Written evidence submitted by Shouvik Datta (CBP003)

 

 

Possibly if fewer Nightingale Hospitals had been built and more money put into dealing with routine operations like hip replacements, cancer treatment and mental health treatment we would not have a backlog of at least 2 years.   The JRS (furlough) scheme also could have been better well targetted, in terms of retraining workers for new sectors (social care, green jobs).  The current increase in Universal Credit should be maintained also. 

 

We need to look more into how private healthcare resources could be used to clear the NHS backlog.  NHS and care home frontline staff also deserve a pay rise of at least 5% per annum. BBC's Panorama ("Britain’s Cancer Crisis", "Covid: Who Got it Right" and "Inside the Testing Lab"). 

 

These increased financial commitments generally pay for themselves because they quickly feed through into local economic regeneration and expanded tax revenues.

 

The NHS has expanded chemotherapy and radiotherapy services by working in partnership with the UK SABR Consortium ("Convenient modern cancer treatment for patients during COVID-19 pandemic", 11 June 2020, NHS News, Google and other search engines) for example.  This kind of partnership is absolutely key to clearing the NHS backlog.   

 

The Government could commission available facilities overseas to clear the NHS’s current backlog.  If there is a comprehensive Brexit services deal it will become considerably easier to do this.  There are also possibilities in greater cooperation on health with Japan, South Korea or Singapore.

 

Overseas cooperation, plus our support for the Covax programme and AstraZeneca and GSK Sanofi being a key part of it, could help us to control this pandemic through international cooperation.  The Covax scheme needs to expand more, for example to comprehensively cover Africa.  The UK should have a long-term commitment to Covax. 

 

 

There have been many articles and tv documentaries that have concluded that the UK should not sign trade deals that make it easier for large global healthcare companies to buy out and take over part or most of the NHS.  This is why the European Union rejected the proposed TTIP in 2016 and the UK also undertook not to be part of TTIP.  The countries of Western Europe have benefited from their commitment to public health in terms of longevity, quality of life and overall wellbeing.

 

The 2018 Data Protection Act needs cover all future trade deals post-Brexit.  This should very much apply to the healthcare sector as well.  Data protection needs to become a much bigger issue at the level of the United Nations and WTO.

 

Refugees from Afghanistan and other war-torn regions have a right to settle in the UK under the 1951 Refugee Convention and subsequent international conventions and protocols.  Refugee and migrant communities make a very big contribution to health and social care in the UK.  Many refugees become doctors and nurses in the UK.  However the needs of refugees and migrants generally are often overlooked, for example in psychiatric services.  This is why the work of the Helen Bamber Foundation, Southall Black Sisters and other organisations should be incorporated into NHS mental health services.

Sept 2021