NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims

Earlier this week, Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, described the NHS as "a super tanker heading for an iceberg".

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Earlier this week, Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, spoke out about members “doing their utmost to sustain our services” in the face of what he called a “super tanker heading for an iceberg”.

Protests-against-NHS-cutsThere will be a great impact on patients caused by what is fast emerging as a randomised approach to cuts, with Farrar now calling for radical action to overturn the mounting chaos.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham makes his views on the looming crisis very clear:

“I knew when I was secretary of state that there was a right way and a wrong way to rise to the Nicholson Challenge – and this government has chosen to tackle it the wrong way.

“In just a few months this is causing chaos below the decks.”

Given the continuous pronouncements coming from Andrew Lansley and Simon Burns, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. Where is the evidence to cause such a collective alarm? We are told waiting lists have never been in better shape, neither have any frontline staff been affected (cue incredulous gasps from the Royal College of Nursing) and despite the cuts there continues to be a rise in investment, so really patients should all be completely delighted.

Secretary of State Andrew Lansley and Minister of State Simon Burns would have us believe the results from the British Social Attitudes Survey released last week – which showed the largest ever drop in levels of faith in the NHS – are merely an uninformed aberration caused by troublesome anti-Bill campaigners. So of course, quite rightly, we seek proof rather than empty rhetoric.


See also:

Cuts to the NHS are triggering higher costs and severe consequences elsewhere 22 Jun 2012

The NHS crisis: A spotter’s guide 18 Jun 2012

Lansley told to his face why his NHS reforms are wrong, wrong, wrong 14 Oct 2011


In response, Andy Burnham and his junior shadow minister Jamie Reed offer us detailed evidence to back up their accusations:

“Wider, deeper and more accelerated cuts [will] create a postcode lottery whereby 125 SEP treatments are restricted by at least one PCT.

“Despite the government’s promise of no rationing on costs, blanket bans on treatment or lifestyle judgements – this is happening against the backdrop of a £3billion programme of unnecessary change which has literally cast the system adrift into a world of randomness and chaos.”

Burnham and Reed highlight the contradictory statements coming out from Messieurs Lansley and Burns who would have us believe none of this is real:

“What? No, no – there cannot be rationing or blanket bans!” – Herr Lansley

“There will be NO direct rationing by cost – we have put a ban on caps!” – Signor Burns

Data has been gathered, initially as a result of meetings with individual patients and medical teams, and then in the form of thousands of responses to the NHS Check website, and verified by the response of 66% of PCTs, 100, to a survey asking about evidence of restricting, rationing or even dismissal of procedures which have been available on the NHS for decades.

The response is telling – not all PCTs who are cutting procedures are doing so in the same way (well hello postcode lottery),  but there are common patterns: Tonsillectomy: 25%; varicose veins: 22%; knee replacement: 21%; hip operations: 18%; non-cancerous hysterectomy: 16%; bariatric – BMI conditions: 15%; planned Caesarian: 14%; paediatric hearing loss myringotomy, hysteroscopy: 13%;  trigger fingers, D&C: 12%; erectile dysfunction including implants: 11%; laser treatment or scar revision, wrist ganglion, spinal cord stimulation: 10%. [100 PCT resp.]

As the Labour team seek to highlight :

Restrictions are linked to arbitrary caps despite the ministers’ claims;

• Restrictions are being introduced which diverge from NICE guidelines;

• Restrictions cover a number of serious treatments affecting patients’ level of pain, mobility and quality of life;

• 22 treatments or services have been stopped altogether by at least 1 PCT;

Patients in parts of England are left facing charges for essential treatments such as cataracts, knee surgery and hip replacements.

There are also obvious serial offenders such as Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster but perhaps none more so than Bassetlaw, where amongst a range of rationing measures, BMI boundaries are now re-invented with strict criteria for patients in this category to engage in every weight reduction programme in sight – including commercial diet plans, before surgery is allowed, if these are unsuccessful.

Also in the alarming range, further exploration has shown the concerns Lord Collins voiced in autumn 2011 are turning into reality.

Two Essex PCTs are restricting diabetes treatments, directly flouting NICE guidelines. It is well known that if treatment is not made available, the condition of the patient will worsen – and pain aside, the management of additional complications will be more expensive.

Lansley and his team must start considering the consequences of their ‘hard and fast’ approach to the cuts, considering how vital the NHS is to the people of Britain.


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34 Responses to “NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims”

  1. Jos Bell

    thanks to @LeftFootFwd for reminding us that Lansley & Burns need to stop the 'ello 'ello approach to NHS management http://t.co/adf3UZ36

  2. Michael

    NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims – http://t.co/26Z5MkkZ

  3. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims http://t.co/lAHbwOV0

  4. seuss [ sue]

    NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims – http://t.co/26Z5MkkZ

  5. Brian Tomkinson

    NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims – http://t.co/26Z5MkkZ

  6. Anonymous

    Direct consequence of being forced to depend on the state.

    That state runs a fraud, hiding its debts.

    Those debts become due, and it will beg borrow and steal to keep its ponzi scam going.

  7. Anonymous

    As you correctly point out allowing PCT’s to make local decisions on health is bound to result in a post code lottery (‘well hello postcode lottery’). That’s one of the big problems with local decison making. Of course Labours and the Lib Dems regionalisation proposals for England would have the same effect!
    The answer is to establish an English Goverment with in this case an English NHS making national decisions!

  8. Blarg1987

    Is the private sector any better with organisations to big to fail?

  9. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims http://t.co/q6sBW7Tn

  10. Anonymous

    That’s right, it’s TERRIBLE that the poor can access medical treatment at all.

    You’re determined to kill off the NHS and pensions, refusing to pay. You’re literally murderous scum. Not one penny for society, everything you you. Always and forever.

  11. Tristram Wyatt

    NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims, writes @Jos21: http://t.co/wlBjAeJG #SaveOurNHS

  12. Angus Carruthers

    Jos Bell @Jos21: NHS Check website exposes Andrew Lansley’s “no rationing” claims #NHS #SaveOurNHS http://t.co/fMOVCccF via @leftfootfwd

  13. jbw

    Jos Bell @Jos21: NHS Check website exposes Andrew Lansley’s “no rationing” claims #NHS #SaveOurNHS http://t.co/fMOVCccF via @leftfootfwd

  14. salardeen

    Jos Bell @Jos21: NHS Check website exposes Andrew Lansley’s “no rationing” claims #NHS #SaveOurNHS http://t.co/fMOVCccF via @leftfootfwd

  15. Jos Bell

    @goLookGoRead http://t.co/txSUevez. Also BBC Question Time as well as http://t.co/AJa5of6q

  16. Anonymous

    PCT’s? Er, no. They’re moving the decisions down on this to small groups of GP’s. Neatly destroying the ability to use bulk purchasing powers.

    While a federal UK is a good idea, it would necessary to reverse many of the changes occurring to get back to a situation where the region negotiated for drugs again.

  17. cameronsfollys

    NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims http://t.co/6Pd8bHDz

  18. Anonymous

    An English NHS should be able to negotiate for drugs. Massive buying power!

  19. Anonymous

    Sure. But that’s NOT the coalition’s plan, which is to fragment the buying power (quite dramatically).

  20. Anonymous

    It’s not the oppositions’s either so that’s why I say f##k the coalition and f##k new labour.

  21. Anonymous

    It’s not the oppositions’s either so that’s why I say f##k the coalition and f##k new labour.

  22. Anonymous

    Well, I’ll leave you to that then.

  23. Jos Bell

    @drkimholt @RoyLilley @DavidGWrigley @DrJackyDavis http://t.co/zZyOTnSm and http://t.co/AJa5of6q

  24. Jos Bell

    Sick should help themselves more then Dave? Perhaps you could stop withholding treatments – just to help a bit http://t.co/AJa5of6q

  25. NHS Supporters

    [email protected] NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims http://t.co/VpRDRaye and http://t.co/fcZmjUu3 #nhsreclaim

  26. Virgin Care

    [email protected] NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims http://t.co/VpRDRaye and http://t.co/fcZmjUu3 #nhsreclaim

  27. christine clifford

    [email protected] NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims http://t.co/VpRDRaye and http://t.co/fcZmjUu3 #nhsreclaim

  28. Emma

    [email protected] NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims http://t.co/VpRDRaye and http://t.co/fcZmjUu3 #nhsreclaim

  29. michelle maher

    [email protected] NHS Check website exposes Lansley’s “no rationing” claims http://t.co/VpRDRaye and http://t.co/fcZmjUu3 #nhsreclaim

  30. Liberationstation

    The mendacious coalition government is continuing to sink its molars into our National Health Service, and their foul intentions are now clear to all, but despite an overwhelming 62% of the public opposing this duplicitious privatisation project health secretary Andrew Lansley is pulling out nasty tricks at increasingly rapid rates. Tory millionaire Lansley has placed the South London Healthcare NHS Trust into the tentacles of a ‘special administrator’ to the government; there are already transparent perils to employment and services at the trust’s three hospitals which are the Queen Elizabeth at Woolwich, Queen Mary’s in Sidcup and Princess Royal at Bromley respectively.

    Pulpit press headlines allege the trust is losing £1 million each week and has accumulated deficits of more than £150 million over the last three years. That deficit however is a direct consequence of privatisation – the Private Finance Initiative built hospitals which further increases the wealth of obscenely affluent businesses at our expense. In the trust area alone PFI schemes currently cost £61 million in interest payments, a long stretch beyond the hospitals’ losses and PFI repayments and these payments are due to last another two decades. It is clear that these charges only have private profit in mind instead of the health of local citizens. This ongoing peril also provides a dire warning to health authorities across the country with at least twenty now severely indebted thanks to PFI. Our coalition of conservatives happily scramble to rescue incompetent banks but demonstrably reluctant to save our hospitals from bankruptcy; to them ‘all in this together’ means that the poor, sick and vulnerable must bear the brunt of austerity to rectify a crisis provoked by casino capitalists who have learned nothing of their failures.

    Introduced by the Conservative Party before being adopted and accelerated by Labour, PFI costs NHS organisations £50bn for buildings worth only 22% of that amount. One example of this is the Princess Royal hospital, built under a PFI contract, which will cost the NHS £1.2 billion, more than ten times its genuine value. This government expects ordinary taxpayers (the 99%) to pay with cancelled operations, lower levels of service and a massacre of jobs and workers’ conditions in order to bolster profits for the 1%, especially speculators and private health shareholders. Unite activist Onay Kasab from Greenwich was on the money when he said: “The news comes as no surprise to those of us fighting against privatisation of services in this area. We correctly pointed out that PFI (Profit from Illness) would lead to massive profits for private companies, while services were put at risk and we would be left to pick up the pieces from the resultant debts. From the beginning, before the PFI companies began ripping us off, we said that PFI is a money laundering exercise letting public money go into the coffers of private companies via a convoluted route. Now is the time to demand a halt and reversal of the privatisation of the health service.“

    It is now imperative for NHS users and workers to unite in resistance to this grotesque circus, proving that a strong fightback can give the minions of corporate turpitude a very real migraine. British Medical Association delegates voted at their June conference for a campaign to repeal Lansley’s detested Health And Social Care act, whilst numerous other trade unions have adopted policies demanding urgent action against cuts and privatisation. The onus is now on workers to establish a mass revolt in defence of the NHS alongside other vital services being condemned to death by the coalition. We can achieve great leaps forward by sending a potent message of refusal to take this toxic medicine lying down.

  31. Jos Bell

    @SocialistHealth there is clear evidence about rationing they can't wriggle out of http://t.co/AJa5of6q

  32. Jos Bell

    @SocialistHealth @val_hudson @richardblogger Shadow Team says this > http://t.co/AJa5of6q ; http://t.co/zZyOTnSm

  33. Jos Bell

    Opposition Debate in Commons now on closures, rationing & chaos in NHS http://t.co/zZyOTnSm ; @andyburnhammp evidences http://t.co/AJa5of6q

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