The Rt Hon Earl Howe PC Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Quality
Department of Health and Social Security
REF: Your letter to Mr Stride 9-02-15 PO00000912802
Dear Lord Howe,
Mr Stride forwarded your letter the next day (1) and suggested that I would want time to consider it. This reply is long delayed. The political landscape, and especially that of our NHS, changes by the mile as on a train. I see that the Efford Bill ran out of steam 3-03-15 so this letter will deal with a few central points. Incidentally, I have asked Mr Stride to correspond by e-mail. That would be better for the plebiscite in allowing the easy sharing of correspondence etc and be less costly. At the Westminster end it would save many of those precious millions including that spent on expensive, crested ivory paper. And governments ask often that we should use e-correspondence. Furthermore, it is driving the NHS into becoming inappropriately 'paperless'.
Mr Mel Stride MP for Central Devon and Assistant Whip Conservative Party
Dear Mr Stride,
Thank you. I was aware of the convention, no more than convention, that ministers did not sign EDMs. I was not aware that party whips are government ministers. They surely act for party and not government. And opposition whips? Anyway, it is about time 'whipping' was abolished in this new millennium and with the UK pretending to be a democracy.
I leave that aside. There are several hundred Conservative MPs who are not ministers. Mr Bottomley is the only one who has signed Mr McDonnell's motion. I ask that you circulate his EDM, preferably with my words, to your many good friends in the party who are not bound by this convention.
As I write, and as you read, there are children in cruel jails in 'Israel' who are frightened, broken and deeply depressed. The Hares boys have been in for two years - half your time in government. No Commons tea room for them but often disgusting food. As they emerge, eventually, into the light of day, from concrete cells and corridors they will be as caged animals, starting at every sound and sudden image.
My disgust I feel for our governments is huge. Please do something that is moral and principled against a regime which acts with deep cruelty and outside law. Get the damned Israelis to lay off.
TTIP is a great threat but less than the corruption in our UK. Whilst people battle against TTIP, they ignore, perhaps, vicious EU competition rules. These are central in driving 'privatisation' within OUR NHS and in our other public services. The concordat that Milburn made with Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute in 2000 was also a big factor.
The task is to get as many fellow citizens thinking, and then fighting for OUR NHS. Consider bill boards on your car if you have one. Ours are outside ready for a trip into town - made for last Saturday.
If you care for OUR NHS you will have to fight for it. The politicians have it by the throat.
Find a candidate who is independent of party, who has done a job, has principle and vision, and who will fight for our NHS among other things that are vital to us.
Roof racks and do-it-yourself skills are the only requirement. I am investigating printed posters so waterproofing will not be necessary.
I have been pleading that the NHS should not be used as a political football for about 20 years.
The plan I urged was this -
The NHS would be kept away from the government of the day. Instead it would be led by a scrupulously chosen National Executive peopled by experts in all relevant fields and with evident wisdom in health and other fields. They would be responsible in all respects.
It would report to parliament every six months via the Health Select Committee. That report would include progress, unmet needs, future plans etc
What are the purposes and functions of Community Hospital beds?
Dr Ben Titford presented a paper on this subject-
Proposals for the future of community health and social care services Update briefing – September 2014 Moor to Sea Locality
Ashburton and Buckfastleigh
“Engagement in the town will start later in September. It is the view of the locality GP lead, Dr Ben Titford, and of other GPs in both towns, that this rural area with poor transport links needs bed-based care for patients. This would be at the existing community hospital in Ashburton.”
1. Beds for those who are very unwell, requiring complex and increasingly specialist medical care, outside the acute hospitals – possibly fewer
2. Beds for those who no longer need to be in the acute hospital, but need to recuperate before they are well enough to go home – possibly more
3. Beds for those who are not so seriously ill they need to be in the acute hospital, but who are nevertheless too unwell to be at home, especially if they would be alone – possibly more