TUC: From nurses to patient safety, why Brexit could destroy the NHS | LabourList

Trades Union Congress

Trades Union Congress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite being conservative in my political views, I find that I’m supporting the TUC here.

The NHS is a key battleground for the EU referendum. The TUC argues:

we’ve taken a long hard look at the facts – and here is why we think Brexit would harm the NHS, not help it … Creating a staffing crisis  Leaving the EU would create a short term staffing crisis in the NHS – and that would hit the quality of services. Just under 50,000 citizens from the European Economic Area (EEA) currently work in the NHS, including over 9,000 doctors; 18,000 nurses, midwives and health visitors; and 2,500 other professionals, such as physios and radiographers. These workers provide vital skills and expertise – and they plug gaps left by the underfunding of training places. Given the government’s plans to end training bursaries and another five year squeeze on NHS funding, getting the necessary turnabout in the numbers of home-grown health professionals does not look likely to happen any time soon. So we will end up with a staffing crisis that hurts our health service.

Source: TUC: From nurses to patient safety, why Brexit could destroy the NHS | LabourList



One response

  1. I’m afraid I find this argument from the TUC in this “Britain at Work ” article from Dr Alf which is about the effect of Brexit on the NHS too narrowly based.

    To begin with, the 50,000 people from Romania and other parts of the EU who are already trained are a drop in the ocean when compared to the fact that the NHS is as we speak recruiting Indian doctors and vast numbers of fully qualified African nurses and people from countries outside of Europe.

    50,000 people could be replaced easily and quickly during a 2 year transition period which would be the case anyway if we were to leave the EU but if it had to be done quickly all that has to happen is:

    1) Recruitment has to be stepped up before Brexit with a corresponding cull of useless and much higher paid NHS managers who were never needed in the first place and represent a massive cost drain on the NHS now

    2) Demand has to be reduced in the NHS immediately by:

    a) Taking firm action against malingers and people pretending to be incapacitated so that they can claim Personal Independence Benefits(PIP).

    (Such people can be found on cruise liners at Southampton starting out in wheelchairs, walkers, walking sticks and zimmer frames and then once the ship leaves British territorial waters they can be found like Lazarus rising from the dead engaging in disco dancing, fornication and deck quoits whilst the symbols of their disabilities lie in a corner of the ship ready for the return voyage).

    They can be spotted at car boot sales exercising great strength as they lift items out of their car boots and manhandle them onto trestles, travelling to the post office with heavy parcels as they trade on E-Bay, driving taxis in areas where they are not known and picking vegetables in the Fens for agricultural gangmasters. Still more of them can be spotted at the tables outside the Three Magnets public house in Letchworth, near where I live and in similar establishments the length and breadth of the land. Somehow they are able to guzzle beer, afford the latest smartphones and large wide screen televisions rented from “Bright House” whilst wearing their “Onesies”, the latest trainers and awakening to the start of the “Jeremy Kyle Programme” or “Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay or We’ll Take It Away”(A programme about High Court Enforcement Officers and Bailiffs).

    DWP investigators are not paid much and are not endowed with the sorts of animal cunning and “street sense” that are needed to catch these people but a concerted and very rapid blitz would reduce the 1.8 million people currently on PIP by more than enough to pay for all the nurses, doctors and consultants we need after BREXIT and forever more.

    Government Ministers, top civil servants, local authority service directors and others dismiss this sort of thing as anecdotal but I know teachers, social workers who experience these phenomena on a daily and hourly basis plus what I see with my own eyes everywhere I go.

    3) Stopping the revolving door could be done tomorrow so that failed NHS managers who get fired or leave on Friday and start again on Monday or days later as a highly paid interim with “essential NHS experience” could not do so.

    The truth is, the public sector trades unions, especially Unite and the dinosaur like TUC, have blocked all meaningful NHS reform and along with the striking junior doctors need to be de-recognised and the junior doctors cleared out in a PATCO style exercise in much the same way as Ronald Reagan dealt with the air traffic controllers in America.

    The NHS as now constituted is not fit for purpose and has to be scrapped and replaced with something much better. This has to be done, regardless of Brexit but in the interim all that has to happen is more recruitment from outside the EU.

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