There could be trouble ahead …

Community Care reports that Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary, has urged the coalition to drop its pledge to increase NHS spending in real terms  during this parliament to avoid substantial cuts to social care.   Burnham said: “Some councils are really digging into social care right now and are paring back eligibility for support and I think that ultimately comes back on to the health service.”

The Guardian has a similar message from Andy Burnham.  Ahead of the emergency budget next week he told the Guardian: “If this goes ahead they will hollow out social care to such a degree that the NHS will not be able to function anyway, because it will not be able to discharge people from hospital.

Care homes for elderly people in Kent could close under plans to change older people’s care in the county.

Nottinghamshire County Council has pushed on with its plans to sell 13 care homes, despite public criticism, and Staffordshire and Worcestershire are likely to follow suit.

Then, you come across a massive waste of £16million+£23million = £39million down the drain:

NHS bosses have been forced to shell out £16m on MORE treatment that never happened.

Health bosses, who wasted more than £26m of a £70m contract with South African firm Netcare over the past five years, promised to learn from mistakes.

But new figures show about two-thirds of the treatment agreed with private company Care UK has not taken place.

GPs were supposed to refer 85,500 patients to two mobile units moving around six sites in Greater Manchester each year, but just 25,500 people went to the service in its first year.

As the Manchester Evening Standard comments: The NHS needs good managers too, and these two cases show us why: when someone get the NHS’s sums wrong, it can be very costly indeed to the public purse.

Thank goodness it was ‘only’ a 7-year contract with Care UK, and not Care UK’s preferred 25-year contract.  But then again, Care UK will surely refund the NHS that £16million.  It would only be fair and proper  after all – Care UK sought compensation when in 2007  the Department of Health cancelled a contract it had to run a planned diagnostics centre in the West Midlands, saying it was no longer needed.

And the Barlborough treatment centre was another example of wasted care, but only £3.3million in the first year of a 5-year contract.

But not to be downhearted – Care UK will continue to run the Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre but under a “pay-per-operation” agreement.   Why waste more money than you need to?  But then again ……. it’s another 25-year deal – and I don’t like 25-year contracts.

Hang on a minute!  Healthcare Republic reports on PCTs failing to develop dementia plans, and one in three PCTs do not know how they will implement the National Dementia Strategy (NDS) and half cannot account for their share of NDS funding, a GP newspaper investigation has found.

So, Andy Burnham, I think you may be right.

As Fagin, would sing:

In this life, one thing counts
In the bank, large amounts
I’m afraid these don’t grow on trees,
You’ve got to pick-a-pocket or two

You’ve got to pick-a-pocket or two, boys,
You’ve got to pick-a-pocket or two.

The pockets of those with dementia are easily picked by vultures.

1 Comment

Filed under care, care homes, Care UK, NHS

One response to “There could be trouble ahead …

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