Monday, June 29, 2009

The Future of Nursing: A Consultation

The Shadow Health team is carrying out a consultation on the future of nursing. If you are nurse in the Cambridge constituency, please have your say. Responses should go to by 30 August, and copied to for Richard Normington, Cambridge's Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman.

Foreword to Future of Nursing: A Consultation

"No public service matters more to people than the NHS, and our vision is to help it become world class. But we know we cannot achieve this without putting our trust and support fully behind its most valuable resource: its staff. Nurses are central to our vision for the NHS, because it is so often their personal care and initiative that determines the actual success of patients‟ treatments. This is why we have pledged to trust nurses and other staff with much more autonomy, and it is why we will put an end to the government targets that so badly undermine the motivation and compassion that drew nurses into their profession in the first place.

Of course nurses need to be accountable for their performance – but to patients, not politicians. Putting greater trust in nurses is especially important given the huge challenges that lie ahead for the NHS. We have an ageing population, changing patterns of disease and rapidly advancing treatments – developments that will need to be met with the individual initiative and creativity of every healthcare professional.

If we are to help nurses deliver the highest standards of care in an evolving NHS, they need better opportunities for professional development and more space to shape care to their individual patients' needs. And we must also understand that nursing is not just a job, it is a vocation that makes a huge contribution to our society.

We need to recognise that and give nurses the protection and respect they deserve. As part of our vision for a world-class NHS, this document sets out our proposals to strengthen nursing, but we want to move forward with the full input of nurses themselves, as well as other NHS staff and patients. So this is your chance to help shape our policy. We want to hear all your views, whether positive or negative. There is so much to celebrate and build on in the NHS but, equally, much to improve. We look forward to hearing from you."

Andrew Lansley CBE MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health

Anne Milton MP, Shadow Minister for Health

29th June 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Latest Local Data Loss Shows Systems' Flaws

Some 741 people who had information on their operations stolen by a car wash worker, will want to know why systems allowed the data to get there in the first place. Questions include how could one person be allowed to download the information; how could nobody notice; why did that person need the data outside the hospital; and what other loopholes are there to download personal information.

As patients, we have to trust the authorities that this sort of thing does not happen. But we all know it does. And every time it does, it is a reminder that the amount of data taken, lost or stolen could have been much greater if the government's ID card system goes ahead or even the NHS super data scheme [NHS Care Records Scheme].

"PATIENT data, including names and details of operations for 741 Addenbrooke’s patients, was taken from a vehicle by a car wash worker... A member of Addenbrooke’s staff downloaded the information on to a privately-owned, unencrypted memory stick, which was left in a car taken to a car wash" reports the Cambridge News.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tax and Borrowing Freedom Day

More than five months of our servitude – from New Year until May 14 – were spent working to pay taxes, such as income tax, national insurance, council tax, VAT and many others including the notorious “stealth” taxes. But all that effort was still not enough to feed the monster, and when he had run out of our money, the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, had to borrow – at £20  million an hour – to pay his bills.So for the past six weeks, day in, day out, we have been working to fund that borrowing. [Dr Eamonn Butler in today's Telegraph]

25th June 2009

Labour Transport U-Turn Leaves Liberals in Lurch

The news that Labour is postponing plans for national road pricing - for at least the next Parliament - leaves the Liberal Democrats as the only party pushing for this extra tax on motorists at the next election.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ID Card Delay Wins Approval

"The showpiece contract for national identity cards will be held back, prompting speculation that a Tory pledge to scrap the entire scheme may have unsettled its front-running companies." - ContractorUK [reported by Conservative Home ].

Richard Normington, who supported the No2ID stall at the recent Strawberry Fair, commented: "The prospect of a Conservative government rolling back Labour's database state is to be welcomed. The Shadow Home Secretary's campaign has credibilty and momentum."

23rd June 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Iraq Inquiry: Delayed and Disappointing

Today’s announcement about the inquiry into the Iraq war – delayed for months by a fearful government – was deeply disappointing. Not only are the terms dictated by Downing Street, but it will be conducted in private and the results not ready until after the General Election.

Richard Normington, Cambridge’s Conservative spokesman, said, “This is too little, too late, too tainted. We need at least a preliminary report, one that can be ready so that the British people can have their view on it before we go to the polls.”

BBC Online Reports: "
In 2008 the government defeated Conservative attempts to force a public inquiry, saying it would be a "diversion" for UK troops serving in Iraq. And in February Justice Secretary Jack Straw vetoed the publication of minutes of cabinet meetings discussing the legality of the war in the run-up to the invasion."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Universities go Missing in Labour Reshuffle

Gordon Brown’s panic reshuffle ended the short life of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) by merging it into a new department – Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

What’s happened to the universities?

First, Labour separated the universities from the other parts of the education system by creating DIUS in the first place; now it is merging them into Lord Mandelson’s mega ministry, more designed to flatter an ego than deliver a service.

Richard Normington commented, “Cambridge residents will not be impressed by a government that treats the future of universities as a pass-the-parcel exercise. Cambridge deserves better.”

Adam Afriyie, the Shadow Minister for Science and Innovation, described the move as, “a snub to students, a blow for taxpayers and a breach of trust with the civil servants who have loyally built up the department in accordance with the PM’s demands.”

Richard added, “Tony Blair’s ‘education, education, education’ is now just ‘panic, panic, panic’. We need an election instead of the year of dithering that lies ahead of us if Labour clings on.”

12th June 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

PR Produces a Crisis for the Liberal Mind

"Liberal" Britain was content in 2004 to see two Greens elected to the European Parliament from the UK . There was a flurry of self-congratulation and predictions for how the voting system, proportional representation, would be better for Britain too as it promotes 'consensus politics'.

Now it is seething about the BNP winning as many seats as the Greens in the 2009 European Parliamentary election.

The BNP is a national socialist party that deserves contempt, as do other parties who rely on hatred for votes: be it a hate based on race, religion, country, or class. But the BNP won its seats for the same reasons as the Greens: a protest against mainstream politicians combined with an electoral system that rewards division. PR is not about consensus. It is about narrow sects promoting their own single-minded agendas. Unlike mainstream parties, they do not have to compromise with the electorate, or win their arguments within a wider party, but can pursue their own narrow path uncluttered by debates or dissent.

The BNP is bad for Britain: a shame on our nation. However, the voting system that put them there is worse.

Richard Normington.