999CallfortheNHS Judicial Review - Judgement delivered Tues 15th May at Leeds High Court is "disappointing"

I have hesitated to report the following press releases which were issued by 999 Call for the NHS in two separate messages, but there is no further word as yet.

The message on 16th May was as follows:

WEDS 16th May
You will know by now that the Judge from the Leeds hearing ruled against our Judicial Review. We are not happy with that decision and we have 21 days to decide next steps. We will be talking in depth with our legal team.
Thanks to everyone who has "marched" with us on this one. We are forever grateful for not only the public donations that covered the court costs but the concern and messages of support from campaigners across the country.
For a full update (and regular updates) keep this link handy.

The message on 19th May was as follows:

Hello Friends

As you may know the Judge who heard our Judicial Review in Leeds has delivered his judgement and he has ruled against us.

We are extremely disappointed as we're sure you are too. And we're not happy at his decision and ruling.

Early next week we will be meeting our legal team at Leigh Day & Landmark Chambers to examine our next steps and all the options open to us. 

We will of course keep you up to date with news.

We have more detail on our Judicial Review Update page 

Thanks for all your messages and enquiries. We will provide more information as soon as possible. 

Jenny, Jo & Steve

And all the 999 Call for the NHS Team


Nobody has voted to replace the NHS with something else.

NHS warns patients they could lose text alerts as GDPR deluge continues

Health service joins UK firms in rushing to comply with new data protection rules


The National Health Service is texting patients to warn they could lose alerts about hospital and doctor appointments, joining the deluge of more than 1bn “GDPR” messages currently hitting personal inboxes to meet an EU deadline this week.

GDPR, which stands for General Data Protection Regulation, has been described as the biggest overhaul of online privacy since the birth of the internet, and comes into force on Friday May 25. It gives all EU citizens the right to know what data is stored on them and to have it deleted, plus protect them from privacy and data breaches. If companies fail to comply, they can be hit with fines of up to €20m (£17.5m) or 4% of global turnover.

Companies and organisations around the world – from giant corporations to charities and church groups – are now anxiously contacting users to check they are happy to carry on receiving their emails and texts.

Each person in the UK is understood to have about 100 “data relationships” and with many companies sending out multiple reminders, the total number of GDPR emails is expected to soar above one billion by this Friday.

But with GDPR fatigue setting in, and with many messages heading straight into spam boxes, the figures suggest that few people are responding.

Polling by consultancy Accenture has found that more than half of consumers are not responding to emails from brands, with about a third of people deleting the emails almost as soon as they arrive in their inbox.

Some small businesses are reporting that “reconfirmation” rates are averaging just 10%, meaning they are losing 90% of their marketing email lists.

“Up to the deadline you are going to continue to see some panic and mass communications. Then there will be a lull before it begins again, as this is an ongoing requirement,” said Russell Marsh of Accenture. He is forecasting that some companies will return to direct mail to target customers, as it does not fall under the same GDPR legislation.

Many people are enjoying a once in a lifetime opportunity to clear out their inboxes. But while many can be safely ignored, others – such as from the NHS – will need action.

The NHS message reads: “The law is changing and we must get explicit permissions from patients when using their data. To continue to receive SMS text messages, reply START.”

The messages are being sent from the NHS automated appointment reminder system, used by millions of people across the UK. Data rules mean that the messages are sent by each individual NHS trust rather than centrally from the NHS.

Companies are handling the new rules in different ways, as there is no prescribed format for GDPR approval. If a company has a “legitimate interest” in contacting a customer – such as their principal bank account – then it only needs to let the customer know that privacy details have been updated.

But if the email address had been obtained in other ways – such as a pre-ticked box – then that is not regarded as legitimate, and the company has to contact the consumer and obtain approval for further communications. Some companies are insisting users go through the rigmarole of logging in, which might entail trying to remember a password or setting up a new account.

“It will be their interpretation of what they need to do to be compliant,” said Robert Parker at the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office.

Companies are resorting to ever more desperate ways to catch the eye of users in inboxes deluged with GDPR emails. Many are in the plaintive “Do you still want to hear from us?” style, others warn that “Time is running out”, while some demand “Urgent action required”. Or as one flower delivery company GDPR email says: “Take it or leaf it”

Cancer patient waited 541 days for NHS treatment

Longest waits for cancer treatment have soared in England since 2010, data obtained by Labour suggests


The longest waits for treatment in England have soared since 2010, with one patient waiting 541 days, analysis suggests.

Two-thirds of NHS trusts reported having at least one cancer patient waiting more than six months last year, while almost seven in 10 (69%) trusts said they had a worse longest wait than in 2010. This was reflected in the average longest wait rising to 213 days – 16 days longer than in the year the Conservatives entered government.

The official target requires at least 85% of cancer patients to have their first treatment within 62 days of referral by their GP, but this has not been met for 27 months in a row.

More than 100,000 people have waited more than two months for treatment to start since the target was first missed in January 2014.

The longest waiting times data was obtained by Labour through freedom of information requests to England’s 172 acute and community health trusts, to which 95 responded.

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, said: “The number of people needing cancer treatment has risen sharply in the past 10 years and the government has simply failed to increase availability of services at the rate required.

“The truth is that the brilliant efforts of NHS staff around the country to deliver the best for their patients are being hampered by tight NHS budgets. Years of underfunding and abject failure to invest in the front line doctors and nurses we need, means Theresa May is letting down cancer patients.

“Now we know the astonishing truth that some patients are waiting a year or more just to get treatment. It’s simply not good enough.”

The number of patients waiting more than 62 days last year was double that in 2010 (26,693 compared with 13,354), including 10,000 who waited for more than three months, NHS statistics show.

Every trust bar two who replied to Labour’s survey said that at least one patient had waited more than 62 days for treatment.

The figures also showed a deterioration in longest waits for two other key cancer targets since 2010.

After receiving a diagnosis of cancer, patients should receive their first definitive treatment within a month (31 days) and after an urgent referral for suspected cancer they should see a consultant within two weeks.

In both cases, as with the 62 days target, two-thirds of trusts had lengthier longest waits last year than in 2010. The average longest wait to start definitive treatment rose to 90 days – three higher than in 2010 – with one patient waiting 254 days. The average longest wait for a consultant appointment increased to 66 days – eight time higher than seven years ago – with the worst example being a patient who waited 377 days.

In an ideal world, people would start treatment within a month of being diagnosed, according to Cancer Research UK.

Sara Bainbridge, a policy manager at the charity, said: “Part of the reason why hospitals are struggling to meet the target is because NHS diagnostic services are short-staffed. The government must make sure there are more staff to deliver the tests and treatment that people need on time. The long-term plan for the NHS, which is being developed now, is a good opportunity to be more ambitious about cancer survival and increase staff numbers.”

Andrew Kaye, the head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “These findings show that despite the tireless work of doctors and nurses, it appears that some cancer patients are still enduring shockingly long waits to start treatment.

“Long delays can put people under incredible stress at an already difficult time and could also mean that someone’s health could take a turn for the worse.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Cancer care has improved significantly in recent years, with around 7,000 people alive today who would not have been if mortality rates stayed the same as in 2010.

“Nobody should wait longer than necessary for treatment and, despite a 115% increase in referrals since 2010, the vast majority of people start treatment within 62 days – backed by our £600m investment to improve cancer services.”

H&F CCG needs £18m in extra funding to cope with GP at Hand patient influx

From Pulse Today (GPs' magazine on line) 8th May 2018: http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/it/ccg-needs-18m-in-extra-funding-to-cope-with-gp-at-hand-patient-influx/20036661.article#comments

The CCG hosting GP at Hand has said it will need an extra £18m in funding from NHS England this year in order to cope with patient numbers.

NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG asked for an in-year injection of funds in March, after calculating the extra cost of hosting GP at Hand - which is run by Babylon and allows NHS patients the chance to speak to a GP online within 48 hours - would be £10.6m in 2018/19.

The new higher figure was unveiled in board papers published by today, and comes as NHS England is still deciding whether to top up the CCG's funding allocation.

Dr Jefferies and Partner - the GP practice which hosts the GP at Hand app for NHS patients across London - has over 26,000 patients currently. Before the launch of the app, the practice based in Fulham had just 4,000 patients.

Board papers said NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG was hoping to end 2018/19 with a small surplus.

But they added: 'The plan requires £18m of external support from [NHS England] to cover the GP at Hand accelerated costs.'

And the CCG said that the extra funding is ‘expected but not confirmed at this point’.

The papers quoted CCG managing director Janet Cree as saying that 'progress is being made' on the discussions about extra funding.

She said there was 'likely to be an agreement with NHS England on some financial support to the CCG within this financial year'.

It comes as GP at Hand recently told Pulse that 40,000 patients have applied to join the service.

And Pulse revealed earlier this year that a new patient signs up with the service ‘every two minutes’, amounting to 4,000 new patients a month.

A GP at Hand spokesperson said: 'GP at Hand reduces pressure on other NHS services and budgets. This is achieved by making NHS GP appointments available 24/7, typically within two hours of booking, even though funding through the GMS contract covers only Monday to Friday core hours.

'The reality is that people across London are exercising their rights to choose their NHS general practice. In less than six months, over 40,000 people have chosen GP at Hand, whose registered list is based in Fulham.

'This, of course, means that [NHS] Hammersmith and Fulham CCG’s budget will need to increase as they commission services on behalf of more people. Balancing this, CCGs with fewer registered patients going forward will also see changes in their budgets.'

The CCG papers further updated the board on the progress of plans for a full evaluation of the rollout of GP at Hand. 

CCG leaders said they met with NHS England ‘to consider the bids to undertake the independent evaluation of the GP at Hand service’, with a successful bidder to be announced shortly.

NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG launched a bid in March worth £250k to hire an ‘independent evaluator’ to assess the ‘outcomes and impacts’.

Accusations of 'cherry picking' patients has riddled GP at Hand since the London launch, including from the BMA, LMCs and the RCGP.

Most recently, Doctors in Unite warned health secretary Jeremy Hunt that the model 'threatens the model of general practice' by 'hoovering up' younger, fitter patients.

GP at Hand has denied turning away certain patients, but its website says that patients with frailty, dementia, pregnancy, drug addiction, learning disability and complex mental health problems may be advised to register with a practice closer to home.

March CCG papers said 'almost all of the new patients are in the 20-64 age group, with three-quarters under 35'.

Babylon, the company behind the app, has hit back at criticism by saying patients ‘have the right to choose their NHS practice’.