancer […]

Saving the UK’s social contract – starting with the NHS

Mark E Thomas

Even on the 75th anniversary of its foundation, the NHS came under assault from the far-right. This article tackles the claims of its detractors and shows how a team of volunteers has taken the argument to Parliament to defend the NHS – and the UK economy. The assault on the NHS When the NHS was […]

The Covid inquiry raises bigger questions about criminality

Dr Dan Goyal

Monday was another damning day for the government at the Covid Inquiry. It is becoming clearer what the recommendations from the Inquiry are likely to be… But there is also a bigger question raised about criminality… TUC union, the BMA, the Health Foundation, and The British Red Cross gave evidence. Many of the government defence […]

Sunak’s cynical pay stunt: banks win, working people lose

Richard Murphy

Rishi Sunk has said that this year’s public sector pay awards have been agreed in full but with no new or additional funding to cover them. There is literally no economic sense in this whatsoever. Pay rises of around 6 per cent for education and health have been announced – with there being no room […]

NHS ‘pen-pushers’ are doing a great job

Emma Monk

In the week when the NHS celebrated its 75th birthday, there was an article in The Telegraph  headlined ‘NHS to slash bureaucracy by recruiting doctors and nurses over pen-pushers’. This, of course, led to all the usual clichés about the NHS being full of managers. I thought I’d take a look at what the evidence […]

Has the NHS been value for money?

Dr Dan Goyal

No doubt we are at a tipping point for the future of healthcare in the UK You will hear a lot of misinformation, disinformation, and barefaced lies over the next 18 months – a £200bn/yr industry is on the table. So here are the facts… Has the NHS been value for money?  Here is the […]

What is the market fundamentalist agenda?

Mark E Thomas

This is a long post from Oct 2019, and some of what it says would have seemed seem hard to believe back then. But now? Now when we see cuts to public services, the increasing wealth gap, steady defunding of council services, the running down of the NHS and talk of the use of artificial […]

Medical crisis and moral injury – the state of the NHS in Somerset

Mick Fletcher

Although government seems to be in denial, it is clear that the NHS is in crisis – a consequence, in large part, of a decade of underfunding.  The impact on the service nationally has been logged in detail, with the Financial Times offering a series of particularly thorough analyses.   We wanted to find out […]

Letters to Sheryll Murray MP on strikes, the NHS and nurses’ pay

Carl Garner

Dear Sheryll Murray You have often used the term “democracy” in your replies to me when challenged over your abysmal record as our MP – at least in the replies that weren’t just copied and pasted from the Ladybird book of lazy replies for MPs, at any rate.  But, do tell me, can you prove […]

The nurses’ strike: letter to Conservative politicians

Editor-in-chief

I watched agog as Nadim Zahawi went on the media rounds to brief – predictably- against our brave nurses and their strike action. With zero sense of self-awareness, he tried to paint their reasonable request to be paid what they are worth as “unfair” and “unpatriotic”, even at one point claiming it was “playing into […]

Wrong diagnosis

Jon Danzig

“Quit the EU to save our #NHS” said the Daily Express It was the wrong diagnosis, but voters believed it. The latest news is that the NHS is facing “the greatest workforce crisis in its history”, which is bringing our health service to its knees. NHS England is facing a chronic and dangerous shortage of […]