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NHS: Victory!

May 30th, 2013 by

Good news. It looks like we may have nipped it in the bud. Jeremy Hunt has been forced to respond to our 180,000-strong petition. And he’s made a public pledge to “never” introduce a limit on the number of times we’re allowed to visit our GP.

Here’s what he said on twitter in full. He couldn’t resist being rude about us, but it’s still positive news:

On Tuesday, this was a serious Conservative Party policy proposal, being reported in national newspapers.  Now, it’s “never” going to happen.

That’s pretty extraordinary. By working together in big enough numbers, we’ve forced a leading politician to change his tune in just 48 hours. No wonder he doesn’t like us – ordinary people, working together, are limiting his ability to damage our NHS.

This is what 38 Degrees is all about. Jeremy Hunt may grumble. But he knows he can’t afford to ignore us. We’re independent. We move fast. We stick to our principles. And most importantly of all, there are thousands and thousands of us, all over the country.

38 Degrees works because it belongs to all of us. An important part of that is how we’re funded. To stay independent, we will never take cash from government, political parties, or big business. Instead 38 Degrees relies on people-powered donations from thousands of us, contributing whatever we can afford. Our donations policy is available on our website.

Would you consider making a regular donation, to make sure we can keep running campaigns like this one? It’s probably the last thing Jeremy Hunt would like you to do today. But it could be one of the most effective ways of keeping him in check.

Just 2 or 3 pounds a week makes a massive difference. And it only takes a few minutes to set up a direct debit.

The 38 Degrees way of campaigning is extremely good value. We don’t have fancy offices, big bureaucracy, layers of management or marketing departments – just a small committed staff team, lots of volunteers, and an amazing network of over a million 38 Degrees members like you.

It’s good value, but it can’t be done for nothing. More donations would mean we could do even more together – including more work to investigate and tackle threats to our NHS. Whether it’s access to GPs, A&E closures, or privatisation, we need to stay on Jeremy Hunt’s case. So please consider celebrating today’s success by chipping in to fund more work in the future.

Your voices

By the way, here’s how some 38 Degrees members are responding to Jeremy Hunt on Facebook:

Christian Cook: They caused a leak to test the water and were overcome by a tidal wave.

Kit Whitfield Thomas: We believe you, boys. As long as you don’t actually do it, we’re happy to pretend it was all our fault for getting our silly little minds confused. I’ll take insults over expecting poor people to die any day.

Talis Kimberley: Shame he couldn’t set the record straight without a bit of graceless snarking. ‘Neutral’…

Pamela Brooke: “nipped in the bud” then … for me, this was always “just in case they’re serious”

You can also join in the conversation on Facebook.


Posted in Stand up for the NHS

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  • Lucy

    I just received your email about this. It looks like you were wrong, and now you’re claiming credit for a fictional victory. The only source you quote was the Daily Mail. I can’t believe 38 Degrees would ever base an entire campaign on a Daily Fail article. I feel used.

  • Vicki

    I know you’re a campaigning group and I think it’s great that you have provided a forum for the public to have a voice. I agree with some of your campaigns (and readily sign the petition) and I disagree with others (so don’t sign). I do however wish you would encourage people to read up about the subject of petitions. There are two sides or more to every issue and petitions unsurprisingly do not state balanced viewpoints. Not everything is black and white. I haven’t said anything before now but this petition about limiting GP visits risks completely discrediting the valuable work 38 degrees does. As said by Hunt there was never a plan to limit GP visits. The suggestion came from a think tank policy forum that makes suggestions to the Conservative party. No one in government or the NHS was ever going to entertain this bonkers idea. The government isn’t completely idiotic! Many people jumping on bandwagons without thought just makes 38 degrees campaigners look like sheep that aren’t thinking for themselves

  • Vicki

    See below. Wrote my comment before seeing your comment but I agree with you

  • Aled

    this is as shocking, misleading and pathetic as the government/newspaper spin that you seek to overturn.
    It does you no favours and completely undermines your credibility when you claim “success” for a “campaign” that has won nothing but earn a clarification from government of an untrue story in the Mail.

  • Francizee

    Wrong! The Telegraph (not usually known for its opposition to Tory ideology) and The Independent also carry a story on this. They also tell you where the document containing the suggestion may be found online and, having done approximately two minutes’ research (i.e. approximately two minutes more than you) I find that the document is still there. I’ll leave it to you to find it for yourself.

  • Barbara Kell

    Well Jeremy Hunt would say that now wouldn’t he? The thing is they ‘float’ these ideas in the likes of the Hate Mail to gain a reaction. If we had kept quiet you can believe it wouldn’t be too long before they were rolling out limits on visits to GPs. I signed this petition and am happy I did. Cut the bastards off at the knees.

  • Cole

    The point is that the proposal was actually in questionnaire sent out by the Conservative Party to its members, asking them what they thought. It was not just in the Daily Mail.

  • Cole

    See my comment below. It WAS in a Conservative Party document. And frankly, things that are floated or denied (eg top down reorganisation of the NHS) often end up as policy.

  • J Wilson


    Is this petition clear enough for you – http://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/bill-of-rights?

    If their ‘think tanks’ (Labour; Tory or others) were actually aware of all the rights which we’ve all been entitled to since August 1976 at the latest, then perhaps ‘policies’ would never erupt from their ignorant mouths.

    The Government has been treating the people as idiots for decades and has denied everyone the right to an education about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 1948.

    Even though it was written in black and white that it was an International Bill of Rights and that its aim was “to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.”.

    Yet I have proof that they did nothing to educate anyone about it in 1949 at the earliest, and am proof that they didn’t educate me about it in the ’60′s. I only found out about tit in 2008 through the wonder of the Internet. What have you been taught about the International Bill of Human Rights?

  • john

    I agree with Barbara, these party think tanks present possible ideas to their respective party, which if in government watch for a reaction. If there appears to be little opposition to an idea which meets current criteria, in this case ‘save money’ the ideas somehow gain momentum and become difficult to oppose later. Nipping proposals that damage the disadvantaged before they get time to bud has to be beneficial to us all and I’m all for doing so. More power to your elbow 38 Degrees, and thanks for presenting a platform for us to respond. There are still large numbers of people who still do not have confidence to use the internet, so the more of us who can use this influence make a difference.

  • http://occupylondon.org.uk/archives/29617 Get ready for the month ahead!

    [...] on top of the bailout. A cap on number of GP visits considered by Tories was ousted through a petition victory.Join us this month for some new skills and a new radio station, parties and carnivals, films and [...]

  • Steven Goodman

    Good news, but be aware of the fact that closing units to protect public safety even temporary can also be defined as backdoor attempts to path the way for private medical firms to move in. I anticipate such a move will be heralded by the declaration of a crisis within the NHS – that only private firms can fill (Or some such socail propoganda) I mean the idea of lmiting visits to your GP were a way of saying after you had used your quota of visits…the only option in a moment of need would have been to go to a private medical company. (Thus backdoor privatisation) Cameron has been in reciept of a £750,000 kick back from the said same private companies (Source: daily Express) Am I really alone inthinking this can be legal discribed as “fraud” ?

  • rob

    Why would the government ever limit visits to GP’s, when GP’s supply us with endless pharmaceutical drugs? Big pharma is ruining the worlds health just as much as the big oil companies. Real change would come in the form of nutritional training, healthy food and free, clean energy!

  • The Mighty Hammer

    Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy, what a childish playground response. Grow up and do us all a favour – leave politics.

  • Paul Beckett

    it’s about time minister’s started to live in the real world outside of the political bubble all health service’s are a must & not a play tool ,you can’t save money be ruining service’s & expecting less to be better ? here is a bit of new’s it does’nt work !

  • Luke

    Whether the Government meant this to happen or not is a moot point I think. Just the fact that the idea was ‘floated’ was enough to make me sign. If it was seriously entertained or not doesn’t matter as the people have had their say on the idea, which was probably the reason this story was ‘leaked’ in the first place. This particular Government has a long track-record of releasing ‘leaks’ with proposed policy to test the political waters. Smacks of a lack of conviction in what you stand for

  • khkjhhj


  • Dr Omar Selim

    Jeremy Hunt is NOT FIT for the ROLE of Health Secretary- INDECISIVE, LACKS COURAGE and EXPERIENCE.

  • Guest


  • Soos

    Well I guess you have to consider the wordplay – maybe they weren’t considering limiting how many appointments you could have – only the number you could have free at source (remember we do pay for the NHS, just not when we show up at the GP or at A&E). There’s always the chance Jeremy’s tweet could be taken to mean “no limit on visits, but after visit number x,y or z you need to get your credit card out”. Cynical ? Me ? Read the tweet, then tell me it definitely DOESN’T mean that.

    Anyway, exactly what are Jeremy’s qualifications to be Health secretary
    - according to his website he did PPE at Oxford, can speak Japanese and ran an educational publishing business. Before getting the Health job he was Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. Can you be an expert in all of these ? Can Jeremy be an expert in any of them ?
    Take your point, and always necessary to have a balanced debate but half the time I think these “policy fora” say whatever comes into their heads in the hope the public doesn’t notice and before you know it, their ideas are enshrined in law. Or, thankfully because of organisations like this one, they’re not.