You may like me be starting to struggle to keep up with rotten government policies that seriously threaten our quality of life. They are after all bombarding us with news of proposals for changes to how our country is run and it would be impossible to fight every proposal even if we wanted to. But the NHS is something that matters to most of us, it is there to keep the country healthy. The Naylor Report is something that we all should know about. And, we need to understand why it is such a worrying proposal.
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The Naylor Report is a 42 page independent report that sets out recommendations on how the Government can fund NHS reforms by selling land it no longer needs and buildings that are expensive to maintain.
That may sound like a good plan, why on earth keep land or buildings you don’t need? The NHS estate is a public asset. In the last few years public assets of all descriptions have been sold off, often without many of us aware that it is happening. Private companies are profiteering from the purchases of public assets. It is the public who loses out, once assets are outside of public ownership it can be very hard to get them back into public ownership.
So why should the public worry about keeping hold of NHS land and property that is no longer needed?
In real terms the NHS has seen massive cuts. The NHS needs a 4% rise in funding per year in order to maintain the services we use. The 1% rise in funding it has received over the last few years amount to a cut in real terms.
Cuts have forced services, wards and hospitals to close and not because they are surplus to requirements. If these buildings and land are then sold off any reversal in policy that attempts to reinstate wards and services that have closed will be hampered by the fact the buildings and land have been sold off. Moreover, if hospitals wish to be forward thinking and refuse to sell off land or buildings then our government plans to withhold any capital funds they may need in the future.
You could be forgiven for thinking that our government is hell-bent in destroying quality of life for the ordinary folk in Britain. In fact they are simply hell-bent on allowing the private sector, the people who already have the wealth to profit from all that was once owned by the public. At the same time they show utter contempt for the many who who do not already have wealth and need the public services to be maintained.
Only yesterday Theresa may was lambasting Jeremy Corbyn in the Commons for the fact the Labour Party left office with a huge national debt. Since 2010 that national debt has more than doubled. As people become poorer and public services are damaged our economy has also been damaged. Hence the escalating national debt under the Tories.
The 2012 Health and Social Care Act removed from the Secretary of State for Health the responsibility to provide and secure comprehensive healthcare for all. Changes such as the Sustainability and Transformation Plans and the implementation of the Naylor Report are now put into place by NHS England. That means there is no need for any debate and vote in parliament for such changes.
But there is an army of NHS campaigners out there and an even bigger army of people who would join those NHS campaigners. Public action, protest, meetings and campaign events are the biggest weapon we have to fight a system that disregards the people.
There is the Health Campaigns Together newspaper and website, the OURNHS/opendemocracy website, the National Health Action Party, many local NHS campaign groups, Keep our NHS Public groups, many blogs and YouTube videos on NHS policy all with the aim of protecting our NHS and informing the public. Watch the YouTube video below to find out more about the Naylor Report.
Mainstream media seems to be failing dismally on keeping the public informed about how our NHS is being damaged. But people power is a fantastic thing. Spread the word, talk to your friends and family. Share this blog and sign up for email updates.