Why does it matter if your free NHS treatment was at a private hospital?

From Facebook:

“Reflecting on what was an unusual weekend.

On Saturday morning I got a knock on the door from a stranger to say that my partner had come off his bike at the end of our road. The panic must have been visible on my face. “He’s ok”, she said. “But he’s got a nasty gash on the side of his face. My husband’s with him. He’s ok. But he’ll need to go to hospital.”

Her husband, it turns out, is a firefighter. So fortunately knew what to do when he saw the head injury.

By the time I got to him, Kev was sitting on a chair outside their house, with kitchen paper held over the left side of his face. There was a lot of blood. He was conscious, but in shock. They told me it was probably best not to look at his wound.

The paramedics arrived within minutes and took us to Kings, where they have a specialist facial trauma unit.

Although he was wearing a helmet his face smashed into the edge of a sharp curb. So, as well as the deep lacerations around his eye socket, he’d broken his cheekbone in three places.

From the moment we stepped into the ambulance around 1030am to when that we left the hospital around 9pm, we were in the hands of the most amazing individuals.

In total, at least 20 different people were involved in caring for him: 2 paramedics, an A&E receptionist, 3 different A&E nurses, 1 X-ray receptionist, 1 radiologist, 1 A&E doctor, 3 facial trauma specialists, 1 facial surgeon, 2 porters, 1 neuro radiology receptionist, 1 neuro radiologist, 1 ophthalmic consultant, 1 head injury specialist, and an A&E discharge nurse. And these were just the people we met. There were probably countless others contributing behind the scenes.

We were so well looked after. Every single one of those people were calm, caring, cheerful, patient, professional, focussed and committed. They explained what was happening at every stage. They cared about doing the best for us.

Many of these medical professionals were working 12-hour shifts. Several of them worked beyond the end of their shift to care for us, including one facial trauma doctor who, although his cover had arrived, stayed to help her with the complex stitching that Kev needed, and chatted cheerfully to us as he worked.

Many of these NHS professionals were from other countries – Australia, Cyprus, Nigeria, Philippines and Poland, to name a few – working in what is the busiest A&E department in the whole of the EU.

Their expertise was incredible. We were seen by three different specialist teams – facial trauma, neurology and ophthalmology – all working together, seamlessly, under the same roof.

This is the NHS is all its magnificent glory.

At no point did we worry about the cost of this care. At no point did anyone ask us for an insurance number. At no point were we offered optional treatments with different price tags. Everything they did was the very best available treatment for that patient with that specific problem, no matter their background, or circumstances, or means. From my partner, to the elderly woman who‘d had a fall, to the young lad with a sports injury, and the chirpy flat capped guy with a suspected broken hip, and the loveable and slightly drunk homeless woman with a fractured wrist. They were all treated equally. They were all given the very best medical care available.

I am a huge supporter of the NHS. I marched to save Lewisham Hospital, where I gave birth. I was one of the people who swelled with pride and wept watching nurses bouncing on beds at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. And on Saturday I witnessed first-hand how brilliant and precious it really is.

But there are those in government who are keen to see market forces play a bigger role in our NHS, or who are at best extremely relaxed about it. They’ve already introduced a lot more private providers into the system.

You might think, “what does it matter if my routine surgery, my cataract operation or my knee replacement, gets done by a private health care company? So long as I’m not paying for it.” It matters because as the private sector cherry-picks the straight forward and more lucrative areas of care, it gets more and more difficult for NHS hospitals to function well.

There is something about the way hospitals are funded that means that, when money is diverted to private providers for routine treatments or elective surgery, it becomes more challenging for hospitals to provide emergency care and the more complex higher risk medical treatments.

So, this is to say that the concerns around private sector involvement in the NHS are multifaceted.

It’s not just a question of “well, as long as medical treatment is still free, it doesn’t matter who is providing it”. Gradual and almost invisible changes are already undermining and eroding the system. And if we aren’t careful, they’ll have such a seismic impact that we risk losing the NHS as we know it.

There are other people that have a much greater insight into all this than I do. And if you’re interested in finding out more more, a good starting point is to watch this video of Allyson Pollock’s TED talk on the privatisation of the NHS, or to visit the website Public Matters.

The NHS is at risk as never before. I knew that already, but this week I was reminded just how very precious it is, and how fortunate we are to have it.

Our family’s experience this weekend was stressful, but our worries were only for Kev’s health, well-being and medical prognosis. I dread to think how it would have been if we’d been worrying about whether we’d be able to access the specialist care he needed, or whether that care was available close to home. Or if we had been fretting about whether we’d be able to afford the treatment on offer. Or wondering if our insurance would cover it.

This weekend the NHS was there for my family and is going to be hugely important to us over the coming weeks as Kev continues his treatment on the road to recovery.

If the NHS is important to you, then fight for it. I will be.”

Daily Telegraph: “For the Tories, choosing candidates is a trade-off between parachuting in favoured sons and alienating grassroots members”

This is not Mr Jupp on his parachute into East Devon – just his boss … on a sort-of parachute …

The Daily Telegraph article (which, unfortunately is behind a pay wall) goes on to give the example of an adviser being parachuted in of “Simon Jupp, who advises Dominic Raab, in East Devon”.

Andrew Moulding joins election insults battle

Just about the only candidate who HASN’T joined the slag-fest is Claire Wright!

“Tories and Independent trade insults over former radio candidate.

Housing? Employment? Refuse collection? Regeneration of seafront towns? Any one of them could be top of the charts when it comes to issues of critical importance to East Devon. But Tory and Independent council leaders in the constituency are instead having a spat over whether ageing rocker Iggy Pop would do a better job than Conservative candidate Simon Jupp.

The former radio presenter and journalist won the selection battle to wear the biggest blue rosette at the weekend and took immediately to door-knocking to drum up support. He’s defending an 8,000 majority bequeathed to him by outgoing MP Sir Hugo Swire. But that majority itself was down from 12,000 on the 2015 election, with independent Claire Wright snatching a sizeable share of the vote.

Now East Devon District Council leader Ben Ingham, an independent, has told a local newspaper he thinks Mr Pop – who had a top 10 hit in 1986 with ‘Real Wild Child’ – would have been a better candidate. “People would be able to relate to him more than a DJ from Plymouth,” he’s reported as saying. Mr Ingham also says he’d thought of running for parliament himself because he’s disappointed by the area’s MPs.

That’s got the leader of East Devon Conservatives, Andrew Moulding, into a lather. He’s penned a 500-word response metaphorically telling Mr Ingham to wind his neck in. Being “a DJ from Plymouth [is[ not in itself a crime,” he claims (although he may not have met some of the profession in that city). If Mr Ingham thinks he can do a better job, he’s still got time to stand, he suggests. And “To compare [Mr Jupp] with Iggy Pop shows how out of touch with reality disaffected Conservative Ben Ingham actually is, stuck in some 1970’s time warp, where Simon Jupp will be nobody’s ‘Stooge’ and has a clear ‘Lust for Life’ (apologies to Iggy), working hard for residents of East Devon on both local and national issues.”

East Devon and its predecessors have been Conservative for more than a century. It’s considered a two-way battle in next month’s election between Mr Jupp and Ms Wright. “

https://www.radioexe.co.uk/news-and-features/local-news/tories-and-independent-trade-insults-over-dj-candidate/

ANOTHER Lib Dem stands down to avoid Tory victory (NOT in East Devon)

And, in spite of the last paragraph below, East Devon now appears to be one of only a few seats where the Lib Dem and the Greens want to hand the constituency a Tory ex-DJ parachuted in from Bristol!

“Lib Dem candidate stands aside to avoid ‘nightmare’ of Tory win.

The Liberal Democrat candidate in a marginal Labour seat has unilaterally decided to stand down, saying that while the two parties could not agree on a pact he wanted to avoid the “nightmare” of handing the constituency back to the Conservatives.

In an article for the Guardian, Tim Walker said that while he did not trust Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit, he wanted to give Rosie Duffield, the Labour candidate who took Canterbury from the Tories for the first time in 2017 by just 187 votes, the best chance of winning.

The announcement of his candidacy had dismayed some Lib Dems, who argued that while there is no formal deal between their party and Labour it would be better to stand aside to help Duffield, who is strongly pro-remain. In 2017 the then-Lib Dem candidate received more than 4,500 votes.

The deadline for nominations in the 12 December election closes on Thursday. It is not yet clear if the Lib Dems plan to stand another candidate in Walker’s place.

It comes as the Lib Dem candidate in Boris Johnson’s seat, Uxbridge and South Ruislip, announced she was standing aside. In a statement, Elizabeth Evenden-Kenyon said this was because of family illness, and that the party would have enough time to select a new hopeful.

However, if the Lib Dems do not, it could boost Labour’s admittedly outside chance of unseating Johnson. He had a majority of just over 5,000 in 2017, with the third-placed Lib Dems getting more than 1,800 votes.

Writing in the Guardian, Walker, a journalist who formerly worked for the Daily Telegraph, said it had become clear that if he stayed in place in Canterbury, there was “a danger I’d divide the remainers” and allow victory for the Tory candidate, Anna Firth: a vehement Brexit supporter who worked with the Vote Leave campaign.

“I don’t trust Corbyn on Brexit, but I share with many members of my party locally a visceral dread of the Commons being filled with people like Firth,” Walker wrote. “Trying to stop that happening is now more important than ever, given Nigel Farage’s unholy alliance with Johnson.”

He added: “I’ve therefore asked that my local party withdraws my nomination papers to stand for Canterbury. Politics does not always have to be grubby and small-minded; sometimes it’s possible to acknowledge there’s something at stake that’s more important than party politics and do something that seems right.”

It was not an easy decision, Walker wrote, “but the nightmare that kept me awake was standing awkwardly at the count beside a vanquished Duffield as the Tory Brexiter raised her hands in triumph. I wanted no part in that.”

He went on: “I now wish Rosie well and urge her to fight for our country, and, when she hopefully gets to resume her seat in the Commons, to continue to think for herself.”

The Lib Dems are part of a so-called remain alliance, which has seen them, Plaid Cymru and the Greens give each others’ candidates a free run in 60 seats around England and Wales.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/12/lib-dem-candidate-stands-aside-to-avoid-nightmare-of-tory-win?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

The Brexit (not a) Party!

“Nigel Farage’s decision to unilaterally stand down more than half the Brexit party’s candidates has prompted fury from some of the hopefuls, with one candidate saying he only learned the news when a passing driver asked him why he was still campaigning.

Darren Selkus, who was the candidate for Epping Forest, said Farage had “betrayed my incredible volunteers and thousands of constituents who will have no one to vote for” by pulling out of all 317 Conservative-held seats.

In a statement on his local party website, Selkus said that as soon as Farage made the announcement at a rally on Monday in Hartlepool, he and other ex-candidates were immediately locked out of their Brexit party emails and supporter databases.

While a majority of the former candidates who took to social media to express opinions seemed to back Farage’s argument that the move was necessary to protect Brexit, a small but vocal group complained about the move.

Julian Malins, a barrister who was due to stand in the Tory-held seat of Salisbury, tweeted: “I thought I had enlisted in Caesar’s army but it turned out to be the Grand Old Duke of York’s.”

Although it is a registered party, the Brexit party is structured as a company, with Farage and the party chair, Richard Tice, having near-total control. Those who have paid the party’s £25 joining fee become “registered supporters” rather than members, with no say over policy or other matters. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/12/nigel-farage-faces-backlash-from-betrayed-brexit-party-candidates?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Maybe not a good idea to build on flood plains …

“Poor management of the rural landscape along with global heating and building on floodplains are the main factors that led to the floods that have engulfed towns in northern England, according to experts.

Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster are among the places flooded, 12 years after they were badly hit when the River Don burst its banks in 2007. Many affected areas, including Meadowhall shopping centre, where customers were stranded overnight, lie within the river’s floodplain – low-lying land next to the river that naturally floods during high flow.

“This is only a problem if you develop floodplains by building houses, businesses and factories on them, which is obviously what we have done over the years, so to some degree it’s a problem of our own making,” said Roy Mosley, the head of conservation and land management at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.

The risk faced by floodplain communities is exacerbated by the management of land upstream of the city. Intensive animal grazing leads to short grass and compacted soil, which is less able to absorb and hold water. There are no longer enough trees and plants to absorb rain and stop it from running straight into the river, Mosley said.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/12/flooding-caused-by-poor-management-and-floodplain-building?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

A mysterious planning application … from Greendale and the Carters yet again?

From a correspondent – all photograps are at the end of the document.

Planning Application for Consultation by 4th Dec

A planning application has been submitted to EDDC 19/2393/FUL for the construction of an agricultural building at Cooks Farm Castle Lane Woodbury.

The application is from Planning Consultation Company “Bell Cornwell LLP” but there are no details of the applicant or landowner.

The only suggestion of who is the owner is provided in the documents relating to the Location Map which shows that the Cooks Farm is in the same ownership as Castle Brake Caravan Park.

Therefore, it can be assumed that this 25-acre field now described as “Cooks Farm” is owned by the same company as the Caravan Park.

Castle Brake Caravan Park and Ladram Bay Caravan Park are both owned by Mrs. Zoe House together with her brother Mr. Robin Carter, who is also a director of FWS Carter and Sons who own Greendale Business Park.

The Documents also state:

The application site is bounded to the north and north east by agricultural land forming part of the same holding with the unnamed lane beyond, to the east/south east by agricultural land forming part of the same holding with a wooded area beyond and to the south/southwest and west by agricultural land part of the same holding

The location and description is, somewhat confusing as the unnamed lane is Dog Lane in Woodbury Salterton, and a better description would be north of Castle Brake Caravan Park.

The Application documents also state

The applicant acquired the holding (10.432 Hectare field) in 2019 in April 2019 and a new barn is very important as the field is in a stand-alone farming enterprise that will be used for grazing and handling of cattle, ewes and lambs, silage and crops in rotation.

” There are no existing buildings on the site and a secure building is essential for livestock element of the agricultural business in order to store animal feed, provide space to handle livestock and accommodate and care for sick animals.”

The drawings of the proposed building show a building with 5 roller shutter doors.

The East Devon Local Plan states regarding new agricultural buildings.

D7 – Agricultural Buildings and Development:

New agricultural buildings and/or buildings intended for intensive agricultural activities that could give rise to adverse amenity, landscape, environmental or other impacts will be permitted where there is a genuine agricultural need for the development and the following criteria are met:

1. It is well integrated with its surroundings and closely related to existing buildings, being of appropriate location, scale, design and materials so as not to harm the character, biodiversity and landscape of the rural area particularly within the AONB.

2. It will not be detrimental to the amenity of nearby residents on grounds of smell, noise or fly nuisance.

4. It has been established that there are no other suitable buildings on the holding or in the vicinity which could meet the reasonable need.

5. It will not lead to an unacceptable increase in traffic on the local highway network

6. All clean roof and surface waters will be drained separately from foul drainage and foul drainage will not discharge to any watercourse in order to prevent pollution of the water environment.

Proposals for the development of new large-scale buildings for livestock or for other use that could have polluting impacts should be accompanied by a Waste Management Plan.

The documents provided by the Agent does not confirm that it has been established that no suitable building in the vicinity could meet this need.

The nearest farm complex owned by FWS Carter and Sons to whom Robin Carter is a director is at Hogsbrook Farm only 1.2 miles away.

If this application was related to the Caravan Park the East Devon Local Plan states under E19

E19 – Holiday Accommodation Parks: Outside of designated landscape areas, proposals for new sites and extensions of existing sites will be permitted where they meet the following six criteria:

1. The proposal relates sensitively in scale and siting to the surroundings and includes extensive landscaping and visual screening to mitigate against adverse impacts. They do not affect habitats or protected species.

2. They are within, or in close proximity, to an existing settlement but would not have an adverse impact on the character or setting of that settlement or the amenities of adjoining residents.

3. They would not use the best and most versatile agricultural land.

4. They will be provided with adequate services and utilities

5. Traffic generated by the proposal can be accommodated safely on the local highway network and safe highway access to the site can be achieved.

6. The development will be subject to the provisions of plan policy in terms of sustainable construction and on-site renewable energy production.

Proposals for the extension of existing caravan and camping sites or the addition of related and ancillary facilities on existing sites, within designated landscapes, will only be permitted where they meet the above criteria in full and provide no new permanent structures or are replacement structures designed to blend into their surroundings.

Because the location of this new proposed building is within the “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” further expansion of the Caravan Park cannot take place. (The field is dissected by the AONB boundary).

 

The Planning can be viewed on the EDDC planning website under the reference 19/2393/FUL comments need to be sent by the 4th of Dec

East Devon leader Ingham “nearly stood for Parliament “

NOT in East Devon, but in Tiverton and Honiton. He has strong views on East Devon candidates:

“Independent councillor Ben Ingham told this title he seriously considered running for Parliament as a protest candidate – so dismayed is he at the performance of the area’s MPs.

He is a supporter of Ms Wright and said he would not have stood against her in East Devon, but he said he might have challenged MP Neil Parish in Tiverton and Honiton.

“That would be the obvious one or maybe Mid Devon…or even West Devon and Torridge where Geoffrey Cox is,” he said. “I think he needs to be questioned now and again, I think he’s a bit too full of himself for my liking.”

He said the aim of a campaign would have been ‘to give people the opportunity to show their disquiet at the political parties’.

All the main parties, he said, have ‘let down’ the people by failing to achieve a good Brexit deal in three years.

Ultimately, he said he decided to focus on his role as leader of East Devon District Council.

In the East Devon constituency, Conservative Sir Hugo Swire is not running again and Claire Wright, currently a county councillor, has come second in each of the last two elections.

Her opponents, announced so far, are Simon Jupp (Conservative), Henry Gent (Green), Daniel Wilson (Labour) and Eleanor Rylance (Lib Dem).

Cllr Ingham said he believes Cllr Wright is the favourite in the race.

He said: “As an Independent, I think it’s wonderful that we’ve got this chance to put an Independent in the House of Commons.”

The Woodbury and Lympstone councillor said he heard ‘last year’ MP Sir Hugo Swire planned to stand down, describing it as ‘disrespectful’ of the Conservatives to pick a candidate at such a late stage.

Of the selection of Simon Jupp, he said: “If they wanted someone charismatic, which is what I think they tried to do, they would have been better off with Iggy Pop in my opinion. People would be able to relate to him more than a DJ from Plymouth.

https://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/general-election-ben-ingham-considered-standing-1-6370864