NHS-Just not good enough for everyone

The NHS is just not good enough for MPs.  Next time they stand and say they fight for our NHS, remember, they don’t use it!  Hypocrites.

Most of us work hard every day and pay our taxes so that we can have good, shared facilities like the NHS.  However, we all experience long queues and weeks to get an appointment.  But how would you feel if you could just pick up the telephone or go to a private members web site to get help?

Private Web site

That’s exactly what we, as taxpayers, are paying for our MPs.  They have their own Parliamentary Health and Well-being Service (PHWS).

The parliamentary health and well-being service was set up in 2013 at Westminster to help MPs and their staff, and Peers and staff, with physical and mental health problems.

Who started this? The EU! See here

Who is the supplier? Health Asssured – a company owned by the Done Family, who just happen to be a major Conservative Party Donor, and is just one of the major contractors.  Calls to Health Assured Helpline, see here

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Other contractors:

  • CareFirst – American Company
  • Gel Ltd – British company
  • Network of Staff Supporters Ltd – Private Company (net asset as of 2018 – £48?)
  • People Asset Management Group Ltd – Private Company (funded by parent company Duncan & Todd, of which at least 2 Directors are also Directors of LDC Scotland, a private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group)

A recent survey stated that strong evidence to indicate that a higher proportion of MPs had poor mental health than among the general population”. (42% “less than optimal mental ill health; 34% “probable mental ill health” – that’s 76%!).  It begs the question, are they fit enough to make decisions on our behalf?

MPs chart

(taken from the survey conducted by Daniel Poulter, MP)

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In an answer to a FOI question on the exact description of the funding of health care for MPs, was that a separate annual budget of £50,000 is granted to MPs for mental health. The annual budget granted for the remaining Peers, their Staff, staff of both Houses, and Parliamentary Digital Service and others is unknown.

In addition, medical screening services are provided to Members of Parliament and to Peers, as well as optical services, and 24/7 helpline.

The top five reasons MPs sought support from the Parliamentary Health and Well-being Service during 2017-2019, are as follows:

1. Skin disorders
2. Ear, nose and throat problems
3. Musculoskeletal issues
4. Blood pressure
5. Respiratory disorders

Accordingly, local authorities, public sector, NHS organisations, educational organisations and emergency services and others also have their own well-being service
which they allege has a potential saving of 2%! See here pdf.

Yet on the Government web site, their answer is different to that received from a FOI request. “The MEC (the House of Commons Members Estimate Committee) has agreed to fund a mental health referrals service for MPs – operated by doctors contracted at the House of Commons – which will provide MPs access to secondary care and treatment. The referral service and treatment fund will have an annual budget of £25,000 and the referral criteria will conform to NHS guidelines.[1]

[1]The Parliamentary Safety, Health and Wellbeing Service (SHWS) will operate the mental health referral service. The SHWS team offers specialist medical advice, guidance and support and includes two occupational health doctors from St Thomas’ Hospital.”

So that’s the SHWS using outside contractors, as well as PHWS.

In 2018, an article in Huffington post stated Funding for public health services like sexual health clinics and mother and baby support has been cut by £85m by ministers on the last day of the parliamentary term.  The slashing of grants for councils will affect community and prevention services also including ‘stop smoking’ clinics, schemes to tackle obesity, and drug and alcohol misuse services for children and young people.  The grants are being cut by nearly £2 per person to £3.134bn – a 3.3% fall – in just one year, health minister Steve Brine confirmed on Thursday.”

So, as David Cameron said in 2009 in his speech on the start of austerity “we are all in this together” – are we David?

 

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