The NHS is both wonderful and damaged. Babies that stood but a slim chance of survival are saved and go on to live full lives despite the chaos of underfunding, understaffing and overwork. Yet at times birth can be a terrible experience and outcomes sad. This mix of awesome and appalling is seen in other services too. The passing of the Health and Care Bill causes real concern. You can see the detail of this here
Fantastic care and expert treatments are delivered by overworked and underpaid staff. This has kept the NHS afloat through a decade of cuts, underfunding, staff shortages, the pandemic, privatisations, and closures. However, as Ockendon showed, the damage being done is very real.
The Health Service Journal published an opinion piece saying;
“However, even before the first ICSs emerge blinking into the light, the seeds of their potential destruction are being sown”.
Some wonderful people fought this Bill In Parliament, and far more out of Parliament, but it was not enough. Campaigners wanted far louder opposition from Labour and Lib-Dems too. Many people still do not know what is going on.
The structures set out in the Bill will be cumbersome, costly, and designed to facilitate private company involvement and profit. It is designed to limit the care available,
World-class, Universal Comprehensive care, free at the point of need is at risk. A post code lottery is inevitable.
Not one of the pressing problems of the NHS is addressed in this Bill. The NHS needs £20 billion in additional funding now, and then an increase above inflation each year.
As the Bill finished in parliament TV and radio adverts for private health insurance became more common.
The NHS needs better funding, more staff, better pay for the staff, and better conditions to retain the staff we have
Mental health, maternity, and social care are all in difficulties from poor funding, poor staffing, cuts and privatisation.
Many nurses opened their payslips to see their take-home pay fell in the month their pay rise was paid.
We now need a big campaign to monitor the NHS so cuts cannot happen out of sight in the forty-two new ICS areas. Ours is Cheshire and Merseyside.
Please write to your MP
Please write to your councillor
Please join our campaign; message us at takebacktheNHS@protonmail.com
Please invite us to speak at your meetings
Campaigners worked hard to tell people about the Health and Care Bill, hoping we could together put pressure on Conservative (and Labour) MPs to vote against it. We did not shift the Conservatives and the vote went through. Nevertheless, they will face the ire of the people at the next elections. Let us make sure that by then we have reached millions more people.
This situation is partly because people don’t know about the Bill, partly because people really can’t believe the NHS would be harmed, but more and more people are waking up to the dangers.
The Bill causes real harm. Please see this for details.
Our campaigns will have to change focus to each of the 42 areas and their ICS boards. That’s going to be a bad thing for the NHS as a whole but in some ways easier for campaigners.
There has rarely been more chaos in parliament, but MPs must be held to account. If you have a Conservative MP please write to them. Labour MPs by and large voted against it but we feel they did not do enough, with some honourable exceptions including Margaret Greenwood MP and Justin Madders. Liverpool MPs worked closely with us too. Surely they had a duty to inform their constituents about this risk to our health care free at the point of need. We will publish a letter to Labour MPS soon.
The structure of the NHS in this new Bill is already out of date, cumbersome and costly.