“But what can we do except wait for next election and pray that labour finds its conscience?” WHAT CAN WE DO? FIGHT BACK!

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May 20, 2013 by Protect Our NHS

peter keiley (@pkjazzman) May 20, 2013 at 8:43 am Edit #

but what can we do except wait for next election and pray that labour finds its conscience?


stevetimmins2013 May 20, 2013 at 9:20 am Edit #

No we can fight back now. Our group is active in two CCG areas. In one there is a genuine willingness to listen, but in the other, where the Lay Chair is also a consultant to Capita Symonds, the attitude is more defensive. So what can we do? We can attend CCG meetings. We can ask questions – not rudely – but ones which need answering: questions about public consultation, monitoring of tenders, performance by private contractors like Harmoni (now Care UK). There is a Healthwatch group in every CCG area and the Local Authority Health and Well-being Boards are charged with watching over the CCGs. I know that they are perceived as being largely toothless, but it is worthwhile putting them on notice. Even more importantly, everyone should tell their GP what they think of what is going on. GP satisfaction with the new system is very low and only 11% of GPs back this Tory agenda. People can join their local GP Patient Participation Group and make their feelings clear. GPs are supposed to have a big say in the running of this new system, but they have begun to realise how little they can actually influence. And remember that commissioning new services takes a long time so there will be plenty of services which won’t have been put out to tender by the time of the next election. In Bristol the only new commissioning taking place this year is for Mental Health services. In North Somerset the situation is more serious as Weston General Hospital is threatened with private takeover and the loss of its A&E department which would mean a half hour drive to Bristol for emergency cases – fancy having a dangerously ill baby and living in Weston Super Mare anybody?.

So that’s what we believe an everyday grass roots activist can do – and I’m sure I’ve missed some things – but on the national level – yep, I agree that it’s not a pretty sight. But lets assume that the country considers returning a Labour party with a newly discovered conscience. What we have to get through to John Cruddas and their strategists NOW is that they have to have the guts to turn round to private health companies and cancel their contracts – and they have to stop shilly shallying and coming up with meaningless, sound bite phrases like “One Nation Labour”. Just tell us now that they’ll reverse this mess and we’ll vote for them.

So here’s my list of things to do before the NHS dies:

1. Attend CCG Meetings.
2. Ask questions.
3. Put the monitoring bodies on notice that we will not let this go through without a fight.
4. Tell your GP how angry you are with this system.
5. Tell your MP (if you live in a Labour constituency) that they need to reverse the 2012 Act.


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