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Poll: How to save our NHS?

February 7th, 2012 by

 

 

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Over the past year, we’ve had some big successes in the Save Our NHS campaign. We helped force the government to delay introducing their changes and launch a “listening exercise” which reigned in some of the dodgiest parts of the plan. We raised money to bring in expert lawyers, helping to push the House of Lords to demand further amendments. Over half a million of us have been involved in the campaign so far – signing petitions, sending e-mails, donating money, meeting up locally – and the difference we have made has been huge.

Andrew Lansley’s plans look different to when we started. We’ve helped force him for example to row back from scrapping his legal responsibility for providing health service. But at the same time, the plans still look pretty bad – just last week, the Royal College of GPs warned that they will “cause irreparable damage to patient care and jeopardise the NHS”.

So, what should 38 Degrees members do together next? Should we continue to focus on trying to amend the plans, zooming in on dangerous proposals to extend competition and privatisation in the NHS? Or is it instead time to change tack and campaign the whole plan to be scrapped – a longshot, but possibly more in line with what we’d like to see in an ideal world?

We can do more than one thing at once, but we can’t do everything. We have the most impact when we focus. So please share your thoughts by doing the 2 minute survey here.

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  • Tasty Hasty

    I think the focus should now be on getting the Risk Register published.  This could blow the Bill out of the water.

  • Anonymous

    Whatever we do, it needs to be done very quickly as I believe the Bill is going back to the Lords tomorrow.

  • A Person

    Ask that group of lawyers that you retained to look at the legality of Lansley and David Nicholson forcing the NHS re-organisation aspects of the Bill through prior to the Bill itself actually becoming law. For example, GP Commissioning Groups and the NHS Commissiong Board are already active, recruiting and spending budgets. How can any of these organisations have proper legal basis when the Bill that brings them into being is not yet law?

  • Geoff

    Now is the time for a pre-emptive action, to negate Cameron’s stated intention to get behind Lansley & force the bill through – I very much like the preceding suggestion of a legal attack on what has already been [illegally?] implemented – it could be the military equivalent of a minefield in which  the coalition will get bogged down, forced on the defensive and forced to throw their efforts on extricating themselves from a mess rather than advancing.
    I’ll donate again if you do this.

  • Janet Edmonds

    38 degrees has lost its way re. the NHS.

    Where have all the other comments on the NHS gone?  Why aren’t they visible on this page?

    There’s nothing we can do about energy prices – that’s a waste of time – focus on the NHS.

    I’ve started a thread on the BBC Points of View messageboard to moan about lack of coverage of NHS Reforms on BBC 

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/NF1951574?thread=8322706&post=111657073#p111657073

    The BBC News is still giving an unbalanced view – relating the reasons for change but no GPs saying why they are objecting.

  • Anonymous

     I couldn’t agree more.  We should be doing more to get the public view across. It’s a pity that energy prices are now the main focus.

  • Zoho

    KILL THE NHS DIRECTORS who have just sold the NHS! saying they want private comptetion…corporate scum lovers…,they are not doctors or nurses like PCT’S

  • cwilliams

    Nearly half a million people have signed the NHS petition on this web site. Granted, it’s rather vague and not specific enough for my liking, but many of those people have included comments which show their dissatisfaction with the reforms.   What is being done with this petition? Is there any way of publicising some of these comments?  We need to show that the public, not only the medical profession, is against this Bill.  Time is running out.

  • Alan Bond

    Since we have been relying heavily on the unelected House of Lords to rescue our health service from the hands of Lansley and his big business cronies, now seems the opportunity to make representation to HM The Queen for her to use the Royal Prerorogative to dissolve this Parliament.
                   The grounds for this are simple enough and they are 1) This tory-led government has no mandate from the British people and the NHS Bill is, therefore, undemocratic, 2) Parts of the bill are being implemented even before it has been passed by Parliament and the government’s actions are, therefore, illegal and 3) David Cameron lied to the British people during the election campaign when he said that the tories had no plans for a top down re-organisation of the NHS but later told us that Lansley had been working on these plans for four years. This government is, clearly, totally unfit to discharge it’s responsiblities to the British people and it should now be forced put it’s plans to the vote by means of a general election or a referendum. Not to do so will prove conclusively that Cameron and his party are a bunch of craven cowards who are not to be trusted. The fact that they are carrying out a series of deliberate and calculated attacks on the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country while at the same time are allowing the richest 1% to hold the country to ransom should be enough to have them thrown out of office.

  • Guest

    What about the bill do people object to? Most of the comments I have seen clearly illustrate a fundamental lack of understanding about how the NHS works and what the major issues are. In my extensive dealings with the NHS I have come across many many reasons why some parts of it need to be changed (for better care and greater efficiency) and equally many many parts of it which work very well. 

  • Janet Edmonds

    The fact that there are so few comments here, (or reaction to my moan on the BBC message board about no NHS coverage) shows how little public feeling/knowledge there is about this. 

    I can’t help thinking that someone at the BBC must  have had a personal interest in the National Forest because their coverage of that subject incensed people enough to force a U turn, but the Beeb is too scared of its bosses to touch this one. 

    Okay, there are half a million sigs on the petition - when and where do we hand it in then? 

    The Tories are going to dismantle a Brilliant National Institution – just what President Obama is struggling to bring in, (and failing). 

    It just makes you sick. 

  • Barryoakland

    The NHS was set up in entirely different circumstances compared to today. It appears to me that the majority of the the U.K. thinks it is a ‘God’ given right to have ‘free’ health treatment, of course taxes & government borrowing finance the the NHS. 

    With an ever ageing population the cost of running the NHS will spiral even more out of control than it is now. No political party has the guts to come out and tell the truth to the British people about the NHS because it certainly will not win them any votes at any election! We, as a nation, in my humble opinion, need a radical change to our way of thinking about who pays, how much we need to pay and how we pay for health care, whether it is through more direct taxation, insurance based and/or privately. Face the facts people, we do not have a bottomless pit of dosh just available for health care, take your heads out of the sand, open your minds.HOW DO WE SOLVE THIS MASSIVE SOCIAL & ECONOMICAL MONSTER WE ALL HAVE HELPED CREATE?

  • cwilliams

    The Independent is campaigning against high energy prices and profiteering but chooses not to come out against The Health and Social Care Bill.  However, this Bill is effectively paving the way for privatisation of the health service, in much the same way as was done with electricity. People are complaining about paying higher prices for energy but fail to see that they will also be paying more for their healthcare and waiting longer for treatment unless they have private insurance, if that is, they are luckly enough not to have a chronic illness.

    As Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, has commented:  “Energy provision should be viewed not merely as a market commodity, but as a crucial public service on which we all rely.”
    The same could be said about health.

  • David

    No question some parts of the NHS need to work better, but this Bill is the wrong tool for the job. Likely consequences as I understand it are that clinical commissioning groups, ostensibly run by GPs, will fall into hands of commercial consultancies and insurers who will siphon profits out of NHS. There will be no or greatly reduced accountability to Parliament as the Sec of State’s responsibility to provide care is moved down the hierarchy, and there will inevitably be people (the poorest and the sickest, most likely) who fall through the health care net. If these are not the intended effects, they are certainly attendant risks and I don’t believe we should gamble with the NHS. 

  • David

    No question some parts of the NHS need to work better, but this Bill is the wrong tool for the job. Likely consequences as I understand it are that clinical commissioning groups, ostensibly run by GPs, will fall into hands of commercial consultancies and insurers who will siphon profits out of NHS. There will be no or greatly reduced accountability to Parliament as the Sec of State’s responsibility to provide health care is moved down the hierarchy (tho Gov’t claims to have fixed this, others are sceptical), and there will inevitably be people (the poorest and the sickest, most likely) who fall through the health care net. 
    If these are not the intended effects, they are certainly attendant risks and I don’t believe we should gamble with the NHS. And if they are not the intended effects, why is the risk analysis for this  legislation being kept secret? See the relevant petitions on the No 10 web site. 

  • cwilliams

     No one is denying that there could be some improvements to the NHS but this so called reform is not the way to do it. GPs should provide care, not manage budgets. Why can’t they work with existing local PCTs to decide on the best care for their patients, which is what this Bill is supposed to be about?

    And allowing public hospitals to make 49% of itheir income from private patiients is just plain wrong. It will create a two-tier system where those without insurance (because they cannot afford it or have chronic conditions that the private sector will not insure) will wait longer and longer for treatment. 

    There are so many things wrong with this Bill, it should just be scrapped.  We may well have to pay more for our healthcare in the future but I would rather do this through taxation rather than pretend that privatisation is the magic formula.

    http://www.healthprofessionals4nhs.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/faq-on-the-hascb.pdf

  • cwilliams

     I personally object to the increased use of private companies who are in it solely for the profit.  Also, allowing public hospitals to make 49% of itheir income from private
    patiients will create a two-tier system where
    those without insurance (because they cannot afford it or have chronic
    conditions that the private sector will not insure) will wait longer and
    longer for treatment. You may find these FAQs interesting:

    http://www.healthprofessionals4nhs.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/faq-on-the-hascb.pdf

    http://nhsvault.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-patients-are-not-objecting-to.html

  • cwilliams

     I agree.  We really need to step up our campaiign. An interesting comment:

    http://nhsvault.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-patients-are-not-objecting-to.html

  • Elaine

    There’s a great nhs short video worth watching and passing on

    http://youtu.be/I7onNFNKH6Y

  • Lucy N

    This is not the time for this kind of debate. This is an absolute luxury.  The point of the campaign is get rid of this rubbish bill asap. If you are not interested in trying to do this why are you bothering with this site?

  • Marley

    What about all the legal work? My worry is that pressure on its own won’t work. The government can ignore public opinion,
    and often does. How can we stop them through the courts for endangering the
    health of the public for speculative gain, whilst for undermining democracy and
    the principles of government? Can’t we sue them as traitors or for endangering
    national security?

  • http://twitter.com/snozboz Martin Burch

    Unfortunately I suspect that the legal challenges proposed would not get anywhere.  The reason the government has been able to make changes to the NHS before the bill, is that the previous Labour government’s reforms made these changes possible.  This also partly explains why Labour has not been opposing the reforms effectively.

    Also, there is nothing in law that says the election commitment to “no top-down reorganisation of the NHS” (or any election manifesto commitment for that matter) has to be implemented.

  • Sfk42

    Why is there no option for ‘Direct Action With Extreme Prejudice’?  Enough now.  I’m sick of this.  This government has gone far enough.

  • Will Stanton

    Is there no way to force a referendum on the NHS?