NHS spending per person will be cut next year, ministers confirm

The funding constraints come despite the unfolding ‘humanitarian crisis’ in the health service

The Government will cut the National Health Service’s budget per person in real terms next year, ministers have admitted in official figures for the first time.

Numbers released by ministers show NHS England will face a sharp reduction of 0.6 per cent in real terms of per head in the financial year 2018-19.

The numbers corroborate claims by NHS chief Simon Stevens earlier this month that “in 2018-19, real-terms NHS spending per person in England is going to go down”.

The figures also fly in the face of the Government’s public insistence that it is investing more in the health service, with Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May repeating the mantra of an extra £10bn for the NHS.

That claim was debunked by the cross-party Health Committee in the summer, whose chair, Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, said the number was both “incorrect” and “risks giving a false impression that the NHS is awash with cash”.

The Liberal Democrats said the figures show Tory claims of investment were “disingenuous” while Labour said the Government should use the March budget to close the black hole opening up in the health service’s finances.

read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nhs-cuts-spending-policies-theresa-may-jeremy-hunt-tories-labour-lib-dems-a7549686.html?cmpid=facebook-post

An NHS hospital is being forced to CROWDFUND to buy beds, thanks to Jeremy Hunt

A London hospital has been forced to crowdfund for vital equipment, including beds, because it cannot afford to invest the money itself.

Begging for beds

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore, north-west London, set up the appeal in a bid to raise £400,000 for its spinal injuries unit. The money will go towards six extra beds for the ward, plus new rehabilitation equipment. The RNOH has so far raised £126,000.

The campaign, called the ‘Make it Possible’, is thought to be the first time any NHS hospital has crowdfunded for investment. The project works by allowing patients and families to suggest where money could be spent. Then an appointed committee selects one of the suggestions, and the crowdfunding begins. The spinal injuries unit was the first to be chosen.

Chief Executive of the RNOH, Rob Hurd said that because all the hospital’s money goes into frontline services, very little is left for investment:

We have to be frank, capital is constrained in our NHS and investment in facilities is really difficult at this time. That means the infrastructure that we have got doesn’t get replaced as quickly as we would like. So we need the help of donations and charitable sources to make those additional investments. So we really value those donations because without them we cannot even get started.

Financial uncertainty

The RNOH is one of the country’s flagship orthopedic hospitals, where one in five orthopedic surgeons are trained. But it has fallen into financial difficulties. A proposed renovation of the hospital’s century-old buildings, signed off under Labour in 2010, was delayed by more than five years. The RNOH was initially looking for a private company to fund the work (paywall). But in August the Department of Health (DoH) signed off the first phase of funding. This was only possible because part of the RNOH site was sold off to private developers, and loans were taken out.

The £49.9m awarded to the RNOH will go towards a new inpatient block. The hope is that the DoH will then sign off another £31m for a training centre and biomedical facilities. But, as the crowdfunding project has shown, this only covers the bare essentials. And even on a day-to-day basis the hospital is struggling. It warned in October 2015 that it faced losing £15.2m in income in 2016/17, due to changes in the way the DoH allocates funding.

Read more here: http://www.thecanary.co/2016/10/25/nhs-hospital-forced-crowdfund-buy-beds-thanks-jeremy-hunt/

“I am a midwife and I wish I was dead”: Shocking open letter reveals stress on NHS staff : Daily Record. — DWPExamination.

The midwife author is responsible for 40 women, 80 lives A midwife has penned a shocking open letter revealing the stress of the job, admitting: “I wish I was dead.” The anonymous note, sent to the Liverpool Echo , claims the role is “a black hole destroying my world.” The author talks of the stress […]

via “I am a midwife and I wish I was dead”: Shocking open letter reveals stress on NHS staff : Daily Record. — DWPExamination.

95-year-old’s FOUR-hour wait for ambulance laying on floor then FOUR-AND-A-HALF hours to see doctor

A 95-YEAR-old woman was left lying in agony on the floor with a broken hip for more than four hours waiting for an ambulance – and then had to wait a further four-and-half hours to see a doctor at hospital.

Alma Gaffing fell and broke her hip at the Grimsby Grange and Manor Care Home, based on the Nunsthorpe estate.

Five separate 999 calls were made as care home staff and family members waited impatiently for an ambulance to arrive.

The incident happened at 10.30pm, yet Alma, who suffers with dementia, did not arrive at A&E at Grimsby’s Diana, Princess Of Wales Hospital until 2.45am.

MS sufferers’ health damaged by benefits tests, survey finds

Nearly half of those with multiple sclerosis surveyed by MS Society said they felt the process caused their condition to relapse or deteriorate

Many multiple sclerosis sufferers required to undergo assessments to claim disability benefits are having their health damaged as a result, a survey suggests.

The MS Society found that nearly half (48%) of people with the disease of the nervous system who had an assessment for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) felt the process caused their condition to deteriorate or relapse. Just over a third who had a face-to-face assessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) said the same.

The charity says the disability benefits system fails to take adequate account of the fluctuating and hidden symptoms of MS, or the extent of their impact.

Its chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, said: “Having MS is enough; it should not be made harder by a welfare system that doesn’t make sense for people living with the condition.

“Lack of understanding of the condition and the failure to use information from medical professionals is causing stress or contributing to relapses and deteriorating health. This is counterintuitive to a system designed to support people with disabilities.”

ESA, and its eligibility test, Work Capability Assessments, and PIP have been dogged by controversy. The fairness of the assessments have been called into question repeatedly and there have been severe delays in processing claims, leaving people stressed and penniless while they wait.

As well as the detrimental impact on health recorded by the survey, a number of respondents said the changes to the benefits system had forced them to spend less, including on treatment.

Around one in 10 said they had reduced outlay on attending hospital appointments and a similar proportion said they had cut down on medical treatment or prescriptions. About a third said they were spending less on food, 28% on transport and 41% on socialising with family and friends.

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/sep/14/ms-sufferers-health-damaged-by-benefits-tests-survey-finds

DWP brushing health under the carpet of universal credit

This is from the Rev Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers against Poverty
This letter is being sent to the Prime Minister today 22 June 2015.
Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP 21st June 2015
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1 0AA
Email copy to MPs and Peers
DWP brushing health under the carpet of the Universal Credit.
I wrote to you on the 19th May highlighting the negative impact on the health of the men, women and children in the UK when incomes are set so low, and living costs particularly rent and council tax too high, that debt is inevitable. I raised the impact on health of sanctions, of the chaotic housing market, of council tax enforcement and of the increased risk of low birthweight leading to permanent developmental brain disorder. I noted the lack of a governmental estimate of the cost to the taxpayer of poverty and debt related illness in the NHS and the schools. I cited independent evidence supporting all my concerns.
My letter was sent to the DWP by your office, “so they may reply in detail on the matters you raise”. I replied it should have been sent as well to several other departments whose policies have a negative impact on the health of the employed and unemployed.
The DWP wrote me a long letter to me about the Universal credit. It started with;
“Situations such as you describe highlight the urgent need for reform of the current benefit system. Key to this Government’s reforms is the introduction of Universal Credit. There are two fundamental problems with the current welfare system: poor work incentives and complexity.”
The words “health” or “debt” or “nutrition” or “rent” or “maternal” or “sanctions” do not appear even once in the DWP’s letter to me of the 17th June. It does not cite even one example of independent evidence about the impact on the health of the employed and the unemployed who engage with the current or future systems of social security.
I would be very grateful for an answer to my letter to you of the 19th May that shares the widespread concern for the health and wellbeing of the men, women and children of the UK with the lowest incomes. The impact of government policies on their capacity to buy minimum quantities of food, utilities, clothes, transport and other necessities is damaging their health, education, fitness for work and the wider economy.
I hope too you will commission an independent assessment of the impact on the mental and physical health of men, women and children of benefit cuts, caps and council tax since 2010 and of the Universal Credit.
from the Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty