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Labour Government Phasing out NHS Dentistry

There is a new NHS Dental Contract. It appears that 1/3 of Birmingham's dentists (120) are likely to refuse to sign it.

The big difficulty is charging (and paying) the same fee regardless of the number of fillings. This seems to be orientated by NICE towards discouraging patients from turning up until they need quite a bit of work.

There are some sensible proposals such as how to handle out of hours work and paying monthly, but underlying it seems to be a desire to phase out NHS Dentistry.

There is also this concept that patients don't have a personal dentist (or GP), but shop around for anyone willing to deal with them on the day.

This seems to be driven my some ideological approach in Whitehall rather than considering the realities in Birmingham.


Bob Piper said…
When are these cuts to our gas supply due, John? We have been waiting in vain for one of your predictions to actually come true... and now it seems you have dropped that fantasy for a whole new list. Mind like a butterfly, eh?
John Hemming said…
I have been expecting actual problems in terms of supply in February for some time. That is because it takes a while to run out of stored gas.

The details are on another blog

That, however, all depends upon the weather. If the weather is mild then there will be no problems.

Yesterday's gas demands were only satisfied by relying on gas in the transmission system.

At the moment I would say that the probability of problems is greater than 50%. It is not, however, guaranteed.
Bob Piper said…
Sounds a bit like Lembit's ranting about asteroids... disaster might happen, we're all dooooomed (but only maybe).
John Hemming said…
The probability is a lot higher the damage done substantially less.

It is already the case that people have lost their jobs through this. I do not expect domestic supplies of gas to run short although industry may need to shut down including CCGTs. (The Generators).

It is about 50:50. The government could act to minimise the risk and severity, but every day that passes makes this harder.
Bob Piper said…
"Everytime I do the calculations I forcast a real crisis in January. I am not isolated in this."

You're all dooooomed!!!
John Hemming said…
I think people losing their jobs is a real crisis.

The figures point to problems in January, but it depends substantially on the weather.

In 2005 things went a bit wrong in March.

It is, of course, entirely possible that there are no further problems. However, the CBI and I tend to think that we are not "out of the woods".

On the other hand yesterday we imported a lot more gas from Belgium, but there is still a threat that Russia turns off the tap to the Ukraine - which will impact us.
John Hemming said…
Turns out that 200,000 people escaped a blackout on Thursday by the skin of their teeth.


Quoting from The Times:
"Gas supplies are extremely tight this winter and will be next winter, as the new storage facilities and pipelines are built to facilitate this transition.

The amount of electricity available this week has been lower than usual after some power generators temporarily shut down their gas-fired power stations because of the high price of gas. Wholesale gas prices have been 50 per cent higher than last winter."

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