Whatever is happening to our NHS? Latest update on #JR4NHS now available

If, like me, you’ve supported the Urgent Legal Action for Our NHS campaign the result is very disappointing.

Mr Justice Green has found against the campaign on both remaining counts.

Read the full report from the campaign organisers here.

The campaign has achieved some success as the Secretary of State for Health has conceded to a consultation.

But so far there is no sign of any consultation.

A House of Commons Library Briefing Paper published on 6th July 2018 states on the very first page:

THe NHS England consultation has not yet been launched

and I really wonder if the consultation will ever see the light of day.

I shall keep looking for it and if I catch sight of it I’ll let you know. But don’t hold your breath!

Anyway, I don’t think that some obscure consultation is the right way to introduce this massive and fundamental change to our NHS.

It should be done at a General Election – clearly spelled out in the Tory manifesto what is intended. And then we all get a chance to vote and decide if we want our NHS handed over to private companies on 10 year contracts.

We talk such a lot about “democracy” these days related to the Brexit referendum and “taking back control”. Shouldn’t we be exercising control over what is done to our NHS?

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You can find all my blogposts about #JR4NHS on this page.

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Happy 70th Birthday NHS. Thanks for saving my life! #NHS70

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Happy 70th Birthday NHS. Thanks for saving my life! #NHS70

I wrote a blogpost last year on my Cabbage and Semolina Blog to celebrate the 69th birthday of the NHS.

I’d had a cancer diagnosis a few weeks earlier and didn’t think I’d still be here to celebrate the 70th birthday of our NHS.

But I am!

I was at the chemo unit of our local hospital on Tuesday having my 9th cycle of maintenance therapy (21st cycle overall) and today am halfway through a 46 hour chemo infusion at home via a vacuum pump, which a district nurse will remove later this afternoon.

image credit: By Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


our National Health Service for saving my life and keeping me alive.

I value every extra day I’ve been given and I value our NHS beyond words.


doctors, nurses, admin and technical staff.

You’re all amazing and wonderful and appreciated to the nth degree on this special day of celebration for 70 years of our wonderful NHS.

But on every other day you’re overworked and underpaid.

image credit: By Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Aneurin Bevan and the Labour Government for starting our NHS after the Labour landslide in 1945. (And no thanks to the Tories who opposed the founding of our NHS every step of the way.)

And for rescuing our NHS from years of Tory neglect after the Labour landslide in 1997.

And isn’t it ironical that in  this 70th anniversary year we’ve had to crowdfund over £150k to try and get a Judicial Review to stop the ultimate step to privatisation with the present Health Secretary’s ACO plans.


Dr Colin Hutchinson, Prof Allyson Pollock, Prof Sue Richards, Dr Graham Winyard and the late Prof Stephen Hawking for your bold and successful campaign (whatever the outcome you and we are winners because we stood up to undemocratic, under=handed trickery).

Urgent Legal Action for Our NHS

Thankyou for standing up to this Tory government’s ideological determination for ever more privatising and asset stripping of our NHS.

And how remarkable is this campaign to Take Back our NHS:

Best birthday present for our NHS? Booting out Branson and co

which has now got the support of Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, Jon Ashworth.

Read The Pledge here and ask your MP to sign it here.

I hope you enjoy whatever you’re doing today to celebrate 70 years of our NHS. I know I’ll be enjoying my day!

If you’d like to read my 69th NHS Birthday blogpst it’s Belated Birthday Greetings to our NHS.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

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Interesting photo collection from pre-NHS days

Does our NHS have enough beds?

Save one life you’re a hero. Save 100 lives you’re a nurse. #NHS

image credit: By Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons




Run Rabbit Run

Two of my nearest and dearest are doing the BBC Couch to 5K Challenge and this is to give them a little encouragement.

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Take a trip to the Riviera 1930s style

A couple more film clips of Crufts in the 1930s

The Winter Olympics has come along way since 1928!

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Leefdale #Kindle #KindleUnlimited

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#JR4NHS in court this week

How ludicrous that in the year of the 70th anniversary of the founding of our NHS, a campaign group has to go to court to stop the current Secretary of State for Health and Social Care implementing his privatisation plans via Accountable Care Organisations.

Aneurin Bevan would be appalled.

Wednesday this week, (23rd May 2018) sees the campaign Urgent Legal Action for Our NHS in the Royal Courts of Justice.

I quote from the campaign update:

When the case started in December 2017, NHS England was planning to introduce the first Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) by April 2018. The Government was planning to rubber stamp swathes of regulations so that ACOs could operate.

Following massive public support, NHS England promised a full national consultation on the plans. And the Government said it will not make the regulations until after the consultation. That satisfied 2 of our 4 grounds for judicial review – our first victories.

But, at worst, ACOs and the regulations have only been delayed by one year. The policy to introduce ACOs is still very much in place. We need to win this court case to land a serious blow to plans to privatise the NHS.

Read the full campaign update here.

Hopefully the news will be good and justice will prevail.

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Interesting photo collection from pre-NHS days

The archive at Historic England has found a collection of 4000 photographs of nurses in pre-NHS days.

Search MED01/ for the whole collection or MED01 egBrighton for a specific place to see if there are any photos from a hospital near you.

This is my favourite photo so far. Click on the image for an enlargement.


Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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Only a few days left to support #JR4NHS #NHS

The clock is ticking….

There are 7 days remaining to chip in and support the campaign to secure a judicial review of the plans to set up Accountable Care Organisations across NHS England.


If ever there was a mis-nomer


– to whom? Not you and me, the voting public, that’s for sure.


– with the likely syphoning of funds from patient care into private profit.


– which companies will get the contracts? And the sub-contracts? And which organisations will ensure that they deliver what they’re supposed to without ripping us off? The same lot that brought us Carillion, maybe?

Please read this website, sign up to receive your own email updates and chip in a few quid (or more) to the crowd fund.

By the time you’re reading this blogpost, there might only be 6 days left or 5 or fewer to support the campaign.

The subject is complicated for most of us to understand but this article by Polly Toynbee in The Guardian might help.

Or try this article in The Independent: Stephen Hawking and leading doctors to take Jeremy Hunt to court over ‘back door privatisation’ of NHS.

Or read the details of the #JR4NHS campaign at


and also


Meanwhile, what’s happened to the NHS England consultation on ACOs that I highlighted in this blogpost a few days ago.

“Not a lot” to mis-quote Paul Daniels.

There’s a repeat of the NHS England info on this website but I can’t find anything new about this proposed consultation anywhere on the Internet. How can we share our opinions about ACOs with NHS England if we can’t find the consultation?

Urgent Legal Action for Our NHS – Round 3


is aiming to raise £100,000 by March 1st.

At the time of writing, £80,127 has been crowdfunded.

7 days to go

Tick tock

Tick tock!

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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Belated Birthday Greetings to our NHS.


Have you seen the latest update from Urgent Legal Action for Our NHS #JR4NHS

In case you haven’t seen the latest update from Urgent Legal Action for Our NHS #JR4NHS here’s the link:


It appears that Hunt’s plan

to sneak in ACOs under the radar via a parliamentary Statutory Instrument has been put on hold for a few weeks. Pause for a healthy dose of scepticism that a public consultation will carry much weight unless the response is massive.

And how will there be much of a response unless the public knows about the consultation?


NHS consultation on ACOs


NHS England announces consultation on ACO contracts.

Towards the end of a very warm and cuddly explanation of ACOs,

NHS England state:

Given the interest in the ACO proposals NHS England will hold a 12 week public consultation process to provide further clarity about their role and scope.

That must qualify for one of the understatements of the twenty-first  century!

“Given the interest” when five leading medical experts are seeking a judicial review and hundreds of members of the public have crowdfunded £thousands to support their legal case. I think there’s more than a little interest in this attempt to change our NHS for ever!

Nothing about ACOs in the Conservatives 2017 General Election Manifesto,

as far as I can see. What happened to the 2010 “no more top-down re-organisations of the NHS”? Or was that the Lib Dems before they joined hands with the Tories in The Coalition? Instead we’re going to have countless bottom-up reorganisations at local level, if the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care gets his way.

I’m sure the thousands who called for proper NHS funding in a huge London march last Saturday would have plenty to say on the subject.

I wonder when the consultation period commences and how the public can respond? No information on that page as far as I can see. If you hear anything about the NHS England public consultation, please let me know; and if I find out I’ll pass it on.

If you missed the January 30th update from #JR4NHS, you can read it here.

And my precis is here.

Professor Allyson Pollock and Dr Colin Hutchinson talk about ACOs in this video.

And read why Professor Stephen Hawking’s joined the campaign, in this Guardian article.


I am concerned that accountable care organisations are an attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS,” Hawking told the Guardian, explaining his move.
“They have not been established by statute, and they appear to be being used for reducing public expenditure, for cutting services and for allowing private companies to receive and benefit from significant sums of public money for organising and providing services.  Professor Hawking to The Guardian newspaper 8/12/2017

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to Nye Bevan talking about our NHS



what Jeremy Hunt is planning for our NHS in the future.

If you care what happens to our NHS join the #JR4NHS campaign.

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The Singing Nurse and other musical occupations

Save one life you’re a hero. Save 100 lives you’re a nurse. #NHS

All that any of us can do is try to live today as best we can.

Have you seen the latest update from #JR4NHS

There’s been an important development in the #JR4NHS campaign to secure urgent legal action for our National Health Service.

Read the latest update here.

This  whole issue of ACOs (Accountable Care Organisations) is very complicated but the #JR4NHS campaign explains in language that everyone can understand what’s being planned for our NHS.

My understanding is that ACOs are the means by which the Tories will achieve their dream of privatising our NHS and introducing an American-style health insurance system to the UK.

I hope I’m wrong. I was born into an NHS that embodied the hopes of the WW2 generation for a better future for all. And, when the time comes, that’s the health care system I want to die in. I don’t want to end up like Walt in “Breaking Bad” who had to spend his final  days stressing about how to fund his cancer treatment without bankrupting his family.

Please visit the  #JR4NHS website, read the information and support the doctors and medical professors who are trying to prevent the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (no joke intended) from changing our NHS irrevocably.


I received another #JR4NHS update yesterday evening.

Good news but with an almighty sting in the tail.


Thanks for reading my blog today.

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All that any of us can do is try to live today as best we can.


Does our NHS have enough beds?

We know there is a crisis in our NHS.

If there wasn’t a crisis why has all elective surgery been cancelled throughout January?

We know patient demand of our NHS is increasing.

UK population increase

62.77 million in 2010

66 million in 2017

and, of course, don’t forget the baby boomers are getting older and needing more health and social care.

But do we know if our NHS has enough beds to meet the increased demands generated by more potential patients plus the additional pressures of winter.

Clearly not, or the government wouldn’t have needed to demand all the cancellations to try and cope.

The question is simple:


Finding the facts is is not quite so simple.

You can try The King’s Fund which will tell you there’s 142,000 hospital beds in England.

And the report says that

the UK currently has fewer acute beds relative to its population than almost any other comparable health system.

And that

the number of general and acute beds has fallen by 43 per cent since 1987/8, the bulk of this fall due to closures of beds for the long-term care of older people. 

Hmmm! We can all see what a good idea that was!

The report warns that:

Today there are signs of a growing shortage of beds.

In 2016/17, overnight general and acute bed occupancy averaged 90.3 per cent, and regularly exceeded 95 per cent in winter, well above the level many consider safe.

In this context, proposals put forward in some sustainability and transformation plans to deliver significant reductions in the number of beds are unrealistic.

That’s worrying, isn’t it?

Don’t forget that there is a sustainability and transformation plan for your area so the decisions to cut beds are being made at local level.

So nothing to do with the government who can abnegate any responsibility and blame it on your local decision makers. Except your local decision makers are completely controlled by the amount of funding the government allocates and a requirement to make their books balance.

Of course it’s government decisions that will determine how many beds are available in your local area. The government just want to keep well  away from the blame when things go wrong and we end up with an NHS in crisis.

After extensive internet research I’ve found an interesting NHS website which records Bed Availability and Occupancy Data – Overnight.

The report is a quarterly collection from all NHS organisations that operate beds, open overnight or day only. It collects the total number of available bed days and the total number of occupied bed days.

Now I’m no statistician but I’ve got ‘O’ level Maths and I can read spreadsheets. The NHS data makes interesting reading and you can check it out for yourself and see if you agree with my interpretation. No Fake News here!

In July – September 2017 (the latest period for which data is available)  there were

100.465,553 beds,

That’s a daily average during the three month period of 1,092,016 beds distributed between 210 hospital trusts and hospital foundation trusts.

The Hospital Trust in my local area serves a population of 800,000 residents. After more searching, I’ve found a Care Quality Commission report showing that the five hospitals in the trust have a total of 1170 beds between them.

1170 beds for 800,000 potential patients.

That doesn’t seem very many, does it?

When I had an emergency admission from A&E last year I was admitted onto a ward at 9.30pm when the previous occupant of the bed had been discharged and the bed made ready. Subsequently on transfer to the regional hospital my admission was after midnight waiting for a bed to become available. And that was in the late Spring without any crisis going on. And whatever will happen if there is an epidemic of some awful contagious disease?

Anyway, I digress.

Back to the national bed occupancy data.

Have the number of available beds increased or decreased in the last few years?

Remember we know the number of potential patients has increased.

So, I’m going to lose the detail and concentrate on the millions.



100 million beds for a three month period across 210 areas


103, 248,802

103 million beds for a three month period across 210 areas.


104 million


104 million


104 million


104 million


104 million


110 million


121 million


122 million

You can check out all these figures and see if I’m reading the data correctly but it seems to me there are 22 million fewer beds now in a three month period than there were almost 10 years ago.


Potential patients INCREASE

Beds to put them in DECREASE


Waiting in ambulances

Waiting in corridors

Waiting on waiting lists.

I shall resist the temptation to make party political points; just remind you we had a General Election in 2010 and again in 2015.

If you decide to read the data for yourself you will see that the reporting framework was changed in 2010 when specific reporting of geriatric beds was dropped.

I don’t think this alters the overall picture of more patients and fewer beds. But geriatric beds? Beds specifically for elderly, sick patients who can’t return to their own homes.

Do we even have dedicated geriatric wards any more? Anywhere?

Oh no, we have care in the community, don’t we. And we all know how successful that is at facilitating the discharge of the very elderly, ready to go home but can’t manage alone patients.

But don’t worry! There may be substantially fewer beds than there were 10 years ago but we now have a Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to get it all sorted out.

And who’s that? Only Jeremy Hunt the Secretary of State for Health currently presiding over the worst NHS crisis EVER!

Thanks for reading my blog today.

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