From the TUC

The NHS is changing before our eyes: #FullyFundOurNHS

20 Nov 2015, By Guest

Some things will always be the same. Since I started in my role 8 years ago, the passion, dedication and commitment of my team of radiographers is, and always will be, strong. The unwavering focus on high quality, compassionate care is a credit to themselves and the profession. Going the extra mile to accommodate extra lists, squeezing in emergency cases into full days, all done with a warm smile and professional approach.

However some things do change. The dedication may be constant, but many things now feel very different. The last few years, and especially the last 12 months, there has been a slow but very clear shift.

My hospital, a successful foundation Trust in London, is for the first time in deficit, without enough funding to cover its services. It’s happening to most hospitals – 89% of hospital trusts are predicted to be in deficit by the end of the financial year. And, as a result, it seems from the shop floor that priorities have changed. Previously the position of the Trust seemed to be high quality care, now it feels that cash is king.

Vacancies, both clinical and non-clinical, are now no longer filled. Equipment which has come to the end of its working life is no longer replaced, thus denying our patients access to quicker diagnosis and an optimised radiation dose. There are more short notice cancellations for patients due to breakdown, and it then falls to the hard-working and committed staff to explain to patients why their scan cannot be performed today, to the elderly and sick who have arrived only to be turned away through no-one’s fault… except the government.

Even though the health budget has supposedly been ‘ring fenced’ rising demand, fuelled by an ageing population with more complex health needs and new technologies, has seen unprecedented and sustained rises in activity. There is only so much capacity which can be generated through staff commitment, and it feels like we are at breaking point – both in terms of ability to safely manage our workload but also staff morale.

Compounding this is the insulting stance taken by the Secretary of State for Health. He insulted all healthcare professionals when he said that we won’t work weekends. He insults us when he makes unfounded claims based on incorrect assumptions to try and score political points. He insulted us when he refused even the 1% pay rise recommended by our independent pay review (whilst MPs received an 11% hike).

I fear for the future of the NHS, both for patients and my staff. Now is the time to act, before it is too late. We need change of a very different type in George Osborne’s Comprehensive Spending Review on 25 November – We need to #FullyFundOurNHS

4 Responses to The NHS is changing before our eyes: #FullyFundOurNHS

  1. Maggie lloyd
    Nov 20th 2015, 6:27 pm

    The Health and Social Care Act 2012 efectivly privatised the NHSin all but name. By 2020 we will have an American style health service. In the states 18% of GDP goes on health but hugh swathes of the people have little or no health care. The Health care companies now want the UK. Spending on health will rise from the 9-10% GDP we pay now to US levels and we will all be the loosers. The Tories will ignore the people they are out to distroy the NHS and all the social contract that make up the British way of life.

  2. Christine o’hagan
    Nov 21st 2015, 11:13 am

    The cynical plan of the Tories is to run down the NHS, secretly farming out essential parts of the service to private companies, so that eventually some of the public will start to think a new insurance system would be better. I have just retired after 43 years working as a sister mostly in ITU. I have always loved my job and feel privileged to have done it. There have been times in the past when we did not have the technology, new drugs etc but we always had hope that things were improving.
    Sadly since the Tories hope had been removed and people feel the inevitable slide into privitisation. It is still possible to save the NHS but people must stand up and be counted. Other unions must be prepared to act for the NHS as it is so hard for nhs staff to strike. This is not about money it’s about ideology. You don’t know what you’ve got until it”s gone
    One day our grandchildren will think what a lucky generation we have been but wonder how could we have allowed a group of millionaires to have destroyed so many things our great grandfathers fought so hard for to give ud a better life

  3. B Lucas
    Nov 23rd 2015, 12:09 pm

    After 30 years in the NHS I have experience of emergency and primary care as a nurse practitioner and cannot remember at any time feeling as totally desolate at the potential future of our NHS for my children and grandchildren as I do now under Hunt and this apalling Government. And I was working under Thatcher!

    The back door deals with private companies to provide care with inadequately qualified staff so that they can trumpet that the “NHS is safe in their hands” in the House of Commons; the huge insurance companies in the US that are poised to pounce when this Government has finally run the NHS into the ground; and the sly and sneaky Hunt who is doing his best to patronise all staff from senior consultants to auxillary staff that he has “no option.”

    I am fed up of hearing that Hunt’s vicious actions are due to the now tired excuse that the leader of the last Labour Government was the cause of a world recession which has ‘forced’ the Tories to make these devastating cuts. ( I didn’t realise that we were that powerful any more in the world, I thought the recession was due to the Fanny Mae mortgage crisis in the USA? ). To think that these type of people want to snap up our NHS at bargain bucket prices for a huge profit for themselves is like a nightmare that could come true.

    Our NHS is not ‘free,’ we pay for it so that when we need it, it is there for us and our families. That is how we have lived for over half a century. My late mother was one of the first very proud NHS nurses. My father was a talented dental technician. My daughter works tirelessly in pathology on a lower wage than she could get elsewhere because she is committed to the NHS.

    Too many people attend GP surgeries, the ED and hospital appointments which they know are underfunded and under staffed.
    We should be wearing uniforms with the slogan by Nye Bevan:-
    “THE NHS WILL LAST AS LONG AS THERE ARE FOLKS LEFT WITH THE FAITH TO FIGHT FOR IT” emblazoned on our uniforms, whether they are scrubs, tunics or simply on a badge. The public need to wake up to this very real threat that we will lose forever healthcare free at the point of delivery for each, according to their need.

  4. This is a full-scale attack on the NHS, the junior doctor contract is just the start
    Nov 24th 2015, 4:51 pm

    […] has left the future of the NHS in the balance. As we saw with colleagues in nursing, midwifery, radiography, ambulances and other parts of the service last year, the Health Secretary has a blatant disregard […]