Bollocks to Brexit

Not cycling, but still important.
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Regulator » 2 months ago

From the HSJ...

Someone at the DHSC is getting frit!
Arm’s-length bodies are having to send all public texts, tweets, emails, phone calls and press releases that touch on Brexit to the Department of Health and Social Care for clearance – with some having to be approved by ministers and the Department for Exiting the European Union.

All health ALBs have been told to follow procedures for external communications after publicity earlier this month about blood donor sessions moving from the Dover area for six weeks to avoid potential traffic disruption during Brexit. The relocation – since overturned – was revealed in a tweet from the NHS Blood and Transplant Authority.

In an email leaked to HSJ, Rachel Carr, DHSC director of communications, said: “You will have seen the story in the media, earlier this week, about NHSBT cancelling blood donation sessions. This was not cleared either through the EU exit comms team, at DHSC, or through the secretary of state.

“At a time of some uncertainty, it is important the public gets consistent and clear information. We have been very clear with your EU exit leads that every piece of external communication must be cleared through us. I am confident your teams know this, and they have been working well with my team, but the right clearance processes were not followed on this occasion.

“Can you please reinforce the message with your teams that every piece of communication, from an email to suppliers, a letter, press notice and, in this case, texts and phone calls to the public, need to be flagged, and cleared, with my team. I also expect a representative to be on our weekly ALB comms call.”

Delays resulting from the requirements have annoyed some ALB teams, she acknowledged. “I know some of your teams have been unhappy with the length of time it takes to get things cleared but I can assure my team is working very hard to clear all communications as quickly as possible. It would make the process much easier if you are able to share as much information as possible in your forward schedule of planned activity.”

The clearance process involves ALBs sending all relevant communications to named communications officers from the DHSC who then check with the department’s EU Exit policy team, followed by clearance through the head of EU exit communications and ministerial private office, according to the email.

Communications which need clearance by ministers are sent to them at 12pm each day. Anything which needs clearance by the DExEU takes an additional two days.

A DHSC spokesman said: “We are in charge of ensuring the health and care system is prepared as we exit the EU including making sure our partners are communicating accurate and up to date information.

“Government departments routinely clear external messaging of their ALBs and this is part of our well-established assurance process.”

DHSC ALBs include the Care Quality Commission, NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
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JohnToo
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by JohnToo » 2 months ago

I have private medical insurance as an integral part of my contract at work. When I leave on March 31. I get the option to continue it, by paying, but with no underwriting (they don’t adjust the premium for existing conditions, which in my case would be considerable...). A few years ago, I would never even have contemplated abandoning my principles and paying for medical insurance. Now, i’m seriously wondering if it wouldn’t be sensible to do it for a year just to tide over whatever Brexit-induced meltdown the NHS undergoes. I feel dirty and ashamed but also realistic.
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Rutabaga » 2 months ago

Last night as usual, towards the end of the 10 o'clock news, Fiona Bruce trailed the Question Time panel and, with a broad grin on her face, said, "... and Conservative heart-throb Jacob Rees Mogg". She ain't even a Dimbleby.
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Joan » 2 months ago

Rutabaga wrote:
2 months ago
Last night as usual, towards the end of the 10 o'clock news, Fiona Bruce trailed the Question Time panel and, with a broad grin on her face, said, "... and Conservative heart-throb Jacob Rees Mogg". She ain't even a Dimbleby.
For some incomprehensible reason I right clicked on "Conservative heart-throb Jacob Rees Mogg" and did a google search. It got a match!

Which contained this image!
shudderShow
Image
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Rocky » 2 months ago

Joan wrote:
2 months ago
For some incomprehensible reason I right clicked on "Conservative heart-throb Jacob Rees Mogg" and did a google search. It got a match!

Which contained this image!
shudderShow
Image
There's a tattoo that he'll regret come 29 March - still at least he won't be able to get it removed on the NHS, as the US HMO that will own the NHS post-Brexit will not fund tat-removal.
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Dunckel » 2 months ago

Rocky wrote:
2 months ago
There's a tattoo that he'll regret come 29 March - still at least he won't be able to get it removed on the NHS, as the US HMO that will own the NHS post-Brexit will not fund tat-removal.
During Trump's speech this afternoon, right between saying how billions of dollars were coming from China because of his tarriffs, and butt kissing Dictator Kim, Donald said how he was looking forward to doing much more trade with the UK in the coming years.

I don't normally shout expletives at the telly, but I did right then.
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Rocky » 2 months ago

Dunckel wrote:
2 months ago
During Trump's speech this afternoon, right between saying how billions of dollars were coming from China because of his tarriffs, and butt kissing Dictator Kim, Donald said how he was looking forward to doing much more trade with the UK in the coming years.

I don't normally shout expletives at the telly, but I did right then.
Just make sure you don't choke on your hormone-saturated chicken drumstick......and......after a couple of those you'll start to look like Drago, so be careful.
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Regulator » 2 months ago

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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Joan » 2 months ago

The R4 Today podcast appeared in my ear. They were talking about Brixit.

Bloody kiwis, they are like cockroaches: they get into everything.
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Regulator » 2 months ago

Anyone we know?


[flash=[/flash]
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Regulator » 2 months ago

Interesting article in the Health Service Journal today:
NHS trusts will have “no choice but to prioritise” which patients receive cancer treatment if a no-deal Brexit delays the import of radioactive isotopes, the Royal College of Radiologists has warned.

With just 28 working days to go before the UK may leave the EU without a deal, the RCR told HSJ it has not yet seen “any finite logistical detail” of the increased air freight capacity needed to guarantee delivery of short-life isotopes.

The college said it has also not seen the “detail of the customs paperwork” that would allow the materials, which cannot be stockpiled as they decay too quickly, to gain fast-track entry into the UK.

The college said it is meeting with the Department of Health and Social Care again this month to ask “officials for more concrete information on these issues”.

Medical isotopes are used in nuclear medicine either to treat cancer by killing diseased cells, or to diagnose diseases by injecting a radioactive tracer into the body that allows scanner images to be taken of tissue and organs.

In the case of a no-deal Brexit, expected delays at UK ports would make delivery of these materials by land or sea unviable because of their short shelf-life.

Nicola Strickland, president of the RCR, said: “The [college] has been assured that government is working closely with suppliers in an attempt to mitigate disruption in the event of no-deal, but we are also waiting on more definitive logistical detail on what no-deal supply could look like for hospitals.

“If a no-deal Brexit does delay or change the arrival of particular radioisotopes to individual cancer centres, then imaging and oncology teams will have no choice but to carefully plan and prioritise the use of each type of radioisotope in scans and cancer treatment, based on patient need and the availability of suitable alternatives.”

Dr Strickland added the college is aware patients and clinicians are “worried and speculating about disrupted or rationed treatment because of the ongoing uncertainty over what form Brexit will take”.

Last week, the government published its latest report into its progress on the UK’s exit from the European Atomic Energy Community Treaty.

The Euratom treaty regulates civilian nuclear activity and supports the “secure and safe supply and use of medical radioisotopes”. Without a new agreement, the UK would operate outside of Euratom and have to source radioisotopes from outside the framework.

The paper said there had been “significant progress between the UK and Euratom to ensure continuity of supply”, but did not confirm a final deal was in place.

It added: “The government recognises there is concern that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has the potential to affect the timely supply of these medical radioisotopes.”

Trusts have also raised concerns about patient care if medical isotope supplies are disrupted.

The Dudley Group Foundation Trust’s February board paper said: “Delays at borders, due to customs controls, would be problematic for isotopes with short half lives. Issues with nuclear med-therapy could delay treatment of patients on cancer pathways.”

However, one source at a specialist trust told HSJ that although alternative diagnostic treatments are likely to be needed, they did not expect this to delay diagnosis or slow down patient’s access to treatment.

A 2017 British Medical Association report into Brexit and Euratom said breaks in supply in 2009 and 2013, caused reactors going temporarily offline, resulted in “delayed diagnosis and treatment”.

A DHSC spokeswoman said: “We recognise the vital importance of medical radioisotopes and action is being taken so supplies are safeguarded in the event of a no deal. We have asked suppliers to have plans in place to air freight these medicines so patients can continue their treatment uninterrupted – these medicines will be prioritised on the Government’s alternative shipping routes.”
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Greg » 2 months ago

Regulator wrote:
2 months ago
Actually they simply don't "...have the duty and responsibility not to do so."
Just wish they'd done it better.
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Regulator » 2 months ago

Greg wrote:
2 months ago
Just wish they'd done it better.
Me too... but being the Official Opposition confers rights* rather than obligations.



*E.g.: you get to appoint Shadow Ministers who get access to information not more widely available, the Opposition Leader gets additional resources, you get priority in relation to Parliamentary proceedings, etc.
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Re: Bollocks to Brexit

Post by Regulator » 2 months ago

This deserves a wider audience... from the Health Service Journal:
The Department of Health and Social Care has set up a “logistics hub” in Belgium and plans to manage its own dedicated shipping route from mainland Europe to the UK for vital medical products, as part of no-deal preparations, HSJ can reveal.


Suppliers of crucial medical products to the NHS have been asked to register so that they can access this “dedicated shipment channel” if their normal routes experience “severe disruption” as a result of a no-deal Brexit.

The plans were outlined in a letter to suppliers – seen by HSJ – from the DHSC’s chief commercial officer Steve Oldfield.

Sent yesterday, the letter said it was “possible” freight traffic crossing the English Channel may experience delays in a no-deal scenario.

It said the logistics hub in Belgium will be the start point from where certain products will be shipped across the Channel to the UK.

The shipping route will be controlled by the DHSC and only used for products supplied to the NHS on a “just in time” basis.

These are typically either drugs, or medical devices such as stents and implants, which are delivered in small quantities at very high frequencies, meaning trusts hold little or no inventories.

They include products ordered via NHS Supply Chain’s Blue Diamond and E-Direct services, which are supplied directly to trusts instead of being stored at NHS Supply Chain’s warehouses.

The proposed major logistics operation will ensure those products reach NHS providers “typically within three days” of arriving at the hub in Belgium.

In his letter, Mr Oldfield urged suppliers to register for the scheme by Monday “so that products can be moved quickly and efficiently in the event that the contingency needs to be deployed”.

The hub will also manage the movement of products for the UK’s Crown Dependencies such as the Falkland Islands, the letter said.

Separately from the protected route for “just in time” products, the DHSC is also giving companies the option of registering to access tickets for extra ferry capacity which the government has purchased. These ferry tickets will be sold to suppliers “at market rate”. However, the government is “unable to guarantee access to any particular route at this stage” under this scheme, Mr Oldfield stated.

Tickets will be sold to suppliers from 4 March and onwards. Companies must register to receive tickets and “there will be no ‘turn-up and go’ access”, the letter stated.

According to the letter, the government “recognises that some suppliers will have already implemented their own contingency plans”.

“We suggest that suppliers should consider their contingency plans and utilise the additional government-procured freight capacity only where they believe they have a need,” it stated.

Mr Oldfield signed off the letter writing: “I am confident that, with adequate preparation and your support, we can together safeguard patient care in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU.”

HSJ has asked the DHSC how many ferry tickets have been bought, at what cost, and where in Belgium the logistics hub has been established.
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