Create a new permanent bank holiday | 38 Degrees


I have signed this petition as the UK is low on the number of Bank Holidays, but unfortunately these are not recognised as such by some professions such as care.
Care is a 365 day profession and due to the complete lack of required finance and lack of persons in the profession, carers are expected to work these Bank Holidays as though they are normal working days. While working them does not affect their holiday entitlement, they are not paid any extra for doing so, with the possible exception of Christmas and New Years Day. So not only are the salaries they receive way too low, many not even on the Real Living Wage of £9.90 per hour, as most will be on the National Living Wage of £9.50 per hour.
This is far from encouraging people to enter the profession for such an essential workforce, when they could easily earn £14 per hour in supermarkets for much less responsibilities.
So while this holiday will benefit most of the population it will not benefit care workers, who will still only get the bare minimum holiday entitlement.
Everyone should receive the same basic holiday entitlement with Bank Holidays in addition.
This Government could do much more for Social Care, but they are very reluctant to provide funding.
Yes, there is the promise of a proportion of the £12 billion being raised from the from 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023 National Insurance contributions increase by 1.25 percentage points. They say this will be spent on the NHS, health and social care in the UK, but initially the NHS will get the bulk of it to reduce the waiting lists, so, I feel little will be available for Social Care if any. The response of this Government during the COVID pandemic is a true refection on their view of Social Care, where they let down Care Homes. They promised there was a ‘ring fence’ around care homes , but, if there was it was full of holes as they instructed hospitals to discharge elderly patients into care homes without any COVID tests being done, hence COVID came into the care homes and this resulted in many deaths of residents and some care workers in the region of 20000.

But care homes are just one area of social care as care covers both children and adults for home care, respite, supported living, hospices, etc.

In fact, Social Care needs , at least, £12 billion itself and that would only bring funding back to the 2010 level, which was wholly insufficient then. For Social Care has never been sufficiently funded and every delay in funding brings greater pressures on the NHS.

Source: Create a new permanent bank holiday | 38 Degrees

Jeremy Hunt calls for massive boost in UK defence spending


Writing for The Telegraph, former foreign secretary says peace comes from strength, not luck, as Russian invaders close in on Kyiv

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Defence spending will always be controversial as when does defense spending become offence spending. It is true that the UK does need to live within its means, but defense is one of many areas that need spending increases. With those others having a much bigger concept of saving lives rather than deaths.

No matter how you look at it defense spending will always involve the loss of lives, especially when armaments, be they for defense or offense will cause deaths. Yes, defense spending will, hopefully save lives, but eventually the armaments will be used causing deaths and if not deaths, very extensive injuries.

But, as I said other Government spending will save lives and if not spent or there is insufficient to spend, then deaths will occur.

One of these areas is Social Care and the other is Health and while there has been increased spending in health, but never enough, the extensive shortfall in Social Care spending is scandalous and has been for many years due to inactions of all previous Governments. Now there is supposed action, but again not anywhere near enough and what there is, is more than likely to go on health and very little on Social Care.

This major shortfall in Social Care spending, is and has , in fact has been for many years, more than likely since 1948 and well before. But in the last 12/13 years has been considerably more.

But it looks like spending will be increased in defense, possibly at the expense  of social care and social care should never have been kept short, no matter what other callings there have been on Government spending.

What should be done is not starting at what money is seen to be available, but what is really needed and then all has to be done to get that spending, not just today, but for every day. There  should never, not ever be a shortfall in social care spending.

Yes, defense is important, but so is social care and that should never be forgotten and never ignored, which it has been for as long as there has been social care.

 

 

Source: Jeremy Hunt calls for massive boost in UK defence spending

Under my leadership, Labour’s commitment to Nato is unshakable | Keir Starmer | The Guardian


Our party was foundational in forming the postwar alliance, which – as Ukraine shows – remains essential today, says Labour leader Keir Starmer

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That is all well and good, but it goes deeper than that for NATO is not there as an attacking force, as muted by Putin, but at times the American influence does muddy the water. As it should be seen as a defence force and peacekeeper, in some respects as the UN forces, but, unfortunately, the UN is relatively inoperable not only due to the American influence, but also to that of Russia and China, so the UN Security Council is far from it.

But NATO can be misused due to American influence and the puppet attitude of some, at least former UK Governments. Unfortunately, Prime Ministers do not use their power as they should do, as was evident with Blair and his ‘weapons of mass destructions within 45 mins’, for which he didn’t really suffer any punishment for and went on to make more fortune in his life after his premiership. Let’s do hope that Boris does not follow this lead with his ‘No. 10 Parties.

In forming NATO it could have been better created and as the NHS is great, it could or should have been better funded as should Social Care, which should have been and still should be included as an integral part of the NHS.

Politics and world affairs are no way what they should be, so lets do hope that Putin’s actions are not the end of the World and he sees sense and does not invade Ukraine.

Source: Under my leadership, Labour’s commitment to Nato is unshakable | Keir Starmer | The Guardian

We are ‘scapegoats’ for government failures, say headteachers | Education | The Guardian


English school leaders to tell MPs frozen salaries, soaring workloads and the effects of Covid are deterring next generation of heads

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This is so true, but not only for within teaching for it could be said of many professions.

But firstly, let’s look at teaching, for what is teaching for, well to educate the children, so they can become an integral part of Society.  However, to do this the system needs to be right.

I was in the system in the sixties, and it was not right then and it has not move that much further now, for in many respects it could even be worse. Yes, I learnt a lot, but was much of that any use to me, I would say very little, especially in Maths for have I ever used algebra, trigonometry, not never. Also, I was expected to be an expert in all matters, even art and while I did my best, I was castigated for my efforts. So, children will be gifted, while others will not be, but like much in the UK, the approach was ‘one size fits all’, which is never right. We are all individuals, especially children and the education system needs to recognise this.

The teachers do their best, but again the system does not help them. Then you get Government interference, by bringing changes dependent on the Government of the day without any real consultation with anyone in the profession, except those within the Department of Education, who are mainly civil servants ingrained deeply in the processes of the civil service and virtually no teaching experience and certainly no current experience.

Unfortunately bullying as always been an element of the education system, sometimes by teachers overusing their power of children, but mainly by children, many who don’t wish to be at school and take their resentment out of some of the other pupils.

There is no effort to care by many teachers, especially some head teachers, some of whom don’t even respect their own staff.

My view is the system is completely geared to getting as many children as possible to gain paper qualifications, many of which will have no bearing on their future lives. I feel as well as giving children some academic background the schools should also provide some elements of life so that children will have a grounding on how to proceed when they leave school.

As in many other professions education has been starved of sufficient funding and many school buildings are in aspects of deterioration, and if the building are deteriorating it could well have some affects on how education is given and received.

But as I said earlier many professions are not in a good place and this could not be more so than for social care. For social care has been deprived of funding for more many years, perhaps since the was social care and other areas before. Governments have not seen the importance of social care, either by design or ignorance, but social care is just as important to Society as is health care for they are both interrelated. These should have always been run in conjunction with each other. However, while health as not been fully funded it has always been thought of as being more important and essential than social care, while both are as essential and as important as each other.

Give this government its due, as it as promised to fund social care more, but so far this funding is not materialising, when it should have been the most important priority, as the lack of social care resources is seriously affecting the delivery of health care, causing much more strains on an already overburdened NHS.

Both are suffering from lack of staff, but I feel social care is more so. Pay in social care is so much more abysmal than in health. Even with vaccines for COVID, as care homes staff were the first to be threatened by mandatory injections and there was no or very little public outcry as to the unfairness of this as there has been for health staff. Now the Government as put a stop to mandatory injections while a consultation is in progress, but that is too late for staffing in care homes.

Care homes also suffered in early 2020 when COVID patients were discharged to care homes, while it was said there was a protective screen around care homes. Perhaps there was, but not as we all thought to keep COVID out but to keep COVID in, so much for government promises. Now there does appear to be a ruling.

The UK is in dire straits, unless you are one of the favoured few, those who can afford to pay their way out.

 

Source: We are ‘scapegoats’ for government failures, say headteachers | Education | The Guardian

A Tsunami of Disability Is Coming as a Result of ‘Long COVID’ – Scientific American


We need to plan for a future where millions of survivors are chronically ill

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This is indeed true and in America with their insurance based health service this will create major problems, as many can’t afford sufficient health cover currently.

But, even in the UK with the NHS this will cause many problems for will the NHS be sufficiently funded to enable staffing levels to be achieved and many other resources. Also will sufficient capacity be created to cover any similar pandemics, I very much doubt so.

But, assuming the NHS is sufficiently resourced, it is very much doubtful that social care will be, as it has not been for the last 20 to 30 years. Then with the austerity cuts imposed on Local Authorities (LAs) and more expenses due to COVID the situation has become even more dire. To have any chance of Social Care recovering this Government needs to, urgently reimburse  all the funds that were retained by the Government on the basis of austerity cuts.

Even then, much of Social Care needs to be reorganised so that all care workers are not only paid substantially more to around. at least £14.00 per hour, but also the working conditions have to be improved such as paying for travel time, introduction of a scheme to pay them while being  sick, payments for working unsocial hours. What also would improve, at least Social Care, is improving immigration provisions to allow more non-UK persons to enter the UK to work.

The are major shortages of care workers in the UK, which will be made worse due to the mandatory COVID vaccinations required and not only for Social Care, but also the NHS.

The current situation is very dire but the results of long- COVID will make it much worse.

Source: A Tsunami of Disability Is Coming as a Result of ‘Long COVID’ – Scientific American

Real Living Wage rises to £9.90 an hour – BBC News


While this is good news for those on the Real living Wage, there are many more that are not, for they will be on the lower National Living Wage of £8. 91 per hour or the even lower National Minimum Wage of £8.36 per hour for those under 23 years. It will not be until 1 April 2022 that those on the National Living Wage will receive £9.50 per hour, with hopefully a corresponding increase for those on the National Minimum Wage.

Even though there is the National Living Wage is it in reality sufficient for persons to reasonably live on and are the persons on it really being paid what they are worth. You only have to compare care workers in the care profession to those employed in supermarkets and Amazon, where , I believe they can earn from £14 per hour and need less skills and undertake less responsibility than care workers.

Many in the Care Profession are on anything between the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage, with the majority nearer the National Minimum Wage than the National Living Wage.

This is mainly due to the Government policy in funding Local Authorities, (LAs) and as most of you will be aware LAs from 2010 were subjected to austerity cuts and to date these cuts have not been reversed and LAs are still having to find savings to accommodate this serious underfunding and many vital LA services are suffering as a result. You may wonder why this is affecting the care profession, well many care providers are funded by LAs so that the care providers can pay their care workers to provide the care needed by vulnerable people. There are what are called ‘self funders, but in reality they are only small percentage wise, for these are people who have been assessed as having sufficient income and capital to fund their own care, so they pay the care providers directly.

Care is in dire straits for many reasons, the lack of funding being one, but there is also a large deficit in the numbers of people wishing to come into care pay is one reason, but there is also working conditions, no sick pay, career progression and much more.

Conditions in care need to be considerably improved, but this requires much more funding which the Government could solve, if they wished to.

The Government could also relax the immigration regulations to allow more persons to come into the UK to go into the care profession, which they have done in other areas.

But then for this to occur you need a Government that really cares, which this Government have proved with their actions and also their inactions, that they do not. All they care about is themselves and their rich donors to the Conservative Party.

The Government say they wish to safeguard the NHs, but there abandonment of the care profession is also causing many strains on the NHS as lack of care is causing more to need NHS services and the lack of care available is then delaying hospital discharges.

So, in affect the Government don’t really care about the NHS only in ‘words, but not ‘actions’.

 

 

Source: Real Living Wage rises to £9.90 an hour – BBC News

Austerity in England linked to more than 50,000 extra deaths in five years | Public sector cuts | The Guardian


Researchers looked at 2010-2015 when Cameron cuts to NHS and social care were starting to bite

 

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This was inevitable, as the austerity cuts made Local Authorities and Health Authorities to make savings due to the cuts where savings could not realistically be made, so essential services were being run on a ‘shoe string’ and then the next and next and next, etc, meant that the shoe string was getting shorter and shorter.

If you had money then the cuts really did not touch you greatly, but for the masses who don’t have money, many only having an income which is just sufficient and with some not even sufficient, it touched them greatly.

So for those you could least afford it suffered the worst and are still doing so. The Prim e Minister Boris Johnson talks about leveling up, but he keeps saying this but has no idea what it means. For to level up the resources which have been taken away since 2010 need to be returned and then more. For even in 2010 the levels were not correct, and many were below the levels. To put right money needs to be invested in all areas which are insufficient and it will not be cheap.

A start would be to fund Social Care and then health so that all you need care can reasonably get it without having to think where the money is coming from. For Social Care needs to be funded just as the NHS is thereby making it free on the point of delivery, which it should always have been.

This was a major mistake in 1948 for then Social Care and health should have been looked at as one and be managed together, with public health included.

As it was health was looked after, but not social care, even though they were inter-related.

So, the paltry amounts that the Prime Minister announced some weeks ago fell way short of what is actually required and social care will by doing so will always be the poor relation as care services go.

So due to insufficient funding deaths will continue to soar due to the severe lack of care services.

 

Source: Austerity in England linked to more than 50,000 extra deaths in five years | Public sector cuts | The Guardian

Raising taxes will be a disaster for Britain – and here’s the proof


The last Labour government hiked the top tax rate to 50pc, and it was a policy disaster

 

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This is so true, but one that Labour fail to realise as they are so engrossed in trying to take from the assumed rich, that they fail to see that the very rich have the means to legally reduce their tax burden or even more leave the UK completely. Then you don’t even get the tax they were willing to pay before. It is a fine dividing line between what one is willing to pay and one is not. While those who are not rich have no option but to pay the tax they are requested to do.

So rather than increase tax rates considerably, why not just increase by 1% or 2% rather than 10% to bring in a top rate of 50%.

But, Conservatives are so determined not to increase tax for the rich, so they try to get more from the poor and not so rich. by increasing lower tax rates and also not increasing the initial tax free element.

By increasing the tax free element to line with the National Living Wage and increase rates slightly this would enable people to spend more and thereby get money from VAT and also increase slightly Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax.

Also reverse all austerity cuts, thus allowing Local Authorities to create more job opportunities, rather than cut employment to save money. Also allowing more money to be made available for Social Care so the abysmal rates of pay could be eliminated and allow starting pay at £14 or even £15 per hour so encouraging more to enter the profession.

Alter Immigration requirements so all persons willing to work in the UK could do so and thereby enable more non-UK persons to enter the UK to work, while removing any non-UK persons who are not willing to work.

 

Source: Raising taxes will be a disaster for Britain – and here’s the proof

Ministers to crack down on overprescription of medicines on the NHS | The Independent


Government-commissioned review finds 10 per cent of drugs prescribed by primary care doctors are not wanted or needed

 

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This may or may not be true, for we can only know if we see how this conclusion was reached.

For medications are given to individuals and like all individuals we could all experience problems in many different ways.

Unfortunately the NHS does not treat people as individuals, especially in these times of non-face to face consultations. and then the problems in getting repeat consultations when needed. This is the same for both GP and hospital consultations.

They all treat the condition in a ‘one fits all’ approach, instead of a ‘person centred ‘ approach. Also and especially hospitals treat conditions in isolation, but many have multiple conditions and with GPs and some extent hospitals appointments are time time related., otherwise the appointment system get out of line and appointment times are then not met if appointment times are exceeded.

But, if you have more than one issue when seeing a GP and want to relate to your list, the GP could well say, just give me the top of your list and we will discuss the rest on your next appointment, and that is a major problem for when will that next appointment be, certainly not the next day or even the next week could be weeks or months. Even getting through to a GP surgery is a major exercise for it could take time to get even in a queue and then wait to be connected to the receptionists, to be then told all that days appointment haver been taken, no offer for any face to face for the appointments referred to are telephone appointments. It was said sometime ago that going on 80% of a GP consultation was from the patient and not any GP checks, but with a telephone appointment the only vehicle of communication is voice, no understanding of tone, body language and any other observations, so again the appointment is somewhat not sufficient.

As I said, even with a face to face you are usually restricted to around 10 mins, which gives no time for many patient to mention all they wish too and a patient is not an expert of medical issues only on their body and how they are feeling, much of which can’t be expressed over the phone.

Yes, GPs are over worked and there are too few of then, but don’t we all have stressed lives and who is to say how much effort it took a patient to try and get an appointment in the first place, is there any wonder why A&Es are so busy these days, as patients will mainly take going to A&E and suffer the long waits there for they know they will be seen, but again by an overworked, mainly junior doctor, not saying they are not fully trained, but long hours can lead to mistakes being made and they are made and one mistake is one too many.

The NHS has been underfunded for many years, but then so as Social Care which is another story, but as equally important, if not more so.

Money is not everything, for there has been much Government interventions into the NHS and mainly not for the better. Care of any nature is more than likely to be long term and costly.

Don’t get me wrong for we in the UK are extremely lucky to have the NHS, and I bless the Labour Government in the 40s for all their work and will to create the NHS in 1948. But in those days Doctors and Dentists and the BMA were not fully in favour of the NHS, as I am lead to believe they did not wish to lose their access to their private practices, so a compromise was reached. This was on the lines that if they agreed to be brought into the NHS not as employees, but as self employed they could retain their private practices and still work for the NHS. So even tough they are contracted to be in the NHS it is the practice and not the individual doctors. So they can withdraw from the NHS if they wish and still work on  private patients, which many |Dentists have done, so creating many problems for |NHS Dentistry, in that there is a very serious lack of capacity in NHS Dentistry, as so many people are experiencing in not being able to find an NHS dentist, and then afford it, for Dentistry was removed for ‘free at the point of delivery’ many years ago, although the NHS payment is subsidised through the NHS.

|Both the N HS and also Social Care need to be fully funded, but that takes money and one of then should not be left short to fund the other. This is not the fault solely of this Government, but of many previous Governments who have left the NHS somewhat underfunded and even more so, Social Care,  latter even true today, in fact very true and the question is will both be able to survive, especially social care, for the current lack of social care is already having an effect on the over use of the |N HS and if it were to get worse,which it is every day, or even disappear, the NHS would not be able to cope and that would mean disastrous consequences for all who need these services and have no ability to pay.

So urgent action is still required and the announcement a few weeks ago was way to little and way too late.

So medication is but one problem in many others. But I would not just say there is over prescription, which in some instances there will be, especially in some instances of antibiotics and in some anti depression. But please before any thing is done view the patient and not just the assumed overt prescribing.

 

 

Source: Ministers to crack down on overprescription of medicines on the NHS | The Independent

Social Care will it survive, now that is the question?


Social care has been in decline for far too many years, due to successive governments lack of actions to do something to ensure that it will survive. Now we have a Prime Minister who has done something, but it is way too little and way, way too late. It would have been too late, if the necessary money was made available yesterday, but to say it will now not be available for 3 more years, is adding insult to injury. People ease in need of Social Care so deserve so much better, for their pain and suffering will continue and not just continue, but will get much worse and they could not well survive, especially 3 more years, but is that the outcome this Government is working to.

Many years of very serious underfunding has and is taking its toil, as it was in serious decline in 2010 when the Conservative Government decided to introduce austerity cuts and these went on for at least 10 years and then came COVID. The austerity cuts came to ensure Local Authorities (LAs) made savings in their budgets, when any fool could see there were no savings to be made, except Government fools. So to work to the reduced budgets services had to be cut, even essential services. and this eventually included Social Care, as many LAs tried to shield Social Services from cuts, but eventually they had to come and it was the persons in need of Social Care who were made to suffer and they still do, well those still alive do.

I applaud those who have decided to become employed in Social Care, however not all who came in were there for the benefit for whom they are caring for and some of the Care Provider when also in there to make profits from the services.

Those providers should not have been there but many still are and they are destroying the reputations of the Care Providers who do care, just as the care workers who don’t care are destroying the reputations of the care workers who do care and it is the persons in need of care who were left to suffer.

It is said that during the COVID Pandemic people were Clapping for carers, but were they for were they only clapping for certain carers, namely Nurses. Now, while those nurses did deserve the clapping they were not alone for there were many others in health who were as deserved as where the care workers in the care profession. Certainly those in Care and Nursing homes did, but they were not alone, for it is not just the elderly in care/nursing homes who are in receipt of care, as we are left to believe from those who should know better . such as , the Prime Minister and his fellow Ministers, all the MPs and those in the media. Can we blame many of the population for believing that Social care is just for the elderly, well I believe we can for children and any adults can, through no fault of their own find themselves in need of accessing Social acre, either on a temporary basis or on a more permanent basis. For the elderly will only be for some for a short period, when you look at the length of the ‘Cycle of Life’ as some are in need as soon as they are born and then until their dying day, but why are these persons not seen for they are there in full sight, well it is because the people are not seeing them, many because they do not want to, others because they can’t understand the whys and wherefores and some who couldn’t careless, for all they care about is themselves.

Then we have the unpaid carers who currently save the UK well over £132 Billion every year by them caring for their relatives, until they can care no more, by reason of their own death or they become ill and need support themselves.

There are many reasons why people do not enter the care profession, which include

  1. the derisory salary for the work undertaken, which is more likely to be around the National Living Wage of £8.91 per hour, rather than the Real Living Wage of £9.50 per hour. When this is compared that persons could earn well over £13 per hour working at Amazon, surely someone looking after your relatives lives should at least be earning £14 per hour
  2. insufficient persons in the UK who are willing to work in the Care Profession for any reason, when there are many outside the UK will but are unable to do so because of the UK’s Immigration policy. in the 1950s when there was a lack of works due to WWII the government of the day went to various countries to encourage workers to come to the UK, many from the Caribbean, while today there are many still in Europe and certainly in many of the African countries and others, if only they were given the opportunities.
  3. but there are also lack of travel expenses, suitable sick pay, unsocial hours payments and other terms and conditions

But firstly we need a Government who understands care and will do what is required, not the Paltry offer from Boris Johnson, who after COVID is insulting all care workers.

I am not saying the NHS is not deserving the money it has been offered, but both need to be the money required, for not to do so will see the complete demise of Social Care and this will then truly bring the eventual demise of the NHS, just because Boris and his Ministers in Crime are not prepared to take the required actions needed urgently.

So the actions need to be taken now for 3 years is much too long to wait.