A few facts from the Health Campaigns Together publication in January 2018 reveal a shocking state of affairs in our NHS.
16,900 people were left waiting in ambulances outside A&E units between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve – 15% increase in A&E attendances since 2010 – 350% increase in waits in A&E – 550% increase in waits for admission – 170,100 total days delayed transfer of care in English hospitals,equivalent to 5,487 hospital beds – bed occupancy rates remain dangerously high averaging 93.5% – During Christmas week 5,000 people waited more than one hour for paramedics to hand them over to A&E staff – since 2010 we have seen 14,000 beds lost from hospitals, reductions in district nursing and walk-in centres closed – mental health inpatient beds cut by 20% – child and adolescent mental health services at crisis point – an additional 10,000 extra deaths were recorded over what we would normally expect in our hospitals in the first few weeks of 2018 – the UK spends less per capita on healthcare than Ireland, Finland, Iceland, New Zealnad, France, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg, USA, Norway and Switzerland.
I do not believe this is acceptable in the sixth richest nation in the world. If you agree with me please come to the launch meeting of this campaign on the 9th April.
I grew up in a country where I felt the NHS offered a safety net. It allowed me to live with the knowledge that if I was unlucky enough to get ill my health needs would be taken care of regardless of my income. That was a powerful force that gave me greater confidence in my own security. Our country needs that now more than ever, as so many of us no longer have the means to survive if we meet the unfortunate circumstances that illness can bring.
Our NHS is the greatest achievment of our country and one we should all be proud of. Our NHS was built on a system where the state provided healthcare for all, regardless of who you are, what you believe, your income, your gender, your sexual orientation, your age or anything else that defines you. It gave us all peace of mind, and allowed families and friends to feel they had greater piece of mind over a loved ones health.
Our country was committed to not allowing anybody in the country to suffer without access to healthcare. When the NHS was first established many of us flocked to GPs to get acccess to medicines they had been living without. By helping us all get healthier it enabled our country to become rebuild after the war and become productive again.
That system of having a state provider of healthcare funded through taxation has been proven to be the most efficient form of healthcare system a country can have. We need that now more than ever.
But now unless a person comes from within the EU they will be expected to pay for healthcare upfront or be left to suffer. Healthcare provision is a postcode lottery and the standard of healthcare provision we can expect has deteriorated. Private enterprise has profited from the recent transfer of many services to the private sector. People making profit from another’s illness is an uncomfortably immoral concept especially when they fail to pay the taxes due on those profits.
Community led campaigns against damage to local services have proved in many areas to be successful. It is not a done deal that our NHS will collapse. It is there for all of us regardless of who we are so, all of us need to play our part in helping fight for the services we need. Despite the damage inflicted on our healthcare services recently, most of us will get excellent healthcare when we need it from the NHS.
This is why I have set up the East Sussex Save the NHS Campaign and why I hope as many people across East Sussex as possible will come to the launch of this campaign on the 9th April.
Please, at least come and find out more before you decide whether to get involved. We now have one more speaker who will be joining us. Dr Mona Kamal is a junior doctor, a former resident of Grenfell Tower, and somebody who has spoken at many of the big national events that People’s Assembly has hosted.
Please sign up top attend on the Eventbrite page and share with your contacts news of this event. We can all do something to support the NHS, imagine how much we could achieve if we all did do something?
I hope to see you on Monday 9th April at the View Hotel in Eastbourne, doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.