We’re all going to get healthier, maybe.

I got talking with a group of 7 Kashmiri guys, hanging out at a local garage; taxi drivers waiting for cars to be washed and tyres replaced.

Animated about the Brexit vote, you wouldn’t have heard stronger views on immigration at a UKIP Christmas Party. They estimated at least 60% of the Kashmiri community voted Brexit.

Their big concern was the impact of immigration on the NHS, and what they see as its constant deterioration. Dirty and overcrowded hospital, unresponsive and slovenly staff, long waits to see a GP.

It was interesting, because despite failures in A&E, a mediocre ambulance service, a hospital lurching from financial crisis to crisis and confused GP appointment systems, most us instinctively tend to praise the NHS. Here was a different take.

Come forward a month, and we get the 5-year forward plan for NHS/Healthcare in South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw. Fancifully called the Sustainable Transformation Plan, its contents like the title seem designed to confuse and obscure the truth through big words and political spin.

For example, the NHS nowadays doesn’t spend on services, instead they invest. As in,  “yesterday I invested in a sliced loaf and a litre of milk”. Silly.

So to help you understand it….

Over the next 5 years South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw healthcare services, including those from Councils, are predicted to overspend by about £550m.

This they say cannot be allowed, yet many weasel words are used to avoid the term “cuts.”

Hospital services WILL be cut;  however we are told care will not get worse and we’ll  all get healthier.

Through community services we will be encouraged to quit smoking, cut out the booze and drugs, have fewer unplanned pregnancies. Elderly people will be less isolated & happier. So heaven is just around the corner as magically we all become healthier (or die.)

Also, much treatment/care will be transferred from hospitals to local GP and community healthcare services. Where it will be kinder, more focused and better (and presumably more cheerful.)

Of the many faults in this plan two stand out:

  1. The Councils’ 2017/18 budget shows them cutting almost £5.5m from budgets for those same enhanced community health services supposedly taking up the slack of hospital cuts e.g. care for the elderly, Public Health, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Counselling for victims of CSE etc.
  1. Recent research by the Doctors professional body shows that 25 % of GP are planning to retire over the next few years, while almost 30% are planning to go part time. These levels of GP losses are unprecedented, yet while alluded to by the STP they proffer no solutions and note no irony when they say GP surgeries  and community services will compensate for reductions in hospital care.

Those Kashmiri guys will have even more to worry about, as will we all.

Wil Ewart

8 thoughts on “We’re all going to get healthier, maybe.

  1. Dear Wil – Thank you for an excellent ‘heads-up’. Please refer to the outcome of the Healthwatch meeting held at Sheffield Town Hall on Thursday 8 December – when they are released – the ‘leadership’ tried to be upbeat but the attendees were in no doubt that money, money money was the absent elephant from the room. For those still with an interest, these references apply: http://www.sheffieldccg.nhs.uk/Downloads/CCG%20Board%20Papers/December%202016/1%20December%202016/PAPER%20C%20South%20Yorkshire%20and%20Bassetlaw%20STP.pdf


  2. kind of strange that most of the kashmiri voted for brexit , bulk of the landlords are kashmiri in eastwood and love the roma/slovak because its only the roma/slovak that will live in sub standard housing . i think you call it being exploited .


  3. You’ll find some of those kashmiri landlords are no more as a number of properties in Eastwood are up for sale or have been sold, some at auction.


  4. Its always comic how some would rather discuss landlord-ism in Eastwood, rather than confront the collapse of health and social care in the UK.

    They are in a spiral of decline brought about by a government that is ideologically controlled by its right wing and unwilling to use tax increases to take UK health care spending to the levels seen in France, Germany, Scandinavia and most economically advanced nations.

    The there is a Labour Party so far up its own bum that it seems unable to mount a credible defence of even its own iconic creation.

    But don’t look to UKIP to save healthcare, their leader is on record as saying ” I believe, as long as the NHS is the ‘sacred cow’ of British politics, the longer the British people will suffer with a second rate health service.”

    Can somebody please get angry about something important.


    • Believe me I was very angry about what happen to me, but of course it wasn’t the NHS staff that were to blame, but the Tory politicians who rather than fund it properly are constantly looking for any opportunity to privatise it. Though they dare not attempt to do so openly, bit by bit and stealthily will do.


    • Will.
      I am angry!
      I am bloody angry at the lack of funding for what I consider basic and essential services in UK, and at the potential loss of people’s rights when we leave the EU.

      (and yes it is utterly depressing and sickening that because you mentioned your conversation with some Kashmiri’s; that “landlordism” became the focus of so many of the comments).

      “… to take UK health care spending to the levels seen in France, Germany, Scandinavia and most economically advanced nations.”

      … and I would suggest that we also need to do that with spending on Education but with a focus on Comprehensives and state schools, an area where the ideas of the current and previous government depress me the more.


  5. Pingback: The Week That Was – Last Weeks Top Ten 17th December 2016 | Rotherham Politics

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