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Junior doctors’ strikes reveal the fragility of patient-doctor relationships

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Today and tomorrow, junior doctors in our NHS are on strike. This action neglects taxpayers who expect world-class treatment around the clock, every day. Unlike previous occasions, this strike includes emergency services in hospitals across the UK. It is the BMA’s right to call this action, as a trade union representing those who work tirelessly to keep us healthy. The strike nevertheless rejects the fundamental principle that doctors are there to care for patients. Negotiations between the Government and the BMA led to agreement […]

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Power to the People: healthy collectivism through member-owned mutuals

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I began Conservative conference last Monday with a discussion hosted by ResPublica about empowering patients. The background was the report Power to the People – the mutual future of our National Health Service (PDF) produced for health mutual benenden. The report deals with the underlying reasons why the NHS is struggling to cope despite this Government protecting overall health spending and our Party pledging to protect it once again.  Take a look at the Budget Red Book 2014 and you will see (page 61) that the health […]

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Cancer Prevalence in the UK 2010 – 2040

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In the course of reading ResPublica’s report Power to the People: The mutual future of our National Health Service, I found this horrific chart: The section explaining “Why the NHS is on an unsustainable footing” clearly discusses pressures on the NHS from obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, dementia and depression. In addition to the pressure from these chronic conditions which individuals may suffer together, the NHS must cope with the rising cost of medication and surgery and a considerable reduction […]

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Interview at Love Wycombe 2014: debt, help with debt and credit unions

Amid the conflict, drama and, too often, scandal of politics, it is easy to forget that politicians hope to make a positive difference to the lives of other people. We may disagree about methods but every decent politician wants to lift people out of poverty. One of the five pathways to poverty identified by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is serious personal debt. The others are family breakdown, educational failure, worklessness and addictions. These are often experienced together. Helping people with […]

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Wycombe people need more control of the NHS

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The Bucks Free Press reports the latest campaign to return A&E to our hospital. If there was a lever to pull or a button to press to get this done, I would have already pulled or pressed it. The truth is that there is crisis of accountability in the NHS. Those taking decisions about services are insufficiently accountable to the public, who are both patients and taxpayers. I have no command over the medical establishment and nor do councillors. The […]

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Put patients in charge of the NHS

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Shortly before the 1911 National Insurance Act – the Act which practically destroyed the friendly societies and inaugurated the welfare state – the magazine of the Oddfellows carried this: Working men are awakening to the fact that this is a subtle attempt to take from the class to which they belong the administration of the great voluntary organisations which they have built up for themselves, and to hand over the future control to the paid servants of the governing class … […]

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PCT botches Minor Injuries Unit launch

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I am bitterly disappointed that Bucks PCT has so upset local people during the launch of the new Minor Inuries Unit (MIU) at Wycombe Hospital. The PCT’s material advertising the opening (which you can read here, here and here) told everyone that the Emergency Medical Centre was closing to be replaced by an MIU on 1 October. As a result, a wave of panic has swept the town as people have interpeted it to mean that they are losing their local A&E Department. […]

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A return to mutual aid?

The Telegraph writes: To promote prudence and responsibility, rather than the dependency and waste of the welfare system, we should return to mutual aid societies It’s an idea with which I have great sympathy, as I have written before.

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Local NHS leaders must heed the call to keep Wycombe’s Emergency Medical Centre open 24 hours a day

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Today, I am calling on local NHS leaders to heed the clear call from the public in Wycombe to provide 24-hour emergency cover at Wycombe Hospital. Councillor Tony Green’s petition to Bucks County Council has now passed the threshold to initiate a debate on the Emergency Medical Centre at Wycombe Hospital. The number of signatures has exceeded 5950. The petition calls on the Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to inform the PCT that 24 hour, 7 days-a-week Emergency Medical Centre […]

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The Launch of Big Society Capital

The Government has recently launched Big Society Capital to help finance social action in the UK. It will start with a fund of up to £600m that includes £400m from dormant bank accounts (about which I have reservations but that’s past) and up to £200m from the four main UK high street banks. If you run a charity or social enterprise in the Wycombe constituency, if you are interested in attracting long term finance for your organisation and if you […]

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