GP at Hand ads banned by ASA – at last

Babylon Healthcare, trading as GP at Hand, offered people consultations with NHS GPs in minutes by signing up to an app on their phones. What the GP at Hand advert failed to say up front, was that people would have to leave their existing GP surgery in order to register with them. BPV Steering Group member, Maurice Hoffman, was the first patient to complain to…

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It’s curtains for Community Cardiology in Brent

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced that its Community Cardiology Service is to close on 28 February 2018. So far there is no replacement. Existing patients are to be transferred to the cardiology out-patient service at the Royal Free Hospital (RFL) in Hampstead unless they opt out. We presume that new patients with heart conditions who need to be referred to a consultant will…

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Is £2.8 billion enough?

No-one is going to say ‘no’ to a bung of £2.8 billion, even if spread over 3 years.   But will the Chancellor’s top up for the NHS save it from  disaster?   As a long term response, almost certainly not. But in the short term it should keep the life support machine going.   From a financial angle much still depends on whether hospital…

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BPV outrage at Royal Free failure

BPV  expresses its outrage at The Royal Free’s failure to deliver key aspects of the current Community Cardiology contract. In particular RFL has not only proposed ending weekday evening clinics but already ceased to provide Saturday clinics at the Wembley and Willesden centres and has brazenly stated its position on both of these as “non-negotiable.” We are not aware of any plans on the part…

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The thin end of the wedge?

On 19th June the “NHS NW London” (ie the 8 CCGs responsible for the NW London STP) asked us to publicise to our members an “engagement” exercise they are running until the end of next week 30 June. It is about NOT prescribing certain common medicines. We have protested that this is a ridiculously short time and that the message should have come first via Brent CCG…

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Don’t wait for the DUP

Being rather old-fashioned we had so far refrained from commenting on the Conservative Election Manifesto extract recently posted. We thought we ought to wait to see what came out of negotiations with the DUP and appeared in the Queen’s Speech. It seems that no such constraints are being applied by the Department of Health and NHS England. They are using the current political limbo to…

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Conservative Manifesto on NHS

As in 2015 BPV is providing information to patients about what the Manifesto of the winning party said about the NHS. We appreciate that until there are announcements about the arrangements with the DUP and the Queen’s Speech is published there are even more uncertainties than usual as to whether the Manifesto will be modified. We hope to publish some non-partisan comments once matters are…

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One swallow?

They say that one swallow does not make a summer but here is an interesting answer by Jeremy Hunt to a recent Parliamentary Question: Jason McCartney (Colne Valley) Con: “On this important issue of A&Es, does the Secretary of State agree that it makes no sense at all for my local clinical commissioning group to be bringing forward a business case to spend an extra…

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Losing the power to shock

This seems to be where we have got to with revelations about NHS forward plans. Using the Freedom of Information Act, a BPV stalwart has obtained important and hitherto hidden NHS papers about the calculations underlying the NW London STP. These show what is really necessary to achieve “sustainability”, NHS speak for lopping £1.4billion off the budget by 2021. It is to cut out 7,753…

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Only £513 million required for starters

“On 14 December Brent CCG Governing Body approved a massive submission to HM Treasury asking for £513 million investment for Part 1 of the “Business Plan” to implement plans to run down Ealing Hospital and create “Hubs” across the 8 NW London Boroughs involved. The public were allowed 30 minutes to contribute or ask questions. This is what I said for BPV. I thank the…

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