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Save your local NHS

September 21st, 2012 by

38 Degrees members

The government’s plans to privatise and fragment our NHS are taking shape across England.

Local doctors are forming a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in your area. They’re going to get new powers to decide what health services you and your neighbours are able to access and who provides them.

Whether it’s treatment for diabetes, skin conditions, a broken arm or depression, profit-hungry companies like Virgin Care and Serco are circling, ready to bid for contracts by promising to slash costs.

The doctors on your local CCG will be under pressure from the government to hand out contracts to private companies. That could put vital services at risk.  But the last thing most doctors want is to carve up our NHS for private profit. Plus, the new CCG has a legal duty to listen to local people.

So right now, we’ve got a big chance to ask local doctors to use their new powers to protect our NHS, not privatise it. Together, we can make sure they hear from hundreds of local people as they make these crucial decisions.

Can you add your name to the petition to your local CCG now?

Donations from 38 Degrees members have funded lawyers to prepare robust wording for CCGs to write into their constitutions – protecting our NHS from the worst risks of the government’s plans.

If we can get in early, while CCGs are still being formed, we can give doctors a better choice – one based on sound legal advice and the interests of patients, not private companies.

38 Degrees members will be able to work together to persuade their local CCG to write these safeguards into their constitutions. The government and the private health industry probably won’t like it at all, but there’s little they can do to stop people power.

First things first. Can you add your name to the petition to your local CCG?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/GloriousGrey Ron Moss

    I fully support any campaign to improve NHS services in Hemel Hempstead but you seem more interested in stopping any privatisation even if it means improved services for us – the people. The N in NHS stands for National NOT Nationalised. You should remember that all our GPs are self employed businesses; i.e. Privatised.

    You should support and encourage any changes that lead to better services for us the customers. Not all privatisation is wrong. Bloated, inefficient, overstaffed Public Sector activities are wrong.

  • laurence coombs

    There are two problems with the last persons comments which are based in ignorance of what is actually happening. The current commisioning is not a level playing field. The NHS commissioners are unable to freely commision in a way that suites the local populations needs. They must put out to any provider 15% of the work. Virgin et all can undercut but the NHS trusts can’t because if they run at a loss Monitor will bring in private management teams and take them over, this is effectively privatisation of the whole hospital. Equally if any hospital looses 15% of its budget (and the private companies only want the strategic bits) it will collapse. The government recognises this which is why the NHS logo has been sold to the private companies and estate agents are going round the hospitals at the present time. The first time the population realises it has lost its hospital will be when it has gone. It will be replaced by a shopping mall of private providers offering an array of treatments. The cost of all this is huge, mpfit the computer network to make this easy has sunk without trace at a cost of 50 billion pounds. Currently pressures on managers and doctors are huge as they try to keep underfunded resources going while taking pension and pay cuts and redundancies. This is after 10 years of chasing targets which has distorted clinical care to the detriment of patients. Watch for the mid staffs report. Coincidently without looking at the figures I would suspect that the hospital in Hemel will be on the list to go in a private rationalisation. The papers have reported that this program will deliver 20 billion pounds to the private sector this time round, this is one fifth of the total NHS budget this year alone. The destabilisation it causes will be the end of the health service, in keeping with the current governments plan that the NHS should NOT BE A PROVIDER OF HEALTH CARE but the purchaser of the cheapest possible care for the customers of England.

  • Felix Ulatsova

    Lansley began the changes ahead of full and proper i.e. valid discussion and ahead of legislation. In fact, PCT and other bodies started to be broken up as said, ahead of legislation being passed and before ‘meaningful’ and ‘well considered’ strategies were in place. The upshot of that is, that there is chaos throughout the NHS in terms of departments not knowing what others are doing and how it might impact on them. People with no NHS experience or depth of knowledge are being brought in from the private sector based on the myth that these individuals know how to run a business. One Trust brought in a banker who failed totally and was replaced by someone with an NHS background.

    Once the GP’s realise that they are being set up as the scapegoats for when (and it will) goes wrong then what?

    The NHS. police services, armed forces and education have been the play things of government for the last 30yrs or more simply because they are in the public eye and vote catching areas. ‘We can make it better’, ‘we can improve……’, ‘education, education, education’, pah ……. all that has happened and will continue to happen until there is a radical change to overthrow corrupt politics and governments in this country.

    As for the NHS being placed into the custody of someone who should have been sacked and kicked out of politics ….. that is a criminal act against the rank and file people of the country.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is that Derwentside has been part of Virgin for over two years, because Virgin bought out Assura. If my GP surgery is already making more money by being part of Virgin Care why should they change? This is too little, too late.

  • Anonymous

    I have just checked my local CCG site to find out about becoming a layperson on the CCG for North Durham.
    The CCG was established in October 2011. The application should have been in by 24th August, but the form was put on the website on 3rd September.
    I could have had an informal discussion about it with my own GP. However, one of the essential criteria for the post is that I “should have a demonstrable commitment to clinical commissioning, the CCG and to the wider NHS”
    That’s me out as well as most of the readers of this, I suspect.
    There is a program on BBC4 tonight, at 9 p.m., called Health Before the NHS.
    My mother’s father died because they could not afford treatment for him. He had lost his business in the depression. My grandmother then became a headteacher in a village school, but they still could not afford the treatment needed. Are we to go back to this in 4 generations?

  • Jon Williams

    Felix and Laurence are right. I’m an NHS Clinical Director with more than 30 years service.
    I cried the day the health act was passed.

    The problem is that the damage is done and we need to move on. The population is getting older, living longer, with more health problems, not to mention the poverty brought about by recession and social isolation. the politicians have stuffed us well and truly but the work we do is still needed more than ever.

    Good luck to everyone in this campaign and thank you Aneurin would be proud

  • Vince

    Your site is not recognizing my postcode so i cannot sign.

  • Mary

    Same here; is there a problem with the site, or is it that not all areas have a petition?

  • Anonymous

    My husband died this year of a brain tumour. He was 65, and had had his pension for less than 6 months. So not all the population is living longer.
    What about the fact that GPs are being asked to identify the 1% of patients whom they believe will die every year and get them to sign living wills?
    That’s on http://www.dyingmatters.org.
    Not widely advertised, is it?

  • Clare

    Your site sees my postcode as outside England, so cannot sign. Must be a problem your end as partner signed successfully a few days ago.

  • Depressed of South Northants

    I have advanced secondary degenrative multiple sclerosis and have just completed the extremely long pro forma explaining why I am not fit for work. No doubt, a group of non-medically trained profit seekers, will demand to see me and rule this broken body fit for work. Whilst I can see the profitability of routine operations for the private sector who will research cures for the major illness groups like M.S. and who will make a profit helping me with symtomatic relief as my pain increases? No doubt I will be given the choice of three centres in Cambridge, Edinburgh and London. Travel will prove a nightmare and I will not attend proving to the government just how unimportant a scrounger I really am.

  • Bill Henthorn

    I too cannot sign up – Truro area postcode
    Bill Henthorn, St Agnes

  • Anonymous

    My local Tory councillor at Romiley, Stockport was very much in favour of the privatisation of the NHS. I will never vote for him again (I only did as a tactical vote to keep the LibDems out)

  • les stratton

    My wife, who has worked in the NHS all her life says”The legislation says that Clinical Commissioning Groups can purchase services form “Any qualified provider”. These may be NHS or private companies like the Priory (which already has NHS contracts) or social enterprises (not for profit companies and charities). The CCGs are NHS with an NHS budget and treatment is free to patients so I don’t see the problem. The NHS is not integrated anyway so splitting up providers really doesn’t matter. The CCGs will have a limited budget so if BUPA offer a cheaper service of same quality, then that surely is good. NO doubt there will be good and bad results from this but there are good and bad NHS hospitals. Does competition drive up standards ? ??On the whole I think the initial impact will be small and it would not be helpful to tie the CCGs hands at the beginning of this new process”
    Les Stratton

  • Michael Sackin

    Just to make matters worse, in my opinion the NHS is already to a large extent a sales rep of Big Pharma and other big businesses. It rubbishes and tries to suppress treatments that threaten these big concerns, as I have discovered via our daughter’s severe chronic fatigue (now nearly gone, thanks almost certainly to meditation and kinesiology) and my own so far symptomless lymphoma. In both cases there’s a whole world out there, but the NHS doesn’t want to know. They’ve been brainwashed.

    The NHS still has its benefits, which these privatisation moves would destroy or at least erode.

  • Kev

    this ratbag hunt hates the NHS this slippery piece of scum needs watching

  • Gay Lee

    Thanks very much for all your work on the CCG constitutions – we have increased our membership of Lambeth Keep Our NHS Public – by holding a joint meeting with 38 degrees members.

    However I (and our meeting) do feel your suggestions for the wording of local CCG constitutions is not nearly tough enough to stop the Government’s goal of transforming the NHS slowly but surely, into an American-style insurance based system. Only a direct confrontation with the National Commissioning Board by CCGs, either by not signing up at all or signing a more radical constitution, will help. Yes – the NCB will also take a tough stand against intransigence, but if enough CCGs do it then the whole privatisation process would be slowed down enough to buy us time for a Labour Government to reverse the process. It’s all about tactics…

  • Healthwatcher

    No chance of getting into what appears now to be a closed shop. Like you I tried to get in as a layperson and also like you was denied because of the need to be very familiar with high level accounting procedures. I have been following progress of CCG development and after attending a meeting recently for a county council to explain their role in the Health and Wellbeing board, I came away disillusioned. The meeting started with “The patient voice comes first” and then degraded into a scrabble for jobs in more and more sublayers of committees and red tape.
    Snouts to the trough is how I would describe the development of CCGs.
    After a question was asked in the plenary as to how the patients’ voices would be heard in practice, there was a lot of shuffling of feet and passing the buck but no real answer except that the current non-functioning LINKs would look after it in the form of a local Healthwatch.
    I’m afraid that, although it shouldn’t be until April 2013, all feet are under their new desks and all is signed, sealed and delivered. Back to square one I fear with a lot of new job titles and no real change.

  • Anonymous

    You need to look a bit closer at this Les. The problem is that it isn’t a level playing field and private companies are picking off the profitable bits leaving the chronic and risky to what is let of the NHS providers. Private companies need profits for shareholders. Competition in health and social care has not driven up standards but has often caused real problems. these services need long term investment skills and knowledge. These are not promoted by short term market forces ‘hire and fire’ cultures and profit seeking. Your wife will remember the result of privatisation of cleaning services in the NHS. It caused massive increases in infections and cost more.

  • Anonymous

    the NHS is not bloated inefficient or overstaffed. Believe me. I have worked 25 years, studied for many of them. I struggle to make ends meet on my ‘frozen’ salary. I work several hours over my official hours most days. I care about my patients and genuinely grieve for what I see happening. These ideas are propoganda. The bloated inefficient overstaffed sector in this country is banking and what do we do – bail them out so they continue to pay bonuses. You need to open your eyes Ron. you are being conned.

  • Anonymous

    I have been on epetitions today and tried to put on an epetition to have an inquiry into the connections between govt. ministers and private health companies.
    Hopefully if it gets accepted all people on 38 degrees will sign up to it. However, I am not holding my breath.
    I was surprised to find that there was no similar petition on the site considering the information that has been put online by eion-clarke blogspot

  • Anonymous

    I have had an epetition accepted to have an inquiry into government ministers connections with private healthcare companies.
    The link is http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/40126
    I hope you will all sign up to it.

  • Anonymous

    I have today set up an epetition to have an enquiry into government ministers connections with private healthcare companies.
    The link is http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/40126
    Please sign up to it.

  • Anonymous

    Please sign my epetition to have an inquiry into the connections between govt. ministers and private healthcare companies.
    If enough of you sign it, it could get mentioned in parliament, although I am not holding my breath.
    I need more signatures than Branson got to keep the Westcoast Mainline – at least 170,000 more.

  • Anonymous
  • http://twitter.com/Nico22a022 Nico

    Indeed Gay, lawyers will be able to advise on legal means, but the the most important thing is to set the right goals, which are always political rather than merely technical.

    Faced with an undeclared war on social services, any sign of meekness is tantamount to a white flag.

  • http://twitter.com/Nico22a022 Nico

    All those marching in defence of the NHS this Saturday: Look out for the giant balloon -see image- meet at eleven, Victoria Embankment, near as possible to Hungerford Bridge.

  • http://twitter.com/Nico22a022 Nico

    “move on” where? Towards an NHS-less society, more deaths, etc, or move on to the next stage in fighting for our right to decent public healthcare?

  • Anonymous

    You need to look at The Green Benches to see the connections between the CCGs and Virgin, for example. Did you know that the chief risk officer of Virgin Money is a director of Monitor, which actually states it is an independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts. No conflict of interests there, then, considering that Virgin says it runs over 100 NHS groups.

  • Guest

    Its pretty obvious

  • ruth

    The world has gone mad, can private business run health care and make a profit, especially when considering long term chronic conditions or people with complex pathology

  • Rexford

    The Public in general have forgotten why the NHS was created; it was to provide essential health care free of charge at the point of delivery. It was NOT to make a U.K. government department the largest employer in Europe, any more than it’s patients were to be charged for dental treatment by NHS Dentists, etc..

    I have enjoyed brilliant treatment in a local private hospital under the NHS chose and book system at less cost to the Taxpayer than if I’d had the operation in the NHS hospital 6 miles closer to where I live. I know others with similiar experiences.

    Why the hell shouldn’t private enterprise operate the facilities which actually provide ‘essential healthcare free at the point of delivery’ where it can be seen to cost the Taxpayer less. Politicians spout more nonsensical hot air over the NHS than anything else and have done so for the past 40 years!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Good for you and your friends.
    However, my sister had a hip replacement operation at a private hospital on the NHS choose and book system. When she was in pain a few days later, she was told she could not have follow up at the same hospital, but had to go to the NHS hospital, because she was not a private patient.
    When we lived in York, we had a guest house. We had a German surgeon staying with us, doing hip and knee replacement operations at the local Bupa hospital. If anything went wrong, the patients were taken to the local NHS hospital as emergencies, which was five minutes away in the opposite direction.
    She was earning twice as much as she was earning in Germany.
    She was earning so much that she was considering bringing her son over to learn English at the private school nearby.
    I am trying to have an epetition to get the govt. to ban companies involved in tax dodging from being eligible for NHS contracts. If you look on the Green Benches blog you will find that that excludes most of the private companies involved in the NHS at the moment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.spiller.7 Heather Spiller

    Try to get to your local meeting about what is happening to the NHS. Ours is on Nov 23rd. Friends Meeting House, Cremer St, Sheringham, N Norfolk. 7.30 – 8.30.

  • Andrew

    I will not be attending my local NHS re-organisation meeting because;

    As an ex public sector management analyst I believe in the re-organisation being implemented. And as an ex carer of my two parents I support the more “compassionate care” care initiatives being promoted for our hospitals.

  • Mikelroi

    Yes, saw your petition and am intrigued. Could you give us some of the evidence to support your claim? The blog-spot thing is very confusing. How about some of the allegations and sources?

  • Anonymous

    The blogspot thing may be confusing. Look at the entry for Tuesday 9th October, 2012. 10 private healthcare companies who have donated £10m. to the Tories and gained contracts worth £5bn.
    Also, if you look at KONP, Keep our NHS Public, you can do a search for any private healthcare company you want. You will find connections between Virgin and Hunt.
    You may find it interesting to look at Early Day Motion 773, which is asking for private healthcare companies to be subject to FOI requests in the same way that existing NHS Public sector organisations are.
    If you ask FOI information about Virgin and your local NHS trust, you will find lots of the time, you are told that the information is subject to commercial confidentiality. Virgin’s website is also very informative about how much of the NHS it now owns, but I do not think it is uptodate. Haven’t looked it up lately, but you may find that the chief risk officer of Virgin Money is a member of Monitor, which says it is independent.
    The NHS support Federation has done a study called who runs our NHS Services, which is also very illuminating, or more so than any government documents on it.
    Another interesting website is Corporate Watch, which shows how many private healthcare companies are registered in tax havens. Do you wonder why Danny Alexander says that he does not want companies naming and shaming?
    What I am asking for is transparency in government, for the connections, if there are any,to be made public. After all, the NHS is for all of us, and we should know where our money goes.
    Have you signed up? Do you want to know if there are any connections?

  • Dudnote

    Want a workable NHS, want a Police Force, that can do it’s job instead of having to spend precious time watching over budgets, want a Border Agency that’s worth having instead of the current Mickey Mouse operation, want better road, rail facilities and lot’s more besides. You can have them all tomorrow. —-GET THIS GOVERNMENT TO PLACE AN IMMEDIATE MORATORIUM ON ALL FOREIGN AID. Charity begins at home!

  • http://fldra.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/are-you-free-next-wednesday/ Are you free next Wednesday? « Fox Lane and District Residents' Association

    [...] NHS services in Enfield, or if you’d like to find out more about the campaign, click here: http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2012/09/21/save-your-local-nhs/ Share this:EmailTwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle +1Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  • http://twitter.com/longsight9a joseph edwards

    If the whole of the NHS bill goes through they’ll be taking us back to the 30′s & further.
    Even Thatcher didnt go this far.

  • Angela

    anyone know how to find out about the next Southampton event, please?