Speak out, speak up, and fight to restore our NHS. A mass campaign, like that to set up the NHS, like that of the suffragettes, can and will win back our NHS, fully funded. We need your involvement. If not now when?
We are putting out a call for further active support from the people and their organisations in Cheshire and Merseyside. The NHS is held together by the outstanding work of the healthcare workers, despite the Governments sabotage. We all need the NHS and we can see how it is being damaged by this government and their policies. Time to call Enough Is Enough. Restore and Repair the NHS. Help us raise the level of our campaign.
Our hospitals, our ambulances, our GP services, our maternity care, our mental health services, and our social services are all failing to provide the level of care we deserve, that we as an “advanced” and wealthy economy should expect.
This campaign defends Liverpool Women’s Hospital, the largest maternity hospital, and the only hospital dedicated to women’s health. We are involved in defending the healthcare system nationally but particularly locally in Cheshire and Merseyside. The two issues are interlinked.
The UK was much poorer when the NHS was founded yet the 1945 government managed it. Good health care is an investment in our people and in the economy. People are suffering and dying because of these Government policies which centre around privatisation (in its many forms), There has been bad workforce planning. leading to chronic shortages of staff. The Kings Fund, not a left-wing, think tank commented:
The people who work in the NHS are its greatest asset and are key to delivering high-quality care. This has been evident throughout the Covid-19 pandemic with staff demonstrating remarkable resilience and commitment. However, a prolonged funding squeeze between 2008 and 2018 combined with years of poor workforce planning, weak policy and fragmented responsibilities mean that staff shortages have become endemic.
We also see lying, as when Boris Johnson promised more hospitals, and when in 2015 the Secretary of State for Health Simon Stevens promised us 6000 more GPs but we have been left with fewer than in 2015. We were promised Continuity of Carer in the maternity services without sufficient midwives to deliver it.
Donna Ockendon who conducted the review of baby deaths in Shropshire and is now working on the Nottingham Enquiry wrote “the review team has also identified 15 areas as IEAs that should be considered by all trusts in England providing maternity services. Some of these include:
the need for significant investment in the maternity workforce and multi-professional training
suspension of the midwifery continuity of carer model until – and unless – safe staffing is shown to be present
strengthened accountability for improvements in care among senior maternity staff, with timely implementation of changes in practice and improved investigations involving families“
The damage to the whole NHS is shown in cost-cutting and ideological opposition to the core NHS principles of a public national and comprehensive health service for need, (not profit) providing timely care, free at the point of need. This government prefers to run down the NHS and to divert funds to big corporations. The NHS is not the only victim of the policy of Austerity but it is a major victim. The people of the UK have suffered grievously with 300,000 dead, more than in many wars
The NHS is being held together by the outstanding work of NHS staff. Our nurses, midwives, doctors, allied medical professionals, porters, and site staff are underpaid and overworked. They have worked through the pandemic and acute shortages. Yet despite this they work, continuing to provide care and support for those using the NHS. Day after day we hear more demoralising stories. We the public must step up and challenge the Government over this. The staff cannot carry this burden alone
It does not have to be like this, the UK is wealthy, and even if it was poor the NHS model is far more cost-effective than the private model. This situation has been created by political decisions. Big companies are taking profit from the NHS. The administration of the NHS nationally and locally is deformed towards profit and towards the market.
The National Health Service was split into 42 areas by last year’s Health and Care Act, a profiteer’s charter. Campaigners nationally and here in Cheshire and Merseyside fought long and hard, but Boris Johnson’s government pushed it through
We continue to campaign, bringing together the different campaigning organisations in Cheshire and Merseyside. We are always looking for more organisations and individuals to join the struggle to restore and rebuild the NHS. Please do get in touch
The core problems in Cheshire and Merseyside are,
- Waiting lists and waiting times, denial of care and having no choice but to pay for some treatments (like dentistry, but often for surgeries such as hips) and treatment provided by private companies with limited quality control)
- Staff welfare, including pay, working conditions, pensions, unfilled vacancies, and frustration at not being able to provide for the need they see every day.
- Funding, with “Cost Improvement Programmes expected at this time of increased need and high inflation The new ICB boards carried over all the financial problems of the previous system with additional admin costs.
- Funding and staffing for maternity
- Bed capacity and physical space in the hospitals in several high-profile cases
- Privatisations/outsourcing and commissioning
- Reorganisations designed to save money or reorganisations not properly planned or cost.
- The persistence of the internal market,
- Workforce planning,
- The state of repair of hospitals
All of these are hitting patients through waiting lists, mix-ups and denial of care
Nurses, midwives and other health workers are balloting for strike action. They have our total support. They should never need to strike The responsibility lies with the Government. We speak to people regularly about the NHS and overwhelmingly, the people of our area want staff well paid and with sufficient staff to prevent overwork and burnout.
There are key crisis points now in Cheshire and Merseyside Health Service (formerly known as the NHS). These are a breakdown of services for patients, the need to organise public support for staff, Finances, Maternity, Hospital capacity including beds, staff and buildings, GP practices and primary care. Mental Health is utterly inadequate. Discharge from hospitals is difficult because of disarray in the largely privatised social care system.
We also see the introduction of “Virtual” wards to allow patients to be treated at home But this is happening while we have GPs already under pressure, primary care under pressure and ambulances unable to respond in due time. This will put pressure on families to care, for the lucky ones who have families available. And who will pay to heat these “virtual wards”. Sick people need constant warmth.
The reorganisation of Liverpool Hospitals, financial and leadership problems at Countess of Chester,
and Covid There is also an attempt to build a private “GP” surgery on the roundabout by the entrance to Clatterbridge Hospital. ( What they offer is not GP services which would include being a family and community specialist and responsible for your primary care; these companies cannot offer that)
Covid is still a problem with increasing numbers of people in hospital and increasing the severity of other illnesses yet our ICB board meets without taking basic Covid precautions, whilst its agenda discusses these issues
Our health care system needs you! Our organisations include Trades Councils across the area, Unite Community Cheshire, Defend our NHS, Socialist Health Association, Prescott SOS NHS, Keep our NHS Public Merseyside and Keep our NHS Public Cheshire, Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Save Ormskirk and Southport Hospitals and more. Donations will go to the Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Account
Please think of how you can help.
Could you put a poster up?
Could you leaflet your street?
Could you write to your MP and councillors?
Could you get your union branch to help financially? Could they affiliate with our campaign?
Could you get involved in the campaign?
Could you invite a speaker to a meeting?
Could you donate?