NHS may collapse unless elderly give up hospital beds – Health Minister


Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) will collapse unless action is taken to improve care for elderly patients outside of hospitals to free up much needed beds for other inpatients, Health Minister Norman Lamb has warned.

Lamb said that the NHS is under huge pressure from an ageing
population, with the number of elderly patients suffering chronic
and complex health problems growing and that tackling it would be
“the challenge of the 21st century.”

“Accident and Emergency [A&E] units are under pressure,
ambulances are carrying more patients than they should, significant
numbers of people are in hospital who should be cared for
elsewhere. The system is becoming dysfunctional and we need to do
something about it,” Lamb told the Telegraph.

While one of Britain’s most senior A&E doctors, Dr. Cliff
Mann, from the College of Emergency Medicine, said that they had
begun to feel like “war zones,” and that many doctors were
turning their backs on emergency medicine.

The current funding system where hospitals have a financial
incentive to hang on to patients is at the heart of the problem and
currently there is no reward for a hospital to get patients to

In an attempt to address the issue, minsters will announce
Tuesday plans to co-ordinate NHS services and councils to make sure
than more is done to organize home-help for elderly patients or
make basic adaptations to their home so that they can return there
rather than languishing in hospitals.

A series of pilot schemes will be set up to test more joined up
ways for health and social care providers to work together. The
plan is that the schemes will be expanded to every part of the
country by 2015.

“At the moment the system is horribly fragmented and that
means bad care – distress, crises occurring that could be avoided,
massive disruption to people’s lives. If we carry on as we are the
system will collapse,” said Lamb.

Hospital regulators have also announced a review of the NHS
funding system to encourage hospitals to release patients

Other plans which could be implemented under the review include
giving elderly patients their own personal NHS worker who would
manage all their care needs including home help and physiotherapy,
as well as medical treatment.

While the system of paying doctors for completing specific
activities will also be overhauled so that they are only rewarded
for actual improvements in a patient’s health.

Lamb’s announcement comes just days after David Prior, the head
of the UK’s Care Quality Commission (CQC), the leading UK health
watchdog, said that acute beds for the elderly must be closed and
that admissions through A&E are out of control.

Robert Francis QC, who conducted the review into failings at the
Mid-Staffordshire NHS trust, which led to the deaths of 1,200
people between 2005 and 2009, told the Nursing Times that while
doctors and hospital managers understood that serious changes need
to be made, certain members of the nursing profession were not
taking the problem seriously enough.

British ‘End of Life’ Panels Are Bad News for Everyone

Daily Bell
by Anthony Wile

The Daily Mail received a lot of attention this week for an article entitled, “3,000 doctors putting patients on ‘death lists’ that single them out to be allowed to die.”

Now, some of the feedbacks that the Mail received claimed that the End of Life Care Strategy (Fourth Annual Report) implied nothing of the sort.

But on page 8 of the report, we come to the following statement, “Find Your 1%, which aims to engage GPs in identifying the individuals on their lists who might be in their last year of life, so that they can undertake end of life care planning with them, has reached its midpoint target of 1,000 GPs signed up by August 2012.”

This is fairly clear. General practitioners are being encouraged by the Government Department of Health to make lists of people who they believe are not going to live long. But that’s not all. There are other unmistakable statements in the report that make it clear the mandate to provide end-of-life care is going to be aggressively implemented throughout the British state-run health care system.

Ministers have made a commitment to evaluate progress on end of life care to determine whether it is possible to introduce a right to choose to die at home. Over the next year the focus will continue to be on supporting people to be cared for and to die in their place of choice, providing community-based services to enable this to happen. Integration of services is key to this and will be a theme for the new Improvement Body, which will enable us to continue to work with our range of partners in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. At the same time the Transform programme will continue to support improvement in end of life care in hospitals.

The local Electronic Palliative Care Coordination System/ End of Life Care Locality Register is about to go live which will be vital for communication between the agencies involved in the care of these patients. The CCG has also developed a ‘Gold card’ scheme, which identifies these end of life care patients to health and social care professionals as well as helping patients access appropriate care.

Unlike many other socialized systems that are quasi-private in some elements, the British system is full-on government run. This makes what’s going on especially worrisome. There is no government in the world, historically speaking, that has ever handled life and death situations fairly over time. Bureaucrats are incapable of dealing with such situations fairly.

More likely, the power to wield death is abused. The more opportunities government has to wield death, the more those involved will do so. This is simply an ineluctable prerogative of government.

Death programs are like any other government service, actually. They will be continually expanded and made more complex to ensure the expansion of the departments in question. Eventually, people could die simply to ensure that a department meets certain quotas.

All this is written indelibly unless this program is stopped now. But it won’t be stopped. There is reason to believe, in fact, that it is gaining in momentum. It is meant to gain traction in tandem with the US program called Obamacare.

This is how the power elite works. They tend to advance certain activities not unilaterally but in harness with several great powers at once. Whether it is monetary regulation, education or other regulatory facilities, programmatic specifics are pushed forward together in an unstoppable rush.

The US has passed a health care plan that will support British policies, and no doubt we’ll see exactly the same sort of regulation evolving throughout Europe and then in the developing world. China surely won’t put up any resistance. The Daily Mail does us the favor of bluntly cataloguing the possibilities as follows:

Thousands of patients have already been placed on ‘death registers’ which single them out to be allowed to die in comfort rather than be given life-saving treatment in hospital, it emerged last night.

Nearly 3,000 doctors have promised to draw up a list of patients they believe are likely to die within a year, Department of Health figures showed yesterday …

They have been asked to earmark elderly patients who show signs of frailty or deterioration during routine consultations at their surgeries.

Although more than 7,000 patients nationwide have already been put on the list, there appears to be no obligation for doctors to inform them.

Some medical professionals went public with their worries yesterday following the Daily Mail’s disclosure of the NHS request to doctors to put one in every 100 of their patients on death lists.

Dr Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, warned about the risks of drawing up ‘quotas’ for the dying.

‘We all know that doctors’ estimates of patients’ lifespans can be sometimes accurate but sometimes wildly inaccurate,’ he said. ‘A skilled doctor can in the great majority of cases assess when a patient is within a few hours or days of death. However, once we start to talk about weeks or months we know that we can often be right, but equally very badly wrong.’

The NHS is pushing for the death lists at a time when a keystone of its ‘end of life strategy’, the Liverpool Care Pathway, has come under fierce criticism from leading medical figures and families who believe their loved ones have been wrongly picked out in hospitals as dying.

None of this will end well. It will start with the aged and infirm and logically proceed to infants that will be diagnosed as having little or no chance at a “quality of life.”

Finally, it will provoke outright eugenics. It was trending in that direction in Hitler’s Germany and the same entities that helped fund that unsavory period of the 20th century are no doubt behind this, as well, one way or another.

The path being chosen is the one that turned the 20th century into one of the world’s bloodiest with some 150 million murdered by government policies, wars and incarceration.

Ultimately there is nothing caring about these “end of life” policies. And they warn us of much worse to come.

Top doctor’s chilling claim: The NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year

Daily Mail

NHS doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients because they are difficult to manage or to free up beds, a senior consultant claimed yesterday.

Professor Patrick Pullicino said doctors had turned the use of a controversial ‘death pathway’ into the equivalent of euthanasia of the elderly.

He claimed there was often a lack of clear evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway, a method of looking after terminally ill patients that is used in hospitals across the country.

It is designed to come into force when doctors believe it is impossible for a patient to recover and death is imminent.
It can include withdrawal of treatment – including the provision of water and nourishment by tube – and on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours.

There are around 450,000 deaths in Britain each year of people who are in hospital or under NHS care. Around 29 per cent – 130,000 – are of patients who were on the LCP.

Professor Pullicino claimed that far too often elderly patients who could live longer are placed on the LCP and it had now become an ‘assisted death pathway rather than a care pathway’.

He cited ‘pressure on beds and difficulty with nursing confused or difficult-to-manage elderly patients’ as factors.

Professor Pullicino revealed he had personally intervened to take a patient off the LCP who went on to be successfully treated.

He said this showed that claims they had hours or days left are ‘palpably false’.

In the example he revealed a 71-year-old who was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia and epilepsy was put on the LCP by a covering doctor on a weekend shift.

Professor Pullicino said he had returned to work after a weekend to find the patient unresponsive and his family upset because they had not agreed to place him on the LCP.

‘I removed the patient from the LCP despite significant resistance,’ he said.

‘His seizures came under control and four weeks later he was discharged home to his family,’ he said.

Professor Pullicino, a consultant neurologist for East Kent Hospitals and Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Kent, was speaking to the Royal Society of Medicine in London.

He said: ‘The lack of evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway makes it an assisted death pathway rather than a care pathway.

‘Very likely many elderly patients who could live substantially longer are being killed by the LCP.‘Patients are frequently put on the pathway without a proper analysis of their condition. ‘Predicting death in a time frame of three to four days, or even at any other specific time, is not possible scientifically.

This determination in the LCP leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. The personal views of the physician or other medical team members of perceived quality of life or low likelihood of a good outcome are probably central in putting a patient on the LCP.’
He added: ‘If we accept the Liverpool Care Pathway we accept that euthanasia is part of the standard way of dying as it is now associated with 29 per cent of NHS deaths.’

The LCP was developed in the North West during the 1990s and recommended to hospitals by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in 2004.

Medical criticisms of the Liverpool Care Pathway were voiced nearly three years ago.

Experts including Peter Millard, emeritus professor of geriatrics at the University of London, and Dr Peter Hargreaves, palliative care consultant at St Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, Surrey, warned of ‘backdoor euthanasia’ and the risk that economic factors were being brought into the treatment of vulnerable patients.

In the example of the 71-year-old, Professor Pullicino revealed he had given the patient another 14 months of life by demanding the man be removed from the LCP.

Professor Pullicino said the patient was an Italian who spoke poor English, but was living with a ‘supportive wife and daughter’. He had a history of cerebral haemorrhage and subsequent seizures.

Professor Pullicino said: ‘I found him deeply unresponsive on a Monday morning and was told he had been put on the LCP. He was on morphine via a syringe driver.’ He added: ‘I removed the patient from the LCP despite significant resistance.’
The patient’s extra 14 months of life came at considerable cost to the NHS and the taxpayer, Professor Pullicino indicated.
He said he needed extensive support with wheelchair, ramps and nursing.

After 14 months the patient was admitted to a different hospital with pneumonia and put on the LCP. The man died five hours later.

A Department of Health spokesman said: ‘The Liverpool Care Pathway is not euthanasia and we do not recognise these figures. The pathway is recommended by NICE and has overwhelming support from clinicians – at home and abroad – including the Royal College of Physicians.

‘A patient’s condition is monitored at least every four hours and, if a patient improves, they are taken off the Liverpool Care Pathway and given whatever treatments best suit their new needs.’

UK to Use Slave Labor in Hospitals

Gaia Health
by Heidi Stevenson

The next time you’re in a hospital, how would you like to have your food brought to you by a slave laborer? If you’re in the UK, you may find out, because slave labor has already been trialed in one hospital, and is about to become standard practice there.

The Guardian reports that the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust (SWBHT), a part of the National Health Service (NHS) piloted the program with six unemployed people in consultation with the union. The trust stated that the type of work included:

… general tidying, welcoming visitors, serving drinks to patients, running errands, reading to patients and assisting with feeding patients.

… and justifies it with the statement:

We are situated in a deprived area with high unemployment and we think it is important to help get people back into work. The project gave participants the opportunity to gain confidence, training and experience, under supervision.

So why don’t they simply hire them? You know, the old-fashioned way of getting employees.

Unison, the public service trade union, isn’t happy with the plan, referring to it as a “worrying glimpse of the future”. They also point out that feeding patients and helping them to drink are direct patient care, though the trust had promised not to use the program for that purpose.

So, they were less than honest. Why should they be trusted about other claims they make regarding this program?

Because of massive NHS cuts, Ravi Subramanian, the head of the SWBHT region’s Unison union, stated:

Thousands of staff are facing the prospect of losing their jobs and wards are closing. Now the hospital is making moves to deliver healthcare on the cheap, by using people on work experience to help with patient care. Patients and staff will rightly be very worried about the standard of patient care as this scheme is rolled out.

So, what’s the purpose of this so-called training, when there obviously won’t be jobs for them when they’re done?

Calling this anything but slave labor is merely an attempt to hide the reality. People will be forced to work for up to 11 weeks—2-3 weeks in training and 8 weeks in work—for no pay other than the minuscule amount paid as job search benefits, and they won’t be able to search for real work during their peonage in a hospital.

This same system is in use by corporations to coerce young jobless people into doing menial work for no pay, as reported in Both the US and the UK Governments Support Slavery of Their Own Citizens and to force the disabled into slave labor, as reported in The Disabled to Be Used for Slave Labor: UK Government Plan. It is, of course, presented as being for the benefit of the individual, but as discussed in those articles, that’s absurd on its face.

It’s also described as being voluntary, but the experience of those involved in other similar programs clearly indicates that we should question that. Though the government appears to have pulled back on forcing people into these schemes, how long will it be until they slide right back into it? A government that not only allows slave labor, but also organizes it can surely not be trusted to do the right thing—especially when the program stinks from the get-go.

The program to use job seekers for free labor in hospitals is clearly not for the benefit of the job seekers or patients:

The laborers will be severely limited in their ability to seek real, wage-paying work while slaving away in hospitals.

Since the hospitals expect to be laying people off, it’s obvious that very few of the laborers will ever have a chance to use whatever skills they develop in paid employment.

Since they have already utilized slave labor for patient care, this cannot possibly bode well for the quality of patients’ treatment.

Calling forced labor a job training program does not change the inherent fact that forced labor is slavery. What makes this particularly disheartening is that not only is government endorsing this slavery, it’s actually organizing it—and the direct representatives of the workers, the union, is not only supporting the plan, they have been instrumental in arranging it. And the minimal payment that the slaves receive, a job search benefit that’s inadequate to live on without help from family and friends, is paid by the taxpayers!

The government now considers the people to be little more than cogs in a massive system of corruption designed to squeeze every last penny and drop of sweat out of the people.

No treatment for smokers or the obese: Doctors back measures to deny procedures for those with unhealthier lifestyles

Daily Mail

More than half of doctors across the UK have backed controversial measures to withhold treatment to smokers and the obese.

According to a new survey around 54 per cent of those who took part said the NHS should have the right to deny non-emergency treatments to those who fail to lose weight or kick their smoking habits.

Members of the networking website doctors.net.uk were asked ‘Should the NHS be allowed to refuse non-emergency treatments to patients unless they lose weight or stop smoking?’
And although the poll was optional 593 of the 1,096 doctors who participated answered yes.

It is believed that some procedures are less likely to work on those with unhealthier lifestyles and medics say they should not use their already limited resources for such work.

In some parts of England smokers and the obese are already being rejected IVF treatment as well as hip and knee replacements by private clinics but patient groups have reacted angrily to calls for the NHS to follow suit, saying it denies them their basic human rights.

Speaking to The Observer Dr. Tim Ringrose, doctors.net.uk’s chief executive, said the shift in attitudes is a result of the need to make huge cut backs.

He said: ‘This might appear to be only a slim majority of doctors in favor of limiting treatment to some patients who fail to look after themselves, but it represents a tectonic shift for a profession that has always sought to provide free healthcare from the cradle to the grave.’

Dr. Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, also told the paper: ‘Clearly, giving up smoking is a good thing, but blackmailing people by telling them that they have to give up isn’t what doctors should be doing.’

Pulse magazine has already reported that around 25 of 91 Primary Care Trusts in England have imposed some treatment bans since April last year.

A move to help save the £20bn, expected by the Government, before 2015.

But treatment bans of any kind were slammed by Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association’s consultants committee, who added: ‘There are occasions where a doctor may advise an obese person to lose weight before surgery can safely go ahead.

‘But treatment bans are wholly unacceptable.’