LETTER TO THE RCN – NURSES PAY, HALF A BAG OF PEANUTS

My Dear RCN,

I urge you to enter the real world, which is a political world. Many years ago I was advised not to let my politics ‘interfere’ with my nursing career. The old sister dispensing this advise told me that nursing and politics did not mix, like oil and water. It was a case of ‘ours is not to reason why’, but, as soldiers, ‘to do and die’.

Nursing did seem to reflect a military model, with its various colours of uniform and stripes of rank. It was a model perfectly suited to many nurses, I observed, for they were not questioners in the Great Army of Life, but, rather, a silent majority which mostly did as told, and then went home to attend to a greater priority – their families. (Though, a minority were ‘wedded’ to nursing, as nuns to religion).
Nursing was always that – peopled by an uncomplaining (mostly female) class that did not put their heads above the trench. Yet, I suggest a new anger is arising within nurses, who are becoming more mutinous as a result of savage mistreatment by the government, and the RCN should represent this mood of dissent.

The real world is, indeed, a political world. All the gains that workers made up to 1979 have been steadily dismantled, brick by brick. After falling steadily for generations after 1979, the number of hours worked per week began to inexorably rise. Between 1989 and 1999, there was a 7 hour increase in hours worked per household in the UK – a steeper increase than anywhere in Europe. Workers have faced an intensification of work, as in one nurse doing the job of two. There has also been a move to abolish additional pay for working unsocial hours.

My dear RCN, can you not see that this particular tide is rushing up Zero-hour Creek?

It will all be dressed in weasel-words – we need to introduce ‘various flexibilities’- which will be justified as ‘enabling adequate staffing at all times’, i.e., they will play the ‘patient card’.

When the director of the RCN said: “By asking the review body to ensure its recommendations on seven day services do not cost any extra money, the government is interfering with a supposedly independent body and attempting to force the dismantling of AfC and unsocial hours payments’, the obvious was being stated, but a wider truth not more starkly nailed: There are no such independent organisations. Whether called the NMC, GMC, or CQC, various groups involved in the NHS are merely ‘rubber stamps’ of the pro-corporate agenda of all the main political parties.

They will continue to treat nurses as cattle in their preparation of the NHS for full privatisation along American corporate lines.

You will not have a seat on their top table. You will not be consulted.

As I recently wrote: ‘The Manifesto of the Communist Party, 1848, identified the unvanquished coalition that today seeks to trade people as cattle: ‘The Conservative Party exists to wage a political struggle on behalf of the ruling class; it is comprised of a coalition between a ruling financial and business bloc, and a subordinate petty bourgeois layer. They are, in the Duke of Wellington’s words, a party of “the great Aristocracy, the landed Interest, the Magistracy of the Country, the great Merchants and Bankers, in short the parti conservateur of the Country”.

The same manifesto also identified an ever-present principle of exploitation: ‘The average price of wage-labour is the minimum wage, i.e., that quantum of the means of subsistence which is absolutely requisite to keep the labourer in bare existence as a labourer’.

This is the subsistence direction in which nurses are being driven.
I suggest that the RCN has only one honourable course left open to it. That is, make the R in RCN stand for Revolutionary. Ditch your historic business-friendly stance. Stop fawning at the feet of political barons – for you are being assigned to the cold courtyard of their castles – and organise an increasingly bitter workforce to actively oppose the degrading of nurses’ living standards.

There will soon be nothing to lose. Only the truly desperate or saintly will want to become a nurse and work all hours for half a bag of peanuts.

The government, with NMC connivance, will continue to import foreign nurses, and will trawl the poorest countries to do so. I urge you to become independent of this Privy-Council appointed organisation, with those among your hierarchy abandoning aspirations to be voted into their hallowed hall. That is, serve the interests of your members and not yourself – you can not continue to pretend that to serve one is to serve the other.

I urge you to oppose the government and its mouthpieces with every strategy open to you.

Oppose Manchester NHS devolution – the admiral gives the ship to the sailors, then blames them for it sinking – and all such political charades.

Vehemently oppose NHS privatisation – the 6% contracted-out estimate is but a Trojan Horse. The gates are about to be opened.

Please conduct an enquiry as to how many UK nursing students are given long-term, full-time NHS contracts after completing their training. Telling people that many newly qualified nurses are emigrating flies in the face of reports from other countries about how difficult it is for their newly qualified nurses to find work. You are painting a small number of ‘swallows’ as representing an entire Summer. This is not to your credit.

I urge you to enter the real world, which is a hard political world; one not likely to be swayed by petitions.

lenin nightingale 2015

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NHS Privatisation Dilemma- Will it or won’t it?

This post is a simple list concerning the possibility of destruction of the NHS and replacement by privatisation. If you wish to add any other aspects please let me know. Regards Carol Dimon

There are plenty of references available to support these facts.

 

Evidence

Foundation Trust hospitals are semi –private with no government  involvement. Can accept more private paying patients than NHS

Many FT’s are now in debt. Set up to be privatised.

Poor care within the NHS does exist as within all areas of care, but it is emphasised politically and publicly. Meanwhile poor care continues within the private sector but it is more difficult to find reports of it within all countries. Many private companies have  a gagging clause for staff.

Real estate investment trusts (See Lenin Nightingale 2015)

Private equity trusts

NHS resources/beds  used by private hospitals

Some care must be private paid for eg super hearing aid or certain medication or certain operations. Lottery NHS.

Private owned hospitals eg VIRGIN still with NHS logo up—

Community care- no longer provided by local council in some districts.

Care homes pay private if have over  a certain amount or pay  a top up

Many MPs invest in private healthcare

Restricted funding to NHS meaning few staff, more overseas staff for example

Hospitals and accident and emergency services at risk

Restricted funding for hospices

Contract given to big businesses even if failing eg CIRCLE or Care UK

Regulations relaxed for private sector

 

Why privatise?

Profit making

Politicians support their friends who support politicians

Neoliberalism ie blame the individual. Your fault if you cannot pay. You get what you deserve.

Some refer to it as the New world Order- control of governments by higher/business authority . See Icke/Grupp/Kwame Nkrumah/Lenin Nightingale amongst others. The Government is ordered to privatise services.

 

So what can be done?

Campaign or protest- often overruled by police or politicians- see student fees campaign UK 2014.

News blocked/selected  by mainstream media.

Alternative news sites- some are restricted

Internet- some blocked

Independent campaigners- trust one another and unite.

Some petitions and campaigns have had positive results. Is this giving false hope?

More staff support particularly for whistleblowers, many of whom are persecuted. This could come from Unions and internal as well as external to the establishment. However political factors often prohibit this.

Link up to overseas groups such as paying till it hurts (facebook) USA, and wikihospitals (Australia) to use the information illustrating the failures/dangers  of privatisation.

Replace the political system with one that does not worship big businesses.

Is There Any Hope For The Future?

I do not wish to do any more with this. Please let me know if you have something to add. Also I am sure there are others who have referred to this issue- I am quite happy to add links. Strength in numbers. Carol Dimon

– ack to a member of the public who refuses to sit and  do nothing

Do you want your children to blame you for the mess of their society?

A quick peruse of the main news today- mainstream and alternative- presents the following topics – whistleblowing, protests, attacks by the police, homelessness, joblessness, immigration,

Go back about 20 years- Scargill (labour) campaigned against pit closures and the destruction of the Unions under Margaret Thatcher’s (conservative rule)

Late 19th Century, Suffragettes campaigned for women’s rights .

William Wilberforce 18th Century opposed  slavery.

Today many protests UK and abroad, face attacks by the police . There are campaigning groups such as Greenpeace but not without police opposition.

We do have social media such as  twitter but for how long?

We do have alternative news sites- that usually do not publish issues not carried by mainstream news eg Lenin2u

So what action has been taken  by us??

Unions- where have you been since the closure of the coal mines ? Some it seems are affiliated to opposing committees (RCN), some sign recognition with business agreements

Charities- many are govt funded and so gagged

Mainstream news- there is evidence of restrictions on what may be published . Many journalists, even local, do not answer correspondence. Nor do some television personalities or companies  .

Alternative  news- seems to be some restrictions on some of these. However, web is also censored- can remove anything at the drop of hat

Your local MP- try him or her- some do not answer. Westminster – you may get an evasive response

Petitions- online, some at the moment, appear to be successful

Some parliamentary hearings are available on what do they know? And many do send questions.

Some have tried to challenge work situations so called “whistleblowers”- they have been antagonised, and the problem is broader than some of them think.

Complaints- many tried but the system blocks them (eg Will Powell).

Campaign groups do exist- some are registered charities and seemingly restricted, some are not but may have hidden affiliations with major political bodies. Many run round wondering who to trust. Further, some individuals may have hidden agendas fuelled by life’s competitive, materialistic society, such as money, accolades, or career progression.

So what awaits our children? Possibly- jobs only for the elite- the wealthy, the Eton trained, due to family inheritance. The poor fighting for survival, labelled as non-contributors and worthless by politicians . The war vets- dumped when they return form fighting “on behalf of their country”. The children trained in school academies, offering subjects only that they “believe” their pupils are capable of achieving. Yes we know, some students from working class environments attend Oxford or Cambridge University. An abundance of fake certificates from the UK and overseas.

They who reach University may not even get a job.

More overseas workers- “cheaper and complain less” .

Less so – called “luxuries” for the poor such as  holidays certainly abroad

More people in prison to profit private prison owners

More children fostered to profit private agencies

No benefits- even for the severely disabled.

Homelessness banned.

Private healthcare or care homes- the wealthy will be fine.

Workhouse – type accommodation for the vulnerable or poor- the homeless will be removed ever more from the streets.

A fence around London- or to divide the South from North- like two separate countries.

Banned thinking

No money—all on card so it can all be traced

Every move detected eg driverless cars/listening televisions

Rebellion may well increase- who can blame them? They who opt out of education see through the veil.

“Trust us” they declare. The doctrine is one of “separateness” – anti-community; each person pursues their own interests at the expense of others.

There are however, some individuals who do oppose such policies by caring for neighbours, or people on the street for example. Is this the only hope?

So people- what could we have done? This has been dripped in – hidden by “weasel words” – for example, “we are not going to privatise the NHS”, “We are empowering you”. No- they are blaming you and making you responsible so their greed can suffocate us all.

We cannot fight by voting- “ when man looked from pig to man, he saw no difference”(Orwell)  – you may join  a committee with good intentions but either agree- or be ostracised and waste your time. Are you a survivor- or are you  a fighter?

There are references for all this for they who argue what is known.

Carol Dimon c 2015

 

 

 

 

 

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Poor care may arise in all areas- regardless of who owns it and how many staff there are. Of course, there are many definitions of what poor care is – for how can one define good care without this?

The UK focus, by campaigning groups and major bodies and individuals, appears to be the NHS. Save the NHS they declare. Meanwhile poor care in the private sector- hospital or care homes, is largely ignored.

Yet NHS patients are sent to private care hospitals and care homes; private patients whose care has failed, are mopped up by the NHS.

Many newly qualified nurses work in the private sector, in addition to redundant nurses from the NHS.

There may be many reasons for poor care including attitudes , as well as short staffing (Dimon 2013).

Yet privatisation means that not all will be able to afford care and staff terms and conditions would be challenged. The staffing level is lower in the private sector .

Yet it suits the government and business owners, to relax regulations of the private sector. Is the government in reality, shooting itself in the foot?

Meanwhile many reports of poor care within this sector are hidden from mainstream news.

Does this suit some members of the public and profession? Many professionals find it easier to disbelieve such poor care exists, they also fear accusations and damage to the reputation . The 80 year old ex-carer stood in the town centre, echoed the thoughts of many “poor care always happened- and it always will.” Some members of the public prefer to accept the situation in a cloud of oblivion; they are grateful there is anywhere at all for they and their relatives to go. Some argue “people in parts of Africa, would be glad of any care”.

In reality poor care is the real issue. If  a patient is neglected – it ought not to be the immediate issue- where. Are they who ignore this fact, as bad as the perpetrators?

Anon