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Monday 25 November 2019

Tories’ 50,000 New Nurses AREN’T

The last of the major party manifestos, launched at the weekend and so close to the General Election as to give that much less time for detailed examination, the Tories’ offering yesterday was deliberately low-key and safety first. There would be none of the howlers that befell Theresa May, no so-called “dementia tax”, just a few scraps to please the party’s press cheerleaders amid an assumption that winning was in the bag.
But into every manifesto refuge a little rain must fall, and so it has come to pass with one of The Blue Team’s promises. Worse, this promise is on the NHS, which the Tories are still pretending will be safe in their hands, despite winter health emergencies being already with us. The manifesto has claimed that, under the premiership of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, the NHS will recruit 50,000 more nurses.

As the Independent has reported, “Launching the document in Telford, the prime minister said that Conservatives would deliver 50,000 more nurses, 6,000 more doctors and 50 million more GP surgery appointments each year as part of ‘the biggest cash boost for the NHS for a generation’, worth an extra £34bn by the end of the next parliament”.

There was more. "Backed by £725m of new government money, the recruitment plan also includes 14,000 new nursing training places supported by bursaries of up to £8,000, as well as 5,000 more nursing apprentices and 12,500 recruits from abroad”. But then came the first part of a doubly embarrassing whammy.

But party sources later confirmed that the 50,000 figure includes an estimated 18,500 existing nurses who will be encouraged to remain within the NHS or attracted back after leaving by new measures to improve career development opportunities”. So the 50,000 is actually 31,500. And then there were those recruits from abroad.
They “will be required to pay a £464 visa and £400 annual surcharge branded a ‘nurse tax’ by critics”. Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth was on to it like a shot. “First we had Johnson’s fake 40 new hospitals, now we have his fake 50,000 extra nurses”. Then came another problem with the nurse bursaries. It was the Tories who cut them in the first place.

So up stepped Luciana Berger, now speaking for the Lib Dems on health. “It is insulting to the public and all those who work in the NHS for Boris Johnson to celebrate the return of nurse bursaries”. And a potential recruitment problem: “By extending the immigration health surcharge and immigration visa fee to EU health professionals, more and more EU nurses will see little reason to stay here in the UK”. Oh dear, Tories!

The Guardian added its ninepence worth. “The plans to recruit 50,000 nurses quickly unravelled”. On those 18,500 “retained” nurses, there was “little detail as to exactly how the government would persuade these nurses to stay”. Also, “The government hopes to recruit 12,000 of the target from overseas”, but “The Conservative party said it was going to increase the surcharge from £400 to £625 a year for all non-EU migrant workers and extend it to all EU citizens who migrate to the UK after Brexit”.

The Tories can’t say how 40% of those nurses will be retained, they run the risk of pricing overseas recruits out of the system, and will make EU nurses second class citizens. But all of that will be either ignored or cheered by their press pals, so that’s all right, then.
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Anonymous said...

The NHS is not and never will be safe in tory hands. They'd sell their own grandmothers for profiteering greed, let alone an organisation that could be looted for millions - all at no cost to the spiv tories but at the cost of others lives and health.

tories like Hancock will always lie through their teeth about their true intentions. Example, an FOI showed archgobshite Thatcher wanted to introduce a Yank type "health" (read: death) system AT THE PRECISE MOMENT she lied the NHS would be "safe". But all the privatised "healthcare" on the planet couldn't prevent her from checking out dribbling into her cornflakes.

At the founding of the NHS Nye Bevan warned how the tories would lie, cheat and steal on the NHS. Which is why he called them "vermin". How right he was. Rats cannot change their tails.

Jonathan said...

As a former mental health nurse wishing to return to practice, what is offer to return is a joke.

I live between universities that are offering the RTPCs (Return to Practice Courses), fees paid and clinical placements paid for.

Good so far, but the offer of a £500 bursary is insulting, especially if like me, you have a family, you have to eat, pay bills and travel to placements and pay those stupid NHS car parking charges, before even considering buying books or equipment or a reasonably priced laptop in my case to do assignments on.
So unless the DOH gets serious with funding properly student nurses then it's going to upset the swivel eyed loons in the Tory party by going over to the EU to recruit nurses.
Couldn't make it up

Jonathan said...

Bozza and the Tories always thinking short term, takes 3 years to qualify as a nurse, then another 2 years to get through the nerves and become settled.

In 2012/3, Bozza and his wrecking crew of the Coalition of the Fools, made record numbers of nurses/doctors/allied health professionals and not forgetting the essential support staff that actually are like the red and white blood cells bringing essential nutrients and ridding of waste and rubbish from wards and departments.

nparker said...

The Tories also contain in their putrid, unworkable manifesto that they will crush the few things the Leveson Inquiry achieved and bury the as-yet-to-begin second half. More backroom deals and corruption!