NHS: Lords hear from thousands of us

38 Degrees team handing in petition to an MP

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Over 150,000 of us have now signed the emergency petition to the House of Lords!  Since this morning, 38 Degrees members have also sent many hundreds of e-mails to the House of Lords to tell them about how fast the petition is growing.  A suprising number of Lords and Baronesses are equipped with Blackberries and iPads – at least one was spotted using theirs during the debate!  38 Degrees members messages are getting to the Lords in the debating chamber in the last hour before the crucial vote.  They’ll be voting soon – fingers crossed.

Here’s what some 38 Degrees members have been saying to Lords and Baronesses –

Caroline Windsor wrote to Lord Patten – “The massive changes to the National Health Service in this bill were not part of any party’s manifesto. I would respectfully ask you
and the House of Lords to look again at this bill, and take account of the 107 300 people (and still counting) who have put their names to this petition to reject these changes.

My father is terminally ill and I despair for his care if these changes take place. ”

David Bookless wrote to Lord Haworth – “I hope that you will be able to support the motion by Lord Owen in the House of Lords today that would give more time to scrutinise the complicated aspects of this new bill and in particular its impact on NHS procurement.

I am most concerned that this Bill which was never part of either the Liberal Democrat or Conservative Party manifestos before the last election will have a most damaging effect upon the NHS, both for the staff who work in it and the patients who use it.”

Cassian Butterworth wrote to Baroness Tyler – “I am one of Greater Manchester’s leading Health Service Analysts and I believe the Health and Social Care Bill will improve neither health nor social care.  I am compelled to write to you in the hope that you will make a stand against this assault on one of our nation’s greatest achievements.  The NHS is a beacon of decency and, until recent months, was the best it has ever been.

As Lord Owen pointed out today, Health is not a public utility; we do not know when we are going to need the Health Service, or what we are going to need.  It buffers the nation, and aspires to ensure that we are all able to contribute.”

Catherine Midwinter wrote to Lord Aberdare – “Please support Lord Owen’s motion for more scrutiny of the new laws on the NHS if you are voting on Wednesday. The reforms seem very complex and are understood by few – it is surely a good thing to have more time to question just how exactly they are going to work. I feel very strongly about this, especially having heard pieces on radio 4 in the last few days and read the Guardian and Observer on the issue in the last couple of weeks, and having supported my elderly parents, with the help of the NHS, through their final illnesses in the last few years. The NHS is too important to allow it to be messed up.”