Public Services – ‘At Risk’

Public sector workers

Public service ‘transformers’ at work.

Today we return to a sadly familiar tale. The destruction of public services and those public servants making a killing making it happen and enabling private sector vultures to gorge on the corpse.
Let’s start appropriately enough with one of our respondents by the name of ‘P45’ who told us in a reply to an earlier post :
Won’t be reported in the glorious Wirral View how hundreds of (Wirral) council workers have just this week received ‘at risk’ letters.
Average wage of these manual workers 18k a year – the normal cuts start at the bottom.
Compare that with the obscene rates paid to fly by night municipal mercenaries in the form of external consultants and  particularly so called ‘transformers’ who seem particularly adept at transforming their bank balance if nothing else. These are dark days for public services – not just in terms of central government funding but also because of those who seek financial and /or career advantage from its demise.
No doubt the latest round  of redundancy threats will be done in the name of short term savings when we all know its more about the Council divesting themselves of direct responsibility for staff and services.  Then watch as in the long term the council wage bill rises to pay for agency workers and temporary staff on insecure short term contracts.
But then what hope do rank and file staff have when they are not only at the mercy of self serving senior managers but are also ill served by supine unions and betrayed by amoral councillors – the most sickening example being serial failure Cllr Steve Foulkes recently voting himself a rise in expenses/allowances for sitting on outside bodies alongside his day job and his council duties when council staff are at risk of losing their livelihoods.
Of course this  “I’m Alright Jack” mentality shows up the support for the likes of foodbanks and the homeless to be the phony political posturing and cynical virtue signalling that it is.  ” Oh these foodbanks are a damning indictment of modern society  ….. I know !  let’s open another foodbank so I can get my picture in the paper”.
As we know there’s not only political capital to be had at the expense of the vulnerable there is ,more pertinently,  financial capital to be gained.
Indeed we have been provided with a telling example by a well placed source who notes that we have written extensively about Change, Grow, Live  (CGL).  As we know CGL are the grateful recipients of the biggest slice of Public Health monies ( £7 million +) to provide drug and alcohol services that were previously provided by the NHS. Our source has been reliably informed that David Biddle the Chief Executive of  CGL ( formerly Crime Reduction Initiatives) will be in line for a £1 million golden handshake when he retires next year .  David Biddle – ‘stepping down’
In an interview published last year in The Guardian Mr Biddle claimed ‘what pissed people off’ was that CGL were ‘very businesslike’. Read the full story here : What pisses people off
Believe us Mr Biddle the CGL operation on Wirral has been described to us in many ways but ‘very businesslike’ certainly isn’t one of them! What’s more what we think really pisses us off is people making obscene amounts of public money that can be made out of other people’s misery . As our source says :
Surely this is public money, squeezed from LA drug budgets as CGL undercut by some way existing NHS services, like Wirral, and set up inferior and less effective services. Remember the 72 dead here in their first eighteen months? Talk about blood money.
It is because of the increasing prevalence of scenarios such as this that we applaud the work of campaign groups such as Defend Our NHS Wirral who campaign to support public services for the benefit of ALL and not just the gilded elite ‘transforming’ public services mainly for the benefit of themselves.
“Will you defend our NHS?”
Wirral campaign group Defend Our NHS has written to all councillors to find out where they stand on the destruction of the National Health Service.
The group, alongside others in Cheshire & Merseyside, is asking councillors to do more than express their admiration for the NHS and its staff.
Rather than simply share patients’ and widespread public concerns at the harm being done to our health service by cuts and closures Wirral councillors have the statutory power to STOP the damage in its tracks.
Wirral shares the same problems as other parts of the country. But the closure of the Eastham Walk-In Clinic (without adequate notice or indeed any consultation), the pressures on Arrowe Park Hospital, and the ongoing appointment difficulties are just some of the specific local concerns.
All of this, and the accelerating pace at which problems are mounting, are the inevitable result of £22 billions cut from the NHS budget. And now the so-called ‘sustainability and transformation partnership’ (STP) would produce a permanent regime of cuts (almost a further £1 billion in our region) and threats to a free national health service.
Wirral Council voted last December to oppose the STP for Cheshire & Merseyside which would inevitably (unless stopped) lead to an American-style ‘accountable care system’ (ACS).
The STP and ACS scandal is now the subject of two legal challenges.
Defend Our NHS is asking all councillors three simple questions to discover where they stand on all this.
Along with other campaign groups in the STP ‘footprint’ Defend Our NHS will be publishing the results and inviting councillors to briefing sessions to learn more about the destruction of our NHS – and how to defend and reinstate it.
1. Do you support our campaign to stop the STP and oppose the further cuts? YES/NO
2. Do you support the reinstatement of our NHS? YES/NO
3. Will you tell Wirral voters what your responses are in any forthcoming communication? YES/NO

16 thoughts on “Public Services – ‘At Risk’

  1. WIRRAL COMMUNITY PATROL LIMITED
    MCEWAN WALLACE 68 ARGYLE STREET
    BIRKENHEAD
    WIRRAL
    Set up in November 2013 at the same time Wirral council announced the closure of their Cctv control room ,without this the Community Patrol could not function.
    Eleven staff made redundant with control room due to close in March 2014, this info about Wirral comm patrol ltd was shared with Wirral leaks.
    February 2014 in a cabinet meeting somebody approved 240,000 funding for the control room to remain open there are no recorded minutes of this decision, no business plan of this decision and no recorded information of who proposed this option according to WBC.
    Three years on control room still open but no investment for new staff meaning community patrol staff have to cover taking numbers away from that service which the council continue to decimate.
    Further cuts on the way as demonstrated by the at risk letters and unrealistic job evaluation results soon to land.
    There are more Cllrs on the cabinet than Community patrol officers.
    Meanwhile outside interests continue to look on waiting to pounce with the assistance of their political friends within the chamber and Town Hall.

    • Be interested to see the business case for community safety that Jane Clayden developed stating that CCTV would be the next commercial aspect of development….. just gets better all the time Leaky x

  2. Thanks for publicising the campaign to defend our NHS.
    The situation becomes ever more perilous in Wirral: unbelievable things are happening NOW!. There has been a long campaign against the STP (‘slash, trash and privatise’) and the linked ACO/ACS (‘accountable care system’).
    AND the Council voted against it all last December.
    Unbelievably (#1) it took Phil Davies almost EIGHT MONTHS to send the letter to the government telling them that the Council wasn’t happy with the STP.
    (Mr Davies still hasn’t replied to a question sent to him in April 2015 and repeated recently: “Why has Wirral granted enhanced entry to our local health services to major US and/or US-owned corporations, especially one representing the ACO model? Surely this and “testing of a capitated budget approach” are the logical precursors to a health insurance scheme?” Almost THREE years…)
    Yet (unbelievably #2) now the Council and Wirral clinical commissioning group (the people with the money and under orders from NHS England) have signed up to the STP and agreed to implement an ACS!
    We didn’t know. Did the Wirral public know? Did most councillors know?
    Do these people expect us to vote for them as clinics close? As GPs, surgeons and nurses are not appointed or replaced? As A&E admissions become ever more onerous? As buildings close?
    Do they know we are about to face almost £1 BILLION of cuts to the NHS in Cheshire & Merseyside?
    Do they know the already slashed budget will have to cover social care AS WELL as NHS services?
    Do they know that if (once?) it all becomes impossible, the ACS will be contracted out to someone who says they can do it all for less? (And which tax avoiders already operating within our NHS might that be?)
    If you are shocked and appalled at all this, please tell your friends and family. But also join the fight locally. You can find out more – and ways to fight back – at https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/

    • The answer is partly sweep them all away in council elections in may, or at least as many as we can.

      A short sharp shock akin to that being dealt to the local Nhs

      That would send a message I do think

      • wirralbizz:
        Absolutely right Sir or Madam.
        BUT the great majority of Wirral voters will be unaware of the appalling behaviour, corruption and arrogance of those who infest the senior ranks at Wallasey Town Hall.
        Nothing is likely to be published in the Wirral Globe or the Liverpool Echo;
        two publications which seem in thrall to the local authority.
        Wirral Leaks and other similar blogs are superb at what they do but, I suspect, have a relatively small number of readers which is a shame.
        I fear that, come May 2018, the largely apathetic residents will vote on tribal lines and many of the same, awful, people will again be returned to power.

      • Charles I tell my clients and contacts, all to read Wirralleaks.
        In that way I try to increase the blog’sreadership.

        On the pyramid scheme basis it should percolate outwards.

        Of course the obstacle is the party system where these carcasses have the resources in numbers of volunteers and cash which Independents do not. An independent would ask themselves whether the effort is worth the small chance of victory faced with party machines.

        It has to be the absence of effective Independents that seals the victories of the partysystem which draws on a narrow pool of talent, if that is the correct word.

        My name is Nigel Hobro and the handle wirralbizz is for ironic purposes

  3. There might be one or two (or more) councillors who would get a shock next May if someone stood against them on a platform to defend local NHS services, for example, or to set a budget that met the needs of Wirral people rather than those of mythical investors.
    I’m not in any of their parties but know that there are more than rumbles of discontent about the behaviour of erstwhile friends.

  4. My tormentor of forty three years recently retired early from NHS nursing and her views, albeit harsh and highly unfair when it comes to her cruel and dreadfully unfair fixed opinions about me and my fat face, are worth transmitting when it comes to her observations relating to the decline of our NHS and the impact the transformation and evolving changes that are regularly showered downwards and upon the heads of the operational staff by the ‘suits’ from up above.
    She blames the decline wholly on the ‘suits’ who all slavishly follow the doctrine of Common Purpose and the culture of Partnerships, where, when all things go wrong, everyone is to blame and no one person can ever be held to account for the cluster fuck!
    Frontline Nursing Services! Despite what they tell you there is no shortage of trained nurses. They are there but many no longer work directly for the NHS. Tired of shift work and wanting more pay, they leave and join a team of Agency Nurses. An arms length private limited company created by former public service Directors who, seeing a chance to fatten their wealth pot sometime near to their retirement they create their Plc, call in their contacts, use their knowledge of the inner workings of the NHS and go about stripping it of its assets.
    Then there’s Doctors. Same outcome! When you fly an English speaking German Doctor all the way across the Channel, get a chauffeur driven car to pick him up, pay him or her £2000 quid for a night shift and ferry him or fly him home, all done beneath the blanket of an Agency Plc, you’ve gotta conclude somethings gone wrong with the business model the ‘suits’ are following.
    Then there’s the juicy area of Procurment. Whether its staff, IT systems, stationary, medicine, drugs and all the other areas that are outsourced to yet another arms length company that’s been set up to save you all millions, you end up paying twenty times more than you would have if you just picked up the phone and did it yourself.
    Speaking of bloody phones, what tipped my bloody old hag of wife over the edge to take early retirement was a bloody phone. Being Nurse in charge, she quickly decided she needed a second phone and a landline. She phoned BT up and they agreed to do the job at a cost of £105 quid. When she mentioned it to a bloody ‘suit’ she was told that this area of business had been outsourced and she’d place the Health Trust in breach of contractual obligations.
    Sure enough, the second phone arrived and the landline installed by the Chosen Providor at a final cost of around £1700 bloody quid.
    Then there’s the interpreter service. Again, yet another Plc and this little cutie is where the real tasty rewards are for the bastard who, whilst sat at the table working with or alongside the NHS saw the opportunity to become self employed and form their own limited company. Every day, hundreds of times a day, the front line staff pick up that phone, select the nationality of the patient and the money clock begins to spin. If only it span slowly at a reasonable pace. But it bloody doesn’t because the ‘suit’ who signed the contract didn’t want that service in his In Tray and so happily agreed to wipe his hands of the problem at a price of £180 for a fifteen minute chat.
    All of these things and more mashed up with PFI arrangements, LOBO loans and paying the best to get the best throughout this passionate journey toward transformation and happy outcomes have now ensured that we are the last generation who freely enjoyed the greatness of the National Health Service.
    Shame on all of us for allowing this to happen. I’d like to blame the Tories, but seeing as the tap dancing twat with the far away eyes bloody Blair was just as guilty as the rest of them, it’s hard to blame anyone involved in this unholy Partnership that’s asset stripped our Country of it’s greatest achievement since we sent the Germans scurrying back to Berlin.

    • The NHS should celebrate its 70th birthday next July – and any decent country would declare a national holiday.
      If the present lot (government and NHSE underlings and daft councillors) have their way it will be a wake.
      The symptoms of the decline of the NHS are exactly as you describe (and more). BUT they are only symptoms – the cause is the deliberate and systematic policy to marketise our health service. Thatcher, Blair and recent and present Tories have all signed up to the ‘project’. Some out of simple ideology. Others because they are as corrupt as hell.
      We CAN stop them (and in fact campaign groups from all over Cheshire and Merseyside are meeting to agree a common strategy). Despite how the Leader some of their members are acting Wirral Council’s policy (adopted last December and confirmed last month) is to oppose what’s happening. And the Labour Party’s policy (agreed at its recent conference) is to reinstate the NHS in a form we would all recognise.
      Some MPs and councillors are in for a very nasty shock when the next elections roll around. Unless they stand up to #DefendOurNHS .

      • Hope you’re right Nivekd. With hard right Frank Field, hard right George Davies, hard right Steve Foulkes, hard right Matron McLaughlin, hard right Bernie Mooney and newly-hard right after her conversion on the road to Tory Damascus, Thatcherite Janette Williamson plotting and cackling like witches around their cauldron, that may be a taller order than we imagine.

    • Hiya Franki, sad times in the Wirral.I am sure there will be a deluge of practises also shutting down. IT is horrendous..I was informed that only Locums work at our surgery and they are struggling to keep things going.
      Yes sad times indeed for people in Wirral…Can not believe what happened RE: Hepatitis C. Stay safe love Carly. Xxxdd

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