Well there is one thing that I feel for sure then; and I am now beginning to get a feeling of no doubt whatsoever and that of no uncertainty; that there will not be a shortage or famine of things to wright about this coming year. I think in the months that now lay ahead of us, we may now begin to see an escalation of hostilities in the class war.
Christmas and New Year Celebrations now being packed away for another year, the lines of battle are being drawn, and this is a battle that is going to be fought and won or lost, outside of our parliament, and the likes of which we may have never seen or experienced in our own lifetimes. The crises of capitalism is such that every gain made by the Labour and Trade Union Movement during the course of the last hundred years is about to be snatched and wrenched back.
The National Health Service (NHS) is already under attack and you can read about it almost daily in the national press, yesterday I read reports that the maternity services are close to breaking point and care for millions of mothers is worsening.
's leading midwife has warned in a dramatic plea over the declining state of childbirth on the NHS. Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives and writing in the Observer, warns that the situation in maternity units is so grave that the safety of women giving birth is under threat. Midwives, she says, "are deeply anxious about the care being delivered. They believe that the service they are giving to women and babies is deteriorating and that safety is too often being compromised. The service is teetering on the brink; the cracks are beginning to appear." UK
Now this all comes on top of Senior figures in Health Service (NHS) who have already warned that the government proposals to reform health care, as laid out in the white paper, “Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS”, could lead it to “implode” or face a “train crash”.
Speaking at a recent conference, Robert Creighton, the head of Ealing Primary Care Trust (PCT), explained that it has become difficult to concentrate on the job in hand of caring for patients, because the message they were getting from government was “everything [we have been doing] is bad, poor, unsuccessful and should be destroyed”. He went on to warn that the NHS was “at risk of blowing it seriously”—that the proposed changes could result in “a bloody awful train crash. It could collapse”.
The government changes are being pushed through by the health secretary, Andrew Lansley. The 152 primary care trusts and the 10 strategic health authorities will be replaced by around 600 consortia. A consortium will consist of groups of general practitioners (GPs). The consortia will be given £80 billion from the government to buy treatments on behalf of their patients.
Currently, PCTs are responsible for provision of health services, including GPs and other services such as dentists and pharmacists. They commission the purchase of treatments from strategic health authorities that provide hospital care.
Some 50 groups of GP practices, known as pathfinders, have been enlisted to be the first to take responsibility for commissioning. They cover around 12 million people in
, about a quarter of the population. But this is not a pilot project. Whatever happens with the pathfinder practices, the coalition government intends to press ahead with a complete reorganisation of the NHS by 2013. England
It is not only the pace of change that is a problem. The shift to GP-commissioned services is intended to open the way for greater private involvement in health care. GPs will be under pressure to buy the cheapest services on offer.
The Independent’s medical editor, Jeremy Laurance, has warned of a civil war in the NHS. “The NHS is bracing itself for a price war in which hospital trusts will offer supermarket-style discounts to fight each other for business”.
And what was it that Cameron said about the NHS being safe in his hands?”