The launch of East Sussex Save the NHS Campaign felt like a success. We had some excellent speeches from Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP; Dr Carl Walker; Madeleine Dickens and Dr Mona Kamal. The enthusiasm of those who attended was evident by the debate that followed in the Q&A session. Videos from the event were live-streamed to the Facebook group (East Sussex Save the NHS Campaign Forum). There is so much this campaign can do to fight the destruction of our NHS and protect local services. But as there is so much to do, we need to get as many people as possible involved. I am adding a poll to this post to try and get an idea of how many people would be keen to start campaigning and what they feel they could offer. Please share this post on social networks and with as many of your contacts as possible.The main issues that were identified as damaging to the NHS right now were de-funding; estate management and privatisation. Dr Carl Walker explained the diference between under-funding and de-funding. De-funding being the deliberate attempt to provide a service with funds that are too low to maintain that service. Lloyd Russell-Moyle spoke about the Ridley Report (also known as the Ridley Plan) that was leaked to the Economist in 1978. This plan was drawn up by Conservative MP, Nicholas Ridley, and details how nationalised industries can be privatised. De-funding is an essential component of that plan.
The issue of managing the NHS estate was discussed in terms of the scandal of PFI and the sell-off of NHS estate that has been forced by the Naylor Report as discussed on this website.
Privatisation is a major issue and one that is often not understood by the general public. The Health and Social Care Act of 2012 resulted in hospitals having any number of providers involved in running the services at each hospital. This fragmentation of services, with the private providers cherry-picking the most profitable services, has resulted in an inefficient means of delivering care, staffing issues and issues resulting from poor communication between providers. We were reminded that many of the big private providers involved in delivering NHS services now, are also not paying the correct amount of taxes and Virgin Healthcare has even sued the NHS.
To allow private healthcare access into our NHS by fragmenting hospitals into a conglomerate of different providers has proved itself to be unsuccessful. So now we are seeing a change of policy where Sustainability and Transformation Plans are breaking our NHS up into geographical regions. Our region has yet to publish the STP proposals for our hospitals although we are one of the last regions to do so. The STP proposals for primary care have already been incorporated into our CCGs operating plans, with no public consultation. This is OUR NHS, that we pay for, OUR lives that depend on it and the future of OUR country that is at stake. The STP proposals for our hospitals are likely to include cuts to services, bed numbers, reductions in staffing and possibly even hospital closures. It is my desire to see this campaign flourishing and be ready to fight any proposals that will damage the level of healthcare we have available in East Sussex.
Madeleine Dickens gave the good news. She reported on all the successes that local NHS campaigns have achieved, the financial support given to crowd-funding campaigns and the vast number of Save the NHS Campaigns that now exist.
There is always so much more you can tell people about problems in our NHS today. Staffing issues are a major factor. The loss of bursaries for student nurses has resulted in a significant reduction in the numbers applying to study nursing. The junior doctors staged the first all-out strike in the history of the NHS over changes to their contracts that they deemed would leave them unable to keep patients safe.
So where do we go from here? We have to keep getting a message out there to as many people as possible that our NHS is being destroyed. We need to emphasise that the destruction of our NHS is not necessary. It is not just about how much money is being spent but where that money is going. We need to point people in the direction of accurate information so they hear the truth. We need to learn how to seek out the right information, keep on top of what is going on and fight like crazy if we find out our local services are being cut. We also need to support all national campaign events in support of the NHS.
Here is where I ask whether you would support this campaign, please complete these four multiple choice questions. You answers will be anonomous. Thankyou for your time. Please complete this form in order to receive our newsletter