It has been a disastrous new year for our healthcare. Ambulances, stacked up outside our hospitals for hours waiting to offload patients at A&E. Delays in emergency care causing 500 deaths a week. Patients being treated on trolleys in corridors and store cupboards. And, NHS nurses taking industrial action for the first time in the history of their union. Can we stand back and allow this year to continue as it started?
UK Government refuses to tackle the crises in our NHS
All our Government seems to be prepared to do to improve NHS services is introduce legislation which could prevent staff from striking. The Minimum Service Level Bill threatens to fine unions who take industrial action. Unless they take adequate steps to ensure minimum staffing levels are maintained on strike days. They have even quadrupled the amount a union can be fined if they fail to do this. It feels as if the Government is acting like an abusive partner who deliberately twists words to suit themselves. For a large part of why nurses are striking is because they are working in dangerously understaffed wards on non-strike days.
It has been clear for years that our Governments have wanted to dismantle our NHS and replace it with a US style system. But now we are nearly at that point, where healthcare will operate as a profit driven system. One that is more interested in fleecing us than saving our lives, we must act decisively. It is time for people to unite in a common struggle to maintain healthcare services for us all. Here are a few actions you can take to help us in this fight.
Help us put pressure on Sussex ICB
Sometime ago we sent a letter to the Chair of the Sussex Integrated Care Board (ICB). That Board has complete control over just what service provision is available to the people of Sussex. They are given a pot of money each year and are entitled to alter staff pay locally, cut services or introduce charges if the budget won’t stretch to cover the demand. We wrote to them as we felt concerned that this pot of money will be nowhere near enough to maintain services as they currently stand. We called on them to open up about any proposals they may have for cuts, charges or reductions in staff pay . They didn’t however reply. So we have set up a petition to ask the same. Please sign our petition and if you want to send them an email of your own, here is the email address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Provide us with your comments or questions for Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell
Through our events and online we have asked people to send us a question for our MP Caroline Ansell. We are hoping to organise a meeting with her in the near future and present her with all you have given us. She was repeatedly asked by us why she voted for last year’s Health and Care Bill. And, whether she thought it would do anything to help tackle the major crises we now have in our NHS. Caroline was unfortunately as uncommunicative as the people in the ICB. So we are asking you again to send us questions or comments for Caroline. We will use the meeting to try and find out what she intends to do to help protect our healthcare services. We will not share any information with her about who sent each message.
Other actions you could take
There will be a picket line outside the DGH on Wednesday and Thursday with a rally at 12pm on Wednesday. If you have the time please try and get along on either day to show your support for our nurses. There is also going to be a screening of Dr Bob Gill’s film The Great NHS Heist this Saturday at Leaf Hall on Seaside. The screening will start at 7pm and be followed by a Q&A session with Dr Gill. Please note there is no disabled access at Leaf Hall.