OurNHS believes that the NHS should be an accountable public service which treats patients and staff well.
But - as we have covered since we were set up 2 years ago - the NHS has seen these principles consistently undermined over the last 25 years, as ‘reforms’ which allowed private companies to provide more and more of the NHS (often under the NHS logo) took hold.
In 2012, the Coalition government’s Health and Social Care Act 2012 took commercialisation of the NHS to a new level.
OurNHS concurs with those who say that it will soon be too late to stop commercialisation wrecking our NHS for good. Satisfaction with the NHS is falling, waiting lists are growing and experienced staff are leaving in despair. Billions are wasted each year on running the NHS in a fragmented, competitive and increasingly privatised way. Our rights to comprehensive health care are already being chipped away around the margins, and there is good reason to fear more charges are on the way unless we reverse this wasteful way of running the NHS.
Legislation is needed urgently, to restore the NHS to its founding vision.
Already, Scotland and Wales have begun to get the commercialisation out of their NHS - and - despite what David Cameron would have us believe, public satisfaction with the Scottish and Welsh NHS is rising rapidly as a result, despite lower spending.
What can we do?
Tomorrow (Wednesday 11th March), Caroline Lucas MP - backed by backbench Labour and Lib Dem MPs, and by Plaid Cymru and the SNP - will present a Bill in parliament that would:
reinstate in England the legal duty of the Secretary of State to provide the NHS,
abolish the costly, bureaucratic and undemocratic mess of clinical commissioning groups, NHS trusts, and NHS foundation trusts
re-establish Community Health Councils to represent the interests of the public in the NHS, and local health authorities to carry out the Secretary of State’s duty, and
allow private companies to provide NHS services only in exceptional circumstances.
OurNHS believes this is the most serious attempt to rescue the NHS in recent years. It has been together by the broadest possible coalition of NHS campaigners, spearheaded by Professor Allyson Pollock and Lord David Owen, and supported from the outset by OurNHS.
All campaigners - groups and individuals - are invited to attend a photo call at 11.30am tomorrow (Wednesday 11 March) on College Green (outside the House of Commons) to support the presentation of the Bill. Members of the Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill will be there. Bring banners, and show your support for saving our NHS - before it is too late.
Value OurNHS's work in fighting for the NHS? Please donate to OurNHS here - we rely on donations from our readers.