The future of this campaign is uncertain. Due to the fact I am now experiencing some personal and family problems I will no longer be involved with this group. Remaining campaigners may continue a ‘streamlined’ version of what I was doing but no firm decision has been taken yet.
I have invested a lot of time and effort into this campaign. I did so because I believe it is essential we have a fully funded, publicly owned and publicly provided healthcare service. Many people told me at the beginning that no government would ever dare touch the NHS as the population would not stand for it. But unfortunately we did. And now our NHS has gone – it is no longer a national health service. What we have now is a disjointed healthcare system run by many providers including the state. It looks in structure remarkably like the US healthcare system aside from the fact that at the moment our Government pays for services through taxation.
The destruction of our NHS is the greatest act of public deception
Some may say that it doesn’t matter who provides our healthcare as long as it is free at the point of need. But statements such as these reflect the scale of public deception which successive governments have engaged in. For behind the scenes, particularly since the days of Thatcher every government has been dismantling our NHS. We have been told they are reforming the service, making it more efficient, modernising it, and cutting spending so Britain ‘lives within its means’.
The current state of our NHS
Currently there are 500 people dying every week because of delays in emergency care. Over 7 million people are on NHS waiting lists and most people report having problems accessing their GP. It is now nearly impossible to get registered with an NHS dentist, social care has fallen apart, many people now have to pay for treatments they once had for free and mental health services are in their deepest ever crisis. We have witnessed healthcare unions striking for pay restoration including the RCN who had never before considered strike action. There are currently over 133,000 vacancies for staff in the NHS.
So whatever our Governments have been doing it clearly isn’t working for the benefit of the people. And its not surprising we aren’t all up in arms because we have been fed a diet of lies about it all. We have been baffled by an endless stream of acronyms and policy decisions that are barely ever explained to the public.
Why I was happy that my last event was The Great NHS Heist Screening
I felt it was fitting therefore that the last event for me with this campaign was a screening of The Great NHS Heist in Hastings on the 28th March. We co-hosted this event with Hastings Peoples Assembly. The film was co-written by working GP and campaigner Dr Bob Gill. There was a Q&A session afterwards with Dr Gill and, local nurse and activist, Antonia Berelson.
What you can do to help restore our NHS
If you care that you, your children and your children’s children have access to quality healthcare please watch this film. Don’t feel confused about why we have a crisis in healthcare – this film may help your understanding. Please try and do one thing, watch this film and see how many other people you can encourage to watch it. Keep challenging the rhetoric. Help raise awareness of how our NHS is being dismantled and we are being deceived on a massive scale. Lives are being lost unnecessarily and will continue to be lost unless we, the people act.
If you watch this video of the Q&A session from after the film screening you will hear suggestions of what you can do to help restore our NHS.
Many thanks to Hastings Peoples Assembly for helping organise this event. And to Bob Gill, Colin Crilly and Antonia Berelson for speaking. It is with great sadness that I have to back out now. Our NHS needs an enormous effort from the people to see it restored. But I believe that can be done. Many thanks also to every person who has given their time towards the work of this campaign.