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Campaigning Lewisham GP to stand in Euro elections for new National Health party

London GP Louise Irvine, who led the successful 'Save Lewisham Hospital' campaign, is standing for European parliament for the National Health Action Party in a bid to stop privatisation and NHS cuts.

Caroline Molloy
23 January 2014

Image: National Health Action Party 


The London doctor who Chaired the successful campaign against Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to save Lewisham Hospital is to stand in the euro elections.

Lewisham GP Dr Louise Irvine has announced she'll be running as a euro candidate in London for the National Health Action Party, a new political party which opposes the government's cuts and privatisation of the NHS.

Dr Irvine, the chair of Save Lewisham A&E, has been a London GP for 20 years.

Dr Irvine helped lead the successful Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign, but said she was standing because she knew that “defending NHS services cannot stop at the local level - it has to be tackled at the national and European level.” 

As politicians and business leaders hold secretive trade talks in the Swiss resort of Davos this week, Irvine also highlighted the threat to the NHS from the impending EU-US trade deal, which she said would “allow American companies to carve up the NHS and make the privatisation process irreversible.”

Irvine called on Londoners to use the election to send a powerful message to politicians in Westminster and Brussels “that people will not stand by and let their NHS be destroyed” and to stop the hospital closures and privatisations.

“Today's news that waiting times are on the rise is further confirmation of the government's failed health policy.” 

“I am standing because I care passionately about defending the NHS. If elected, I will strive to ensure that EU regulations don’t adversely affect the NHS and are always in the best interests of the health of British people“.  

Dr Irvine has also been vocal in the campaign to oppose Clause 118 of the Care Bill, which the government is attempting to push through parliament to allow fast-track hospital closures with minimal local consultation.

The National Health Action Party was launched by doctors and health care workers just over a year ago amid warnings of the disastrous impact of the government's NHS reforms.

Co-leader of the National Health Action Party, oncologist Dr Clive Peedell, said:

"The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats outrageously broke their pre-election pledges that there would be no top down re-organisation of the NHS and no NHS privatisation.”

Adding that the Labour Party had been too ‘complicit’ in the threats of commercialisation and privatisation that the NHS now faced, Peedell, who is also co-Chair of the NHS Consultants Association, said “We believe that a new political party is needed to defend the NHS and its values, and that is why we set up the National Health Action Party.”

The co-leader of the National Health Action Party is the former independent MP for Wyre Forest, Dr Richard Taylor, who won a seat in two successive general elections over a local hospital issue.

“It is crucial that the people of London support Dr Louise Irvine and the National Health Action Party in these elections. A strong electoral result will put pressure on the Government to reverse its damaging reforms and exempt the NHS from the EU/US Free Trade Agreement. The very survival of the NHS is at stake.”

The Euro elections are conducted through proportional representation - meaning less concern about splitting votes - and Dr Irvine will need about 200,000 votes across London to be elected.

 

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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