Image: Wikipedia / Gage Skidmore.
On the 7th May we vote in the General Election and on the future of the National Health Service. This Friday, 24th April, Bring Back The NHS will see those who know the health service best cut through the hubbub of election campaigning and remind the electorate and their candidates just how important an issue it is.
Successive changes over the last few decades, most recently with the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, have fundamentally eroded the founding principles of the NHS.
The NHS is no longer national: the direct, democratic responsibility of the Secretary of State to provide healthcare has ended and huge privatised contracts are spreading quickly and fragmenting quietly. It is no longer about health: trusts are competing for contracts rather than cooperating with neighbouring trusts, and senior health staff are distracted from patient care by the financial worries the marketplace and commissioning have given. And it is no longer about service: competition threatens to break up integrated clinical care, while the profit imperative, not the needs of the public, increasingly determines the availability of health provision.
Bring Back the NHS is a non-party political evening, hosted by Sir Ian McKellen and bringing together an impressive array of powerful messages and entertaining speakers. From the experiences of those at the frontline of the NHS and firsthand testimony from patients and carers; to the efforts of campaigners and the insights of scientists and academics.
This line-up offers a clear message for the election - that no matter who wins, we want the next government to bring back a health service that fully reflects its founding principles.
The NHS was borne out of war and strife. It helped heal a nation. It is a democratic service offering universal healthcare. It addresses health inequality like no other. It is paid for by the public for the public. Decades of ideological changes and market policies have eroded these values and stolen the health service that the nation used to know and still loves. We want the NHS back. Urgent legislation is needed to reinstate it. Whatever government is elected on 7 May must understand and act on this.
Get your ticket here and join us at Central Hall, Westminster at 7pm on Friday, 24th April to help spread the message far and wide.
Buy your ticket here. The latest programme of speakers is available at bringbackthenhs.org. Tickets are £10 and £7.50 concessions, covering the costs of the hall only. We are very willing to support those who do not have the ticket price.