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NHS campaign – what’s going on?

January 19th, 2012 by

Outside the Department of Health

Photograph by 38 Degrees

I thought it might be time to give a quick update on the NHS campaign. It’s been a bit quiet over the last few weeks, but things are about to hot up again.

Andrew Lansley is still trying to get his plan through parliament. It finally passed through the House of Commons last summer. It has been in the House of Lords for the last few months. Before Christmas thousands of 38 Degrees members contacted the Lords with concerns as the plan went through “committee stage”.

On February 8th the next stage in the House of Lords begins – “report stage“. Report stage will last a few weeks. This could be the final time that the House of Lords discuss the NHS plans in detail.

Before report stage starts, we can expect the government to announce if it will make any changes in response to our campaigning. Our people powered legal team is standing by to quickly analyse the proposed changes. They will cut through the spin and legal speak, so we are able to respond together.

Once report stage starts the Lords will have another chance to vote on changes to Lansley’s plan. They will be able to vote both on changes proposed by the government and changes proposed by other Lords. Some votes could be very close. We may have to pull together quickly to make sure the votes go the right way.

When we hear the government announcements and see what changes they are proposing, 38 Degrees members will have to vote together to decide what we should do next. This is likely to be within the next two weeks.

At the moment, we’re hearing a mixture of rumours on how much ground Andrew Lansley might have given. On the one hand, there are some encouraging signs that lords have secured important concessions on keeping the Secretary of State’s “duty to provide” a health service.

On the other hand, just  a few hours ago the Royal College Of Nurses and Royal College of Midwives announced that they thought Lansley’s plans were still very dangerous. They argue that the best thing would be for them to be scrapped altogether.

We will need to be ready to move fast and vote to decide together what we do next.

It’s amazing to think that when we first started to campaign to protect our NHS, people told us we were
wasting our time. They said the changes would be done and dusted by December 2010. But we didn’t give up. We kept up the pressure and defended our health service.

By working together we’ve formed the biggest campaign ever to protect the NHS. We are now half a million strong. We’ve signed petitions, delivered them to our MPs’ doorsteps and put pressure on key politicians. Over the last few months over 50,000 of us have contacted members of the House of Lords. On top of that we’ve funded a crack legal team to get to the truth of what’s on the table and expose the full extent of the government’s plans.

It’s nearly a year and a half since we started the campaign. Soon we’ll need to be ready for another big push. There will be more than a few politicians hoping that we’re worn out by now, or that we’ve got bored and decided to do something else. Time and again, 38 Degrees members have proven those who’ve doubted our commitment wrong. We know how important our NHS is, and that’s why we’ll keep working together to protect it.

So, please watch out for an email in the next couple of weeks asking you to help decide what we do next. In the meantime, if you’ve got any thoughts or ideas you’d like to share with other 38 Degrees members do share them in the comments below.

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  • Lisa

    Throughout this process the Government have been assuring the public that the medical professionals are on board with their plans.  Given that the BMA, RCN and RCM have now all said that the legislation should be withdrawn I think we should try to publicise this from the rooftops.  I think there would be huge disquiet from the public if they realised that this has zero backing from medical frontline workers.

  • Peter Lawless

    Things are beginning to turn. KILL THE  BILL !

  • Anonymous

    ^this. At the moment the Government still has a legal requirement to provide an NHS. Any threat to this legal contract needs to be protested.

  • Anniacasagrande

    Let’s not give even more power to the feral companies who are circling round the NHS to bite off the best bits and make a profit to the detriment of all patients.


  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    Well done 38 degrees! There was no unified opposition to this godforsaken bill until you led the way.Let’s keep going – we’re winning!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Bishop/728891908 Mark Bishop

    fight hard fight very hard please…..i’m sickened to see all these new private health insurance ads on TV

  • Ken Kirk1

    According to Keep Our NHS Public the so-called LibDem concession on removing the S of S’s responsibility for the NHS is not convincing. Wording is open to interpretation. Other than this, LibDem peers are siding with the Conservative peers and the NHS Bill sailing through. The LibDems can’t be trusted.

  • Rmwmac67

    Don’t feel that the Lib/Dems will prevent this bill going through the way the govt wants
    They rattle their sabers till it comes to a vote     then their previous convictions somehow magically dissapear
    I’m very dossapointed that the changes to DLA went through the Lords by 6 votes
    DLA fraud is not really an issue as it’s only about 0.5%
    If i recall correctly govt has a set target to get so many disabled people of this benefit
    Regardless of weather they are actually disabled
    Find it all rather ruthless , uncaring ,
    Atos origin are behind these changes & ironically enough sponsor the Paralympics
         Ye couldn’t make it up …    it’s so compassionless

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks for sharing Ken – do you have a link to what Keep Our NHS Public said so other people can read it too?

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks Mark! They are worrying ads aren’t they – some members have been getting things through the post too.

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks Celia! It’s amazing what we can do when we all work together. 

    Though there are lots of groups campaigning hard as well as us – one of them (Keep Our NHS Public) is mentioned by Ken above. 

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks Peter! What does everyone else think? should we campaign to kill the bill?

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    That’s a really interesting point Lisa, thanks! What does everyone else think? Should we shout from the rooftops about medical professional opposition to the bill?

  • Jessicajil

    I know it would not be constitutional, but wouldn’t it be a good idea if only those MPs who don’t have private health care insurance are allowed to vote

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    That’s an interesting idea!!

  • Jessicajil

    This site is full of information 

  • Jimmardale

    I find it worrying that many elements of this Bill are being effected whilst the legislation is still going through Parliament.  Surely this can’t be lawful? What did the legal advice you got recently say about this?

  • Neil Mackey

    I think that it needs to be highlighted that the Government ministers are trying to dodge the opposition to the changes by the Royal College of Nurses and the Royal College of Midwives by suggesting that their concerns are simply around jobs and pensions issues rather than their very real concerns about patient care,service delivery and availability and the future of the very service itself – the public must not be hoodwinked by Ministers into thinking that this opposition is simply an extension of the Public Sector Pensions dispute – which is clearly what they are trying to do….. 

  • J C Walters

    there is a ‘drop the health bill’ petition on the HM Government e petitions site. currently 33K are signed up and if it reaches 100,00, then it has to be debated in parliament.  I’m not convinced this will really make a difference but the more publicity we can raise around the opposition to the bill the better…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ann.oxford Ann Oxford

    Please Please Please Kill the Bill, only people who have a vested interest in private health want this to go through, for all our sakes and future generations, we need to win on this one.

  • Margaret Ferriman

    yes best step available at present

  • Fiona Kirton

    Could we not ask under FOI for MP’s to declare who has Private Health cover I bet most in the cabinet do.

    I have been writing to the Lords personally that acted to throw out the Welfare Reform on disability and thanked them., also spelling out what those changes would have meant for my family had they gone through.. I think personal letters of thanks work well and encourage them to do more of the same. I think now would be a good time to write to those Lords/Ladies that have opposed the NHS reforms before the next round.

  • John Krish

    I’m so pleased to be a part of 38 Degrees and work with like minded people to protect the Nation’s most valuable asset – our NHS.


  • Robert Wilkinson1951

    In spite of no legislation,  changes to how local services are commissioned are already being implemented where PCTs are imploding as staff leave. GP consortia are taking over this role. Is this legal? 

  • Fioan Kirton

    Yes absolutely. 

  • John Ingham

    It would be useful in our campaigning work with the public if we could distill the main effects that they would feel if the bill were passed into, say, three main items. At present it is often difficult to communicate the enormity of the threat to people unclear about how it would affect them.

  • Malhotra_anisha

     many congratulations to 38 degrees in managing to get almost half a million signatures to save the NHS but the E petition by Kailash Chand OBE is the one that will force another parliamenentary debate and lead to health and social care bill being dropped. 100,000 signatures is what we need so please sign it and save the NHS from privatisation: It has already been backed by Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Oliver and Tom Watson. Don’t mess with our precious Nurses Lansley!http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22670

  • Anonymous

    Tell both houses directly what they can expect.Bigger and more passionate support for dropping it. 

  • Rosemary Whitbread

    I have just sent a letter to our local paper about fighting the BIl and suggested that everyone who is against it google your site and get ready to mail a Lord. If we did that in all local papers maybe we would reach people who are still unaware of the danger to the NHS. It helps to say something about your experience benefitting from the care you and your family have received. I also wrote about my daughters conversations in the US with people who have lost their homes due to medical bills. Also try and say someting about what is happening in your area with the CCGs-like the survey all the PCTs had to do in October last year about what three out of eight services were going to be chosen for ‘enhanced patient choice’(privatisation).You will find it if you look at your NHS website under Consultations. They were given ONE MONTH to consult the public, professonals, volunteer organisaitons and possible providers. You will find that they had very very low responses and on the basis of those, they are going to say it was public consultation! It just shows how local consultation is a sham-explose it in your local paper.
    Another thing is that they have agreed to 2 patient representatives on the Clinical Commissioning Boards- but they are choosing the people! Of couse they will want people who will not rock the boat-and there is nothing in place to make those 2 people accountable in any way to the patients they represent. The government will say that they have encouraged Patient Participation Groups-but most surgeries seem to be opting  for Virtual Groups- so stopping the patients ever meeting together to discuss issues but allowing them to say they are consulting patients-did we ever expect anything else? But who know about these things? How can they when there is never any publicity.
    I was pretty near to throwing in the towel and was heartened when the Nurses and Midwives made their (rather late) statement. Let’s not give up-its particualrly dfficult when you have a Tory MP so go straight to the Lords.
    Rosemary Whitbread

  • Gwenjwort

    Having done as much as I could with 38degrees so far, I am still very disgusted that I did not receive even an automated response from my lord, Baroness Wheatcroft, to acknowledge my emails. However, keep up the good work!

  • Pam Whittington

    Thank you for all your hard work and for giving us the chance to work together  to make our views heard. Best Wishes for the next move.

  • Katy_phoenix

    Please please please keep going, I work as a cancer specialist nurse and our cancer patients are already suffering because of the NHS cuts and changes that are being brought in by the back door.

  • Rosemary Whitbread

    Hi Sorry me again. Just to say, where I live ,regarding the eight possible services for going out first to private tender- Assura Minerva Health expressed interest in providing all of them! Check who wants to run your NHS!

  • Markthomas

    Use the professional distaste for this project to sink it.
    Avoid the Trades Unions or the Tories will use as a scapegoat.
    Stick with the doctor’s, nurses and midwives, the most respected and trusted
    of all who HATE this nonsense

  • David Murray

    Keep up the work opposing the NHS privatisation. Also oppose the coalition govt’s failed economic policiy on these grounds.

    All around
    Europe including the UK, Thatcher’s & Reagan’s discredited neoclassical
    extreme austerity economics policies are followed slavishly in spite of the
    facts that: a) they don’t work b) they hit ordinary people not the bankers
    that caused the crisis, c) they don’t address the cause: corrupt banking and d) they ignore the contrary advice of those
    economists who have some credibility because they, unlike the neoclassical
    economists, forecast the crisis. (see: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/15892/1/MPRA_paper_15892.pdf).

    Please therefore campaign to demand that the government takes on board the views of those economists
    like Steve Keen and Ann Pettifor, who forecast the crisis, as to what should be
    done now in the UK and elsewhere to get out of it.


  • Jack

    This is a major boost for opposition to Lansley’s bill and it should be highlighted by all means possible. We should also name and shame those LibDem peers who have ditched their principles and attempted to sell us out to Lansley’s nasty plans.

  • John

    The real issue in the NHS is the huge amount of waste through incompetent non-clinical managers (CEOs, Supplies Directors, Information Management and alike) poor IT decisions alone can waste tens of £millions buying and trying to implement mostly American Electronic Patient Record Systems that rarely if ever work. We have to tackle Langley first but then we should aim at exposing the waste !

  • Marie Nokes

    Before getting on to my comment on the NHS campaign, might I ask if anyone else finds the very pale grey-blue 38 Degrees font difficult to read? I’ve tried making several adjustments to my screen, but with little success. Any hope of a darker font? Perhaps it’s just because I am an Owd Laydee …

    I am very pleased to be part of the campaign. My special party trick is to keep up local written pressure on Andrew Lansley, my constituency MP, for my sins. He must be wishing me at the bottom of the sea by now, although I’m always courteous in communications. From my bedroom window I can see the red tower lights of Addenbrooke’s Hospital every night across the fields, so I have a useful memory-jogger.

    I’d just like to congratulate and thank the Team. Onwards and – well – onwards.

  • Lindsay

    I think we should rapidly lobby our GPs and hospital docs to push the BMA to oppose the bill as the nurses have done. The BMA is arguing for pension rights !! making it possible for Lansley to argue that the nurses opposition is trades unionism rather than an issue of principle.
    For once the GPs should think of their patients rather than their pensions !! (I am a retired GP)

  • David

    I too would like to hear a legal opinion on this matter. It seems as though the Coalition are trying to make sure that the changes are so far advanced that they have to be passed. The HoC and HoL should not be put under this pressure, especially considering the widespread opposition to and lack of mandate for this terrible piece of legislation. If this is illegal then we should chip in to challenge the government in the courts.

  • Janet Martin

    Just heard that Macmillan Cancer charity have joined with local hospital to provide services. Not sure whether this is good news or privatisation by the back door. Can anyone enlighten me?

  • Colleendarby

    The 38 degrees team is doing a great job for the NHS keep up the good work! Thanks.

  • Roger Clay

    You represent the only avenue for democracy on the NHS issue, at present.
    Our local Lib Dem MP keeps saying ‘trust’ the government – as far as we are
    concerned this coalition is the worst form of government we have had in the
    last 60 years – they are not to be trusted and Lansley is an incredibly slippery
    fish ! We applaud what 38 degrees is doing on our behalf – keep it up !

    Roger & Barbara

  • Huw

    Two things strike me:

    For some unfathomable reason, most of the media seem to think this is all a non-story. The recent RCGP poll, for example, suggesting that the vast majority of family doctors want this Bill to be withdrawn – did anyone report that? Do all the editors have shares in private health companies? Something very odd is going on here.

    The protests of the professionals are too polite, too restrained – and this government couldn’t give a toss. Lansley and co are ruthless. I’m sure they would say that the half million signatures on our petition represent only a very small percentage of the great British public, and not even all the people who work for the NHS. The Labour Party, for some reason, is encouraging people to sign not the 38 Degrees petition but an e-petition which has struggled so far to get 32,000 names. (Mind you, why don’t you get all your half-million signatories to sign that one as well, to trigger another Commons debate?)

    Time is running out. I think 38 Degrees should urge NHS employees a) to sign our petition if they haven’t, and get all their friends and relations to. It needs to have a million, two million signatures! b) not just to make noises but to do something – at least go on a march down Whitehall. I think you should challenge Labour about what the hell they think they are doing. (I noticed yesterday that Andy Burnham has adopted the Government’s word “reorganisation” instead of “reform” – is that an attempt to downplay the scale of things?) Somehow we have to pump up the opposition to a level that the media simply can’t ignore any more.

    My impression is that almost everyone except Lansley and his friends seems to think that this can’t really be happening, or it can’t be as bad as it sounds. My friends, this is like Beeching’s “reform” of the railways: once our national health service is gone, it’s gone – it’s doubtful that we would ever be able to get it back. We’re looking at the imminent prospect of irreversible change for the very much worse. We need to take the gloves off!

  • Pcmelville

    38 Degrees is great but it can’t claim the entire credit for organising opposition.  Can we co-ordinate with other agencies so that the entire protest movement is united?

    And what about a big demonstration?

  • Gingerchris90

    Thanks sooo much for all your hard work.

    I still think there’s a lot of people who don’t fully comprehend what we’re on the brink of. One reason, I’ve been circulating this link on social networking sites, please share…

    No government is ever going to come in and say ‘We want to privatise the NHS’. That would be suicide. But they’ve manage to coat this in enough spin and fear to sneak it past some of the less politically aware. So we can expect privatisation by the back door.

    You can now buy 2nd hand copies of the ‘Sicko’ film by award winning director Michael Moore on the internet. Why not distribute this dvd to surgeries, patients and politicians around the country along with leaflets and information explaining what we’re in for. The Americans spend twice as much as a percentage of GDP on health as we do, yet 40 million Americans aren’t covered, millions more are underinsured and health bills are the number one cause of homelessness and bankruptcy.

  • j0hn0000

    38 degrees please encorage people to use the Government e petition website to protect the nhs and drop the health bill

    a massive protest on the governments own website would help stop them from pretending that 38 degrees represent a marginal viewpoint

  • Gini

    I havent given up or got tired of this campaign.  Its imperative that we stay focused and determined, and continue to work together. 
    I was angry to hear that Lansley’s response to yesterdays speaking out from midwives and nurses was that they were concerned over pay and pensions.  This government fail to recognise that this is not about money – its about people and principles.  They judge everyone elses motivations by their own.  The fact of the matter is that our government should be about people and principles, and instead they are totally focused on money and taking from people and valuable services in order to spend unwisely.  Its our money, our people, our services, and the government needs to work for us, not against us. 

  • Newworld

    What is it with Ed Milliband and where does he stand he is calling for further cuts to public sector wages? Look I for one will not accept this not when Ministers and GPs are on slaries of £100,000 plus come on now….you get good doctors and bad doctors just like you get good cleaners and bad cleaners but should they all get the same?
    with public sector workers getting further punished and seeing their incomes dwindle and facing real hardship to expect us to take more is not fair.

    If that goes through you would have all those on massive salaries living the high life and carrying on with their exuberent lifestyles while the rest of us can barley afford to feed our families, struggling to pay the gas and electric, robbing “peter to pay paul” no this is not right and not fair its about time we all said NO!  

  • Jds

    Article in Guardian today ( Jan. 20 ) by Ann Robinson (GP) talks about active GP Commissioning Groups. If the Bill has not been passed how come Commissioning Groups are in operation?

  • John Young

    What I think is crucial is to ratchet up the pressure to get the secret report on the risks to the NHS in the public domain. It is obviously not in accordance with the proposals, otherwise why would they keep it secret in defiance of the Information Commissioner?

  • Nnchum

    I do not think it’s about credit (I think we both agree that 38 degrees absolutely deserves it’s share) but it’s a very good point of joining with other protest organisations.

  • S Hornby

    I currently work within the NHS as a Mental Health Practitioner – I know we provide a valuable service which is effective and meaningful to our patients who come from all walks of life, from a wide spectrum of ages etc. The work we do is of benefit to the whole of society. The commitment of myself and other members of my team is not about financial gain, or else they would be doing something else (the majority are graduates etc.) but for something else, something which might be valued in a rather different way. 
    Whilst such support can be found in the private sector, it comes at a price, and although commissioning might possibly work – having made cost effective treatment available, why change what works for something that might cost more on many different levels?
    I support the NHS and the way that I experience how my part of the service works, there is always room for improvement, sure, but the current situation it would seem to be cost efficient and fair – not built upon a notion of restricted profit and gain for some whilst exploiting others. This could be argued about till the cows come home but that’s how I see it.
    We live, it would seem, subject to a Government, whatever it’s persuasion or promise, based on the principle of an ‘elected aristocracy’ and ‘pseudo-corporate obedience’ – a very debased form of democracy. It’s one thing to try to govern, it’s another to rule, it’s clearly wrong to implement change for the sake of it – and why?   

  • Ray Riley

    Support the doctors and nurses and call for it to be scrapped. Then tell Lansley to resign and Cameron to leave the NHS alone

  • judithbrownbristol

    My epetition “Tell us what’s in the secret Risk Register of the Health and Social Care Bill” is at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/27426  …please click on to read, sign, and pass to others… the public needs to know that the Government is keeping the register secret  even though the Information Tribunal said it has to be released.The Government has appealed against this hoping to get the Bill through before all the risks have to be disclosed.Andrew Lansley said in a letter he was afraid that the risks could be misrepresented if placed in the public domain. Yeah right. It is totally undemocratic not to mention stupid to be considering such a major piece of legislation without  all the facts being known , since the Government must know this it can only be that the Risk Register contains information which the Government thinks would be damaging to the Bill’s passage.

  • Eve Dale

    I have never had a reply to my appeals  to think deeply about this Bill before they vote from any Lord or Baroness. I do however, contribute towards their daily allowance.However I thank 38 Degrees for giving me the chance to be counted. I would like to see thousands of us who are concerned about the impact of this Bill on the future health of this country march on Westminster (peacefully) to make our feelings felt. The sit in outside St Pauls has generated much publicity – the government are even muting removing Fred’s going and insisting Steve’s bonus is reduced (await with bated breath). I still believe in people power.

  • Minxter

    This is just confirmation that the NHS has been deliberately rubbished by press and government for years up to this..


    This speaks volumes.. also the group are called MEE – so apt.

    Transparent interests of MP’s need to be exposed.

  • David Marsh

    Thank you for the update – I’ll be ready like a good Zombie (joke!).
    I saw a zombie the other day in the shape of a minister commenting on HS2 in a discussion with a Woodland Trust representative.  He was saying that any Ancient Woodlands destroyed would be replaced.  Both scientists and creationists would agree that this is impossible as one cannot go back in time.  In other words not even Big G could replace an ancient woodland.  But a Tory minister, may it please you, could.  Especially as they are now claiming to be green.

  • Andrewpbryan

    The breast implant fiasco has been a prime example of what happens when things go wrong in the private sector.  The NHS has to bail it out. In the meantime the poor women have to battle with their providers saying that it costs money to put it right. Its just like patients being admitted to private hospitals and when things go wrong the ambulance takes them to the nearest NHS facility.  We must not let the private sector “cherry pick” our service as continuity and coordination are key to a patient’s treatment. Managing a private service is not comparable to the public sector where emergencies and chronic conditions add to the complexity. If only we could keep politicians out of meddling with the service.

  • Bobcushion

    I think where the government is vulnerable is waiting times.
    This is a subject that really resonates with the public, who mostly don’t get arguments about restructuring, privatisation, etc. Accordingly I think our chief line of attack should be that the reforms are already causing a big increase in waiting times and that the government’s duty is to sort this out, rather than compounding the situation with still more upheavals

  • Brianburns07

    We have to continue going all out to protect our NHS.  We are ready for that important e-mail, in the next couple of weeks.  We are obviously at a critical stage.

  • meinuk

    Thanks 38 Degrees, keep up the good work!!!

  • Looperville2000

    Isn’t anyone at 38D exercised at all about how IDS is being given a free-ride with his ‘Abolish Benefits Crusade’…??? He’s managed to get an “anti-benefits fraudsters” daytime TV series up-and running on BBC 1…! – right now…!! – without any comparable anti tax-dodging media focus whatsoever even mooted…!!!    

  • Efskeff

    38 Degrees members might like to sign this e-petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/27426/ The Risk Register is the assessment of risks involved in implementing the changes proposed by the Health and Social Service Bill, and the Government is trying to keep it secret.

  • Pauline Leason

    I’m disappointed that you’re asking us to ‘contact your Lord’ again!  I wrote to mine three times and didn’t even receive an acknowlegment or reply.  I feel as though I’m wasting my time.

  • Dammit4321

    Spoke to our MP Thurso who said that if it was not for the coalition what would the Tories have done,suggested they would not be in power if the Libdamms did not support them.

  • Neil

    Thanks 38 Degrees – keep up the brilliant work

    I am concerned that my tory MP (Geoffrey Cox QC MP Member of Parliament forTorridge & West Devon) is refusing to reply to my emails. “I hope that you will forgive me if I am unable in future to respond to further standard campaign communications from 38 Degrees. Having met groups supporting the campaign on numerous occasions for discussions and replied to many such communications, I am well aware of the concerns of the campaign, which you among others have raised, and shall bear them in mind as the legislation is debated in parliament and as it is implemented.” Oh yea!! Any suggestions as to how I can address this tactic? are other MP’s taking the same approach?

  • rhys

    Medical professions’ opposition to the bill should be emphasized. Cameron and Lansley have repeatedly claimed to have the support of the medical professions despite huge evidence otherwise. I think that Cameron and Lansley recognise medical professions’ opposition to their plans as a serious problem.

  • Geoff

    Whilst there are numerous battles that ideally need to be fought against this Government’s many attacks on our quality of life and the well being of society in general, I believe that this battle to Save the NHS is the one that 38 Degrees and its supporters must throw ALL our efforts and resources into NOW, to the exclusion of all other battles in this ‘war’ to preserve what is best in our society…
    - Firstly because Saving the NHS as we know it will bring the single biggest overall benefit to our future society’s well being
    - Secondly because if we win this crucial battle, it is very likely that we can go on to break through the Government’s defences on many other lesser battlefronts, winning many more battles and perhaps even ultimately this ‘war’.

  • Sue Grieve

    re Opposition: don’t forget the doctors! The BMA is very worried, and the colleg of public health docotrs have siad they think the proposed changes are “very dangerous” and will lead to “fragmentation of health care and extra expense”.
    Two doctors ran all the way from Cardiff to London to Richmond House. They wanted to express their worries about the proposed changes.
    Sue Grieve (Dr)

  • Elisabeth Bond

    All the NHS stuff is great, I’m delighted to be part of it.

    A completely new topic however – things seem to be hotting up generally re Iran. Yes, it’s a problematic country with a largely intelligent and educated population. I may be wrong but I think Ahmedinijad was elected more or less democratically.

    I think the west should lay off. Ok, they’re developing nuclear power, possibly a bomb – we’ve got nuclear bombs! People like Ahmedinijad thrive on controversy, it holds up a weak leadership. 

    This isn’t urgent given all the problems here at home, but it could be in the future. I think it would be good if we were ready to respond as and when.

  • Anonymous

    How about producing a leaflet we can print off, which those of us who have doctors’ appointments or hospital Clinic visits to attend, can present to the highest ranking person we find.
    “We, you patients (or ‘I, you patient’) very much appreciate the great and very necessary service and care you provide for us. And we strongly oppose the many cuts and changes the Government are trying to force upon the –  OUR – NHS!”

  • Geoffnaylor

    This Bill is very dangerous to the interests of all but the rich and powerful.  We should campaign to scrap it now.

  • Lkb

    This report is partly helpful. Only partly because I have contacted a member of the Lords each time you say there is a vote coming up but I never hear the result of the vote. It would help if you reported the numbers each time according to their numbers or even if you let us know how each Lord voted. Then we could see if our emails had any effect or fell on deaf ears or maybe a personal letter based on how they have voted.

  • Rachel Eden

    I think we should simply campaign for it to be dropped.  There’s a petition on the parliamentary website taht has got 33,000 signatures but it needs 100,000 to get a debate.  That ought to be doable if 38degrees put it’s weight behind it.  If you want to sign it’s here:  

  • Gingerchris90

    If we can afford £32 Billion to cut the train time from London to Birmingham by 14 minutes. Then we can definitely afford to save the NHS from Tory led privatisation.

  • Roger Anstey

    I believe our NHS is first class. Where it falls down in, some locations, is not about money it’s about poor management – why are some hospitals exemplary and some downright slovenly with access to the same per capita funding?. All I want from my NHS is a GP who is competent and motivated to listen to me, diagnose and treat. If they need to refer me to a specialist – that a specialist is available within a reasonable time frame who is accredited by qualification and experience and who has equipment available to diagnose and treat me. I want nurses who are competent and care. In general terms sufficient money is available for mainstream treatments – there will always be rationing for novel treatments and medicines until they become mainstream. The issue is about ‘management’ to ensure the above supply components are effective. I don’t believe GPs are necessarily good managers – I also don’t think they have the time available. I know the King’s Fund is doing its best to train NHS staff in good management – that’s where any extra money should be spent. I support 38 degrees because I want to stop politicians from tinkering with what is already a ‘world-excellence’ service with some challenges at the margins. We don’t need competition, we need quality management!

  • Kgandmp

    Why is NHS change necessary?? Because at present the only people who are making money out of the NHS are the millions of working class people who are employed by the NHS.. That just will not do.. The Tory plans for the NHS will ensure it is used as a cash cow to be harvested by their filthy rich friends by screwing huge profits out of the NHS for their shareholders, bankers and off shore accounts.. Who will they be screwing over?? ALL OF US…   This NHS Bill is nothing more than creeping privatisation and it is time we took to the streets in mass demonstrations to halt the process of selling off the NHS which has already started..


    We need to stop Lansley raising the cap on what NHS Hospitals can earn from takling private csesIt was small and he is trying to raise it to 49%, tantamount to privatising the NHS

  • Martin

    Sign up to the BMA petition, it had only 38000 signatures yesterday!

  • T S Collett

    There is an e-petition to scrap the NHS bill. Would be good to encourage members to sign it.

    from a Guardian comment ‘E
    petition by Kailash Chand OBE is the one that will force another
    parliamenentary debate and lead to health and social care bill being
    dropped. 100,000 signatures is what we need so please sign it and save
    the NHS from privatisation: It has already been backed by Rio Ferdinand,
    Jamie Oliver and Tom Watson. Don’t mess with our precious Nurses

  • HKerr

    Possible action planned in Oxford. If interested please comment.

  • Peter

    As I understand it, the Govt has conducted a risk assessment and proposes to publish it  AFTER the legislation is in place. This information should be public now so that we can be assured that the assessment has addressed what we can consider the most significant risks and we can see how the Govt’s proposals address these risks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=620287541 Kevin Leonard

    This bill is nothing less than a Tory blue print for privatising the NHS for the benefit of the Insurance companies and the Tory supporting Yankee health service providers KILL THE BILL before people start dying form the changes.

  • Paul

    I agree we should campaign for total withdrawal in line with the medical, nursing and midwifery professional associations and the unions.
    38 degrees could usefully highlight the connections between transnational companies  and the decisions being made by politicians. For example, the role of non-exec directors with backgrounds in McKinsey and the World Bank on Monitor, the giving of the Department of Health PR contract to Matthew Freud’s company, the Directorships in health companies held by past Secretaries of State, such as Alan Milburn and Patricia Hewitt outlined in the book, The Plot Against the NHS, the placing of fast food and drinks companies in charge of public health guidance. There is mutual backscratching on a large scale here as TNCs seek to get their hands on the NHS budget. But it has not really been exposed in the press. We need a campaign like the one on MPs expenses which exposes these connections. The connections have been made but they have had little wider publicity.

  • Alan

    Take a long hard look at the organization called COMMON PURPOSE. Then look again to see who is at the back of all of these changes to the NHS.

  • Vonandreassen

    tuesday visiting my Doctor for a prescrip I mentioned my flaky pulse , 150 +  immediately sent off to A&E – wired to monitors etc etc etc, then overnight on a ward – sent home with medication.
    NHS staff are brilliant – AND – the system works !!!! 
    Tell the tories to get their paws of the NHS – stop meddling !

  • Christine

    We cannot afford an NHS which pays out billions in compensation. NHS funds need to go on the essentials: treating ill people and caring for them properly so they recover quickly, or die with dignity.

  • Maz Shrubb

    Congratulations to 38 Degrees for running such a good Campaign for the NHS.  Alongside this I would like to see a further campaign to the World Health Organisation who I understand are trying to restrict the vitamins and minerals we can purchase freely and also limiting the doseage.  People should be free to make that decision for themselves.

  • Daphne McDonald

    The Govt says that the NHS is costing too much.  Is this only due to poor management?
    There has to be some way of getting the funding needed without having to “bail out ” the shortfalls. As well as protesting I think we should have some ideas, not just be negative.

  • Martin

    I work for the healthcare sector frequently, and what worries me is that however much people jump up and down, like the RCN, the fact is the Bill will get passed. So much of the structure has already been changed – I know this is the case in London, with PCTs and the SHA already dead in the water, being replaced by cluster commissioning groups, clinical commissioning Groups run by GPs etc etc. And the great weapon that Lansley has is that the public are too distracted by threats to jobs etc to take notice. it is also quite dry and boring to talk about NHS structures!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/X3LB5MFVHINQBSEZJSLRSE27NI john christopher

    My main concern with the proposals are the concept of the competition with private participation in the National Health Service and competing with it will lower the standard of care at the cost of efficiency and to increase profits.

  • Wendywelford

    I do feel that an orderly out door protest meeting or march ,all taking place on the same day,all over the country would have an impact,and people such as me ,who are elderly could take part ,I live in a small market town with a small square ,and would willingly show up to back  up the 38 degrees campaign.

  • Tim Ottevanger

    I’m very concerned that Lansley has appealed against the Information Commissioner’s ruling that he should publish the risk assessment of the NHS changes, thus delaying the possibility of it being revealed before discussion of the Bill has finished.  He is playing for time and shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.  Legislators should be fully aware of the risks which Lansley is trying to conceal.

  • Ken Smith

    I think we should consider marching in the streets. It was this measure that defeated the poll tax and was more effective than any debates in parliament or the Lords.

  • James Hynes

    When visiting your doctor mention your grave concerns about the bill as no doubt the doctor will agree with you and also take action.

  • Neil Galbraith

    TThe  Clinical Psychologisst have been told by Alder Hay Hospital Trust, a newly formed trust,  that they and other related staff,  will be made redundant – this is before the bill is passed – it is a re-org
    breathtaking proportions and will leave Liverpool without properly trained staff to deal with a myriad of problems, which because of other aspects of this coalition’s policies are going to get worse. 

    Not only are the changes leading to privatisation – their goal, but are going to  cost huge sums of money to implement. Once privatised we will start paying private companies significant sums of money, as we do in the railways, for their ‘services’, and we will lose about half of our hospital beds to private patients, many from abroad, and so waiting lists and services will go awry. There is only one way the NHS is to be saved in anything like it’s present form – Scrap the Bill – amending it will send a message to the government that behind the scenes they’ll be able to implement large and dangerous chunks of it.  Cameron promised – no top-down reorganisation. He lied. Neil Galbrailth

  • Brian Hobbs

    The bill in it’s entirety is very wrong and I am extremely worried that many aspects are already being adopted – particularly Commissioning! It is perceived by many that the bill is going through by stealth!! Please everyone keep backing 38degrees!!!

  • Chris

    I agree with Paul

    “We need a campaign like the one on MPs expenses which exposes these connections. The connections have been made but they have had little wider publicity.”

    “Saving” the NHS is a somewhat amorphous notion for many people while, the exposing of corruption among our political class is a far more familiar concept. There is a narrative in the serial revelation of private interest and interconnectedness which the public and the media seem hard wired to embrace (the fact that the media seem not to have the stomach for a determined campaign on this issue is worrying). The thing is, I’m not sure if 38 Degrees is actually suited to this approach. I’d be interested to hear what Johnny and the team think.  

  • Jill Gregory

    Private patients have always been accepted in hospitals, over twenty years ago I worked in a small hospital which allocated 2 private beds per week.  The problem I had with this was the Consultant used NHS time and staff in theatre, and NHS staff to look after his patients.  The only person who got any payment apart from the Consultant was the Anaestist and of course the theatre slot was unavailble to NHS patients.

  • Joy

    I think it is vital to push the NHS issue back onto the public’s radar as its been eclipsed over the last few weeks/months. Should we aim to flood the streets/ advertising billboards with posters/leaflets giving the true picture of what the government is up to? Meetings outside hospitals or doctor’s surgeries to further inform the public, done on a countrywide scale might also be helpful. Supporting the BMA and RCN over calls for the bill to be thrown out might be the best way forward at this stage, given how little time there is left. People respond to clear messages. I would be willing to help co-ordinate such a protest in my locality.

  • Jonny Currie

    We ought to campaign to release the risk register ASAP.  It’s release could secure huge concessions from the government who are concerned about it being available in the public domain.

  • Jim Watson

    The government’s aim is to privatise the NHS (or what remains of it); so every clause in the Act which inserts the private should be resisted. The private is about profit first, patients second, NHS staff third. Business wants the American model.  The simplest and best policy is to reject the Act in its totality.

  • Lucy N

    Firstly ; Interesting reading everyone’s comments but am wondering if 38 degrees have a way of dividing up comments by a Thread like some other sites? So that there’s some shape to all this stuff.

    Secondly: does any one know the mechanisms Lansley and his cronies are using to keep announcing/proposing new horrors which have been below the horizon as the bill is being scrutinized?

    For instance the latest challenge to the role/position/importance of the new regulatory body Monitor : the so-called Credit Rating of NHS hospitals (not private hospitals???).  Where did this one come from?

  • John Peter Walsh FIBMS

    Lansley will bit by bit deliver functions to rapacious private sector entrepreneurs anxious to exploit NHS Funding for what they see as lucrative fragments. Notice that they do not elect
     A & E.They will ,like insurance companies, select and discriminate and determine the functions which they consider actually profitable.Should they be mistaken they will withdraw -or go bankrupt- leaving their weakened private component(s) derelict for the “NHS residuum” to reinstate at public expense after the model situations so recently exhibited by The Bankers.The Conservative Party – a pallid reflection of the US Republican Party – believe in “private enterprise”.Lansley’s objective is clear. Individual Health Insurance as in the USA .Uninsured ? GO WITHOUT ! Hospitals owned and dominated by Insurance Companies dictating to the Clinical Professions whilst quietly “going broke” or “laying -off”, or like some “Bookies” – “Legging it over the downs ! “By dreaded 2020 we are to accept that the NHS will require “Trillions” to maintain its services. If the Government of The Time cannot maintain the NHS  are we to suppose That the Private Health Insurance Market would maintain more than a skeleton service…and like a Bank ..”Go Bust”? Laser correction of refraction errors will boom,because people will have to be able to read and clearly understand the traditional  ”small-print exclusions and exceptions” in each and every insurance policy. Brave New World that hath such Lansleys in it ! ! !J.P.Walsh FIBMS

  • Sam

    Please read this. It’s long but it’s an excellent article http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n18/james-meek/its-already-happened

  • Ednamciow

    As  well as supporting the NHS itself, we need to support complementary therapies which assist and/or support the service, taking off some of the pressure.  People like physiotherapists with remedial massage, chiropractic, and so on.  I understand there are already proposals to reduce support and the number of training places.

  • John moss-jones

    Lansley’s intended changes to the NHS are truly MASSIVE.  Indeed it
    would certainly rank as one of the largest organisational changes ever
    attempted anywhere, given that the NHS has 1.3 million staff, [most commercial
    companies have less than 100, 000 staff] if it proceeds as intended.


    The manageral, leadership,
    culture-change issues are huge, ultra-complex, and would continue for a decade.


    To achieve this even with management
    and staff on side would be difficult. 
    But Lansley now faces opposition from doctors, nurses, midwives and no
    doubt in other sectors of the service.


    Cameron no doubt roues the day he gave
    go-ahead to the Lansley reforms.  And Cameron’s stumble rate has been high
    in recent months.


    Could we leverage the political
    problems ahead for the Tories?


    2.  Could we link-up with the Equality Trust and /or Avaa.org on
    NHS bill opposition?


    3.  The bill specifies that a hospital trust can have up to 49%
    of its work in private sector.  How
    widespread is public understanding of that?


    John Moss-Jones

  • Chas Reavill

    I agree with Jonny Currie. The Information Commisioner has ordered them to release the risk assessment and they have declined. The bill will be passed before this sees the light of day so they must be hiding some horrors. Are these people answerable to the tax paying electorate or not? I wrote to my MP about this and just got a stupid answer.

  • Lucy N

    Yes, most of us are astounded by the ease with which the largely supine
    House of Commons let this unmandated ravaging of the our health service begin even as  the House of Lords blows hot and cold about challenging the legislation. It’s driving me nuts with indignation that the government PR machine is able to underplay, ignore, yawn, and tut-tut at any criticism or objection. And yes, the general public simply cannot believe that any politician listens to them anymore, so why bother making a fuss.

    However, we can’t just throw in the towel even at this stage (or later) – yes, changes are happening but we must do our best to shove them into some kind of shaping that keeps the Health Service going until new legislation (don’t groan everyone) can be introduced to remove and challenge this wholesale privatisation.

  • Maeve

    Dear Johnny et al.

    I agree with the nurses: the Bill should be scrapped altogether. Keep Our National Health Service Public (KONP: national body) and Camden KONP (local body) agree strongly with the nurses and others who think the same.

    Anyone living in North London might like to know that on Saturday 26 January Camden KONP will have a stall at South End Green, Hampstead, NW3, from 12 noon to 1 p.m., when letters for GPs and postcards addressed to David Cameron can be collected.

    Keep up your good work.

    Best wishes

  • Belladarcy

    Andrew Lansley was so dismissive and arrogant about the nurses on the Today programme yesterday – how dare he say the words ‘Trade Union’ as if it was an insurgent group/ But then, he is a Tory. We HAVE to stop this bill , Fo those of us who depend upon the NHS  for our livies , for those who are unable to articulate their dependence and for future patients

  • http://bigsocietynhs.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/petition-to-reveal-risk-register-cover-up/ Petition to reveal Risk Register cover up! | Big Society NHS

    [...] have a long way to go with this, but keep pushing it and maybe 38 Degrees will finally cotton on to this and throw more of their weight behind it. Come on 38 Degrees!! [...]

  • Benedita Whitehouse

    Thursday (26th Jan), from 7pm Lambeth KNOP group  we are having a ‘hand-written’ .communal letter writing session to the House of Lords asking them to oppose the Health Bill.
    Then on Sat 4th and Sat 11th Feb from 11am, outside St Thomas Hospital, we will be leafletting, petitioning and getting postcards signed, opposing the Health Bill, meeting at the Westminster Bridge entrance – on the bridge itself.

    Benedita Whitehouse

  • Anthony Griffiths

    What most people in the UK really want is the once promised but never kept, of having a referendum on continuing membership of the European Union..
    I for one want OUT!   How about this as a new cause?

  • Sheila

    I have recently served as a volunteer on a small com. compiling 2 reports on “Appropriate discharge from hospital” 1st. to Care Homes; 2nd. just completed to Own Home. Although  the job is complete I have said that because of the chaotic state of the NHS we must revisit the concerns again with the health proffessionals who have linked with us on the project to make sure our work & theirs is not sidelined.

  • Rita Lee

    I think the NHS Bill needs to be scrapped altogether and we have to be at one with all those who oppose it especially the Doctors, Nurses and Midwives.  Let’s really go for it!

  • Chris 1520

    What about a full page ad in papers listing how the health service is already falling apart.
    Top of the list – longer waiting times for elective surgery published yesterday. Second – the deterioration in mental health care.

  • Christinea Brown

    The NHS belongs to the people who have paid into it all their working lives. This was taken out of wages by the state to provide a health system where all people, disabled or whatever state, could receive treatment when their lives were threatened with disease or accident. This moral decision made years ago works. When things work and can be seen as working they should not be tampered with or threatened. It is this tampering that has brought the NHS into the state the government has now put the NHS into. By doing their best to privatize the system they have allowed people at the top to cream off salaries far bigger than they should be receiving, it’s this that is crippling the NHS, just like the banking system. We all live in the same world, salaries should reflect this and nobody is worth more than others, this is greed! The NHS MUst stay and preferably without all these so called Chairs and Boards who seem to be taking payment from the real deserving workers like the nurses and doctors.

  • Jeknight

    Surely the PIP scandal shows how right we are to be concerned. 

  • Jill Gregory

    Sorry, me again.  The NHS has been used as a political football for years by all party’s but never before has any party suggested practically dismantling it.  It can be run more efficiently and it does have too many managers but 99% of the time you get excellent care and treatment and I for one would not be living now if wasn’t for my local hospital staff, so I think it’s time for us all to start making a real fuss any way we can, not just signing petitions.

  • carol
  • Fnf098

    Lansley’s comment that the RCN 
    has stopped being a professional body and become a trade union determined to oppose reforms type of snide comment we can expect from our politicians. If he wants snide comments how about his comments and actions are what we expect from a here today gone tomorrow politician.

  • Ian

    This government wants to implement an American style of health care.  Perhaps they should take a closer look at the implications of trying to run an NHS service alongside a private health service. 
    With the emphasis on the amount of money that can be generated from the treatment of a patient it would be interesting to see what happens in the following scenario.
    Two patients, one private the other NHS waiting for a transplant in the same hospital under the care of the same doctor.  Who gets the first available transplant??

    I have seen and experienced the way private health care operates in the US where the most important piece of equipment in the ward is a bar code reader, this is used for even the simplest of treatments ie, mouth wash, face wipe, temperature check  etc, etc.
    If the governments eventually privatise the health service are they going to adopt other US ideas such as paying for blood donations or  even going as far as paying for organ donations?

  • Jude Klaus

    I think it could make a difference if all of us, in the next week or so, emailed or wrote to our MP’s just to remind them of the salient points – public opposition, not in the manifesto, opposition of professionals and the moral objection to fragmentation, privatisation and basoically giving tax payers money to private companies (or is that cronies?). In fact if all of us did it plus one friend each it would be noticed

  • Lmjhoney

    Free up the NHS to make a profit out of its research and developments.
    It could design and manufacture everything and sell the skills and products abroad.
    Thus supporting the British and also researching for cures not profits.

  • Harriet

    Has everyone signed the NHS petition? The address is: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22670Harriet

  • D Royston

    Above all else we must retain the NHS. THe USA have now brought into effect plans to ensure the health of everybody so getting rid of the NHS would be stupid. However I firmly believe
    the NHS needs a complete shake up so much money is wasted in administration, too many
    chiefs and not enough indians, plus the need to educate Joe public that if they abuse themselves the NHS is not there to pick up the bill. Too much money wasted on such people
    whilst those whose need is real have to wait longer or the NHS cannot afford the appropriate drugs etc etc
    Derek Royston

  • Anthoullah

    We must save the NHS in its current format. In order to reduce what appear to be escalating  and unaffordable costs we MUST stop treatment for foreign nationals unless we do what is done in other jurisdictions. Revolutionary I know-  but how about they pay up front BEFORE the NHS carry out any treatment? This would save us millions currently owed by foreign nationals and/or reduce the burden and waiting lists.  Why on earth should UK taxpayers be penalised for financial mismanagement when it woud be so easy to prevent treatment without payment up front. Also ban all treatment to health tourists by checking their documentation.
    Also ban agency workers from working in NHS hospitals- the agencies cost us a bomb. Use the savings to recruit new/additional staff and pay them proper wages, particularly the nurses and midwives who feel so undervalued and unappreciated that they resort to agency work to boost their income and have fleeting loyalty to the NHS or any particular hospitals. This lack of loyalty shows up in poor patient care as experienced by myself and many others that I know.

  • Georgesankey2002

    The NHS is being ruined by PFI,s. Example- Chepstow Comm Hospital was built by PFI it cost(so they say) £10M to build the land around the hospital;owned by Mon Health Authority – was sold for £6m and was given to the PFI to defray costs,and the authoritys agreed to repay £1.2M for 25 years. Outrageous!!!The PFI have also got the contract to run the hospital for 25 years at a cost to the NHS of £1.8M yearly. This is for repairs incurred and also the portering. ,all other costs to be borne by NHS. in my opinion this is a big scandal

  • Anne

    To all bewildered NHS campaigners you are not alone. Please listen to INSIDE HEALTH Radio 4 Wed 18th when Prof Martin McKee (international Public Health expert) or read his article in the BMJ – search it online. He must be an excellent person to have on our side.

  • Peter Puffin

    It is time to stop campaigning on amending this bad bill. It is not only nurses and midwives but very professional body in the NHS that opposes this Bill including the BMA which represents Dr’s; as do all the trade unions such as mine. In my learning disability charity the talk is now of pay cuts.

    be clear; you are pandering to the self importance of Liberals such as Shirley Williams. This is a bad bill and should be opposed not amended.

  • Lizlyonartist

    more than willing to add my crumb of support. Very grateful you exist.

  • Anne Marie Wilson

    At the moment, my MP seems to think that 38 Degrees is just a political organisation - I guess, he thinks it has been set up to oppose the Government.  It would be good to change this perception.  Are the leaders of 38 Degrees of any particular persuasion?  If they range across the political spectrum, it would be good to make this clear.  At the moment, David Cameron seems to be getting some good ideas about how businesses need to become more ethical and moral - they should of course make money, but never to the detriment of the public.  It might be a good idea to point out to him that until we can be sure that those in the health business fully comply with this ideal, they should not be allowed to become involved with the NHS.

  • Hyacynths

    Going along with the nurses & midwives, —  The governments plan should be scrapped altogether! 
    Save money by discriminating against all the non British public who are getting free health care!

  • Jackie Clarke

    If you are rich and can afford private health care – go and pay for it if that it what you want.  For the most of and the especially the most vulnerable ppoor and disabled members of society, we are dependaent for good health care on the NHS, the best free at the point of need service anywhere in the world.  ( even with it’s small warts and pimples)

  • Bsullivan44

    how about raising the anti and prmote direct protest at the banks or where ever ,key board revolutionaries am not totally convinced

  • Jpinckston

    if the private health companies cannot put right the breast implants for patients because they will go bankrupt what would happen to ordinary patients who maybe treated by these companies in the future if the government gets rid of the NHS, who is going to be there to pick up the pieces when things go wrong. Fortunately for the people who need these implants removed the NHS is there for them. Private companies are only interested in profit not health. God help us all if the Tories sell off our NHS!

  • Bennypollack

    I think we should ask for the withdrawal of the whole set of proposed NHS reforms, as all the main health professional associations are doing. Nothing less will do. Then a new process of negotiations might begin, and a sensible, rational set of reforms could follow.
    The bottom line is, the market and competitive aspects of the reforms, many of which were, sadly, initiated by the previous Labour governemt, threatens the very core of the NHS as a cooperative, patient-centred organization. As long as the ethos stays, there is no hope of saving the NHS, and this country will end with a two, or even a three-tier system, like that in the US.
    Don´t be poor, old or infirm then!

  • Sskinner

    Just a huge thank you to the team for keeping up the impetus and providing the only voice for members of our society – not to mention present and future victims of the NHS privatisation. I understand that is is useful to stress the positive but in reality the concessions have been minimal and reversible – the big object of commercialising public health by fragmentising, cheap treatments and “top-ups” is unaffected.  And already people are suffering – the disabled, the elderly whose bedsores the district nurse is too stretched to dress……
    So much would have seemed inconceivable before the election: that Cameron would target cuts at disabled children, that NHS changes could be pushed through in the teeth of opposition from those professionals, doctors and nurses, who understand and administrate it…..   Alice believed six impossible things before breakfast – I need to get up earlier.

  • Iansdavies

    Where is the Labour Party in all this or are its Blairite tendency still in charge?

  • judithbrownbristol

    I’ve now seen two epetitons about the Bill , please read and sign both!http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22670 drop the bill; and my new one http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/27426 Tell us whats in the Risk Register,  we should attack on every front we can. I have just emailed the whips’offices in the House of Lords, if we all did it maybe the message that we are deeply concerned will get through.What I do know is we can’t give up.

  • DavidG

    I was worried that you were taking your eye off the ball with a campaign on energy pricing.  It’s essential to keep up the fight for the Health Service.  Please make as much noise as possible to get Lansley to publish the risk assessment before the bill is passed.

  • Nico

    Could this bill be defeated by attacking it legally through an exploration of the human rights implications? If a foundation trust hospital can make 49% of its income through private treatment then surely we are not all going to be treated equally, yet we all pay taxes. I think 38 Degrees needs to take out bill board adverts outlining the consequences of this healthcare bill passing into law. I don’t think enough people are aware of what is happening. Then a national mass demonstration needs to be organised. It is time for this campaign to take to the streets.

  • Illadopsis

    it seems as though all the healthcare professionals have now come on line so now is the time to maintain the pressure and force the uncaring Tories to do what the people of this country want and not just the Tory sympathisers who will profit from the private healthcare bonanza.

  • Christine Mo

    The most powerful tool to get our message across is television. How can we make use of this? Christine Mo 

  • Harris

    This might appear somewhat tangential to the current issues but I have often wondered how much profit the big drug companies cull from the NHS and how much they are responsible for
    the depleting vital NHS funds.

  • Terry Franks

    Didn’t the Tories promise to ring-fence the NHS if they became the Government?

  • Djcourt02

    The reply I received from my (Conservative) MP Edward Timpson had clearly been drafted by Central Office: part denial of “the duty to provide” (is this STILL up for debate?), part attack on 38 Degrees.  To blunt the latter, perhaps the organisers of 38 Degrees should up their profile somewhat.

  • Jill Gregory

    Just to confirm, I have signed the 38 degrees petition, I signed the one for the House of Lords as well and have sent the info to all my firends. I have written to my MP, although I must admit, he is so “tickled pink” at being an MP after years in the wilderness, he will definitely not rock the boat and sends out letters that are basically just a lot of waffle. I am now in the process of writing to my local newspaper.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, Definitely!

  • Deejr

    I am concerned that the NHS hospitals take more private patients. While it sounds good to get more money into the coffers, Where are the extra beds, doctors, op theatres to come from. 
    If you use whats already there, that must mean that a NHS patient is wait listed for longer, 
    creating a two tier system. And the insurance companies start to become more involved in the running of hospitals. 

  • Steph3590

    There are over 62 million people in the UK all of whom depend on the NHS in one form or another. Half a million supporters campaigning against these plans is therefore not enough.

    Most people probably do not understand or realise what is being planned until it is too late.

    Maybe we should hand out leaflets outside hospital gates, doctors surgeries and high streets.

    People need to be aware and properly informed,  otherwise they cannot lend their support.

  • D.I.Leeds

    I object to doctors receiving a 25% pay rise in 2013 just for joining consortia and meeting every three months to divide funds between the various practices all done during PATIENTS TIME instead of treating thir patients.
    If they attended metings in their own time,surely,a 1.5% + expenses is sufficient!!

  • Valgaize

    You’re exactly right, Harris.  Drug companies absorb massive amounts of NHS money, claim R&D costs as the reason - and post astronomical profits every year.  And note the recent Tamiflu story: damaging side-effects were never included in the company’s reports.  Remember also thalidomide.  Drugs should be checked more rigorously and prices haggled over.

  • Roger Briottet

    What happened to the campaign on tax evasion?
    Roger Briottet

  • Marilyn Leach

    Thanks for that very helpful email and I am keeping an eye on things about NHS and all my friends and family too.

  • Anonymous

    RE Sicko, see the following:
    SiCKO Trailer, You Tube, 25 May 2007
    If you want to stay healthy in America, don’t get sick.
    Sicko, Top Documentary Films, 15 Aug 2009

  • Brian Hobbs

    Johnny – please take up the campaign “HS2 to become the new NHS2″
    Direct all the nonsensical investment proposed for the biggest White elephant in history to the deserved cause of the peoples medical and care services. The billions proposed I am sure if diverted to the NHS would be appreciated by many more than a train load of rich travellers speeding off to Birmingham! Yes billions of pounds reinvested in the NHS will give greater employment and resources to the benefit of millions,

  • Dwieberg

    Target the Lib-Dems.  The Tories do not have a majority.  Persuade enough Lib-Dems, many of whom are already unhappy about the proposed NHS ‘reforms’, to oppose them, or at least abstain, by making it abundantly clear that they will be held individually as well as collectively responsible for damage done to the NHS, and don’t leave them in any doubt that for most their political careers will be over.

  • Dr. Peter Foreman, FIET

    I have trouble suporting your campaign, because I feel that the NHS is too expensive to be sustained. My main concern is too many managers and targets, which the last government increased as they did for other jobs that volunteers would willingly do until they changed everything and increased their tasks above their interest or ability. I think that this was deliberate to destroy volunteers and make us all need the big government. The tax payers cannot afford all these costs. The public should realise that any work whether private or public done for the government pays no tax, including the Trident employees!

  • Oslocollie

    Priority to kILL THE BILL, most people don’t realize its dangers.

  • Oslocollie

    Promote the book “The plot to destroy the NHS”

  • Nicola-jane-beautiful

    I think it is very important to look at what is happening to the disabled/benefits and education. These things are serious and need addressing quickly.

  • Hupele

    Could somebody tell me why NHS equipment is going to be used for approx 50% of private patients?

    As a member of BUPA myself, I have always believed that by paying for private medicine, I have released time and equipment for people who do not have the resouces to pay extra. Lets face it most people have paid into the NHS out of their pay packets for years.

    Just what does Andrew Lansley think he is doing? I have no doubts, that the cronyism within parliament is behind all this privatisation. Somebody’s brother/father/relative/friend, will probably  make millions out of this move. Call me cynical, but I don’t trust these people to make a decision, which will look after us “ordinary people”.

  • Hupele

    You are so right – . who wants this high speed train?. Absolutely nobody, ask anybody on the street, and they will all say the idea is ridiculous. We are a small Nation, we are not China or France, where you have gzillions of miles to cover,so don’t compare us to them.

  • Barbara Hacking

    I like NHS2 – exactly as Brian Hobbs says.!  We ALL need the NHS.  Who cares for us after an accident or emergency?  Who is there to pick up the pieces when private health provision goes wrong?    We MUST protect our NHS.

  • Hupele

    Correct – and then we necome like the USA where “indigents” for us  in the UK that means “ordinary poor people” are the only people who get care free,and only from Dr’s and nurses who volunteer, whilst the insurance companies make gzillions!!!. Do we really want that kind of system here?

  • Dennis Benson

    WE must keep up the fight. It can be won. As an NHS ‘insider’ I can confirm that Lansley has already caused chaos and waiting times are lengthening. The plan to increase to 49% the amount of private work a Foundation hospital can do is dangerous; given the cuts some may be forced down this route and hey presto we have a two-tiered service. Fight on! 

  • Robert T

    I would like to agree wholeheartedly with Christine Mo, would it not be possible to approach the tv companies e.g. BBC panorama and get them to do a prog exposing the grave consequencies surrounding this bill if it were to go through.38 degrees could work in conjunction with the medical professionals to highlight their opposition to this bill.Massive comparisons must be made to the debacle surrounding the PIP situation, and the threat of the profiteering medical companies, that if forced to take responsibility for their patients costs then they will just become insolvent. 

  • Lolaarmstong

    When we have won this fight, the campaign should focus on the nhs to be taken outside the political arena, any changes to the management structure would then become after all parties concerned have agreed, rather then as happens now, new government wastes millions changing the nhs structure instead of spending it at the frontline

  • Ed Guiton

    Would it be possible to distinguish which Lords support Lansley Bill or are wavering as I keep petitioning a Lord, who is already convinced and determined to vote against the bill.  My postcode is S10 5BB.  This almost certainly applies to many people and it would be better to inundate the recalcitrant with e-mails.
    Ed Guiton

  • Ldixon157

    Check out nhsmanagers.net  –they are in despair at the proposals as well!

  • SuzyQ

    Do you really mean everyone should be paid the same? Not very practical……

  • Bert Rogers

    Zombies, Nurses that only care about their pensions and salaries (I must have been in the wrong Hospital!)Keep up the pressure Boy & Girls, with comments like these were on the right wavelength.

  • Clarpete

    I have now e-mailed my M.P. several times. However she is Labour and writes back saying she agrees with what I say and that the proposed changes are wrong. This is good, of course, but it feels like a waste of time contacting her. It may be useful to have contacts such as Andrew Lansley or David Cameron in this situation. Can I contact them when they are not my M.P?

  • Anonymous

    I urge withdrawal of this bill and am pleased quite a few of the comments do too.
    A few ask why the bill exists. I suggest ideology. For several decades, restraints put on capitalism before and after WW2 have been removed; the great deregulation. Insisting the naturally socialist NHS is inadequate and would benefit from the same process imply faith in free market ideology at a time when this is seriously questioned.
    If so this is a high risk strategy because much evidence shows the NHS provides above average care for below average cost, and healthcare is less suited to competition than general businesses. But New Labour prepared the way as John the Baptist did for Jesus! I have not forgotten the crude profit motive but suggest the main aim is to eliminate a dangerous ideological competitor.
    I urge support not just for cooperation but for emulation and subsidiarity within an Executive Agency that would manage the service well and efficiently under high level political direction. This would be consistent with the other regions of the UK. Such a system must accept rationing. If you want unlimited healthcare and support on demand, you must be unusually rich and pay for it.
    In Proposed bill will ruin NHS, Public Health Physician Dr Jennifer Mindell powerfully criticises the bill; Your Views, Watford Observer, 20th January.

  • Gordon Morris

    Of course you can write to Andrew Lansley.  I put a letter in the post to him yesterday, cc’d to my MP, to Andy Burnham, and David Cameron.  It all helps to apply pressure, and to ensure that they hear a variety of individual views.

  • James Wilson34

    You sound like the Tory press, the labour party is out of office they need our help not carping against Tony Bair.  I suggest we get as may members as posiple to demonstrate in Parliament square when a discusion on the N.H.S is taking place Let them see we a against any changes,

  • Christine

    Muswell Hill Branch of the Labour Party are holding a stall on Saturday 21st January with a leaflet explaining why it is important to oppose the Health and Social Care Bill even at this stage,draft letters to send to members of the House of Lords  and petition. Hope everyone in the area will drop by inb Satruday morning to support the campaign. 

  • Barb46

    I live near to Stafford hospital, indeed I worked there for over 20 years as a Consultant’s PA.

    Having been a patient lately, I know it is getting worse.  The papers and BBC tell us it is getting worse.  Millions  of pounds have been spent on an inquiry, nothing has helped.  The place still suffers from too many chiefs and not enough injuns.  There are far more ‘managers’ than patients, none of whom are ever available if there is a problem.  Once, when we had a terrible problem in A&E, with patients stuffed to the rooftops, one manager came and made us a cup of tea.  That was the full extent of their help in all the years I worked there.  

    Now my husband and I are retired, we wanted to move to live near to the sea but we cannot sell our house.  The Stafford Hospital has blighted the sale of our house.  Please tell me where else I can complain!  The Bill will neither help nor hinder Stafford and its patients in my opinion.  

  • Goddenstephen

    I came here to say exactly this. It’s the first time I’ve commented on 38 Degrees, though I have emailed my MP, but I’m Welsh, he’s labour :) . We have to split the LibDems away from this. Simply telling them that if they want any chance at all of not being wiped out in the next election, then they better kill this bill, should do it. This bill is Tory ideology and naff all to do with the economy 

  • Ericthedart@msn.com

    I would just like to say that always goes through my mind,get back to the “MATRON ON THE WARD” and get back to basic nursing and really help the patients!

  • Sonia

    I could hardly believe the latest government proposals to ask credit agencies such as Standard and Poors to report on financial standing of NHS hospitals.  These agencies do enough damage to the world economy and did not save us from the crash in 2008.  Keep their fingers out of our NHS!

    Instead of expensive re-organisation of the NHS which nurses, doctors and patients do not want, better to have stuck to the aim of improving health care under the primary health care trusts.

  • Charlie Linton

    The NHS is a moral inspiration to social justice, helping a large number of people to medical treatment that otherwise have nowhere to turn, in what can be a hard and difficult world. Stand up for the rites of the NHS and set an example for a model that can lead to a better world. Thank God for the massive response to counter what maybe excessive clamping down on a truely needed organisation/institution! Charlie Linton

  • http://www.jimella.me.uk/ Jim Fisher

    Before the election Cameron promised there would be no major top-down reorganisation of the NHS. That means the usual constitutional convention preventing the Lords from killing government bills entirely does not apply – it only applies to proposals that were in the election manifesto. All members of the House of Lords should have this fact drawn to their attention. They have an obligation to keep the government to its pre-election commitments, and that means killing this dreadful bill, not merely amending it.

  • Keithyork

    Was it me or a coincidence that the week after they slipped out the notice of the increase in allowable privatised hospital treatment to 49% that we had a barrage of health insurance TV adverts.

    The idea of leaflets & protest is good to raise the profile of the campaign. Many of those most affected may not have the resource or the time for engaging in the on-line campaign.

    Perhaps in her jubilee year the Queen would refuse to sign this measure if it is finally passed through Parliament- whether or not she gets the yacht!

  • RIchard

    Despite all the campaigning, some doctors are collaborating with the governments plans and carrying on with establishing GP commissioning groups. Is it time to identify these doctors and make sure the are held accountable to the communities they are supposed to serve.

  • Fredora


  • Bluesky

    Good luck with that one. Andrew Lansley IS my MP, and I’ve emailed him several times over this issue.  Naturally, given that the bill is all his own particular pet project, I didn’t actually get any substantive answers to any of my questions, just a rather patronising pat-on-the-head-poor-misguided-constituent type answer.  I hope you get more from him than I did, but I wouldn’t hold your breath……..

  • Anonymous

    I understand that most are doing this because if they do not, someone they like less will be appointed.

  • Brian Hobbs

    Well done Babs! That a girl – keep the fight going!! B

  • Mervynhyde

    This Tory and Libdem coalition have no right or mandate to privatise our health service

  • Evafahleclouts

    What about 2 minutes silence, standstill on the 8th of Feb??? When we all do it it would create some attention!


  • Becky

    Great campaign, can we also focus on the devasting legal aid cuts which will affect the poor and the vullnerable too?

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    The most important thing that we can all do NOW is to take action. MPs will have a final vote on this bill – we hope – and MPs who voted for it at the third reading on 7 September 2011 must be held to account. There are 50 Lib dems who either voted for it or abstained and several very marginal Tories we can challenge. I have a list of Tory marginals – perhaps 38 degrees can do this for us. Make all this info accessible to us all.

    Are you a constituent of one of these MPs? Go to Find Your Mp to find out.

    For those of you in these key 80 or so constituencies, then this is what you do.

    1.get a group of friends – 4 or 5 is enough.

    2.Find out where your MP has his/her surgery and go to see them

     3. Arrange a meeting with other constituents and your MP – a quiet room in a pub will do

    4.Find out what they say and challenge their reasons for voting for it – most of them are following rubbish party info
     5. Leaflet locally – we have one you can use – Defend Our NHS on facebook
    6. Write to your local press
    7. Make as much of a nuisance as you can!
    But let that MP know what will happen at the next election if they vote for the bill again. Leave them in no doubt!

    One of the very valiant and courageous 4 Lib Dems who voted against the bill, Andrew George MP, has a brilliant article in Lib Dem Voice – google it and show it to your MP. Go to Public Whip to find out who voted what on 7 Sept.
    These things work – we must keep it up – we have to! All practical stuff!
    If you DON’T live in one of these constituencies you can still get your question to Lansley and Co. via your own MP. Imagine if everyone sent their MP a question for Lansley to answer!!

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    Yes I’ve heard doctors speak at meetings saying exactly that.

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    Leafletting is great. Makes you realise just NOBODY agrees with the bill. Defend Our NHS on facebook have a leaflet you can use if you contact us.

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    Yes – I do this a lot. Just email your MP and ask him/her to ask Lansley the question. Imagine if we all did it!!

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    I’m a tax payer and I can’t think of anything better to spend my money on. I certainly don’t want to waste my money lining the pockets of the shareholders of private companies – i do enough of this already – and top up insurance will be introduced soon.

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    YES! This works!

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    Yes again!

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    Yes spot on there a two tier system indeed! Just like the 1930s!

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    Jill – we went to see a local Tory MP who honestly was perplexed. Keep the pressure on – don’t stop – an MP has to listen to his constituents! Details are in my post above.

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    Never give up. What we are doing works!

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    Does anyone have any friends who are journalists? The BBC have a news blackout.

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    The reason they attack 38 degrees with this kind of comments shows they are rattled! Well done 38 degrees!

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    Just read through all the comments. How can we fail – with all this opposition?
    please see my post below -

    If you want to know what your MP’s majority was at the 2010 election – how vulnerable they are – quite a few Tories are - go to BBC Election Results 2010 on google and put your constituency name in the box. A brilliant site! Tells you everything! One way the BBC can help us!

  • Celia Ruth Kelly

    Yes ! Can we all do this? This is what the HS2 campaigners do!

  • Susi

    I have two questions about the government’s decision to allow up to 49% of beds in NHS hospitals to be used by private providers
    a) What safeguards are in place to ensure the taxpayer be adequately recompensed for the beds, equipment and buildings the private provider will be taking over 
    b) What will happen if a private patient becomes ill when their private doctor is away?  If NHS staff have to intervene in the interests of the patient, the NHS should charge the patient’s insurance – and the patient should not be admitted into an NHS bed without being covered by such insurance.  

  • PaulS

    My local MP has written to me to say that there has never been a “duty to provide” for the Secretary of State.
    Now, What is the truth?

  • Morbius_4035

    Most hospitals have ‘Friends Of…’ some will have websites. Make sure they are emailed. Make them aware that the resources they have charitably provided will soon become private company assets, in effect. Private, profit making assets. Brief them about what they could do if they were minded to and its likely that they would be minded to given the position of the surgeons, consultants and nurses.

    Get 38 Deg volunteers to visit the editor’s office of each and every small local newspaper with the legal team’s analysis. Small papers are less likely to be in bed with the vested interests in this case.
    (I can’t, I’m working abroad and I’m stressed that I can’t)

  • Nicky Gregorowski

    Dear 38 degrees
    Have you heard anything about a leaked Government plan to hand over all nhs commissioning to private consortia except for “Procurement for People with Learning Difficulties” which which would be in the hands of GP commissioning?  This would amount to almost total privatisation of the NHS.
    Nicky Gregorowski

  • judith irene brown bristol

    People keep asking about the duty to provide the NHS.The first clause of the Act says “It shall be the duty of the Minister of Health to promote a comprehensive health service.” This means the central responsibility must rest with a Minister of the Crown answerable directly to parliament and through parliament to the people. No ifs no buts. Any M.P.who doesn’t know this should be referred back to the 1948 NHS Act.- easily googled. In the meantime please click on the following twp petitions, http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions27426 and http://epetitons.direct.gov.uk/22670 ; it won’t take you long and its worth trying! Please sign both because if one doesn’t work the other may.

  • judith irene brown bristol
  • Blossomdearly

    If you want to destroy a service take out the frontline staff.  The NHS is almost wholly dependent on its clinical staff to provide safe and efficient care.  How many more are going to lose their jobs?; What about increasing the number of nurses – faint hope!  Training more health care assistants to do a great job could cut the jobless total and give people a future.  But no, because the fat cats can’t get a dividend out of a public service they are privatising by bringing in ‘competition’ which is wholly unnecessary.  Put the money into making the NHS run even better; dont put our money into our government’s friends and vested  interests’ pockets. 

  • Mail

    Suggestion to website control: if we are asked to contact a lord can we please have a choice? Last time i did this my (sweet) lord was a labour lord who was with us. She suggested that i direct my comments to one of the opposition but the auto feature did not give me any more contacts.
    Thanks, keep up the good work!.

  • Ivy

    I agree , and also think writing or emailing as many Peers in the House of Lords, be they Lords, Baroness, Bishops or Crossbench is better than sticking to writing to just one and now before they’re Report Stage, where they vote on the amendments is the time to do it in great numbers, before the 6-8 of Feb. Also wouldn’t it be a good idea to lobby reporters in the press in great numbers, even if your letters don’t get printed , the public opinion shown may turn the tide on the propaganda undoubtedly to come.

  • Ivy

    Well said and totally agree.

  • T Turton

    On Jan. 4th the local paper (WelwynHatfield Times ) reported that Lister Hospital has a £47m Surgicantre based in its premises. A private company that is having “teething problems”.
    Meantime we in the Wel.Hat district have had our own hospital services curtailed and have to go to the Lister in Stevenage for treatment.  Is this a privatisation without any “say” by all those concerned?
    I had marched with our MP to protest against the closure of our local hospital.  Didn’t help.
    Now if anyone needs surgery- the only place is the private service at the Lister…. And the North Herts NHS Trust “is powerless to act”  about the complaints it has received- operations delayed without prior notice etc.  Are there enough incidents like this throughout the country?

    Other comments from members????  -T. Turton Welwyn Garden City

  • Ivy

    Can I express concern on part of what you have said, though I know it is meant kindly. To be blunt ,do we know that Private Care is better than NHS Care, the breast implant fiasco has opened a few eyes, where responsibility has gone out of the window on this past mistake.Other implants that could cause concernin the future. Where at the moment the private sector are untouchable to face up to their responsibilities with the financial chaos it would cause to their profit making. Does a new building make you better or a private room or an extra cup of tea etc, or the dedicated clinicians at all levels? Should NHS patients have to wait in longer queues for admission to hospital because the cap of 2% on private patients using the NHS facilities, will be increased to 49% if this Health and Social Care Bill is passed? It has no mandate, has already been bullishly enacted  before the Bill becomes law and where even visitors from abroad could take precedence in using our NHS that we have paid for, and will continue to pay for, in the years to come to pay off the Private Financial Initiative PFI debts that have been allowed to accrue. The NHS belongs to us, it is not there to give away to the private sector. 

  • Manners

    I have always had a reply from my local “labour” MP  Sadiq Khan and supportive, but nothing from the Lord that I was advised to contact from 38 degrees. The Bill will see the guts taken out of the NHS. Just back from California where I saw an advert in a public bark to support a BBQ to raise  money for Cancer treatment for the retired local postman. DO WE WANT THIS ?

  • carol

    A ‘duty to promote’ is not the same as a ‘duty to provide’.  The National Health Service Act 2006 mentions both promotion and provision of health services, but the new legislation does away with the ‘duty to provide’, as pointed out in the legal opinion obtained by 38 degrees:



  • Rjcork

    The campaign to protect the NHS has been, and is, an important battle not just for the NHS but also for democratic accountability. No matter what the final outcome of the current campaign, significant pressure needs to be put on all political parties to ensure that their various future plans for the NHS are expressly included in their manifestos prior to the next election. The big lesson that all parties must learn from the present situation is that significant change to a national institution like the NHS must never again be allowed without the nation being able to debate it, and question prospective MPs about it, during an election campaign and then vote accordingly.

  • carol

    If you look at the NHS Act 2006, both a ‘duty to provide’ and ‘a duty to promote’ are specifically mentioned.  The new Bill does away with the ‘duty to provide’ but leaves the ‘duty to promote’.



  • Harold Ennis

    the company i used to work for offered us bupa but i opted out because i fealt it put others who could not afford it farther behind, i hope this battle will not be won by the government.
    if by any chance they do win can we not charge the private companies using N.H.S. hospitals and equipment (VERY HIGH PRICES) after all these buildings and equipment were payed for by tax payers money. this would deter the private health provider or drasticly increase the cost of insurance. Hennis.

  • Bosworth

    When the next push starts, it would be an enormous help to have a ready-prpared email to send – I just don’t have time to start from scratch.  I know personal ones are best, but a multitude of any sort would be more effective than many people, like me, skipping that stage because of time constraints.  Does anyone else feel the same way?

  • Althea

    I am currently working in the NHS and have just been told that our clinic staffing will be cut by half immediately. Same amount of work – half the staff.
    Can you imagine how that is going to affect our patients – and our chances of making life-threatening mistakes.
    It’s happening now – and will get worse.

  • Barbara

    If the NHS and doctors got out of bed with the pharmaceuticals a lot of money would be saved. We are over medicalised, one medicine produces side effects that necessitates another etc. There is too much emphasis on treating symptoms rather than the causes of ill health. If I had followed my doctors advice I would have had my gall bladder removed – instead I did a liver cleanse; I would be on medication for high blood pressure it has corrected itself, I would be on medication for underactive thyroid, I took herbal medicine to balance the master gland of the body the pituitary now my thyroid is fine; I would be taking medication to reduce my cholesterol – cleaning the liver also sorted that; My stomach was too acid so I cut out tea and coffee, problem solved. Result no drugs taken and I’m fine. Please doctors lets have a N.HEALTH.S. and look at the causes of disease. I write as a retired nurse.

  • BAZ

    It,s about time someboby started to look what these so called managers or what they call themselves what they are doing .
             It should be put back to the matron to run the wards  who nows how it should be run it would be a lot cleaner and patients would be better looked after.and needs seen to

  • Peterkelly

    I hope the irony of the private brest implant debacle has not been lost on those bent on introducing private operators into the NHS. I fear the only winners in the long run will be the legal profession!

  • Victoriamalcolm

    taking charge of your health is always good if you are well informed; medication helps if you don’t have the information. Medication has effects, principally beneficial but with some side effects that are less so,especially in some individuals; they aren’t personally designed, which is why taking advice and devising your own treatment can be very effective.

  • TT

    You are right about teh duty to provide – actually the duty to ‘secure and provide’.  For more on this look at http://allysonpollock.co.uk/ under Briefings on theHealth and Social Care Bill and in particular at briefings 1 and 2

  • Franlanave

    There is an other concerning aspect to the current NHS and health services at large. It is possibly directly related to the financial crisis and to pulic services spending cuts, but the correlation is not necessarily one of cause and effect.

    Last government’s initiatives in respect to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) and the institution of NICE were driven by the intention of increasing people’s mental health recovery through non-farmaceutical interventions, social inclusion, and the use of human contact.

    Unfortunately this change was very quickly colonized by powerful professions providing interventions valuing speed, manualisation and compartmentilization, such as CBT as opposed to reflection and process such as psychodynamic Psychotherapies. This colonization has also been respondible for the cultural promotion of such values at the expense of psychodynamic psychotherapies,  being discredited as “taking too long, being hard work and having no evidence base”. This representation is falling on fertile ground as our society is also permeated by a culture valueing speed, superficial attention, quick fixes and reward even if impermanent.

    One could say that the current trend in the NHS offer of treatments reflects the cultural value systems preferring pre-packed, processed and pre-cooked and microwaved food to traditionally and personally coocked food.

    While there is an immense amount of clinical evidence for treatments methods such as Group Psychotherapy and the Arts Therapies- infact the latter are effective and efficaceous with the most difficult to treat patient groups in society, this evidence is disregarded as qualitative and un-scientific. At the same time manualized forms of treatment, which are produced by the deconstruction of more comprehensive forms of psychotherapy, derive their evidence from Randomised Control Trials (RCT) which fit well with medicalized and manualized interventions, are accepted by NICE as scientific.

    At the same time the social, emotional and subjective aspects of psychotherapies have been appropriated by initiatives connected with the concept that of Recovery which mop up the  working contents such as the unconscious, emotions, personal history, social relationships from the psychotherapies into social and educational frameworks vetoing the use of the word “Therapy”. There is no need for evidence for these as they are social, not medical enterprises.

    The patients, meanwhile are getting stitched up by reduction of services and in depth treatments, while they are told their choice is being increased and their participation is valued.

  • Carole 735thorpe

    In February 2010 I was diagnosed with a ‘leaky heart valve’ – I was prescribed blood pressure tablets and to have an annual check - so February 2011 arrived and my records obviously reviewed and was told ‘nothing had changed’ – how could they tell!!! In May 2011 I suffered more trouble and have had various scans – which have been inconclusive - it is now approaching February 2011 and still have not had a true diagnosis – my last appointment for a CT scan was a waste of time as I am allergic to Iodine - they had not read the form I had completed asking specific questions including allergies so when I arrived they told me to go home and that was put back four weeks – I have been prescribed Warfarin because of clotting!! My appointment with the Cardiologist was arranged for two weeks after this pending CT scan and now that has been put back – if I am lucky I might find out my fate at the end of February 2012!!! What is going on?  My partner has been treated much fairer than me – he was offered a Gall Bladder operation and then they contacted him and offered an earlier appointment!!!

  • Peter Harbour

    The NHS campaign is the most important tackled by 38degrees and there is no way we should give in.  Although by no means perfect, the NHS is the best we have and gives good value for money compared with other countries.

    I realised just before Christmas that Cameron’s move to increase the proportion of private patients handled by a PCT from about 2% to 49% maximum was the true aim of the Health and Social Care bill.  I raised this with my GP, who said they just want to privatise it.  Over my dead body they will, one way or the other!

  • David Bradshaw

    Yes, 38 degrees must keep the pressure on.
    A further comment I would make is the financial cuts across the NHS that are taking place, only appear to reduce nursing front lie staff, and I have first hand experience of this. Nursing therefore cannot do their job of caring properly because there are not enough of them on the wards. There are no significant cuts to management staff, which are far more expensive in salaries and accommodation.
    Lets campaign for more nurses on the wards and fewer “bed managers”
    David Bradshaw

  • Anonymous

    As a student of base human nature, I value depth psychology and agree DH devalues it. But CBT is cheaper and useful as long as it admits some may need deeper therapies that are more expensive initially but have longer term benefits as you note.
    By revealing our true nature, depth psychologies offend two groups that deny it; free market economists and Pauline Christians. Though differing over selfishness, both over emphasise reason and free will as drives in real people. So I am not surprised that since DH has promoted free markets for the NHS, it has opposed depth psychology.
    Beware idealising talking therapies. Some problems respond better to practical training and we all need to be disciplined. Both require respect for authorities now often absent.

  • Tonyplumridge

    I listened to Danny Alexander today trying to defend the Health Bill – he was factually completely wrong on two issues – these were a) the Bill is needed to put doctors in control of commissioning – under the existing Primary Care Trusts the commissioning committees were predominantly led by doctors and clinicians and this could have been strengthened by a simple ministerial change to the regulations governing PCTs which required them to have a majority of clinicians on the Board b) the PCTs greatly strengthened the links between Social Services and Local Government many of these arraqngements and much of the cooperation will be lost undewr the new system(for example many PCTs had a key local authority member on the Board and in my long experience cooperation was working more effectively than it had ever done (the NHS deals mainly with ill health but Local Government is the major partner in promoting a healthy lifestyle – it was local government in the 19th century that revolutionised peoples lives and longevity)
    I can only believe that he perpetuates these lies in order to conceal the true aim of tghe Bill which is to privatise and destroy the NHS

  • Jill Gregory

    I agree, I haven’t heard of any Managers afraid they are going to lose their jobs, there are already Senior Sisters on Ward and Ward Managers, haven’t they got the knowledge to liaise with other wards with regards to bed management.

  • Tonyplumridge

    Under the last government many key jobs were reclassified as management posts in the NHS – middle ranking and senior nurses were given this designation whilst in practice continuing to do the same job of nursing on the wards – I have worked in many areas including the NHS and I have never ever come across a large organisation with so few managers – 2% of NHS expenditure is spent on management – every other major orgaisation in the UK spends at least 5% on the same functions – it is  ac omplete falasy to say that it has too many managers

  • Michael Llewellyn

    I think it’s very important to get the Labour leadership to be more vociferous in their opposition to this bill.
    I ‘ve just read in today’s Guardian (Saturday 20 Jan) an incidental comment from Andy Burnham that Labour would scrap this bill (presumably it will be an Act then). They, especially Milliband, must speak on this now – so far he’s been far too quiet. He must clarify what they intend to do.

    For example, suppose he were to say that contracts entered into with private companies would be scrutinised and if found to be against the interest of the NHS as it was and the public, they will be scrapped. Then see how many rush in.


  • Tonyplumridge

    In South West Essex – Basildon Thurrock Billericay it is now almost impossible to have a hip or knee operation without paying for private treatment – this also includes hysterechomy operations – people must wake up – a private sytem based on the american model would be a disaster – not only is it not available to millions but it actually costs the american taxpayer 4 times the cost per head of the NHS = inefficient and expensive

  • Tonyplumridge

    If the Bill proceeds we should organise a State Funeral for the NHS

  • David

    This! A thousand times this!

    As far as I am aware, it is official Labour policy that they intend to scrap this Bill if re-elected. 38 Degrees should reach out to the Labour leadership and encourage them to publicize this position on the national news media and give their reasons why it will be bad for NHS patients.

    All groups who want this Bill to be dropped should band together to create a united front of opposition.

  • AngrySal

    I am a GP and I am the GP at our practice who attends the GP commissioning meetings where we were guiding and commissioning services appropriate to our local area. The PCT’s are bureaucratic but they were improving healthcare – until about 2 years ago. Now everything is going backwards, there are no new services or projects, there is no innovation, no engagement unless you can find a way to shut something down to save money. Martin McKee in this week’s BMJ is a professor and an expert on health systems – he does not understand the bill and explains that current tactics are ‘contempt of parliament’. He also points out that reports in 2011 showed that the NHS was improving fast than almost anywhere else and worryingly that one hospital has already been handed over to a private equity company. I agree with Tonyplumridge on the need for a state funeral if the bill goes ahead.

  • Jeanne Warren

    Health professionals have almost all asked for the defeat of the bill.  I think this is what we should now ask for.  The nurses said specifically that going on with it would be worse than defeating it, messy as that would be because of government implementation in advance of approval of the legislation, in itself an affront to both MPs and voters.  Because the Lords respect their position as a revising chamber, we will need to convince Liberal Democrat MPs to change direction and vote the bill down.  We need to convince them both that the NHS is already as good as other health systems, and that this bill will destabilise it permanently, so that NHS medicine will go the way of NHS dentistry.  It is not true that we ‘have’ to have a bill.

  • JnLongshaw

    Having watched some of the adverts appearing on tv I am now convinced more than ever that Cameron/Lansley are proposing to take the NHS down the road of American style health care, and are just waiting until they have a large enough majority in parliament to do so.  If the concentration on saving was to start at the top and work its way down, and people who understand medical matters were put in charge, instead of store managers, if the unnecessary people were removed,  there  would be money enough to deal with matters.

  • Anonymous

    On the duty to ‘secure and provide’, TT cites below Allyson Pollock’s briefings 1 and 2 under Briefings on the Health and Social Care Bill at http://allysonpollock.co.uk/. I find there a newer briefing 12, 17th January, from which I quote: “In summary, the amendments put forward by Earl Howe and the Committee do not go to the heart of the policy behind the Bill to abolish the model of tax-financed universal health care on which the NHS is based.” Interesting?
    More important in my opinion “is the enormous transactional cost of trying to run healthcare as a market… an expensive failure after 20 years of repeated manipulation”; Peter Fisher President, NHS Consultants’ Association, 18th February. And “as the health select committee suggested in 2010, commissioning has failed, and we should follow Scotland and Wales’s example and abolish the purchaser/provider split introduced by Kenneth Clarke in 1990.”; Professor Wendy Savage Co-chair, Keep Our NHS Public, 9th October. Both from Guardian Letters: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/feb/18/evidence-to-support-nhs-proposals and http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/09/last-chance-stop-nhs-shakeup

  • Johnanderson

    If the GMC,RCN and Midwives are against the proposed changes then even should the Health Paper come onto the statute book how can the the govt expect it to work.

    Im a Paramedic and our service is spending approx 10% of budget on private providers but at the same time cutting crucial night crews to cut down the wage bill.The management only seem interested in cutting service to the bone.

    It is now common to be the closest Paramedic when still 45 miles or 1 hour away and the level of immeadiate care is negligble or worst non existent.

    Should this bill get through then we will all fail the public who at time of either acute or chronic medical problems require and deserve medical attention

  • Bill Wells

    May I add a comment.   I think 38 degrees shoud concentrate on the Lib-Dem Lords and MPs.  They are the weakest link for it seens to be that the Tories are adamant in pushing throiugh their plans and the Labour Party is rock solid on opposing most of them.  No one in the latter groups are likely to change their minds but I think it posssible that back bench Lib-Dem MPs could be persuaded to do so for they have most to lose.
    Good generals always attack the weakest in the enemy lines as history proves it is the most effective way of winning,  Good luck

  • Susi

    I have just been on Radio 4 Any Answers to speak against the reforms (and accidentally mis-cited  that BMJ article you referred to AngrySal, as being by Des Spence when its actually by Prof Martin McKee).  As you say Prof McKee has spent years studying and teaching healthcare policy internationally and this is the first time he will be at a loss as to how to explain the policy to his students.  He cannot understand what problems the reforms are supposed to address, nor how they are supposed to work.  
    If I can get permission to do it I will post the article here.  Currently you have to pay for it online and its only free to BMA members.  Highly recommended, worth asking your library to get it for you

  • Justus_indomitus

    We NEED to get Mr landsley to produce and PUBLISH the N.H.S ‘AT RISK REGISTER’ that he has been asked to present to the Lords to scrutinize,TWO TIMES NOW.


    ENOUGH of this.

  • Justus_indomitus

    I am a member of the public but I am glad you have mentioned the sums in your post:If 10% is rolled out accross the board say, and the equivilent is taken from staff like yourselves then I can assume the private providers you mention just turn up and get paid it sounds like!

  • Jimmardale

    Just checked the e-petition sites asking to withdraw this Bill and publish the NHS risk report and, despite all these comments, the number of signatures has hardly grown.  There are lots of good actions discussed in this blog, but if we can’t manage to show numbers on the government’s own website, Cameron can still ignore us

  • Yvonne Sougnez

    If you have not already done so, please go and sign here:

    100000 signatures should force a Commons debate and that creates more time and opportunity for MPs and the Upper House to add to the clamour against this bill as it stands.  We need to reinforce the message that our dissent is deeply embedded.

  • kathy o’reillyKathyella39

    despite all the hard work i see the horrible tories are sneaking in their privatisation at the back doors.all these private clinics which are now able to be aired on tv, all the private study tests for differant problems i.e. c.o.p.d. asthma, crohns, vit D and now 49% of all hospital beds will be for p;rivate patients. I worked  all my life from the age of 14 to 69 paying national insurance etc fpr what? if i sont want to be treated in hospital as a second rate citizen and pay i will have to wait weeks months in fact for treatment!!!!!!!  Kathy of Sutton

  • w.j.n pearce

    make the n.h.s for the people and you will not have a problem,instead of trying to prove that you do have the answer

  • Judith Brown Bristol

    The Select Committee has now come out saying it is worried there are  financial risks associated with the Bill. these risks are in the Risk Register which Andrew Lansley is refusing to publish. Andrew Marr didn’t ask Nick Clegg about this, this morning – does he not know about it? BBC presenters as a body do not appear to have picked up that privatisation means medical professionals beholden to shareholders rather than a Health Minister responsible to Parliament and therefore to the people.(David Dimbleby on “Any Answers”..”Does it matters who does it as long as the service is provided?” Yes, it does matter! Especially when the shareholders are foreign companies/investors interested in profit rather than our health.At the risk of going on, please, if you have not signed the “drop the bill petition started by a Doctor click on http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions22670,  and my petition”Tell us what’s in the secret risk register” http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/27426, please do so. I found Dr.Chand’s petition by accident , and I think we should get behind both. We lose nothing by doing so.

  • D J Edwards

    The Tories have always been against the NHS it would never have come to be if they had been in power at it’s conception.Now they trying to destroy it by the back door with the introduction of more private beds than ever before,and don’t forget the financial backing private medical companies gave to the tories at the election.

  • RichardT London

    I think there is little public awareness of what the government is doing here. 38 degree members might be immersed in the issues but the broader public are not. I would hapily contribute towards a 38 degrees billboard campaign along the lines of ‘The health and social care bills is dismantling the NHS under your noses’ Did you vote for that?
    Do you want to lose the NHS? – The government does. Stop them.  

  • Valbinney

    Thank you for keeping this campaign going and for keeping us up to date. 38 Degrees is such a fantastic organisation.

  • Jillspiby

    Just want to say Thankyou for all the thought and effort you are putting into protecting the NHS and its users from the very worrying political tactics being employed by this government. Well done.

  • susi

    There are now >30,000 signatures on the e-petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22670
    Please sign it and circulate it to all you know – 100,000 and they have to have a debate in parliament….
    Things are hotting up now, Health select committee has savaged the bill, meeting of Royal colleges this week – http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jan/21/health-reform-crisis-andrew-lansley?mobile-redirect=false
    I’m a GP who talks to other GPs –  they are trying to do as the govt asks but its not working  - we’ve seen the future Mr Lansley and we don’t like it!  

  • Jude Klaus

    Great that so many people are so dedicated to saving the NHS. My husband says there should be an election – we need to get rid of those threatening the NHS. Me, I can’t understand why the British public is not out on the streets in mass protest. Remember Thatcher’s poll tax ? The only way that was halted was because there was a mass and physical demo.

  • The prisoner

    Tuesday 20th December 2011
    My MP has explained it so well, and made it easy to understand for me.  He  is fighting for our local hospital out of bullet range……..  Can anyone normal words?
    Thank you for your e-mail of 19th December 2011 regarding the 38 Degrees NHS campaign,
    which I read with interest.
    According to the 38 Degrees website, independent legal advice has been obtained in relation to
    the Health and Social Care Bill, which is currently before Parliament. I have read that advice in
    its entirety, though not the instructions which were given to the junior Counsel who prepared it,
    nor the manner in which this was supplemented (if at all) orally, neither of which have been
    made public by 38 Degrees. This therefore calls into question the validity of the advice
    tendered, since an answer without the question and views of those asking it has very little value
    indeed. Further to this, the advice appears largely inconsistent with what 38 Degrees have to say
    about it.
    In this respect, the 38 Degrees team have published on the website what purports to be their
    summary of what the legal advice says. I am extremely concerned on your behalf that this is not
    only a wholly inadequate précis of that advice, but is misleading in a number of respects. The
    concerns raised relate to (i) the removal of the Secretary of State’s ‘duty to provide’, and (ii),
    opening the NHS up to competition law.
    With regard to the latter, the summary provided by 38 Degrees states that, “[t]he Bill contains a
    number of measures which will increase competition and integration and/or make it almost
    inevitable that UK and EU competition law will apply as if it [the NHS] were a utility like gas
    or telecoms.”
    Constituency Office: 01992 678 255 Parliamentary Office: 020 7219 5234
    Email: nick.debois@parliament.uk Website: http://www.nickdebois.com
    The first bullet point of the Executive Summary of junior Counsel’s Advice in fact states, “[t]he
    current procurement law contained in the Public Contracts Regulations 2006… has always
    applied to NHS purchasing with the effect that any goods or services required by NHS health
    providers to enable them to provide health care themselves are subject to those Regulations
    where the value of the goods or services required exceeds the prescribed thresholds.” The final
    sentence of the second bullet point makes the same point in relation to the non-legislative
    commissioning reforms introduced by the last Government. As junior Counsel concludes in the
    sixth bullet point, “[a]s regards the applicability of domestic and European competition law to
    the NHS, it is likely that, even as matters stand, and in view in particular of recent non-statutory
    reforms which increase the involvement of the private and third sector in health service
    provision [i.e. the reforms introduced by the last Government], competition law already applies
    to PCTs and NHS providers.” The underlining is my own for emphasis.
    Whilst it is correct that the next bullet point records that the Bill will serve to reinforce that
    conclusion, there is another way entirely of properly summarising this advice which has
    evidently eluded the 38 Degrees team, namely that there is no change between the present
    competition regime and that which will be brought into being if and when the Bill becomes law.
    Competition law applies within the NHS now; it will apply in the future. For the 38 Degrees
    campaign team to suggest that it makes it almost inevitable that there will be an application of
    competition law which is not already present thus both misrepresents the content and
    conclusions of junior Counsel’s advice and misstates the position.1 As paragraph 45 the advice
    makes clear2, the principal concern is instead a practical one owing to the administrative burden
    on consortia to comply with a competition regime which already applies. That is an existing
    administrative burden, but it follows that the conclusion itself is a million miles from what you
    may have been led to believe the advice says by the 38 Degrees website.
    In relation to “the removal of the Secretary of State’s ‘duty to provide’”, the advice prepared by
    junior Counsel deals, in essence, with the existing general duties of the Secretary of State. The
    38 Degrees summary in this regard suggests that there is some fundamental change between
    what is proposed and the current regime.
    However, as paragraph 2 of this opinion makes clear in its first sentence, “Currently, the duty in
    section 3(1) has been delegated to Primary Care Trusts.” This duty (in section 3(1) of the 2006
    1 See, for example, paragraph 16 of junior Counsel’s advice, viz., “Although the Bill marks a significant restructuring
    of the NHS, recent reforms implemented through policy and operational guidance have done much to alter its
    landscape, even in the absence of legislative change … There is therefore already considerable involvement of the
    private sector in the provision of NHS health care services …”, and paragraph 32, viz., “The application of procurement
    law is not by any means new to the NHS since all “NHS Trusts” are expressly referred to in Schedule 1 to the
    Regulations [and] are currently within the scope thereof. They routinely engage with the procurement regime.”
    2 Notably, this paragraph commences, “Just as procurement law currently applies to NHS bodies engaged in
    purchasing …”. See also paragraph 82, “The NHS has already developed a structure whereby it is more likely than not
    that NHS Trusts are undertakings for the purposes of competition law.” I agree.
    Constituency Office: 01992 678 255 Parliamentary Office: 020 7219 5234
    Email: nick.debois@parliament.uk Website: http://www.nickdebois.com
    Act) is a duty as to the provision of ‘certain services’. It is more specific than the general or
    target duty in section 1(1) to promote a ‘comprehensive health service’, but is still a general
    duty as paragraph 9 of the opinion points out. It is, as that paragraph also makes clear, the main
    duty in relation to the provision of health services and, as already noted (and as per paragraph 3
    of the Executive Summary of the opinion), is currently delegated to the PCTs which the
    Government proposes abolishing.3 That duty will then fall to the commissioning consortia
    which will be established. Other than changing commissioning responsibilities from PCTs to
    consortia, it follows, again, that there is no significant change between the current position and
    what is proposed.
    Paragraph 14 is important in this regard. It (correctly) records the existing position in the
    following terms, viz., “The duties set out in Sections 1 and 3 of the 2006 Act are executed on
    behalf of the Secretary of State by Primary Care Trusts … [t]hus, in practice, it is the PCTs
    which decide which services are prioritised in each local area, on behalf of the Secretary of
    State.” Paragraph 16 is also important. It points out, again correctly, that the duty contained in
    section 1(1) of the 2006 Act, about which the 38 Degrees summary makes such a song and
    dance is, (i) a general or target duty, and (ii) that it is therefore essentially meaningless other
    than as a general guide as to how other powers and duties contained in the existing law (and
    which will remain) should be interpreted. Indeed, as the final sentence of paragraph 16 of the
    Opinion points out, “Such cases [i.e. cases in which the duty contained in section 1(1) has been
    successfully invoked] are, however, rare and the majority of the case law in this area consists of
    cases where judicial review claims have been unsuccessful.” Another way of putting that, is that
    far from the section 1(1) duty being ‘critical’, as it is referred to in the 38 Degrees précis of
    what this legal advice says, it is in fact the precise opposite other than as an overarching
    principle (which will remain).
    In this regard, the reader of what 38 Degrees has to say in its summary might be forgiven for
    thinking that if the proposed reforms become law, the Secretary of State will no longer be
    subject to the general or target duty to promote a comprehensive health service. If so, paragraph
    21 of the Opinion is revealing in what it has to say about the Government’s Bill, viz. “… there
    is no change at all in section 1(1) …”.
    Whilst the Bill will, of course, effect other changes in this area – see, for example, paragraph 22
    of the Opinion of junior Counsel – there is, as that paragraph records, no secret about these.
    The Government believes, as do I, that to secure a comprehensive National Health Service for
    the 21st Century, something which we all regard as being essential in our society, it is
    appropriate not to manage from the top down and to ensure that the principle of subsidiarity is
    followed to its logical conclusion so that real power is returned to local people and
    professionals to control the services which are available to them.
    3 As, in the view of junior Counsel – again in my view correctly – is the position in relation to the general duty
    contained in section 1(1) of the 2006 Act: see paragraph 14 of the Opinion.
    Constituency Office: 01992 678 255 Parliamentary Office: 020 7219 5234
    Email: nick.debois@parliament.uk Website: http://www.nickdebois.com
    I am disappointed that the 38 Degrees campaign appears to be misleading people on this
    important issue. Many of the concerns mentioned above were made before the NHS Future
    Forum reported and have since been listened to and changes made. Having served on the Bill
    Committee – going through the legislation line-by-line over several weeks – I can assure you
    that these reforms will allow the NHS to reform in a way that allows us to meet the challenges
    of the 21st century, ensuring patients receive the quality of care they expect and deserve.
    Thank you for contacting me. Please don’t hesitate to do so again on this or any other issue.
    With every best wish,
    Yours sincerely,
    Nick de Bois MP.

  • Siobhansmith


  • Anne

    Thank you to the team at 38 degrees & to all 38 degrees campaigners for keeping going!
    I was beginning to get a bit weary but seeing the headline in the Observer today was magic:’Health reform in new crisis as MPs savage Lansley’s plans’ – and then I also read the 38 degrees update on what’s happening in the process of the legislation…

    Still along way to go but still there is hope

    Thank you to all


  • Peter Doust10

    anything happening about fox hunting

  • harrysmith

    Sign the petition:


    34,000 and counting.

  • David

    It has been a strong week for opposition to the Health and
    Social Care Bill. Not only has a Conservative-led select committee on health
    found that Lansley’s plans are having a detrimental effect on care in the face
    of massive NHS cuts:


    but also a doctor has written the most devastating critique to date of where
    this all heading:


    Another significant development is that The Guardian has joined the
    calls for the Bill to be dropped in yesterday’s editorial:


    This is also, though less forcefully, being reported in The Independent:


    Even The Daily Mail is criticizing the proposals:


    Meanwhile, the ‘drop the Bill’ epetition is now at 35,000 signatures:


    Keep the piling on the pressure 38 Degrees and bring all the opposition
    together to provide a united front against Lansley’s ruinous legislation.

  • Hugo Kerr

    We are told, repeatedly and by all sorts of people, that the changes envisaged in the Bill are already being implemented. Is this actually legal, and if not can any such implementation be challenged through the law?

  • Anonymous

    I assume you meant to ask: Can anyone [put this into] normal words?
    I will try but Allyson Pollock is an expert and if you are prepared to read a few pdfs of a few pages each, I recommend the few of her briefings I have read using the links in my post at http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2012/01/19/nhs-campaign-whats-going-on/#comment-417548248
    The main components of old NHS were exempt from Competition Law because they were not businesses. But as New Labour made the NHS more businesslike, this became less likely and with the Coalition’s reforms, Competition Law will almost certainly apply.
    The idea nothing has changed depends on the fact that most large purchases of ordinary goods and services by the NHS were subject to Competition Law. But this is misleading because these were not the healthcare provided by its main components. This is important because evidence shows that when healthcare is provided by businesses competing for patients, costs rise and quality falls.
    Does this help?
    I urge withdrawal of the bill and DH to satisfy its love of competition by asking experts on healthcare to submit their preferred designs for comprehensive evaluation. Only after some agreement had been reached should reforms be prepared.
    Your post would be easier to read if you could edit its mischievous new line characters.

  • Roger Gartland

    The renewed campaign could be called, from now on, “The NHS v Lansley’s Bill”

  • Sharon Bonici-Mompalao

    I have recently written to the PCT, and Andrew Lansley’s office about the patient care at my Doctor’s surgery whereby I could not get an appointment with the doctor that I wanted for over a month and still haven’t seen him.    That was last July.   The buck was passed and I am in the process of finding a new surgery.

    It also took the surgery 3 months for them to reply only on the insistence of the PCT who by the way I have not heard from since either.

    Patient Care?    They wouldn’t know what it means.    They are all creaming the system.

  • Altnetid

    Rather than mass protests/rallies in major cities why not co-ordinate a multitude of smaller gatherings in local towns/villages specifically where MP’s reside.
    I’m sure it would be a much bigger turn out as well as making local news as much as national.
    Due to family and/or work commitments I haven’t been able to make any of the rallies over the past few years, but if it was 20 minutes up the road I’d pack the kids in the car and make a day of it.

  • David Page

    I’ve emailed ‘my Lord’ (a bishop I’d never heard of) twice. At one time you seemed to be suggesting that one might expect a reply to such approaches, which always appeared unlikely to sceptical me – and indeed I’ve been proved right; but the more I’ve thought about this, the more strongly I’m feeling that I merited at least an acknowledgment from whomsoever on moral/ethical grounds if no other – if a bishop can’t run to that, who could be expected to be up for it? So this little ‘issue’ has led me to recommend that 38 Degrees, for one of its upcoming campaigns, focusses on reform and accountability issues in the Upper Chamber, and certainly aims to remove ‘the franchise’ from the established church. 

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks David, that’s an interesting idea and really helpful feedback. Have you tried writing in the post to your Lord? That might prompt a reply. The address is The House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks – that’s a great idea. Where do you live?

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    That’s dreadful service. Did you ever hear back from the PCT of the Department of Health?

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    That’s a nice idea – what does everyone else think?

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Hi Hugo that’s an interesting question that lots of people are asking – has anyone got some links that can help answer Hugo’s question?

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks so much for all these excellent links David! What a week!

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Hi Anne, thanks so much for your message – it made me smile! It was indeed a great headline. There’s some way to go and it looks like we’re going to need to step the pressure up in the next few weeks. 

    Thanks for all you’ve done so far and here’s to hope!

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton


  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    That’s an interesting point Jude – what do you think we need to do next to step the pressure up?

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks Jill, it’s amazing what we can do when we work together.

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks Valbinney! People power works!

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks Richard, that’s an interesting idea. What do others think? From what you said it sounds like we should make a really simple billboard showing what’s happening – is that right?

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks Jimmardale – what do other people think? What should we be focussing on?

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks – but how can we get him to do it? Thousands of us have signed a petition already. What shall we do next?

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Thanks for sharing this Susi. Did they broadcast your bit on Any Answers? If it’s online could you share it? 

    Would be great to get the article shared too

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Hi Bill, thanks so much for this comment – it’s really helpful. 

  • http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/author/johnnychatterton/ Johnny Chatterton

    Hopefully it won’t get that far

  • Sheila

    I have been following the ‘progress’ of the NHS bill through the House of Lords and Parliament  and I must first comment on the behaviour of the members. House of Lords members of all colours are superior in their approach to debating, listening and concerns.   

    The three health ministers appearing for the
    government in the |House of Commons, behaviour not of the best, clarification of bills proposals rather unclear, muddled, leading to fragmentation and enormous personal emotional and expensive cost to the and tax payers  on all issues covered. The supporting members of the govenment all following governmental policies with personal anecdotes as to how well their proposals are or will work. Again no overall clarity on how the complete  bill will effect all areas of England.  Inclined to laugh at their own quips as though the whole situation was amusing!!
    Opposition on the whole preformed reasonably well, with some members [ I realise time was limited to 10 minutes] some  only mentioning local situations but the majority looking at the overall situation.  Their language was clear, consise and understandable.  I was not aware of any ‘snide ‘ remarks, and easier for the general public to follow. Their concern for  their constituents and the people of England
    was obvious.   
    As there are many professional groups who are obviously against the full tennent of the bill, is there anyway that they could meet with supporters or undeciders in the Upper House to put forward their genuine concerns. Local Nobles and Bishops meeting with concerned groups within their home areas.    

  • Anonymous

    Jonathan Dimbleby takes comments on the NHS on Any Answers? at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b019qblk from 20 mins.

    Susie’s comments on the reforms start at 22 mins.

  • Smee2008

    Well it is – pretty much – only ‘Lansley’s Bill’. Speaking as an ex member of NHS staff (I left through redundancy, not choice) – it is stunning just how blinkered Lansley is to the expert and professional opinion of thousands of NHS staff that his proposals are not in the best interest of the service.
    As for his dismissive comment about the pensions being their main reason for raising their concerns once again last Friday – he really does need to see reality for what it is – his response was extremely rude and incorrect – well done for treating it with contempt.
    The only person in the public eye who has correctly seen what is going on is Gerry Robinson – can’t he have another go at making them see sense? I am concerned that today’s soundbite summary about the cliff edge may prove to be horribly accurate.

  • Eb20111

    I have suffered from mental health problems for all of my adult life,but thanks to a responsive GP and specialist services provided through the NHS, I have been able to stay in continuous employment and lead some semblance of a normal life. I dread to think what will happen to these services if the Tories succeed in their plan to privatise the NHS,I can’t see mental health services being sexy and profitable enough for the private companies to deliver [unless of course you are loaded with money].
    I am on low pay but would be glad to give some of it to pay for some big posters to be put on as many hoardings as possible to make it brutally clear to people what will happen [with some graphic images] if this heinous Bill goes through. Also is there any way in which 38 degrees could get on TV and/or radio to put the case for the NHS? I also think [as someone said earlier] that Labour needs to be put under pressure to fully endorse the 38 degrees campaign and give Cameron & Lansley a hard time of it in Parliament.
    There would be plenty of money to pay for the NHS if the bankers were relieved of their ill-gotten gains…maybe this point needs to emphasised as we move into the bonus-paying season.

  • Jeanne Warren

    I too think we should get behind the ‘Drop the Bill’ e-petition, in addition to anything else.  I was reminded to tell friends about it and one has already put it up on Facebook.  The signatures are now above 36,000.  Last year my MP told me that his constituents were not worried about the bill.  We need to show that many people are.

  • Belladarcy

    Billboard adverts are a good idea but do make them simple not simplistic – bullet point under DID YOU KNOW THAT? woudl be good

  • carol

    I have just seen a posting from Susangreen999 in ‘Save our NHS action centre’  in which she gives an excellent link to the healthprofessional4nhs.co.uk web site.  There is some very useful material which could be used to inform the general public about the dangers of the NHS reforms, including a good leaflet. 



  • ‘Nell angry as hell’

    If Andrew Lansley will not listen even to RCN and RC of Midwives who,  amongst the numerous other bodies who have expressed serious concerns,  both still say, the NHS reforms (it’s not reforms, its a complete overhaul and sell out to privatisation and market forces) are dangerous and detrimental to future health services,  it can only mean one thing, that Andrew Lansley is determined to hand over the running and control of the NHS to private consortia – simple.  Mr Lansley, are you listening? withdraw/cancel your “Privatisation of the NHS” Bill NOW! Make cuts by cutting the many chiefs’ and their managers’ remunerations, perks and pensions! Plenty of savings to be be made in these and other “PC Health Police quangos”! Mr Lansley, we the people will fight you all the way! I hope and pray this will soon be consigned to yet another of the Coalition’s steadily growing pile of “failed bills”!

  • Nell

    Agreed, what’s the point of the Lords if none of their “wafflings and witterings” carries no legal weight nor is legally binding on the House of Commons? – and by the way, can anyone tell me why they ie. House of Lords call the House of Commons that “Other Place”?? as if the MPs as represented by a country’s citizens, are somehow not worthy of being mentioned by its proper name! – continuance of the US and THEM system don’t you think?

  • Nell angry as hell

    If this is true then we should be able to challenge Andrew Lansley through the Courts – 38 Degrees please get your legal team on it right away – there’s no time to waste!!

  • Nell angry as hell

    Mr Nick de Bois is still in a minority despite all his gobbledygook verbiage.  Subsidiarity? is that a word made up by….? So basically, the MP is  saying that current services are already privatised, in that case, then there’s no reason for this ruinous NHS Bill! “and challenges of the 21st century?” – what challenges? this needs more explanation – basically it is all about the lack of (much wasted) money, so they want private money to run the NHS but not without handsome Govt financial inducements and incentives first, I’ll bet!

  • Nell angry as hell

    Johnny, Jude answers your question – mass rallies in central London against the bill!

  • Nell angry as hell

    You are ‘bang on to rights’ there with your comment (I recently learned this MI6 phrase!) – to treat the NHS like any other big business or multi-national is a contradiction in terms – end of!

  • Anonymous

    Subsidiarity comes from Catholic Social Doctrine and is part of EC law where it limits the power of the EC to do things nations could do adequately.
    Nick de Bois says “Government believes, as do I, that to secure a comprehensive National Health Service for the 21st Century, …, it is appropriate not to manage from the top down and to ensure that the principle of subsidiarity is followed to its logical conclusion so that real power is returned to local people and professionals to control the services which are available to them.”
    Assuming he means “but to ensure”, this misuses subsidiarity which applies to the top down hierarchical systems the Church favours and freemarketeers don’t.
    But how much real power will local people and professionals have given the powers of Monitor and the Commissioning Board to limit revenue and enforce competition? CB occurs 112 times in DH’s Impact Assessments for the Health and Social Care Bill at http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_129917.pdf
    I note section B. What are the policy objectives and the intended effects?, p.37 and in section D, the subsection Competition Policy and Enforcement, p.51.

  • sorahjames@yahoo.co.uk

    If any 38% members have not already signed this e-petition set up bt Dr Kailash Chand, http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22670 calling for the Bill to be dropped they should do so.  If millions can be rallied by the likes of Clarkson & Co to sign petitions
    calling for weaker traffic law enforcement surely we can get many more to sign up to save the NHS.  This tactic was very successful deployed by 38% in the Save Our Forests campaign and you should promote this e-petition to all of your members.

  • Anonymous

    Great stuff! I agree free markets should not be applied to the NHS!
    In the last 30 years, GDP has doubled and government’s cuts are only needed because demand has fallen sharply. Were it and many others not trapped in the past and afraid to change, this would be restored by limiting saving and raising wages in the private sector. This would be hard as the global system must be rethought but I judge it necessary.

  • Yvonne Sougnez

    There are now more than 36000 signatures here 
    If we each forward the link to just 2 people who will be supportive, it will exceed the 100 000 that might trigger a Commons debate.  We can all do two – can’t we?  Let’s crank up the pressure in every way we can.

  • Jan

    38 Degrees – you need to make Dr Chand’s e-petition a ‘front page’ issue! It is the ONLY petition which will mandate another debate in Parliament. It needs 100,000 signatories to make it happen, so if all the 4966600 who signed ‘our’ petition could be exhorted to sign his, we would be home & dry. Many people are asking why you haven’t promoted his campaign. I would urge you to stop being so parochial & get the message out there, after all we want the same thing don’t we? Send out a group email please. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Carol – A striking leaflet on two A4 pages indeed!
    Your second link is to excellent replies to 14 frequently asked questions. Over seven pages they criticise and inform about government’s reforms and propaganda. Its heading says:
    Does anyone know authors Lucy Reynolds, Martin McKee, Clare Gerada, David McCoy?
    Your first link to the website is corrupted. It should be http://www.healthprofessionals4nhs.co.uk/

  • Dr Aseem Malhotra

    I wholeheartedly agree with Jan, Yvonne, and Sorahjames. Kailash Chand OBE E petiion http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22670   is the only one that will trigger the commons debate that will really pressurise the bill to be dropped. Lansley is under immense pressure, and this will be the straw we need to break the camels back. So 38 degrees members please sign and share. Also read my piece in the Guardian on how we will all be worse off if we allow the bill to go through!


  • Katiatanousis

    This is what should happen next…..BACK THE OFFICIAL E- PETITION which will FORCE a DEBATE in parliament over the Health Bill. Its the ONLY e-petition which will mandate such a debate. It needs 100,000 signatories. Many of your members are beginning to wonder why you haven’t done this already. I applaud you on getting our 4966600 signatures on YOUR petition – but it is the OFFICIAL one which will really make a difference in parliament. You must send out an email to your members and give them the opportunity to put their name to the OFFICIAL petition. I am wondering why you haven’t done this already? You KNOW about the official government e-petition and you have been asked so many times now to help. 


  • John Wardle

    Yet again on the news today, following the Select Committee statement, Andrew Lansley insists that he is moving forward with the huge changes and says that doctors on the ground are in favour of the changes. Which selected hospitals and GPs does he visit to get comments? The pressure on GPs was already very high but the move to GP Commisssioning has made this worse. Before we moved house just over a year ago my own GP had to reduce his clinic days by a half to work on the implementation committee for the area. The pressures on GPs is causing stress  and sickness to increase. My son-in-law who is a GP was off for 3 weeks before Christmas with stress and on anti-depressants. Two others in the same practice had a lot of time off for sickness. My daughter, also a GP has friends who have also been off with stress. The danger is that even if the Lords throw out parts of the bill the Government will over-rule them and carry on.

  • David

    Completely agree with this post. In fact, the huge discrepancy between the number of signatures on this new petition and the 38 Degrees one makes it look as though public opposition has faded, when this is far from the truth. 38 Degrees have made a name for themselves on their own account, but the Health and Social Care Bill will require an enormous joint effort to overturn. 38 Degrees should bring together doctors, psychologists, nurses, midwives, Labour MPs, Lab, Lib and crossbench Lords, journalists such as Steve Richards (The Independent) and Polly Toynbee (The Guardian) to co-ordinate a sustained attack on Lansley’s motives and aims. It wouldn’t hurt to get some left-leaning cultural commentators such as Charlie Brooker and David Mitchell onboard too. Can anyone recommend any conservative figures who have expressed concern? This needs to include as many people as possible.

    Any chance of someone in the NHS organizing a petition for NHS staff? This could counter Lansley’s claims that they support him. I find it confusing that he simultaneously claims to want to give them complete control of the NHS budget, but also considers them motivated by self-interest when they reject his Bill. This suggests that medical professionals are not really at the heart of what he is planning…

  • Susangreen999

    I have been posting on the old comments site and wondering where everyone was and what was going on. Thanks to George Talbot for redirecting me here. Please 38 Degrees can we sort out the site access. It is confusing. We need new people checking in to find out what is going on being directed straight here not have them going all round the houses and giving up because it’s too difficult.  And I agree with Katiatanousis we should as a priority provide a link to the epetition.

  • Susangreen999

    I looked up the Authors.
    Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Dr Lucy Reynolds; Public Health and Health Financing, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Professor Martin McKee; Professor of European Public Health,
    European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition,also LSHTM andDr David McCoy, Associate Director of Public Health for inner north west Lo

    Thanks for redirecting me here. I’ve been wasting time posting in the wrong place. I hope 38 degrees sort out the mess soon.

  • Imasmith

    I am also a GP who thinks the whole Bill is a disgrace. It has been incredibly undemocratic (not in a manifesto/questions on listening exercise only about the best way to implement changes proposed). I know of no other doctor who has said they think it is a good idea.
     I agree with comments about stress increasing for doctors: I have had to reduce my hours to cope with the increased workload that has come with the last contract and cannot imagine having time to sit in on more meetings about commissioning. Our usual GP meetings are being taken over more with having to look at admin tasks rather than focusing more on how best to treat our patients.
    I do know that the financial crisis means we have to be sensible about what we can do on the NHS but this needs to be decided at a national level to be fair.
    Personally I think we must ensure caring is not lost in the rush for ‘efficiency’. At the end of the day this is more important than the latest expensive treatments/IT systems etc.

  • Susangreen999

    I’m just doing a little explanatory intro to the healthproffessionals
    FAQ doc before sending it on to a friend who works for a local authority
    Social Services. I’ve copied the text into a new doc and i’m pasting
    direct into the email so that it is all there in front of her – make it
    easy, I’m hoping she will be be able to
    circulate it internally.
    I think we need a media
    blitz. The BBC national coverage is shockingly pro gov ‘save money
    blah… better service blah…  (10pm news sunday) with no sense of the
    widespread dissent that exists across the UK. Perhaps an appeal to
    Newsnight to do a whole programme special? Local news tonight  (Midlands
    Today) covered an item on Kidney dialysis provided by a private firm
    for NHS patients. They’re cutting staff by a third and patients were
    saying this is what they promised us would not happen when they
    privatised the provision. More local news stories like this on
    both radio and TV will help boost the profile of our case.  Local radio phone ins are an excellent way of speaking live and direct to a lot of people. Raising awareness is vital but beyound that what are we asking them to do? The epetition obviously – though even with 100k signatures their is no guarantee of getting a proper debate in the commons, apparently they can just add it in to another debate. Write to an MP or a Lord? Which ones? Back in November 2 of the Lords I wrote to; and they were proper letters not emails, never even acknowledged reciept; and one of them was the Bishop of Birmingham, I expect better manners from someone in his position. So which politicians – do we have a target list or any guidelines at all?
    On the political front  I’m hoping to get to a SHA meeting with Lord Hunt on
    Saturday morning and find out wether we can still get this bill chucked
    back to commons or better still thrown out.
    People ask me if it can be stopped. I don’t know the answer to that one. I’m not for settling for some changes to the Bill. I don’t want to waste time persuading a Lord to vote for a bit of tinkering. Its got to go. The whole bloody lot of it.

  • Susangreen999

    I have sent the following email to 38 degrees team

    Dear Team

    Imagine you are a newcomer when you  first come on to the site – The Home Page -  to look at NHS campaign you are drawn to Save our NHS which takes you direct to the 38 degrees petition. Please
    can you explain why this one has priority? How will this petition stop
    the Bill?  Why are the repeated requests for the epetition to be given prominence
    being ignored? It at least has the virtue of having an achievable

    In trying to touch base and catch up I clicked on NHS Action Centre and
    posted on this page for a few days before someone alerted me to the fact
    that the conversation was happening on another page. There is no link to this page from Action Centre you have to go back through Home to find it.

    Please can we have a tidy up. If  you are making it hard for me as an
    active campaigner to join in imagine how confused a newcomer will feel.

    sue green

  • Susangreen999

    Me Too. I wrote a proper  letter -not email and  posted it to the Bishop of Birmingham at his Birmingham address and he didn’t have the courtesy to acknowledge reciept. So rude.

  • Susangreen999

    I keep asking this – no  one seems to know. Back in Dec I went to a meeting with Andy Burnham and someone (I think she was a Health trust CEO) asked the same question but even in this room full of health professionals no one could offer a definitive answer. I do  not understand why the labour party aren’t beating the Govt to death with this one.

  • Jan

    Hello Sue, I’ve posted your link to health professional 4nhs site on 38 Degrees Facebook page. I’ve also asked them to prioritise Dr Chand’s petition and make it the first thing everyone sees on their site. You might like to post directly on FB because there seems to be very little ‘crossover’ between the two sites. Here’s the link …./www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange    There are an awful lot of people rooting for this bill to be consigned to the dustbin of history but we all need to stand together. Jan.

  • Dr Aseem Malhotra

    You can now vote as ask 38 degrees to send an email to all members to support the Kailash Chand OBE petition to ” Drop the Health BIll”. It’s the only petition that has a mandate to force another debate in parliament, which is just at the right time, to get the bill dropped. It will also  put significant pressure on Lansley to resign.


  • Diane

    I completely agree that the whole Bill should be scrapped, and feel that we need to focus on some of the more outrageous elements of it when talking about why it needs to go. Perhaps 38 Degrees could identify some of the really disgusting implications and use those to focus the opposition. My own two main concerns are, first, the ability of local hospitals (not sure if only hospitals or also other health services) to take up to 49% private patients. The implications for those who are not private patients are terrifying. Second class service won’t even come close if the resources for free health care are halved. My second concern is the cost of the administrative changes. I don’t know if anyone has published figures on the total costs (including redundancy payments for changes to PCTs etc), but someone must know. Given limited public resources and cuts in budgets for real health care, these costs (almost whatever they are) are truly appalling, especially when they achieve nothing of any value to ordinary people – the benefits are all for those delivering services who may make more money. These costs, and the likely implications of 49% private patients for NHS services free at the point of use, are really significant issues for me. I wonder what others think.

  • Jan

    Exactly Diane, this is why the Risk Register needs to be published. I’m sure the answers to your questions and very many more lie buried in the depths of this document & that is why they won’t let us scrutinise it! They have been told to publish, now they need to be FORCED.

  • Brenda

    It seems that the concessions will be minimal and cosmetic in nature,  with progresss to privatisaiton and rationing of care proceeding, as it already  is on the ground, even though the bill has not been passed. I think  maximum effort is required to halt it,  as various  Royal Colleges are suggesting.  Carmeron  managed to get the votes he did in the election in part becasue people thoght the NHS would be safe in his hands, and still do not realsie that  if the Bill is passed, the NHS as they have known it is effectively over, and the much feared US style healthcare regime will take over.
    Whatever 38 degrees can do to make these points and try and stop the Bill will be needed. Joining with the RC’s, a publicity campaign on the effects of the Bill, I’m not sure waht would be msot effective, but  we need to do something. 

  • Margaret Greenwood

    It’s vital we all keep putting pressure on Lib Dem and Tory MPs. Now’s the time to make another appointment to see your MP. Go with a friend if you like. Tell them that they have to oppose the Health and Social Care bill. Make sure they know that hospitals
    will be allowed to devote 49% of resources to private patients if this bill goes through, essentially
    almost halving capacity in the NHS.

    Write to your MP again too. And email papers, phone-in radio stations, and pull up broadcasters who seek to cast the NHS in a poor light. You may have noticed lots of pieces on TV talking down the NHS, criticising it. Let’s not forget that Lansley has a huge media machine at the Dept of Health (paid for by us) generating negative stories about the NHS. When you see one of these, email or phone the broadcaster and demand they tell the story of NHS privatisation that is happening. They need pulling up on this all the time.

    Organise a meeting locally and get people out campaigning outside MPs surgeries again. Make a noise. Let them know that we will not forgive them if they let this bill through.

    If you had a mealy-mouthed response from your MP last time, all the more reason to go back and pressurise them some more.

    Quote Cathy Warwick to your MP:

    Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, wrote on 22 January

    “The RCM took the decision to go into battle and oppose the bill
    outright when we asked ourselves what the NHS will look like in five years if
    this bill goes through.

    “Five years from now the NHS might be little more than a state-funded
    health insurance system, made up of a fragmented mishmash of private companies
    competing with each other to provide narrow slivers of care. “NHS”
    would be the logo on the front of it all – but with no real NHS hospitals, no
    NHS doctors, NHS nurses or NHS midwives. The NHS that has served us pretty well
    for over 60 years will be gone, something for people to read about in their
    history books.”

    Ask your MP what their vision for the NHS in 5 years time is. Tell them they will live with their decision for the rest of their lives. So will we.

  • Lucy N

    I tried to sign this but it said petition not found….. any chance of a direct link?

  • Lucy N

    I tried to sign this but it said petition not found….. any chance of a direct link?

  • Jmwayland

    In the leaders’ televised debates David Cameron said that there would be no wholesale top-down structural changes to the NHS if his party were elected. I have pointed this out (and much else besides) to my MP, to Messrs. Lansley and Burns and to Mr Cameron himself and asked why this promise was overturned so casually. I have had no reply which answers the question itself – just a list of all the benefits which the reform will bring. Why isn’t this outrageous breach of faith being pursued more vigorously?

  • Anonymous

    Dr Kailash Chand’s e-petition “Drop the Health Bill” is at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22670

  • Jane Pape

    I’m not in agreement with 38 deg. over the NHS! I think people should take much more responsibility for their own health; I think a charge of £5 per visit to GP could be levied for those not on ‘freebies’ and that we should stop taking away pensions when OAP’s or Disability Allowances when people go into hospital and that everyone should pay a ‘hotel charge’ for food and laundry, up to £25 per week…..and lots more, but I know I’m against the grain on this!
    But you’re still doing a great job!  All the best….Jane P

  • Carolinexox

    I strongly disagree that there is no urgent action. This is the last chance saloon for the NHS. Medical organisations are rising up against the Bill this week and they are being derided by Lansley as only ‘trade unions’. Any concerted activity by 38 Degrees will be simiarly dismissed as a campaign by the disingenous on behalf of the misinformed. Lansley openly lies in public, saying that the public is all for the reforms. He lies when he says doctors support it.

    The only thing that will work is thousands of people write to their MPs personally and individually, not following a template because these are dismissed. Please write to your MP using your own words and ask him other to pass on your views to Mr Lansley. Please hurry before it is too late. Copy your letter to the Prime Minister, he won’t see it but he may be told if he gets a lot of letters about the same thing.Dont mention 38 degrees or any campaign (not denigrating the brilliant 38 degrees but I promise you, ministers will dismiss anything they see as a campaign.)

    I know what I am talking about, I am a civil servant and I have much experience of this type of thing.

  • Johnhall74

    If the article by Seamus Milne in today’s Guardian is reasonably accurate it suggests
    that Lansley has not taken any account of anyone’s views and the NHS will become
    a USA style health service.

    It suggests the campaign has lost out, The noises coming from the Royal Colleges
    support this line

    Maybe a lot more effort is needed

    John Hall

  • hamsterkel

    If you haven’t done so already, please sign Pat’s Petition to stop and review the cuts tbenefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families and forward the link to everyone you know:


  • Clare Brotherwood

    I had the misfortune to visit two hospitals last week. At Wexham Park Hospital in Slough I was left for three hours feeling sleepy, sick and faint after being injected for a severe allergic reaction. The emergency department was so full I didn’t have a bed and all the staff were stressed out.
    Two days later I had a day-op at Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot which is threatened with closure, and if it does there will be even more pressure on Wexham Park. Heatherwood was a positive experience. I sailed through the op on my foot with very little pain and the staff were attentive and friendly. I would certainly not mind having to visit Heatherwood again.

  • Ali

    Lansley is up to his usual lies, threats and dirty tricks in order to protect his odious bill.
    We must encourage and support the medical bodies in their opposition, as only total defeat of the bill will protect the NHS for the future.


  • Jeanne Warren

    Thank you, Ali, for the link to the Guardian article.  I can’t find it in my print edition.  This shows that the health professionals do not feel able to defy the government.  That means it is up to us.  We need to write, using our own words, to as many people and places as we can, and to circulate the excellent FAQs produced by senior doctors this month, which were pointed out earlier..  Here is the link again:

  • Jan

    A good article in The Guardian where I see Lansley’s been forced into an amendment regarding ‘duty to provide’. A small step in the right direction but now we have some momentum we must step up the pressure to scrap the bill entirely. 38 Degrees, we are looking to you for a positive move – make Dr Chand’s epetition your headline piece now.

  • Anonymous

    I have just sent several acquaintances a page introducing the excellent replies to 14 frequently asked questions on the Bill produced by:
    Dr Clare Gerada; Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners:
    Dr Lucy Reynolds; Public Health and Health Financing, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine:
    Professor Martin McKee; Professor of European Public Health, European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition, also LSHTM: and
    Dr David McCoy; Associate Director of Public Health for inner North West London.
    Its seven pages are available at http://www.healthprofessionals4nhs.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/faq-on-the-hascb.pdf and it asks everyone to
    The briefing is based on what is written in the Health and Social Care Bill rather than the promises and reassurances that have been made by ministers and officials. The two have frequently been quite different, and the media have mainly reflected the latter. But the Bill’s content will shape the future NHS so this document seeks to increase public understanding by bridging the gap between what is in the Bill and what has commonly been portrayed in media coverage.
    With thanks to carol and Susangreen999 below, 24th January, and to the four authors

  • Judith Brown Bristol

    In the Bill “Healthwatch” is meant to be the new body to protect the interests of patients. It was intended to be a statutory body. There are now rumours that this is be changed in an amendment to”a body to carry out statutory functions” . You can not tender for a statutory body. You CAN tender for a body to carry out statutory functions, and as Healthwatches will have budgets above the EU competition level, they will have to be advertised across the E.U.This means anybody from anywhere in the EU can compete to provide local representation services. At the moment LINKs represent patients. They are local people, living in the area,often from local organisations like disability groups, carers groups,older people’s groups.This information came from Lord Harris, and I think that, if true, this seemingly harmless change of words makes a mockery of the “power to local people” ethos that the Government has said it is trying to promote. Please look at Dr. Chands petition “Drop the Bill”click on http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22670 this now has over 40,000
    I feel angry that 38 Degrees has not taken this one on officially! My own petition “Tell us whats in the secret Risk register http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions /27426 has 800 odd signatures but thats only about 80 a day since i started it – its is meant to edge waverers in the Houses to wonder what indeed is going on behind the scenes and what information the Government is concealing by refusing to publish the Risk Register of the Bill. I have read many other people asking for 38 degrees to get behind the petitions – COME ON 38 degrees! Time is running out !

  • Judith Brown Bristol

    I must have missed off something as the link did not go straight to my petition. It’s http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/27426. Sorry.

  • Anonymous

    I suppose a space came between /petitions and /27426 in your text.

  • Anonymous

    You ask: Would it be possible to distinguish which Lords support Lansley’s Bill or are wavering…?. The following link on Keep Our NHS Public is to a spreadsheet prepared by Dr Anthony Isaacs with recent voting data for lords broken down by affiliation. http://www.keepournhspublic.com/pdf/IsaacsanalysisofLordsvoting.xls

  • Jeanne Warren

    The Frequently Asked Questions refer to an article in the Lancet, which is not free to read.  However a free pdf of the article is available at

  • Pauline Thorburn

    There is one issue that is causing me growing concern and that is the lack of understanding about the proposed changes, whenever I speak to anyone who is not involved in any campaigns to save the NHS. There seems to be a blissful lack of awareness that there are to be significant changes that will affect them. Somehow the profile of the Health Bill needs to be raised again and perhaps 38 degress could make this a priority e.g. through adverts in newspapers

  • http://HackneyKONP.org/ HackneyKONP8thFebDemo

    Please support the OFFICIAL DEMO outside Parliament on the 8th of February  -called by Keep Our NHS Public:

    starts 2.30 pm until 8.30 pm Old Palace Yard – opposite the Lords

    for more info contact HackneyKONP8thFebDemo@gmail.com

  • Jan

    Could you please post the link to this article on 38 Degrees Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange
    It deserves to be read by more people. Thanks, Jan.

  • Anonymous
  • Josie Howell1

    Pauline, I could not agree more, we realy do need to push this where ever we can to the general public.  I am so appalled by their lack of interest, its scary! This bill must be dropped.

  • Anonymous

    I also share your concern. The media is portraying this as a conflict between health professionals and the government, with no mention of any public concern. We must do more to make people aware of this issue.  I am disappointed that there is no mention of the NHS on the 38 degrees home page.  It is very convenient for the government that bankers’ bonuses and Fred Goodwin are getting the headlines and distracting from other serious issues.

  • Jacquelinedavid

    I think the best way to open up the eyes of the general populace would be to demand that anyone in the cabinet – and shadown cabinet – reveal THEIR income and assets.  This would put everything into perspective for the so-called squeezed middle.  They would see they have a lot more, economically speaking, in common with those on a low wage or on benefits.  How do you start a petition for this sort of transparency.

  • Roddyrodman

    Misinformed rubbish. Anyone care to find out how many people are paid 6 figure salaries by the nhs???? plenty, I assure you ,and unsurprisingly nearly  all of them are against change. I work in a hospital, and it is inefficient,  ineffective and un-patient centric.
    These nhs changes are about long overdue reform to a failing dinosaur, and are led by patient choice, which is what it’s all about . So many bandwagon – jumpers, who know little of what they speak. Shame on you sheep.  Internet petitions, yawn yawn. Always moaning about change, but actually doing NOTHING in your own life to facilitate it, just moaning behind text, and ticking a box , just because you can, without knowing the full implications.  Armchair activists are the worst kind of people. Daily mail readers with internet. Shame on you. Get up and change things, and stop wearing the ‘ victim’ t-shirt.

  • Anonymous

    Your comment about six figure salaries reminds me that Malcolm Grant, the chair of the proposed NHS commissioning board, is to be paid £370K/year. I have a very low income but having studied the reforms for a year, would not dismiss those against them because they have high pay. And I don’t know any serious commentator who is against change.
    You complain about moaning behind text but I do not know whether you do work in a hospital that is inefficient, ineffective and un-patient centric. But I confirm the reply of Wendy Savage of KONP to criticisms from justbackfromgermany: The Commonwealth Fund, an independent US organisation, has done several surveys showing that the NHS performs very well on a range of issues. Most recently in November it rates the UK as best on a range of questions answered by patients about their chronic care. The year before the UK came out top or second for cost effectiveness, equity and ease of access and only 3% wanted radical change so I think you are in a minority and your comments are not evidence based. The NHS is not perfect but the Bill will make things worse not better. http://www.38degrees.org.uk/pages/save_our_nhs_action_centre#comment-420474983
    I share concern about high pay which I attribute to breaking the trades unions in the 80s and to low top rates of tax. These policies are favoured by freemarketeers as is Lansley’s wish to liberate the NHS. I conclude they are moved more by faith in freedom and self-interest than by understanding the full implications of all their policies.

  • Anonymous

    I recommend the excellent replies to 14 FAQs on the Bill from Dr Clare Gerada and others. More details are in my comment, 27th January, below http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2012/01/19/nhs-campaign-whats-going-on/#comment-422217677
    On the 29th January, I referred to these FAQs in a comment on Your Say on the Watford Observer: http://forum.watfordobserver.co.uk/viewtopic.php?p=605#605

  • Dennis shaw

    2. ”      DO      ”       NOT TO BE YOUNG.
    3  ”      DO      ”       NOT TO BE ILL.
    4  ”      DO      ”       NOT TO BE OLD.

    DENNIS SHAW TEL 01302 890906

    E-MAIL, dennis@leilearose.force9.co.uk

  • Jacquelinedavid

    Good point about the Poll Tax.  The difference today is the political arena is devoid of any serious pressure from the left.  The likes of the Militant Tendancy and the various anarcho groups who helped organise the anti-poll tax protests had many and multifarious faults but they did ORGANISE.  They got ordinary people such as myself to stick leaflets through doors, book halls for meetings and even gave us the confidence to stand up and run those meetings.  It came from the heart. The points you all raise on this forum are excellent, but  it is imperative that the most vulnerable, those who are in most need of the NHS – who do not and never will be able to afford a privatised health care model – to be aware and be involved and to feel they can make a difference. 
    The person who said it would be effective to organise smaller, local protests was bang on the money – although this also needs to be followed up by massive public protests. 
    In the end, the diversity of the activists involved in the anti-poll tax protest was crucial to its success.
    The main enemy (apart from the people attempting to destroy the NHS) is time.

  • Stuart Mills

    38 Degrees dilutes it effectivenes by pursuing too many campaigns, I donate to 38 degrees as it pursues the issues that are most important, by having so many campaigns going at the same time the organisation becomes little more than another political party. Focus on the NHS, it is by far the most important issue and all of your resources should be dedicated to it at this critical time.

  • Jacquelinedavid

    That’s the point I was trying to make about the anti-poll tax campaign.  It was single issue but required the participation of a multiplicity of people.  Rich, poor and what the politicians now refer to as the ‘squeezed middle’.  In order to defeat or amend this dreadful bill, I think we need to make all people aware of the impact it will have on their lives.  The people sympathetic to our concerns in the Lords and the Other Place are outnumbered by the people who have a vested interested in the privatisation of the NHS. 

  • kevein

    Well done guys for all the effort. We, at ms-ccsvi-uk.org got Andrew L to come out and speak to us when 24 of our 2,700 group rallied at Richmond Ho. in 2011.
    However EVERYONE labelled with an MS diagnosis is still being ILLEGALLY DENIED Venoplasty even when we have EVIDENCE of VENOUS MALFUNCTION leaving us at risk of STROKE which is what KILLS MOST MS sufferers ….even when we are referred WITHOUT mention of MS for this unhealthy state to be treated. Plus the DoH’s estimates of MS incidence is WRONG BY 100%!!
    Worse than this, 38 % DO NOT SEEM TO BE INTERESTED despite our support for your campaigns – PLEASE CHANGE this situation before MORE of us DIE or continue to live in AGONY. Regards and Lol
    Kevin Campbell for
    http://www.ms-ccsvi-uk.org and http://www.vital-now.org