9 thoughts on “Health and Social Care Bill 2010/1 – some comments and not much hope

  1. Pingback: Health and Social Care Bill 2010/1 – some comments and not much hope - Fighting Monsters - Member blogs - Social Work Blog - Carespace from Community Care

  2. i work in a rural area in adult mental health at present we have one picu and four small local community psychiatric units spread round the county,news is they are closing three of he smaller units which will loose us about 40 beds and means if people do need to go into hospital then they will be taken out of their local area and plonked miles away from family,friends and everything hey now – it takes about 1 hour 45 minutes to get from one part of the locality to the place where this unit will be- how can that be good?

  3. As a social worker in Scotland I have been reading about the proposed changes in England with similar concern to those views already expressed. I wonder what type of health care I would come to expect if I lived in England? The uncertainty encourages me to remain north of the border!

    The long term tension, as I have understood it, has been the different level of expenditure in the NHS on whether you need services for acute or chronic health care. This is why there has been so little investment in the cinderella services of psychiatric and elderly health care.

    The Scottish Government has being doing some serious analysis on the cost of public services and two commissions are now working to try and come up with new ways to tackle the problems, one commission has been set up by the Government and the other by the Labour Party – who suggested at their recent conference that there should be a National Care Service for Adults, potentially part of the NHS. Suffice it to say that most public money spent on health and social care of the over 80’s is on acute hospital admissions, following falls and heart attacks in the community. Serious time is now being spent in seeing if preventative work in the community could reduce this public spending. Results of teh two commissions will be out in the summer.

    On the political front there are now some very significent factors driving public policy in social care and health provision. Since 1999 Scotland has had either coalition or minority governments. We have another interesting election for a new government on 5th May and there is no certainty about which direction the dominant lead will come from. With only one Conservative MP from Scotland in Westminster and just a few Conservative MSPs in the Scottish Parliament social policy on Scotland is being driven by combinations of MSPs from SNP, Labour, Lib-Dems, Greens and critical votes held by independents. These various coalitions have encouraged cross-party support for health and social care in tryng to find solutions to difficult problems rather than time consuming adversarial politics. This is why the ten year committment to implementing the 2006 Changing Lives Review has been largely successful in modernising our social work services.

    We have many challenges ahead, not least in how public money will be spent, but the climate in which we face these issues does include the voice of social work and our strong professional association, BASW Scotland, will continue to be part of making a difference to people’s lives.

    Moving to Scotland is certainly possible, you can change your registration to the SSSC and employers and BASW Scotland will give you help getting to grips with our progressive legislation (which we helped develop – so is easy to read and understand!). If you want more information you will find me at the BASW Scotland office – details on the website!

  4. Welll for me i have two thoughts i think the current system is in a mess it could basicly go good or it could go bad i tihnk we will find out in the following mounths

  5. I’m afraid your antennae are right, cb; this is bad, bad, baaaaaaaaaaad as Kojak used to say.

    The basics of the situation are this. For some years, companies like United Health (American), Atos (French) and others have been buying up GP practices. Richard Branson has also moved into this via Assura, which is one of the biggest owners of GP practices in England. This is fairly modest at the mo; about 200 practices are owned by the big boys. It’s not going to stay like that. Now, the budget for the NHS is going to be handed, not to GPs, but to GP practices to commission secondary care, mental health, elderly care services etc. In those areas where the big boys are in control, you’re handing it straight to them. In those areas where they don’t yet operate, there’s no way that ordinary GPs have the time or experience to run their own GP practice and health commissioning for the entire area they’re in. So they will get someone else to do it for them. Guess what United Health and Serco specialise in. Yep , health commissioning. So they will come into play in the areas they don’t already operate in.
    It doesn’t end there. Some of these companies have other interests. Serco for example runs facilities management at Leicester and Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals; it also runs out- of -hours GP services in Cornwall. Circle run a chain of private hospitals; it has also recently taken over Hinchingbrooke hospital, a former NHS hospital. So if they also take over commissioning, they will end up as both purchaser and provider of healthcare services. And this bill also removes the cap on the number of private patients allowed at NHS hospitals, so it’s going to turn into a free-for-all. NICE has just been divested of its powers as regulator of prescription drugs, so no doubt a few pharmaceutical companies will also get in tow with this in return for a few wads of cash in the right pockets.

    It’s a total utter nightmare. Labour paved the way for this and the Conservatives are trying to finish it off. Unless the Lib Dems grow a spine soon, this is the nuclear button for the NHS and I fear virtually the end for your speciality cb. It is different here in Scotland; we didn’t allow private companies to take over GP practices here and we passed legislation in Holyrood to reinforce that, but that may not be enough. If it’s any consolation, we are doing our best to help our counterparts south of the border on this, because if it gets passed in England, it’ll probably be only a matter of time before it reaches here.

    Sorry to be so gloomy, but you need to know and spread the word. It’s time to take a stand.

  6. agree with all you say but when looking at the bill and i agree a hard read even for a bill of this size sec 117 obligations will continue to be shared between LA’s and instead of PCT’s Gp consortia

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