Thursday, April 29, 2010

More Cancer Lies From Labour Exposed

Remember the GP who emailed me a couple of days ago giving the lie to the disgraceful Labour PEB? Well, he's been in touch again and he ain't pleased....
Hi Iain, I have just listened to a repeat of an earlier showing of the Daily Politics (from Wednesday where Andrew Neil asks Ed Balls about the controversial bit of that PEB (ie the emotive bit relating to the two week cancer wait) –and in reply Ed Balls added a few more embellishments.

He claimed that Labour have promised to treat cancer patients within two weeks! (and of course by inference that the nasty Tories won’t and that this will be ‘bad for people’).

This is, of course, a load of cobblers – there is nothing at present which guarantees cancer treatment in two weeks, and as in my earlier email, the Labour policy on the 2 week wait has caused delays in instigating cancer treatment. Also, the Labour Party manifesto doesn’t guarantee cancer treatment in 2 weeks. There is reference to being able to get treatment in 18 weeks, but frankly even our NHS is presently managing to start cancer treatments in 18 weeks given that it would be clinically negligent not to.

I do resent lies being told about the work I try to do and the public being wilfully misled – and by a government minister. I am not a member of any political party – and in the past have voted for all the major parties! But I have to say I agreed with Michael Gove that it was an appalling PEB and was unimpressed with Balls for his refusal to condemn this sort of campaigning, and particularly his embellishing it with blatant (peppa) porkies.

There you have it.


Martin S said...

Balls wouldn't lie, would he? Oh, yes. He would!

golden_balls said...

banged to rights then iain
job done

why couldn't all debates be ended by one person emailing you his views.

Lola said...

"I do resent lies being told about the work I try to do and the public being wilfully misled – and by a government minister. I am not a member of any political party.." Me too. Different sector. Same lies.

Unknown said...

He sounds like a Bigot to me, ignore him.

wv: nonsanes

Will Straw said...

Hi Iain,

I don't think you or the GP are quite right here. The NHS constitution has two guarantees: 18 week waiting times, and 2 weeks to see a cancer specialist. The manifesto actually goes further and promises, "Legally binding guarantees for patients including the right to cancer test results within one week of referral".

The Tories are also clear on this: "We will give patients more choice and free health professionals from the tangle of politically-motivated targets that get in the way of providing the best care.” While William Hague said on the campaign show, “We are not going to have a whole lot great system of guarantees and targets, we are going to have a system that performs … rather than dictating what everybody will do". Brillo yesterday in the health debate that Lansley was flip-flopping on the issue.

As covered on Left Foot Forward, it is hard to see how the Tories could scrap the guarantee and ensure that all patients saw a cancer specialist within two weeks. Some of Labour's targets have been misguided and produced perverse incentives. But they also drive outcomes and these two have been particularly successful (and popular).

All the best,


Blaad said...

Andy Burnham continued the lies yesterday on the Daily Politics debate.

He accused Andrew Lansley of saying that (re cancer treatment) 'speed doesn't matter.' Lansley went Purple with rage and denied it but Burnham stood firm.

Whilst Lansley was responding Burnham condescendingly quoted the full sentence - 'Speed is not the only thing that matters'.
This is how lies and mendacity is affecting politics these days.

Conduct completely unbecoming.


The leaflet of local Labour PPC, Matt Rodda (East Surrey) landed on my doormat a few days ago. Having actually voted Labour for the first time ever at the last General Election; at a time when practically everyone else was heading in the opposite direction (I’m funny like that) I was interested to see what he had to say for himself. Oh dear, the leaflet looks like something ‘old Labour’ might have pushed through your door in the dark, dark days of Wilsonian pragmatism. Matt seems like a decent chap (he looks about 16, but then I’ve reached the age where even Gordon Brown looks young) but my heart sinks when I read that “Tories would scrap cancer patients’ right to see specialists in two week – introduced by Labour.” Could this possibly be true, I wondered? Under Labour, health services have improved tremendously in recent years. I can remember the days when Croydon’s Mayday Hospital was routinely referred to as ‘Maydie’; you tried to avoid ending up there. Now, it not only looks like a state-of-the-art, high-tech medical facility, it actually is. The services offered by St. George’s in Tooting, the Atkinson Morley and the Royal Marsden are too brilliant to put into words without sounding like some sort of crazed medical junkie. So why on earth, with such a good record, does Labour see the need to go in for this kind of scaremongering?

The Handbook to the NHS Constitution for England (8 March 2010) states that from “1 April 2010, you will have the right to: start your consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral for non-urgent conditions; and be seen by a cancer specialist within a maximum of two weeks from GP referral for urgent referrals where cancer is suspected.” Now, I may be wrong, but this sounds like a new commitment. Have the Conservatives said they wouldn’t honour it? Have the Conservatives anywhere, in any publication, actually stated that they would reverse this ‘two week’ guarantee? They’ve done some pretty daft things in the past, but it’s hard to believe that they’ve gone collectively bonkers and decided to actually try and lose the vote of every cancer patient in the entire country. As I understand it, on a three-way debate on The Daily Politics yesterday (28/4/10) Conservative Health Spokesman, Andrew Lansley said that the two-week guarantee was “clinically justified” and would remain in place, but that in some cases, individuals might need to see a specialist more quickly. Have I got the wrong end of the stick here? Perhaps Andrew Lansley could clarify?!

wild said...

If Andy Burnham did say that he has won himself a nomination for slimeball politician of the decade.

Unsworth said...

'Guarantees', eh?

So, Mr Straw, what happens if these guarantees are not honoured? The patient dies anyway.

Excellent result for the 'guarantor' then. No risk whatsoever.

I'm sorry, these guarantees mean absolutely nothing. As always with Brown and NuLab, check the fine print very carefully indeed.

Unsworth said...

@ wild

There is a very large number of Labour contenders for that title