What you can do to save the NHS and why you should

As we approach another General Election it is vital that we remind voters that this election is not just about Brexit – it is also a chance to halt the destruction of our NHS.   But we need to remind decision  makers that they have a role to play in preventing our NHS from being destroyed.

Film producer, John Furse, has had this excellent essay published in the London Review of Books.   Some of you may remember seeing the film Groundswell, that John had produced, in Eastbourne?  His passion for the preservation of our NHS is indesputable.  Please do read this essay and help bring it to the attention of as many people as possible.

Our NHS is now so close to being completely dismantled we really do need to act now. Please write to as many people from this list as possible, asking them to read his essay and back the NHS Reinstatement Bill.  This Bill is the model for the legislation required to fully renationalise the NHS.

  • Journalists and Commentators in national and local press
  • MPs of all parties
  • Local Councillors (esp Committee members of Health and Wellbeing Boards)
  • Local and National Health Bodies (CCGs, Patients Associations, Royal College of Nursing, GPs, Physicians etc)
  • The British Medical Association and Doctor’s in Unite
  • Trade Unions Health Officers (Unite, Unison, GMB)

 

 

Our NHS is undeniably under threat.  We still have one of the best health services in the world but it is abundantly clear that our government has plans to turn it into a US style system.

The US has one of the worst healthcare systems in the developed world.  They pay twice the amount we pay per capita for healthcare and have a system that is half as efficient.  Healthcare has to be paid for one way or the other.  For all those who say we can’t afford the NHS I would say that we can’t afford NOT to have our NHS.

Once we start moving into a system with multiple healthcare providers the system becomes less efficient.  We are already spending a huge amount on putting services out to tender and evaluating the various bids placed to run services.  Once a service goes out to tender this process happens every year.  Hear more about the US-ification of our NHS here.

So how has all this been able to happen?  It started with the Health and Social Care Act 2012.  This undemocratic piece of legislation (David Cameron was elected in 2010 on the promise of no more top-down re-organisations of the NHS)  brought about the biggest top-down re-organisation of the NHS since its birth in 1948.

We saw the creation of NHS England, headed by Simon Stevens, that was given huge responsibility for our NHS.  Our Secretary of State for Health then only had a duty to promote comprehensive healthcare for all, and not provide and secure comprehensive healthcare for all as previosuly was the case.  The provision of healthcare services in any one area is no longer determined by need.  It is now determined by market forces.  Hardly surprising that Simon Stevens comes from the international business elite.

Write to your MP and ask him or her to support the NHS Reinstatement Bill, and let’s make sure Jeremy Hunt once again has a duty to provide and secure comprehnesive healthcare for all.  You can check here to see which MPs support the Bill, none of those elected in East Sussex do.  So please get writing or book a surgery meeting!

The next great threat has to be the Sustainability and Trasformation Plans or Slash, Trash and Privatise as they are known to us.  Nobody has any worries about the prospect of the NHS being sustainable.  But these plans, drawn up in secret, with public consultation promised but not delivered, are far reaching plans that will be the death of our NHS.

By systematically underfunding NHS services since 2012 our NHS Trusts have built up a significant deficit.  These plans aim to emilinate that deficit by forcing cuts on NHS services until it has been absorbed.

Claims have been made that talk about integrating health and social care, promoting disease prevention rather than cure and selling off NHS buildings and land that is no longer needed.  Read more about why we object to STP and the Naylor report here.

So what can we do?  Once again write to your MP and/or Councillors or book an appointment for one of their surgeries.  The Sussex Defend the NHS campaign have organised a Regional Oppose the STP Campaign.  If you belong to a local political party, trade union or campaign group then get somebody to represent your organisation on that campaign.

East Sussex exists in the footprint 33 area, which is simply the region over which one Sustainability and Transformation Plan will apply.  In Brighton they are organising a march and rally to co-incide with the Labour Party Conference on 24th September.

It’s a Matter of Life or Death, Join the Fight for #OurNHS March and Rally – 24th September at 11am, The Level (Northside) BN2 9SD – invited speakers are Rob Galloway (A&E Consultant), Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP and Caroline Lucas MP.  National speakers willl be: John McDonnell MP; Daniel Tiplady (RCN and Scrap the Cap); Louise Irvine (Co-Chair Health Campaigns Together) and Alex Scott-Samuel (Chair of Socialist Health Association). Others to be confirmed.  Rally will take place from 12.30pm -1.30pm

Join us in taking the fight for our NHS to the Labour Party Conference

There is too much at stake now to not fight and people power can be marvellous.  The fantastic campaign group Save Southend A&E has been successful. Faced with the total downgrading of their A&E in their Sustainabilty and Transformation Plan they fought a public campaign and won.  Take heart folks we can do this!!!

The Royal College of Nursing is also holding a demonstration this time on the 6th Spetember in central London.  Scrap the Cap is a demomstration to scrap the cap on nursing pay.  Find out more here and book your place to tell the government its time to scarp the cap on nurses pay. Among other workers, NHS staff have seen their pay fall in real terms by 10% since 2010.

Our government is seeking to privatise the NHS.  This was fast tracked from the moment Simon Stevens produced the Five-Year Forward View (FYFV) which then resulted in STPs.

All the ideas in the FYFV and the STPs come directly from reports produced by the World Economic Forum which were discussed at Davos in 2012.

Simon Stevens chaired the key committee that developed the reports – which were both co-authored by McKinsey.

Until now we have always had to make inferences about the connections between key actors and political parties in the development of NHS privatisation. Now for the first time we have clear objective evidence of who is culpable and how.

The sick truth – the Tories recruited the NHS Chief Executive from the international business elite, in order to implement these plans, drafted by international corporations and their friends, and pretended that they had been drawn up with the people of England in mind.

Find out more about the STPs here but also look at this Labour Party web page which describes what happened at Devos.

There is still more you can do!  999 Call for the NHS are crowdfunding a legal challenge to attempts by NHS England to transform our NHS into a two-tier US-style healthcare system being carried out behind the blue logo.  You can donate to this fund here.

The NHS was created after the war by a government who understood that they needed a healthy population for the country to rebuild and become productive.  Recently we have had the announcement that the British economy is the the developed world’s poorest performing economy.  Without a healthy population we will not be able to boost productivity and improve our economy.  The government in 1948 was able to put the NHS and Social Welfare into place with the overwhelming support of the population.  We need as a population to once again start calling for a healthcare system for all that uses funding in the most efficient means possible.  At the moment we are moving rapidly away from such a system.

If you care about your health and your children’s health sign this petition to demand that the NHS is never privatised.  If you don’t care about your health or that of your children, sign it anyway because it may be the only way to bring about a healthy economy once again in Britain.

If you can see that stopping STP is critical to us maintaining our NHS then you may be interested in signing this petition by 38 degrees to halt STPs.

I have been given quite a few false arguments regarding why we have a crisis in our NHS.  A common one is that the NHS treats too many people.  The whole idea of the NHS offering free care for everyone was based upon the idea that if everyone benefits then it is reasonable to expect everyone to pay into the system.  It also then eliminates the need for hospitals and doctors or NHS management to start the beaurocratic and expensive nightmare of assessing who is entitled to what.

At present there are about 20 hospital including Brighton and Sussex University Hospital which will ask to see a passport before treating you or they will ask for payment up front.  This move is designed to cut down on so-called ‘health tourism’ but forces doctors who are paid to treat you to work as a border force.  Read what Docs not Cops have to say about this.

There is so much going on to fight for our NHS. We all can take part in this battle for the country’s health.  Arm yourselves with the facts but most of all arm yourself with the understanding that the NHS is the best system for delivering healthcare and one our country can ill-afford to do without.  Here is some more information, a video by Dr Bob Gill on Everything you Need to Know About What is Happening to Our NHS (in 10 mins).

We live in a democracy and that means a whole lot more than going to the polling booth every five years.  This is OUR NHS, OUR lives at stake, the future of OUR country and the survival of OUR economy.

Write to your MP and/or Councillors – Visit your MP in a Sugery – sign petitions – attend the rallies and demonstrations- write to your local paper – phone your local radion station – talk to your friends and family, neighbours and anyone else who will listen – keep informed – join campaigns or start your own – share, share and share on social networks.  But keep your spirits up and remember that the more we fight the more likely we are to win this one! Here is a template letter for MP and/or Councillor regarding STP, please feel free to personalise it if you wish.

Start your own personal fight back by sharing this blog!