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Archive for the ‘Stand up for the NHS’ Category

Members meet the Health Minister

March 21st, 2013 by

38 Degrees members had a big meeting today with Lib Dem Health Minister Norman Lamb. It was a chance for us to say what we think of his response to our campaign against dodgy, pro-privatisation NHS regulations.

 

38 Degrees brings together over 1 million of us – too many to fit in one meeting room! So only a few members were able to attend, but we were proud to get our members in the room to set out our case. To make sure we could give a fair representation of all our members’ views 38 Degrees sent out a short poll asking our members what to say. This meant 38 Degrees members’ views were truly represented to the Health Minister.

In the past few weeks, we’ve proved again that people-powered campaigning can work. Through a 350,000 signature petition, thousands of messages to MPs, and member-funded legal advice we helped push Norman Lamb to scrap the first version of these dodgy, pro-privatisation NHS regulations.

But that’s where things started getting more complicated. Norman Lamb rushed to publish a new version of the regulations. The new version does look a little bit better – but they are still nowhere near perfect.

So 38 Degrees member donations paid for two extra bits of legal advice. One, from an NHS law specialist, explains how Norman Lamb’s new version still doesn’t fully keep earlier promises not to impose privatisation. The other, from a competition law specialist, is a bit more positive but also says it may well have been impossible for these promises to ever be fully met.

That meant we had important choices to make about how we responded in the meeting with Norman Lamb. For example whether to prioritise pointing out ways in which the new version of the regulations could be improved? Or choosing to campaign for the regulations to be scrapped altogether?

It’s not usual for 38 Degrees to go into Westminster for a meeting with a Minister. Our power doesn’t come from being chummy with politicians. But on this occasion, we had a chance to put our views directly to the Minister just as he is deciding what to do next.

Norman Lamb will have to listen to us if he knows we speak on behalf of thousands and thousands of 38 Degrees members. And because we went in with the views all our members expressed in our poll our words carried this weight. Please continue to take the poll so that together we can take the NHS campaign forward.

 

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Local members meet the Health Minister

March 14th, 2013 by

Below is a blog written by Andy, a 38 Degrees member in Norfolk. Andy and other local 38 Degrees members were in North Walsham on Friday to deliver the 38 Degrees Section 75 petition against NHS privatisation to the Health Minister, Norman Lamb, outside his constituency office.

The day began with an interview with BBC Radio Norfolk about the important petition hand-in. There was a lively discussion about waiting times at the local hospital, gearing me up for the event later that day.

The minister unexpectedly changed the location of the meeting, but luckily the owner of the venue where members were congregating was a 38 Degrees supporter and happy to accommodate us. Local member and members of the 38 Degrees office team overwhelmed the local café, sharing their opinions over cups of tea before heading to Norman Lamb’s office.

We were only expecting a small number to be allowed into his office, but after seeing the amount of people gathered with their placards in the cold, the minister came outside to talk to all of us. Norman said he was very pleased to meet us (despite him being a little late!). He talked a lot about protecting the NHS from privatisation, the importance of “integration” of services and gave us reassurances that Section 75 would be revised. The crowd didn’t let him off lightly though and he certainly received a thorough grilling, being challenged on the disastrous experiment of private companies running public services.

38 Degrees members finished the day feeling that they’d had their say and resolved to keep up the pressure on the government’s privatisation plans. We left invigorated with plans to reconvene at a Defend the NHS demonstration in the North Walsham Market Place the next day.

If you’d like to be involved in the local NHS campaign in North Norfolk please do get in touch – andycairns67@gmail.com

If you haven’t yet signed the petition against Section 75 you can find the petition and more information here – https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/nhs-section-75

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Lewisham hospital – an update

February 1st, 2013 by

What’s happening to Lewisham Hospital? The news is mixed. Jeremy Hunt has announced that the maternity and A&E units will stay open. But both will be scaled back and be able to treat less people.

It’s not all we hoped for. But Lewisham Hospital will still be open for business. And there’s no doubt it could have been a lot worse if so many thousands of us hadn’t spoken up.

Over 17,000 members of 38 Degrees from across London contacted Jeremy Hunt calling on him to protect the hospital. Last Saturday, thousands of 38 Degrees members were among the 25,000-strong march through the streets of Lewisham. All the community was represented, from babies who’d just been born in the hospital right through to pensioners in their 90s.

Together all of us proved to Jeremy Hunt that we’re not going to just sit by and watch our NHS services get ruined.

This isn’t over. The NHS will last as long as people like us stick together and speak up to protect it. There’ll be more to do to protect NHS services in Lewisham, across London, and across the whole country.

Thanks for all you do – let’s keep going!

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NHS get-togethers: more information

September 27th, 2012 by

 

NHS Get-together

Members get-together to save the NHS

38 Degrees members across the country are now organising local get-togethers in pubs, cafes and community centres.

They’ll be discussing how we can make sure our local doctors protect our NHS, and prevent privatisation as much as possible. Our people-powered push will counter the massive pressure which CCGs will be under from private health care companies.

There are over 200 CCGs across the country. The aim is for 38 Degrees members to meet in each of these, so no area goes unprotected.

For more information and support on this next stage of the campaign to protect the NHS locally, click here.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Stand up for the NHS

NHS Event: They were expecting pickets but they got cupcakes!

April 24th, 2012 by

NHSEvent1-580

I’m one of the staff members at 38 Degrees and I’ve been project managing the patient sponsored GP event this evening. Over 22,000 of us have now chipped in to sponsor this evenings event for senior GPs. And it’s already causing a big stir inside the conference for GP leads sponsored by Capita and United Health today. It’s certainly not going like they wanted it to!

I was outside at 8am this morning – trying to drum up attendance for our event this evening. But most importantly it was a great opportunity to start kicking off the conversation between 38 Degrees members and these important doctors.

Many of the GPs hadn’t heard of 38 Degrees – and it marked the beginning of a new conversation between GPs and patients to protect the future of our NHS. We also got a few emails of senior GPs up and down the country for further opportunities to work together in helping protect the future of the NHS.

When the GPs heard that our event was sponsored and paid for by tens of thousands patients it really made them stop and listen. The contrast between our patient sponsored event and the event sponsored by big corporate money couldn’t be stronger. It was just the message that we wanted to highlight to the doctors attending.

As people started to arrive for the conference sponsored by Capita and United Health, 38 Degrees staff and volunteers handed out cupcakes and smart invitations. The cupcakes were just the thing to break the ice – the tiny little sugar maps with how to get to our event went down well.

The cupcakes had the intended result – key players carried on talking about our presence well into today’s conference. Senior GPs and journalists were busy chatting about it on twitter:

Although most of the attendees did accept the cake!

Before the event started we had a small room just by where the reception for the event sponsored by private health companies was. This gave us a chance to check out what was happening inside.

The conference organisers were certainly ruffled. They wanted us to have banners and speakerphones, and were really caught off guard with our smart invitations and sweet treats. The conference organisers were not best pleased by how many of their attendees stopped to talk to us and accept a cupcake.

Here’s the photo I took from our room above their venue:
NHSEvent3-580

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NHS Campaign: Posters and Leaflets

March 9th, 2012 by

 

The deadline for ordering hard copy NHS campaign leaflets and posters has now passed.

However, if you still want to share the campaign to protect our NHS with your friends, family or neighbours you can download posters and leaflets below.

Click on one of the images above to download an A4 size poster.

And click here to download your colour leaflet or here for a black and white leaflet.

Politicians up and down the country have already seen our billboard ads calling David Cameron to account. And thousands of people marched through London to stop the NHS plans this week – but Cameron is still determined to push these plans through.

Just imagine the government’s reaction now that posters are going up in windows and leaflets are popping through people’s doors across the country!

Together we’re continuing to ramp up the pressure and show Cameron and Lansley just how much the public is against their plans that doctors have called “complex, incoherent and not fit for purpose.”

Stay tuned for more NHS campaign updates!

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NHS: huge billboard ads

February 28th, 2012 by

David Cameron is trying to ride it out. He knows his plans for the NHS are a disaster. But after more than a year of phoney listening exercises, aggressive spin and backroom deals, he thinks abandoning the plan now would simply be too embarrassing.

But there’s one thing that politicians care about more than saving face: saving their jobs. At the moment, Cameron is gambling that it’s best to force through the changes – then hope that it doesn’t cost him too many votes later on. We can shift this calculation by proving to Cameron that the NHS is already an election issue, and a losing one for his party if they refuse to listen.

Elections for the Mayor of London are fast approaching. Cameron desperately wants the Conservatives to win. Together, we can buy billboards all over the city, on the very streets where Cameron bought billboards promising the NHS would be safe with him. The adverts can warn potential Conservative voters that most doctors and nurses think the changes will make our NHS worse.

Click here to preview the powerful advert and chip in to take it to the streets.

We’ve tried everything else. Now we have to bring it back to something we know Cameron will understand – winning over undecided voters. He knows that a big national issue like the NHS could play strongly in a major local election. And that if it does, it will set the tone for a long time to come.

If Cameron sees thousands of us donating to put up adverts, it might make him finally decide the game is up. The adverts carry a simple message certain to grab the attention of the kind of voters Cameron wants to keep on board: doctors and nurses are begging him to drop the dangerous NHS plans.

If 5,000 of us chip in over the next 48 hours, we can get these adverts up next Monday. So please donate now.

Cameron knows that losing the trust of voters on the NHS is bad news. Opposition to the plans is already overwhelming among health professionals — including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of GPs. Last month, 38 Degrees commissioned an independent opinion poll of NHS staff which found that 66 per cent think these plans will make the NHS worse.

So we’ve brought in a top advertising agency to make sure local voters get the message. If we raise enough money, we can target these ads to prospective Conservative voters, and place them in high-profile, prominent locations across the capital. Best of all, our campaign won’t star an actor, but a real-life London GP and 38 Degrees member.

Imagine the stir on Downing Street when these people-powered billboards appear across the capital. Please chip in now to make it happen.

Sometimes 38 Degrees members come together to pay for things which otherwise only big companies and political parties can afford. Thousands of us chipped in to hire a crack legal team: their report made the front page of The Observer. This helped force Lansley to back away from plans to scrap his legal duty to provide our health service. Now we can take one big, bold message to the voters Cameron cares about most.

Earlier this month, thousands of 38 Degrees members voted to choose things we could do to help save the NHS. Raising money for billboard adverts, and sounding the alarm in London in the run-up to the mayoral election, were both voted into our top 5 tactics. So let’s make them happen! Chip in now.

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Government publishes changes to the NHS Bill

February 2nd, 2012 by

Photograph by 38 Degrees

The NHS fight

A few hours ago the Government published their latest amendments to Andrew Lansley’s NHS Bill. These changes could be fantastic news – or just clever spin designed to pull wool over the eyes of those that want to protect our NHS.

Over the next few days our lawyers are going to look at the Government’s proposed changes line by line to find out what improvements, if any, have been made.

Once the facts are clear the 38 Degrees office team will create a list of things we could do together next. The list will be emailed as a poll for members to vote on or add new suggestions. It looks like we’ll be ready to launch that poll early next week.

Any thoughts on what we should do next? Please do share any ideas in the comment box below.

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Bevan’s Run: 38 Degrees member stands up for the NHS

January 13th, 2012 by

Photograph by Chris Honeywell

38 Degrees member and Co-Chair of the NHS Consultants Association, Dr Clive Peedell, has been running alongside  fellow oncologist Dr David Wilson since 10th January to show opposition to the Government’s NHS reforms

They are running from NHS founder Aneurin Bevan’s statue in Cardiff to the Department of Health in London in just six days. We were lucky enough to get a message from the man himself!

‘Bevan’s Run started on January 10th from Bevan’s statue, Cardiff, with the aim of reaching the Department of Health at Richmond House, London, on Sunday January 15th.

The aim is to raise public awareness of the damaging effects of the Health and Social Care bill on the NHS and to add to calls for its withdrawal.

Myself and co-runner Dr David Wilson will be delivering 3 “Bevan’s Postcards”, which outline the reasons why the bill should be withdrawn, to David Cameron’s constituency in Witney, as well as the Department of Health and 10 Downing Street. The postcard can be viewed here.

Lots of aching muscles, but ice baths helping a lot!
Best wishes
Clive’

Further details about the run can be found at Clive’s blogsite

Bevan’s Run can be followed on Twitter @cpeedell and by using the hashtag #bevansrun.

There will be more news on this blog about the NHS Campaign soon.

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Changes to NHS plans – what do you think?

June 13th, 2011 by

Outside the Department of health

Photograph by 38 Degrees

This afternoon, Professor Steve Field published the results of the NHS “listening exercise” and right now, politicians, health professionals and journalists are pouring over the details.  Tomorrow, Cameron, Clegg and Lansley will give the government’s response.  But what do you think?

There are some signs that our campaign has made a massive difference.  The report recommends that the NHS regulator, Monitor, does not take on the duty “promote” competition and that the Health Secretary retains the responsibility to provide a comprehensive health care service. But we’ll have to wait and see  what is announced tomorrow.

Earlier this year, 38 Degrees members voted on the parts of Lansley’s NHS plans we were most worried about.  Here they are :

Decisions being taken behind closed doors – will any new commissioning bodies meet in public and be transparent to the public?

Threat to Government’s duty to provide a comprehensive health service – will the bill retain the legal duty upon the Secretary of State to provide a comprehensive health service?

Competition versus co-operation – will the bill support regulation which prioritises ensuring quality healthcare for everyone?

“Cherry-picking” by private healthcare providers – will the bill allow private companies to “cherry pick” NHS services?

Government isn’t listening to experts and patients – Has the government listened to the overwhelming concerns from across the medical profession and from patients?

No huge changes without proper trials first – Will these major changes be piloted first before rolling them out nationally?

What do you think of the “listening exercise” report?   What do you think Cameron, Clegg and Lansley will announce tomorrow?   Have you seen any helpful media articles? Add your thoughts below!

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