Month: May 2017

Brexit NHS

Returning Brits Will Make NHS Costs Climb.

Post Brexit, retired Brits currently living in Europe will cost the NHS £500million if the current EU healthcare scheme ends.

As part of the S1 Scheme, there are currently 190,000 British retirees living in European countries getting their healthcare costs covered. If these Brits were to return to the UK, The Nuffield Trust has estimated their care would cost roughly £979million per year.

We currently contribute £500million, and so would therefore need roughly another £500million to settle the bill.

As reported in The Guardian, the report has stated that by 2025, there could be a shortage of 70,000 paid carers. Consequently, the cost of our exit from the EU will rise if nurses and care workers currently entering the UK from Europe, were no longer permitted; we would lose the migrants that work and pay taxes.

The report highlights that, “Every step should be taken to try to secure a deal that allows them to keep receiving care where they now live”. It indicates that to fulfil the shortfall to treat returning Brits, we’d need approximately 900 beds, and the healthcare staff to match.

This pressure will only add to the strain the NHS is currently under. According to the report, there are now roughly 22,000 migrant nurses working to fill the void the NHS presently has.

The Department of Health has estimated, by severing migration, by 2025 we will have lost 20,000 nurses. This will roughly double if we were to deport those already working here.

“The state of the NHS relies heavily on it being recognised as a significant priority as we enter some of the most important negotiations in Britain’s history” (Mark Dayan, Nuffield Trust).

“These figures are a stark reminder that with the NHS at breaking point, politicians must keep the health service and its patients at the forefront during Brexit negotiations and reduce the impact that leaving the EU will have on Health and Social Care across the UK” (Dr Mark Porter, BMA Council Chair).

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Manchester attack

“The Worst Attack Since The London Bombings”

“Manchester is the guts and belly of the nation” – George Orwell.

Yesterday, the world woke up to the heartbreaking news that late on Monday evening, Islamic State had targeted Manchester.

The bomb, detonated at an Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester Arena, has so far claimed 22 lives, including children that were at the concert with their parents.

With the bomber being identified as 22 year old Salman Ramadan Abedi, the terror threat has been raised to critical with the Prime Minister activating “Operation Temperer”.

It has been confirmed that Abedi was known to police, but wasn’t considered a threat.

As reported by The Guardian, when delivering her conclusion Theresa May stated: “Not only that another attack remains highly likely, but a further attack may be imminent.” She further explained that she didn’t want to cause “undue alarm” but soldiers will be visible on the streets, with military personnel present at public events.

Operation Temperer, activated for the first time, will allow 5,000 troops to support the police, replacing armed officers at key sites to release them for street patrol. This is in response to the police requesting authorisation from the Secretary of State for support for their armed officers.

Ian Hopkins, Gtr Manchester Police Chief Constable said, “The priority remains to establish whether he was acting alone or as part of a network”.

Although the bomb, detonated in the foyer of the arena, was homemade, it is yet to be discovered whether it was built by Abedi, or given as support from other conspirators.

Senior security sources are said to be “rocked backwards” as a successful bomb plot hasn’t been executed in the UK since the London attacks in 2005.

What is more chilling, is that CCTV footage shows Abedi deliberately walking towards the foyer, detonating the bomb for maximum impact. He sent bolts and shrapnel into those surrounding him, claiming 22 lives with 64 being treated for injuries (updated figures from the Manchester Evening News).

The emergency and healthcare services were yesterday hailed as heroes for their part in dealing with the aftermath of the attack. Eight hospitals in and around Gtr Manchester are being used to treat the injured, with people working tirelessly since the attack.

Despite the catastrophic devastation this brutal attack has had on so many lives, the people of Manchester have been praised for their resilience and strength in rising together. It is not the first attack Manchester has seen, with the IRA once destroying half the city centre in 1996. The Mayor of Manchester reminded us of this yesterday, whilst stating in his speech, “This will not beat us”.

Theresa May is set to chair another Cobra meeting today (Wednesday 24th May) at 9am.

Nurses strike

78% of Nurses Vote In Support of Strike Ballot

As reported in the Guardian on Sunday, The Royal College of Nursing has revealed four out of five members (78%) are set to walkout over the cap on pay rises.

It was revealed they will stage a “Summer of protest activity” at their annual conference with their plan highlighting the dissatisfaction over pay. A second ballot will be taken before any action happens.

It was also revealed this week, that 1 in 9 vacancies within the sector are left unfilled, and according to the RCN, this is part of the reason Nurses are suffering low pay. The Health Foundation Charity found that by 2020 the shortfall could be 42000 Nurses, with almost half of all Nurses believing staffing levels are already stretched.

A formal pay cap of 1% was introduced in 2015, however due to inflatorary rises, this actually equates to a 14% cut since 2010.

Nurses have been left struggling, attending food banks, and some even looking for jobs in supermarkets, to try and make ends meet.

Janet Davies, General Secretary for the RCN haas commented: ” What’s happened today is unprecedented for the RCN and is a reflection of the deep anger members feel. The current conditions in the NHS are driving people out of the profession and putting new people off entering it. Our argument is not with patients. This is about ensuring they get the safe and effective care they need. The 1% cap on nursing pay is putting patients at risk.”

The industrial action will take place across the UK, including Scotland, where their terms are set separately by the Scottish Government. Their Ministers are being pressured to lift a cap which has seen their Nurses’ pay fall by 14%. Although Nicola Sturgeon has accepted it is “unacceptable to see them using food banks”, she is still defending their upholding of the 1% cap.

Mrs Sturgeon believes they’ve “done more than any other Government to protect the pay of Nurses.” Bursaries were protected and they were exempt from tuition fees, with the only downfall that starting salaries were £300 less than in England. The SNP last week refused proposals to raise pay by above 1%.

A spokesman from the Conservative party said “the only way we can increase NHS funding, staffing or pay is to get a good Brexit deal so the economy prospers in the years ahead.”

To see Labour’s reaction to the announcement, see our Facebook page (@LCSlegal).

Dying Matters Awareness Week

Dying Matters Awareness Week

May 8-14th is Dying Matters Awareness Week designed to highlight the importance of discussing death and bereavement.

Last years campaign focused on the difficulties people have in preparing for death and, as reported in the Telegraph, with 83% of Brits in this position it highlighted the importance of “the discussion”.

This year’s campaign is focused on “what you can do”, aimed at giving people easy steps to prepare for end of life.

Write your Will, figures released in 2016 show that over half of Brits do not have a Will. Your Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes after your death are adhered to, not only does this give peace of mind, it offers protection for your family and assets.

Unmarried couples, despite the length of their relationship, still are not recognised in the eyes of the law but writing your partner into your Will guarantees they will be given a share of your Assets. Read our article on writing a Will to find out what to do next.

Prepaid Funeral Plans, with the average cost of a funeral at over £3,000 it is already expensive, yet over the next 20 years this cost will rise to over £12,000. Organising your funeral before you die is the easiest way to relieve the financial burden and stress of paying for your funeral. It also ensures it is tailored exactly as you want it.

LCS have a special offer of £100 discount on Dignity Guaranteed Funeral Plans and, purchasing one today ensures the cost is frozen at today’s prices and won’t be subject to the inflation that will inevitably occur.

Future care, Organising your Lasting Power of Attorney is the best way to ensure you receive the care you desire if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being unable to make decisions for yourself. Appointing someone you trust to make these important decisions gives you and your family peace of mind and confidence for the future.

As it’s important for this to be in place before you lose capacity, take advantage NOW of our 2 for 1 offer on all Powers of Attorney (local and telephone appointments only).

Speak to your loved ones, Death comes to us all so ensure your family are aware of your wishes by talking to them. Although it will be a hard conversation, not discussing this could make it harder for them when the inevitable happens. Use humour, or recent media topics to break the ice. Take the opportunity to highlight what you want and, more importantly, what you don’t want.

To take advantage of our special offers, and for information regarding all of our services, contact LCS NOW on 0345 017 8250. It’s never too soon or too late to talk.

Bereavement benefits: Campaigner dies after cuts in Widowed Parent’s allowance.

A father of two who was campaigning against the cuts to the Bereavement Benefits, dies less than one month after the changes take affect.

As reported in The Guardian, Alan (a pseudonym to protect his identity) who was terminally ill, spoke out about the “callous and brutal” cuts that would sever the financial support available to partners and children.

Under the old system, Alan’s family would have been entitled to £60,000 over ten years to support them after his death. Now, this is reduced to less than £10,000 over just 18 months.

Conservatives, in-particular Ros Altman (former Minister in the Department for Work and Pensions), have teamed up with other parties in an attempt to “persuade Ministers to think again”. They praised Alan and have vowed to continue fighting on behalf of all families in a similar situation: “It’s so sad. His family is going to be devastated and I wish there was something I could have done. I am certainly still trying and I know there is feeling across the House of Lords.”

Lady Altman raised the points that the recent statements from the Princes William and Harry, have highlighted the trauma losing a parent brings, and although the benefits system does need skimming, families in this situation need help and support.

Ministers have claimed that the new system has been designed around modern society, where women are more inclined to work and staying under the old system may stop widowed parents adapting to life.

Campaigners such as Georgia Elms, Chair of WAY Widowed and Young, disagree believing that although families were still suffering at 18 months (the new cut off point), the financial support allowed them to re-enter employment part time. It has also been called for help to be made available to parents who are living with their partner, but unmarried.

To see how the cuts may affect you and your family, read our Resource “Bereavement Changes Could Leave Widowed Parents With Less Support”.