Press Summary: 7 February

31 January

2000 doctors warn May of safety risks

Mirror

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/patient-safety-at-risk-due-9723968

 

Warning of GP cuts in NHS overhaul

Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/31/warning-cuts-family-doctors-nhs-overhaul/

[27+ more stories]

Will STPs kill or cure the health service?

Guardian. Bit of a no-brainer…

https://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2017/jan/31/nhs-transformation-plans-health-service

 

1 February

 

MP urges people to join NHS rally (local)

Shields Gazette.

http://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/mp-urges-people-to-join-rally-to-help-protect-the-nhs-1-8362030

Also reported afterwards in the local Chronicle

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/hundreds-turn-out-newcastle-march-12557552

Prompted by KONP North-East, a relatively newly ‘re-established’ group. Well done, John Whalley and fellow campaigners.

 

An exercise in propaganda ‘spin’ – blame the ‘immigrant’

 

NHS failing to recover money from overseas patients because system flawed

Now watch this closely, it’s a classic triad of distraction, clamour, and quiet alternative release. First, the damning report. Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/nhs-failing-recover-unpaid-bills-overseas-patients-mps-report-a7556156.html

 

And the uptake of this ‘costing millions’ (the fact that the NHS budget is under-funded by billions is largely ignored):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38809530

 

Followed by baying calls to charge ‘up front’ from the right press. And a disturbing tendency to conflate non-residency with ‘immigrant’. Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/01/nhs-should-charge-health-tourists-upfront-instead-chaotic-debt/

 

And others. Mirror

http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/hospitals-failing-recover-millions-isnt-9741760

 

The Sun went one stage further, finding ‘immigrants’ to blame who worked for the NHS. 5 Feb.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2787575/nhs-workers-shocking-health-tourism-abuse-exposed-as-parliament-demands-crackdown/

 

Then the ‘righteous’ response from government a few days later:

 

Every NHS ‘tourist’ to be charged for non-urgent treatment under law change

Telegraph and elsewhere, 6 Feb

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/06/every-nhs-trust-charge-health-tourists-upfront-law-change/

 

And then, at the height of the storm, the story that would have drawn damnation: A&Es WILL close under STP plans, nationwide. Guardian, 6 Feb

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/06/one-in-six-ae-departments-at-risk-of-closure-or-downgrade

 

Masterful distraction and PR ‘spin’ at its classic best. Open Democracy have good summaries of why charging non-residents is highly suspect and sets a dangerous precedent:

 

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/whole-agitation-has-nasty-taste-bevan-on-so-called-health-tourism

 

Also a critique of how the bad story was missed:

 

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/rachel-clarke/how-do-you-keep-news-of-dozens-of-aes-closures-off-front-pages

 

This is an example of the extent, power and influence of the PR ‘machine’ the movement as a whole is fighting. But we are winning too.

 

Yorkshire MP warns STPs will drage NHS ‘back to 1960s’ (local)

Yorkshire Post

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/health/nhs-in-yorkshire-being-dragged-back-to-1960s-through-cuts-warns-mp-1-8364836

 

2 February

 

May pressed NHS IT boss to break the law

Over handing over data about immigrants the government had ‘lost’. Clumsy of them. It’s not as if they don’t need people to blame. For anything. Morning Star. Includes quote from KONP’s Campaign Officer, Alan Taman.

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-e624-May-pressed-NHS-boss-to-break-law#.WJmjarF0eks

 

Carillion sacked from Nottingham cleaning contract (local)

Nottingham Post

http://www.nottinghampost.com/decision-to-end-hospital-contract-with-carillion-is-the-right-one/story-30105089-detail/story.html

Ably publicised by KONP Nottingham. Quotes from Mike Scott. Well done Nottingham. Alan Taman gave phone interview to local radio.

 

Private consultancy firms already siphoning off millions in STPs (local)

Detailed story on private profiteers gaining from STPs. Includes quote from KONP Camden’s Candy Unwin. Well done Camden. Camden New Journal

http://www.camdennewjournal.com/stp-consultants

 

2 February

 

Stroud campaigners angry at Gloucs private contract (local)

Gloucestershire Live

http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/stroud-campaigners-rail-at-nhs-privatisation-after-key-service-set-for-private-firm/story-30107636-detail/story.html

Another private contract for out of hours service. But this story is pitched to give the campaign’s protest the lead: so the best that could be made of it. Stroud Campaign Against the Cuts. Well done.

Also picked up by the Stroud News, as Labour councillors take up the call

http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/15069733.Labour_councillors_in_Stroud_express_serious_concerns_over_NHS_out_of_hours_privatisation/

 

3 February

 

Kent CCG suspends all elective surgery until April

Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/03/nhs-body-suspends-non-urgent-surgery-100-days-bid-save-32million/

 

Former Tory health adviser joins US private health firm

Independent. Another example of the ‘revolving door’ patronage increasingly defining politics but with worrying indications about what that means for health policy. Includes a quote from Alan Taman

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/former-tory-government-health-adviser-nick-seddon-us-firm-optum-nhs-privatisation-david-cameron-a7561696.html

 

Junior doctors leaving training after 2 years

The predictable result of the way they are being treated. Obscene waste of talent, motivation and public money. Mirror

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/soaring-numbers-junior-doctors-leave-9752714

 

4 February

 

Hundreds turn up for protests over NHS cuts (local)

Chronicle Live (north-east). Includes line attributing success to KONP North-East. Well Done North-East KONP.

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/nhs-rally-newcastle-live-updates-12556056

 

5 February

 

Health bosses slammed over lack of STP consultation (local)

Oxford Mail. Includes quote from Oxford KONP’s Veronica Treacher. Well done Oxford.

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/15070766.Health_bosses_slammed_over___39_chaotic__39__consultation_for_massive_NHS_changes/

 

GP practice sets up private option – £145 a go (local)

Practice claims they need to do this to survive. Chomsky vindicated: de-fund, de-motivate, privatise. The future for all, unless we can stop it. Southern Daily Echo

http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/15071421.NHS_GP_practice_sets_up_a_private_service___by_paying_up_to___145_to_jump_the_queue/

 

Growing waiting times threat to NHS

BBC News. Hugh Pym, the BBC’s health correspondent, is airing some of the views of the movement

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38859225

 

6 February

 

Can we save the NHS through NI contributions?

A sensible point from the Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/nhs-national-insurance-crisis-brexit-post-truth-remain-a7565646.html

 

Desperate patients beg for lives through crowd funding sites

The human cost of the inhumane marketing of our health service. In case you still thought personal bankruptcies and relying on charities for health treatment could never happen here. This must not become everyone’s future. Mirror

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/desperate-patients-rejected-treatment-nhs-9758457

 

A busy week for press activity, with the government announcement on charging for non-residents. KONP received several enquiries nationally, including the Independent, the Victoria Derbyshire Show, Morning Star and Channel 4 News, as well as several calls relating to local stories which were fielded to the respective group contact or dealt with directly. There was some recognition in some mainstream media that the ‘immigrant problem’ was the distraction it clearly was intended to be and local successes continue to encourage.

Several branches are sending in press releases – thank you. We need more! Local successes are at least matching national ‘presence’, which is to be expected – but it helps to know of any successes, or even unsuccessful attempts. Please send to Alan Taman: healthjournos@gmail.com

 

This service is provided as a guide to the main stories, but you can get alerts sent about health stories yourself every day. This is done through Google news and Google alerts: free services anyone can set up. To find out how to do this, go to the Steering Group, News & Events section on the KONP website (https://keepournhspublic.com/support-konp/steering-group-page/news-events/ ) and look for the “starter set of instructions”.

 

Mobile devices also have free apps that provide news, which you can filter with varying degrees of control.

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