Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Failing Government lies to Labour MPs about NHS

It seems as if New Labour is on the run as health workers prepare to lobby Parliament tomorrow. The long predicted exodus of New Labour bag carriers must have kicked in early because the PLP are being given rubbish information to prepare them for the lobbyists. The Government has briefed its MPs in preparation for tomorrow’s NHS Together lobby of Parliament. The briefing suggests that MPs should avoid difficult questions by skipping away to Fantasy Island.

MPs are told that Independent Sector Treatment Centres (ISTCs) are reducing waiting times – but not that the NHS is forced to use them even when they are more expensive than using underutilised NHS resources. UNISON has rightly criticised the Government for ignoring the critical conclusions of the Health Select Committee. The Select Committee concluded that claims about value for money from ISTC were unproven and recommended an investigation by the National Audit Office.

MPs are told that the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) has led to the biggest ever hospital building programme but not that it forces the NHS to pay over the odds for a generation. UNISON has an easy to understand guide to what is wrong with PFI on the Union website. MPs who want to understand the truth should listen to health workers not Ministers. Don’t take this from me – listen to the General Secretary of the TUC!

MPs are reassured by the Government that all is well with the use of management consultants from the private sector to mess up our health service. They call these people “Turnaround Teams”. UNISON has rightly condemned the obsession with management consultants in our public sector. If there are Labour MPs who don’t understand this they are in the wrong job (but the electorate may help them with that problem of course…)

MPs are also offered all sorts of statistics to show them that there aren’t big job losses and these aren’t hitting patient care. People who know the reality tell a different tale!

The Government also tell MPs that they are working closely with the unions. Doh! In that case why would we be having the lobby? Labour MPs who still want to be Labour MPs after the next General Election need to force a change of direction on the Government. If they don’t know how to do this then, as they say in the adverts, I know a man who can.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not only the pseudo Labour government tell lies but the whole of the Staff Side did vis a vis Agenda for Change.

To keep this betraying outfit in power at the last election, the Unions sold out the NHS staff on a system based on the Zuckerman Report fron the 60's.

This is going to cost big time - on the Patients most!!