Health Workers' Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  


E-Mail: To Return to John Buckle Centre:  Because of spambots you must email us for approval to join the forum. PLEASE NOTE KNOWN SPAMMERS WILL NOT BE APPROVED FOR MEMBERSHIP

Author Topic: Forum on Darzi in September  (Read 2412 times)


  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 438
    • View Profile
Forum on Darzi in September
« on: July 28, 2008, 10:38:41 pm »

We have taken a decision in our union branch to organise a forum on Darzi in September this may include other branches as well. The feeling when we discussed it is that Darzi has put forward a  root and branch reform under numerous headings some of which are "consultation" such as on the constitutiom. Of course health workers in general have been excluded and in general only the elite included in the dicussion so far as with everything . On top of that none of them can really see the strategy only their part of the direction which Darzi is desiged to make them enthusiastic about as if they are modernising the NHS and taking it forward.   

It is interesting  when Darzi tells you his first port of call was to look at the act that set up the NHS in 1947.  This means that speed of reform of the NHS so that it more directly serves the interest of finance capital has been frustratingly slow  for so many years starting with Margaret Thatcher and carried on in earnest by Blair and Brown. This is  particularly the resistance of health workers. This  requires them to make a longer term plan and thoroughy understand their own histography (a most thorough study of all events since the founding of the NHS) of their strategic direction. They hope that Darzi can unlock the blockage to their plans.  The point is we have to work out our own strategic direction from the histography of our movement to safeguard the NHS. But that also requires us doing more work on why Darzi?  We welcome anyone who wants to contribute to this forum by posting here.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2008, 09:37:27 am by roger »


  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 438
    • View Profile
Re: Forum on Darzi in September
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2008, 09:35:29 pm »

Darzi Report Consultation – Staff-side Response

Lord Darzi’s report sets the scene for the most fundamental changes to the health service for twenty years. The report has been broadly welcomed by many national staff-side organisations for the attention to such issues as Leadership, Quality and Constitutional matters. However, it is the potential for the increased marketization of health care through these reforms that has come under most criticism from trade unions.

The Joint Staff-side Group for NHS South of Tyne & Wear would therefore wish to register the following points and questions.

1.   Staff-side locally welcomes the opportunity for consultation provided by the Next Stage Review and advise management to initiate a process of staff consultation in parallel to that undertaken during the pensions discussion. This process should be comprehensive, drawing in the aggregated comments of all staff groups with particular sensitivity offered to workers on lower bands.

2.   The local consultation process across our communities should also be scoped and screened by the organisation’s’ own Equality/Diversity tools and mechanisms to ensure the debate and subsequent feedback is as fair and equitable as possible.

3.   Existing and emerging services are likely to be affected by commissioning and funding cycles and staff-side would wish to view the business for this undertaking. Staff-side also require the management’s position on its own provider’s arms plans to tender for services during these ‘rounds’, particularly in relation to proposed poly-clinics and walk-in centres (such as Washington). 

4.   Expansions in General Practitioner services for communities with the lowest access and highest needs (not unlike our own) have been broadly welcomed by Staff-side organisations. However, a dogmatic approach to facilitating a free market rather than expanding existing practices has been vehemently opposed, especially by the BMA, preferring to uphold the ‘Nye Bevan’ model of practice-based ownership. How will NHS South of Tyne & Wear manage patient registration between existing and incoming practices competing in this environment? Furthermore and consistent with point 3, where the tender package includes community care roles and functions will the provider arm be mounting a bid?

5.   In relation to improved access for services for vulnerable groups eg those patients with learning difficulties or experiencing mental health problems we feel that their needs would be best met locally with less travel and utilising existing relationships and trust within their existing local surgeries.
6.   Unanimously, Staff-side organisations and activists are not convinced that the private sector is more efficient, cost-effective or innovative than that of the statutory sector. Indeed, Private Finance Initiatives and the transfer of ‘soft services’ such as cleaning and portering to privateers has resulted in higher costs and poorer quality. The Joint Staff-side Group therefore, is opposed to the privatisation of healthcare based on sound economics, fairness and equality. Trade Unions exist to defend the interests of their members and will work to ensure that all providers, public and private, maintain the terms and conditions for all current and future staff, including pension rights.

7.   Nationally, staff-side partners are calling for a commitment to expand and ring-fence spending on public health programmes, though locally it is recognised that there is a solid commitment to these areas of work. Staff-side will continue to support such measures, including Health Equity Audits that ensure inequalities in health are continually addressed and that specialist functions in both commissioning and provision be built upon.

8.   The Joint Staff-side Group supports and endorses the management arrangement currently being established across NHS South of Tyne & Wear and views it as a superior model for advancing healthcare. Staff-side also recognise the importance of probity attached to this model (often referred to as ensuring systems are “clean”) even though engagement in both spheres of the system is proving problematic for Staff-side and needs further discussions for fine tuning. This position is yet to be firmly agreed and embedded in partnership arrangements and yet NHS South of Tyne & Wear procurement groups have been meeting throughout the financial year with no trade union representation. Staff-side organisations would further ask that the same measures be afforded other partners, such as consultants and other statutory and independent sector providers.

Steve Holmes
South Tyneside PCT Staff-side Chair

Ken Richardson
Sunderland TPCT Staff-side Chair

Mark Tull
Gateshead PCT Staff-side Chair


  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 438
    • View Profile
Re: Forum on Darzi in September
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2008, 09:37:44 pm »

the public service union
South Tyneside Health Branch   Marion Langley / Roger Nettleship
Joint Branch Secretaries.
South Tyneside District Hospital,
Harton Lane, South Shields,
Tyne & Wear
NE34 0PL
0191 4548888 extension 4066
0191 2024066 (Direct Line)
0191 2024066 (Fax)

Response of South Tyneside Health Branch of Unison to Consultation on  South of Tyne & Wear GP Practice Proposals.    August 4th 2008

Re- The contracts being tendered for are GP practices in South Shields (Flagg Court) and Hebburn. Also a Health Centre at Cleadon, which will be a walk in and walk out facility.

The national guidelines on this Darzi plan say “that it must be additional capacity – This means additional GPs, nurses and support staff”.  But staff at Riverside GP practice presently based at Flagg Court, an existing PCT directly managed practice for 2,600 patients have already been told that they could be transferred into the independent sector as part of a new 6,000 patient practice. So, immediately existing practice staff are being made available to the future contractor contrary to these guidelines and before consultation begins.
Therefore this proposal should be rejected. 
We demand that the staff in the Riverside Practice retain their directly managed status with South Tyneside PCT.
That all of their terms and conditions and their pensions remain with the PCT. 

1-   Are these the right areas?

No.  We have serious doubts about these areas.  The existence of your accident and emergency Unit in South Shields and Minor Injuries unit in South Shields and Jarrow seem to be the  place to start in any claim to improve walk in walk out services.      These units are directly in the community and more accessible than what you propose.

2-   What should be the selection criteria for the bidders?
The criteria should allow only NHS Trusts, Primary Care Trust providers and  individual GPs as a group practice.  All private companies made up of GPs, or public (stock exchange) companies should not be allowed to bid.   No foreign companies should be allowed to bid.

We would like to remind the commissioners that the health service belongs to us and not to any private individual, or company and shareholder.  Whilst we work in partnership with GPs and other small business people we have first claim on the health service as health workers, as patients, as people do as our workplaces, our NHS and our health services.  We do not agree that any company should have a claim on the NHS and its resources.   Their claims already jeopardise the standard of care through the  Drug Cartels and other multinational companies that supply the NHS.

August 4th 2008

Roger Nettleship
Marion Langley