Monday, March 20, 2006

Scary NHS Gets Worse

Item: 500,000 children to lose NHS dental care. The new NHS dentist contract comes into force on April Fool's Day, and like so many NHS reforms, it's a total shambles. Hundreds more dentists will stop NHS work. John Renshaw- chairman of the British Dental Association until last month- will be among them:

“I have been committed to the NHS for the last 37 years but the new contract has forced me to make this decision. It was not an easy decision but it had got to the point where the NHS was not supporting the kind of service we wanted to offer our patients. There will be some patients who will not pay. I expect the number of children who are not getting dental care will increase.”

Item: "Thousands of elderly and disabled patients would lose their right to free long-term NHS care under draft proposals circulated by the Department of Health...the proposals would sharply reduce the number of patients eligible for free NHS continuing care. Officials say a harsher assessment regime outlined in the document would force many more families to rely on local authority supplied "social care", which is subject to means testing. That would push more vulnerable people into a parallel system that is itself under unprecedented pressure from debts of £1.7bn. Last week the organisation representing social services directors instructed its members to re-examine thousands of cases amid fears that many councils may be vulnerable to legal action from patients who are being charged for social care when in fact they ought to be treated free on the NHS".

Item: NHS to cut hospital care- People with asthma, heart disease and other chronic conditions who are frequently admitted to hospital as emergency cases are to be treated at home in a drive to save £400m pa and ease the cash crisis in the NHS. CPO Commissar Hewitt says “While it’s important to know the hospital is always there, it’s a much better, more stable, life for people if they can be treated in the community. Having so many unplanned admissions can also make it harder to develop day-to-day services in the hospital and increase costs. More efficient community treatment can avoid the need for hospitalisation.” And as we know, the Commissar is a big expert on all this.

Conclusion: Despite all evidence to the contrary, the Commissar and her top bureaucrats persist is thinking they can sort things from the top. One size fits all. With the NHS now in crisis, let's hope they've already sorted the specs for the one-size peoples coffin.

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