Inbox – September-October 2015

From: Morris Heseltine

Subject: Revised contract to be given to all junior doctors – NHS Employers

Perhaps Mr Mortimer [CEO of NHS Employers] would like to explain why these reforms are “essential”. As far as I can see, the reforms have nothing to do with improving care for patients or making the way doctors are paid fairer.

They simply serve to save the government an awful lot of money, while further degrading both pay and training for a group of hard working, highly skilled professionals who are already underpaid and overworked compared to their peers in similar highly demanding professions in the UK.

The only reason doctors stay in their jobs is because they care about doing things to the best of their ability. If they can’t even do that anymore, what’s the point?


From: Rob W

Subject: Some NHS staff to miss out on pay rise over next 5 years

The government does not understand the NHS pay scale. All this bluster about incremental pay rises blinds the public. When you are offered a post in the NHS it is in a pay band. The job pays up to the top of that band, which you achieve incrementally whilst developing the skills and competencies required of the post.

It’s not a pay rise per se, it’s recognition of you achieving what’s needed to do your job. The fact that the cost of living is outstripping our salary increments is why NHS staff should be offered more than 1%. How many people in the private sector have had a five-year pay freeze and look set to face another five? Don’t tell me how hard it is outside the public sector, I’ve been there, and it’s often better paid than we are!


From: Philip

Subject: Department of Health to review NHS funding of private nursing homes

Yes, this is good news, but I do hope the Department of Health will consider also the huge subsidy paid by privately funded care home residents that enables local authority funded residents to stay in so many of these homes, thereby decimating their own assets and those that might be inherited by their families.

The low level of the NHS funding is forcing private care homes, such as the one with which I am associated, to refuse to take residents eligible for this contribution in the same way that such homes are now taking only privately funded residents due to the very low fees paid by local authorities.

What a shame there was such a quick government U-turn on the Dilnot proposals so soon after the general election in May.


From: Belinda Sadler

Subject: Paramedic workforce crisis

I know of two or three young people (18-23) who would love to be paramedics. I have encouraged them to apply. The first question they are asked is [whether] they hold a UK driving licence. If the answer is no they can go no further. Why? Learning to drive is too expensive for many young people. Surely they can commence training with a view of learning to drive over the duration of the course instead of excluding them from even being considered. Short-sighted I think.


From: Cllr Stewart Young

Subject: Ambulance trusts will have legal duty to integrate with police – Cameron

Yet again, the actions fail to live up to the rhetoric. What is needed is a single blue light service, which would save significant amounts of money, as well as improving the service.

That would require changes to legislation. These proposals, which in effect are saying “let’s all work more closely together” don’t go anywhere near delivering the level of change which is required.


From: A Moore

Subject: Does CSUs' closure reflect their performance?

The failure of these two CSUs must surely be a reflection of how poorly they performed over the past few years? The organisational ethos many CSUs inherited from PCTs, and the view that they were there to ‘do it to the GPs’, was contrary to the situation that the GPs were now in charge.

That the NWCSU also won the Plain English Campaign’s ‘Bull’ award in 2013-14 was indicative of an unreal mindset. There won’t be many tears shed to see some CSUs disappear – it’s just a shame for their best staff who might suffer.


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