Britain’s £5.5bn bill for procuring emergency PPE brings scrutiny – Yes another large sum pissed up the wall

The UK government is facing mounting scrutiny over contracts totalling £5.5bn for personal protective equipment awarded to a range of companies in the first months of the coronavirus crisis as it scrambled to tackle a shortage of kit for frontline healthcare workers.

As the pandemic swept Britain, intense demand for masks, gowns and gloves — combined with a shortage of PPE stocks globally — forced the UK to look beyond the normal supply chain.

Around 16,000 potential suppliers contacted a 500-person buying team set up by the Cabinet Office in March to offer to supply kit for hospital staff.

However, the process has been criticised for awarding large sums of taxpayer money to several companies that appear to have no record in supplying PPE and have small balance sheets or poor recent financial performance. It has prompted concern over the extent of due diligence that was conducted before the contract awards.

Peter Smith, managing director at consultancy Procurement Excellence, said normal procurement practice had “gone out the window”, adding: “My hope is that there is some method in the madness.”

The size of the emergency procurement drive is also only just coming to light. The government has so far published details of contracts worth £1.5bn but in a letter to Jo Maugham, director of the Good Law Project, a not-for-profit group seeking a judicial review of at least one of the deals, officials have admitted that the figure is more than three times higher at £5.5bn. 

“Vast sums have been spent with no scrutiny of whether they represent value for public money,” said Mr Maugham. “If government will not adhere voluntarily to its own transparency rules we have little choice but to ask the courts to check whether public funds are being properly spent.”

The contracts were agreed at speed without a competitive tender process under emergency rules invoked by ministers to ensure a quick response to the pandemic.

One business, a healthcare recruitment firm named SG Recruitment UK, with headquarters in Eastleigh, Hampshire, was awarded a £24m contract to provide protective coveralls to healthcare workers in April. That was despite a “going concern” warning from its auditors five months earlier, flagging that the company’s liabilities exceeded its current assets by £376,000.

The company made profits of £43,000 for 2019, compared with a £773,000 loss a year earlier. The auditors signed off the accounts in December despite the warning because SG had “continuing financial support” from its parent company, Sumner Group Holdings.

SG Recruitment told the Financial Times it was “proud” to have supported the PPE procurement drive and had won the contract because of its position as a long-term supplier of nurses to the NHS, adding that contracted revenues far exceeded its short-term liabilities.

Another company, P14 Medical, has recorded large losses in its most recent accounts. The Liverpool-based company has eight employees and made a £486,000 loss for 2019, yet it was awarded two contracts in April to supply face shields and other equipment worth £120m. It made a profit of £21,000 a year earlier.

P14 told the Financial Times the losses were owing to heavy investment in new chronic pain technology that it plans to market in Europe and the Middle East this summer. It said it had saved the government £55m on its face shield contracts, which had been completed “ahead of time and on budget”. 

At least two companies were less than a year old when they were awarded large government contracts.

Euthenia Investments, a seven-month-old fund manager in the City of London, was given a contract of £880,000 in April to supply coveralls. The company said it was a distributor for a Hong Kong-based industrial conglomerate and had “supplied compliant and best quality PPE” to the NHS.

The letter to the Good Law Project from the government’s legal department detailed 600 contracts awards to almost 200 companies since March. “The nature of the changed market conditions required the development of alternative sources of supply and it was appropriate not to impose unnecessary hurdles in the way of securing that objectives,” the letter said.

It continued: “Given that the entire premise of the scheme was to identify new sources of supply (the established market being no longer able to fulfil demand), it would have been perverse to narrow down the field by imposing artificial pre-qualification requirements such as a minimum turnover requirement or unnecessary prior experience.”

So far the government has published about 80 of the PPE contracts. The largest was a £252.5m contract awarded to Ayanda Capital, a family investment firm that specialises in “currency trading, offshore property, private equity and trade financing”, according to its website. 

Ayanda, which was contracted to supply masks to healthcare workers, is run by Tim Horlick, a former investment banker, and controlled by the Horlick family via a holding company registered in Mauritius.

When contacted by the FT, Ayanda said it was a UK limited company that paid UK taxes and was “happy to confirm that the contract has been successfully fulfilled”.

The letter also revealed that the government had wrongly announced a £108m contract with PestFix, a pest control company based in Littlehampton in Sussex, which was first reported by the FT.

https://www.ft.com/content/c0d439c8-18ac-499b-8115-da2bc0f18567

Just to put this into context the DWP has an arm called Debt Management, they hound claimants for DWP Debts often for minuscule amounts in comparison giving the reason it is public money when these amounts below are ALSO Public Money and justice does nothing about it, one day we might rise up.

Am I angry, you bet I am and so should every good citizen be.

“£252m of public money given to Ayanda Capital, registered in Mauritius for tax dodging, to supply PPE that never appeared.

£186m of public money given to Uniserve Ltd of Essex, the UK’s largest privately owned logistics and global trade management company, to supply PPE that never appeared.

£116m of public money given to P14 Medical Ltd of Liverpool, which had liabilities exceeding assets by £485,000 in December 2019 with just £145 in the bank, for PPE that never appeared.

£108m of public money given to PestFix, with 16 employees and net assets of £19,000, for PPE that never appeared.

£14.2m and a subsequent £93.2m of public money given to Clandeboye Agencies Ltd, a confectionery wholesaler in Co Antrim, for PPE that never appeared.

£40m of public money given to Medicine Box Ltd of Sutton-in-Ashfield, despite having assets of just £6,000 in March, for PPE that never appeared.

£32m and a subsequent £16m of public money given to Initia Ventures Ltd, filed for dormancy in January this year, for PPE that never appeared.

£28m of public money given to Monarch Acoustics Ltd of Nottingham, makers of shop and office furniture, for PPE that never appeared.

£25m of public money given to Luxe Lifestyle Ltd, to supply garments for biological or chemical protection to the NHS. According to Companies House, the business was incorporated by fashion designer Karen Brost in November 2018. It appears to have no employees, no assets and no turnover.

£18.4m of public money given to Aventis Solutions Ltd of Wilmslow, with just £322 in assets, for PPE that never appeared.

£10m of public money given to Medco Solutions Ltd, incorporated on 26 March (three days after lockdown) with a share capital of just £2, for PPE that never appeared.

£1.1m of public money given to Bristol shoemaker Toffeln Ltd, had seemingly never supplied any PPE whatsoever in the past, for PPE that never appeared.

£825,000 of public money given to MGP Advisory, described as a venture and development capital business that was in danger of being struck off the companies register for failing to file accounts, for no one knows what…

Meanwhile the nurses and carers, of whom over 300 have died whilst trying to save over 65,000 lives that have now been lost, had to resort to wearing bin bags.”

A letter from a frontline nurse at the UK’s Royal Bournemouth Hospital 14 April 2020

The WSWS received the following letter from a frontline nurse at Royal Bournemouth Hospital in response to the statement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson following his discharge from hospital.

I am a nurse in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and I currently work in the Red Zone which treats and looks after suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients.

Wards and units have been separated into two zones amidst the coronavirus outbreak with mainly the West wing of the hospital considered as the Green Zone and East wing with the Red Zone, with some exceptions. In the Red Zone we have a number of wards, an Emergency Department (ED), Acute Medical Unit (AMU), Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU or ICU) those are delivering care to COVID-19 patients.

I was gobsmacked listening to Prime Minister Boris Johnson after a challenging day at work. He was discharged from St. Thomas’s Hospital on Sunday but at the same time we saw the deaths of nearly 11,000 people, including 40 NHS workers, because of his government’s criminal “herd immunity” policy and lack of preparation to face the pandemic.

He said the “NHS has saved my life, no question” and he continued “We’re making progress in this national battle because the British public formed a human shield around this country’s greatest national asset—our National Health Service.”

The hypocrisy of these statements were beyond belief. He has been a leading member of Tory governments that slashed billions of pounds from the NHS over the last 10 years and accelerated privatization. Over the last 10 years bed capacity was slashed by 30,000 in England. There is a staff shortage of 110,000, with 43,000 nursing vacancies. And the UK is ranked 24th with regard to ICU beds out of 31 EU countries.

As I am writing this, we have 44 coronavirus positive patients with six of them being treated in the ICU. Our nearby hospital, Poole General Hospital, has got 32 positive patients with one third of them treated in the ICU. We sadly heard the news that two of our staff members are being treated in the ICU here in Bournemouth.

Our lives are at risk because of wrong PPE [personal protective equipment] policies of the government and our [NHS] Trust. Regardless of the fact that we are dealing with a virulent and highly contagious virus, management is not allowing us to wear proper and safe PPEs. When we look after suspected and positive patients of COVID-19 in wards and do assessments in the ED, we are forced to wear a flimsy apron, normal surgical mask, goggles or visor and gloves because of the trust guidelines. Even when patients cough their lungs out we are not allowed to wear effective FFP-3 masks and gowns which cover arms and our uniform.

I remember that when we had Klebsiella Pneumoniae patients, under the guidance of the infection control unit, we used to wear gowns, masks and gloves. But the same infection control unit is now asking us to wear just flimsy aprons, gloves and simple surgical masks when we are dealing with a more deadly and contagious virus. I am sure they are following the trust and Public Health England’s (PHE) guidelines. But we should be allowed to use our clinical judgement in the light of so many health workers becoming victims of the virus. They should challenge unsafe guidelines of the government and PHE and not impose them on us.

Recently, one of my friends declined to work in a bay with a number of COVID-19 patients because he was not given proper PPE to do the job. He was asked to do his 12-hour shift in that bay with minimal PPE protection. His request was simple and clear. Give me an FFP-3 mask, gowns, gloves and eye protection, I will do the job. The ward sister has threatened him with disciplinary action for refusing to work under unsafe conditions.

The staff changing room is a place which gives us the opportunity to share our experiences in different units and wards after a challenging day at work. Everyone is really concerned about the situation in the UK, Europe and globally. There was consensus that the governments acted very slowly to this pandemic and they were indifferent to the lives of health workers and millions of people.

With regard to the PPE everyone was angry. They were so infuriated about [Health Secretary] Matt Hancock’s remarks about the misuse of PPE. A nurse said angrily “he must not have been informed that his PPE deliveries dispatched at the press briefings have not reached us and they have been lost at sea.” A health care assistant joined in, “probably he doesn’t know that PPE is already rationed here.”

Health workers told to social distance on break time, but no proper PPE in wards
One nurse said, “the people from trust management were having a photo opportunity clapping the staff yesterday in front of the hospital. But they cannot provide us proper PPEs to do the job.”

A doctor added scathingly, “they came to lecture us about social distancing when we were having our lunch break near the lake a couple of days ago and now they have put up posters there too.”
A health care assistant said, “none of these people are involved in direct patient care with COVID patients. I like it when they are not around. Then we can make use of proper PPE without being nagged to use f***ing aprons and surgical masks.”

Only my colleagues in the ICU and colleagues doing Aerosol Generating Procedures for COVID-19 positive patients are allowed to wear full protective gear at the moment.

I am a member of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). I was listening to Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary. She was talking about the large number of nurses across the country contacting her about lack of PPE and the dangers they were facing. Instead of just lame whimpering about the PPE, the RCN hasn’t raised a finger to challenge government policy on PPE. What else can you expect from a union which sold out our pay struggle two years ago?

After pressure from members, the RCN was compelled to issue a statement saying that we can refuse to treat patients as a “last resort” if adequate PPE is not provided. Their statement says, “Ultimately, if you have exhausted all other measures to reduce the risk and you have not been given appropriate PPE in line with the UK Infection Prevention and Control guidance, you are entitled to refuse to work.”

However, they accept the PHE guidelines which do not provide adequate cover when dealing with COVID-19 patients. For instance, WHO recommends health workers wear a medical mask, gown, gloves and eye protection (goggles or face shield) when providing direct care to COVID-19 patients. But PHE guidelines replace the gown with a flimsy apron, and eye protection can be worn on risk assessment.

Matt Hancock is saying that the government will increase patient testing to 100,000 at the end of this month with thousands of tests allocated to staff. However, his pledge has fallen flat in reality. Currently, less than a fifth of his target is done.

There are dozens of staff members in isolation with suspected COVID-19 in our hospital but they haven’t been tested. The “PPE and staff testing” briefing sheet of the hospital says that “our One Dorset Pathology service is able to run some limited COVID-19 testing from the Molecular Laboratory at RBH. The focus will be on processing samples from symptomatic household contacts of asymptomatic staff at RBCH, Poole and Dorset County Hospital. It also states: “Symptomatic staff will NOT be swabbed, since the result is unlikely to significantly reduce their time off work.

“Asymptomatic staff who are self-isolating for 14 days due to a symptomatic household member WILL qualify to have that symptomatic household member swabbed.”

A pharmacist told me that the hospital has refused to do any testing on them saying that “they were not frontline enough.” But the pharmacists and their assistants normally go around hospital sorting out medication requirements of patients.

The fate of non-coronavirus patients who used to get admitted with health issues like sepsis, strokes, heart failure, angina and heart attacks is something we constantly talk about at work. There is a marked decrease in admissions due to these conditions. Patients with medical and surgical conditions are suffering and dying at home due to fears of contracting COVID-19 in hospital. Referral pathways of GPs and other health practitioners may have curtailed due to the pandemic crisis.

Around 3.4 million people were on waiting lists for elective surgery before the outbreak—most of these surgeries have been cancelled with serious future consequences for patients. A professional in the cath lab [catheter laboratory] of the hospital said they have cancelled hundreds of routine procedures, including ablations for dangerous heart rhythms, routine pacemaker box changes, devices implants and routine angiograms of the heart. He said this will have a massive impact on their well-being and some patients will end up dying prematurely. Ends

Quite a different account to what we are being told by Govt Members of Parliament and I ask this simple question who do you believe those medical professionals on the front line or ministers who do not know fact from fiction.

I know who I believe and it certainly aint Govt.

Clap for Boris – Really

Some are asking and disgusted with the left for not Clapping for Boris Johnson I guess they have short memories.

Now I hope he recovers, as I would wish for anyone whether they are Left, Right or Centre as that that is the humanely thing to do, however I stop short of over egging it and whilst I and many did clap for the NHS they were in a different catagory and deserved such praise as this is the NHS that has taken a beating over the past 10 years.

They have had to work under extreme pressure often not being able to offer the operations many need due to Governmental cuts to budgets leading to ward and department closures as well as hospital closures too

They have also cut staffing levels from cleaning to medical professionals and everyone in between but everyone with a job as important as the next and despite this they have carried on to the best of there abilities, that is why they rightly deserved the prasise and why Johnson and any Tory MP for that matter does not as it is not about whether he is ill, and to praise him is to say well done old boy you have done well with the NHS.

Lets not forget this is also the man who wanted Herd Immunity, failed on PPE, failed on Ventilators, failed on testing, that has made the pandemic far worse than it could have been and thinks writing off £13.4 Billion of NHS debt will make it all right when the long term damage that has been done to the NHS will take years to put right as facilities buildings and trained employees cannot happen over night.

So all you on the right get off your high horses as we on the left have long memories and the damage done to one of the worlds best institutions over the past 10 years cannot be cast aside and forgotten it matters and could have made better outcomes of this Covid19 pandemic.

I hope Johnson makes a good recovery, I also hope he has learnt from his first hand experience in one of the UKs top leading hospitals and can get back to work as Prime Minister putting right the errosion of the NHS so we can all enjoy a well funded NHS just as he has as we all have a right to life.

If he can do that then I will only be to pleased to praise him as then it will be justified but I am not holding out HOPE.

Open Letter to Piers Morgan

Dear Piers

I will be the first to admit I have not be a great supporter of you and disagreed with much you stood for, however having said that praise where it is due and your speaking out in support of the NHS has to be commended.

I have supported the NHS for as long as I can remember and that ramped up from 2012 going on the demo’s that was organised against the cutbacks imposed by this Govt and I did not see you supporting them then, but then you were not the only media reporter/celebrity not to do so which is a shame really on how press and broadcast media has portrayed the cutbacks and supporting everything the Tories have done.

Had walk-in centres, wards, medical professionals, nursing bursaries etc etc not been cut to the bone we would have been in a far better position to take on this #COVID19 Pandemic, that I have no doubt and that is reflected in the lose of life we are seeing.

As I say I do prasie you now for the stance you are showing in calling out the wrongs, however that must not end when the pandemic ends you must raise the batten and carry on promoting the good of the NHS and bring press, media and celebrities on board with you and be the NHS shining light for a well funded NHS for all and free at the point of need, the NHS deserves that now and in the future no longer should it be subject to the highest price by the likes of trump but cherished by us all for us all including you.

If you can do this then you have my support.

Kindest Regards

Leon Carter @leonc1963

We MUST Debunk DWPs lame duck excuses

I don’t know about you but I am sick and tired of hearing the DWPs lame duck excuse that underlines every tragic case that gets to the press.

Here is a classic one:

The DWP said: “We are absolutely committed to ensuring people receive the support they are entitled to.

“That is why assessments are carried out by qualified health professionals and we continue to work with them to ensure quality is continuously improving.

Now whilst we do not doubt they are professionals, it is a broad term and most come from the NHS anyway, but that DOES NOT MEAN they are professional in the health condition you have and can indeed be unprofessional in the health conditions they are assessing with only the guideance they are given by the contractors which in most cases don’t cut it and are not geared to understanding as the concensus is and always has been to cut the level of support.

Let me give you a lived example, I am an SAH Stroke survivor since 1990 with many disabilities arising from that event both physical and mental indeed one could say given the length of time they are life long and indeed after much of a fight that is the award I got ongoing for 10 years with an (LTR) light touch review but my god did I have to fight all the way to Tribunal

I am also since August 2018 a Stoma Bag wearer due to SCC Bladder Cancer so due to the SAH Stroke have additional issues over and above a person with two good hands in changing that bag etc.

Now getting back to the main gripes of this post I was assessed by a Paramedic now I have no doubt he was professional in that field of emergency medial care and first response however he had no experience whatsoever in both living with SAH Stroke and its ongoing care or living with a stoma bag so how could he assess me on those issues? but he did and thus why the PA4 Medical report was fit for the bin and which I manage to do with more needless and endless work debunking everything it said which by the way was not much and missed out much of what I and my good wife had said indeed it was full of one liners.

I had to do a bureaucratic (MR) Mandatory Reconsideration that is there purely to frustrate the appeals process in the hope I would give up and go away which came back as a no change award of zero mobility points to get to the gateway of Tribunal.

But got there I did and was overturned in just 3 weeks!

All that stress for what? to try and disprove the obvious and then to save face the DWP come out with these quotes designed to MISLEAD the public that everything is going swimmingly well and in the meantime citizens are dying.

WE CAN ALL BE PROFESSIONALS IN OUR PARTICULAR FIELDS BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT PROFESSIONALISM TRANSFERS TO SOMETHING WE HAVE NO EXPERIENCE IN AT ALL AND THUS THIS BULLSHIT FROM THE DWP AND ITS CONTRACTORS MUST BE DEBUNKED AT EVERY OPPOTUNITY.

IF YOU ARE WONDERING, YES MANDATORY RECONSIDERATION IS A FARCE

As the title says Mandatory Reconsideration is a farce and I have proved it so allow me to explain how I did this.

Mandatory Consideration the mini appeal to DWP that you have to do in order to exercise you right to an HMCTS Tribunal but in reality it is a useless layer of bureaucracy that causes needless additional stress anxiety and worry to many claimants.

IT SERVES NO PURPOSE AT ALL OTHER THAN TO HINDER AND FRUSTRATE YOUR JUST CLAIM TO PIP

Only about 16% of mandatory reconsiderations are successful at this stage but of those who go on to Tribunal that figure jumps to about 76% but lets not forget many more who could have won, but drop out at mandatory reconsideration and lose the will to fight the injustice further that is a dereliction of duty on the DWP.

So 17th August 2018 I was discharged from QA Hospital Portsmouth having undergone major surgery to remove my bladder, prostate and some lymph nodes it was a successful operation from a clinical point of view as I am now free of the big C and 2 further CT Scans has proved that remains the case, however recovery from such major surgery continues as fatigue remains a battle.

Now I was due migration from DLA which I was already getting due to SAH Stroke in April 1990 to PIP so rather than wait for that letter to come I phoned them up to report a change in condition something the DWP makes clear that always must be done as is a change of circumstances and thus could in their eyes be committing benefit fraud if I did not report.

So a claim for Personal Independence Payment was started in a way I was glad as it gave the opportunity to put my claim of DLA right that I had always believed was wrong from 2007 and thus get this claim for PIP put right with the right award and I was ready for that fight I knew was coming so had prepared myself very early on by reading and learning much research.

Fast forward to March 2019 and I got that award of enhanced care but again no award for mobility which I was adamant given my level of disability I was entitled to so the Mandatory Reconsideration went in which I had already prepared on the basis of the PA4 Assessors report which was like many of there reports a pack of lies that did not relate and missed out much of what I said. A COMMON THEME

June 2019 I got the Mandatory Reconsideration Award Letter it was no change and I now suspect that MR Letter just sat on DWP Systems until it was time to send out a response and thus no due consideration given whatsoever that view was to be further enforced.

So not ready to give up yet I submit my Tribunal Form online it was I found an easy process that took no more than 10 minutes to do and my grounds of appeal was my Mandatory Reconsideration Letter that I had already sent to DWP no more no less as I knew I could send further evidence once the DWP had replied to my initial submission.

I was expecting a drawn out appeal to HMCTS with at least a year’s wait to get to a hearing so started preparing by reading case law and hansard as I was not just appealing the mobility component of PIP but the length of award too so I was ready to submit a full and detailed submission when the time came, naturally this was time consuming and draining due to my disabilities and in particular Executive Dysfunction a by product of SAH STROKE but understood the need to research so pushed myself in the mornings when my brain was best refreshed.

Now her comes the cracker that proved all my doubts about Mandatory Reconsiderations, I got a text from HMCTS saying that my Tribunal had been lapsed in my favour by DWP and thus case closed just three weeks after filing it online.

I was now on tender hooks wondering what had happened and what the word lapsed meant although grateful it was in my favour so grabbed myself a coffee and chilled until the DWP Letter dropped on my door mat.

That was not a long wait as it arrived the same day a few hours later, I had WON enhanced on Mobility, going from zero points to 12 points for moving around and reading further down it was ongoing for 10 years with a light touch review.

So what was the climb down all of a sudden in such a short space of time as I gave the Tribunal no more than the DWP already had and as I said my grounds of appeal was the MR Letter word for word?

My only conclusion is that the DWP did not give my evidence the due consideration it deserved and chose to rely too heavily on the PA4 report and knew with it going to Tribunal that evidence WILL BE GIVEN the due consideration that the DWP did NOT give and thus the DWP Appeals Case Manager decided it not worth fighting at Tribunal.

DWP GIVE WEIGHT TO THE ASSESSORS PA4 REPORT AND YOUR EVIDENCE TO A DECISION MAKER COMES SECOND TO THAT PA4 REPORT, IT IS NOT UNTIL YOU APPEAL TO A TRIBUNAL THAT THE SCALES OF JUSTICE TIP IN YOUR FAVOUR AS THE TRIBUNAL GIVES YOUR EVIDENCE THE DUE CONSIDERATION IT DESERVES.

So there you are MANDATORY RECONSIDERATION is a FARCE and its purpose is only to frustrate and stop a claim going to HMCTS Appeal and my advice is don’t stop at MR but fight all the way as you have that 76% chance of winning especially if you have the evidence to back you up.

TO MANY DROP OUT AND GIVE UP AT THE POINT OF MANDATORY RECONSIDERATION JUST AT THE POINT WHEN YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING ARE FAR FAR GREATER DONT.

Bureaucracy wastes money, money that could be spent on actually helping citizens

The United Kingdom has Gone Stark Raving Bonkers…

Yeah get that headline, The United Kingdom has gone Stark Raving Bonkers all for what exactly, some Wet Dream of “Get Brexit Done” as if it could be done in the timescales Johnson has wrongly given.

He bullshitted his way through this election campaign hiding from where ever he could and the British Public fell for it hook, line and sinker all in the name of rushing brexit through and creating errors and fuck ups as he goes and I only now see his hard brexit and crash out of the EU that will cause so much damage and the Northerners voted for that WTF..

The UK voted for more of the last 10 years, more austerity more homelessness, more children laying on hospital floors, more citizens dying when all they want is some care, more disabled citizens being punished for being disabled via a brutal welfare reform agenda, more citizens going hungry, more citizens worrying about debt because wages have not kept pace etc etc all for some fucking wet dream of ” Get Brexit Done”

We could have had a second vote, where leavers could have campaigned and still brought a leave vote and actually had a leader negotiating for a better deal that protects our rights and jobs and much more but no they want out ASAP they could have welcomed the investment the north would have got but no they just want to be out with very little thought of the consequences.

As I say again The United Kingdom soon to be “Little England” and a laughing stock to the world has gone Stark Raving Bonkers and I for one want out, Hello Scotland

Truth about the erosion of the NHS

I saw this tweet this morning and it prompted me to write about my own experience in August 2018.

The Tory Party will never come clean on the erosion of the NHS, why would they when it has been caused by them via The Health and Social Care Act 2012 the Legislation written to do exactly what is happening to OUR once great public service.

I have been witness to the poor service this young child has received too and no doubt there are many more like me who took it on the chin and did not complain at the time for fear of NHS Staff losing their jobs or being reprimanded when it is not there fault but all the fault of the Tory Party with the cuts to the NHS priming it ready for sell off.

I was in Hospital for 10 days in August 2018 for a Radical Cystectomy Operation to remove my bladder, Prostate and Lymph Nodes due to Bladder Cancer, Thanks to the NHS I remain Cancer Free however it did not go without problems caused by the Tory Party.

Such a major operation leaves the bowel inoperative temporarily paralyzed if you like and with the onset of bile sickness and thus you are nowhere near being discharged until the sickness stops, you are taking on nutrition and your bowels are working, this can take anything upto 2 weeks to happen.

My bowels started to work 6 days after the operation and it happens without feeling or control and thus needed many bed washes and bed changes, nothing I could do anything about because as I say my bowels exploded without feeling.

Now all was fine during the day as plenty of nursing staff on the wards with ward D7 having 36 beds but the issues arise at night time after 6pm when staffing level is reduced to just 3 nurses with just 2 tasked with patient care and for a Urology Ward this is not enough.

It took an age to get a night time response from the red call button and I could not move myself due to all the leads and tubes attached so needed a commode at the bedside but these were in short supply too and whilst I put the call out soon enough the response was not coming in time and thus lead to shitty beds it was not a comfortable experience I can tell you.

On one occasion I nurse came to do a bed change and then left without doing it due to getting a more important call and thus was left all night in a shitty bed the day nurses in the morning was not very pleased and asked if I wanted to make a complaint.

I refused as did not want the night time staff getting into trouble when they had been working there socks of for 12 hours indeed they did the best they could do given that there was 35 other patients too many with more serious health conditions than me.

It was not a nice experience at night time and shows why the NHS needs real investment in infrastructure, supplies and employees and I am not the only one who has had a bad experience as an inpatient but the real threat of its sell off is not the answer either as people like me will be priced out of an insurance based system as pricing like all insurances is risk based.

So when you go to the polling station this Thursday please think carefully on the health of yourself and your family as at some point in our lives we all need it and even a minor procedure can have big cost under a US Based system.

Letter to Frank Field on the issue of Due Consideration given to Mandatory Reconsideration.

Following on from my wordpress post here:

https://diaryofansahstrokesurvivor.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/well-that-came-right-out-of-the-blue/

I have written to Frank Field MP the Works and Pensions Committee chair hoping he will take action on the issue of due consideration not given to many Mandatory Reconsiderations as all it does is cause needless cost to HMCTS by forcing claimants into appeals in the hope they will back down and drop there rightful claims as well as needless stress, worry and anxiety to claimants

Thankfully although they tried this on me they quickly backed out of an appeal with HMCTS as by then they decided to give my Mandatory Reconsideration the due consideration it was due but it took me to lodge my appeal with HMCTS to get them to do this and I had given HMCTS no more information/evidence that I had already given to DWP, indeed my grounds for appeal was a copy and paste of the MR letter!

I had the tenacity and the will to challenge this all the way but that cannot be said of everyone due to illness and disability and thus the bureaucracy of this extra layer added to the appeal process is failing many as I read of many accounts of citizens who just cannot go that extra mile through HMCTS Appeal and thus lose out on an entitlement they was due and that is wrong and needed investigating

Letter within below link.

https://www.scribd.com/document/414199218/Frank-Field-Letter

Well that came right out of the blue! Zero Mobility Award to Enhanced Mobility Award in 3 weeks!

Some good news following on from this blog posting:

https://diaryofansahstrokesurvivor.wordpress.com/2019/05/24/dwp-catch-questions/

Well they did have the recording of my initial call to claim PIP and it was duly sent on a CD, however things change quickly very quickly in this instance.

At 10am on the 6th June 2019 I got a text from HMCTS saying my claim had been upheld and thus the appeal I had only submitted on the 20th May 2019 has been closed I was rightly on tender hooks as to what exactly had happened so off I went to make a strong coffee to take my mind off and await a DWP letter.

That DWP Letter came through my door before I had even finished that coffee at 10:30am I had won, the DWP had lapsed under the weight of the evidence and did not want to go to hearing so was awarded enhanced on both care and mobility components, but not only that.

On further reading twice in fact before it sunk into my Stroke brain they had awarded it to me until 9th December 2028 10 years with the words:

ONGOING AWARD WITH A LIGHT TOUCH REVIEW IN 10 YEARS.

Now I am 56 years old so will be 66 years old by the time that review comes around but more than that I thought by the publicity I had read the 10yr light touch awards are for pensioners? that does not appear to be the case as I am I few years off retirement yet.

I am not complaining as it is finally the right award given my lifelong health conditions but in light of this, my advice to everyone who has a lifelong condition regardless of age should appeal the length of award at both Mandatory Reconsideration or HMCTS Appeal.

In my MR Letter I wrote the following:

Page 27 Award Period

The PA4 Report states: Based on the available evidence, I consider there to be no requirement to arrange a review of this claim as significant change is unlikely and furthermore, he has no ongoing treatments and no variable conditions, therefore his condition is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future therefore a further review is not needed

Given what had been assessed and written above I question why the need for a review in 3 years had been given on my award letter knowing that a review would be sent out in two years as my conditions are lifelong and not going to change for the better indeed that was the view of my DLA Award which was indefinite.

Given the statement issued by Sarah Newton the Disability Minister who said:

“We’ve listened to feedback from organisations and the public, and this common-sense change will ensure that the right protections are in place while minimising any unnecessary stress or bureaucracy.”

Furthermore, she said:

“new guidance had been issued to decision makers in August 2018 “to ensure those who are awarded the highest level of support whose needs are unlikely to improve or will deteriorate receive an ongoing award with a light touch review at the 10-year point.”

Given my health conditions that I have had for the past near 29 years and will continue until my life ends, I would say a light touch 10-year review is better served in my claim for Personal Independence Payment and not the 3-year award given. I now turn to the inaccuracies in the rest of the report as they should at least go on record as I have already been awarded 19 points for care and thus am not challenging the care component

It is those words that got me the 10yr ongoing award with a light touch review but it raises the question why did the DWP force me into submitting an appeal to HMCTS anyway when they could have done this at Mandatory Reconsideration as I submitted no more evidence and my grounds to appeal was the MR Letter I had sent to DWP and thus could only have been that which swung it in my favour, I had not even send my submission to Court as was awaiting the bundle of documents from DWP which they were relying on.

So in short from submitting my Appeal to HMCTS on 20th May 2019 to today just shy of 3 weeks I have gone from just enhanced care to full PIP award with enhanced mobility and a 10 yr ongoing award.

My job is done and the stress release has been amazing!

UPDATE:

Below I have now added the two important pages of the 11 page letter, they detail the enhanced award for both care and mobility but as I said above what is more important and of interest to many is not the enhanced award in itself but both the length of award and the words “light touch review” being that the Secretary of state for Works and Pensions said such an award was for pensioners initially making a claim for PIP and those already on PIP will be converted at a later date

I was 56 on the 4th June 2019 so some way of pensionable age so clearly that statement was wrong and also applies to those with lifelong health conditions that will struggle with mobility and daily living regardless of age.

20th May 2019 Submitted