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  1. Unlike in Scotland and Wales which have devolved healthcare, NHS England is run on behalf of the taxpayer by the UK Parliament and the Department of Health, at the head of which is the Secretary of State for Health. The group charged in England and Wales with checking if the care delivered by the NHS is genuinely safe and fit for purpose is the Care Quality Commission, or CQC. Although the CQC describes itself as the "independent regulator of all health and social care services in England", it is in fact "accountable to the public, Parliament and the Secretary of State for Health." and mu
  2. Those who can afford it sometimes opt for private healthcare, usually to get treated more quickly in private facilities (i.e. facilities not provided by, or using, NHS staff or services). When this occurs, these patients are opting to pay twice for their health care, once for the NHS through taxes, and again for the private care they are using. Critics argue that these people do use NHS services, such as their General Practitioner, screening, and vaccination services, and that their opting out from time-to-time is effectively queue jumping because they are utilising a resource ahead of someone
  3. Several high-profile medical scandals have occurred within the NHS over the years such as the Alder Hey organs scandal and the Bristol heart scandal. At Alder Hey, there was the unauthorised removal, retention, and disposal of human tissue, including children’s organs, between 1988 and 1995. The official report into the incident, the Redfern Report, revealed that Dick van Velzen, the Chair of Foetal and Infant Pathology at Alder Hey had ordered the "unethical and illegal stripping of every organ from every child who had had a postmortem." In response, it has been argued that the scandal brough
  4. Before the idea of ( Private Finance Initiative ) PFI came to prominence, all new hospital building was by convention funded from the Treasury, as it was believed it was best able to raise money and able to control public sector expenditure. In June 1994, the Capital Investment Manual (CIM) was published, setting out the terms of PFI contracts. The CIM made it clear that future capital projects (building of new facilities) had to look at whether PFI was preferable to using public sector funding. By the end of 1995, 60 relatively small projects had been planned for, at a total cost of around £2
  5. The lack of availability of some treatments due to their perceived poor cost-effectiveness sometimes leads to what some call a "postcode lottery". NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, are the first gatekeeper, and examine the cost effectiveness of all drugs. Until they have issued guidance on the cost and effectiveness of new or expensive medicines, treatments and procedures, NHS services are unlikely to offer to fund courses of treatment. The same of true of the Scottish Medicines Consortium, NICE's counterpart in Scotland. There has been considerable controversy
  6. There have been several fatal outbreaks of antibiotic resistant bacteria ("superbugs") in NHS hospitals, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (V.R.E.) and Clostridium difficile. This has led to criticism of standards of hygiene across the NHS, with some patients buying private health insurance or travelling abroad to avoid the perceived threat of catching a "superbug" while in hospital. However, the department of health pledged £50 million for a "deep clean" of all NHS England hospitals in 2007. wikipedia.org
  7. In making health care a largely "invisible cost" to the patient, health care seems to be effectively free to its consumers - there is no specific NHS tax or levy. To reduce cost and ensure that everyone is treated equitably there are a variety of "gatekeepers." The GP ( General Practitioners ) functions as a primary gatekeeper - without referral from a GP, it is often impossible to gain higher courses of treatment, such as an appointment with a consultant. These are argued to be necessary - Welshman Bevan noted in a 1948 speech in the House of Commons, "we shall never have all we need... expec
  8. Criticism of the National Health Service includes issues such as access, waiting lists, healthcare coverage, and various scandals. The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly funded health care system of England, created under the National Health Service Act 1946 by the post-war Labour government of Clement Attlee. It has come under much criticism, especially during the early 2000s, due to outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile, waiting lists, and medical scandals such as the Alder Hey organs scandal (The Alder Hey organs scandal involved the
  9. Each NHS (National Health Service) system uses General Practitioners (GPs) to provide primary healthcare and to make referrals to further services as necessary. Hospitals then provide more specialist services, including care for patients with psychiatric illnesses, as well as direct access to Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments. Community pharmacies are privately owned but have contracts with the relevant health service to supply prescription drugs. The public healthcare system also provides free (at the point of service) ambulance services for emergencies, when patients need the
  10. Health care in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter, with England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales each having their own systems of publicly funded healthcare, funded by and accountable to separate governments and parliaments, together with smaller private sector and voluntary provision. As a result of each country having different policies and priorities, a variety of differences now exist between these systems. Despite there being separate health services for each country, the performance of the National Health Service (NHS) across the UK can be measured for the purpose of makin
  11. In 2015, the Conservative Party called for the referendum. Most of the pro-Brexit voters were older, working-class residents of England's countryside. They were afraid of the free movement of immigrants and refugees. They claimed citizens of poorer countries were taking jobs and benefits. Small businesses were frustrated by EU fees. Others felt leaving the EU would create jobs. Many felt the U.K. paid more into the EU that it received. Those who wanted to stay lived in London, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. They liked the free trade with the EU. They claimed most EU immigran
  12. Brexit is a vote against globalization. It takes the United Kingdom off the main stage of the financial world. It creates uncertainty throughout the U.K. as The City seeks to keep its international clients. The day after the Brexit vote, the currency markets were in turmoil. The euro fell 2% to $1.11. The pound fell 8% to $1.36. Both increased the value of the dollar. That strength is not good for U.S. stock markets. It makes American shares more expensive for foreign investors. A weak pound also makes U.S. exports to the U.K. more expensive. The United States has a $18.9 billion
  13. The Brexit vote has strengthened anti-immigration parties throughout Europe. If these parties gain enough ground in France and Germany, they could force an anti-EU vote. If either of those countries left, the EU would lose its most robust economies and would dissolve. On the other hand, new polls show that the majority of EU citizens still strongly support the Union. Almost 75% say the EU promotes peace, and 55% believe it supports prosperity. More than a third see the role of the U.K. as diminishing. thebalance.com
  14. London Brexit has already depressed growth in The City, the U.K.'s financial center. Growth was only 1.4% in 2018, and was close to zero in 2019. Brexit has diminished business investment by 11%. International companies would no longer use London as an English-speaking entry into the EU economy. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanly have already switched 10% of their clients. Bank of America has transferred 100 bankers to its Dublin office and 400 to Paris. Scotland Scotland voted against Brexit. The Scottish government believes that staying in the EU is the best for Sc
  15. Northern Ireland would remain with the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland, with which it shares a border, would stay a part of the EU. Johnson's plan avoided a customs border between the two Irish countries. A customs border could have reignited The Troubles. It was a 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland between mainly Catholic Irish nationalists and pro-British Protestants. In 1998, it ended with the promise of no border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. A customs border would have forced 9,500 commuters to go through customs on their way to and from work and school. Brexit wo
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